Magic Products Review

THE PRESENT

Written by John Teo

Manufactured by:  Duo Magic (South Korea)

 

This is a card trick with a difference – a huge difference!  “The Present” is a novelty card trick that is sure to bring bewilderment as well as a smile from the spectators.  Here is the effect:

The performer displays a deck of Bicycle cards.  He explains why they are called that because the backs of the cards have the drawing of an angel riding on a bicycle, and the Joker itself has the Joker riding on a bicycle.

The Joker is placed to one side on the table.  A card is chosen and signed by a spectator.  This ensures the performer cannot get a duplicate card and claim it as the chosen card.  It is then lost in the deck.

The Joker card is inserted perpendicular into the deck.

The deck is ribbon-spread face-downwards on the table.  It is seen that the Joker on his bicycle magically leaves the card and leaving it blank.  He travels along the spread and stops on one card. 

As the performer clears away the rest of the cards, the spectators can see that the card stopped at with the Joker and his bicycle on it are part of the same card.  When this card is turned over, it is the spectator’s sign selection!

There is a sense of bewilderment to see the printed Joker on his bicycle leaves the card and travels along the spread to attach itself to one card, the signed selection.  The audience was certain that the chosen card was previously a single card without any attachment. 

The signed card with the Joker attached to it can be given to the spectator as a souvenir and as a reminder of having experienced a wonderful piece of magic!

You receive an instructional DVD taught by Zeki (Yoo Hyun Min) in the Korean language, but there are English subtitles.  You will have no problems at all following the instructions.  What is interesting about the DVD is how Zeki came out with “The Present” after he learnt about a card control called the “Tamariz Perpendicular Control”.  This shows the creative mind of Zeki.

You also receive the necessary gaff cards, including 3 duplicates to be signed and given away.  Refills are available separately from Redefine Magic Outlet.  Instead of signing the card, you get the spectator to sign a sticker or label, and then stick this onto the chosen card.  After each performance, you can carefully peel off the sticker and you can use the gaff card again.  In this case, you do not give the gaff card away as a souvenir.

The effect is simple to do, but you must get used to the handling.

Zeki gives another presentation where you do not have to spread the cards.  Therefore you do not require a table.  When the Joker card is inserted perpendicular into the deck, the Joker and his bicycle magically jumps out of the card and attaches itself onto a card.  The cards are then spread from hand to hand to reveal the chosen card with the Joker on it.

“The Present” is easy to perform, mytifies the spectators, and brings a smile to everyone!

 

Highly recommended!

IMPOSSIBLE LOCATION CARD TRICKS by John Carey

Written by John Teo

“Impossible Location” card tricks refer to card effects where a card is chosen and then lost in the deck or in a packet of cards, and yet the performer is able to find it in a variety of ways.

This is a DVD that features 10 of such effects.  They are practically all self-working.  They are cleverly constructured such that their mathematical based methods are well hidden.  It will be quite difficult for the aduience to back track and find out what has happened.

Self-working effects tend to involve heavy counting and spelling of cards.  While this provides a lot of participations with the audience, they can become draggy and boring.

This is where a well thought-out presentation is important.  John Carey is known to be an expert in this.  His straight-forward approach to card tricks makes them easy for the audience to follow, and yet they defy explanations on how the tricks are accomplished.

False shuffles and cuts help to hide the self-working nature of the effects.  Several methods are taught by John Carey in the DVD.

The DVD is well produced.  Each of the 10 effects is first performed with a spectator or with several people, and then explained.  It is easy to maneuver about the menu to get to any performance or explanation.

The 10 effects are:

  • Entrapped (John Carey) – a chosen card is lost in a packet of 5 cards. 2 red Queens are added into the packet.  Not only is the performer able to divine the chosen card, it is eventually trapped inbetween the 2 red Queens.
  • The 7 Card 21 Card Trick (Mike Powers) – this is a truth/lie spelling effect using 21 cards. There are a lot of dealing of cards involved, and you need to keep it moving along to prevent the effect being draggy.  However, it is a nice interactive piece of magic.  
  • Bake Off (Jack Tighe) – a very deceptive effect in which the performer is not only able to divine the chosen card, but also able to take it out of a shuffled deck placed inside his pocket.
  • Impossible (Larry Jennings) – a chosen card is lost in the deck. The cards are mixed up and yet the spectator is able to find her own card by simply spelling to the word IMPOSSIBLE.
  • Bloody Amazing! (Steve Bryant) – a chosen card lost in a packet of cards is found by spelling BLOODY AMAZING.
  • Lost & Found (Nick Trost) – a cunning priciple is used to find a chosen card that is lost in a deck, and in which the deck can be riffle-shuffled by the spectator.
  • Counting On You (John Carey) – a spectator secretly count to a small packet of cards and notes the card there. The entire packet of cards is lost in the deck, yet the performer is able to cut to a packet of cards that contains the same number of cards as originally counted off by the spectator, and finds her selected card at the same time.
  • Princess In My Pocket (John Carey) – chosen card is lost in a packet of 5 cards. The packet is mixed up and performer puts it inside his pocket.  Performer is able to take out the selected card without looking at the packet of cards.
  • Waikiki Location (Bull Morata) – a interesting principle used in divining a chosen card lost in a deck.
  • Emotional Reaction Plus (Dai Vernon) – a very fair and straight-forward discovery of a freely chosen card lost in a deck of cards that defies any explanation.

My favourites are all the 3 John Carey effects: niz Entrapped, Counting On You and Princess In My Pocket as well as Dai Vernon’s Emotional Reaction Plus.  Based on your own performing styles, your choice effects may differ from mine.

Here are 10 gems for you to use anytime and anywhere and most of them can be performed with a borrowed deck of cards.  (8/10 star rating)

PERPLEX by Criss Smith

Written by John Teo

Perplex is a card move by the underground card magician Criss Smith.

You receive a well produced DVD with the creator performing and explaining the moves as well as 4 effects.

Essentially,Perplex is a visual card change.  The top card of a deck is turned face up and held at an angle on the top of the deck.  Its full face can be seen.  It is not the card the performer is looking for.  With a wave of his other hand over this card, it visually changes into the correct card.  This card is turned face down on top of the deck and can immediately be dealt out to any member of the audience for examination.  The change is very visual and appears to be magical.

Criss also teaches a version two of Perplex.  This is a non-visual card change.  It is used to secretly exchange one card for another.  It starts off the same as in the first version.  Instead of the hand waving over the turned over card, the other hand with the deck and the card is turned palm downwards, and the protruding card is taken out and placed face down on the table.  It changes into another card. 

As a bonus, Criss teaches his Octopus Force.  A deck is shuffled using the Hindu Shuffle.  A spectator calls “stop”.  The card stopped at is flipped over face upwards – this is deemed as the chosen card.  The other half of the deck is replaced on top and the force card is seen face upwards jutting out in the middle of the deck.  This force requires some work to get it looking right.

Criss then offers 4 effects.  They are:

Desirous

A deck is shuffled and a spectator calls “stop”.  The card stopped at is shown and replaced back in the middle of the deck.  The top card is turned over to show a different card.  With a wave of the hand, it visibly changes into the chosen card.  It is like a visual ambitious card.

The method taught requires a duplicate card.  This seems a little weak to use a duplicate especially for a DVD such as this one that teaches sleight-of-hand.  Criss does mention the possible use of the “Butterfly Pass” instead of depending on a duplicate card, but he is not obliged to teach this marketed technique.

Chameleon

A card is selected and signed across its face.  It is turned face downwards and inserted back into the deck.  Immediately, the deck is spread face downwards and the signed card is seen to magically turn face upwards.  This signed selection is turned over to show that its back has now changed to a completely different back design.

Will To Gleason

Two red jacks are set aside.  A card is freely chosen and returned back into the deck.  The 2 Jacks are inserted into the deck face upwards.  The deck is spread and one card is now seen between the 2 red Jacks.  The sandwiched card turns out to be the selected card.

Deliverance

This is like a varation of the efffect “Will To Gleason”.  4 Aces are put to one side.  A card is chosen and is inserted face downwards into a face up deck.  The 4 Aces are shown face up.  Magically, one card turns face downwards.  It can be deduced from the rest of the face up Aces that the suit of this Ace is the same suit as that of the chosen card.  The face down Ace is turned over to reveal it is indeed the chosen card.  The only face down card in the middle of the face up deck is turned over and found to be the Ace of the same suit.

The DVD is well produced and has an excellent menu to help you maneuver to the various sections in the DVD easily.

The 2 versions of the Perplex move are excellent moves to learn and to add to your card magic arsenal.  Version 1 is a visual transformation of a card while version 2 provides a very good invisible switch of a card.  

“Will To Gleason” and “Deliverance” are wonderful effects you can use with a borrowed deck, while “Desirous” and “Chameleon” are very good effects using a duplicate and a different card respectively.  (9/10 star rating)

THE TIMELESS PROJECT by Russ Stevens

Written by John Teo

If you love card magic with a novel twist, you will like “The Timeless Project”.  It is based on a beautifully designed deck of cards produced by RSVP Magic called Timeless.  In this deck, all the 12 court cards contain a drawing of the face of a clock.  Since there are 12 cards, each court card features a different hour on its clock face.  The back design depicts the mechanical clockwork used in operating the clocks.  Included in this deck are several specially printed cards that can be used for magic.   

“The Timeless Project” gives you 5 different effects you can do utilising the Timeless deck.  What you receive is not one, but 2 Timeless deck.  The first deck is the regular Timeless deck as mentioned, while the other Timeless deck has the entire deck specially gaffed.  A well-produced DVD that contains all the instructions comes together in the package.

The DVD features Gary Jones performing and then explaining each of the 5 effects.  Gary is an entertaining performer and he also does an excellent job in the explanation.  The 5 effects taught are:

TIMELESS CLOCK – this is the classic “clock” effect given the Timeless treatment.  A spectator thinks of her favourite time and secretly takes that number of cards from the deck.  With the remainder of the deck, the performer takes 12 cards and arranges them in the form of a clock face.  He proceeds to divine the favourite time thought of by the spectator.  The card at the selected time happens to be the only card that contains a written message to refer to the Timeless deck.  The performer takes out the Timeless deck and one card is found to face the other way.  This card is the court card that depicts the chosen time of the spectator.

TIME WARP – using the Timeless deck, a spectator selects, say, the Jack of Spades, which features a clock at 3 o’clock.  This card is placed face downwards on the palm of her hand.  Her other hand is brought quickly down onto this hand, trapping the card inbetween.  Unfortunately the force of this movement breaks the clock.  When the card is turned over, the clock on the Jack of Spades is now shown shattered!  She is told to move back in time and reverse her action.  She raises her other hand and the clock on this card is now found to be completely restored back to the original 3 o’clock.  The spectator chooses another card – this turns out to be another court card, say, the King of Hearts which features a clock at 10 o’clock.  This card is turned face downwards, and is caused to travel ahead in time.  When it is next turned face upwards, instead of 10 o’clock, the clock now shows 3 o’clock, a perfect match to the original time chosen in the first card.

JUST A SECOND – a card is chosen from the Timeless deck.  It shows the King of Hearts which features a clock at 10 o’clock.  It is placed face downwards to one side.  The winder of a wrist watch is pulled out and rotated to show that it moves the hour hand of the watch.  The watch is turned face downwards and a spectator rotates the winder freely and stops at any point she wishes.  She then pushes in the winder to lock the time.  The performer says he has influenced her to stop at the same time, 10 o’clock, as that shown in her chosen card.  When the watch is then turned around, it does not show 10 o’clocl, but a different time: 3 o’clock.  Her chosen card is turned around.  The same King of Hearts now features a clock set at 3 o’clock instead of 10 o’clock!

DUEL TIME – 2 decks of cards are displayed: a common deck of cards and a Timeless deck of cards.  A spectator states her favourite hour.  One card is found to be facing the other way in the common deck.  It is a court card, say, Queen of Diamonds.  From the Timeless deck, the Queen of Diamonds is taken out and shown to have a clock face depicting exactly 5 o’clock.

SECOND HAND – a spectator thinks of her favourite hour.  While the performer turns his head away, the spectator looks at the seconds hand on her own watch.  When this hand ticks past her selected hour, she calls out “stop!”  The performer turns around, takes out the Timeless deck and shows that there is one card that is facing the other way.  It is, say, the Jack of Clubs, and this card has a clock that depicts 1 o’clock, the selected time of the spectator!  This effect makes use of a brilliant time force that is sure-fire and impromptu.  This force is worth the investment of this product.

“Time” is an important part of our lives.  Performing magic concerning time will attract a lot of attention from the audience.  Performing it using a specially designed deck with the time/clock theme adds novelty to your performances and makes them memorable.  You cannot go wrong with “The Timeless Project”, you get the special decks of cards as well as 5 different effects to add to your repertoire.  (9/10 star rating)

DEAN’S COIN WALLET

Written by John Teo

“Dean’s Coin Wallet” is actually a black colour coin purse measuring 3.5” x 3.5” square.  It is made in leather and has a flap with a metal snap button.  It is a change purse and is therefore double-sided, unknown to the audience.  It is said to be Dean Dill’s favourite coin change purse, and was used often by him.  Dean used it to switch between gaffed and ungaffed coins or between 2 different sets of gaffed coins.

You receive the well-made genuine leather coin change purse.  It comes inside a beautiful black box.  You also receive a one sheet of printed instructions that contains Michael Weber’s professional routine.

In this routine, a spectator names any amount of loose change not exceeding $1.  The coin purse is shown to contain that exact amount of coins named by the spectator.  By the use of a clever ruse, the purse can be shown to contain nothing else.

The purse can be used to switch billets.  For example, 4 billets representing 4 outs are in one side of the purse.  When the correct billet is taen out, it is then nonchalantly replaced in the other side of the purse, proving the purse to contain nothing else.

You should be able to find other uses for this beautiful purse.

 

Highly recommended!

THE TWIXTER by Neil Trigger

Written by John Teo

The Twixter is a card revelation using a Twix chocolate bar.

You actually receive 2 artificial Twix chocolate bars, each has the name of a different playing card carved into the base of the bar.  They are made of some kind of hard material but look like the real thing.  They can be hidden in any part of the clothing and retrieve at the right moment because there is no real chocolate to cause the mess on your clothing.

They can both be used in the same performance.  Use one to reveal the identity of a selected card.  Secretly change it for the other Twix bar and apparently use the “same” bar to reveal the identity of a second chosen card.  This can be a double whammy for the same audience. 

They can be used for different performances, so that you can force a different card for different audiences.

You receive a password to download an instructional video featuring the creator himself.  You get to learn how to force a card, a side-steal, and a colour change.  The video shows how to cause the identity of the card to leave the card so that it becomes blank.  Please note that the gimmick (blank face card) is not supplied in the package.

It may seem a little strange to the audience that you can retrieve a single Twix chocolate bar from your pocket without the mess made by the chocolate coating.  Any part of the clothing is not a good place to keep an unwrapped chocolate bar. 

Although not mentioned in the instructions, a good way is to purchase the actual Twix chocolate – it comes as a pair inside a wrapper.  Tear the end of the wrapper away and consume the 2 chocolate bars.  Put the 2 gimmicked bars inside the wrapper, remembering which bar has what card revelation.  It is more natural to being out the 2 Twixter bars inside the wrapper in this manner to the audience.

To see the identity of their chosen card carved onto a chocolate bar will surely cause great reactions from the audience.  If you like novelty card magic, you will love performing The Twixter.  (7/10 star rating)