Written by John Teo

When Lu Chen performed the die and mirror trick on TV, the effect called Dice Illusion became an instant hit among magicians world-wide. It was so popular that a version 2 with an improved gimmicked die was later marketed.
Now, Hong Kong’s magician Albert Tam has re-released his Illusory Reflex trick. In effect, it is the same as that performed by Lu Chen.
Albert is quick to point out that he was the creator and manufacturer of this great effect. Way back in 1986, he came across a trick with a wooden die in which its non-painted spots became colored when put into a tumbler of water. He noticed the same effect when this die was reflected in a mirror. He then developed the effect known as Illusory Reflex, and started manufacturing and marketing it. It ceased production in 1992 because of the difficulty of making the special die. Then in 2009, when Lu Chen performed the effect on TV, it was rejuvinated and marketed by others as Dice Illusion.
For those who are not familiar with the effect, here is the description. A die with blank (non-painted) spots (indentations on the die) and a small mirror are examined. The performer speaks of another dimension when things are reflected in a mirror. When he places the blank die on the mirror, its reflection shows a fully painted die with black spots with the number one dot which is in red. It is truly facinating to see a blank die physicallhy next to its painted reflection!
The performer then proceeds to turn things around. The physical die becomes fully painted while its reflection in the mirror is of a blank die! This is as weird as the first illusion!
Finally, the mirror is slid off the die and its reflection becomes a reality – the performer is now holding 2 dice, one blank die and one painted die in his hands!
You receive 3 dice: a fully painted die, a non-painted die, and a gimmicked die. You are also supplied with a small mirror, and 2 black velvet carrying bags with the manufacturer’s monogram printed on them. The final item is an instructional DVD. All these are packed in a very nice black box with a magnetic cover. This product is limited to 280 sets. You receive a card signed by Albert Tam that indicates your set number out of the 280.
The DVD is well-produced. In it, Albert related the genesis of this effect and its history. He also mentioned that he got his inspirations from Lubor Fiedler’s Shock Dice and Paul Harris’ Twilight effects. There is also a similar effect from John Kennedy called Mirror Dice.
Albert performs and explains 2 routines – one involving a spectator, and one in which the magician performs alone. He also discusses 2 variations with the props. In one presentation, a blank die has a painted die reflection. This reverses itself so that the die is now painted while its reflection is that of a blank die. Finally, the die is pushed through the mirror and it emerges on the other side as a blank die. In the second variation, a blank die is shown to have a blank die reflection (which is normal). With a wave of the hand, the reflection is now of a painted die while the physical die remains blank!
Although the illusion requires a certain line of sight from the audience, the special construction of the gimmicked die ensures that there are few angle problems to worry about. The effect is best performed one-to-one or for a small group of spectators.
Properly performed, the effect on the spectators is truly fantastic. The dice are very well made. You receive 2 small carrying velvet-pouches, and everything is nicely packaged in a handsome black box. This is a professionally-produced prop and it is a limited edition reelase. The investment may appear to be a little on the high side. But what you get is a collector’s item that you will use in your performance, and the effect will wow the audience.
Highly recommended!