Magic Products Review

FITO PAVESE’S TOPIT by Bazar de Magia

Written by Bernard Sim

Most magicians will know what is a Topit but not many uses one.  There are many Topits in the market and there are also plenty of instructional DVDs out there.  You have Micheal Ammar’s Topit DVD and his own Topit design, you also have Carl Coultier’s Expert Topiting Made Easy and his own design as well.  Bob Fitch’s Topit Workshop (3 Vol DVD) has plenty of Topit information on it as well.  My magic pal Enrico Varella has a special Topit using his tie.

I have seen a few topits and also have one custom made in one of my jacket though I no longer use it as I couldn’t fit the jacket anymore.  Back in the days when I was a broker on the trading floor, we use to wear jacket during work and I had a topit installed in my jacket.  This topit that I installed is not permanent and can be taken out and installed on another jacket.  It secures onto the jacket by means of a safety pin.  The design is similar to Ammar’s and I really had fun with it.

So what makes Fitopit different?  Fitopit is a transferable topit and it is easily installed by pinning it to your jacket.  The special design helps you to vanish objects easily as it is always “open”.  Unlike other topits where you have to lean forward to engage the topit, Fitopit is always ready for you to vanish stuff.  This topit has special material built into it and thus makes everything easier and smoother to operate.  The design is simple yet effective.

Fitopit is not a new product; it was released more than 10 years ago.  It comes with a written instruction and some photos.  I had to read the instructions a few times in order to decipher what it is trying to tell me.  Included is a routine for vanishing wine glass by Patrick Page

If you are thinking about dabbling in topits, this maybe a good start as the price is pretty reasonable and the topit actually works pretty well.

Rating: 8/10 Recommended. 

X-RAY by Ramus

Written by Bernard Sim

Max Maven’s Kurotsuke and Charles Gaucci’s Eye to Eye are 2 effects that many magicians use.  Over the years, there are many variations and some of there are even better than the original version.

There are different versions of Kurotsuke such Marc Oberon’s Oddball, Charles Gaucci’s Body Language, Jean-Pierre Vallarino’s Hand in The Bag.  And there are even more versions of Gaucci’s Eye to Eye, they are Outlaw Effects’ The Relic, Child’s Play, Vino Sense by Spencer and many more electronic versions.

When I attended Gaucci’s lecture 10 years ago, I was so excited and happy to get hold of his Body Language.  At that time, it was state of the art and there was no PK Ring at that time.  Body Language was very expensive at that time but magicians are suckers who will pay whatever it takes to get hold of something they fancyJ.  The effect is good and the method is clever.

For X-ray, you get 2 routines for the price of 1.  With X-ray, you can do Kurotsuke and Eye to Eye and yes, they are 100% accurate without any electronic parts.  The gimmick is rather simple but most importantly, very effective.  When I first saw the package, I thought it was very clever to use something that magician has always been using.  When I tried it before I watched the video, I was a bit skeptical as it was not really working as what I expected.  After watching the video and learning the proper method, I was truly impressed by it.

The pic here shows what you get from the package.  I have left out the gimmick for obvious reason.   The balls are rather small but it will not affect your performance (funny sentence eh? haha).  The metal box is resting on a velvet bag that is included for you to use for the Kurotsuke effect.  The card shows you the link and password for you to watch the instructions.  The video is very detailed and you will be performing this very soon after watching the video.  There is also an additional routine whereby it’s similar to Deddy Corbuzier’s Free will, only difference is you really know which hands has what and what is in the pocket.  I think a good patter is very important for such effects and you will probably spend more time learning your patter than learning the execution. 

For those who is already performing Kurotsuke and Eye to Eye, you will have no problem adapting to this method.  For those who have never performed these 2 effects before, this is the time to do it as with Xray, it will be very easy on the method as well as easy on the wallet.

Rating:  I am really excited about this product and its not easy to get excited about new effects these days.

9/10 Highly Recommended!


Written by Bernard Sim

Unbound is an impromptu ungimmicked Invisible Deck, at least for 1 version.  There are a few versions where some requires some setup and even a gimmicked box version.

I’m pretty sure most magicians will have at least bought 1 Invisible deck before.  While some use this very often, some people (that’s me) will put it in the drawer to collect dust.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the effect.  Very often, prolong storage or usage will make the deck not as effective as it use to be.  With Unbound, you won’t have that problem anymore.  Having said that, you will have some problems if you want to use Unbound and that is practiceJ.  It’s not easy; you will need to have lots of practice before you can perform it.  The good thing for this version is that you can perform it with a brand new deck or a borrowed deck.  There is even an ungimmciked (but not impromptu) version of a Brainwave deck.  The Brainwave deck effect looks great!  Apart from learning the sleights, you will also need to learn some equivoque.

One of the routine that caught my attention was Akerman’s opener.  This routine is a non-gimmicked ID combined with Triumph routine and a memorised deck routine.   This one is really cool but tough work.  Purist will have fun with this.  While I enjoyed this routine, I can’t imagine how it would look like for me to put in effort to learn this.   Haha,I liked it, but I don’t like to practice this J.

There are tons of info and the effect is taught in great detail.  However, the question you want to ask yourself is..... do you want to go through all these when you have the gimmicked version?  For me, I think it is too much of a hassle when there are easier gimmicked versions to perform the same effect.  I think the gimmicked version looks better too.  Of course there are purists who would put this to the test.

Lots of info, lots of materials and of course lots of practice.  Suitable for some but not for all.

Rating: 6/10 

NUMBERIC by Taiwan Ben

Written by Bernard Sim

Anyone who has own a beginner’s magic kit before is likely to have seen the number cards which Numberic is based on.  Basically, the original effect uses a few cards that has numbers on it.  Spectators will choose a number and the magician will flash the cards 1 at a time to the spectator and ask if that number is in that particular card.  This is repeated until the cards are exhausted and the magician will be able to tell the identity of the card.  Numberic is the same except that this is in 3D version on a Rubik’s 5x5 cube.

When I first saw this prop, I was fascinated by the design as it’s a Rubik’s cube with numbers on it.  However, when I realized what the effect was, I was rather disappointed.  Numberic comes with a link to watch the video.  I was probably very tired and I fell asleep 3 times and had to rewind it to watch from where I doze off.  A friend came to visit me, so I stopped watching it.  After he left, I continued to watch, this time without falling asleepJ.  The video was rather dry and the way Taiwan Ben speaks is too slow for me, explanations are repeated many times and the “variations” are very similar.  The effect is based on an easy system in which you have to remember.  Once you get that down, you are good to go.  Method is very easy, much like the original card version.  There are a few routines taught but I felt that the routines are too similar to each other.

When I first opened up the package, the first thing that came to mind was what if I screw up the cube and can’t solve it?  Well, Taiwan Ben has a set of instructions on how to take the cube apart and assemble it back (many of us is probably already very experienced in taking apart Rubik’s cube J)

In summary, while the effect is easy, there is a high chance that the spectators will think that the method involve some sort of mathematics formula.  I wouldn’t use this effect but I know some people would.  You’d need a very interesting presentation to impress your spectator.

Rating 6/10.  I think Taiwan Ben has probably spent a lot of time coming out with this product, though this is a simple effect, I think the workings behind is brilliant. 


Written by John Teo

The “Fred” card trick has become a classic novelty card prediction effect.  There are now numerous variations of it both in terms of performances as well as in the methods.

This is a new application of the “Fred” trick using names and flags of countries instead of names of a person.

In effect, a boxed deck of cards is placed on the table.  A spectator is asked to think of any of the 52 cards in the deck.  The performer writes something on a piece of paper, folds it, and leaves it in the safe keeping of the spectator.

The spectator is asked to name her thought-of card.  Let us assume she names the Seven of Diamonds.  The performer unboxes the deck of cards and shows that on the back of each card is printed the name of a different country in the world.  The spectator withdraws her Seven of Diamonds from the deck and it has CANADA on its back.  The prediction is unfoled and it states exactly CANADA!

This is the routine performed and taught by Rob Stiff of Magic Makers, Inc.  I prefer to perform this type of effect without a written prediction.  It also has a nice play on the phrase “I will name your card”.  You are welcome to use my presentation if you wish.

Place a boxed deck of playing cards in a conspicuous place on the table.  Ask a spectator to think of any one of the 52 cards in a deck of cards, and say you will name her card.  When she indicates she has thought of one card, tell her that the name of her card is CANADA.   She will not understand you.  You then jokingly remind her that you promise to “name” your card and you just did it – you name it CANADA, the name of a country. You unbox the deck of cards on the table and show her that on the backs of every card is printed a name and flag of a different country in the world.  She takes out her Seven of Diamonds and turns over the card – it has CANADA printed on its back!

You are supplied with a special deck of cards that allows you to perform this effect sleight free.  Any one of the 52 cards can be named and you will know the country printed on its back.  The deck of cards is nicely printed not only with the names of different countries, but also their respective flags.  The effect is easy to do and fast to reset.  You are also given a printed instruction and a link to the internet to watch both a performance and an explanation video.

Highly recommended!

COMPRESS by Brian Kennedy

Written by Bernard Sim

Compress is an effect whereby you can shrink the length of bills. Compress uses 5 bills and 1 of the bill is used for wrapping around the middle of the rest of the bills.  They are then seen to slowly shrink and then restored. Everything can be examined.

Again, like all Sansminds products, the DVD will start with a guy saying how great this looks and how it will blow the minds of your spectators, how organic (whatever that means) this is and with all the spectators shouting. While I agree this type of intro/ trailer will impress certain people, I find it kind of a turn off with the overhyped description.

This effect is impromptu and can be performed anywhere. The only restriction would be the angle. You can only perform it with your spectators in front of you. The sides are sensitive and will give away the secret. I am not impressed by the effect itself.  Seeing bill shrinking is not the same as seeing a human in a box shrinking. When I first saw the performance of Compress, all I can think of is how they are hiding the folds, I even managed to make a close guess on the method. The actually method is not easy and you’d need lots of practice before you can perform it.

While looking at the product description on Murphy’s website, I see the excerpts of positive reviews for this item at the bottom of the page. I somehow don’t agree with what they say on how good this effect is. I don’t think your spectators will think of this as a piece of magic, I’d think that they will see this as a piece of clever origami style of folding.

Something very important to note before you purchase this. You can perform this with any paper currency so plastic currency is out. I don’t think this is worth the asking price of $19.95 and this is not worthy of being released as an effect by itself.  This is probably more suitable to be released as part of other compilation of effects or even in a magazine. I feel that this effect was created as a product to make money and not as something you are using for a long time before you decide to release it. 

Rating:  4/10