Magic Products Review

FOUR CARD SURPRISE

Written by John Teo

Manufactured by:  Beruza (Germany

 

As the name of the effect implies, this is a packet card trick using 4 cards.

The effect looks like this.

4 red back cards are shown to consist of the Ace of Hearts, the Two of Spades, the Three of Diamonds, and the Four of Clubs.  All the four suits are represented here.

The performer plays a little game with the audience.  He places the packet of 4 cards behind his back and turns over one card.  The audience guesses which of the 4 cards was turned over.  Irregardless of the answer, the performer shows that it was the Ace he turned over.

Now the magic begins.  When he counts the cards again, the Ace disappears and the Two turns face upwards.  He counts the cards one more time – the Two vanishes and in its place is the Three.

This time, the performer turns one card over: it is the Four.  He asks how many cards have been turned face upwards.  Once again, irregardless of the answer from the audience, the performer shows that now all the 4 cards are facing upwards.  

He asks another question: “What is the colour of the backs of the cards?”  The audience should reply: “Red.”  

The performer says that these are trick cards.  He turns each card over and on the back of the Ace is the letter A printed on the red back.  The back of the Two is now blue, with the digit 2 printed on it.  Behind the Three is a green back with 3 dots, and on the back of the Four is a picture of a hand with 3 fingers and one thumb against a multi-colour back.  

You receive all the required specially printed cards, together with a wallet holder.  The instructions are in an 8-page nicely printed colour booklet.  There are 2 presentations for this effect described in the booklet: the original one is by Lothar Vogt and an alternative one by Christian Schenk of Card-Shark.

This is another one of the many variations of the popular 4 cards packet card trick where each card turns around one at a time.  As with this type of effect, you need to know the Elmsley Count, which is taught in the instructions.  

If you enjoy novel packet card trick, this one is definitely worth the investment.  The multi-colour back climax is quite unexpected and will cause a gasp as well as a smile from the audience.  

Recommended!

ConSealment by Wayne Rogers

Written by John Teo

Consealment is a 2-way envelope.  It is easy in construction, and deceptive in appearance.  Because of its simple concept, one really wonders why nobody has thought of it before.

Wayne came out with the idea in 2008, but did not market it world-wide until now.  He did publish a booklet on his 2-way envelope called “The Automatic 2-Way Prediction Envelope” in 2011. Consealment is, however, different from this envelope.

You receive 10 Consealment envelopes ready-made for immediate use, and an instructional DVD.  In the DVD, Paul Romhany takes you through 12 different routines, showing the versatility of the envelope.  None of them are earth-shattering in principle, but “Book Test” and “Which Hand” are worthy of consideration for your performance.  

However, to use the envelope for Out To Lunch, as in the effect “Time Warp”, is to defeat the purpose of Out To Lunch itself.  This principle was devised to show how clean it is to for a spectator to sign the very card that is to change a little later.  Consealment kills this objective as part of the card the spectator signs is not visible.

You also receive a pdf file to show you how to construct the envelope if you have used up all the 10 envelopes.  

Consealment can be used for switching, transformation, outs, vanishing and appearance.  This versatility, plus the deceptive appearance of the envelope, make Consealment an important tool for the magician and mentalist.  This fact alone earns Conselment full marks!  (9/10 stars rating.)

THE KILLER OBSERVATION TEST

Written by John Teo

This is a packet card trick with colour changing backs.  Before you dismiss it as “one of t hose packet card tricks”, this one is delightfully different – there are a lot of magic happening using only so few cards.

In effect, the performer shows 4 identical cards.  They are all the 4 blue-back 2 of clubs.  He tells the audience that this is an observation test and that they should pay careful attention.

Before they can brace themselves, one additional card appears – it is the 2 of hearts.  When this card is turned over, it has an orange colour back.  The other 4 cards are shown to have different colour backs, eg red, green, yellow and blue!

The amount of different things happening within such a short time makes it a powerful effect and never fails to get gasps from the audience.

You receive printed instructions and the 5 specially printed cards.  They can be of different backs and faces than the ones mentioned here.  As with most packet card tricks, the main sleight needed is the Elmsley Count.

So much magic happening with so few cards and only with standard card handling.  (7/10 stars rating.)

PS – I LOVE YOU by Steve Shufton

Written by John Teo

Often, there are important resource staring us right in the face, but we do not see it.  We perform magic with business cards, such as “out-to-lunch” effect and others, yet we could not see an important principle that we could use.  It takes the sharp eyes and keen mind of Steve Shufton to discover it.

Right away, he constructs a routine that uses this principle to its fullest potential.  The result is an incredibly clean and apparently impromptu effect utilising your business cards.  The trick is called Star Gazers.

7 business cards are used.  The exact number is not important, but 7 is suggested as providing the best effect.

A prediction is written on the back of the first card.  It is placed face downwards in a conspicuous position on the table.  A star is drawn in the middle of the back of each of the remaining 6 cards.  To distinguish the cards from one another, the digits 1 to 6 is written above the star of each card.  The spectators can see that both the stars and the numbers 1 to 6 are properly written on each card.  The 6 cards are turned face downwards and mixed.  A spectator freely chooses any one card.  Let us say it is the 5 star.  The prediction card is turned over to reveal the number 5!  The “stars” have indeed influenced her choice!

The performer proposes another try.  The original prediction is struck off and a new number written over it.  It is again placed face downwards in a conspicuous position on the table.

The 6 cards are again mixed around and one freely chosen.  The spectator turns over herself to show that she selected the 3 star.  She turns over the prediction – the new number is 3!

The second phase actually strengthens the entire effect!  The 2 effects are carefully constructed and put together so that they flow as a whole.  Each move is carefully considered.  Even the reason for drawing the star on each card makes much sense!  When properly performed, there is no way the audience can figure out how it is accomplished.  The spectator gets to keep your business card at the end of the effect.

With the use of certain type of pen and custom printing of your business cards, further miracles are possible.  The routine “The Power Of Colours” describes the influence of colours instead of stars on a person’s choice.

Prediction-less tricks are also considered, where “lucky number” or “lucky name” is used instead of stars and colours.

Steve Shufton challenges us to rework standard mental effects using his “PS – I Love You” principles.  He cajoles us to apply his principle to Mental Epic, Invisible Coin and Out-To-Lunch.  It may be not too long before another booklet is available with contributions from popular magicians on various applications of “PS – I Love You” principles.

You receive a well-produced booklet of 24 pages.  The instructions are well written and they come accompanied with photographs to describe the apparatus needed and the moves to be used with the cards.

If I were able to perform just the first 2 effects described in the booklet, niz, “The Star Gazers” and “The Star Gazers – A Second Divination”, it would have been worth the investment.  (8/10 stars rating.)

SPOT-CHECK

Written by John Teo

Known variously as “What’s Next?”, “Surprising Spots”, “Domino Card” or “Spot Card”, this effect has become a classic in stage magic.

The performer shows a flat piece of board that is supposed to have 2 sides to magically have 4 sides.

The board resembles a large domino piece. One side shows a one spot, the other shows a four spot, the third side a three spot and the fourth side a six spot. He then “explains” how the trick was being accomplished.

The board does not display the full face of a domino. What appears to be a three spot has only 2 spots. By coverinbg one spot with the fingers, this side can be made to appear as a one spot.

By covering the empty space with the fingers, this same side can be seen to be a three spot.

Similarly with the other side – it has five spots which can be made to appear as four or six spots by covering the appropriate locations with the fingers.

Just when the audience understands what was happening, the performer shows that one side is actually the three spot and the other side is the six spot.

Finally, out of nowhere, an eight spot makes its appearance!

“Spot-Check” is Jeremy Pei’s take on the “What’s Next” card trick. Jeremy refers to the board as a flat dice. One side shows one and the other side shows six. One side shows four and the other side shows three.

This demonstration of the property of dice is an education to the audience. Jeremy then has an audience member come up to teach her how to do the trick. Jeremy gives her a paper board that has the missing spot domino faces.

She follows along with the paper prop in her hands and the audience learns along with her. After she returns to her seat with the prop as a souvenir, Jeremy then uses magic to cause the six and three spots to actually appear, and then an eight spot!

You receive the following items:

 A large gimmkicked Spot Board made of steel measuring 9.50 inches x 6.25 inches.

 2 printed A5 sized paper boards to be given away as souvenirs – they can be photocopied on stiff papers to make more give-away props.  Extra blank paper boards and a sheet of black round stickers to make your own give-away paper boards.

 A link to a video tutorial – Jeremy teaches you step-by-step how he prepares and works his board, and his patter. The video includes a live performance of him performing Spot-Check in a large theatre.

The metal gimmicked Spot Card that you receive is of good quality and will last for many many performances if you take good care of it.

The give-away paper magic board can have your name and contact information printed on it. “Spot-Check” is an entertaining and highly interative stage or parlour effect that is both suitable for adults as well as children.

Highly Recommended!

THE POWER OF LOVE by David Regal

Written by John Teo

As the name suggests, this is an effect that is designed for performing to people twhom you want to show that love triumphs at the end over the problems that we face in life.

It can be performed for a couple in love such as husband and wife, or between a parent and his or her children, or among siblings.

Here is how the effect looks like as performed for a couple in love.

The performer shows a card depicting a picture of a heart. This card symbolises love.

The performer then shows 5 cards that depict the problems we face in life. A card with a picture of a desert indicates loneliness, a card with a huge boulder shows a “road-block” we encounter in our lives, a card with lightning shows a sudden serious occurence that we have to deal with, a card with forest indicates the times when we feel lost, and a card with a drying flower shows the passage of time.

Each of the 2 people is given the 5 problem cards as well as the Love card. Each of them mixes the 5 problem cards face downwards. After mixing, the 5 problem cards are gathered into a stack face downwards. The lady turns over the top card of her stack – interesting remarks can be made regarding the “problem” that is revealed in this card. The gentleman does the same thing – again, interesting remarks can be made regarding his “problem”, be it the same or different from his counterpart’s. The lady then deals the next face down card on top of her first card, covering (overcoming) her “problem”. The gentleman follows suit.

Each of them proceeds to do the same thing with the pair of problem cards. Finally, one problem card is left. This card is dealt face up onto the packet of face-up and face-down cards. Again, remarks can be made regarding this last “problem”. Each of them now takes their Love card and places it on top of packet – love covers this last “problem”.

The packet is cut, and the new top 2 cards are turned over as one unit, so that whatever card that is face up becomes face down and whatever card that is face down becomes face up. This can be done as many times as needed. Obviously each packet is randomly mixed up with face-up and face-down cards.

Each person then deals their packet alternatively into 2 separate piles. One pile is taken up, turned over, and replaced onto the other pile. When spread, one card only is found to be turned the other way, for both the lady and the gentleman. This card is the Love card, and the other 5 cards are the problem cards. This shows that the couple can overcome all problems in their lives when Love exists between them!

This is a lovely ending for the 2 people participating in the performance.

You receive a custom designed deck of cards containing 54 cards (9 sets of 6 cards, each set comprising the 5 problem cards and 1 Love card). You can therefore perform this effect for up to 9 people at any one time. In this case, despite all the mixing of face-up and face-down cards, each of the 9 people will end up with their Love card being faced the other way from their 5 problem cards.

The cards are made of plastic with playing card back design. The backs are textured but their faces are smooth. They look and feel good. The cards will last for a very long time especially when they are handled by the spectator in each performance.

In addition, you are supplied with an extra card box in case the present one wears out. The specially designed picture cards will attract the attention of the audience. The special theme of life and love with the positive ending can be an emotional experience for the spectators participating as well as for the audience. (8/10 star rating)