Magic Products Review

EXTENDED STAY by Shawn Farquhar

Written by John Teo

Extended Stay is a unique trick.


It involves 3 modern day credit card size electronic hotel room keys.  The effect is that one of the keys magically elongates to almost one third of its length, and then shrinks back to its normal size.


You receive the 3 hotel card keys plus a gimmick and an instructional DVD.  The quality of the DVD is good and Shawn does a great job performing and explaining all the tricks.  The DVD was apparently shot and produced by Shawn and his family members.


Each of the 3 card keys is specially designed by Shawn.  The information contains in each of the cards enables the performer to do many “bonus” effects.  In fact, there are more than 10 tricks you can do with these 3 cards.  Most of them are prediction type effects.  The mental tricks Shawn put together with the 3 cards are so varied and fun and strong that even anyone who is not interested in mental magic will feel the urge to try performing a couple of them.  There is a pick-a-city effect, an observation test, a prediction of what 2 cards will trap the key card inserted in a deck of playing cards, and a pick-a-number trick.  You will learn the “toxic” principle of how to use the calculator in a borrowed iphone to “force” the outcome of a random and complex mathematical calculation.  There is a coincidence trick where you have to manage the spectator and the outcome.  Shawn calls this “jazz magic” and the effect is a real “killer”!


Shawn Farquhar is a FISM Grand Prix World Champion of Magic, and is well known for his sleight-of-hand skills.  Mentalism is not his cup of tea, a fact he confesses in the DVD.  Yet, you will appreciate Shawn’s devious thinking in the design of the 3 cards with the many built-in tricks.  It showcases the “sleight-of-mind” ability of Shawn Farquhar.


I am finding myself wanting to perform some of the bonus effects more than the original elongated trick.


(5/5 stars rating)


PHUZED by David Loosley

Written by John Teo

Phuzed is yet another take on the now classic torn and restored card in the likes of “Reformation” and “Reparation”.


It uses a special gimmick to enable the piece by piece restoration to be very direct and visual.  You need to see the video to have an idea of how this looks from the audience’s point of view.  It also makes the handling so much easier when compared with the other standard methods.  The entire card can be restored with its face towards the audience all the time.


The downsides are: the card cannot be signed, and the torn pieces must be placed out-of-sight for a while.


Because of the gimmick, you cannot perform with people standing behind you.  But this problem is also inherent in other methods since all such torn and restored effects depend on an extra piece of card or other gimmicks.  Therefore, this is not a minus point for Phuzed.


You are supplied with an instructional DVD which shows David Loosley performing and explaining both the torn and restored cards as well as torn and restored scratch card.  It also features Peter Nardi providing additional handlings.  Also supplied are the necessary playing cards and the gimmick.  You need to supply your own matching deck of cards.

(4.5/5 stars rating)


THE UNFOLDING by Paul Carnazzo

Written by John Teo

This is a clever application of an equally clever principle used in magic.


In effect, a woman and a man from the audience are nominated to help the performer in an experiment.  Three different photographs of the statue of Marcus Aurelius are displayed.  The woman and the man each freely chooses one of the photographs, leaving the last one to the performer.


When the woman turns over her chosen photograph, written on the back is “This photo will be chosen for the woman.”  Similarly, the man turns over his selected photograph to find the words “This photo will be chosen for the man.”  The performer’s photograph has the words “This photo will be chosen for me.”


Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor with his famous quotation “Everything is unfolding as it must, and if you observe carefully, you will find this to be so.”  This forms the basis of an interesting patter for this trick.


As stated in the promotion for this trick, there is no forcing, equivoque, secret writing, switching, ambiguity, or multiple outcomes.  You receive a 22 page nicely printed instructional booklet, four photographs of the statue of Marcus Aurelius, and all necessary materials to gaff the photographs.


Other ideas are also discussed.  Instead of using photographs of Marcus Aurelius, pictures of different houses can enable a spectator to pick her dream house.  Martin Lewis’ “Technicolour Prediction” can also be presented using this method, completely different from the two different methods employed by Martin Lewis for his stage and close-up versions respectively.  Finally, three photographs of different murder weapons are provided where the man and the woman must choose the correct weapon for their lives to be spared!


Versatile applications of a clever principle!  (4.5/5 stars rating)

iCONTACT by Chris Congreave

Written by John Teo

This is an easy to do card trick that has a great impact on the spectators.Just watch the video trailer for the reactions of the audience when Richard Beller performs iContact.


In effect, two cards are selected from a deck of cards.  One is physically chosen from the deck while the other card is merely thought of by a second spectator.  The performer takes out the first spectator’s card and shows that he already knows this card would be chosen.  He then turns over this card and on the back is written the name of the second thought-of card!


You receive a gimmicked deck together with an instructional DVD.  You need to complete the gaffing of the deck of cards by writing on the backs of some cards.  You also need to provide an additional card yourself.  The suit of this card depends on the cards that come with your gimmicked deck.  This should be of no problem to magicians because the deck uses the popular bicycle cards.  However, for the price you pay, this card should come complete with the deck.  The deck supplied need not come with the writings on the backs of the cards because most performers may want the predictions to be written in their own hand writing.


The DVD is well produced.  You get to know a little of the history of this effect, and how to set up and complete the gimmicked deck.  Chris Congreave, with Gary Jones, then discuss various endings.  For example, the first chosen card can be produced from other locations instead of merely bringing it out from the deck.  Possible locations are from the card case, wallet or pocket.  The written prediction does not have to be the name of a second playing card.  It can be the name of the spectator or even his personal belonging.


There is a bonus effect by Gary Jones called “Touched”.  The performer picks a card himself from the deck and writes a prediction on its face.  This is placed in his pocket.  A second spectator names any other card.  When the performer removes his card from his pocket, it has the name of the second spectator’s card written on its face!  This does not use the gimmicked deck that comes with the package, but it shares the same concept.  You need to construct this special deck from cards that you can obtain from magic dealers.  (4.5 stars rating)

CROSSWORD by Mark Mason

Written by John Teo

Unlike what the title and the drawing on the package suggest, the magic has nothing to do with crossword puzzles.Rather, it is a clever play on 2 words, MINE and YOURS.


In effect, 2 cards, each depicting the word YOURS, are shown and dealt face downwards to a spectator.  The performer keeps 2 other cards depicting the word MINE.  Magically, the 2 sets of cards change places.  This is the Dr Daley’s Last Trick effect with word cards.  This is repeated.  This time, the performer places his MINE cards face-to-face.  Visually, the MINE cards change to YOURS cards and now the spectator has the MINE cards!


The visual change from YOURS to MINE cards has to be seen to understand its effectiveness.  The change is not only visual, it is instant and it is also very clean.  The 2 cards after the change can be shown both sides very cleanly.  The words MINE and YOURS offer much opportunity for play on both words in your patter.  The cards need no reset before your next performance.  This makes it an idea trick for strolling magic.


You receive the specially printed cards, one of which is a hand-made gimmick that enables the visual change.  The props come with a well produced instructional DVD.  (4.5/5 stars rating)


Written by John Teo

This is a clean teleportation of a small borrowed object placed inside one envelope to another envelope placed some distance apart.

The effect in detail is as follows:

3 small manila envelopes are examined.  A spectator places a small object such as their driving license or credit card into one of the envelopes.  The performer can turn away while this is being carried out – he does not need to know what object is being placed into which envelope.

3 larger window envelopes are shown.  The small manila envelope with the borrowed object inside is slipped into the top window envelope.  A paper clip is placed onto this envelope to keep the flap down.  This envelope is placed to one side – the manila envelope inside can be clearly seen through the window of the larger envelope.

The spectator chooses another small manila envelope and this is slipped inside the second window envelope.  A different coloured paper clip is placed onto this envelope and place some distance away from the first window envelope.  The second manila envelope can also be seen through the window of the second larger envelope.

The third and last window envelope is used to touch the first, then the second envelope.  The teleportation is done!  The first envelope is opened and the small manila envelope inside it is found to be empty.  The second envelope is opened and the small manila envelope inside it is found to contain the spectator’s object!

The effect is easy to execute.  The teleportation is most convincing.  The 2 envelopes are placed some distance apart – the small manila envelopes can be clearly seen through the windows of each of the larger window envelopes – yet the magic happens!

You are supplied with all the envelopes plus the 2 paper clips.  As usual, Devin Knight’s instruction, in the form of a 12 page manuscript, is comprehensively written.  He also provides improved handlings such as marking the first small manila envelope with “1” and the second manila envelope with “2”.  The first window envelope can also be placed inside a clear plastic bag and held by the spectator so that it is obvious it cannot be tempered with.  (5/5 stars rating).