Magic Products Review

DOUBLE CLIP LINE by Devin Knight

Written by John Teo

The old “Cutting The Newspaper Column” trick is based on such a subtle secret that magicians will want to exploit it for other variations. There is also a small weakness in this effect in that it has to be performed at a distance away from the audience so that the way the newspaper column is held is not obvious to the spectators. The creative Devin Knight has come up with new ideas and presentations and has overcome the small disadvantage.

 

Double Clip Line contains 3 different presentations for this wonderful effect.

 

In “Double Clip Line” (the same name as in the title), 2 different newspaper columns are used, instead of the usual one. They are marked “1” and “2” respectively so that the audience can tell them apart. Both columns are cut simultaneously at the top as well as at the bottom. The trick is performed up close to that the audience can read the lines in both columns. When you are told to stop cutting, the new top line on column 1 and the new bottom line on column 2 are read, and they match exactly a prediction you placed for safe keeping with one of the spectators. Devin has overcome the slight weakness of this trick and you get to predict not one but on 2 columns. There are no switches, and the trick practically works out itself. Great effect with the minimal of props and effort. I feel this is the best version of “Cutting The Newspaper Column” trick ever devised.

 

“Clip Word” is Devin’s variation using only one newspaper column. The spectator also has a choice of which end of the column they want you to snip off. It appears the audience has a complete control of the experiment, yet the column left after the cut is predicted in an envelope placed before the start of the trick.

The devious mind of Devin has come up with another version where you do not need to touch the column. In “No-Touch Clip Line”, the newspaper column (obviously ungimmicked) is handled by the spectator all the way. Yet the line left after the cut is predicted by you beforehand. This effect can even be performed over the telephone!


You will receive a 14 page well written manuscript plus a couple of items needed to perform one of the 3 effects. (5/5 stars rating)

 

 

CONTROL 2.0 by Wayne Houchin

Written by John Teo

This is an one-effect DVD that runs for more than 2 hours! What constitutes the long running time? Is it a multi-phase trick? Is there something complicated to construct or prepare? It is none of these.

 

One can actually explain the secret in less than 1 minute. It is just a move that you have to execute. However, the creator, Wayne Houchin, takes you through the entire effect – from setting the mood with your audience, to live performances, to the various techniques and subtleties.

 

Control 2.0 is the second edition of the original Control that was released some time ago.

 

The effect is that you ask a volunteer to feel your pulse on your wrist, and to count along with your steady heart beat. After a while, they feel your pulse gradually slowing down and then coming to a complete stop! Meanwhile the volunteer can see you closing your eyes and falling into a deep trance or sleep, and your entire body appears to become weak. Properly performed, this effect will freak out the volunteer as they personally experience the temporary stopping of your heart! After a short while, but long enough for anyone to know that it is impossible for anyone to go without a heart beat, your heart slowly beats again, and you regain your normal composure. This is indeed an eerie experience for the audience!

 

You will be glad to know that the method is completely safe and does not require any gimmicks – you can perform Control impromptu and at any time and venue.

 

Wayne Houchin is joined by his friends Daniel Garcia, Randall and Dexter at various segments in the DVD. Daniel Garcia contributes an entire different method to heart stopping. Called “Stop”, the effect is that of a volunteer placing their ear on your left chest area where your heart is. They can hear the soft pounding of your heart beat, when it gradually slows down and then stops completely for a while before picking up. Again, the method is totally safe and impromptu. There is also a discussion on how to perform Control when there is a professional doctor in the audience.

 

At the end credits, there is an impressive and comprehensive listing of research done on pulse-stopping, such as its history, advertisements, performers, and various methods including simulated pulse, gaffed and impromptu methods.

 

Unlike ordinary magic tricks, Control is an effect that borders on life and death. Properly performed, it is sure to create a great impact on any audience. (4.5/5 stars rating)

LECTURE PACKAGE LIMITED by Daniel Garcia

Written by John Teo

 

The Daniel Garcia Lecture Package Limited is a nicely printed book containing 32 glossy pages, and is saddle stitched. Much of the materials can be found in the Daniel Garcia Project DVDs.

 

The instructions in the booklet are well written and are accompanied by ample step-by-step photographs. You will have no difficulty in understanding how to execute the various moves. In fact, it may be easier to learn from this book than from watching the DVDs. The DVDs show you how the effects look like when performing for a live audience.

 

The effects are highly visual but require a lot of moves and you have to be concerned with performing angles. However, they not something that you cannot achieve with some practice.

 

The book starts with an effective card control to the top of the deck (Ego-Slip). In One Point Production, a card magically appears underneath your palm placed flat on the table. A variation of this is White Or Wheat, where a signed card appears between 2 other cards placed on the table well away from the deck of cards which contains the signed selection.

 

In Math, 2 quarters jump from hand to hand, and they finally meld together into a fifty cent coin. Ego-Change is a nice colour change based on the Cardini Card Change. Nacho Mama’s Triumph is a triumph effect with an unexpected deck colour change climax. Your Personal Safe starts as a standard 4 coins across from your hand onto a spectator’s hand. The final phase is a real shocker when the last coin changes into the spectator’s finger ring!

 

Next in the book are 3 quick tricks. Clip-Trip is an effect where you bend a straighten-out paper-clip held by the tips of your fingers and thumb by merely concerning on it with your mind. No Smoking is a unusual effect where a burnt match vanishes from your hand and smoke appears from your mouth just as it reappears back attached onto the match-book! Disc-Hover is an impromptu levitation of a borrowed credit card between your 2 outstretched palms.

 

Stretch is a multi-phase rubber band routine where a borrowed finger ring penetrates on and off a rubber band and jumps from band to band. On The Rocks is an impromptu striking coin through the bottom of a glass tumbler effect.

 

DG Box Steal is a technique used in secretly stealing a playing card placed inside a card box. This is employed in Time Line V2.0 where a mystery card cased in the card box becomes the very card chosen from the deck later on. The final effect is Butter Bill, where a drinking straw penetrates a bill twice: once vertically through the centre of the folded bill, and the second time horizontally through the fold of the money. The effect is performed impromptu with borrowed straw and bill.

 

As mentioned, the effects are highly visual and are meant for the more experienced performer. The book is beautifully produced with nice layout, and is a joy to own. (4.5 stars rating)

 

The Little Book of Quotes by James Munton

Written by John Teo

The Little Book Of Quotes is a well printed and laminated pocket-sized booklet containing 100 different motivational quotations.

In performance, 2 members of the audience are asked to announce 2 different digits. Say that a 6 and a 3 are selected. They are given a choice of how to arrange the 2 digits to form a number between 1 to 100. For example, 6 and 3 can give 36 or 63 – the choice is up to the audience. Say, 63 is the number chosen. A spectator is asked to refer to quotation no 63 in the booklet. The performer is able to reveal what the quotation is all about. Finally, the spectator reads the entire quotation to the audience. The audience not only gets to witness a marvelous performance, but is also motivated by the selected quotation!

The instructions also include a comprehensive and interesting history of book tests that use similar methodology.

The pocket-sized booklet means you can use this for walk-around magic as well as for stage because the effect is suitable for large audience.

A most direct book test that is also easy to do without resorting to stooges or complicated memory, and the booklet itself is totally examinable and easy to carry around. (5/5 stars rating)

Reflection by Bill Goodwin and Dan & Dave Buck - DVD

Written by John Teo

Everything about this product spells “elegance”.  The DVD comes in an elegantly designed package and includes a companion booklet.  The video is well shot in high definition and with multiple camera angles.  The menu offers easy navigation around the DVD. 

What is most important is the content in the DVD.  You get to see a master card technician at work.  Bill Goodwin is truly one of the finest sleight-of-hand card magicians of this era.  Watch him perform 9 card miracles almost effortlessly – the magic seems to happen in his hands!  His presentation as well as his handling of the cards can be summed up in one word – elegant!

Bill Goodwin explains well, too – covering each effect phase by phase and providing the history wherever possible.  A useful feature is the “Point Of View” where Bill summarises the entire working without any verbal explanation.  He gives a quick overview of how to do the trick.

The effects performed and explained in the DVD are:

Oxnard Split – Bill’s handling of Paul Harris’ “Las Vegas Slit”.  A Four splits into 2 Twos, followed by each of the Twos further splitting into 2 Aces.  A variation of this is “One Off” where the performer finds a wrong card (off by one spot), and proceeds to take one spot off the wrong card to arrive at the correct selected card.

Off Balance Transposition – a selected card lost in the middle of the deck and 4 Aces placed on top of the deck switch places.  This can be repeated 2 more times.

Paint Brush Change – Bill’s performance of Roy Walton’s visual full face card change.  Bill uses this technique to do a “Double Lift Unload”

Twisting The Kings – a direct handling of Dai Vernon’s “Twisting The Aces” with a climax in which all the 4 cards turn over face-upwards again simultaneously.

The Mirage Trick – an interesting effect where a selected card appears between 2 cards, only to vanish as quickly, like a mirage.  Included is an explanation of the Bluff Pass.

Spectator Cuts To The Aces – spectator cuts a deck into 4 piles, the performer gathers the top card of each pile and they prove to be the 4 Aces.  An interesting card unloading technique is taught here.
 
Mistaken Sandwich – a clean and examinable sandwich effect where a wrong card found between 2 cards magically changes into the correct chosen card.

Reciprocity – a direct and clean effect where 4 Kings change places with 4 Aces.

Hold The Mayo – the 4 Aces are produced, one at a time, between 2 Jokers.

The tricks are all performed using an ordinary deck of cards.  You need intermediate card skills to be able to pull off the card works, but nothing so difficult that you cannot accomplish with practice.  (5/5 stars rating)

Dissolving Aces by Devin Knight - Book

Written by John Teo

This is a beautiful vanish of the 4 aces, one ace at a time.  No gaffed cards are used, only pure sleight-of-hand.  No cards or other gimmicks are supplied.  You receive only a 16-page booklet explaining the effect and illustrated with 26 black-and-white photographs.

This should be a beautiful effect to watch.  In fact, a DVD showing the performance and then the explanation may be more practical than a booklet of instructions.  However, all Devin Knight’s products come with written rather than video instructions.  Devin explains well and thoroughly.  You will have no problems at all understanding how to perform the effect from the written instructions.

Each vanish of the ace is accomplished by a different method, making it difficult for anyone to find out the secret.  The last ace vanish is quite sensational.  It can be done with the cards in the middle of the performing table.  This technique can be used to vanish a credit card, which is also taught by Devin in the manuscript.  The 4 aces can make a re-appearance back in the middle of the deck, reversed.

Undoubtedly, there are angles issues to take care of.  When properly performed, the effect looks like real magic – each ace dissolving into nothingness when your hands squeeze on the cards.  (4.5/5 stars rating)