Magic Products Review

Mindfreaks Vol. 7 by Criss Angel

Written by Bernard Sim

Like volume 6, this DVD contains 13 effects with 2 bonus effects from other volumes. This volume is also geared towards a beginner. The effects in this volume are easy to do and some of them are actually quite impressive. You will need to make some simple gimmicks yourself. These gimmicks are easy to make and you will be able to find the materials for the gimmick in your house.

There are some effects which will require more practice (I’m talking in terms of a beginner), such as the “Bottle cap Matrix” which is essentially Chink-a-Chink with coins. Using bottles caps will tend to make the presentation easier. The other effect which will need more practice is “26¢”. This is the transposition of 2 coins in the performer’s hands. There are some simple sleights involved but with some practice, you will be able to do it.

This review is being written with the beginner in mind. Seasoned magicians would know how the effects are done. This volume is highly recommended for beginners. Rating 4/5

Mindfreaks Vol. 6 by Criss Angel – DVD

Written by Bernard Sim

13 effects and 2 bonus effects from another volume are taught in this DVD. I find some of the routines interesting and some of them I wonder why it was even put in the DVD.

One of the effects which I was disappointed with was Cause N Effect. In this effect, a piece of paper is folded and left standing upright on a table, Chris Angel demonstrated static electricity by rubbing his hand on his cheeks, he then move the hand towards the paper causing it to fall. I don’t think a spectator will be convinced that it was static that cause the paper to fall since the hands were moving very fast towards the paper.

Having said that, there are some routines which I think are good. One of them is Melting Coin: A coin is able to penetrate an inflated balloon. You’ll need to prepare the balloon but the effect looks visual and easy to do too. Another one is taught by Jonny Thomson “JT’s Dream”. The performer is able to predict 2 cards that were selected by a spectator. This effect is impromptu and very easy to do.

Most of the effects are found in beginner’s book, for example, Professor’s Nightmare which was named as “Christopher’s Nightmare”. There is nothing new in this DVD and the effects are suitable for beginners. There is also no knuckle busting moves in this DVD; even a total beginner would be able to learn the routines in this DVD.

Rating 4/5 for a beginner. Recommended for a beginner which will be able to perform these routines within a short period of practice.

Mindfreaks Vol. 8 by Criss Angel

Written by Bernard Sim

Volume 8 – the last volume of the current series. Another volume geared towards beginners. Included in this volume are 13 effects and 2 bonus effects from other volumes. There is a mixed range of effects in this volume. These ranges from book test, cards to everyday objects like pen, match box and coins.

You will need to make some gimmicks from household items to perform some of the effect. These gimmicks can also be bought from a magic shop but I think most people would make it themselves since they are not difficult to make.

I like most of the effects in this DVD; it reminds me of the forgotten effects I have learnt when I first started out. If you won Volume 6, 7, 8, you will have many effects in your arsenal. This is highly recommended for beginners. Rating 4/5.

Mirror Dimension by Devin Knight

Written by Bernard Sim

 

When I first read the instructions, I was skeptical whether someone actually gets this to work. I kept asking myself, would spectators really believe that the reflections transposed with the words on the card.

After viewing the demo, I was disappointed that the method was rather obvious. I showed the demo to some laymen and they straight away revealed the method. Though the working is very easy, you’ll probably need a strong persona to pull this off.

It may work for some, but this is definitely not for me. Rating 2/5.

Nothing In Transit (Gimmicks and DVD) by David Forrest – DVD

Written by Bernard Sim

Wow, a trick using cards and it’s not even a card trick! This is really a very good effect. Most of us has come across at least one version of a moving hole effect. What makes this different from others is that this version is very visual. The size of the hole is not the standard size from a hole puncher. The hole is about the size of an American Quarter. Did I mention that this is very visual? The hole actually moves within the card without the cover of the hands (the movement of the hole is even in slow motion!) and the hole eventually moves to another card. At the end of the routine, the cards can be examined. David Forrest also shows you how to reset the effect which takes only a few seconds. The handling for the overall effect is not difficult as there are no complicated moves.


What you get is a set of well constructed gimmicks with the DVD. Part of the gimmicks will last you awhile whereas other parts of the gimmick will need to be replaced eventually. David Forrest has included 2 routines for this set; he has also included other similar themed routine as part of his bonus routines. The bonus section also includes footage/ routines from his previous DVDs.


If you are a fan of the moving hole plot, this is a must for you. If you don’t have a moving hole routine, this is also a must for you. Did I mention that this is very visual? Highly recommended! Rating 4/5.

Paul Harris Presents The Hawk 2.0 (With Gimmicks) by Alexander Kolle

Written by Bernard Sim

 

The AD looks good, the demo looks even better but is this as good and practical? Let’s take a look at what you will be getting. In this DVD package, you will get 2 gimmicks (basic and lucky card gimmick), a little something which is common and easily available and threads. I mentioned the thread (not exposing this effect) here because these are sold as refills too. There is also a piece of instruction sheet with additional tips and ideas included.

The instructional DVD is very detailed but I find the pace too slow. The performance segment is kinda boring and slow too. There are 3 routines shown and taught in the DVD.
The standard routine (The Hawk) - which can be a visual addition to your ACR.
The Stealth Hawk - uses a coin and is done hands free.
The lucky card - uses a different but similar gimmick.

Out of these 3 routines, I like the Stealth Hawk (in terms of the effect) the most as this is done hands free and it is very visual too. You will need to modify your Hawk gimmick to do this version. After the modification, you will not be able to use the same gimmick to do the standard version. I don’t feel it is practical enough to do it in a walk around gig as often as you want. After a few performances, you will need to use the “something” to make it work again.

Upon performing the visual change, you will need to remove the signed card as the gimmick cannot withstand close scrutiny. The gimmick will not last you forever, that’s why refills are sold but you can also make them yourself too.

Apart from teaching methods with using the Hawk, Alexander’s ACR is also taught. This routine is quite the standard routine that most people perform. If you have never learned an ACR before, this is a good place to start.

The teaching method in this DVD is very detailed and a “summary” segment is shown after the explanations. This is the explanation done without words. Nice selection of soundtracks too.

I find the preparation a bit cumbersome if you intend to perform this often. Other than that, the effect itself is very visual and you will be able to impress your spectators. This is recommended for those who want to increase the visual impact on their ACR. Rating 3.5/5

PS: I am listening to the soundtrack while writing this review. If you have the DVD, you will be able to enjoy this track on the menu page.