Magic Products Review

Romhany's Multiplying Bottle Routine by Paul Romhany

Written by Alvin Terence

As stated on the DVD cover, this is Paul Romhany’s Multiplying Bottles routine. You will receive an instructional DVD teaching you how to perform this effect Paul Romhany’s way. The Multiplying Bottles set is not supplied.

So what is so special about Paul’s routine anyway? Paul performs a Charlie Chaplin silent magic act in which he dresses exactly like the famed character. Because he does not patter, he conceives this clever idea of performing this trick by listening to a recorded set of instructions. As the instructions are played out audibly to the spectators, he performs the trick. This is an interesting and creative slant to the usual way of performing this effect. An audio CD with both a male and a female voice-over is included with the DVD. The routine is basically the Ken Brooke routine, and uses the standard 9 bottles set.

The product may seem overpriced considering the fact that it does not come with the Multiplying Bottles set. However, Paul shows you step by step in the DVD how to perform the entire routine. He gives you two different angles of performance: one from the audience’s point of view, and the other from the performer’s point of view. If you posses the Multiplying Bottles set and have difficulty following the written instructions, you will find this DVD to be of great help. Even if you do not want to use the voice-over, you can use this DVD to learn the complete routine with you providing the patter.

An important part of the DVD is Paul’s tips on the Multiplying Bottles. You will learn how to make your bottles as well as the tumblers look better on stage, how to make your own tubes, and how you can pour a drink out of a bottle into the tumbler at the end of the effect.

(4/5 stars rating)

Infinity Bend by Eric Ross

Written by Alvin Terence

The bending of metal cutleries has become a classic in magic. Coin bending is fast following on its footsteps. There are now diverse methods of accomplishing the bending of metal coins. This is yet another method.

The benefits of this method are:

• The coin can be seen to bend visually without any cover
• The bending can be accomplished one handed
• The bending can take place at the finger tips
• No expensive equipment is required

You will receive just a DVD of instructions – there are no devices or gimmicks included. A gimmick is needed and you are taught how to construct it in the DVD. Properly performed, this is a very visual coin bend. A coin can be borrowed and the bent coin can be fully examined. Eric teaches you a basic and then an advanced method of handling. Brandon Williams teaches you another advanced method of handling the coin and gimmick.

As an added bonus, Eric shows you how to gimmick the coins to perform the classic coin matrix on a hard surface.

(4/5 stars rating)

Permanent by Chris Ballinger

Written by Alvin Terence

This is a trick using a Sharpie permanent marker.

In effect, you show a permanent Sharpie marker with the brand name “Sharpie” permanently printed on both sides of the pen. A spectator tries but cannot rub off the ink of the brand name. You can: you first rub off the Sharpie name on one side of the pen, then on both sides. You then magically restore the brand name on one side of the marker and hand it out for examination.

A bonus effect is taught in which you can magically “pull” the printed “e” at the end of “Sharpie” to one end of the marker. The pen can also be handed out for examination.

You are supplied with the instructional DVD and the necessary gimmicks. Strictly speaking, these are the tools for you to make up the gimmick, not the gimmick itself. One of the gimmicks is actually a transportation device for the marker.

The instructions are clear and the video is of good quality. However, there is nothing revolutionary new with the effect. It makes use of a standard sleight with pen or pencil which most of us would probably already know. Two other variations of the sleight are also taught.

Two other bonus effects are included. One is a basic ambitious card routine and another one is a signed coin inside a ball of yarn. Strictly speaking, these tricks are not part of Permanent. The marker is simply used to sign the chosen card and the borrowed coin respectively. The instructions advocate that when you bring out the marker to mark the card or the coin, you then start to perform “Permanent”. After this, you go right back to the original effect and continue from there. I feel that the disruption caused by performing “Permanent” does not do justice to the continuation of the original routine. I prefer to perform “Permanent” as a trick by itself, leave the pen for examination by the spectator, and then go to the ambitious card or the coin routine. In this case, the spectators get to see two different effects instead of seeing one trick and another one “by-the-way” sort of trick. The spectator can use the marker to mark the card or coin.

Properly performed, this can have a good effect on the spectators.

(3.5/5 stars rating.)

Sanda-Panda Box by Devin Knight

Written by Alvin Terence

It is a 6” x 6” x 4” ungimmicked cardboard box. With it, you can perform magic such as:

• A card is randomly formed by a spectator naming a value and another one naming a suit. Inside the box is a deck of cards and a prediction stating the correct position in the deck where the named card can be found.
• A male spectator calls out a lady’s name. Inside the box is a rose with a note attached to it that contains the exact name of the lady.
• A spectator names a random page number. Inside the box is a small book. The spectator turns to the named page number and notes the first word on that page. This word is prediction on a folded piece of paper inside the box.

At least a couple more equally impressive effects are described and explained. The strong point of the Sanda Panda Mystery Box is that everything can be left for examination.

Although the cardboard box itself is ungimmicked, a standard mentalist’s tool (supplied) is employed. Properly performed, you can create incredible mental routines that leave a strong impression in the minds of the spectators. As with other Devin Knight products, you get a comprehensive set of written instructions that cover every aspect of handling and performance. This Box is an utility item. You can use it to create your own routines. Devin also describes two routines that do not utilise the supplied gimmick.

(4/5 stars rating)

Crossroads by Ben Harris

Written by Alvin Terence

In effect, a freely named card vanishes from a deck and reappears in an impossible location such as inside the performer’s right shoe.

Although it employs a ranging force, the entire routine is so well thought out, especially with the verbal subtleties used, that it is quite difficult for anyone to detect the method used. A deck is in full view right at the start of the performance. A number is called out and a suit determined – they form a card randomly named. This very card vanishes from the deck and later found at an impossible location initially mentioned by the performer.

The deck is easily made up, and can be examined without fear of discovering the secret. The trick can be immediately repeated without resetting anything. The entire routine is almost self-working. What else can you ask for?

Well, what about another incredible trick? In the “Bonus Stunner” section of the book, Steve Shufton takes Ben Harris’ crossroads force and comes up with an ingeniously well thought out “any card at any number”.

A cased deck is placed on the table at the beginning of the performance. Someone randomly names a playing card. Another person calls out a number. The deck is picked up, the cards are taken out of the case, and dealt onto the table to the selected number. The card at this location is the named card! Two incredible effects in one book!

(5/5 stars rating)

Collector’S Edition Sampler (VOL 8) by Ed Ellis

Written by John Teo

Ed Ellis has produced 7 volumes of DVDs. If you have not owned any of them, this DVD will be a good investment. As the name of this DVD implies, it is a collector’s edition sampler of all his 7 DVDs. It features at least one trick from each volume. You do not expect the most popular effects to be included in this DVD. However, there are enough materials to interest a card and close-up magician.

Card magic and sleights demonstrated and taught include:

• Fan Flourish/Billboard Display – a top card shuffle control, followed by a one-handed display of the 4 Aces.
• Illusion or Reality – a signed card multiplies 4 times and then changes into the 4 Aces.
• Axis Double – a card placed in the middle of the deck appears on top.
• Take 5 – a 5 cards lift using the continuum principle.
• Card from Shoe – a signed card lost in the deck reappears inside the performer’s shoe.
• Beginner’s Corner – teaches double-lift, Elmsley Count and tilt.
• Wrist Kill Change – using a side steal to effect a colour change.
• Cards From Mouth – a packet of cards is produced from the performer’s mouth.

There is a non-card magic:
• Rubber Band Through Thumb – a slower and more effective presentation of the popular trick.

There is a discussion on the business side:
• Business Section – tools and techniques on how to get hired in restaurants.

There is also a bonus section that features a very young Ed Ellis performing close-up magic. You can find a complete listing of the contents of each of the 7 DVDs in the DVD.

(4/5 stars rating)