Magic Products Review

SPELLENDAR by Phill Smith

Written by John Teo

Phill Smith is credited with coming out with incredibly strong effects yet almost completely self-working.  “Spellendar” is one such trick.

A pocket perpetual calendar contains a different word for each day of the month.  A spectator secretly chooses one of these words from any month.

A deck of cards is shuffled and a second spectator cuts it into 3 piles.  The top card of each pile is taken up and the spectator decides on any one of them.

Another deck of cards, still in its case, has been on the table in view all the time.  The cards are taken out of the case, and dealt by spelling to the suit and value of the chosen card.  The performer continues dealing the cards according to the month and date of the word that the first spectator chose from the calendar.  This process leads to one card.  When this card is turned over, not only is it a duplicate of the chosen card, it also contains a printed word that matches exactly the one chosen from the calendar.  The deck is then shown to contain a different word printed on each card.

There are no variations to dealing to the selected card, as is common in some effects.  The performer also truly does not know which word in the calendar was chosen.  Yet, the effect works everytime with the selected card that contains the selected word.

You are provided with the specially printed perpetual calendar, the customised deck of cards, and a link to a downloadable printed instructions and an instructional video.  You have to supply your own deck of cards for the selection of the playing card.

This effect is suitable for performing to a group of people or one-to-one.  It can be instantly reset for the next performance.

It is like an ACAAN effect with the addition of a selected word.  When you receive the trick, you will appreciate the great effort taken by Phill Smith to put this together.

If you are into mentalism, “Spellendar” will be the effect you will want to add to your repertoire.  (7/10 star rating)

HOTEL by Ludovic Mignon

Written by John Teo

This is a 2-phase mental effect that is very well thought out in all aspects of the trick.

In effect, you hand a spectator a small envelope containing a prediction.  You then bring out a stack of business cards from various hotels which you have collected from your travels all over the world.  While you look away, the spectator looks through the business cards one by one and decides on one and puts it in his pocket.  You turn around to face the spectator and can divine the hotel he has chosen.

In the second phase, the spectator goes through the stack of hotel cards once again, and stops at one card of his choice.  When the prediction envelope is opened, inside is the electronic room key of the hotel he selected!

The handling of the props is very well thought out.  In both phases, the spectator is able to handle the stack of business cards without much restraint, and to choose one card “freely”.  Yet, the performer is able to divine the chosen card as well as predict which card will be selected.  The handling is so “clean” that the effect appears “unexplainable” to the audience.

The entire effect is so well structured that one phase flows smoothly to the other.  This allows you to do something to the stack of business cards without needing much misdirection effort.

You receive all the necessary hotel business cards, a genuine hotel room key in an envelope, and a 20-page instruction booklet.

The designs of the various hotel business cards are well thought-out.  The cards are very well produced and they look like real business cards.

The instructions booklet is also very well produced.  It is well written and illustrated so that it is easy to read and understand.  A good patter story is included for you to use if you wish.  At the end of the booklet, the creator of the effect gives an unusual anecdote that happened to him, and it makes for interesting reading.

A well thought out 2-phase mentalism effect that uses professional looking props that is as clean in handling as it is devastating to the audience.  (9/10 star rating)

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.)