Magic Products Review

ONE 2.0 by Matthew Underhill

Written by John Teo

Product ImageDoc Eason’s “Anniversary Waltz” has become a classic card effect.  It is the fusion of 2 separately selected and signed cards back-to-back so that you get a single card with one signed selection on one side and the other signed selection on the other side.  It is an unusual card for the 2 spectators to keep as a souvenir. 


What makes this effect so strong is the involvement of 2 individuals who have a strong bonding between them.  The climax of the fused card has a special meaning for the couple, and it also tends to tug at the heart-strings of the rest of the audience.


Matthew Underhill’s original “One” has a more visual effect than the “Anniversary Waltz”.  A card selected happens to be a hearts suit, eg a four of hearts.  The back of this card can be signed.  One of the couple’s initials are written on a heart on the card.  His or her partner’s initials are written on another heart on the same card.  The performer visually draws one of the initialed hearts with his thumb and brings it next to the other initialed heart on the card, so that the 2 hearts “kiss” one another at their pointed ends.  This unusual card is then given out as a souvenir to the couple who participated in the magic.


In “One 2.0”, you get an updated version.  The souvenir card is now available in red bicycle back.  The heart that “moves” is now on the non-index corner of the card.
You receive 20 specially printed cards, 10 of the “fused” two of hearts and 10 of the “fused” four of hearts.  You also receive 20 single heart pips to be used with these specially printed cards.  You have to supply your own deck of red bicycle cards.


You are also given a password to download the instructional video.  In the 65 minutes video, you get to learn 2 different presentations and handlings, one is by David Penn and the other one is from Justin Miller. 


In David Penn’s handling, you have to use the original two or four of hearts card respectively.  In Justin Miller’s version, you do not need the original card.  You can choose whichever one handling that suits your performing and presentation style.


You also need a special something to adhere the hearts pip onto the specially printed card.  Only a little of this is used in each performance.  This should be supplied together with the gimmicked cards so that the purchaser can be assured of the correct type to use instead of having to experiment with different products.  It will also enable the purchaser to perform the effect straight away, instead of having to purchase the stuff separately if he does not have it in his magic inventory.


You may want to compare this effect with the original “Anniversary Waltz”.  Winning hands down for this effect is of course the very visual and magical movement of the initialed hearts pip across the card to join the other initialed hearts pip.


However, because of the limited size of the hearts pip, the initials of the 2 people will be quite small.  The “Anniversary Waltz”, on the other hand, has large signatures across the 2 sides of the card.


“One 2.0” has a greater possibility of awkward moments than the “Anniversary Waltz” when the movable pip encounters resistance to move or when it becomes dislodged prematurely.
Even if you own the “Anniversary Waltz”, it is good to have “One 2.0”.  They can both be performed for the same audience, and it will enhance the overall effect. 

 

(8/10 stars rating)

MINI DART BOARD

Written by John Teo

This is a novelty card trick.


In effect, a card is selected and then lost in the deck.


The performer brings out a picture of a miniaturised dard board.  The spectator who selected the card is given an “invisible” dart and asked to “throw” this dart at the dart board.
When he does so, the performer shakes his dart board.  Visually, a picture of a dart suddenly appears, impaling the dart board.  This dart is also seen piercing through a small card that has the exact identity of the chosen card.


The imaginery dart has magically materialised and found the selected card as well!  This will bring an expression of awe from the audience.
The performer then shakes the dart board again.  This time, the picture of the dart and the chosen card vanish.  When the performer opens up his other hand, inside his palm is seen a physical manifestation of the red miniature dart with its tip still piercing through a small card that has the identity of the selected card.  The 2-dimentional dart and card have become 3-dimentional and real in the performer’s hand.  A befitting close to a novel and blaffing effect.


You are supplied the specially gimmicked picture of the dart board, 2 miniaturised red darts (one is for spare), 10 specially printed stickers depicting the seven of hearts, and a sheet of printed instructions.


The spare stickers that are provided allow you to have various endings.


In one, the miniaturised red dart manifests itself physically but not the small card.  This is then found stuck to the body of the spectator who selected the card.


In another, the seven of hearts is not the selected card.  Let us say the chosen card is the four of spades.  When the small card appears, the audience thinks the performer has made a mistake.  The miniaturised red dart then manifests itself physically but not the tiny card.  When the deck of cards is spread face downwards, the seven of hearts sticker is found stuck to the back of one card.  When this card is turned over, it is ideed the four of spades.


The effect is easy to do, and reset instantly.


This is a card trick that involves a dart board.  A novelty effect never fails to bring excitement to any audience.


Highly recommended!

MR LIFTO by Ryan Schlutz

Written by John Teo

As the title of the effect suggests, you as the performer, are able to lift with your bare hand, a bunch of cards arranged in a rosette fashion.  Ryan Schlutz has incorporated a card revelation in this in as well.

In actual effect, here is what happens.


A spectator freely selects a card.  It is then lost in the deck.  The performer takes from the deck a bunch of cards (about a dozen of them) and lay them out face downwards on the table in a rosette fashion.

Several spectators, including the person who chose the card, rub their palms together to generate “special power”.  They then “transfer” their powers to the performer by extending their fore-fingers and touching the back of his open palm.


After being charged up with their power, the performer places his open palm on the cards laid out on the table.  To everybody’s surprise, when he lifts up his hand, the entire bunch of cards adhere to his palm!


The performer slowly turns his palm face upwards and the spectators can see the faces of the bunch of cards.  None of them happens to be the chosen card.
The performer proceeds to turn his palm face downwards once again.  This time, all the cards drop off his palm except one card which he holds between his fingers and his thumb.  It is the spectator’s selected card!


You receive the special gimmicked card, and 2 accessories that are to be used with this gimmicked card.  You also receive an instructional DVD in which Ryan teaches you everything you need to know how to perform this effect.


You have to supply your own deck of bicycle cards.  You need to specify, when ordering, whether you want the gimmicked card to be supplied with red or blue back bicycle card.
The effect is easy to perform, and is quite angle-proof.  It is reset instantly, and there is no force on the card to be selected.  The entire effect can be considered as self-working.
In Mr Lifto, you show your audience an impossible card stunt, and then you reveal their chosen card. 

Cool!  (9/10 stars rating).

COFFEE CUP by Mariano

Written by Bernard Sim

I have always been a fan of cups and balls, especially unique ones such as Mariano Goni’s.  This routine uses 1 cup and 3 balls made of modelling clay.  The routine starts with the performers VERY cleanly placing the 2 balls into the cup one at a time and keeping the 3rd ball away.  The 3rd ball then re-appears inside the cup.  This is repeated like the standard 2 in the hand 1 in the pocket type of routine, this happens for a few times until the last phase where a big ball appears as final load.


I need to use Rene Lavand’s Cup and Ball routine as comparison as they are both very alike.  They look very similar except for the last part where Goni’s have a final load and Lavand’s balls all disappears.  In Lavand’s routine, he doesn’t use any gimmicks.  Goni’s uses gimmicks.


What I like about Goni’s routine is the clever way the routine is constructed.  The gimmick is nothing new but it is very cleverly used.  It helps to keep the ball in and release the ball as and when you like.  Goni’s routine looks cleaner but the downside of the routine is that you have to sit down to perform and prep the table before performance.  Lavand’s routine uses bread that is rolled into a ball, thus you can perform it anywhere and even impromptu.


I was really intrigued by Goni’s routine initially but after comparing it with Rene Lavand’s routine, I think the gimmick used in Goni’s routine to achieve a cleaner look is rather negligible.  I like both but given a choice, I’d use Rene Lavand’s routine.


Rating 7.5/10.  Its still a good routine, if you like playing with gimmicks, thus might be for you.

THE GOLD STANDARD by David Regal

Written by John Teo
The Gold Standard is basically a card to impossible location.  In David Regal’s presentation, it can be much more than this.
 
In effect, a card is freely selected (and can be signed) and lost in the deck.  Magically, the chosen (and signed) card appears between the performer’s tie tack and his tie.  The card can be pulled on or spun to show that it is indeed impaled onto the tie tack.  The tie tack has to be removed from the tie before the card can be removed.  And there is a hole through the card where the spike of the tie tack goes through. 
 
Here is a description of David Regal’s presentation.  He has 2 spectators seated on opposite sides of him at a close-up table.  He has spectator no 1 freely selects a card and then loses it in the deck.  Only this spectator knows what card he has chosen.
 
He then turns to spectator no 2, and has his back facing spectator no 1.  He spreads the deck to show spectator no 2 that the chosen card is lost in the deck.  Immediately spectator no 2 as well as the rest of the audience see the chosen card (signed or otherwise) impaled onto the performer’s tie tack. 
 
David then asks this spectator no 2 to concentrate and call out the name of spectator no 1’s chosen card.  He acts surprised that this spectator is able to do so.  After a moment, from the laughter of the audience, David suddenly realizes that the chosen card is pinned in his tie tack.

He removes the tie tack, and takes out the chosen card.  There is a hole in the card.  This presentation is very much like “paper balls over the head” where the audience can see what is happening except the spectator on stage, or in this case, spectator no 1 who is at the close-up table together with the performer.
 
The performer can then continue with his close-up show.  Somewhere in the show, another card, or another object, such as a bill, can be impaled on his tie tack.  This is removed from the tie tack, and then further through his show, another object can get pinned onto his tie tack.  This “visual gag” is like the “water of India” running gag that a stage performer uses throughout his performance.
 
You receive the specially manufactured tie tack which is plated in 18k gold and comprises the tie tack and its clutch.  You also receive a gimmick piece to be used with this tie tack.  You are supplied with a carrying pouch as well as an instructional DVD.
 
In the DVD, David Regal performs and explains everything with much clarity.  For those who are interested in the history of such effect, they will be glad to know that David discusses quite a bit of it in his introduction.
 
The effect is not difficult to do.  David teaches you the Mahatma and other controls.  There is no problem with performing angles, although it is best performed with the audience in front.
Instead of playing card, a good alternative to use with The Gold Standard is your business card.  Your spectator (or client) then gets to keep it with the special hole.
 
The effect can be performed close-up or stand-up.  The “card to tie tack” effect itself is a wow to the audience.  If you do David’s routine, you get a comedy effect as well, similar to “paper balls over the head”.  You can also use it as a running “gag” throughout your performance, much like “water of India”.
 
The product is not cheap, but you get a very well made professional prop which is 18k gold plated.

When you remove the tie tack and the pierced card, everything can be examined by the spectator.  The good thing is that the pierced card can be given out as a souvenir to the spectator.
After you fix the tie tack back onto your tie, in front of the audience, you are already set up and good to go again.

The Gold Standard is truly a “gold standard” effect.  (8/10 stars rating)

OX BENDER by Menny Lindenfield

Written by Bernard Sim

Another coin bender, there are already many versions out there, is this for you?   Read on.


My last review of a coin bender was the Biobender, the Biobender was actually not bad.  The gimmick is hidden in plain sight.  As for Ox Bender, you will need to palm it to hide it.  Palming it is no big deal as the gimmick is small.


All coin bender’s end result is almost the same.  The difference with using Ox Bender is that you only use 1 hand to bend it and the bent on the coin is curve and without any scratch marks.  You can also bend spoons and keys (spiral twist).   Loading the coin into the gimmick is also a breeze as the gimmick is designed in such a way whereby there is a guide built-in for easy load.  I tested the Oxbender and the bend was pretty easy for me.  Unlike Biobender, Ox Bender is able to bend thicker coins like Singapore’s $1 coin.


Now for the downside, though you can bend thicker coins, you can’t bend embedded coins that is made of 2 metals, e.g. new S$1 coin.  I asked a female colleague to try the bend and she says that she doesn’t have enough strength to bend it using 1 hand.  In the explanation video, you are encouraged to train by squeezing the hand grip strengthener .

The Oxbender is a good coin bender (that is if you are strong enough to use 1 hand).  What impresses me is the ability to spiral twist a spoon and a key.  This is something that you can’t do with other coin benders.

Rating:  8/10.  Cool coin bender.  Recommended.