Magic Products Review

FLASH DICE

Written by John Teo

Tenyo’s products are characterised by very well made (often precision-made) magical props. Many of them are viewed by non-magicians as such: magician’s props. This is because they are not usually found in our everyday lives.

Flash Dice can be considered as an exception. The prop consists of 6 ordinary dice and a plastic container to house them in. The plastic container is seen as just a container with a lid to store the 6 dice. The container, together with the lid, looks ordinary enough and does not warrant anyone to want to inspect it. Actually, both the 6 dice and the container are precision made.

The product reviewed here is a new version of Flash Dice. The original version was released in 1976.

It was invented by Takuya Yoshizawa based on his observation of the Sure-Shot Dice Box. Flash Dice was my go-to effect when it first became available in the market because many effects are possible using the special container and the 6 dice. This is not a one-effect trick.

You receive the specially manufactured dice, the dice container, and a very nice blue colour sleeve to store the props. You will be given a link to a set of instructions in the English language.

Here are some possible effects with the Flash Dice. You can combine some of them to make a nice multi-phase dice routine.

The Obedient Dice – the 6 dice are arranged in the container in a 1 to 6 order from left to right. The lid is replaced and the container is shaken. When the lide is removed, it is seen that the dice are in a random order, as they should be. The lid is replaced and the container shaken. This time the dice return to their 1 to 6 order. Another shake of the container and the dice are now arranged in the reverse order from 6 to 1.

Dice Paradise – a spectator takes any one of the 6 dice and rolls it so that a random number comes on top. Let us say this number is 4. The performer replaces the other 5 dice into the container in no specific order so that random numbers are seen on top of each dice. The container is closed and the spectator’s dice is placed on top of the container. The container is shaken. It seems that the spectator’s single dice has influenced the rest of the 5 dice inside the container. When the lid is removed, all the top faces of the dice inside the container now show the number 4.

Flash Dice Prediction – the performer writes a prediction and places it aside. A spectator places the 6 dice in any order inside the container and totals up the numbers shown on top of all the 6 dice. The lid is replaced on the container and it is given a shake. The lid is removed and the spectator totals up the new random numbers now appearing on the top of each of the 6 dice. The spectator adds this sum to the original sum to obtain a new total. This matches exactly with the performer’s prediction that was placed to one side before the performance.

Dice and Cards – 6 playing cards, from Ace to 6 (suits do not matter), are mixed by a spectator and placed face downwards on the table. The performer places the dice in no specific order inside the conatiner. The dice are shaken and when the lid of the container is removed, the order of the dice coincides with the order of the 6 cards when they are turned over face upwards.

A professionally made product that allows you to perform many effects. Once you know the principle, you can come out with your own effects.

Highly Recommended!

DESTINATION by Phillip Ryan

Written by John Teo

The svengali principle is an ingenious concept in card magic. The svengali deck quickly became a classic in gimmicked card decks.

Unfortunately, it is readily available in the open market, including in beginner’s magic sets.

 

Destination is the application of the svengali principle to postcards.

You receive a total of 15 custom printed postcards of different countries and cities from around the world, and 15 postcards of the force country, which in this case, is France. They come inside a nicely printed postcard collection box. You are also provided with a link to a video performance and explanation by Phillip Ryan.

In the performance video, Phillip Ryan shows a stack of postcards that he acquired from different countries and cities around the world. He has a spectator cut the stack at random and look at the postcard she cut to. He then divines the country of the chosen postcard. Finally, a prediction that was on the table throughout the performance proves to be the selected country.

The force postcard is cut in both directions, ie lengthwise as well as widthwise. You can therefore display the postcards in either one of the 2 directions. Philiip shows you how to handle the postcards, including actually riffle-shuffling the postcards supposedly to mix them up.

There are so many other things you can accomplish with a svengali deck than just a prediction of the chosen card. However, Phillip Ryan does not mention any of them in the video. You can easily check them out in the internet for the different applications of a svengali deck.

Here is a 4-phase routine you can use with the svengali postcards. Show the stack of postcards to be all different. Have a spectator cut the stack at random to determine a chosen postcard – read the mind of the spectator and divine her chosen country, France, in this case. Take the stack behind your back and “lose” the France postcard into the stack. Bring out the stack and deal the postcards, one at a time, onto the table, and have a spectator stop you at any point. The postcard stopped at proves to be the selected postcard. Again lose the postcard into the stack behind your back. Have a spectator call out any number between, say, 4 to 26. The postcard at that number proves to be the chosen one. The postcard is lost once again into the stack. This time you riffle the ends of the postcard and the spectator puts her finger into the stack to stop your riffle shuffle. The card beneath her finger turns out to be the selected card. The chosen postcard lost in the stack is found 3 times, with 3 different spectators!

Performing an effect using these postcards helps to disguise the svengali principle being used. Phillip Ryan and Vortex Magic also produce an invisible deck using these postcards. The product is called “Intuitive Destination”. “Destination” can be used together with “Intuitive Destination”.

Destination postcards can be used both in close-up and stage performances. Mentalists who want to force a country should invest in a set of these postcards. (rated 4/5 stars).

JUMPING JOKERS by Stephen Tucker

Written by John Teo

Stephen Tucker’s “Jumping Jokers” enables you to take out the 2 Jokers from a deck of cards in a magical way, so that the deck can now be used to perform your favourite card magic.

In effect, a deck is shuffled by a spectator. The performer then remembers that he ought to remove the 2 Jokers from the deck before it can be used to perform card tricks.

The deck is placed face down on the table. The performer touches lightly the bottom narrow end of the deck with his right thumb and middle finger. The deck slowly and eerily cuts by itself somewhere in the middle. The card cut to is removed and proves to be a Joker.

It is time to find the second Joker.

The deck is reassembled. The performer rubs his 2 hands together rigorously to create static electricity. This time, when he touches the bottom narrow end of the deck, a card shoots out of the deck and lands somewhere on the table a distance away from the deck. It is turned over and shown to be the second Joker.

With the 2 Jokers out of the way, it is time to use the full deck to perform card magic.

You are supplied with a cleverly gimmicked Joker with a bicycle back. When purchasing, state whether you want a red or blue bicycle back card. You are also given an extra accessory to make your own gimmicked card from your own deck of cards. Instructions comprise a nicely printed booklet and a link to a Youtube video instruction.

The gimmick does not use magnets or invisible thread. The moment the 2 Jokers are taken out of the way, the entire deck is examinable. This makes a very good introductory effect using a deck of cards. It is easy to do, and the impact to the audience is great. The audience is left very much in the dark when the deck mysteirously cuts by itself, and when a card is shot out from the middle of the deck.

This effect was priously known as Jumping Jack Flash and the gimmick was included in Stehen Tucker’s multi-effect DVD entitled “Whip Lash”.

Although the instructions describe the gimmick being used to get rid of the 2 Jokers, the gimmick can be used in a haunted deck scenario. A card is freely selected and lost in the deck. The performer casts a spell over the deck. The deck errily cuts by itself to locate the selected card. (Rated 4.5/5 stars).

RESTORED PAPER (THE CREATION) by JL Magic

Written by John Teo

This is like a torn and restored poster effect, except that the poster has already been neatly cut into several pieces and then it is magically restored.

There are many versions of this trick available. We will describe “The Creation” torn and restored poster.

In effect, the performer displays a stack of papers, each measuring approximately 6 inches X 8 inches.

The first sheet reads “’In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.’ Genesis 1:1” It is a quotation from the bible that tells of the creation of the world. This paper is placed behind the stack, revealing the second sheet which shows a picture of a bright light against a black background. The performer mentions that on the first day, God created light. Similar, the next sheet of paper shows that God created the atmosphere on the second day. The performer continues to show that God created land and plants on the third day, the sun, moon and stars on the fourth day, birds and sea animals on the fifth day, and land animals and Adam and Eve on the sixth day. Each time when the performer mentions what God has created in each of the 6 days, a different sheet of paper depicting the appropriate picture is shown.

The stack of papers is then magically transformed into one large poster showing Adam and Eve with the animals, fishes, birds and plants. The poster measures approximately 16.5 inches X 23.5 inches. It is shown on both sides to have the same picture. The various pieces of paper have vanished: they seemed to be restored into this large poster.

You receive the large colourful poster with the gimmick, and the various sheets of paper. They are constructed from special durable paper. You also receive a link to a video performance and explanation.

Although this effect mentions the bible, the Christian story of the creation of the world is quite well known. However, if you prefer not to be involved in any religion, there are other versions of this trick.

There are posters depicting the Avengers, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Toy Story 4, Frozen, The Lion King, Spider-Man and a “No Smoking Sign”. You should indicate which version you want when you place your order.

In each of these posters, you first show the various cut-up sheets, and then magically restore them into a large poster.

In contrast, each of the various pieces of paper in “The Creation” trick is not part of the cut-up pieces of the poster. Instead, each of them depicts what God has created in each of the six days.

The restoration is visual and the poster is large enough to be shown on stage. Most of the versions can be used for both adult and children performances. A good investment. (Rated 4/5 stars).

COINS THROUGH MINIATURE TABLE

Written by John Teo

Coins through table has become a classic effect of coin magic. Three or four coins are made to pass through a solid table one coin at a time. The effect is accomplished purely by sleight-of-hand using borrowed coins and an ordinary table.

David Roth has described an interesting version of coins through table using a miniature table made of wood in his book Expect Coin Magic.

This “Coins Through Miniature Table” from Refine Magic accomplishes the same effect as that of David Roth, except it uses a different method. There are no magnets involved like for David Roth’s effect. As a result, the coins used can be borrowed.

You receive the elegant looking wooden table. It has a nice docoration all around its edges and measures approximately 5.45 inches X 2.45 inches and 2.45 inches tall. Although the table is gimmicked, its modus operandi is hidden in plain sight.

You are also given a nice rectangular cloth and a black velvet carrying draw-string pouch. As usual, Jeremy Pei himself will take you through the tutorial video obtainable from his Personal Magic Coach web-site.

This is a 2-phase routine.

In the first phase, 3 coins, which can be borrowed, passes through the solid miniature table one coin at a time.

In the second phase, the performer attempts to pass the 3 coins from underneath the miniature table all at one time up to the top of the wooden table.

The performer covers the small table with a nice decorative cloth. When he brings his hand down onto the cloth, the small table underneath the cloth appears to “melt” through the performing table. It is then brought up from underneath the performing table. The 3 coins did not pass through any table, rather, the miniature table has passed through the performing table.

You need some knowledge of coin sleights, but only the basic ones. The gimmicked wooden table helps to make the penetrations of the coins almost self-working.

The 2-phase routine seems like a small act in itself. The props look professional as everything can be carried in the black velvet pouch.

Highly Recommended!

APPEARING 6 RUBIK’S CUBS FROM EMPTY PAPER BAG by Tora Magic

Written by John Teo

A large paper bag is shown empty.

With a magical gesture, the performer reaches inside the paper bag and produces not one, but six large colourful Rubik’s Cubes.

You receive both the special paper bag which allows you to show that there is nothing inside it, and the six large Rubik’s Cubes.

The paper bag measures approximately 12 inches tall X 10 inches wide X 5 inches deep.

Each Rubik’s Cubes measures 4.5 inches X 4.5 inches X 4.5 inches cube.

Both the paper bag and the six cubes are well made and durable.

This product is suitable for stage performance.

You may not want to use the paper bag as supplied because of the advertisement of Tora Magic on both sides of the bag. You can easily replace this with one of similar dimensions from a stationery store.

A colourful and fast item for your stage act. (8/10 star rating)