Archive for November, 2008

Omnilope Reviewed by Mark Tirone

Posted by DerekMerdinyan on November 23rd, 2008

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THE EFFECTS 5/5 Some of the effects on the DVD are basically all the same. Picking pieces of paper and divining it is the basic effect for a lot of these tricks which basically gets boring after a while. Most of them are pretty good though. There are things with newspaper clippings, pieces of paper, foods, money, stamps, receipts, postcards, photographs etc. My FAVORITE effect from this entire DVD, Is one he teaches towards the end with a prediction envelope on the table and they remove a phone number from the envelope. when they call the number the prediction envelope on the table rings. I am going to close my show with this once I get a cell phone.

THE DVD 5/5 I loved how Jay didn’t teach each individual effect in this DVD. he had a name for each trick, But he didn’t really teach them. He went through the construction of the gimmick and how to perform the basic effect with magazine clippings, But that is about it. Then he went into shots with different uses of the omnilope and their advantages and disadvantages. These are mainly just ideas and tips to use with the omnilope. I don’t think these were mainly made to use, Just to spark your creativity and get you thinking. Jay also tought everything that was needed to be tought in EXCRUTIATING detail! Nothing was left out. I already have about 3 ideas with this to try out.

THE ENVELOPES 4/5 The envelopes Jay provided along with this DVD are EXTREMELY thin. Think on the lines of loose-leaf paper. That is how thin they are about. Maybe a little thicker. But he does explain why they are so thin in the DVD. Plus, These are duplicates of the envelopes stamp collectors use so if you have a stamp collector in the audience, If they call out “Those are the envelopes I use”, It adds credibility to the effect. Plus, Jay tells you where to buy replacements for the envelopes.

OVERALL 5/5 Overall, I really enjoyed this DVD. Jay gave lots of bonus ideas and tricks and stuff in the DVD. He really made it worth having and buying. If you have a show or do a show, This is the perfect transition from a magic trick and a mentalism trick if you plan on going from magic to mentalism. I would suggest this to anybody doing stand up or set shows. If you keep these in a case they will stay fine so it doesent really matter if they are thin or not. Plus with other stuff in them it will be pretty thick. So yea, Thats my review. Thanks!

VanishInk Reviewed by Derek Merdinyan

Posted by DerekMerdinyan on November 22nd, 2008

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VanishInk Reviewed by Mark Tirone

Posted by DerekMerdinyan on November 21st, 2008

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Hey guys. I was lucky enough to attend Jay Sankey’s lecture in Manhatten on Saturday night. While there, Jay pulled out his sharpie which was JUST USED, And vanished it without the use of sleeves or anything like that. Then he went into the explanation and inspiration talking about the original gimmick and what it used to be. I was convinced this was it and was saying “What a cheap method” lol. Then he pulled from his case… The REAL Gimmick. I basically dropped in disbelief. Talk about a clever trick.

DIFFERENT PERFORMANCE OPTIONS 5/5 Jay showed us this trick almost surrounded 360. He did it with people on all sides of him except behind him and EVERYBODY was floored with this. On the DVD, Jay shows you different venues and ways you can present this such as a bet, stage or platform, walkaround, school, or even sitting or standing in a bar or wherever you want and be basically angle covered. It is THAT good. But you (fortunately) need to use Mike Skutt’s handling of this, Which is the one you see on the performance with the cap. Jay originally did this with this gimmick without the removal of a cap and it looked good but Skutt did it better. Just letting you know that you can perform this almost 360 if you really play with it for a bit.

THE GIMMICKS 4/5 When I say “Gimmicks”, I mean “Gimmick” as in, One. singular. But when you open this DVD, I GUARENTEE, you will basically fall out of your seat. You will see this and think back to the video and saying “It was a real marker!” (Thats what you will remember) But then it will all piece itself together for you. This DVD comes with gimmicks but only one is used in the actual performance unless you want to do it with people on all sides of you. But you will eventually run out of this special “Prop” and need some more which will cost you about 5 cents each time. So spend about a dollar and you can have around 100 performances. Each time you do the trick it will cost you like a penny. I also want to mention that he included a sharpie marker as well to match the gimmicks.

THE DVD 4/5 I found this DVD to be very short in length. He basically goes over the gimmick and inspiration then the overall explanation then diferent ways to do it as well as Skutt’s handling and the bonuses and extra tips. But Jay did do a fantastic job with this DVD in teaching and all that. I also liked the backround of it all. It seemed different to me. My favorite trick of it all though was when he removed the cap and clipped it to his pants and made the marker vanish and then appear inside the cap.

THE BONUSES 5/5 Now Jay went into the performances and explanations to each of these effects. Remarkerable is essentially a really good way to remove a sharpie and then split it into 3 sharpies one at a time. It is really cool and pretty easy to do in the right situations and could serve you some good usage. He explaned this fairly well. The next was flip’s vanish which we probably all know already. He went into great detail on this vanish and how to make it work for you and really be a professional piece of magic in any routine incorporating a sharpie marker. The sword is mightier is probably the best idea out of this entire DVD (Other than the trick itself lol) But this really isnt anything new. He did the same thing basically in another one of his videos as well as in a book I believe. I forget the name but you can probably dig it out somewhere here on penguin. It was an older video. But still a REALLY nice trick you can do with VANISHINK and I probably will do with the betcha handling since this uses that premise and really wouldnt work good without it.

OVERALL 4/5 The reason it didn’t get a 5 is because it was kind of a short video. But everything else was perfect. I can tell you now, You will probably never figure it out from watching the demo. Jay is an all around nice guy and a really good magician. I got a picture with him and an autograph. Just buy this now. ALL your thoughts about it will vanish when you see what you get.

The Spritz Switch/The Paper Dollar Reviewed by Jeff

Posted by DerekMerdinyan on November 10th, 2008

The Official Spam:

One dollar morphs into a one hundred dollar bill! & Change a blank piece of paper into money!


Running Time Approximately 50min

Kozmo Magic:

Ted Brainard, also known as Kozmo, has been making a name for himself in the magic community. With his top-selling Reel Magic Magazine, to his wonderfully produced DVDs, he setting a new standard for magic production. He has a knack for finding the top magicians in the industry, people including Eric Jones, Justin Miller, Paul Green, Chris Capehart, Cellini, and MORE. His DVDs don’t cost much, which is a HUGE surprise considering the amazing production work.

The Effect–The Spritz Switch:

The magician shows a one dollar bill, which he took from his coin purse. He shows it cleanly, and opens it fully. He blows on the bill, and it visually morphs into a 100 dollar bill! The 100 dollar bill is put away, with the magician smiling.

The Effect–The Paper Dollar:

The magician cleanly shows a piece of paper the same size as a dollar bill on both sides. His hands are also shown empty. He starts to fold the paper, and when it is open it’s a 100 dollar bill. This bill is shown cleanly on both sides and the hands are again shown empty!


This is one of those DVDs that when I look at it, I smile. Let’s start off with the DVD cover. The DVD cover is clever, and something I’ve never seen done before. What Kozmo and crew did was make each side of the DVD case a separate trick, giving the appearance of two DVDs merged into one. It’s very intiguing! Kozmo also made the DVD case half as thick as normal DVD cases, which is also the case for many of his other releases. When you put this into your DVD player, it’s very well organized. I had no trouble locating anything. There is a live performance, then a studio performance, followed by the explanation for each trick. The credits also include bloopers. I enjoyed the bloopers very much.

My Thoughts–The Spritz Switch

I’ve always liked the Juan Pablo switch. I’ve tried it a few times, but always stuck to different switches. In Lonnie’s first DVD set, Outlaw Magic, he presented a handling for the switch which he called Grandpa’s Dollar. What he has done here is cleaned it up, making it much more effective, and much more efficient. In the switch, he has motivation for every aspect. I’m not going to give it away, but the idea is genius. The switch is also very visual, and spectators will not see it coming. The full bill changes, not just a folded portion. A very good change, easy to do, and looks great!

My Thoughts–The Paper Dollar:

This was originally published in John Lovick’s Switch. It’s a very nice change, but my predilection leans toward The Spritz Switch. It looks great, but does not have the same motivation as the other. It is very practical, and is easy to do. It does require a standard magic item, which most of you will have. If you don’t have one, any good magic shop will have them, and they aren’t to expensive. Overall, it’s good, but not the best.


I really enjoyed this DVD, from the production aspect and the magic aspect. For the rating, I am going to give this an 9/10. I really liked The Spritz Switch, but The Paper Dollar was just okay. If you are thinking about buying this DVD but can’t decide, I would say buy it. The Spritz Switch made it money well spent, and The Paper Dollar was a nice added bonus. For $20, you can’t go wrong. Remember, pick it up at Kozmo Magic!

Also while you’re at it, check out all the other products from Lonnie Chevrie and other various artists:

Tricks that will Get You Paid starring Gary Norsigian Reviewed by

Posted by DerekMerdinyan on November 5th, 2008

OK. I honestly have to say that this is one of my most favorite penguinmagic produced DVD’s that I have. If you are a stand up performer then this is the way to go. Gary most definitly knows what he is doing. If you are willing to put a little bit of time and daily practice into the stuff that you like on this DVD, Then you will be getting lai-I mean paid a lot more.

DVD case and all graphics: 4/4 This whole DVD looks awesome. One of the best I have seen from penguin in my personal feelings. I Really liked the simplicity in it all. It revolves around the entire plot of the DVD. It is all a dollar bill basically. The graphics and titles in it are basically a bar that comes up and looks like a dollar.

Performances: 3/4 I liked the way he performed it all but he seemed a little bit stiff. It is his performance style but i dont mind. I like the whole idea of his show and the tricks he likes to use. He takes this little close up tricks and puts them on a platform and makes it visual to 2 or 300 people. He performed it all well and the audience liked it so thats really all that counts.

The Teaching: 3/4 I cant really complain about the teaching. He teaches it well but he goes very fast. You always have a god visual aid of what he is really doing and works you through it which is great. There is a 2 angle shot and penguin navigates you through what you are supposed to be doing. He goes fast but you have the DVD so you can watch it whenever you like. I have been watching it almost every day and I have learned everything except the sleeving and the palming.

cigar routine 3/4 I liked this routine. It is one of the simplest to do out of them all. basically you produce 2 cigars from one tiny purse, put one away and it appears back in the hand, shoot one up the nose, produce it from your ear, try lighting it but realize it is all twisted up, untwist it, light it, make the lighter vanish, then try cutting the cigar but your finger gets chopped off. you pick it up and realize it is your finger, you make the gap in your hand jump, then you put the finger back on. I really liked this routine. It is one of my favorites to watch him perform. Takes some practice but it is a great opener.

tower of power 2/4 I honostly did not like this routine. You have them choose a card, replace it, then a pyramid of cards appears at your fingertips, none are there card, you put the deck away and take the 3 cards. You change them all into the spectators card like 10 times and then put them away. I didnt like it. I cant stand watching it because its just so fast and boring and the way he does it just bugs be. there are some weird movements and i dont like it.

On the up and up 3/4 If you have bigger hands then this will be good for you. it is a 3 card rising card deck without the gimmicks. basically it is just a sleight to use. it is a good sleight and when you do it well and you have better motions than gary, you can get a nice piece of magic. I cant do it unfortunately because my hands are too small but I get around it. Im pretty sure that Chris Kenner took this sleight and renamed it and told people it is his own. I dont have the book but I saw the performance and it is basically the same thing except he does it with one card.

Standing triumph variation/the travelers 2/4 3/4 I was a bit confused when I first got this because the travelers isnt even recognized in the DVD. It is a part of the standing triumph variation but it isnt named. oh well. I hated the triumph. but the good thing is that you really put the cards face up into face down but if you are trying to do this stand up or platform, it wont work. It is basically 3 chosen cards, the deck is shuffled then shuffled face up/face down, cut some more, then the cards rise, then you cut the deck some more, the cards are replaced, the deck turns face up except one card, that card tells you where the other 4 cards are and now you are into the travelers which is basically a really nice card to pocket idea.

Fickle card 2/4 I gotta say that this effect is actually a bit boring. 2 cards are chosen and shuffled in undoubtfully. a card is turned over from the top of the deck and it shown to be not theirs. but it mysteriously changes into one of the cards. then you chance it into the other card ect. If you want to do a simple trick then this is good but you need to know a rather hard sleight to do it. I cant do it because hand size. gary’s hands were probablly ceated by brian tudor cuz they are huge.

spellbound 4/4My most favorite thing from this entire DVD. It is a simple spellbound routine. a coin changes from silver to copper back to silver again and BAM! you slam your finger strait through the coin. the spectator pulls it off and you can take it from there. I love watching this. His presentation for the karate coin is fantastic and I think that if you take the time to learn this then it is a great addition to any close up show. you do need to sleeve a coin for this but dont get turned off. you can additionally hold out with the coin in the end. But the good thing is it uses a rarely used sleight that replaces the basic spellbound routine. and it all mixes into each other. each phase has a meaning of being there which I love.

top stock false shuffle 4/4 This was originally created by steve forte but gary got permission to use it in this DVD and I believe in his previous dvd, Four play. It is a great way to retain multiple sets of cards inside the deck in a not so fancy but classy and professional way of shuffling the deck. I will be using this in my table card tricks.

S.W elevator 1/4 This is basically another way of performing Chris Kenners effect from his book. The card sticking out in the middle visually rises. Gary does a terrible job explaining it but his presentation makes up for it. I cant even do the trick yet because he spends like 10 seconds showing you the grip from the side angle which basically doesent even show you the grip. He then tells you that is the card is sticking out enough then the whole trick is virtually self working. I got this trick almost down but with a diferent way of doing it.

Impromptu invisible deck 1/4 The only thing that makes this a new trick is that he throws in like 10 extra sleights that are all entirelly unnecessary. I believe gary has you peek at a card then shuffle the deck and he does all these bizzare sleights that you dont even need to do. There has been a lot of work put into the impromptu invisible deck that is all way better than this. but if you like to work tough and practice than feel free to use this. But I feel like it is a waste of time.

Overall I give this a 3/4 volume 1.

Here is part two of my review of tricks that will get you paid by gary norsigian. I would say that this dvd is somewhat better than the first one. it has a couple of great tricks in it

Snap back card 3/4 Gary is obviously very good at his sleights and can perform fluently without issue. He puts great detail and a lot of work into sound in this particular effect. He performs this in the penguin studio as well as in his stand up show in vegas for a live audience (What, we arnt live?)the effect is basically a card replaced in the deck, then it invisibly (or very fast mind you) the card jumps out of the deck and into your hands a few times. there are times when the card is wrong but you change the card. then the last time the card does not come out and your hands come alive and it shoots out, spinning to your hands. receives a standing ovation. one of his repuation makers. The method is very difficult. it requires palming a LOT of cards so if you can get around that then it is great. I changed this routine to fit me and my needs and I do it all the time. Great trick!

Invisible plalm meets phoenex aces 3/4 Again, This is a very hard thing to do and requires a lot of palming and sleeving. basically the effect is done by producing 4 aces then they change to queens, then they vanish one by one in the invisible palm manner and then you produce them again, the last time looks almost like lee ashers thunderbird but better. This is a fun one to watch and he gets people really freaking out over this one. It is basically the invisible palm but without the table which I think is really nice.

Chop cup 2/4 He admits that this isnt even his routine in the DVD. I didnt like it though. it is really short and boring. “ok I put the ball in my pocket, ok its under the cup. ball in pocket, under cup, ball in pocket, under cup blah blah blah blah blah”. Thats basically what it is. Then he gives this ridiculous explanation of it which was pretty stupid. and for the finale a baseball appears under the cup which they dont seem surprised at. I didnt like it.

Coins through the table 3/4 his performance was very stiff durring it. He teaches it very well though. but when he does each of the moves he kind of grunts like hes having trouble doing it. It is a very pretty trick though and I really enjoyed it. one of my favorite coin throught able effects. in the beggining he produces 4 coins which really doesent look good at all though. he produces the first two then he shakes them, nothing happens, and then the coins are there. I would rather omit that in my performance. but what was funny was that durring the performance he had a gun on the table haha. you will understand in a minute. so good effect over all.

revised evapor-ace-tion 2/4 I liked the idea but it seemed like he put it in here to just fill up the dvd some more. you need a card box and you need to know some pretty heavy sleights which can be very difficult for a lot of people. basically he takes the 4 aces and then one by one makes them vanish. with a cut of the cards he produces 2 of the black aces, then he catches you off guard and changes them to red aces, then a card goes to the box which was examiend at the beggining, then the last ace comes flying out of the deck. durring the performance he was very stiff with this last phase. he grunted a bit and couldnt complete the cut or the fly out.

The gun trick 4/4 oh boy. this was my favorite routine out of the whole 2 dvd set. I think it was more of a joke but he gives a lot of inspirations behind the effect. basically he tells a story of him being at an airport and he pulls out this little gun, does a bad finger palm vanish, makes it vanish, and appear up the sleeve,makes it go through the body, then makes it vanish and appear in the other hand. then he says that once he has policemen running at him with M16s, he says “WAIT A MINUTE! its not a gun, ITS A KNIFE!” and produces a knife from his bare hands. it was a very good trick but if I were to do it I would do it with maybe a coin or something. you can even put this into your snap back card routine but with the one card for a warmup. good routine. what was funny was that he gives a big detailed explanation on the kinds of guns to use haha. good trick!

4 ace productions 3/4 I believe I have seen something similar to this routine before. I cant remember when. It kind of reminds me of the spring change from generation extreme. basically it is shuffled and cut by a spactator, then you spring the cards and an ace is visually produced from the spring. you do it 3 more times. then you can go into revised evaporacion or the invisible palm also tought on this dvd.

not my fault 4/4 there is one thing I dont like about his performance of it. int he studio performance, he uses 4 cards from a regular deck. basically he puts one card away in his pocket after a spectator mentally thought of one. they name the card and u pull out from your pocket, there card. this is done a few more times. Then he goes into the propped version of the trick. This was not a great idea. He says somehting like “on these cards I have excuses durring a court hearing. I have childhood poverty, high on dugs, shot somebody, god told me to do it”. I would never do this because god forbid my spectator actually was one of these they might get offended by it. but he says that you can use other things. I have been playing with it latelly. it uses a very hard move I cant do but I omit that and replaced it. very nice trick. the teaching is fast but watch it over and over again a few times and you will realize how easy it is and you will most likelly get it.

Uncle Gary’s virus 2/4 My rating is a bit unfair. this is nothing more than a quick 5 minute manipulation act with cards but without the backpalming. dont learn this effect until everything from the dvd is mastered! this uses pretty much every sleight learned in the dvds all together. there is palming, tenkaiing, sleeving, copping ect. basically you produce a bunch of cards. Im not into this effect because i cant palm or sleeve due to my jacket size. and im not into manipulations.

Ok so that is my review for the DVD’s. You can buy these for physical dvd or dvd download here at penguin. I think that they both have an equal balance of close up tricks, restaurant tricks, and platform tricks. if you like prop tricks and dont like to carry a big big case with you and would like to carry a show in just your pcokets, then get volume 2. if you like card tricks and would like to spend a reasonable amount of time practicing, then get volume 1. If you like the classics in magic and would like to support a great magician, get them both

Thoughtless Reviewed by Derek Merdinyan

Posted by DerekMerdinyan on November 3rd, 2008

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