Archive for June, 2009

‘Driven’ Reviewed by Jeff Prace

Posted by Editor on June 8th, 2009

“Can I see a trick?”
“Sorry, I don’t have anything on me.”

What a terrible thing to say.Yet I hear it so many times among magicians. All of that is about to change.

The Official Spam:

Impromptu pen through bills do not get cleaner than this! The following description is exactly what the spectator sees.

Phase 1

The performer borrows a pen and a bill. The bill is folded in half and the pen is inserted vertically into the fold. The bill is unfolded so that the spectators can clearly see the pen is in the bill. The bill is refolded. The performer then slams his hand down onto the end of the pen, driving the tip straight through the fold of the bill. The pen is pulled through the bill and placed behind the performer’s ear. The bill is then opene d… and shown to be completely unharmed!

Phase 2

The bill is once again folded. The pen is then inserted horizontally into the bill so that it is cradled in the fold. The spectators can clearly see that the pen is inside the bill (and it really is!). The performer then grips the tip of the pen and moves it in a sawing motion. The pen melts right through the bill! The bill is opened and seen to be completely unharmed. Everything can be immediately handed out for examination.

Points to consider:

~There are no gimmicks.
~Nothing is added or taken away.
~There are no tears or slits in the bill.
~The trick is 100% impromptu. Borrow any bill and any pen or pencil and you are set to do this effect.

When you purchase Driven you will receive an 11 page PDF containing 19 color photos, clearly detailing every stage of this devastating effect, plus a three minute video which contains a full performance from the spectator’s point of view and a performance from the performer’s point of view. Between the easy to read PDF and the concise videos, you’ll be performing this stunning piece of magic in no time!

You can never have too many impromptu miracles in your repertoire. And Driven is one of the best!

The Teaching:

This is a written e-book that you download onto your computer. Also, two videos are includ ed which show Cameron performing Driven from the front, and then the back. With all three of those resources, you should have no problem learning this. There are also 19 photographs. Cameron is a great writer; he explains everything clearly with detail. The video instructions, which contain no words, help the teaching of the effect a lot. You should have this down in no time. But remember, practice makes perfect.

The Quality:

The e-book and video quality are very good. The photographs and video are clear. You can tell it was not made through a web-cam. It’s better than most homemade productions I’ve seen, and I applaud Cameron for that. It’s a step up from others.


Intro: Cameron starts with a quick introduction to the pen through bill plot. He states what his is based off of and talks about other impromptu versions on the market. He also quickly tells how he came about creating this effect.

Phase 1: This is the phase in which you slam the point of the pencil straight through the bill. The method is very clever, and nothing like I’ve seen before. The nice thing about this is that you show the pencil going into the bill, no doubt, and with no fishy moves slam it right through. It looks great. You then pull the pen all the way through the bill and show the bill restored. All patter is given to you and there are photos to explain this phase.

Phase 2: This is the phase in which you place a pencil horizontally inside the folds of the dollar bill. You then magically saw the pencil through the sides. When you open up the bill, it’s completely restored. This method is also very clever. They can actually see the pencil inside the bill, unlike other versions. Once again, there is a super large amount of photos and everything is very clear.

Alternate Handling for the First Phase: This is just something quick you can do to make the first penetration easier. It looks the exact same.

Notes: Cameron talks a little here about patter and angles. Some helpful advice.


The Story:

One of my good friends knows how to perform the pencil through bill using the slit method. He’s showed me it before. So once I practiced this and got it up to par, I showed him this. He was blown away. He literally grabbed the bill out of my hands, giving me more than one paper cut, and started examining the bill. He ripped the pencil from my hands, nothing to see. Let’s just say he loved this!


I really like this. I own Misled, but haven’t performed it in the last few years. From now on, I’ll probably just use this. I never liked using the gimmick, as sometimes I borrowed different colored pencils, and this just fits the bill. It’s so practical it’s unbelievable. With this, you will never be stuck with nothing to perform. Just borrow a pencil, borrow a bill, and perform. It couldn’t get much easier. A solid 9.5/10.

‘Killer Gaft Magic’ Reviewed by Jeff Prace

Posted by Editor on June 8th, 2009

The Official Spam:

“You are nuts! You could have sold (these effects) one by one separately! Very good my friend… The material is excellent!” – Aldo Colombini

Cameron Francis (star of The Omega Mutation, Rehab, Red Hot Prediction, Twists & Turns, Fresh Mint etc) is BACK! And this time he is armed with GAFF CARDS!

You want easy magic that will make your spectators eyes pop out… well, Killer Gaft HAS IT IN SPADES! (And Clubs, Hearts and Diamonds too!).

Eleven routines, SIXTEEN Gaff cards (printed by the USPCC), over TWO HOURS of content.

Pipeline – Oil and Water meets the Travelers in this devastating effect!

What The Blank – Four blank cards print three selections one at a time. As for the fourth card… A surprise ending that you’re spectators won ‘t see coming!

The Flying Four – A no-palm, four signed cards to one pocket that you will use!

Tele-Print – A card, say the ten of diamonds, jumps back and forth between two packets of blank cards, then disappears, then all of the cards turn into the ten!

Side By Side – A blank card slowly prints a selection. A new twist on a classic trick!

Washout - Small packet Triumph with a kicker ending!

Boxy - Super easy signed card to card case!

Switch Jack – Four jacks, two selections and a whole lot of magic!

The Following – An off beat, two phase assembly!

Halfusion – A torn and… not quite restored card that leaves your spectator holding a truly impossible object!

Paan – A prediction written on the back of a card is discovered at ANY number!

Do The Wave – B’Wave with a twist!

But there’s more – included free on Killer Gaft is ‘Sleight School’. Cameron takes you through EIGHTEEN different magical sleights. This is like ninja school (if magic was martial arts and Cameron was a ninja, which it isn’t and he isn’t – but you know what we mean).

Learn –

Elmsley Count
Touch Force
Jordan Count
Hammon Count
Vernon Substitute Transfer
Flushtration Count
Mercury Card Fold
Diminishing Lift
Diminishing Count
Braue Reversal
Thru The Fist Flourish
Erdnase Colour Change
Twirl Change
Paddle Move
Alignment Move

The Quality:

Like all other Big Blind Media productions, the quality on this DVD is excellent. It was filmed with multiple cameras and they are very high quality. Also, the menus are set up nicely, and unlike some DVDs, there is a ‘Play All’ button that everyone loves. Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better production job.

The Teaching:

Judging from all the other Cameron Francis products I own, I knew the teaching on this DVD was going to be excellent. And I was right. Cameron goes over everything multiple times and really gives you detail. Everything is explained clearly. You should not have any questions when you finish watching this DVD.


The Content:

Pipeline- A magician shows eight cards, four red spot cards and four black spot cards. They are in alternating color. The magician places four of the cards inside the box, leaving him with two red and two black. With no moves, he is holding four black cards. The only logical place is that the red cards are in the box. The box is opened and the red cards have seemed to disappear. The magician, with empty hands, reaches into four different pockets and removes all of the red cards.

This is sweet. I really like the moment when they see you holding two red and two black, and then only black. There is no possible explanation. The cards are shown front and back and the magician’s hands are empty. I also really like the surprise ending. I think having the red cards appear in the box would be too expected; the audience would know where the red cards were before you told them. Also, this is super easy to do. You should have this down in no time. A great effect.

Tele-Print- The magicians shows five cards: four blue backed, blank faced cards, and one blue backed ten. The ten is pushed in between two of the face down blanked faced cards. The ten disappears from the small packet. It then reappears between the other two blanked faced cards that were resting on the table. The magician offers to do that again, this time a little differently. This time, the ten is inserted in between the blank cards the opposite way. This time, it doesn’t appear inside the other cards. You now have four blank cards, and no ten! The packet is squeezed, and the ten comes back. Then, all four cards change into tens.

That’s a long description, but this is a killer effect. This is by far my favorite effect on the whole DVD. It’s just so magical. One of the greatest points is that after the ten vanishes you are super clean. You have pretty much nothing to hide. And then the ending is killer. The blank cards are seen throughout the effect, and then with no switches they are all tens! When I first saw this I thought there was no way. It was like the next NFW. This is killer!

Boxy- A magician is about to start his card trick when he sees the Joke. UH OH! He states that the Joker always ruins his card tricks. He puts the Joker into the card box. Any card is selected and signed on the face. The magician then signs the back of the card. The card is lost into the middle of the pack. When you spread the cards, one card is reversed. It turns out to be the Joker. The card box is opened and they see a face down card with the signature on it. It is turned over and it’s the signed, selected card.

This is definitely my second favorite effect on the DVD. I might perform this more than Tele-Print because this is not a packet trick. When I first saw this I thought great, this is like every other card to box routine I’ve seen. But I was wrong. I love this. The addit ions Cameron has added make this a wonderful routine. I really like this because they clearly see the Joker go into the box, with no signature on its back. Also, any card really can be selected, there is no force. This has an easy reset and a very quick one. I encourage everyone to check this out.

Side by Side- A card is selected and signed on the back. It is then lost into the middle of the pack. The magician has a blank cards, and starts to gather an image from the spectator’s mind. It would be impressive if the blank card says their card. And it does, written on the card is ‘Your Card.’ How lame. The magician rubs the blank card, and it changes into their card. But, the writing ‘Your Card’ is still on the card! The signature is not on the back, though. With a snap and a wave, the card really turns into their card!

This is more confusing to describe than it is to watch. It really is a great trick. The most magical moment is when the blank card morphs into their own. The killer part here is that what you wrote on the blank card transfers over to their selected card. And did I mention there was no force? I love tricks in which a gag turns into a magic trick. That’s exactly what this does. It turns a lame gag into a miracle. This is great.

Switch Jack- Four kings are shown. The two black ones are separated from the two red ones. A card is selected, and then another card is selected. Both are memorized. They are both lost in different parts of the deck. The black kings are placed underneath the card box. The red cards are placed face down onto the deck, and the magician snaps his fingers. When he spreads over the cards, one of the selected cards is in between them. The kings are then turned face up. With another snap, they trap two cards. This time they are the two black kings. Under the card box is the other card they selected.

This is a great effect. It reminded me of the Luke Dancy effect, and he is credited. I really like sandwich routines like this one. Ones in which there are no moves, and cards appear in between them. You literally put the cards on the deck, and a card just appears. It looks so magical. And then you have a great kicker ending in which no one would ever expect. This is pretty easy to do, but will require some practice. A great part is that the black kings are clearly seen going under the card box, and then they change into a selected card. It’s just so magical.

What the Blank- The cards are shuffled by the spectator. Four blank cards are placed onto the table. Four cards are selected from the center of the deck. The blank cards are shown to be blank on both sides. One of the cards that was selected is then printed onto one blank cards. It is done again with a second card. You now have a duplicate of two different cards. This is done again. With the last card, the four of the cards are rubbed and change into the selected card.

I must have done a terrible job explaining what that looks like. Once again, it’s hard to describe, but looks great. Within the first part, it looks like every other printing effect. The kicker ending makes this effect great. It really is a highly unexpected ending. I never liked printing effects, so I won’t be performing this much, but I know others will. A great part is that the blank cards are shown front and back, and then they print one by one. Even though it’s not for me, I think everyone should give this good one a chance.

The Following- You ask what Jack is the most powerful. It turns out to be the Jack of Diamonds. The other Jacks will do anything to be with the other Jack. The Jack of Diamonds is placed into the card case. The three Jacks are shown, and one vanishes. The next Jack vanishes as well, and then the last one does. Inside the card box is four cards, the four Jacks. It is done again. The Jack of Diamonds is placed face up inside the deck. The three Jacks disappear as well. The spectator doesn’t think you’re telling the truth, because you’re holding them! The Jacks really did go, you’re holding four blank cards. Inside the middle of the pack are four face up Jacks.

I really like this one again. Once you think the effect is over, it gets better. The vanish of the three Jacks is great. It’s kind of like a sucker effect; the spectator thinks they know what’s going on when they have no idea. Also, the appearance inside the card box looks great. When I first watched it I was fooled very badly. This also has a great story line. One Jack is the most popular and powerful that all of the other Jacks want to follow him. That makes sense of the fact they the travel with him into the box and the middle of the pack. A fantastic effect.

Washout- Six cards are taken from the back. They are random colored spot cards. One of the cards is touched and memorized. It’s lost inside the middle of the packet and the packet is mixed. Three cards are turned face up and mixed into the face down. With a shake, all the cards are face down except for their card. The odd thing is, all of the other five cards are blank! They picked the only printed card.

When I first saw the first half of the trick, I thought it was okay. When I saw the kicker ending, I thought it was terrific. They see other printed cards when they are turned face up, and then the turn blank. A highlight of this effect is that there are no funny moves. There are no funny moves to get the cards all facing the same way, and there are no funny moves to get the cards to turn blank. Another great effect from this DVD.

PAAN- A prediction has been made on the back of one card that is in the middle of the deck. The deck is shuffled and the spectator cuts the cards. The card the spectator cut is looked at and memorized. The spectator names any number between 1 and 52. The magician counts down to that number and shows the card. It’s not the one the spectator selected. On the back of that card is the written prediction. The prediction is the card they selected. The deck is shown to have no other writing on the back.

This is a great effect. Right when the spectator names a number, they think they know what is going to happen. Boy, are they wrong. The prediction on the back of a card is a great addition to the ACAAN plot. I really like this and have performed it a few times already. It has gotten great reactions every time. Everyone should check this effect out.

Do the Wave- A small packet of cards is shown. You pretend that they are the four Jacks. The spectator removes one of the imaginary colors. Then they eliminate one of the cards, leaving them with the selection. Inside the packet, there are four cards. The Jack they selected is face up. People think this is sleight of hand. To prove that it’s not, and the magician really did know this in advance, the other three cards are shown to be blanked faced. And written on them is ‘Jack of Clubs.’

Finally! Someone made sense of why the cards are b lank at the end of B’Wave. I’ve always loved the classic Goldstein effect, but I never understood why the cards are blank at the end. It just never made sense to me. Finally, Cameron has made sense of it. And I applaud him for that. This is a super duper great effect and everyone should add this ending to their B’Wave routine. This is simply fantastic. My third favorite on the DVD.

Halfusion- A card is selected and folded in half. It is then ripped along the crease. The two half pieces are placed face to face. To restore the card, the magician puts a staple holding the two pieces together. The pieces are placed inside the box. When opened, the pieces have reversed. The two halves are now back to back, still stapled together. With a little squeeze, the pieces fuse together. They are one solid half card!

I can’t really describe what is given away here at the end. It’s kind of like a mis-made card but only a half card. It’s a very good souvenir. I love T&R tricks. I have some of my own and some created by others. But, this is a great addition to the T&R plot. When I first saw it I got very interested. It has a great method and it’s easy to do. I can’t wait to try this out. It’s simply fantastic. I think it’s great because it leaves the spectator with a souvenir to remember what you did, not just a card that has creases in it.

Flying Four- The four Queens are shown. Four double blank cards are shown as well. Four stickers are marked with the spectator’s initials, and one is placed on the back of each Queen. The four blanks are placed underneath the card box. One by one, the Queens turn into the four blank cards. The blanks are shown front and back. Underneath the card box is one blank card. On the back of the blank card is says to check the magician’s back pocket. In the back pocket are the four initialed Queens.

This is very, very good. It’s a great card to pocket routine. When I first saw it, I thought there must be some duplicate signatures. There aren’t. I really like the change from the Queens to the blanks. It’s so clean. All the blanks are shown front and back after the change. I have performed this a few times already and it KILLS. This is something everyone should try out.



This is a fantastic DVD. Usually, I find things on a multiple trick DVD that I think are bad. I didn’t find any here. Everything presented on this DVD is great. Aldo said it right, these could have been sold separately. This is a must have DVD. A solid 9.5/10. 10/10s are rewarded for real magic.

Jeff Prace

‘Election’ Reviewed by V

Posted by Editor on June 8th, 2009

Intro: Eric Ross has created a gem of a card trick.

Trick: Election

Created By: Eric Ross

Effect: Listen up… Two spectators are each given a deck of cards and instructed to pick a card behind their backs.

When revealed the spectators have chosen the same card with a special twist at the end that will leave your audience speechless.

Notes: A new, crushing enhancement to the ‘You do as I do’ routine
or a shocking stand-alone effect with any deck
Spectators freely choose thier own cards while holding the deck behind their back
Completely examinable

Cost: $9.95

Genre: Card/Mentalism Magic


Format: Instant Download

Video and Quality:

Video- The video is also very well edited, put together, and produced.

Quality- The quality of this video is pretty good. There were definitely no problems hearing or seeing what was being said or done. The audio is good; everything is clear and easy to watch.

Teaching: Eric’s teaching was good. The teaching was neither too complicated or any overkill, since it is a simple effect. It’s very easy to follow along and very easy to learn from. No confusion, problems or questions when the video was over.

Method: The method is so simple and ingenious. Simply without a doubt this is a fooler, you’ll fool yourself when performing and setting it up.

Needed Material: You probably have the needed materials already at home, if not they are very common and easy to come by. The material can last you a pretty long time.

Gimmick and Impromptu:

Gimmick- This effect doesn’t require a gimmick, but it’s more of a set-up.

Impromptu- Once set-up, the effect is pretty much” impromptu”.

Set-Up: Takes no more than a minute, and that’s if you’re slow.

Dirtiness and Clean-Up:

Dirtiness- You do not really end that dirty.

Clean-Up- You also really don’t have to clean-up since the effect doesn’t cause any suspicion at all.

Reset: Reset can be accomplished only taking a few seconds.

Difficulty: On a scale of 1-10 (Ten being the hardest), I say it’s about a
2. This effect is ingeniously simple and practical. And the spectator is the one doing all the work and it’s basically self-working.

Overall: A very spectatular and simple effect that you can add into your routine. It is something that I will use and perform. For the price and effect you get in this effect is a great deal, I suggest you pick it up and try it out. I like the aspect of it being a prediction/mentalism trick and the kicker ending.

Score: 8/10

Bonus Effects: Twisted- A great routine by itself but a better closer. Instead of a standard effect where a finger ring disappears, you make your finger disappear. It gets better… in a flash your vanished finger visually penetrates a solid finger ring.

This works great as a closer to any effect involving a ring. This effect is also very visual, there is a gimmicked involved as well, but the end result is just very nice and super visual.

Sucker- Visual, visual, visual. Bitten and restored sucker. You’ll love the method to this one. It will be your favorite part of the effect.

This is such a visual piece. This is my favorite of the bonus effects included. There is a sleight gimmick involved, but it should take no longer than 5 minutes and should last a few good performances.

Distorted- Eric’s take on the card through bill illusion. This one is visual and impromptu.

What can I say, another visual piece by Eric. A signed card goes through a borrowed bill. This one will take practice, but it’s highly visual and it’s impromptu. The spectator sees the card in the bill, yet the magician saws through the bill with the signed selection. Very simple.

I highly suggest picking this up or at least checking it out.

‘TickToids’ Reviewed by V

Posted by Editor on June 8th, 2009
This is an ultra visual transposition done in the spectators hands!!!


The spectator holds the Tic Tacs while you have the Altoids. In a shake the tin of Altoids transforms into the box of Tic Tacs. The spectator then opens their hand revealing that they are holding the Altoids.

Video and Quality: The video is very well edited, put together and produced. It covers everything really indept; quality was great, no problems hearing or seeing what was being said or done.
Teaching: Dans leaves no rock unturned. His teaching is is taught with the upmost precision, very detailed; with all tips, tricks and subtleties. Very understandable and easy to follow along and superb.
Method: Ingenious, yet brilliant. Dan has put some creative thinking behind this effect.
Gimmick: Very clever. These gimmicks will last a long time, but if you lose your gimmick you can easily be able to easily obtain them.
Set-Up: These should only take a few seconds…once done you’re set to peform.
Practicality: Very, all you need to do is carry these 2 mints and you have a mind-blowing effect.
Overall: The beauty of TickToids is also its simplicity, the magic happens in the spectator’s hands. It’s fun, eays and ultra cool.
I highly suggest picking up a copy, or at least checking it out.

‘Refilled’ Reviewed by V

Posted by Editor on June 8th, 2009
This is the perfect effect to do while you are at your favorite coffee shop.


The spectators signed card appears in an empty coffee cup with the shake of your hand.

Video and Quality: The video is very well edited, put together and produced. It covers everything really indept; quality was great, no problems hearing or seeing what was being said or done.
Teaching: Dan’s leaves no rock unturned. His teaching is is taught with the upmost precision, very detailed; with all tips, tricks and subtleties. Very understandable and easy to follow along and superb.
Method: Two methods are taught, gimmicked and impromptu- The gimmick may be time consuming, but the end result is worth it. After time making the gimmicks should be a breeze, but the overall construction and performance are very easy.
Advantages/Differences: Both of them have the same overall look of the effect, but both have their pros and cons. For example, impromptu method: can be signed and the gimicked version: more natural looking.
Needed Items: You will likely have all the needed items to perform this effect, if not they are easy to get a hold of and are very common.
Practicality: The reactions you’ll get from this effect are amazing and mind-blowing, empty cup, shake and their card is now found inside. Very practical in any coffee and cafe shop.
Angles: The angles can be a problem for some, but with the right confidence and management you can easily control them to make it comfortable for you.
Overall: The beauty of Refilled is its simplicity, it can happen in thier hands, yours, with a lid on, Dan suggest being creative.
I highly suggest picking up a copy, or at least checking it out.

‘Infinity Bend’ Reviewed by V

Posted by Editor on June 8th, 2009

Eric Ross’ Infinity Bend allows you to perform the most visual coin bends ever seen. Eric came up with the solution to the problem that most coin bends face, the ability to make bends visually without cover or the use of expensive gimmicks.

What makes the Infinity Bend different from any other coin bend, well, the Infinity Bend takes coin bending away from the more traditional “psychological” bend and delivers a visual treat that allows spectators to see their borrowed coin bend at the fingertips.


Borrow a coin from a spectator and visually bend it in full view at your finger tips.

Video and Quality: The video is very well edited, put together and produced. It covers everything really indept; quality was great, no problems hearing or seeing what was being said or done.

Teaching: Eric’s leaves no rock unturned. His teaching is is taught with the upmost precision, very detailed; with all tips, tricks and subtleties. Very understandable and easy to follow along and superb.

Method: The methods are very devious and deceptive, yet ingenious. Infinity Bend uses a simple concept, which other products are there have used, but what makes this different is the extra little things (tips, tricks and subtleties) that Eric has added.

Gimmick: Eric teaches how you can construct a gimmick to create a gimmick for the newer or older coins. Very easy to construct and you make make an infinite number of gimmicks in a very short time…very workable and incredible.

Handlings: Eric teaches 2 handlings of these bend, one where the coin is held at the fingertips, at stomach level and as he shakes it, it starts to bend. The other handling is more of an advanced handling of the first. Both are very visual and workable. I perfer the advanced handling of Eric’s. But my favorite version would have to be Brandon Williams, who teaches his handling of the bend. Here the coin is done at eye level and is visually squeezed, such a visual, nice piece.

Angles: The angles can be a problem for some, but with the right confidence and management you can easily control them to make it comfortable for you. The different handlings taught play well for any 1-on-1 situation or a group. For instance, Eric’s Handling is best suited for a 1-on-1 or 3 people group, while Brandon’s is better for 4-? people group and 1-on-1 as it is held at eye level for all to see.

Practicality: Very, all you need to do is carry the needed items and you have some very visual effects in your hands.

Bonus: As a bonus Eric teaches his handling of the coin matrix: Silent Matrix which is mad visual, silent and doesn’t need the use of a magician’s mat. The same method taught for the bend is adapted here. Very sleight set-up, but well worth it.

Overall: Mad visual effects taught in here, Eric has put some very creative thinking in these effects and Papercrane outdid themselves with this one.

I HIGHLY suggest picking up a copy, or at least checking it out.

‘The Plot Thickens’ Reviewed by Mark Tirone

Posted by Editor on June 8th, 2009

“10 out of 10…buy this and buy this now. You won’t regret it.”

Online Visions.”Hugely impressive…it won’t be long before his reputation is made…
unusual plots, simple methods, great ideas – why aren’t you ordering this book right now?”

Magicseen.”Buy this book! Highly recommended.”

Genii Online.”An astounding collection” Gary Jones,

Magicbunny & The Magic Cafe.”Buy it. He’s got some great ideas.” Tim Trono, creator of Branded.

“[The effects] are all practical and easy to handle…a breath of fresh air” Peter Duffie,

MAGIC.”I rarely get so much inspiration from one book” Andi Gladwin.

“Excellently written…very well-produced…each time [I flick through] I find something, which becomes my new favourite…For £12.49 (less than the price of a one trick DVD) this really is an excellent purchase. Highly recommended!”


Magicians experience a torrent of new methods but just a trickle of new plots. It’s time for a change. And the change starts here!22 fresh plots with everything from bottles to bubbles and photos to false teeth, including:
- Invisible Man: Convince a spectator that they’ve vanished.
- Flaming Voodoo: A spectator stares at a piece of paper he is holding and it bursts into flames.
- Touching Transposition: Forget sight, fool their sense of touch.
- X-ray Coin: A spectator swallows an initialed coin and it appears on an X-ray of their stomach.
- Secret Service Load: Divine the serial number of a bill in the spectator’s wallet without ever going near it.
Plus 17 more impossibilities.

Some you’ll perform every night. Others you’ll save for special occasions. All you’ll enjoy learning as much as performing. The book alone is worth the price of the book!

87 large format pages. 86 photo illustrations. Perfect bound with a glossy cover.
£12.49/$21.53 plus shipping (varies by destination).

Welcome back. I’m here again with my latest review. This one is special. I was connected to a guy named Oliver Meech. Oliver is a VERY talented performer. He sent me a copy of his book and after reading the first few effects in it, I KNEW this was going to be a a great read. And I was correct! The advertisement reads as the audience sees it. There are absolutely NO pipe-dreams in this book. Everything CAN and WILL be performed at one time or another.

So what exactly is “The Plot Thickens”? It is a colaboration of extremely creative ideas from Oliver Meech. There certainly is nothing “new” in here, just ideas basically. Thickened plots. What I mean by that is, Oliver has taken a wide variety of plots from classic texts in magic, and revamped them to work for YOU in today’s world. The tricks are all the same, but in each one there is something new, whether that be a simpler method, to a more visual effect. For example, do you remember that old bird cage trick? The one where you had a bird on one side of a paddle and a cage on the other and when you spin it around fast, it looked as if the bird was in the cage? Well in here, this is done with a fish and a fishbowl. Do you know The Quarter Through Soda can? That is mixed in with the paper balls over the head! Read ahead to find out more! ____________________________________________

LAYOUT: 5/5The layout, in my opinion, was genious. Everything was very modern and east to comprehend. There were introductions, forewards, brief information about the effects in the book, and then the chapters. At the beginning of each chapter, there is a little “optical illusion”, of a sort (which was annoying in the beginning but kind of grows on you), and then the tricks. He gives an introduction to each effect (similar to those of Coinsomnia [see review]) and also a simple effect “description” (which wasn’t really described but of course these effects arn’t too difficult to figure out what is supposed to happen). Then after each effect, Oliver gives credits and additional advice, plus a large blank space which can be used for notes.

QUALITY: 3/5I had higher expectations for the quality of this book. It was published and printed by and normally their products have very fine quality, but this was just disappointing. The spine of the book seemed like it was a little bit frayed, and through opening and closing the book, the spine was getting wrinkled sort of, and that has never happened to me before (except for Jerry Mentzer’s book, but that was just poor choice of paper). Also, the color tone of the book (purple or blue?), shows smudges and it looks terrible. When I first got this and started reading through it, I noticed that it was covered in finger prints and it looks bad. One final note, the printing of the book. The plot might be a little TOO thick. The word “thickens” on the front cover if the book was printed off center so it rides right off the cover of the book and the letters “T” and “S” are only half exposed. I guess I can’t blame Oliver since he has no control over the printing, just letting you know. In each effect, there are photographs. These are VERY good quality! Although black and white, Oliver did the un-thinkable, and filmed in a simple setting. There were no elaborate posters or cages in the background. Just a table and Oliver. They wern’t even fuzzy or hard to understand, like some books I have read. The only problem is that all of the pictures are reversed because Oliver is a left handed magician, so they were flipped to be righty compatable, which doesn’t work out too well for another lefty, like myself.


I made the mistake in one of my previous reviews, to review EVERYTHING. That review took almost 3 weeks. I won’t be doing that here. I’m sorry, but there are 22 creations in this book, plus varriants, so doing so would be completely undesirable. So I have chosen to review each of my favorite effects from this book, not from a personal view, but from an objective point of view so YOU, the reader, gets to know exactly what is good about each effect.


STUFF WITH CARDS: 4/5This might be the only time you hear me rave about cards. I typically only perform a few card tricks, but enough about me. In this chapter, the effects are visual (or CAN be visual) and are all practical for the real world. One of the better effects here is the Invisible Man, which can be performed on stage or close-up without worry. But there are other ones that are visual stunners, such as Cardboard Birthday Cake, where a signed playing card with a birthday cake and a candle is shaken and the candle either visually extinguishes, or invisibly, depending on your style. Then the psychological killers, being Not Seeing The Wood For The Trees, an effect where a grid of cards is layed out, and failing to find the selected card, the remaining cards reveal a selected card.

INVISIBLE MAN: 5/5Is my absolute favorite effects from here. This is one of those effects that Gary Norsigian talks about on his DVD set, Tricks That Will Get You Paid (see review), where you can take it from close up, and with little change, make it play for a grand audience or 400. What happens is an audience member is braught up and selects a card, and two stickers are used to make the assistant believe he is invisible and annother assistant can see through the person and read the card against his chest. The method is one that has been around for a long time, yet widely over-looked until jsut recently, yet even THEN it was a little over looked! After reading this one, it will be ver clear how powerfull it could be. The best part is, the playing card doesn’t even need to be read. If you did this on a large stage with just normal playing cards, sure the card can’t be read by the people in the back, if the front row audience can see it and can REACT to it, then people will understand that the assistant has seen through the other assistant’s body and read the card. Even just the invisible assistant needs to react for everybody else to know that the card that was revealed is the one he held. And for the record, the assistant you choose to be turned “invisible”, might not be too good if it is a woman.

NOT SEEING THE WOOD FOR THE TREES: 4/5This is one of the other psycholigical killers presented in this book. What is awesome about it is, it takes a classic plot that isn’t really performed anymore, and made it MUCH better. That is the old dealing down cards trick. The kind of trick that makes people go, “yea, I know this one, uncle Roofus did it for me”. But he DIDN’T. Sure cards are delt down after one is chosen, but after eliminating a few to get to the chosen card, the audience notices that the remaining cards form the shape of their card, AND in the same color! The bad part about this one is that dealing down cards can be a hassle for you. If you work in a restaurant where the table top might be a little small, the cards might not fit and you will have to move to another effect. Also, if you do outdoor walkaround engagements, the wind will blow your cards away and then you are left revealing the sdfsdf of sdfsdf. But this one is certainly GREAT for parties when you are put on the spot.

STUFF WITH COINS: 4/5 Phew, coins! I am so glad to see coins in here. It takes a lot to get coin guys thinking, but this chaper actually got me thinking and thinking hard! While only a few in here actually made me excited to perform, they all have something special. For example, like we mentioned earlier. Oliver does a Paper Balls Over The head type effect, and leads into A Coin In Soda Can effect. Possibly the most insane coin to impossibly location effects are in this chapter. One of them makes the coin go into an xray of your body, the other into a soda can, and the last one goes to a candy bar in a vending machine that you use the signed coin to buy. I won’t be reviewing them all, but they all merit some consideration.

FISH BOWL COIN ILLUSION: 5/5 : This one is REALLY cool! Remember that old bird cage illusion? The one where there was a picture of a bird and a cage on different sides of a paddle and you could make it look like the bird was in the cage when twisted rapidly? Well this is pretty much that, but with a borrowed coin and a fish bowl is drawn on one side and a fish is drawn on the other. The coin is of course spun on the table and you get this really nice image of a fish being in the bowl when looked at the coin. When the coin stops spinning, ther can actually see that the fish is inside the circle representing a bowl and the coin could be kept. While this effect won’t fool ever magician, it can be quite stunning to a lay audience. They KNOW the fish isn’t really in the bowl and for somebody just seeing this for the first time, it will be very amusing to them. But when they discover that the fish is inside the bowl that was apparently a joke, it will generate a very nice reaction.

X-RAY COIN:3/5: This was a weird one. Let me tell ya’. Firstly, this is probably one of the few, if not ONLY, coin effect that you can do on stage with a borrowed coin. Essentially, the spectator’s initials are written on their coin, THEY swallow their own coin, an x-ray image is brough up on stage of them, and on the x-ray appears their own borrowed coin WITH the initials! Of course you can make this more goory if you wish by swallowing it yourself and giving it a lot of drama. There IS quite an extensive setup but in time you will get good and fast at it. Also, you can’t really re-use the props but it really isn’t much of an issue at all. It will all be worth it in the end. I think you’re going to like this one.

STUFF WITH THE MIND:3/5I really didn’t much care for this chapter. There were a few little peices that I enjoyed, but for the most part, a lot of it was quite impractical for me. A lot of gimmicks involved. These ARE pretty good for stage/parlor/stand up, but if you are working close up, not exactly the best. One plus side to many of these effects is, if you don’t want to come off as an extreme mentalist (such as Darren Brown, Luke Jermay etc.), these effects have more of a magic aspect to them so I’m sure some of you will get a good look at these. Just not exactly “Up there” for me.

BUBBLE IMAGE:4/5This is one of those effects that can be done quite efficiantly on stage and could be seen. What happens is basically the spectator looks into one of many bubbles (yes, bubbles, as in children’s bubbles, made out of soap…) dancing around on stage and sees a number in one of them, almost like a crystal ball. A prediction you had from the start is brought out and on the piece of paper reads the number they saw in the bubble. It is a nice piece by means of theatrical magic. It could be played as serious, half serious, comedy, magic, whatever you want it to be really. This DOES use a prop that you might have if you are a magician, but I’m sure the mentalists will know exactly what this is when they hear it and most likely have one.

I SPY:5/5This one I actually wrote into my own show. It is by no stretch of imagination a fully original effect and the concept used here is old as the hills, but it is pretty good. It is pretty much a book test in it’s simplest form. A post-it note sticker is placed on the cover of a book and the audience member writes something down on it. That could be a page number, chapter title, work, number etc. Whatever. You are able to reveal it with pretty much no effort on your part at all. Again, how awesome is it that you could do this anywhere anytime if there is a book, paper, and a pen at your disposal, AND can play for small audiences in walkaround for 5 people or in an auditorium for 150 people.Again, the concept is old, but you can have a lot of fun with this one.

AND STUFF WITH, WELL, STUFF:2/5Well, at least I got SOMETHING out of this chapter lol. DEFINETLY not the best stuff nor the most practical. Some of these have some pretty big setups and don’t even play too well, but I DID get 2 really nice effects out of it so that deserves the 2 credits lol. Let me say that if you like to do anytime anywhere or seemingly impromtu effects with borrowed objects, don’t get this book because of this one.

ON WITH HIS HEAD!:5/5I liked this one. I’m pretty sure you will like it as well. You can only do this in close up situations due to the method and without a method change, but it looks really nice. It is something that a lot of us can relate too, our heads getting cut off in photos. Don’t you hate that? Well no worries to the cool guy in the group, not to be confused with the guy in the group nobody ^&*$% likes *cough* Karen, simply taps the stack of photographs on the table and the distorted photograph gets bumped down in the picture, restoring it to normal. C’mon, how cool does it get? It actually reminds me of one of Josjua Jay’s effects in his book, “MAGIC: The Complete Course” (See review) where the magician poses with his dog and the dog vanishes right from all the pictures. Well this one is similar, the method isn’t as straight forward as Josh’s, but no need to take away a point for that. Pretty much all you need is a camera and a stack of photographs, having one with the chopped off head and a rubberband to put over them all. It packs small, plays big (for a few people in the group).

SECRET SERVICE LOAD: 3/5This is a REALLY strong effect if you play it right (and it doesn’t get screwed up half way though), but the only problem is that it requires a LOT of pre-performance work and will be a pain to do. You need to follow people, see who orders from which register, get the timing right, memorize a serial number etc. And it can’t really be done in a professional setting unless you work in a restaurant or bar and can have the bartender or waitress help you out. It’s such an extensive setup just to read a serial number from a bill in somebodies wallet that you never touched. ALso, if you have a show, you could have somebody at the box office help you. But it is a cool effect.


OVERALL:4/5In conclusion, I really enjoyed this book. It was a very nice and refreshing read. If you like magic tricks or books, then this is a really nice read for you. The descriptions are clearly very well thought out as are the effects described here in this book. I will always be refering back to this book and hopefully learning something new each time I do. Oliver did the un-thinkable here and took old plots and revamped them to play for professional performers in the 21st Century. Enjoy!

-Mark Tirone

‘Departure’ Reviewed by Jeff Prace

Posted by Editor on June 8th, 2009

The Official Spam:

Borrow a ring, and in the cleanest way you vanish it at your fingertips – both hands are clearly empty. Reach into your back pocket and produce your keys – and their ring is on your keyring!

Introducing the world’s most impossible and invisible ring flight. Departure is a pull-style flight built into a key fob that fits on your keychain.

Wherever you go, Departure goes. Built to withstand heavy use, Departure is a ring flight that can withstand the CLOSEST scrutiny. It’s whisper silent and mega powerful.

On the video instruction CD, Derek Roberts teaches his Shirt Vanish – a way cleverly vanish any ring right under spectators’ noses. You’ll also learn a stunning ring and key transpo, which climaxes with their ring appearing your keychain.

The carabiner clip (included) makes attaching the ring absolutely effortless. Plus, it looks much more at home on your keychain than an old-school jewlers’ clasp.

Feel free to use your favorite ring flight routine with Departure – and if it makes you feel more confident, you can even wear a coat!

~Custom engineered Departure key fob
~Black anodized carabiner clip
~Video instruction CD teaches everything!

My Initial Thoughts:

When I first took a gander at this online, I was pleasantly surprised. If you’re like me, and love Ring Flights, you’ll know how powerful they are. I’ve had several Ring Flights, many using a key wallet. Because of my age, carrying around a key case is awkward. When Rinky Dinky came out, I was exuberant. It broke. I haven’t done the Ring Flight since. Departure changed all that, this thing is amazing.

The Reactions:

The reactions you will get with this is very similar to most of the other Ring Flights on the market, because it has the same basic effect. The reactions are fantastic, something so valuable to them vanished, and appeared in one of the most impossible locations.

The Quality:

This is heavy-duty stuff. The r**l is made out of steel, and I don’t plan on it breaking anytime soon. This will last quite a long time. The clip is also of the highest quality. I’ve used so many Ring Flights, I know the good and bad clips. This one is good, it’s easier than any other one I’ve used before. It loads silently, and doesn’t look like you got it from the jewelry store, which is a definite plus.

The Teaching:

Included with the gimmick, a nice CD with a 10 minute video is provided. The video will teach you the basics of the Ring Flight, but experience will teach you more. Derek is a good teacher, and explains everything good. It’s fast, but to the point. If you’ve ever used a Ring Flight, it’s pretty self-explanatory.

The Horror Stories:

With ANY Ring Flight, there will be some horror stories. I’ve heard about diamonds falling off, and people claiming it wasn’t their ring. Obviously, it’s their ring. I’ve never had anything bad happen, but I’m sure it will happen someday.

The Routines:

Derek teaches some very basic things here. He has a nice key/ring transpo, as well as a clever vanish of the ring. Having used variations of the Ring Flight before, I’m just going to substitute my old routine in.

What’s Different?:

What’s the difference between this Ring Flight and all the others? The ring appears attached to your key ring. If you are unfamiliar with the traditional Ring Flight, the borrowed ring vanished and reappears attached to your key wallet. Departure was struck with a modern twist, but will not be suitable for everyone.

Is it really SILENT?:

It’s pretty darn silent. Can you hear it if you were in a room with no other sound? You sure could. Can you hear it with all the natural sound around us? Nope.


This seems to be my favorite Ring Flight to date. I’ll give this a 9.5/10. I reserve 10/10s for real magic. Also, it’s not quite “whisper silent.”

If you have any questions about this, please ask.

Jeff Prace