Archive for the 'Close Up' Category

‘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

Black I’s Reviewed by Jamie Daws

Posted by DerekMerdinyan on March 29th, 2009

If you have a product you want to talk about, tell us about it. Here’s how.

If you’re reading this then you must get a ‘Black I’…. No! Not that sort of ‘Black I’. I meant the brilliant new sponge style effect from Mathew Johnson! I won’t ‘blur your vision’ with cheesy one liners but rather make you ‘open your ‘I’s’ to the world of sponge. For many years ‘I’ have performed sponge magic and always enjoyed it. However, searching or creating a routine for an older audience without resulting to using rude bodily parts was hard to say the least. Then my ‘I’s’ were drawn to “Black I”, instantly I knew I had to get it. I was lucky enough to receive a free copy of this from Mathew (Which was a bonus) but to be honest; I like it so much I’m very tempted to buy another for safe keeping. Like all tricks I review, I road tested the effect to the core on some of the most sceptical friends I have and not only was it an ‘I popping’ trick but one that really made people laugh. Mathew’s presentation of the effect is spot on. Nothing, absolutely nothing about this effect can be put down at all. It works in every single way. The reactions were absolutely stunning. They laughed, gasped and even let out a little bit of wee through the excitement.

The DVD gets you smiling straight from the onset, opening the parcel to see a fantastic cartoon of a beaten up boxer. But one slight surprise… in fact, ‘I couldn’t believe my I’s!’ He has included another effect entirely in the box! With fully made glossy cards and of course the DVD explanation! How generous is that! I opened the box and out popped by sponge I’s. I popped in the DVD and straight away I was laughing. (Listen to the music on the menu page) I clicked the play button and began on my journey. There are two performance videos so you can see firsthand the sorts of reactions this gets. Then Mathew takes you through step by step his handling and script of Black I. Which, I have to say is genius. We then venture on through the DVD which a fantastic information page which allows you to read up on what Pink Eye is. This section is titled “What is Pink Eye?”…. Just thought I would let you know. He also has a credits page with notes on his inspirations etc.

In the DVD, he also includes the cards for his effect “Drinks on me” which much like Black I is very comic and just a brilliantly thought out trick. I would have brought both tricks separately and been happy with each but the fact it’s given free with the DVD is an awesome bonus!

The reason I prefer this version of the sponge routine much more is because it fits most magician’s style. It’s so easily adapted to any performance situation. The built in jokes almost mean you have time to concentrate on the effect in hand. There are so many patter avenues to go down. (Check the thread on Not only this, but the moves are a lot easier to perform with Mathew’s handling. (Trust me on that) overall, I believe this to be possibly the best stand alone sponge effect in the world. It’s such an original effect and so well structured, there’s nothing about it that doesn’t work. If our not a fan of sponge magic, this is your chance to get into it with style. So keep your ‘I’ on the prize and grab hold on your copy. You will NOT be disappointed.

It’s available through World Of Magic and most other magic shops

ABK Reviewed by Jeff Prace

Posted by DerekMerdinyan on February 28th, 2009


This e-book starts off with a nice cover page, followed by a list of everything in the e-book. The Introduction is short and sweet, and basically tells you everything you need to know about the content that follows. Michael states that these work well when performing for real people, in the real world. Followed by the Introduction, there is an essay about “ABK.” Michael states what “ABK” stands for, and how it relates to magic. It was a very nice read. 

Poltergeist Coins: This is quite an interesting effect. A spectator takes out some pocket change and it is dumped inside a glass. The put their hand over the glass, and apply pressure on top of it. Suddenly, the glass starts shaking. You tell them to hold the glass still. The glass starts moving again, and might even slide across the table. You have them remove their hand, and the coins that were inside the glass are now mutilated—some coins are bent, some burned, and it’s just a plain weird image to see! 

I love the method on this one! It uses no gimmicks and no gaffs. The glass shakes and moves across the table using nothing. The magician can be across the room, and nothing is attached to the glass. It’s just plain fun, and will really fool the socks of your audience! The coins being bent inside the glass is a great additi on to the effect, and further proves what is happening. Michael has a GREAT convincer, and it really sells the effect. That convincer/subtly is worth the price of the e-book alone, and can be used in other effects as well. I highly enjoyed this, and can’t wait to start using it. 

Un-Dead Head: This is an interesting effect. A head of a doll is covered by a handkerchief. The head then moves around the room underneath the handkerchief. Finally, when the head rests back on the table top, you whisk the handkerchief away, and there is absolutely nothing to be found. 

This is another great effect and method, but probably not something I will use. It’s just not my style. It’s basically a very clever way of doing the Zombie Ball. You will need to take a trip, but the item being bought is easy to find and inexpensive. The really nice thing about this is that right after you take the handkerchief away; there is nothing to be seen. The doll head is not attached to anything, and there is nothing inside the handkerchief. It’s very clean, and way cool. Another nice point is that this doesn’t have to be done with a creepy looking doll head. The principle can be applied to many other effects. I might try this out using some type of ball. 

Silver Lining: A spectator freely selects a number. The foil from a gum wrapper is placed inside the spectator9s closed fist. She feels a weird energy form around her hand, and when she opens her hand the wrinkles in the foil have formed the number she freely chose. 

This is by far my favorite item in the e-book. It’s great. There is no force of the number, and no math has to be done to arrive at the selected number. It’s a great concept, and it’s credited to Matthew Mello. You do need to make a gimmick, and you will need to take a trip to a different store. The materials needed for this are not hard to find, and are pretty cheap. It will take some time and effort, but it will be worth it in the end. The gum wrapper used is ungimmicked. This is one of those gems that come around once in a while. I hate to say it again, but this effect is worth of the e-book alone. There is a reason Michael closes his close-up sets with this. It’s great, there’s nothing more to say. 

Nightlife Aces: Two red aces are placed inside the deck facing up. The two black aces are put face up on the top and bottom of the deck. Magically, the red aces are now on top and bottom, and the black aces are in the middle. Again, the aces switch places inside the pack. All four aces are put inside the pack, and you ask your spectator where the aces are. They say there inside the middle of the deck. You say wrong, and spread the deck and show no aces are there. Immediately, the aces appear in four d ifferent pockets. 

Here’s another nice take on the classic Cavorting Aces. This is one of the first tricks I learned when I was learning the move necessary for the trick. It’s very nice. I always felt as this little trick never had an ending, and finally Michael Paul added a great one. Unlike the original this does use some gimmicks. The gimmicks can be made yourself or picked up for cheap at your local magic store. The routine does use some sleight of hand, and probably isn’t suitable for the beginning magician. The moves are common, and require lots of practice to make sure they look right. The four ace vanish ending is super easy to do, and is virtually self-working. No one should have trouble doing this part. Your hands can then be shown empty, and produce the aces in four different pockets. It’s a great routine, and I’ve been having fun playing with it. This is my second favorite in the e-book. 

Next we move into ACAAN, or “Any Card at Any Number.” Michael has some unique approaches to the plot. This could’ve been sold as a separate e-book itself. 

“Attacking ACAAN” starts off with an elegant cover page, and moves directly into an introduction. The next section is an overview of the content that is coming up. Michael talks about the moves and sleights needed, and that each version has its own pros and cons. 

Psychometry Card: A spectator is as ked to touch the back of any face down card. The card that is touched is slid onto the table top, allowing nobody to see what card is selected. The spectator then names any number, no force. The magician counts down to that number, and removes the face down card. When both cards are revealed, there are shown to be matches! For example, both cards are red fives! 

This is a very interesting method, and is not recommended for the beginner. I am working on something that is needed for this routine right now, and it will take weeks more for me to get it down correctly. If you already have this versatile thing in your arsenal, you’re pretty much ready to perform. There are a few other basic sleights required, but most card magicians should be able to do them smoothly. There is absolutely no force in the card selected, and no force in the number selected. I really like this approach, as it’s not just name a card and name a number. I really like the idea of two matching cards being found. Another big plus in this handling is that the spectator gets to choose both cards freely. A con in this handling is that the spectator doesn’t name a card, but touches one. I don’t really think it takes too much away from the effect, but some people will disagree. I really like this, and will start practicing it right after I get the main technique down. 

T minus 1: A deck of cards is held in the palms of a spectator. Another spectator names any card in the deck. A final spectator names any number from 1 to 52. The cards are removed from the box by the spectator and are counted down to the selected number. The card at the selected number is the card freely chosen by one of the other spectators. 

Although this handling is very direct, it’s my least favorite. Let’s just say you’re going to be needing a little help from a friend. Though this can be very strong, I usually perform when I have no one present, and there are random people. This won’t work for me, but if it works for you, you’ll have a great piece of magic on your hands. 


You ask one spectator to name any card. You ask another spectator to name any number. You state that you knew what card and number was going to be selected, and you prepared. You count down the number selected and arrive at one card. The one card is the card the spectator named! 

This is basically the same method as used as before, but the real thing being taught here is how to apply ACAAN to be an opener. Michael briefly describes the method, and then gives a detailed response on how this can be an opener. Michael really thought everything through on this presentation. There’s not too much more to say here, but this is very good. 

Almost ACAAN: A spectator is allow ed to right the name of any card on the back of your business card. You do not see what they right down. To make sure you don’t see what they wrote, they place the business card inside a wallet. You try to pick up what the selected card is, but instead you pick up a number. The number might signify something. You count down in the deck to the number, and that is the card the spectator wrote down. 

This is not ACAAN, but is very similar. This again uses something that I am working on. You also might need to take a trip to your local magic store, and pick something up. This something ranges in prices. The handling is also very direct, and I like it. Although, I have seen very similar handlings before. There is no force in the card selected. The major con in this handling is that you say the number. The number is not chosen by the spectator. A pro in this version is that the spectators do not tell you the card they names. I think the pro and the con balance out. It’s a very good handling, but I don’t have the necessary equipment to perform this. Once I work on the other great items in this e-book, I might pick up what I need. 

Michael now touches on another method for ACAAN. I’m not going to explain what it is, but it has been used before. What Michael has added are some nice touches and ideas. There are some pros and cons in this method as well. It was a nice bonus to the e-book, but I will most likely stick with other handlings. 

Michael then explains his final thoughts on ACAAN, and how he likes to perform it. I agree with his ideas, but I have a feeling many won’t. It was a nice section that will enhance some of the ACAAN out there. 

The Teaching: Michael is a great writer, and everything is taught very thoroughly. I didn’t have any questions by the time I finished reading the whole e-book. Michael includes photographs and short video clips inside the e-book to help teach the effect. It was a great addition, and I really like the idea of putting video files inside the e-book. You shouldn’t have a problem understanding every effect and method presented inside this e-book. 

The Production: The production of this e-book was put together solidly. The photographs looked nice, and were high quality. There were no grammar or spelling mistakes that I was able to find. Each effect in the first half of the e-book had its own little picture, which made it look nice. The second half, Attacking ACAAN, looked very elegant and nice. This 41 page e-book is great. 

Overall: I really enjoyed this e-book. I admit, I didn’t pay for this. Michael gave this to me for review. I would have bought it though, as the material in here is great. There were some things that I didn’t like and weren’t my style, but t hey were nothing compared to the great things that I will use from the e-book. Overall, I rate this 9.5/10

Jeff Prace

Barely Chewed Reviewed by Jeff Prace

Posted by DerekMerdinyan on February 19th, 2009

Reading? Overrated! Download the review for later or listen to it below! If you have a product you want to talk about, tell us about it. Here’s how.

icon for podpress  Barely Chewed [3:36m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


The Official Spam:

Chastain Criswell, the creator of one of the biggest hits in magic, TAG, brings you BARELY CHEWED! An easy and stunning gum magic routine.


The magician takes out a pack of gum that contains only one stick. He then offers to share. The magician then removes the stick of gum from the pack and starts to unwrap it. The stick of gum vanishes from the wrapper and appears in the magician’s mouth.

Once the gum has been chewed for a few seconds, the magician then removes the gum from his mouth and places it into the empty wrapper. The magician then offers to share the BARELY CHEWED piece of gum.

Remembering his manners, he realizes that he can’t offer BARELY CHEWED gum to his spectators, and with a wave of a hand the chewed gum and crumbled up wrapper are now wrapped again and appear brand new, and BARELY CHEWED. The wrapped gum and package are then handed out for FULL INSPECTION.

“Chastain Criswell spits out another winner!” — Aaron Smith

The Basic Effect:

You ask your audience if they would like to share a piece of gum with you. You say because you’re a magician, you share a little bit differently. You take out your pack of gum, and notice there is only one stick left. You open it up, and there is no piece of gum inside. Your audience looks up, and the magician is chewing a piece of gum; the piece of gum that was supposed to be inside the wrapper! You spit the gum back inside the wrapper and crumple it into a ball. Obviously, nobody wants to share that. So with a rub of your hand, you instantly cause the balled piece of chewed gum to turn into a brand new, wrapped stick! You take that new piece of gum and reinsert it back inside the pack. You hand to this to a spectator, saying it’s only been BARELY CHEWED!

The Setup:

The setup for this effect is very simple, and very quick. It shouldn’t take any more than a minute. Every time you perform this effect, you will have to make a new gimmick. You will go through more than one stick of gum for each gimmick you make. Luckily, you can get large packs of gum for very cheap.

The Performance:

While this is not difficult, it will take some practice. You must practice the core moves, and then the timing. The timing of this piece is a key point in making the effect look good. Bad timing will lead to a bad performance. You also must make this look natural, as many of the moves require the audience looking directly at your hands. If you don’t perform those moves smoothly, the audience will not be impressed, as they will know how the effect works. Chastain Criswell makes this look easy, but practice IS required, as it is for most effects.

Production Quality:

The production quality for this DVD is not bad. Let’s start with the DVD case. The DVD case art looks great. I’m proud to have this in my collection. I do think the front side is a little busy. The back side of the DVD case is basically the description of the effect. The DVD is filmed by James Coats using two cameras. Neither camera zooms in or out, and both cameras stay stationary for the whole DVD. I have found at some points on the DVD I would’ve liked to see something over again or closer up. Some points were hard to grasp. The DVD menu is very basic, and reminds me greatly of one that you can find on the most basic video editing software. The DVD menu had all the necessary choices, which is a big plus. While it could’ve been much better, the production quality wasn’t terrible.

The Teaching:

The teaching on this DVD is enough, but some of it seemed a little rushed. I think Chastain could’ve explained some parts better, and he could’ve reiterated some important points. I had to rewind through some points to better get a hold of the concept. Chastain goes pretty fast, and doesn’t explain some parts of the effect. The whole DVD was around 14 minutes long, and a few of those minutes were performances. I would’ve liked to have more clear instruction.


Chastain includes a bonus effect on this DVD. It’s called Flash Back Pack. Basically, a pack of Big Red gum is shown. A piece of the gum is given out to an audience member. You then say you prefer Juicy Fruit, and instantly you are holding a pack of Juicy Fruit. You can then immediately hand pieces of Juicy Fruit gum to your audience.

This is a very basic effect, and uses a very basic gimmick. Chastain has basically took a concept used many times in magic before, and applied it to gum. I am not sure how original this really is, as it’s very basic, but Chastain’s convincers really sell this effect.

On all of the live performances the audience didn’t react all that well to the effect. I don’t know why; it might’ve been because the audience didn’t understand the effect.

It’s not terrible, and is a nice bonus.


I recommend this DVD for the effect, Barely Chewed. While the production quality wasn’t terrific, nor was the teaching, the basic effect is a great idea and a wonderful effect. This retails for around $10, and for that price I highly recommend this DVD. I rate it a 7.5/10.

Jeff Prace

Scan Tastic Reviewed by Derek Merdinyan

Posted by DerekMerdinyan on December 12th, 2008

If you have a product you want to talk about, tell us about it. Here’s how.

If you are a magic dealer and are interested in carrying this product, you can contact Murphy’s Magic Supplies at 916 853 9292 or visit them on the web at

Spin Doctor Reviewed by Derek Merdinyan

Posted by DerekMerdinyan on December 8th, 2008

If you have a product you want to talk about, tell us about it. Here’s how.

Interested in picking up this product for yourself? Head over to

VanishInk Reviewed by Derek Merdinyan

Posted by DerekMerdinyan on November 22nd, 2008

If you have a product you want to talk about, tell us about it. Here’s how.

If you are a magic dealer and are interested in carrying this product, you can contact Murphy’s Magic Supplies at 916 853 9292 or visit them on the web at

VanishInk Reviewed by Mark Tirone

Posted by DerekMerdinyan on November 21st, 2008

If you have a product you want to talk about, tell us about it. Here’s how.

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.

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

If you have a product you want to talk about, tell us about it. Here’s how.


If you are a magic dealer and are interested in carrying this product, you can contact Murphy’s Magic Supplies at 916 853 9292 or visit them on the web at

Director’s Cut – Reviewed by Derek Merdinyan

Posted by DerekMerdinyan on October 24th, 2008

If you have a product you want to talk about, tell us about it. Here’s how.

If you are a magic dealer and are interested in carrying this product, you can contact Murphy’s Magic Supplies at 916 853 9292 or visit them on the web at

Millionaire Reviewed by Derek Merdinyan

Posted by DerekMerdinyan on October 10th, 2008

Reading? Overrated! Download the review for later or listen to it below! If you have a product you want to talk about, tell us about it. Here’s how.

icon for podpress  Millionaire Reviewed by Derek Merdinyan [2:41m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Highlights from the Podcast Review:
- Peter Eggink’s Millionaire is a visual bill transformation that happens in the spectator’s hands.
- You are supplied with gimmicks and several fake bills for practicing the effect
- Instruction on the DVD covers the main points and gets you on your way to productive practice sessions
- I haven’t seen a bill change like Millionaire before. The effect manages to set itself away from other bill changes, not by the fact that the change happens in their hand, but that the change that takes place in their hands is a visual one.

If you are a magic dealer and are interested in carrying this product, you can contact Murphy’s Magic Supplies at 916 853 9292 or visit them on the web at

Pandora’s Box Reviewed by Derek Merdinyan

Posted by DerekMerdinyan on October 8th, 2008

Reading? Overrated! Download the review for later or listen to it below! If you have a product you want to talk about, tell us about it. Here’s how.

icon for podpress  Pandoras Box Reviewed by Derek Merdinyan [2:44m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


<strong>Highlights from the Podcast Review:</strong>
- Making and installing the gimmick is fairly easy and shouldn’t take more than a minute or two
- DVD comes with enough supplies to gimmick two boxes. Additional gimmick supplies shouldn’t be hard to find.
- The effect has real world potential
- You can fit the whole deck of cards inside the case, even when the gimmick is in place.
- You have TONS of flexibility to make customized effects with this gimmicked setup
- The effects are quite easy to do.
- Also taught on the DVD is a two-ring transposition that is made insanely easy for how clean it looks thanks to the workings of the Pandora’s Box set up. It was a personal highlight on the DVD.

If you are a magic dealer and are interested in carrying this product, you can contact Murphy’s Magic Supplies at 916 853 9292 or visit them on the web at

Mind Scanner Reviewed by Derek Merdinyan

Posted by DerekMerdinyan on October 5th, 2008

Reading? Overrated! Download the review for later or listen to it below! If you have a product you want to talk about, tell us about it. Here’s how.

icon for podpress  Mind Scanner Reviewed by Derek Merdinyan [2:42m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Highlights from the Podcast Review:
- Comes with forcing deck and clever Mindscanner device
- Mindscanner device can display up to three different revelations (which is great if you want/need to repeat w/out programming the device).
- Programming the Mindscanner sucks, but once you’ve got your messages in, you’re good to go.
- This effect is great for magicians that like customizing effects to suit them. You can reveal what you want and have all the flexibility you could want for choreographing the routine.
- Packs small and can play big!

If you are a magic dealer and are interested in carrying this product, you can contact Murphy’s Magic Supplies at 916 853 9292 or visit them on the web at

Night and Day Reviewed by Derek Merdinyan

Posted by DerekMerdinyan on September 30th, 2008

Reading? Overrated! Download the review for later or listen to it below! If you have a product you want to talk about, tell us about it. Here’s how.

icon for podpress  Night and Day - Reviewed by Derek Merdinyan [2:15m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


You know that feeling when you’re on an roller coaster and you reach the top. You look over the edge, you hold your breath and clench your chest. That’s the feeling I got when I saw Alan Rorrison’s ‘Dark as Night’ effect on the ‘Night and Day’ DVD. Rorrison created a beautiful, surreal magical moment. Very cleanly, I saw Rorrison balance a coin on his finger tip and slowly rub it against the bottom of a clear drink glass. A moment later, he moved his hand away and tilted the glass back and forth – the coin slid around as if it were swimming through the solid base of the glass. That was the moment of anticipation, when he moved his finger out from under the coin and I could see it apparently rising up through the glass; the release, the moment of going over the crest of the roller coaster came when he shook the glass and the coin was bouncing around inside, trapped within by his other hand covering the mouth of the glass.

‘Clear as Day’ is almost equally as stunning. If you’ve seen Mariano Goni’s Melting Point, you have a good idea of what this coin through glass table top looks like. I prefer Goni’s effect, but ‘Clear as Day’ uses less gimmicks.

Both effects have very workable angle constrictions. ‘Dark as Night’ is a little more prone to bad angles, but you are taught several ways to minimize them. Overall, the two effects (and accompanying bonus effects) are taught in great detail and will have you well on your way to some productive practice secessions.

Whether you’re looking for a practical and visually stunning ‘through glass’ effect for your performing repertoire or when you’re out on a social engagement, I’m going to recommend you check out Night and Day.

If you are a magic dealer and are interested in carrying this product, you can contact Murphy’s Magic Supplies at 916 853 9292 or visit them on the web at