TAC-TIC-AL – A Review

The MagicWorld Creative Team has introduced an effect perfect as an opener or an ice breaker. Either a miniature deck of cards -or- a box of Tic Tack mints can be displayed.. and with a toss from one hand to the other, transformed into a full sized deck of cards.

The change is sudden.. and there are no wires, pulls, reels or lapping used to complete the transformation. The item is displayed in one hand, and with a simple toss to the other hand, changes into the Bicycles. The magic happens before the spectator has time to realize you’re about to fool them badly…

I like the idea of using TAC-TIC-AL as an opener because of its sudden action. It’s easy to gage from the response whether you’re in the presence of friends or foes. Lets face it.. not every spectator responds positively to your performance or your offer to perform. TAC-TIC-AL allows you to determine with a glance whether you should continue or politely move on. This in itself makes it a valuable tool in your arsenal.

TAC-TIC-AL uses a gimmick, supplied, that makes the magic possible. Actually, two gimmicks are supplied.. based on whether you want to transform the mints or the miniature deck. You will need to furnish your own deck of red or blue Bicycles, which shouldn’t be a problem. You will also need a small amount of invisible thread, furnished, to make the gimmick functional. The thread is NOT attached to your body, but is only needed in a completely self-working fashion, explained in the video. I’m not a big fan of thread in my performances.. but the use of thread in this performance is both innocuous and innocent.

The teaching method is via video.. and the link and password are supplied. The video runs about 21 minutes and is posted online. There’s nothing to download.. which is a pet peeve of mine when I DO have to download an instructional video. The sound and lighting are both very functional. There are windows behind the team and, as they are recording at night, car lights are an annoyance.. but not to the point where it would affect my ability to learn. There are also two different camera angles, which add a nice variety.

You are taught several different variations of TAC-TIC-AL. There are different ways of ‘tossing’ the deck to complete the transformation. Once the basic initial setup is complete, which should take a couple of minutes, you are good to go. I can see the typical beginner learning all the necessary handling in minutes. Although it’s not actually self-working, it’s very close, with a minimum of effort on your part.

My only problem with TAC-TIC-AL is, like many transformations, it’s angle sensitive. It’s not something you’re going to perform for a room full of people.. although there is an alternative handling that ‘almost’ takes care of this shortcoming. The angle isn’t a big problem because the spectator doesn’t know what’s coming. You can approach a spectator, or three, and ‘tacticalize’ them before they have time to ‘analyze’ you.

If you’re into close up, walk around and table hopping I would recommend TAC-TIC-AL. It’s a great little ice breaker that garners your spectators immediate attention and opens the door for your other effects. Again, it’s one of many tools that working magicians should carry in their toolbox.

Available at all magic retailers that carry the Murphy’s Magic line of products..  $29.95
(Available with Red or Blue Bicycle backs)

www.murphysmagic.com/product.aspx?id=59248

(Review by Rick Carruth)

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Cody Fisher’s LAS VEGAS ACES .. A Review

Cody Fisher’s Las Vegas Aces is a very nice turn on Larry Jennings Open Travelers. Aces are there one moment, disappear, and reappear in the other hand. It’s one of the basics of magic; “Now you see it… now you don’t”.

Like many effects, the necessary items to make the magic necessary are supplied by Murphy’s Magic, and the instructions are online. Cody teaches the effect in a 17+ minute video.. well produced, clear, and visual. Although the video could have been slightly longer, I don’t think anything was amiss, as Cody taught the handling and then the explanation in a very straight forward manner.

Both the original version and Cody’s version begin with the four Aces being selected from the deck. Unlike the original, Cody provides a gaff to make the handling more user friendly. Both versions have Aces separated by color.. and Aces ‘travel’ from one stack to the other under visually impossible conditions. Two cards and two cards turn to three cards and one card.. and finally one card is placed back in the deck and somehow travels to the stack of three.. reuniting the four Aces. Although the routine is somewhat more complex and entertaining, that’s the basic premise.

Cody’s version is constructed around the idea that you are going to show the spectator how to cheat, or how cheaters cheat in Vegas. It’s all entertainment, but it works in context and flows along at a smooth enough rate to keep the spectator for deconstructing your handling.

To quote Murphy’s: ” What was once a very sleight intensive routine is now almost self-working. There is no difficult sleight of hand or secret palming.”

Honestly… although I have NO qualms whatsoever with Las Vegas Aces, I wouldn’t go quite as far as saying it’s ‘almost self-working’. The gaff makes it infinitely easier than Larry’s original version.. but.. it still requires practice to get the handling and timing down pat. Remember, you’re using five cards instead of four and maintaining invisible doubles isn’t automatic. I’m not implying anyone says it is… I’m only implying that practice and good timing make this work.

There is no doubt in my mind that, with a little practice, you will have an extremely nice piece of magic ideal for walk-around and close-up situations. Cody supplies you with two gimmicks.. one for blue back and one for red back riders. Since you only need one card, bringing it into play is simple with the method taught. You can get it in to any deck at a moments notice.. and out just as quickly. The final move of Cody’s routine eliminates the gaff and leaves the four Aces on the table, examinable by all. Nice….

This is the perfect effect for a beginner to intermediate level magician who wants to ‘appear’ to be a card sharp. Let’s face it.. not all of us will perform like Bill Malone or Ricky Jay, but we can, with the help of a single gimmick, make our spectator think we’re an elite performer. Since a number of magicians are familiar with the original version, you’ll certainly impress more than a few of your magic friends with Las Vegas Aces..

LAS VEGAS ACES is available from dealers who sell the Murphy’s Magic line of quality products. $24.95

http://www.murphysmagic.com/Product.aspx?id=55319

(Review by Rick Carruth)

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