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Author: Rick Carruth

SOLE SNATCHER – by Joel Dickinson & Joe Givan – A Review

SOLE SNATCHER – by Joel Dickinson & Joe Givan – A Review

SOLE SNATCHER – by Joel Dickinson & Joe Givan – A Review
(Gimmicks and Online Instructions)

This is the Ad Copy:

Trainers & Shoe’s

A miracle at your finger tips that starts at your toes.

A routine that lives up to the ‘no pocket space required’ hype — with NO damage or permanent

alternation to your shoe needed!

Sole Snatcher is the ultimate signed card to shoe yet so much more.

Reappear signed bank notes, business cards, playing

cards, paper or cardboard in your shoe.

An amazing tool to add to your repertoire.

Yet still, it’s even more than that.. imagine vanishing a signed banknote and you explain it’s in your shoe, you remove your shoe and monopoly money appears inside, then, when you remove it, it instantly changes at your finger tips in to their signed bank note.

Sole Snatcher is limited to your imagination.
It’s also ideal for predictions and billets.
Suitable for close up, strolling, cabaret and parlour.

Joel Dickinson goes all out and shares his secrets that take the card to shoe plot further than it’s ever been!

You receive everything required to perform Sole Snatcher. Including a HD tutorial video with various handlings & countless ideas to get you performing this miracle. Also included is a performance breakdown of card to shoe.

Sole Snatcher is interchangeable, you can add and remove your cards/paper super quick!

You also receive FISM Close up Champion, Joe Givan’s lecture note section with his amazing variation of Card to Shoe.

My Thoughts:

Joel Dickinson, creator of Sole Snatcher, has been a very busy guy for a number of years. He’s created a number of very popular effects, like Foreseen, Bulldog, The Trix, Volition.. and written best selling books like Head Tricks and Tricking The Brain. You can’t argue with success.

With Sole Snatcher, Joel has created a utility that makes it appear as if a signed card, inserted in a deck, suddenly falls out of the performer’s shoe.
I don’t have to tell you how visual this can be. It borders on the impossible.. but as magicians.. we also know the impossible isn’t all its made out to be. Joel makes this particularly impossible trick… possible.

Sole Snatcher is a gimmick. It comes in an envelope and you can create your own gimmick/utility in a few minutes. Everyone knows I dislike DIY, but this is simple DIY.. and I’m not going to hold it against Sole Snatcher. All you should need to create the gimmick, aside from what’s provided, is a little glue or double stick tape.

If you watch the performance video, you’ll see the magi get a card signed, apparently insert it into the center of the deck, and after a bit of conversation, drop the entire deck into his jacket pocket. Another bit of conversation.. and the magi tells the spectator his card has vanished from the pocket. To prove his point, he gestures to his shoe, removes his shoe, shows the inside of the shoe to the spectator just as a folded card drops from the inside/toe of the shoe to the inside/heel of the shoe. The magi dumps the card into his free hand, unfolds it, and shows it to be the signed card.

The performance is filmed straight on, for the viewer, and isn’t an actual live performance.. Although live performances are always a plus, nothing is lost in filming Sole Snatcher this way. I want to say this because I’m going to say something that I probably shouldn’t.. but I feel I have to say it to be fair to everyone. Sole Snatcher is a great idea, for sure, but it does not do ALL the dirty work for you. You are responsible for getting the card out of the deck and into a state to make it appear as if you produced it from your shoe. There is an additional method to make this more simple, but the basic control is a necessity. Enough said…

If course, there are many things you can produce with Sole Snatcher.. cards, bank notes, business cards and billetts.. among other items. Anything small enough to fit inside a shoe, along with your foot, can be produced at a moments notice.

Pros: Startling production. Can produce any number of different items. Can be used in a variety of different settings. Additional six minute video and PDF with info not included in the main tutorial.

Cons: Must walk around with the gimmick in your shoe. Not sure if this is a forty dollar effect. ( Definitely worth it -if- you use it regularly ). Designed for shoes with laces, not loafer type shoes, although I’m sure there’s a work-around.

The tutorial is a HD online tutorial that runs almost 30 minutes. The quality is very good and you’ll be comfortable watching and learning Sole Snatcher. If you enjoy this type of magical production, you will get a great deal of satisfaction from Joel’s latest creation.

$39.95 .. From Murphy’s Magic and their Associates

https://www.murphysmagic.com/product.aspx?id=71279

Review by Rick Carruth for Murphy’s Magic & The Magic Roadshow

spRING – by Joonas Mengel – A Review

spRING – by Joonas Mengel – A Review

spRING – by Joonas Mengel – A Review
Props and Online Instructions

This is the Ad Copy..

spRing is a long-forgotten puzzle that’s been reworked into one of the most classic and iconic plots in magic – the linking rings.

Imagine being able to effortlessly melt a solid ring into the very coils of a tightly wound spring with a visually pleasing and buttery smooth penetration that’s done without any help of the methods typically seen in the traditional linking rings.

In fact, there is nothing to ditch or hide, and you can hand out spRing immediately before, after, and even during your performance if you so choose.

spRing is incredibly easy to perform – it will take you minutes to understand the secret and only hours to master. It’s also suitable for any type of performance and venue.

Here’s what you get:
2 high quality props
45 minutes of expert instruction that includes a multi-phase routine and many alternative handlings to craft a performance suited for you.
Peace of mind of knowing that you’ll never have to hide any gaps or extra rings.
spRing has not been made for everyday carry in mind but this is something you’ll want to carry every day!

My Thoughts:

You have to love old things made new, and the nostalgia that comes with it. I remember playing with a ‘ring on a spring’ when I was in single digits. Now, Murphy’s Magic, creator Joonas Mengel, and presenter Javier Fuenmayor have reintroduced the Ring on a Spring with a little more sophistication and handling.

The premise is… a solid metal ring, approx. 3 1/2 inches, is handed out for inspection. A solid metal spring is also shown and inspected. With little fanfare, the magician links the ring onto the spring, appearing as if he melted the ring onto the spring. He then hands the ring and spring, still linked, out to the spectators for examination.

Although the basic method is super simple, the creators have gone to the extra effort of creating a tutorial, complete with three different full performances, to demonstrate the nuances needed to make this seem to be more of a ‘linking’, as in linking rings, than a puzzle. The extra effort makes this something you can perform close up and during walk arounds. It becomes an effect.

I’m slightly torn because I like quick and easy effects that actually fool a spectator.. but.. You’re going to need to pick your audience carefully. I’m afraid the ring on a spring may be available at too many online locations and you’re going to encounter a lot of folks that are familiar with it. I suggest simply asking a spectator.. ” Are you familiar with the ring on a spring effect?”… and if they say ‘No’.. go for it. If they say ‘Yes’, change course.

If you present it as a linking effect, you may avoid the puzzle crowd altogether. I think that’s the strength of spRing, and that’s the point they teach in the tutorial. They have repurposed a classic puzzle into a new effect.

For the price.. you are paying for two quality props, and primarily, the almost one hour online tutorial. The props can be bought for a few dollars at varying places online, but all you’ll receive is perhaps a minute and a half of instructions. So… decide what the additional instructions are worth to your performance.

I know some of you would like a firm recommendation.. or rebuke.. but you’re not getting that today. Like so many other effects, your satisfaction will depend on whether you USE spRing.. or toss it in your ‘magic’ drawer. If you take time to develop your moves and patter.. it has plenty of potential in the hands of a dedicated magician. If you aren’t willing to give the time to spRing, you’re better off moving along.

spRing, although very simple, isn’t going to do all the work for you in the real world. Our audience is way more sophisticated than audiences forty years ago.. and you have to provide a well-polished effect.

Pros: Nice props. Much larger than normal spring and ring. Easy to learn. Fully examinable. All the dirty work performed under the spectator’s nose and nothing to ditch or conceal.

Cons: The only statement I disagree with in the ad copy is.. “spRing is a long-forgotten puzzle..” Considering the number of video tutorials I found on a certain online video platform.. I don’t think it’s long forgotten. Some spectators will be familiar with this effect beforehand. Price tag.. I’m starting to get comfortable with thirty dollar price tags on magic products.. and I’m guessing that’s the whole point.

This effect can be performed by any skill level magician. You’ll be performing spRing’s basic handling in ten minutes. The Video and sound quality are typical Murphy’s Magic, nothing negative to write about, and you can either watch the tutorial online or download it. Either way, you’ll have no trouble learning this easy-to-perform effect.

$29.95 .. From Murphy’s Magic and their Associates

https://www.murphysmagic.com/product.aspx?id=71077

Review by Rick Carruth for Murphy’s Magic & The Magic Roadshow

Forecast – by Craig Petty & The 1914 – A Review

Forecast – by Craig Petty & The 1914 – A Review

Forecast – by Craig Petty and the 1914 – A Review
Gimmicks and Online Instructions
(Forecast is available to ship May 9, 2022)

This is the Ad Copy:

What do the world’s top 1% of card magicians and mentalists have in common?

They have INSTANT recall of the position of ANY card in a memorized deck!

And now you can, too.

With a focus on prediction effects, master magician Craig Petty has taken an underused principle in card magic and created a monster masterclass demonstrating just how ridiculously powerful a memorized deck can be.

Imagine instantly telling a spectator EXACTLY how many cards they fairly cut from a deck.

Imagine PREDICTING the amount of cards a spectator will cut before they even do it.

Imagine performing the world’s CLEANEST Card at Any Number routine.

You will learn all of these effects and so many more.

But there’s a catch.

Memorizing a deck of cards is laborious and time consuming. It’s why so few magicians ever make the top 1% and why so many performers quit trying.

However, Craig Petty’s unique approach to learning a mem-deck will DRASTICALLY improve your progress and significantly slash the time required to learn one.

Memorizing the order of a deck of playing cards allows you to perform card miracles that appear TRULY impossible, even to other magicians. If you’re looking for magician foolers, this project is bursting with them!

Are you ready to join the 1%?

My Thoughts:

Many of you have watched Craig and his son, Ryland, toast and roast the magic community with their Youtube reviews. Many of you have also bought effects created by Craig.. like Key Master and Chop… or bought his lectures from Murphy’s Magic or Penguin. Actually, you can barely peruse anything MAGIC these days without encountering something not related to Craig. I know.. that’s a very broad statement.. but lets say it certainly feels that way.

Aside from being a highly skilled performer and motivator, Craig has talents that make watching his reviews and tutorials a pleasure. He has a natural gift of gab and the ability to take a simple effect and turn it into a showpiece. It’s not like I’m jealous.. but…

FORECAST is a masterclass. Maybe he doesn’t call it a masterclass.. but it is.. It’s an in-depth teaching tutorial on memorized decks… or as it’s commonly referred to – the mem deck. It features 9 different routines; 3 self working, 3 depend on a crib card, and 3 routines depending on a memorized stack.

According to Craig, only 1% of the magic community have devoted the time needed to memorize a whole deck.. whether it be Juan Tamariz’s Mnemonica stack, Simon Aronson’s stack, or one of their own creation.

** I am going to publish Craig’s table of contents throughout my review, which includes a brief description and the length
——–
Introduction
Craig Petty introduces Forecast. 10:18

What is a Mem Deck?
What a mem deck is and why magicians use them. 8:14

How to Memorise a Deck
A pragmatic method for learning the positions of every card in a stacked deck. 17:41
——–

FORECAST is recorded in 16 sections.. and each section is individually downloadable. I like this idea, particularly considering the length of Forecast. Did I mention all 16 tutorials are roughly 4 hours and 45 minutes? When you purchase Forecast, THAT’s what you’re purchasing. You do get two crib cards, Bicycle Jokers, included… one with the Mnemonica stack on the back and one with the numbers 1-52 and space for you to fill in any other stack you may use.

None of the effects are dependent on the Mnemonica stack, and you can use the Aronson stack, Shadow Stack, Redford Stack or others. You are encouraged to use Mnemonica, and Craig gives his reasons, but you don’t have to do so..

According to Craig.. a lot of stack trainers don’t work in the long run. His method is designed to be learned thoroughly in two weeks and in small batches of five cards at a time. Incremental steps. This is taught in the third section of the video… You are not rushed to learn a stack, as two thirds of the taught effects do not require memorization. Two days of ‘study’ will NOT commit the Mnemonica stack to long-term memory. You may learn the position of a number of cards, but if you do not use the stack for a couple of weeks, it’s gone.

——–
False Cuts and Shuffles
Learn how to appear to mix cards while secretly maintaining their order. 13:05
——–

Simple, basic false shuffles or cuts are both taught and used throughout the tutorials. Table false cuts are an easy favorite.. and one of my personal favorites is a very convincing faro false shuffle… Remember, unlike Si Stebbins, you cannot cut a stacked deck, as the process is dependent on you knowing the location of each card in the deck.. not its position in relation to other cards.
Audiences do not ‘assume’ you can memorize a full deck of cards.
One of the false shuffles is a very convincing faro false shuffle…
________

Card at Any Number
A freely chosen card and number are found to match the card and position in another deck. 19:58
________

Card At Any Number. Uses two decks. Self-working. One deck is ‘prepared’.. and a second deck has a number from 1 to 52 written on each card. A spectator selects two cards from the numbered deck.. selects which card they want to represent the value and which to represent the location… and the card is found at that exact location in the other deck.
Similar in ways to Joseph B’s ZACAAN but not quite as restrictive. ZACAAN told you the numbers to write on each card, while Craig’s ACAAN allows you to use your own selections and create a crib card accordingly. I was a big fan of the Joseph B effect.. so it’s safe to assume I REALLY like Craig’s method.
________

Envelope of Mystery
Every decision the spectator makes is predicted in the envelope of mystery. 18:55
________

Envelope of Mystery. Another effect that does not require you to know a stack. It does require the cards to be in a stack.. or at least the top five cards. Craig has the magical ability to take fairly simple effects and make them seem fresh and original. With Envelope of Mystery, he takes Paul Curry’s Swindle Switch and a cross cut’s force.. and works it into a very rewarding effect that’s all but guaranteed to fool your spectators.
________

Number Mates
A four-of-a-kind miracle where the spectator does all of the work. 16:57
________

Number Mates. A spectator thinks of a number, and after a little by-play, selects a card at random containing four written numbers. In time, the four numbers reveal the location in a second deck of the spectator’s selection, plus its three mates. Like the other effects, it does require a stack.. but doesn’t require you to know the stack. All the ‘hard stuff’ is accomplished beforehand..
________

Storm Force Berglas
Another, very clever take on the card at any number plot. 24:37
________

Storm Force Berglas. Based on Storm Force 7 by Martin Sanderson, but converted to an ACAAN. Will require a stacked deck, a prepared deck, and a regular deck. Although it’s more complicated than the previous effects, it’s worth the extra effort. You will need a crib card, which is included with FORECAST, but, again, you don’t need to know the stack.
________

Fifty Two Revelations
Find a spectator’s card in one of 52 fun yet seemingly impossible ways. 27:31
________

Fifty Two Revelations. You’ll need the provided crib card. a breather crimp, a mem deck, and 52 double blank cards. The blanks will be prepared with writing provided from a Forecast download. The blank deck (and its instructions written on each card) will tell you how to ‘maneuver’ through the regular deck to find your named card. This effect is somewhat better than my description! I don’t want to give away too much…Craig also teaches an Erdnase Change and a Slip Cut/12 Change to cover two out-of-the-ordinary possibilities. Craig guesses only five percent of purchasers will go to the trouble of preparing and learning this special effect, but, just as a very small percentage of magicians will actually learn the Mnemonica Stack, those that take the time to set this effect up are winners…
________

Snapshot
A multi-phase routine which increases in impossibility, ending with the performer taking a mental snapshot of an entire pile of cards and successfully recalling them. 17:34
________

Snapshot. You’re to the point you either need to rely on the crib card or have your mem deck stack order down pat.. Ortiz, Close, and Malone all have variations of this effect. Nuff’ said.. The spectator’s divide the deck into three small piles, using the Joker as a cut card. After successfully predicting the bottom card of the first two piles, Craig momentarily glimpses the 8-10 cards in the third pile.. and then names every card in the packet from ‘memory’. Craig carefully demonstrates how to perform this effect using the crib card.. for those who haven’t yet memorized a stack.
-This- is probably my very favorite effect among all the effects. It’s a solid 10 out of 10..
________

Bonus
A bonus routine from Craig’s Visible project. This isn’t a card at any number, but a number at any card! 25:07
________

Bonus. This is an effect from Craig’s Visible project, and requires an invisible deck and a mem deck. It’s called Any Number At Any Card. Again, Craig’s easy manner and handling makes this effect play much bigger than, say,.. if I were performing it. You can slip the crib card under your cellophane.. if you’re not yet confident with your stack. A spectator deals down to an unknown (to you) card and remembers that card and its number in the deck. You find their card in a second pack.. because the number of the card’s location in the first pack is written on the back.
________

Card College
An entertaining and highly impressive routine centered around how to learn card magic. 30:51
________

Card College. Based on an effect from Matt Baker’s The Buena Vista Shuffle Club. This is more of a demonstration of your ‘immense’ card talents than an effect. Forget the crib card for this one. You answer the age-old question from a spectator regarding how long it took you to learn card magic. There’s a cutting aspect that requires practice, a prediction aspect, and a ‘weighing’ the deck aspect that’s very similar to the cutting. This is a reputation-maker.. and it doesn’t come cheap.

________

Card Box Prediction
The performer places a card in a card box and the spectator does the same. This is repeated four times. Despite the performer always placing their card in first, the spectator always finds the matching coloured mate. 15:37
________

Card Box Prediction. The magi predicts every action of the spectator. He uses a Providence side-loading box for ease of loading. This is basically a one-ahead effect with some slick, but not complicated, handling. Definitely one of the easier effects.. but you do need to know your mem deck.
________

Invisible Memory
A version of the classic Invisible Deck trick without the need for a gimmicked Invisible Deck. 21:09
________

Invisible Memory. Another invisible deck effect with an additional mem deck. Craig finds the spectator’s named card, upside down, at a specific location in the mem deck.. then finds his favorite card, also upside down, in the same deck. Does use a half-pass during an all-around square-up.(Taught) I like the idea of combining the mem deck with the invisible deck, as the invisible deck is already a super strong effect.. and made that much more with the introduction of a mem deck.
________

Further Reading
Craig talks about his favourite mem deck inspirations and resources for you to explore. 9:25

Final Words
Craig offers some final words of encouragement before saying farewell. 8:37
________

Further Reading & Final Words.. Mnemonica and Aronson stack discussed. Tom Crosby’s Shadow Stack ‘Recall’. The Redford Stack.. based on Mnemonica but tied to Si Stebbins. Pete Turner’s Stack Watch. The Buena Vista Shuffle Club book. Pit Hartling’s Order To Amaze. Darwin Ortize for good measure. Michael Close’s Worker #5 and the memorized deck ebook you can get directly from his site. Rick Lax video to help memorize Mnemonica.

Craig also Thanks everyone for their help and support, particularly The 1914, and offers some final advice on the mem deck and memorizing the deck in the proper way.

The tutorials are filmed using handheld and still video with multiple cameras at multiple angles. The video is ideal for Craig’s teaching and uses a solid black background with full spotlight lighting. The sound matches the overall quality of the tutorials.
Again.. the tutorials run about 4 hours and 45 minutes.. so there’s a LOT to see… and a lot to learn.

I understand Craig’s passion. I’ve explored memorized deck effects for years.. from a distance.. and greatly admired those willing to devote the time and effort. They perform a brand of magic not achievable by us mortals. Perform ‘Snapshot’ at a club meeting and enjoy the subtle discontent you create among the mavins…

I think you should know by now whether FORECAST is for you or not.. so I’m going to call this review ‘done’.. This will be the best thirty bucks you’ll spend this year.. -if- you take time to watch and learn.

Totally Recommend to anyone, of any skill level. Being a beginner doesn’t exclude you from memorizing a deck. And being a veteran performer doesn’t mean you can’t up your performance level.

Best line of the video: “Cloe’.. have you ever helped a magician before… well… you aren’t helping one now!”

$30.00 From Murphy’s Magic and their Associates..
(Remember.. available May 9, 2022 )

https://www.murphysmagic.com/product.aspx?id=71418

Review by Rick Carruth for Murphy’s Magic & The Magic Roadshow.

ORBIT by Mark Parker & Jonathan Fox – A Review

ORBIT by Mark Parker & Jonathan Fox – A Review

ORBIT by Mark Parker & Jonathan Fox – A Review

This is the Ad Copy:

This is exactly the type of magic effect that peaked your interest and served as the gateway to the art. Why? It’s super visual, super fun and pulls people in like a magnet. Even better it’s EASY to perform allowing you to focus on the most important aspect of any effect – the performance! It also has the advantage of quick reward – which makes it perfect for street magic, strolling. It gets right to the point.

Imagine making – Mobile phones, glasses, dishes, wine glasses, credit cards, CD’s any suitable object float between your hands! Orbit is a revolutionary levitation device!

-Super Visual
-Easy to do
-One size fits all
-No threads or magnets
-Completely self-contained
-Robust and heavy duty (THIS IS NOT A TT)
-No set-up, the gimmick is always ready
-Comes with special gimmick ready to go

Please note angle considerations during performance.
Every detail is covered in a step by step online instructional video. Nothing is left out.Now go out there and blow your spectators away!
Idea for Orbit by Illusion Designer Mark Parker brought to life by Jonathan Fox and Global Magic Shop..

My Thoughts:

ORBIT is a levitation gimmick device. You can ‘levitate’ almost anything with weight.. from cell phones to packs of playing cards to glasses of wine. Thankfully, Orbit does NOT employ threads or magnets, and can be brought in and out of play with almost a moment’s notice..

There was a time twenty years ago when I performed my ‘magic’ in a public setting.. for anyone who would watch. One of my favorite devices was a suction cup attached to a thumb tip. I would attach it to a cola can and casually wait until I thought someone was watching. The can would suddenly ‘get away from me’.. and I’d try to reel it back in, indiscreetly, as if I hoped no one saw my misfortune. I’ve had literally dozens upon dozens of folks walk up to me, perplexed, and want to know how my cola can ‘appeared’ to take flight.

I loved it…

Well.. it’s been long enough that it was time for someone to bring this cool little device back for a new generation. Illusion Designer Mark Parker and Jonathan Fox with Global Magic Shop have done so.. and I’m glad.

I’m not going to tell you this is a thumb tip, because, in the traditional sense, it’s not. But it does go on the thumb.

Orbit works on the same principle as the original device. Fortunately, Orbit is adjustable to fit different size thumbs, and comes with shims to make it customizable. It is NOT latex or soft plastic.. but a very hard plastic to last a very long time. It also features ball bearings between the connection points, joining the thumb holder to the suction cup. This is a very important feature, as it allows for hand movements far outside the boundary’s of the original.

Jonathan Fox goes into considerable detail in the almost 50-minute tutorial, teaching how to properly handle the gimmick to get the proper balance and appearance to make your performance ‘magical’.

Special sections are included for attaching to playing card boxes, cell phones and wine glasses. Quick note: To attach to a card box, you need a box with the cellophane wrapper.

ORBIT comes with a heavy-duty gimmick holder for easy retrieval and ditching. The holder has a clip to attach to your pocket or belt. The holder is also close-able to simplify carrying the gimmick.

The last two sections of the tutorial include a section on maintenance and a bonus section on early prototypes and the thought processes that went into designing the new version.

Jonathan doesn’t call ORBIT a stand-alone effect, but an enhancement device to add an additional level of sophistication to your performance. Knowing me.. I’m just a step away from 2002 all over again.

There isn’t a real skill level. Even a beginner, if you watch the instructions and pay attention to your positioning, will be able to perform in short order. Obviously, you cannot perform surrounded. So a little audience management will be necessary.

As I mentioned.. the tutorial is approx. 50 minutes and you can watch it online or download it to your desktop. The quality is good, the sound is good, and you’ll have zero problems with the video.

The performance visuals are something special, and ORBIT is definitely a device you need to give serious consideration to purchasing. If the price seems a tad steep, it’s not. It’s built to last. And once you’re comfortable with the handling, you’ll be glad you listened to me. You’ll find yourself using ORBIT over and over… I promise.

I recommend it…

$39.95 .. From Murphy’s Magic and their Associates..

https://murphysmagic.com/product.aspx?id=71843

Review by Rick Carruth for Murphy’s Magic & The Magic Roadshow