The Vault – Sand Deck by Martin Braessas – A Review

The Vault – Sand Deck by Martin Braessas – A Review

The Vault – Sand Deck by Martin Braessas – A Review

This is the Ad Copy:

From The mind of Martin Braessas comes Sand Deck. You will be able to produce a whole deck of cards from a single card! If you are looking for your perfect opener this is it! Once you produce the deck you can continue using it for your favourite routines!

Easy to do!
Super visual!
You will learn all the details to perform this effect.
Fun gimmick to make with things you have at home.

My Thoughts:

Yes.. I know my comrade Jim Canaday just reviewed this effect.. but I suppose great minds think alike. We both selected Sand Deck from a stack of Vault items because we liked it, and then we both wrote our reviews, simultaneously, but independently.

Sand Deck is the latest effect from Martin Braessas, who also created Fire Phone Case, Fire Kit, and The Only One, plus, was featured in his own Penguin Live Lecture.

Since this is part of Murphy’s ‘The Vault’ selections, it is an instant download and very affordable. So.. the question is.. is it any good..?

It is a convincing visual. If you watch the video, you’ll see what the audience sees. Not really suitable for a stage, it’s ideal for close up and walk around. I can’t really call it an effect, but more of a cross between a flourish and a sleight… It’s a visual demonstration.

You show a single card, held between the thumb and fingers, and with minimal movement you can dribble an entire deck -or- change the single card into a full pack of cards. The ad copy says you can then perform effects with the deck you produced.. True.. but you will have to deal with a gaff. Not a big deal, but just keeping it real.

There is a little DIY involved in creating a gaff card. It’s nothing major, and can probably be completed by the average user in less than ten minutes with material around the house.. assuming you have a bit of double sided tape.

The only other thing not mentioned in the ad copy is… you will need a certain type of background. Although this is not a major production, you will have to be aware of it when making your gaff. It’s not a deal breaker, as the majority of the sleight occurs under cover provided by the performer and your close-up pad provides the necessary background..

The video tutorial runs about 21 minutes and explains everything you need to know about both performing Sand Deck and creating the simple gaff. Video and sound quality are fine and you should have zero problems with it.

I encourage you to go to Murphy’s and watch the video. A short video provides a better ‘picture’ than I can paint with words. I agree with the ad copy that Sand Deck can make for a great opener. It’s a dramatic method of introducing a deck to your spectators. I’m sure it’s not for every performer’s taste, as I know some of you are anti-gaff, and that’s OK. I’m not trying to sell you.. only trying to get you to watch the video and see if it’s for you..

$10.00 .. From Murphy’s Magic and their Associates

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

Papa Rabbit Hits The Big Time – by DARYL – A Review

Papa Rabbit Hits The Big Time – by DARYL – A Review

Papa Rabbit Hits The Big Time – by DARYL – A Review

This is the Ad Copy:

There is not stronger magic than something that happens in the spectators hands! Daryl’s timeless sponge routine is perfect for ALL venues! The fun begins when a sponge rabbit and a little bird are magically produced. A super-clean and baffling transposition is performed between the rabbit and the bird followed by a hilarious comedy routine that will get your audience on their feet!!

Mama rabbits and Papa rabbits appear and disappear in the hands of both the magician and the spectator in this beautifully thought out routine and story. At each step the audience is caught off guard. For an unforgettable finish, a large handful of baby bunnies magically appear in the spectator’s tightly clenched fist! Comes with everything you need to get started today!

All of the Sponge Bunnies and Birds!
Daryl’s hilarious routine!
Word for word script!
Detailed Handling!

My Thoughts:

You can’t beat a classic. Daryl’s classic Papa Rabbit routine is truly a thing of beauty.. It is magic at its most basic and entertaining level. I don’t care what you think of sponge bunnies, or silks, or linking rings.. or any of the tried and true tricks that have served as the framework for many a magicians. Yes, it’s easy to mess up any of the above.. but if you take Daryl’s sponge bunny effect, combine it with a hilarious routine he honed through years of hard work, and add the crafted bunny and bird sponges he created just for this effect… you have several minutes of a super routine it would take you years to develop on your own. Honestly…

It’s unusual for the manufacturer to encourage you to use someone’s word for word script.. But.. with Daryl’s untimely passing, Murphy’s has decided one of the best ways of honoring him is to republish several of his most popular effects and sell them at a fair price. Papa Rabbit Hits The Big Time is, I think, the third special reissue I’ve reviewed… and this is one of my two favorites because it can be performed anywhere, at anytime, and without preparation.

Not only do you get all the rabbits and birds (sponges) you’ll need, but you get a box to keep them in and, most importantly.. forty minutes of instruction from Daryl and Javier Fuenmayor.. with both giving their thoughts and secrets. Daryl performs his full routine for you to see the entire effect from start to finish.. and then offers his special take. I sure do miss Daryl…

” Mama rabbits and Papa rabbits appear and disappear in the hands of both the magician and the spectator..” I don’t have to tell you of the power you instill in an effect when you can perform it in the spectator’s hand. This is a strong as it gets.. and has always been the strength of bunnies or sponge balls. Things disappear.. and reappear.. the audience laughs.. more things vanish and reappear. the audience laughs even more.. and you catch yourself laughing, even though you know what’s about to happen.

Aside from a 40 minute tutorial, the performance is, I’m sure, from one of Daryl’s L&L videos. The audience is a familiar crew from years past. Both the sound and video are what you would expect from Murphy’s Magic. No problems and no unexpected surprises in the production dept.. Thankfully, I rarely encounter a video now days that gets bad marks for production. I think the magic world has adopted a certain standard that ‘almost’ makes this paragraph unnecessary.. but… I still feel obligated to say it.

All I can say is.. spend the twenty bucks and help keep the legacy of Daryl alive while you enjoy the resurgence of a classic. Thanks to Murphy’s Magic for reissuing Papa Rabbit and for sharing it with me.. so I can share my thoughts with you.

$20.00 .. From Murphy’s Magic and their Associates..

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

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

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

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