Unhanded – by JP Vallarino – A Review

Unhanded – by JP Vallarino – A Review

Unhanded – by JP Vallarino – A Review

This is the Ad Copy:

Imagine being in full control of a spectator’s card, without EVER touching the cards. Impossible!? Welcome to J.P. Vallarino’s UNHANDED! 

This is the ultimate card control utility – they choose, they sign, they cut, they shuffle, and they can even place the deck back into the card box to make it completely sleight-proof! You can have your back turned the entire time while sipping Pina Colada’s, and UNHANDED will control of their selected/signed card for you!

And because you never have to touch the cards, the heat is never on you. UNHANDED can be used as a super easy peek, as a devious card steal, a card penetration, a fully hands-off transpo, or a miraculous vanish! From magic to mentalism, the choice is fully up to you!

You never have to touch the cards
The spectator does all the work, yet you still have control of their card
Over 2 hours of instruction – (We couldn’t stop coming up with routines!)
Includes sleight free routines for beginners
Includes advanced routines for magicians looking to easily level up.
Use it as a card steal, card control, in mentalism, card penetration, and a super easy peek
Instant reset
The power to control their signed and selected card is now in THEIR hands! But what you do with that, is entirely up to you… This is UNHANDED!

My Thoughts:

I recently received a number of items from Murphy’s Magic for review. I was impressed by all the items, to some degree. But.. THIS item.. UNHANDED by JP Vallarino, was my favorite. My mind has been racing with the many possibilities and different ways this can be personalized by the performer to suit his style.

My goodness.. I don’t know where to begin. So… lets start with a basic performance/handling and go from there..

JP has created a utility device that allows the magi to allow his audience to perform much of the magic.. and he can still take the credit. I don’t want to say TOO much, but I want to say enough to answer your basic questions about Unhanded.

The magi, with a very slight bit of prep, can hand a deck of red Bicycles to a spectator. The spectator can then open the deck at any location and make a 100% free selection of a card.
(The magi has his back turned during the effect)
The spec then signs the card and places it face down on top of a face down deck.
The spec is then requested to cut the deck, and he can then cut it a second time or allow a fellow spec to cut it.
He then places the deck inside a red Bicycle card box.
The deck is handed to the magi, he recaps what just happened, and opens the card box.. dumping the cards back into the spectator’s hands.
The spec is asked to look through the deck and find his signed card.
He cannot find it.
The magi can then produce the signed card from any location he chooses, including a pocket, a hat, or a wallet.

This is the most basic performance, and you can expand in so many directions from there.

The basic performance is created so a beginner can perform it for friends. More advanced performances include techniques like palming and double undercuts to achieve wildly different reveals. The advanced sleights are NOT required, and are made available so the magi can perform the same basic effect, with the same props, for the same audience, at different times.

Aside from the basic handling, a second method involves the cards being dumped into a paper bag, after the ‘magic’ moment, along with the card box, and the signed card is found inside the box.

Another involves a ‘do as I do’ plot and a second, ungaffed deck.

A third effect is a sandwich effect, using a second Joker. And a fourth and fifth effect include an ACAAN effect and a card penetration effect.

This is only the tip of the iceberg.. as you will adapt effects you use in your current routines to these props. I would say ‘..the possibilities are endless’, but that’s so cliche.. although it’s sorta true…

What’s included? You receive a red Bicycle gaffed card box, a gaffed card (Joker), and approx. 2 hours and 15 minutes of video instructions. You supply a normal red Bicycle deck. Although the video may seem long.. it is full of additional handling ideas and additional effects. The basic effect is covered completely in the first 20 minutes.

The last portion of the tutorial video includes a section of ‘Ideas’ the Murphy’s team developed to add even more versatility…
Maintaining the specs card on top.
Double Undercuts
Basic spread controls and bottom steals
Applying key card principles
A special section on ‘peeking’ the selected card.

The video quality and sound are typical Murphy’s Magic quality. No problems at all. You can watch everything online or download the video.. (1.93GB)

Needless to say.. I highly recommend UNHANDED, and at $34.95 it is a real bargain.

JP published a compilation of performances to Youtube.. you can watch it at:

$34.95 .. From Murphy’s Magic and their Associates..

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

Mental Dust – by Quique Marduk – A Review

Mental Dust – by Quique Marduk – A Review

Mental Dust by Quique Marduk – A Review

This is the Ad Copy:

The spectator selects a card and write the number and suit on a sugar envelope. The magician opens the envelope, pours the sugar on the spectator’s forearm and the selected card appears written on the skin.

It is the old and great “ashes on arm” trick but on the spectator’s skin, and can be done with ashes, salt, sand, pepper or any dust.

You receive a special gimmick and a holder to get the trick always ready to be performed.

3 patterns available: 8 of Spades, King of Clubs or Waves (ESP cards)

Includes a video download with explanations and ideas.

My Thoughts:

Mental Dust is a smart take on the classic David Blaine ‘Ashes on Arm’ effect. It was a sensation when it was first introduced.. and I can honestly say I’ve truly amazed spectators with this trick.

It is being offered by Quique Marduk.. creator of Osmosilk, Human Slot Machine, Portable, and A Bar Kadabra.. plus utilities like Triple Thumb Tip Holder, Harlequin Cigarette Holder, and Fake Egg.. among many other creations.

David’s Voodoo Ash was dependent on the magi being able to determine a name selected by a spectator, and then writing that name on his own arm with soap. Marduk’s method results in the magi placing the identity of a card on the SPECTATOR’S arm.

He has created a special ‘stamp’ that can be kept in the performer’s pocket until needed. A substance, provided, is placed on a small stamp which has one of three patterns.. 8 of Spades, King of Clubs or ESP Waves.. (one choice per purchase). This stamp is secured in a well-designed holder to keep safe until you’re ready to ‘stamp’ your spectator. Of course, this is accomplished in stealth mode.. following suggestions from Quique.

Once the spectator has been stamped, the magi can force any of the three selections, and eventually reveal the ‘prediction’ on the spectator’s arm by rubbing any one of a number of different substances over the unseen pattern.
The promo video shows the magi rubbing a sugar packet or salt over the pattern to make it visible, but you could also use darker substances for fair-skinned spectators, like ashes, when available.

Training is via Youtube video, about 9 minutes in length, and an enclosed instruction sheet with pictures. Also included is a Spanish video and written instructions.

Watch the Murphy’s video to get a good idea of the outcome.

Included are one stamp of your choice, a stamp holder, a substance holder to allow you to rub the coating on the stamp, and a special holder to hold the stamp in position as you ‘stamp’ the spectator.

The price is $35.00, which is not too much to pay if you’re excited about the possibilities. I don’t think many performers will purchase at this price-point out of curiosity. 20-25 may have been a better price.

This is a straight-up effect, adding a nice twist to a classic. Good thinking and fairly simple handling make it desirable for all those who remember the reactions they received from the original Blaine effect.

$35.00 .. From Murphy’s Magic and their Associates

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

The Vault – Moving Pen by DingDing – A Review

The Vault – Moving Pen by DingDing – A Review

The Vault – Moving Pen by DingDing – A Review
Video Download

The Ad Copy states simply… 

“This is a visual effect: a pen through a hole on the card and moves freely.

No magnets, no thread, easy to learn!”

My Thoughts:

DingDing is a young performer/creator who to date has created about 20 different effects for The Vault. This is his latest.. and definitely one of my favorites.

The magi shows two cards with a small hole punched in the middle of both cards. The two cards are shown front and back, and then one card is placed on top of the other with the holes aligned. A pen is stuck through the holes and, again, shown front and back. The magi then moves the pen up and down. As the top card moves with the pen, the bottom card remains stationary… which
-should- be impossible. Afterwards, the magi removes the pen and again shows only two small holes in each card.

DingDing has published about 20 Effects with Murphy’s ‘The Vault’, including…

Hijack 2.0
Sink Coin
Ink Permeation
Amazing Straw
Dice Through Card

Each effect ranges in price from $6 to $12 and involves a bit of DYI.. but not too much DYI.. as I am not a fan of creating your own gimmicks and probably wouldn’t review Moving Pen if I were “put off”.. Actually, it’s not a bad idea to know how to create your own gaff from scratch.. providing it doesn’t take hours to construct.

The Moving Pen tutorial video carefully explains everything you need to know in about 13 minutes. You will need a hole punch, some repositional glue, an Exacto knife or razor blade, and a couple of playing cards. The tutorial uses two Queens and a blank card, but you do not have to use a blank.

The gimmick can be created in 20 to 30 minutes. DingDing does a good job explaining and demonstrating everything you need to know. The video is a single shot and not overly sophisticated, but it doesn’t need to be. No problems with the video or the sound.

Can you hand the gimmick out for inspection..? After your performance, you can openly show both sides of the gimmick.. but you cannot hand it out for close inspection.

Should you buy it..? Since this is a quick, visual effect.. I suggest you go to the Murphy’s link and watch the video performance. It gives you everything you need to decide whether this is something for you. If you perform effects like the pen thru dollar, you’ll enjoy performing Moving Pen. Remember, there’s NO threads or magnets involved, and you can easily create several of these gimmicks at a time and they should serve you well through many performances.

$12.00 .. From Murphy’s Magic and their Associates..

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

ReWrapped… by Brandon David and Chris Turchi – A Review

ReWrapped… by Brandon David and Chris Turchi – A Review

Rewrapped.. by Brandon David and Chris Turchi – A Review
Gimmick and Online Instructions

This is the Ad Copy:

ReWrapped is the ultimate chewing-gum life-hack! 

Imagine this. You take your old, chewed piece of gum. You stretch it and snap it back into a brand new gum stick. Then, the gum stick visually wraps itself in its original packaging! Now you have a fresh, 100% real gum stick ready for you to re-chew or save for later!

Devised by the creative duo behind “Envy-Lope” and countless other amazing effects (Brandon David and Chris Turchi), ReWrapped allows you to take a familiar everyday object and perform a mind-bending visual chewing gum restoration! Your spectators will think you’ve discovered a real-life infinite glitch!
Customizable to assorted brands of gum across the world!

Detailed instructions with Brandon and Chris
Resets in seconds
Easy to perform
Takes little pocket space
Perfect for socials and professional occasions
Highly Visual
Restore your gum again and again and again with this refreshing take on visual gum magic!

This is ReWrapped, by Brandon David and Chris Turchi!

My Thoughts:

First… After creating my own gimmick and performing for both friends and strangers, I can say the ad copy is fully correct. There’s NO stretching of the truth to hook us poor magicians. That said.. here’s my thoughts.

ReWrapped is very strong transformational/restoration magic. A piece of gum is removed from the mouth. You stretch the gum between the fingers to display its malleability.. And in a blink of an eye.. you show the gum to be fully restored to its original stick form. Then, almost as quickly, you show the stick ReWrapped.. You can then unrap the gum and put it back in your mouth. Don’t believe me? Watch the video…

ReWrapped is a quick trick. You know… one of those tricks that’s over before you have time to realize you need to pay attention. There’s nothing wrong with that technique, and its suddenness certainly catches the spectator’s eye.

ReWrapped is a remake of Sticky Situation by Andy Leviss. I’ve seen Andy’s effect performed by both Justin Flom and Rick Lax with great success. The difference is ReWrapped claims to be a more advanced version. I can’t say for certain as I am not familiar with the handling of Sticky Situation.. other than the promo trailer, which on the surface looks very similar to ReWrapped. I’m making an educated guess when I say ReWrapped probably offers a more sophisticated gimmick and ‘possibly’ eliminates a switch. Forgive me if I’m wrong…

Everything is carefully and meticulously explained in the 44 minute video. A gimmicked piece of ‘gum’ serves as the base, and you are shown, step by step, how to create the finished gimmick. There IS some DIY involved.. although it’s primarily wrapping the gum with your favorite brand of chewing gum paper. Provisions are made to allow you to use different brands from different parts of the world.

I’m going to publish the table of contents from the instructional video. I think I can do this without giving away too much. It will give you a good understanding of what’s covered….

What’s in The Box
Dressing The Gimmick
The Gimmick
Different Handling
Paddle Move Details
Toss Display
Mouth Stretch
Simplified Version
Snap-Restore Details

Again, the video is 44 minutes, and taught by Brandon David and Chris Turchi in an informal setting. There are close-ups of any critical construction, and you should only need gum, a pair of scissors, and a little double sided tape to complete any and all work.

If you like quick magic, I could almost say ‘startling magic’.. definitely consider ReWrapped. There’s no doubt you’ll have some very surprised and astonished

$24.95 .. From Murphy’s Magic and their Associates..

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