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CUTTING EDGE – A Review

CUTTING EDGE – A Review

David Jonathan, known for popular effects like Wrong Turn and Arbitrium, among others.. is the creator of Cutting Edge. Cutting Edge isn’t really an effect… it is three different effects, similar to an extent, but each with methodology different enough to give the performer a choice of difficulty. Each has a slightly different ending, varying in its level of impossibility.

I have published David’s ad copy below as a reference point. I’ve found I can tell much about a creator and his effects by his ad copy and its truthfulness…

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DESTINED – Predict a freely isolated card with a stunning revelation!
The Jokers are taken out of a deck and a spectator is invited to select a card. Their selection is shuffled back into the deck, then the cards are spread face down. The spectator is now asked to freely insert the Jokers face up around any card, isolating it from the others. This mystery card is now turned over to reveal that, incredibly, the spectator has found their selected card! If the effect ended right here, it would already be great… but in a jaw-dropping finale, the Jokers are then turned over to show the spectator’s card was predicted on the backs of the Jokers, proving everything was inevitable!

A CUT ABOVE – The spectator stabs a cut card into the pack directly above their selection, with a twist!
A selected card is shuffled and lost into the deck. A casino cut card is now introduced and handed to the spectator to insert anywhere in the pack. Incredibly, the spectator’s card is found directly below the cut card! For a kicker climax, the cut card is then turned over to reveal a secret written prediction of the spectator’s card! This is the most logical and direct effect to use a casino cut card.

THE FINAL CUT – The spectator cuts to their signed card from a deck they shuffled under test conditions!
The spectator points to any card, signs it, and it is lost in the deck. A casino cut card (double blank card) is now introduced and set aside. The deck is spread on the table and given a wash shuffle (as fair and genuine as they do in casinos) – the spectator can even help mix the cards. The cards are gathered and then ribbon spread across the table. The spectator now inserts the cut card anywhere they like into the spread. With no funny moves, the deck is cut directly where the cut card was inserted. The card right below the cut card is now turned over and, amazingly, it is the spectator’s signed card!

Key Points: Both non-gimmicked and gaffed versions are taught on Cutting Edge. Multiple handlings are also included that are suitable for any skill level. All the effects can be performed In-The-Hands (no table required) and you can easily change the outcomes for each performance.
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I spent a fair amount of time watching David’s videos. All three arrived in an email along with two PDF files. One was an overview of the three effects with a brief step-by-step of each of the moves – great to follow as you’re remembering the videos. And the second PDF contained the links to the Vimeo vids of each of the three effects. Although you can watch them online.. I downloaded the three videos to store them in the folder with the PDF’s and not have to revisit Vimeo to clarify a point.

The first effect, Destined, plays out exactly as described by David. The video quality is very good and the attention to details is all I would hope for.. No complaints at all.
This is the more difficult of the three effects, but the most rewarding. You’ll spend more time learning the timing of the moves, but most are basic. There is a point where a pass of one form or another is needed, but David has simplified the handling as much as possible. This isn’t a deal breaker.

Overall, Destined is a real fooler.. and one you can perform for both a lay audience and fellow magicians with equal aplomb. You will need to do a slight bit of simple artwork.. but it only requires a marker and two Jokers. Video length is 35 minutes.

A Cut Above is slightly easier version of Destined and uses a ‘cut card’ instead of two Jokers. ( Don’t have a cut card? Glue two cards face to face and you’ll have a cut card..) The effect ends with the spectator’s selected card directly below the cut card.. inserted into the deck by the spectator.. instead of between the two Jokers as in the previous effect. The handling is noticeably easier, but it still carries an impressive impact. Perform it for audiences -and- magic friends.

The Final Cut is the easiest of the three effects and, although similar in style to A Cut Above, uses a signed card as the locator card.

These two videos run 17 minutes and 16 minutes respectively…

I appreciate the time and effort David invested into this trilogy of effects. They work… and the end result is more than worth the effort. All three are very creditable methods of revealing a spectator’s chosen card. I’m convinced you’ll find a favorite and add it to your repertoire… maybe a couple even.

These effects are meticulously designed by a magician, for magicians, and I’m convinced you’ll appreciate CUTTING EDGE. It has my recommendation. ….. Price: $16.95

https://www.davidjonathanmagic.com/

Review by Rick Carruth..

GUARANTEED WIN – A Review

GUARANTEED WIN – A Review

Guaranteed Win – A Review

This is the ad copy from Murphy’s Magic:

Guaranteed Win is a visual packet effect with a really cool gambling theme.
IMPACT MOMENT ONE!
Four Jokers (The Wild Cards) transform to match a selected card!
IMPACT MOMENT TWO!
The duplicate cards visually change in to a Royal Flush in SPADES!

Andy has created the perfect multi-phase transformation effect that is not only easy to do and easy to follow, but has an instant performance hook and quick reset. With its gambling theme and the awesome visual changes, this will be a GUARANTEED winner in your close-up set.

Comes complete with:
Custom printed gimmicked card on Bicycle stock
Training DVD
*Just add your own ungimmicked cards

My Take…

Brought to you by Alakazam Magic and Andy Smith, GUARANTEED WIN is a multi-phase packet trick that results in a guaranteed win poker hand, despite what your eyes tell you.

After a brief introduction, the magi shows a packet of four cards he’s holding to be all Jokers. The spectator is given one of the Jokers to examine as the magi gathers the other cards. The spectator is asked to select a card from the deck, assisted by the magi of course, and the selected card, a Ten of Spades, is added to the packet held by the magi. Despite having shown the packet as four Jokers.. the magi now shows the packet to consist of four Tens.
The magi places one of the Tens on the table, introduces a Guaranteed Joker and explains its significance to the spectator, and adds it to the three remaining cards in his hand. With no apparent handling, the magi shows the four cards in his hand have changed to the Jack of Spades, Queen of Spades, King of Spades, and Ace of Spades… all of which are placed with the Ten of Spades on the table to create a Royal Flush… A Guaranteed Win.

I encourage you to go to Murphy’s site, at the below link, and watch the video. You get a better idea of the visuals of this effect watching Andy perform it..

You’re supplied with a gaffed card that makes the magic possible.. that and good handling instructions by the creator. You honestly wouldn’t think the range of visual changes were possible with only one gaffed card. It is…

There are a couple of fairly unique handling ideas that took Andy several years of experimentation to perfect. He didn’t want the magi to hold a hand full of cards. He finally settled on a method that enables the performer to hold, at most, five cards at any moment. But, the fifth card is never visible thanks to the gimmicked card.

The only point where I might have a very minor disagreement is saying the effect is ‘easy to do and easy to follow’. It is NOT difficult, but it will take a little practice to remember the proper orientation of the cards. Remember though.. we’re only talking four or five cards here.. The total running time of the DVD is just over twenty minutes, and you’ll learn everything you need to know in that short a time.. so it can’t be very hard, now can it? All I’m saying is.. you’ll have a short time of watching the DVD with cards in hand as you learn the handling. It’s not self-working.. but it’s definitely not more than 30-40 minutes of work.

You’ll be taught a very basic flustration count and a simple card force. That, along with the gaff card, is all you need to perform Guaranteed Win. This effect WILL fool your audience. It’s well-suited for table hopping and walk around.. as long as you have a small surface on which to place a couple of cards. I recommend it to my friends and readers… Well worth the cost.

$19.99 at dealers who carry the Murphy’s Magic line of products..

https://www.murphysmagic.com/product.aspx?id=57670

Review by.. Rick Carruth

KINGS & LEGACY: Gold Edition Marked Playing Cards – A Review

KINGS & LEGACY: Gold Edition Marked Playing Cards – A Review

King and Legacy: Gold Edition Marked Playing Cards – A Review

Ad Copy Description:

“Many years ago, it was said that when kings died, they didn’t abandon their villages, their walls or their empires. There was something left in them that continued to fight for their people. In this way, their people could continue living in harmony, peace and equality.

King and Legacy: Gold Edition Playing Cards, printed by US Playing Cards, has 52 inhabitants of the city of dreams, of ambitions and future promises.

Nowadays, everything we do leaves a footprint in the world.
And the only thing that stays in our memory is what we do with our heart. Sometimes the moments that DON’T happen are the most important.

Life is a collection of nonexistent memories waiting to be created.

It is for that reason that I do not want you to feel my presence – instead, I want you to feel my absence when I am no longer here. Remember the gold metallic ink on the tuck and cards as they flicker in the sun. Embrace the sensual feel of the embossed tuck.

And hopefully every time you open the doors of this box and rediscover what is inside, you’ll forget your problems and transport yourself to your best thoughts and highest highs.
And that you remember me. And you feel me close to you.”

That is my dream.
The legacy of a King. My legacy.
King and Legacy: Gold Edition Playing Cards – the cards are marked to give you unlimited possibilities
COMPLETELY customized (pips, court cards… the ENTIRE deck)
Printed by The US Playing Card Company
Designed by Destino
Presented by Julio Montoro

My Take:

As I mentioned in a recent review of another deck… reviewing a deck isn’t easy. I can tell you what I like, or dislike, about it, but ultimately it’s a matter of personal preference. It’s like my Hawaiian shirt… I love it.. and my wife hates it.. although we generally share the same general taste.

Kings live.. and Kings die. When they pass, they leave a Legacy. Hopefully, they will leave a good legacy, one to be remembered fondly. Designed by Destino (Destino Magico) and presented by Julio Montoro, (Sketch, Rejoined, and Pocket.. in partnership with Joao Miranda), King and Legacy strives to present the user with a gracious deck of well-designed cards, totally original cards, with the bonus of being a marked deck, capable of a wide variety of effects not attainable by a normal deck.

There is a very minimalistic design to King and Legacy, highlighted by gold accents and intricately designed Aces. I think the point is quality over quantity. The case is embossed as well.. adding a great feel to the deck, yet the backgrounds are matte white to not distract from the gold trim. The cards themselves are sharply cut from thin USPCC stock, making handling and faros very easy. (See side note)

I REALLY regret saying this.. but the deck, as attractive as it is, has one weakness; the markings. I don’t have young eyesight, but I do wear glasses. Regardless.. I cannot read the markings unless I’m in very bright light… and the card is held about a foot away. To say the marks are small (to me) is slightly an understatement. They are clearly marked and not ‘coded’ to reveal the identity, yet, you do need decent vision to read them. After being unable to read the markings in normal room lighting, I took the deck to a meeting with seven other magicians. In a well-lit restaurant, five of the seven could not read the markings with the card laying on the table in from of them. I really dislike saying anything negative about a deck designed as appealing as King and Legacy, but I do have an obligation to say this.. up front.

Buy KING & LEGACY because of their handling and their unique appearance. They are very affordable, and you may find everything works exactly as the creator’s intended. I’ve included a link to a 30 second video to give you a true view of the deck and their original face and numerical design.

$13.95 .. From dealers who carry the Murphy’s Magic line of products..

https://www.murphysmagic.com/Product.aspx?id=62304

Promo Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7Nk-1C2wGc

Side note.. When I open a new deck, my FIRST move is to perform my personalized faro. If the deck is cut properly, with fresh blades, I’ll hit a perfect-to-near-perfect faro, without any real effort, the first time. If I have to break the cards in before I can faro.. I’m not happy.
( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26VeymCTu7A )

RAPP by Steven Delaere – A Review

RAPP by Steven Delaere – A Review

RAPP by Steven Delaere – A Review
Review by R. Carruth

This is the ad copy for Steven Delaere’s RAPP, available from Murphy’s Magic…Product Image

“If you are bored doing the crazy man’s handcuffs, looking for something different, this is it! Rapp brings your rubber band magic to the next level. Taking a truly broken rubber band, you visually RESTORE it on THEIR phone. After the restoration, you then SWAP the rubber band to your phone in a split second.”

“Rapp is ultra visual, fast and it resets instantly! Modern magic using nothing more than a rubber band and a spectator’s phone, creating a high impact in a very short time.”
– Fun and practical effect to perform
– Original rubber band magic
– Any phone is possible
– Easy set-up
– Instant reset
– Perfect for walk-around
– Ultra visual, looks like a camera trick
– Detailed instructions, shot in HD
– Including BONUS effect, using your own business cards!

Download the video and begin learning this great effect.

My Take…

First.. I’m going to eliminate any mystery and say simply.. I like RAPP. I use RAPP. I began using RAPP about five minutes after I watched the video. It’s that simple…

I agree with all the statements in the ad copy. There isn’t a claim NOT true. It’s original, easy to do and easy to set up, instant (almost) reset, extremely visual and very strong for walk-around.

Steven includes a well done 35 minute video, filmed in HD, that explains all the details in.. well… detail. As with most rubber band effects, there’s a little more involved than simply putting a rubber band around your wrist. But, there isn’t a LOT more involved. With a few minutes practice, you can go from a normal state to full battle mode in about three or four seconds. Steven does it in less than a second.. but he’s well practiced.

Now, to the fine print… There is some prep involved. I debated whether to go in to detail, in fairness to the creator, and decided to elaborate a little about the vanish. If you watch the video at Murphy’s site, you’ll see the performer holding a broken rubber band above a cellphone held in the other hand. With a toss, the band is ‘thrown’ toward the phone. The phone suddenly has an intact band surrounding it.. and the broken band is gone. (Watch the video). This happens so quickly it does appear to be some sort of camera trick.. but of course.. it’s not.

I think most of us know that to vanish a small object, some sort of device is necessary.. and that’s the case here too. Fortunately, most of us have one of those devices in a cigar box.. back in the bedroom .. collecting dust. They are only a couple of dollars if you don’t happen to have one. In fact, I used to use a small, round piece of elastic from my mother’s sewing box when I was young. I tied it to a safety pin, attached it to the inside of my sleeve about elbow high, and attached the other end to a paper clip. I could vanish a paper clip as good as any fourteen year old.

I hope you get the point of my story. Ideally, having one of these small devices simplifies RAPP, but it isn’t totally necessary. If a fourteen year old can figure a work-around.. you can figure a work-around…

Of course, having the right size rubber band makes RAPP so much easier. You’ll figure this out. It has to go from point A to point B to point C.. and any band that’ll do this with the right amount of tension will work. Personally, I buy Joe Rindfleisch’s Rainbow Rubber Bands from Joe.. or from Amazon.. and they are perfect. (I’m 99% sure Steven uses Joe’s bands in the video.)

There are a couple of other effects taught as well. One has the rubber band jumping from one cell phone to another.. and a third effect has bands jumping from a cell phone to a stack of business cards.. which then makes it easy to hand out a card to your spectator.
Again, both effects are very easy to perform, using basically the same setup, and offer you a trio of effects on one video.

Overall, some may think fifteen dollars is a lot for a rubber band ‘trick’.. but it’s not, -if- you use it. I use it, and I am definitely recommending RAPP to my friends and readers.

$14.95 from The Vault at Murphy’s Magic. This is an instant download.

https://murphysmagic.com/product.aspx?id=62700