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Transit (Red) by Ron Salamangkero – A Review

Transit (Red) by Ron Salamangkero – A Review

Transit (Red) by Ron Salamangkero – A Review

This is the Ad Copy:

The audience will freak out when you allow them to examine before and after you perform Transit. They can watch closely… there’s nothing to catch.

Ron Salamangkero is proud to present his latest creation. A variant of the traveling hole illusion.

The magician punches holes in three corners of a playing card using a puncher. A ribbon is tied through one hole and the ends knotted together. The card now hangs from the ribbon. With no dodgy hand or finger movement, the magician moves the ribbon from one corner hole to another by sliding it through the space between the holes. He does it twice.

It’s visual magic that looks unbelievable even when seen up close!
The magician the hands everything to the spectator for examination.
Transit comes with a gimmick card and a step by step in-depth video instruction

My Thoughts:

Seems like I’ve reviewed a number of items recently that employ gimmicked cards. This is another such effect. Ron Salamangkero (Creator of The Answer & Face Off) has created a nice gimmick for guys and girls to use in close-up situations.

The basic handling is this.. The performer has a spectator select a card. The card is shown about, and the performer uses a hole punch to punch three holes in three different corners of the selection. A ribbon is tied through one of the holes.. and the magi guides the ribbon from this hole to the second hole.. and then to the third hole, appearing to defy the laws of solid objects. This is similar in appearance to a moving hole effect.. except the ribbon moves instead of the hole.

I’m going to offer up a few initial thoughts..

Thankfully, all the DIY has been performed by Ron. All you need to do is provide a hole punch. If you don’t have one, you can pick one up at most dollar stores. The gaffed card and the ribbon come with the effect.

A twelve minute instructional video has been posted online. Although the video quality is good, I think perhaps the script should have been practiced a time or two before being recorded. This is NOT a deal breaker.. just an observation. Everything you need to know is taught.

The gimmicked card itself CANNOT be passed out for examination. A card is freely selected beforehand.. and this is the card the audience will handle afterwards. For this reason, I am not sure this is an ideal effect for a beginner. Depends on your definition of ‘beginner’.. I suppose. You do need to be able to handle the initial selection, and switching in the gimmick. This is taught in the video.. but just be advised.

This effect should be performed with pace. It will not only look better.. but you will be less apt to ‘flash’ any component of the gimmick.

If you like the moving hole effects.. you’ll really like TRANSIT. This is a sharp gimmick that actually does most of the work for you.. although you WILL have to practice the moves. You’ll not perform this ideally straight out the package. Like most of the hole effects, finger placement is important.

I do wish TRANSIT were a bit less expensive. If you use it, I can see it being a very good investment. Perhaps the price-point could be justified if two or three gimmicked cards were included. As is, there is only one, and I can see it wearing out over time. Perhaps Ron will give you a deal on replacements.??

TRANSIT is made with Bicycle cards.. and is available as either Red or Blue backed gaffs.. your choice. As always, I encourage you to visit the Murphy’s link below and watch the demo. It gives you a great idea of the visual.

$29.95 .. Available at Murphy’s Magic and through their associates.
https://www.murphysmagic.com/product.aspx?id=69386

Review by Rick Carruth

COLORFOOL – Victor Zatko – A Review

COLORFOOL – Victor Zatko – A Review

COLORFOOL by Victor Zatko – A Review

This is the Ad Copy:

“Very visual, very sharp, a gimmick that fits a lot of routines, adapt it according to your imagination.”
– Bernard Bilis

“Colorfool is very smart, clean and more importantly VISUAL. Don’t hesitate, this is very good.”
– Mickael Chatelain

“Wow only 3 letters to describe it WTF”
– Etienne Pradier

COLORFOOL is a precision hand-crafted gimmick for insanely visual magic. With this method you will be able to make a card change, appear, disappear, as many times as you want without any kind of reset. The gimmick has been designed to be used in real close up conditions but also works perfectly for social medias.

In a nutshell:
Visual
Ready to go out of the box
No flap
Instant reset
Full routine taught
Get ready to be COLORFOOLED.

My Thoughts:

This is an intelligent little gimmick. I like the basic idea, as it offers the performer the opportunity to perform any one of a number of different effects.

The basic handling is this… You remove the top card of the deck, turn it sideways and place it back on the deck, and wave it like a paintbrush.. which changes the card underneath from a blue back card to a red back card. This is how the gimmick is designed to work. Naturally, like any good color change, you should add a routine to the handling to create the magic.

I don’t think Victor Zatko, the creator, would object to me telling you the magic is achieved with magnets. It’s much more than a couple of magnets placed to pick up the second card. Actually.. you can see the top half of the second card is still blue as the bottom half begins to change to red. You are furnished with four Bicycle cards; three gaffed blue backers and one regular red back card. The additional cards allow the performer to ‘control’ the magnetism. The proprietary feature with COLORFOOL is the precise placements and the handling.

The gaffs are all quality made and will last as long as a Bicycle card normally last. If one of the gaffs should wear out.. the magnets, which are precisely placed, could be removed and attached to another card. I will say that one card contains an internal magnet that would be difficult to replace, but it is also a card not likely to be abused and is only subject to normal wear and tear.

The instructions, approx.17 minutes, are available in either English or French.. and also includes an interesting effect in which a card is chosen and put back in the deck.. and after the deck is ‘painted’ the deck is spread to show every card has changed to red backers -except- the selected card, which still has a blue back. Victor also teaches several tips to help you create your own handling.

The video and audio are quite adequate. This isn’t a slick production, but it doesn’t need to be. COLORFOOL is recommended for any skill level. It was my belief those who will benefit most are those with at least a basic understanding of card magic, particularly considering these custom gimmicks are designed for the performer to add to his current routines and/or create unique content.

The basic handling is a bit ‘nichey’.. until you get the feel for the color change. It shouldn’t be a problem for the vast majority of you guys. Victor suggest that each COLORFOOL is handcrafted, and as such, is unique. Some handlers need to add an additional ungimmicked card between the gaffs to minimize the ‘pull’. Just practice the move a bit.. and you’ll quickly determine what you need to do to make your gimmick most efficient.

Additional notes: In addition to walk-around situations, this is a very good effect for social media. Although I haven’t done so, I think the visuals would be very impressive on camera. Although not totally a head-on effect, you would want to utilize deck management during your performance, primarily by keeping the deck about waist level. When brushing the blue card over the deck immediately before the color change, you can hold the card approx. an inch off the top of the deck, giving the impression the top card is not touching the second card of the deck.

I suggest going to Murphy’s site and watching the demo video to get a true idea of what COLORFOOL looks like in performance. If you decide this is for you.. I honestly think you’ll have a tool in your toolkit unlike anything else you own.

$29.95 .. Available from Murphy’s Magic and their associates.
https://www.murphysmagic.com/product.aspx?id=68455

Review by Rick Carruth

Isolated Red – Mr. Xuan – A Review

Isolated Red – Mr. Xuan – A Review

Skymember Presents Isolated Red – by Mr. Xuan – A Review.
(Gimmicks and Online Instructions)

The following is the Ad Copy:

In 1950s, David Berglas created the “Holy Grail” of card magic, known as “The Berglas Effect”. The Berglas Effect:

The performer shows a shuffled pack of cards, then a spectator is asked to think of ANY card in the deck. Next, the spectator is asked to name a random number between 1 and 52. Amazingly, the randomly thought of card is found at the exact number the spectator had thought of. In later years, this effect was known as “ACAAN” and is still regarded as one of the most impossible card effects in magic.

Skymember Presents is proud to introduce you to Isolated, the very first instalment to our PRO SERIES.

This ultimate version of ACAAN was created by Mr. Xuan. He will be going over every detail on not only how to perform this super-clean effect but also goes into the psychology, patter, and routine structure.

With Isolated, you can perform multiple imperceptible mind-blowing routines that under insane fair conditions.

PRO SERIES:

Have you ever wondered why; when some magicians perform an effect, they seem so professional? Or maybe they always get standing ovations? Or maybe they just have “that special thing”? Have you ever wondered how can YOU overcome these uncertainties? Well, now you can. Therefore we have decided to release our PRO SERIES!

Many things are to be taken into account when designing a professional routine. It’s not just about the moves and techniques… there’s psychology, patter, routine structure and so much more. We’ll shed light onto all the minute details from start to finish. Isolated is not just a trick, it’s a masterclass, come on inside for we have so much to share… in isolated.

Features:
3 powerful routines.
Designed for TV and stages.
Perform like a Master in no time.
An hour Masterclass. Taught expertly by Avi Yap, Ryan Goh and Zach Ng.
Available now worldwide.

My Thoughts:

Every now and again a new effect comes along that truly stretches the borders. I consider ISOLATED such an effect, and am very pleased to be in a position to review it.

No, everything is not perfect. It is not a 100% sure fire winner.. which, unfortunately, is true with most advanced Any Card At Any Number (ACAAN) effects. There is always an element of danger, as I group most ACAAN lovers/performers with sky divers and race card drivers. I think it’s safe to say most of the best ACAAN performances I’ve ever seen were on video.. (except Charlie Frye’s performance at a SCAM convention in 2008). Don’t take that statement wrong. It’s just that it’s much easier to ‘clean up’ a video.. and real time ACAAN’s can be finicky. I’ve seen more than one well-known magician have to back up an punt during performances.

Yes, there are a few performers with flawless ACAAN’s.. but they are not generally marketing their effect. Most of the effects that DO make it to market are not magician foolers, which shouldn’t be a consideration… but it is.

Enough negativity! I am a BIG fan of ISOLATED.. and it’s time for me to tell you why…

ISOLATED is complete with two video tutorials and four different effects. It uses a gaffed deck.. a VERY gaffed deck.. and a fair amount of psychology to accomplish about as fair an ACCAN, from the audiences’ perspective, as you’ll find on the market.

It is well taught, in a 50 minute tutorial, by Avi Yap and Ryan Goh (creator of Anarchy). Both are well versed and very articulate, and explain everything you need to know in an impressive manner. Unfortunately, the second video, which covers only one of the four effects, is not as clear, as it employs sub titles, fast sub titles, but provides enough clear visuals you should be fine. This isn’t a sticking point.. just an observation.

If you’re a lazy magician, ISOLATED probably isn’t for you. As with most well-constructed effects, the performer has to be able to control the deck AND the spectator. This is not an extreme.. just being able to prevent them from turning cards at the wrong time and maintaining your own deck orientation to prevent revealing moments that are unrecoverable.

ISOLATED has a number of gaffed cards and regular cards.. and requires a one-time setup. Despite the setup, the deck can be table spread and shuffled as a real convincer. After the spread and shuffle, the magician again spreads the cards, face down, and asks the spectator to point to any card. They do… but this is a moment that requires spectator control. There are two small areas, about 5-6 cards each, that the performer needs to block via the spread. If performed as taught, you should pull this off the vast majority of times. It’s a small blip, but a consideration, in an otherwise superb effect.

The performer shows the spectator the card they picked. It is buried and cut into the deck. The performer ask the spectator to name a number.. and the magi fairly deals down to that number. The card is turned… and revealed to be the spectators card. An acrylic card sleeve can be used to deal the cards in a super-fair manner. There are so many convincers used along the way, despite the construction of the deck, the spectator, (magicians included), are left to ponder the impossible..

A second effect with the same setup, referred to as a Russian Roulette type effect, is extremely effective in it’s own way. Six piles are dealt after the spec selects a card, and the spec slowly eliminates each pile, and is shown its content in the process.. until one is left. He then selects one of the remaining cards.. and it is his selection. Pretend the piles are potential spikes, and have the spectator slam their hand on individual piles.. avoiding the one ‘spiked’ pile that contains their card.. Good stuff…

A third effect also uses the same setup and a Mexican Turnover (taught) to again find the spectator’s card… which matches a card given to him beforehand by the performer. It is a very good prediction effect and looks quite good on video.

An additional portion of the first video is a masterclass type production, displaying various ways to use ancillary devices to strengthen the effects. Card dealer/sleeves and tweezers are the two primary examples.

The second video, the Lottery effect, stage version, is similar enough to the Russian Roulette effect you shouldn’t have a problem with the sub titles. I also noticed a commercial rights clause that prevents the effects from being used on TV and web shows without permission. I am not a fan of these clauses.. but it is what it is…

Quickly put… ISOLATED is roughly an hour and ten minutes of instruction . Both the video and sound are typical Murphy’s Magic quality. Everything works.. aside from the sub titles on the second video, which scroll too fast for these eyes to follow. (Again, I don’t mention this to disway you from purchasing Isolated..)

In all.. I think ISOLATED is a very sharp, very intelligent use of gaff cards to achieve one of the classics of magic. The additional effects are icing on the cake, so to speak, and add to the value of this specialized deck. I definitely recommend ISOLATED to all my readers and Roadshow subscribers. I realize forty bucks is a serious purchase, but I believe it is well worth the price if you, like me, are a big fan of ACAANs.

$39.95 .. From Murphy’s Magic and their associates.
https://www.murphysmagic.com/Product.aspx?id=66680

(Review by Rick Carruth for Murphy’s Magic and the Magic Roadshow. I am not paid to represent this, or any, product I review.. unless otherwise stated.)

REMEDIES Playing Cards by Madison x Schneider – A Review

REMEDIES Playing Cards by Madison x Schneider – A Review

Remedies Playing Cards by Madison x Schneider – A Review

This is the Ad Copy:

It’s time to celebrate the USPCC comeback of Daniel Madison. The series of some of the most iconic playing cards continue with the Madison x Schneider Remedies. A reminiscence to the beginning of custom playing cards with a modern twist.

The new look and feel runs through the entire deck. Improved custom pips and indices, new custom faces and details on the Court cards. Daniel Schneider also redesigned Daniel Madison’s iconic King of Diamonds that you see from now on in every new Madison deck.

Packed with hidden secrets and built-in magic tricks, including an Angle Zero gaff and a series of brand new hidden revelations with an incredible quality of stock (and traditionally cut). Madison and Schneider are so proud to present this minimally wonderful weapon of deception.
Manufactured by the United States Playing Card Company
Printed on premium (Bee) crushed paper stock
Traditionally cut
Custom front and back
Angle Zero gaffHidden revelations for your magic routines

My Thoughts:

Playing Cards… you either love ’em, or you don’t. I’m not talking about the public… I’m talking about the pickiest bunch of them all… magicians. REMEDIES are designed for magicians. Let me tell you why…

First.. Daniel Schneider and Daniel Madison were two of the very first to introduce true custom cards to the magic community. Remedies is a great continuation of that tradition.

Second.. I’ve always been a fan of Bee’s. They handled slightly stiffer than Bikes, but I’ve always preferred the linen finish and the way the Bee’s slid together when performing faros. Remedies are printed on the premium Bee crushed stock, I think slightly thinner than original Bee’s, but not enough to matter. They are also traditionally cut and printed by USPCC, a trait I like in all my cards.

I found the edge cut to be slightly rough. That’s not a problem if the edge softens during use.. and my Remedies would faro properly after three or four minutes of faro’s. This shouldn’t be an issue for most of you, but I have several controls that are dependent on my faro.. I have to be able to perform a perfect faro or the deck goes on the shelf. Thankfully, Remedies came through for me.

Most of the court cards are custom made. The King of Diamonds is a redesigned image of Daniel Madison and the other King of Diamonds, yes, there’s two, is Daniel Schneider. The King of Spades is David Blaine, the King of Clubs is David at Magicorthodoxy, and the King of Hearts is a German magician who’s name escapes me. There are several hidden secrets within the court cards, including two Kings holding different cards and an angle zero gaff on the back of an extra nine.

The tuck case is a sharp, minimally designed, box with the raven feather and the black rose, both siymbolic of the Schneider-Madison kinship. Both the feather and rose are white on either a solid red, blue, or green box. The backs of the cards are similar to the case, except with a thin, white border and a dual rose and feather image.. I like it…

Ultimately, you buy cards for their collect ability, and REMEDIES are very collectable.. or you buy cards because you appreciate their feel and handling qualities. The features and design of any deck ARE important, and these cards have that in spades, but I have to be able to say I like how they feel. It’s that simple. That’s why I recommend REMEDIES to all my friends and readers.

$15.00 Available from Murphy’s Magic and their associates..
https://www.murphysmagic.com/Product.aspx?id=66777

Review by Rick Carruth