Browsed by
Tag: review

Fire When Ready – John Bannon – A Review

Fire When Ready – John Bannon – A Review

Fire When Ready – John Bannon – A Review

Part Three in a John Bannon Trilogy.. from John Bannon and BigBlindMedia.. This is the Ad Copy..

After the best selling smash hit releases ‘Bullets After Dark’ and ‘Bullet Party’, John Bannon is finally ready to close out his ‘Bullet’ trilogy. The third and final entry is ‘Fire When Ready’, a veritable feast of card magic delights. Fuelled by Bannon’s inimitable style of easy-to-achieve, yet staggeringly powerful card magic, this is a project you NEED!

Over an immense 180 minute running time, Fire When Ready will arm you with some of the strongest card magic imaginable. From Bannon’s go-to opener for more than a decade ‘Line Of Sight’ to the impossibly clean think of card ‘Proxy Shock’. The ten featured routines are audaciously constructed and require only the most basic sleight of hand, yet, they are tricks that are destined to be in your arsenal for EVER!

My Thoughts:

Typical John Bannon. Of course, ‘typical’ John Bannon is like saying ‘typical Beatles’.. or ‘typical Dali’. For what it is, this is about as good as it gets. This DVD is listed as for beginners, so you know you aren’t getting knuckle-busting card effects. But, just because it’s for beginners doesn’t mean it should be ‘card tricks 101’.. and it’s not.

This is a very intelligent collection of effects that virtually anyone can learn from. There is something for everyone. Yes, some of the tricks require more work than others, but unless you want to remain a beginner for the rest of your life.. just go with it.

Don’t be afraid.. regardless of which end of the spectrum you’re on.. Everyone will come away happy and the proud possessor of at least two or three effects you’ll put to good use. What I like about Bannon is.. he wants every effect to look like something a very skilled performer would perform. Not a single effect in this collection is a dud. Not a single effect is something I’d be shy to perform for a table full of spectators. Several are magician foolers, which naturally get an extra star.. if I gave stars.

Run time is about 3 hours, and video and sound are typical BigBlindMedia. Nothing distracting or over-the-top, or less-than-expected. Just plain ‘ol good production qualities.

The first line or two in these descriptions are from the Ad Copy. I have added my comments to the bottom of each effect…

Proxy Shock – They think of a card. The deck is shuffled. It looks like you miss… then BOOM! They realise they were just being set up for the sucker punch.
– This uses a regular deck and no setup. All the magic happens during the effect. This does use a sleight, taught carefully by John, and something that virtually anyone can do with a little practice. As with several of John’s effects, he uses a double undercut during the effect, which is something you probably already know or can learn quickly. This is one slick trick when done at speed. It’s also something you can show your magician buddies and they won’t know how you did it.. unless they watched this DVD.

Rock The ‘Voque – A spectator reads your mind, bit by bit, nailing the card you thought of… and you can prove it!
– Equivoque. Nice example of a technique familiar to magicians but not familiar to the public. You may not fool a lot of magicians with this.. but you WILL fool the dickens out of lay folks. Easy to do, if you can remember a few simple steps. No sleights, but may use a ‘move’ of sorts to help with selecting the right card. I can see myself adding this to a table hopping lineup as it’s easy to set up and keeps cards off wet tables. One of my most favorite effects..

Mundo – All the impact of ‘Out of This World’, but in a small packet, and with a twist that will fool EVERYONE!
– Bannon adds a personal touch to this Out of this World plot that gives it a unique look. Not hard to do.. most of the work is done beforehand, and the only ‘sleight’ is a false shuffle. My personal opinion.. a few folks may discern a portion of the effect, but the vast majority of folks will be totally fooled. It’s up to you to sell the improbability.

Cut & Run – Produce the Four Aces from a deck repeatedly shuffled and cut… by your SPECTATOR! This is a killer utility!
– Another effect with a slight bit of prep.. but you can actually achieve everything needed with the spectator watching you. Sort of a ‘Ben Earle move as interpreted by John Bannon’ makes everything possible. You will need to practice this to make it work properly, not because of difficult moves, but just to be able to perform the moves swiftly and convincingly. Another of my personal favorites.

Hybrid Holdout – Your participant shuffles and cuts. Top stock: Controlled?!?
Additional instruction on a fairly simple sleight…

Stealth Aces – A classic Ace Assembly, that combines easy handling with a devious construction!
– Ace Assembly. A John Carey effect with a John Bannon move. Although this effect has been around awhile.. it’s still a winner. It reminds me of something I’d normally have to get from Paul Gordon. If you’ve bought packet effects from Paul, as I have, you’ll know what I’m talking about..! You think cards are at one place, and discover they’re someplace different. Everything is accomplished with one move, and NOT a shuffle or count. Slick…

Big Fat Bluff Aces – John’s hidden gem. This assembly is a showpiece, and features several astonishing kickers, and will leave EVERYONE reeling – laymen and magicians alike!
– An Ace Assembly.. without the assembly. Uses an Elmsley Count and a couple of variations. This is the most commercial of all the effects.. and will require a little more practice than most effects.. but it will be well worth it. Learn to do this effect with pace and confidence and you’ll be performing this for years to come.

Blues Alley Jokers – Truly shocking appearance of Jokers sandwiching a selected card.
– Sandwich effect. Jack Carpenter inspired effect utilizes a shift to move three cards from one known location to a seemingly impossible location. Everyone will love this one if you’re willing to put in a little work.

Clean Out Of Sight – Vernon’s classic gets the Bannon treatment – a spectator shuffles and thinks of a card, without you touching a thing. Then, following the spectators intuition, you zero in on a card they’ve genuinely thought of, and never named. BOOM!
– A little Vernon.. a little Martin Gardner. Math is the secret, but no worries. Everything is self working up to a point. Then, you need to perform a gentle sleight or two to get the final outcome. This will fool anyone, including most magicians.

Question Zero – A borrowed, shuffled deck. A thought of card. Zero questions, maximum bang for minimal buck!
– This is, technically, perhaps the most challenging effect on the DVD. But, with a little work, will offer the most reward. The deck CAN be borrowed, there is NO setup, and you do NOT ask any questions. Yet, you know their selected card and can reveal it in any number of ways.

Line Of Sight – What does John open his card sets with? Line of sight. And you will see why! John teaches all the tips that make this shocking moment of mental card magic work, with the pack in the spectators hands.
– Inspired by a Alain Nu effect, Line of Sight uses a very casual glimpse, taught by John, to obtain a freely selected cards identity. This effect relies on a story to sustain the mystery, and the spectator will never figure how you knew their card, leaving them with no choice but to believe your improbable story. This is a quick opener.

– Additional instructions on getting a glimpse..

I will recommend this to all my friends and readers of the Magic Roadshow. It’s a good, quality instructional DVD that impressed me with all the strong effects you wouldn’t normally expect from a DVD with so few sleights. NOT a self-working video, but some of the effects are darn close to it. Others will require you to get your hands slightly dirty.. but it will be well worth it…

$25.00 From Murphy’s Magic and dealers who carry their line of products..
https://www.murphysmagic.com/Product.aspx?id=65048

Reviewed by Rick Carruth for the Magic Roadshow..

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 )

KEY PREDICTION – By Richard Griffin

KEY PREDICTION – By Richard Griffin

Key Prediction – by Richard Griffin
Murphy’s Magic

Key Prediction by Richard Griffin - Trick

KEY PREDICTION uses a key fob to complete a prediction routine based on an Al Koran effect. The performer shows an audience member several items; specifically a key, a coin, a phone, and a credit card.. all items normally carried by a spectator or two. The spectator is asked to eliminate one of the items. It’s a totally free choice. Then, a second and a third are eliminated.. leaving only one item on the table. Everyone agrees there was no forcing involved and the remaining choice was a totally free one.

Despite this.. the performer focuses attention on a set of keys and an attached key fob resting on the table from before the initial selection. The performer is correct.. always correct. Thankfully, there are NO multiple outs and NO forcing. The item fairly selected by the spectator is the item shown on the back of the key fob.

This is a nice mental magic effect that can be performed during walk-around or stand up performances. It would work nicely during table hopping, as you really don’t need much room. Based on an idea initially created by Al Koran, Key Prediction depends on a little bit of manipulation to go with a gaffed key fob, allowing the performer to control the outcome with a minimum amount of effort.

I’m not going to say you can perform Key Prediction straight out the package.. but the ‘manipulation’ is not a worry for virtually any level of magician. You should be performing successfully within 30 minutes or so. It’s a matter of getting comfortable with gripping the components. In all fairness, the item is listed as ‘intermediate’ magic.. but I honestly feel any level can perform Key Prediction with a little practice.

Reset is about a second or two. It can be accomplished facing the spectators without a need to ‘hide’. (Don’t confuse ‘hide’ with ‘conceal’..)

In addition to the key, phone, coin and credit card reveal, the key fob also allows you to perform a circle, square, wavy line and star reveal.. the traditional ESP symbols.. minus the circle. I appreciate the flexibility and the added reveal items as you can easily carry the four ESP cards in your pocket to expedite the performance, particularly if you’re performing it a number of times as with walk-around. Mr Griffin also includes a blank option for you to create your own reveal. When combined with other mental effects, this can be a very powerful feature. Use an erasable pen and you can change the ‘blank’ side to anything you want..

Your package will include the special key fob, the necessary gimmicks, and an instructional DVD. My only complaint is the DVD could have been a little longer. With a run time of about 18 minutes it covers all the basics well.. but perhaps it could have included some additional ideas. That’s OK. Your mind will race with possibilities once you get your hands on Key Prediction.

I will recommend Key Prediction, as it does what it says.. and it allows you to do what it advertises. We all wish a new gimmick could contain some type of true magic and would make us look amazing with no effort on our part.. but I have yet to review such an item.. darn it. If you put the effort into Key Prediction, I do promise you’ll have a nice little pocket effect that won’t gather dust in your ‘magic box of unfulfilled dreams’.

Available for $34.95 for magic companies that carry the Murphy’s Magic line of products..

https://www.murphysmagic.com/product.aspx?id=59084

Review by Rick Carruth..