Draven Reviews: Velocity by Rick Smith Jr.

approvedTitle: Velocity
Artist:  Rick Smith Jr
Producers: Murphy’s Magic
Where to Purchase: Buy at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer
Retail Price: $29.95
Learning Difficulty: Medium to Difficult
Length of DVD:   1 Hour 45 Minutes
Notes: None

 

 
Features:
•    Play All
•    Chapter Menu
•    Exhibition

Includes:
•    DVD

This is the definitive go to tutorial for learning how to throw playing cards with speed, and accuracy.  This DVD is an absolute essential must have for the card enthusiast, and competitive thrower alike!  Velocity is taught by world record holder Rick Smith Jr. and covers everything you will ever need to know about how to throw a playing card like you were a super hero.  I really don’t want to review this product because the information in here is so good it shouldn’t belong in the general public’s hands.  That being said… welcome to Velocity.

Growing up as a kid I was really into Marvel comics and one of my favorite super heros was this X-Man named Gambit who could throw kinetically charged playing cards with deadly explosive accuracy.  I always wanted to be just like Gambit.  He had it all, the looks, the accent, the mysterious past, and more ammunition that he could carry around in his pockets than he’d ever need.  As a magician I always wanted to be like him and throw cards with deadly accuracy.  Though being able to kinetically charge them with energy as a mutant power isn’t a real possibility for me, through Velocity I HAVE learned to throw cards as if I were Gambit, and I’m amazed at how quickly I’ve been able to pick this skill up too!

Rick is so much fun to watch on the DVD and he breaks card throwing down and leaves nothing out.  For example did you ever think it was possible to cut a stalk of celery in half with a standard rider back bike card?  It is!  It’s all in how fast the card spins.  Good thing for you Rick discusses the importance of putting spin into your card throw.  Want to know how to hold the card?  Rick talks about the popular grips like the RSJ grip, the Hermann grip, and the Jay grip.  What about materials?  What’s the best material to practice throwing cards into?  Rick’s got your back!  He tells you where to buy, how much it’s going to cost, and what to use.  It’s all in the DVD.  Do you think cutting celery is impressive?  Want to try bananas, carrots, or even popping latex balloons?  It can be done!  Want to throw cards so fast they whistle as they fly over your audiences head?  He’ll show you how to make cards that whistle when thrown.  It’s a lot easier and simpler than you’d probably believe.  But that’s all just getting started.  Rick also talks about the types of playing cards that are out there, environmental conditions to consider, throwing for distance, and even safety tips for yourself and your audience members.  Velocity is an amazing product and I can’t stress enough how much you need it if you want to learn to throw cards.

The only negative point I can make about Velocity is that Rick is an absolute fool for putting this much information out there on how to build a throwing card act for such a little price.  This DVD has too much information.  There isn’t a second on this DVD that isn’t jammed full of useful insights that you’ll use every time you throw cards.  If you really wanted to you could build an entire show off the information on this DVD alone.  That’s just too much good information going to the general public.  He should have never put that much on this single DVD project.

Learning to throw cards isn’t something you’re going to master over night.  Like any skilled trade you’ll need to practice it, refine it, and fine tune it, but if you keep with it, listen to the advice Rick gives you and stay with it you’ll have a skill set that will last you a life time and make a solid reputation for you.  This DVD is amazing, and I’m so grateful I got turned onto it by a friend.  Best product I’ve seen all year!

I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 10
Great material, everything you could want to know about throwing cards at a good price.

Teaching Quality: 10
Rick is funny, he’s engaging, he explains everything in a way that makes it easy to follow.

Video & Sound Quality: 10
Sound and video are both well produced.

Overall Quality: 10
This product is a must have.  I don’t care if you want to learn to throw cards, or just want it as a reference point.  This product belongs in your library.

Got a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if you can earn the coveted Draven’s Seal of Approval?  Email me at Draven@williamdraven.com and let me know what I can do for you!  Maybe you’re next product could be the next Draven’s Reviews.

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Draven Reviews: Inscrutable II by Joseph Barry

approvedTitle: Inscrutable II
Artist:  Joseph Barry
Producers: Alakazam Magic UK
Where to Purchase: Buy at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer
Retail Price: $38.25
Learning Difficulty: Medium to Difficult
Length of DVD:   1 hour 54 minutes
Notes: None
 

 
Features:

  • Play All
  • Chapters
    • 10 Cards for Levante
    • Thanks to Vernon
    • Simple Card at Number
    • Eighth Son
    • The Spread Cross Force
    • Think
    • Pseudo Hold’em
    • End Play
    • Freedom Stacking
    • Psychic Spectator
    • Intuitive Selection
    • BONUS: Flip Double Lift
    • BONUS: Thanks To Higham
  • Credits

Includes:

  • DVD

Joseph Barry returns in a much anticipated third disk installment of his “Inscrutable” series.  Powerful card magic and moves sure to entertain your audiences and keep them spellbound for hours.

Inscrutable II is full of some amazingly original card routines from the furtile mind of Joseph Barry.  Nearly two hours of solid card magic, and tutorial that I found to be not only full of good magic, but easy enough to follow along.

When it comes to learning new magic tricks I’m all thumbs.  I fumble a lot, I drop the cards, and I’m not the most skilled person at technical moves.  I’ve got my set of techniques that I’ve learned and I tend to get by on, but when it comes to card magic I’m no John Armstrong.  Normally when I purchase products like this I’m intimidated by the card sleights.  Hell I’m still trying to master Malone’s Sam The Bellhop for Christ sake!  But Joseph has somehow managed to take material that is brilliant to watch and make it comfortable enough to learn.    I’m an instant fan.

There’s a lot of material on this nearly two hour DVD so I’m only going to touch on a few of my favorite routines.  Suffice it to say there isn’t a single bad thing on this disk.  Every routine is casual, powerful, and stunning.

10 Cards for Levante.  Joseph’s handling of this effect is amazing.  The spectator cuts the cards.  The bottom pack is shuffled.  A poker hand is dealt, the spectator exchanges for the number of cards they want, you do the same, and you finish with a royal flush in spades!  I love how casual Joseph handles the cards in this.  He never even looks at his hand.  This trick simply screams ultimate control over the cards, and over your spectator.

Thanks To Vernon is a brilliant four ace assembly that’s very clean.  Love it.

Simple Card at Number.  Any card at any number has been a classic plot in magic for many years.  What Joseph has done was taken this plot to a new level.  The spectators card not only shows up at the number they call but they stop you from dealing cards onto the table with exactly that many cards left in your hand.  So say they call Jack of Hearts at 32.  They stay stop when you’re dealing and you’ve got exactly 32 cards left.  The 32nd card being their named card!

The Flip Double Lift is a bonus move on the DVD, but I like it for how cleanly it displays a double.  It’s a move that I’ll be using for sure in my card work.

For the close up performer this DVD is a must for original powerful card magic.  Joseph’s style is so laid back you barely even realize he’s doing anything at all.  You’ll spend some time mastering these routines but it will be time well spent.  This DVD is a must have!

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 9
Solid card magic at a great price.  There is a lot of value in this nearly two hour long DVD.

Teaching Quality: 9
Joseph is very laid back and easy to watch.  The routines can take a bit to master but it’s well worth the time spent learning.

Video & Sound Quality: 7
The sound is a bit difficult to hear.  Joseph talks in a very soft voice most of the time so I had to turn my volume up louder than I normally do for DVDs.

Overall Quality: 9
This is a must have for card magic.  Brilliant routines that are powerful, and creative.  I HIGHLY recommend it!

Got a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if you can earn the coveted Draven’s Seal of Approval?  Email me at Draven@williamdraven.com and let me know what I can do for you!  Maybe you’re next product could be the next Draven’s Reviews.

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Draven Reviews: Capsoul by D’Puk M’

approvedTitle: Capsoul
Artist:  D’Puck M’Shra
Producers: SansMinds
Where to Purchase: Buy at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer
Retail Price: $
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Length of DVD:  36 minutes
Notes: None

 

 
Features:
•    Play All
•    Menu
•    SansMinds Products
•    Credits

Includes:
•    DVD
•    Extra Cards

Capsoul is a DVD showing you how to do some visual card productions using just a normal baseball cap.

In an industry saturated with card tricks and ways to produce a spectator’s card it’s neigh but impossible to come up with something that hasn’t been done before.  D’Puck M’Shra has breathed a breath of fresh air into a category of magic that has literally seen it all: card magic.

Organic.   In one word I can describe how the magic in this DVD feels.  Very organic.  This DVD is custom tailored for younger performers who want to forgo the suit and tie image of their adult brethren and cultivate an edgier younger “street” look by giving them ways to incorporate a very common accessory (a baseball cap) into their magic.  Forget about the bunny rabbits folks, in Capsoul you’ll be pulling a spectators selected playing card from your cap.

The magic is simple and strait forward.  You’re going to use your baseball cap to produce selected cards, “catch” a selected card from a pack thrown into the air ala Card Sword, and other similar products using your baseball cap.  The gimmicks, if you can call them that, are easy to assemble, and you’ll need to supply your own baseball cap.  Performance wise some of the tricks are a little move knacky but nothing you shouldn’t be able to master with a little practice.

Personally, this isn’t my style of magic.  I’m not a baseball cap type of person, and to do these tricks you’ll need a particular type of cap.  The one with the adjustable straps in the back so there’s a little “window” in them.  I love the organic feel and for a younger performer this would be something that would make perfect sense for them.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 9
It’s not expensive, and the magic is very organic.

Teaching Quality: 9
The teaching in the DVD is solid.  Very easy to follow making learning to do these tricks a quick process.

Video & Sound Quality: 9
Clear sound, and video

Overall Quality: 8
For a younger magician looking for tricks to do that doesn’t cause them to compromise on their urban style this is a must have.  Casual magic at its finest!  Forget the suit and tie, magic is now being done in jeans, t-shirts, and baseball caps.

Got a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if you can earn the coveted Draven’s Seal of Approval?  Email me at Draven@williamdraven.com and let me know what I can do for you!  Maybe you’re next product could be the next Draven’s Reviews.

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Draven Reviews: Noted 2.0 by Gary Jones

approvedTitle: Noted 2.0

Artist: Gary Jones

Producers: Magic Tao

Where to Purchase: Buy at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Retail Price: $24.99

Learning Difficulty: Easy

 

 

Length of DVD: 10 minutes

Notes: None

 

Features:

  • Play All
  • Trailer
  • Performance
  • Intro
  • Explanation

 

Includes:

  • DVD
  • Gimmick

 

You magically make a notepad disappear, a deck of cards appear, and amaze the audience with some visual close up magic all at the same time!

 

Noted 2.0 was one of those tricks that I saw the online demo for and said to myself: “Draven… if you were to do table hoping magic at a bar or restaurant this is the type of thing you open with.” So I went ahead and got the DVD.   Compared to a lot of other packaged DVD + gimmick products out there Noted 2.0 doesn’t really come with a lot of stuff. The gimmick is stupid simple to use, and I dare say it doesn’t really require any sleight of hand at all to perform. The DVD’s run time being just shy of 10 minutes puts this product into question of why you even have a DVD to begin with, other than that being the popular trend with magic these days.   But don’t think for a second that this means the trick is a bad one, because it’s not. I really have enjoyed playing with Note 2.0 and I’ve received some pretty amazing reactions with it.

 

The gimmick is simple in construction, but man does it look good. Even at a close glance you’d swear you were looking at what the gimmick is pretending to be. This thing is deceptive! Mechanically the gimmick, or the one I received at the very least, is very stiff. At first I didn’t like that feature but the more I’ve used it the more it’s loosened up and become easier to work with. The DVD is very simple to follow. It’s one of those things that you’ll watch once, and then chuck into your magic drawer because you won’t really need to watch it again. The presentation that is given to you on the DVD utilizes the old pen vanishing behind the ear trick to cover for the notepad vanish- deck production. This is a great way to misdirect the audience’s attention during the vanish, but I’ve found that it’s almost stronger to make the notepad vanish under your hand before their eyes. You see a clip of this in the video. Either way you choose to present it you’ll enjoy some good reactions. The gimmick, with proper care, should last you quite a while. The only downside is that you have to use a deck of cards with a backing specific to the gimmick. For those of us who prefer to use anything but red or blue rider back bikes this could be a small issue.

 

 

As far as close up magic is concerned this is a great opening bit, especially for a strolling magician.  It’s visual and it resets pretty much instantly. Overall I’m really impressed with this little trick. I can see myself using this quite a lot to open conversations with people, and then use that as a springboard into performing some magic for them.

 

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

 

Product Quality: 8

It’s not expensive, and the gimmick is built sturdy enough to last many uses.

 

Teaching Quality: 9

Teaching quality scores high because there’s not really a lot you need to teach. The product is pretty self intuitive.

 

Video & Sound Quality: 9

Clear sound, and video

 

Overall Quality: 8

The product is great! It’s a good intro into doing a card trick, and it’s visual. With it having an instant reset, bar and restaurant magicians are going to love this.

 

 

Got a product you want reviewed? Want to see if you can earn the coveted Draven’s Seal of Approval? Email me at Draven@williamdraven.com and let me know what I can do for you! Maybe you’re next product could be the next Draven’s Reviews.

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Draven Reviews: The Box By Mark Southworth

approvedTitle: The Box
Artist: Mark Southworth
Producers: Visual Deceptions
Link:     http://www.murphysmagic.com/Product.aspx?id=52223
Retail Price: 75.00
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Notes: Some assembly maybe required for creating new gimmicks.
Run Time: 1 hour 7 minutes
Features:
•    Play All

Includes:
•    The Box Gimmick
•    The Resetting Tool
•    Spare Box
•    Extra Secret Stuff to Make New Reveals

A small bag is laid on the table, a padlock through the corner sealing it off from the rest of the world.  A spectator selects a card, signs the card, and the card does all sorts of wonderous things, changes places, appears inside wallets, is produced from shoes, and at the very end disappears all together.  Attention is drawn to the bag.  The spectator unlocks it, inside a small plastic case is removed and inside the case… visible for all to see is a folded up card.  The card is dumped out and low and behold it’s the signed card!  The applause is yours; the secret is Mark Southworth’s The Box!

There are a couple of products on the market that do something similar to The Box, and you’ll pay a pretty penny for them too.  Two of the most immediate ones that come to mind is The Clarity Box by David Regal which runs around the range of about $70-80.  The original Myster Box, that nice wooden box which was a John Kennedy creation is no longer in print.  It is noted though that the new Mystery Box v.2.0 by John Kennedy is no longer a nice looking wooden box.  Its new design pales in comparison to the original masterpiece in my unflattering honest opinion.  The new Mystery Box 2.0 will also cost you around $70 bucks.  Lastly Modern Magic has a wooden version very similar to the Kennedy box on sale for around $40.    All of these do the same thing.  They allow you to switch out an apparent card for the spectators signed card under impossible conditions.  The nice thing about The Box is that it looks really unsuspecting, which is disarming to the spectators, and it allows you to easily switch out the reveal to be anything you want from a folded up playing card to a folded up bank note, to even a folded up piece of prediction paper.  You can customize The Box to fit your show needs.

Having had a chance to play with The Box, and compared it side by side with an original Kennedy Mystery Box I can say there is something appealing to the simplicity of the prop and yet at the exact same time that simplicity is going to be one of its largest weaknesses.  For the magicians who prefer to have nice, fancy looking, dressed up boxes, and especially fans of Kennedy’s original, are going to hate how this thing looks.  The Box is of simple construction.  It looks like a cheap plastic jewelry box the kind of thing you’d expect to find a lapel pin packaged in.  It’s a far cry from the elegance in appearance to the Mystery Box though functionally it’s the same thing.  However where some close up workers find weakness with the device’s appearance others will find strength.  This thing looks like something you picked up out of a junk drawer on the way to your show.  It’s ordinary looking, and everyone has seen something like this before.  It’s so cheaply made it couldn’t possibly contain any trickery!  So you can expect the jury of magicians to be split on this product. Personally I rather like it.  The simplicity works for me in my walk around because I don’t carry a lot of expensive looking props with me when I table hop.  If the most expensive thing I normally produce is a fancy looking deck of cards and all of a sudden I have this nice wood box on the table that just screams prop.  In my hands this cheap little device actually doesn’t draw as much attention.  Go figure.

The Box comes with an instructional DVD, and for how simple the darn thing is you’d be amazed at how much material they managed to pack onto that disk.  It’s over an hour long!  Needless to say Mark teaches you how to make your own gimmick, how to change the gimmick out to fit your show needs, and how to quickly reset this gimmick for a new presentation.  Yes it does reset quickly, and can almost be done under the spectators noses.  The DVD is an eye sore though.  There is no DVD cover art; it’s just a blank white disk.  For the price of this product you’d think they would have invested in a decent graphic artist to do a DVD cover image!  There are no chapter displays, no menu to flip through.  You have one option:  Press Play and sit back for an hour and eight minutes.  Of course you can always hit the next chapter button on your DVD remote, and that will skip forward through the sections but if you want to review something quickly there’s no easy way to go to it.  The videography was apparently shot by a student filmmaker as well considering Mark is washed out in lights for most of it, the sound isn’t crisp, and the video footage is grainy at times.  So I guess if you’re intent is to learn a magic trick and you care less about how it’s taught then these things wouldn’t bother you.  For me, if I’m paying 75$ for a product that comes with a DVD, and the product itself could be bought at the store for less than 5 bucks I’d better see some god damn production value in that DVD!

Practicality wise if you’re going to run a loaded prediction box effect you’ve got a few options to choose from and they are all going to cost you a pretty penny.  As for performing; The Box holds up.  It’s easy to use, simple to reset,   and it does pack a punch when it comes to the big reveal time.  It’s a great way to end any card trick, and it fits nicely into your pockets without taking up a lot of valuable space.  It’s customizable, and it’s clean with a quick reset.  Street, restaurant workers, and close up artists are all going to like it.

Over all I have to say that I liked The Box.  I’ve been getting some consistently good reactions with it, and it’s flexible enough to do just about anything I want it to do reveal wise.  The cheap construction works for me, though I know that won’t be something everyone is going to appreciate.  The price though is leaving a sour taste in my mouth.  If this thing was like $40 or even maybe $50 bucks it wouldn’t be all that bad, but at $75 bucks you’re going to be in the spending range of any other box prediction out there, and frankly there are others that look better than this one.  So there really is no clear winner when it comes to price points alone.  If anything The Box loses on price points because of how cheap the prop is, how much you pay for it, and the DVD is utter shit from a production quality point of view.  At the end of the day, it works.  So if you are after something that gets the job done then there is no false advertisement here.  It’ll do what it’s supposed to.  But this isn’t something you’d want if you’re going for form over function.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 4
This product is overpriced for the cheap construction of the product and the nonexistent production quality of the DVD.

Teaching Quality: 8
Mark is really easy to listen to.  He teaches well, it’s easy to follow along with what you need to do construction wise, and it’s not hard to learn all the moves.

Video & Sound Quality: 4
My nephew could, and has, produced better quality video’s using Windows Movie Maker and an I-phone.

Overall Quality: 5
The product works.  It’s portable, and it packs a punch.  You can customize it to fit your needs, and it easily resets in a matter of seconds.  However on the down side it costs a lot of money for apparently not a lot of value, and other products do similar things that aren’t that much more expensive but look better.  It’s your call folks.  I’m not sure I would have bought this thing over again if I was given the choice.

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Draven Reviews: The Workers Dream By Harry Robson

approvedTitle: Workers Dream
Artist: Harry Robson
Producers: Magic Ltd.

 

 

 

 

Link:  http://www.murphysmagic.com/Product.aspx?id=53298
Retail Price: $167.99
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Notes: Some assembly maybe required for creating new gimmicks.
Run Time: 35 minutes

Features:
•    Play All
•    Scene Selection
•    Bonus Routine

Includes:
•    The Wallet
•    Out To Lunch Cards
•    Load Slides
•    Pre-set up Pre-sealed Envelopes
•    Privacy Screen
•    Inner Loading Wallet
•    DVD

The Workers Dream is an all purpose utility wallet for the on the go close up worker loaded with secret card to sealed envelope slides, a built in Out To Lunch gimmick, and secret business card peek.  This maybe one of the last wallets you ever buy.

When you think of a utility device one of the few that come to mind is a magician’s wallet.  These wallets have been made to do everything from hold multiple outs, to loading cards into envelops, to shooting fire, to getting peeks at what is written on business cards, to just about anything else you can think of.  What Harry has attempted to do is create for you a perfect working man’s wallet loaded with multiple little gimmicks that can allow you to do an entire show just out of your pocket alone.

The wallet is beautiful in construction.  It’s a good sized wallet and it’s made from nice leather.  In fact, just to give you an idea of how nice it is this wallet went from my desk into my close up case, where it currently lives, in just under a few hours.  The wallet has a good weight to it, and all the additional accessories it comes with really makes this wallet a fine quality product for the price you pay.

The wallet can do several things for you.  The first and probably one of its more central functions is card to sealed envelope.  The wallet comes with several slides so you can easily have five or six envelopes already set up in your case or other jacket pocket, good to go, and just replace the envelop slide and all as you need it.  Table Hoppers will LOVE this feature.

The wallet also has a generous section on the left side to hold bills.  If you do any bill magic, such as Hundy 500, Clean Cash, or other such things, then you can easily store your bills here and have easy justifiable access to them.

The wallet has a built in special holder for Out To Lunch cards with special pocket for the gimmick, which some are supplied for you.  If you’re not familiar with Out To Lunch it’s a cute trick to do with your business cards that many magicians use to book gigs.  In fact on the Out To Lunch cards supplied for you the line the spectator signs on says that they agree to book the performer on a future gig should the prediction be right.  It’s evil and I love it.

The wallet has an outer business card peek device built in, and it comes with a few options as to how you want to use it.  You can trim down one of your own business cards and put it in the window thus personalizing your wallet a bit more, or you can use the stock black card that the wallet comes with.  For those fans of Chris Kenworthy telethought wallet, the privacy screen that comes included works on the same principle.  Personally I hate that filter, but then again I also hated Kenworthy’s telethought note pad thing too.

The Wallet’s inner wallet is a beautiful little thing that allows you to also load a card, or prediction into it as you pull it out, creating for yet another impossible card to location effect.  This effect was made famous by Tom Mullica or is also commonly known as Mullica Wallet.

The Worker’s Dream comes with a DVD that explains everything that you receive, how to set things up, and how to use them.  At about 35 minutes the DVD isn’t that bad to listen through, and perhaps one of the most useful things is learning how to set up the sealed envelopes for more performances.  There is nothing like a little arts and crafts before a show right?  If you are used to working with different wallets before getting The Worker’s Dream then you may find it preferable to skip most of the information on the DVD.  If this is your first wallet then the DVD will be helpful but it’s pretty safe to say that you’ll be working with the wallet long before the DVD finishes playing in any case.

Practicality was the primary function when this wallet was designed!  Close up workers, table hoppers, street magicians, and even parlor workers alike will love this thing.  It’s easy to get into and out of, the slides work beautifully, the peek is seamless, it’s flexible, and it’s well made.

Overall I have to say that I loved it.  This is a great wallet and that’s evident by the fact that it immediately went into my close up case.  You’re going to love it too.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 9
This is a good product.  You get a hell of a lot of bang for your buck, and it’s something that you’ll use over and over.  The construction will hold up to many future performances, and the DVD is good too.

Teaching Quality: 8
Good tutorial.  Easy to learn and follow along with.

Video & Sound Quality: 7
The live performance sections were a little rough, but overall not bad.

Overall Quality: 8
This is a multi function workers wallet with flexibility to the kind of tricks that it can be used for, and the built in Out To Lunch pocket is a blessing.  Love it!

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Draven Reviews: The Business By Ramanos

approvedTitle: The Business
Artist: Ramanos
Producers: Alakazam Magic UK
Link: http://www.murphysmagic.com/Product.aspx?id=53031
Retail Price: $66.30
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Notes: You will need to supply your own business cards.
Run Time:  31 minutes

 

 
Features:
•    Introduction
•    A Closer Look
•    Basic Handling
•    An Idea Using The Color Cube
•    An Idea Using Magicians Graphology
•    Additional Ideas

Includes:
•    The DVD
•    The Gimmick
•    Gimmick Storage Pouch
•    Extra Card Holder

You have the spectator draw a picture on the back of your business card.  She then puts it back into your card holder.  You turn back around to face her, pick it up and put it away.  You instantly know what she drew.  There are no mirrors, no sleight of hand, and no escape.  You just gave her The Business.

The Business is for all intents and purposes a utility prop.  The DVD that comes with the product, while helpful, is mostly over kill.  Once you realize what this product is, and how to make it work, then what to do with it will come natural to you.  Ramanos gives you some cute ideas using a Rubik’s cube, or using The Business as a complementary method to use with Andy Nyman’s Graphology.  While I won’t go into too many details about that think of it as a close up version of a drawing replication act that usually plays on larger stages.

The Business is a well built metallic card business card holder.  The thing I love about it is that it gives you an excuse to use your business cards in a magic routine, thus handing them out to potential future clients in the process.  No one even suspects that your card case is the key to your method.  Unlike so many other magicians props this thing is so functional it evades suspicion.

I’ve been using The Business for a few weeks now when I’m out and about.  Mostly I’ve been doing simple mind reading, or drawing duplication routines but the reactions I’ve been getting have been solid.  The only real complaint that I have is that there is some very minor angle concerns.  You don’t want to have people directly behind you if you can avoid it.  But even then there are ways to cheat around that so it’s not that big of a deal.

Table Hoppers, close up artists, street magicians and anyone else that wants to give out a business card in a memorable way need to own The Business.  Besides just being cleaver, it’s a fun and handy prop to play with.
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When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 9
This is a great product.  Useful, and flexible.  It’ll fit into your pocket and you’ll never remove it.

Teaching Quality: 8
Good tutorial.  Easy to learn and follow along with.

Video & Sound Quality: 8
The video quality is pretty solid.  No real complaints here.

Overall Quality: 8
This is one hell of a useful little utility peek device.  Like decks of cards, sharpie markers, and sponge balls, this thing belongs in your performance case.

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