Draven Reviews: Devil’s Reflection By: Peter Loughran

approvedTitle: The Devils Reflection MICRO

Artist: Peter Loughran

Producers: Masters of Illusion Entertainment

 

 

Link: http://www.masterofillusions.ca/micro_devils_reflection.htm

Demo Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPnEeLnnnmk

Retail Price: *$799.99 Base price.  +$199.99 for Custom ATA Case.  *Shipping and handling not included.

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Notes: Optional Custom ATA Case Available.  Batteries NOT included.  Pictures of prop available on my review blog.  http://www.williamdraven.wordpress.com

 

 

When I got bit by the illusion bug I was excited for my first big purchase.  I elected to go with a penetration effect, and after a few hours of careful consideration I decided that it would be Peter Loughran’s “Devils Reflection MICRO” that I’d go with.  First off just a comment on customer service before we get into anything about the trick or the prop:  Peter’s customer service was five stars.  Prompt replies via email, clear answers, and he was even willing to customize the prop for me by doing a custom color on the finished product.  The turn around time from order to door was also about a week less than expected.  So, I’m very happy with the overall experience of the sale.

 

Upon receipt of the illusion I’m kind of shocked to see how large the ATA case actually is!  This is a decent sized prop.  The pictures online really don’t do it justice.  It’s not too heavy either.  In case it weighs about 26 pounds / 11.7 Kg.  Easy enough to carry around, and small enough to fit in the backseat of my car for travel to and from gigs.

 

 

Devil's Reflection Case

Everything packs nicely into its custom ATA case.  Sadly, there isn’t any additional foam padding inserts to lay between the different parts, or custom slits or slots to hold the different parts of the illusion like I expected there to be.  I guess I’m not sure what is so custom about this case?  It looks like a stock hard ATA case that is roughly sized to fit the components in there.  Peter did include a generous amount of bubble wrap.  So, I guess there’s that. I will say this about the ATA case: The lid is heavy!  The hard-shell exterior will keep the illusion very safe in travel.

Devil's Reflection Case 2

Assembly of the prop takes a couple minutes, and I’m sure it will take less time as familiarity with the prop increases.  The only thing holding the prop together is a pair of bolts and nuts.  The construction is precise, and once assembled it is a beautiful, and sturdy apparatus.  I had mine custom finished in purple, and I think the purple color looks outstanding on this prop.  The usual color the prop comes in is a sharp red, which to be fair to the prop, also looks good.  The size of the prop once built is impressive for something that is, for all intents and purposes, and illusionette.  Designed for parlor presentation, I’m willing to bet this thing will play well on a stage too.  It’s a very visual prop.

Devils Reflection 1

Performing with the prop is a lot of fun.  The secret is absolutely diabolical.  The mechanics involved will take a performer of novice skill level a few minutes to figure out how to operate, giving the magician all the time in the world to focus on routine and presentation.  What I like about it is the ability to modulate how you present the illusion.  The hardest sleights involved is working with the silk penetration.  And if you watch the demo video, I’m sure you know how that’s done and then can reasonably know what you will need to expect to do when performing it.  The penetrations aren’t limited to just silks and hands.  You could, at least in theory, put damn near anything thru the mirror if you wanted to.  Though, I think I’ll stick to the silk and arm myself.  As advertised the penetrations can be done very fast, or slow and deliberate depending on the needs of the performer.  As a personal aesthetic I think this piece shines as a silent act done with sharp deliberate moves, and slowly with the right music playing behind it.  As an added bonus, I think I can safely say that not everyone and their sister is performing this illusion either!  There are some angle issues one has to be aware of.  You are not going to be doing this illusion in the round.  You will be fine though in standard theater proscenium seating.  You’re covered for the front 180 degrees.

Devils Reflection 2

                                 Photo Credits: Peter Loughran.  Image of my illusion borrowed from his social media page. 

The instructions for assembly and performance of the illusion come printed on a couple sheets of computer paper stapled together.  Clearly the production value is in the prop, and not the instructions themselves.  No DVD, no online tutorial video, just a few paragraphs on how it works, and what you can do with it.  Spice it up with a couple of pictures and call it a day.  Given the production value, and cost of the prop, you’d expect the presentation of the instructions to be a bit better.

 

I think another attractive feature about this illusion is that, as far as I can tell, not a lot of people are doing it.  After hours of research into this prop to make sure the purchase was right for me I couldn’t turn up a single decent review, or performance clip, other than the one of Peter himself demoing the illusion, online.  So, I think it’s safe to say this won’t be something people will have seen done a million times before.

 

Everything comes at a price, and this one is no joke.  With all the options, shipping, and handling the price tag on this beauty comes out to a little under $1,100.00.  This is not going to be an impulse purchase by any means, but in the right hands this beautiful prop will become a working favorite.

 

Overall, I’m very satisfied with my first frolic into the realm of higher end illusions.  The prop is absolutely beautiful, the craftsmanship superb, the secret diabolical, and the ease of execution makes it a performance piece for sure.  I adamantly recommend Peter’s Devil’s Reflection MICRO, and I look forward to purchasing more illusions from him with confidence in the near future.

 

 

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 three points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, and Overall Quality.

 

Product Quality: 9

Master craftsmanship, brilliant illusion.  Nice ATA case, but not sure what is custom about it.  All this awesomeness, for a price.

 

Teaching Quality: 7

The instructions are easy enough to learn from, I just wish the presentation would have matched the level of detail spent on the props themselves.

 

Overall Quality: 9

Brilliant!  I absolutely love my MICRO Devil’s Reflection, and can’t wait to put it to good use.

 

 

Do you have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at thewilliamdraven@gmail.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

 

 

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Draven Reviews: Amazink by Sebastien Calbry

approvedTitle: Amazink          

Artist: Sebastien Calbry

Producers: Murphy’s Magic

Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer

 

Demo Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpLqQGuwLG8

Retail Price: $34.95 USD

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Length of Video:  27 Minutes (Approx.)

 

 

I love me a customizable magic trick!  And something as visual as Amazink certainly didn’t fly by without perking my curiosity.  At an investment of about $35 bucks it wasn’t a hard decision to make.  I’ve spent more on less before and if it really did everything I saw in the trailer then it would certainly be worth it to me.  Everything you’d need comes inside the packaging.  You get a plastic convention pass holder, a lanyard, and the gimmick.  You’ll have to figure out what your reveal is going to be, and you’ll have to add that part in yourself, but the good news is that the possibilities are endless.  So you’ll probably have a lot of fun figuring out different ways you can mold this to fit your needs and personality.

 

The video ranks in at just shy of a half hour.  The language sounds like French spoken, with English subtitles.  It goes over how to customize your gimmick as well as how to perform with the prop.  This video could not be any more dry, boring, and unwatchable.  Great trick, but man it’s a grueling task to force yourself to sit thru thirty minutes of this dude talking in a boring manor.

 

The trick instantly resets, and is great if you’re doing strolling.  The magic is visual, and the price is affordable.  Overall I’d say this is a good piece of close up magic.  Assuming you can get thru the tutorial to learn how to present it.

 

 

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 three points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, and Overall Quality.

 

Product Quality: 7

Good magic, affordable price, visual change.

 

Teaching Quality: 3

Boring teacher.  Hated the video.  Very hard to keep focused.  Subtitles made it worse.

 

Overall Quality: 6

Good visual magic.

 

 

Do you have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at thewilliamdraven@gmail.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

 

 

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Draven Reviews: Vanishing Sharpie By: SansMinds

approvedTitle: The Vanishing Sharpie          

Artist: SansMind’s Worker Series

Producers: SansMind

Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer

 

Demo Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0uldZ0EflQ

Retail Price: $55.00 USD

Learning Difficulty:Easy

Length of DVD:  25 Minutes (Approx.)

 

 

So a couple years ago SansMind released an effect called the Vanishing Pen.  It’s basically a pen version of the Neilson vanishing Ketchup / Coke / Champagne bottle but pen sized.  After listening to some buyer feedback they used their same idea only to release it this time in Sharpie form.  But does it stand up to the Draven Review?  Let’s find out.

 

Strait out of the box I can tell you that it looks like a Sharpie marker.  You could probably put it side by side with a real Sharpie marker, and no one would spot a difference.  The weight is obviously different, but then again it would have to be given that you’re dealing with a hollow rubber body.  I’d be a little concerned that the letters may rub off with repeated use, but so far and under an unfair amount of scrutiny, this has not happened with mine yet.  SansMind has also visually marked the Vanishing Sharpie on the marker cap with an inconspicuous mark so you can easily distinguish it from other real Sharpies with a quick glance.  One of the nicer aspects of the Vanishing Sharpie is that with a little bit of prep work you can make the Sharpie write.  So that’s a nice little extra convincer built into it.

If you do any other work with a Sharpie marker during your set such as signing playing cards, writing predictions, etc.  The Vanishing Sharpie is a great way to finish using the marker.  Simply make it vanish, and boom goes the spectators mind.  Switch out is optional.  As is the reappearance.  With a little practice the Flip Stick move is possible, and with the cap on its top heavy enough to sleeve too.

 

While I’m not sure I would personally use the Vanishing Sharpie in any of my personal sets myself, I’m pretty content with it as a magical prop.  It does what it’s supposed to do, and it does so visually.  The price is a bit of a setback though.  At $55 bucks this thing is a little more expensive than I’d like to pay for what is essentially a glorified rubber marker.  I can see close up workers getting some mileage out of this trick.  It appropriately belongs in the “workers series” as this is something that you’re going to be using over and over, if you can get past the price tag.

 

 

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 three points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, and Overall Quality.

 

Product Quality: 6

The price makes it difficult to be an impulse buy.  Frugal magicians maybe sticker shocked.  The magic is visual, and practical.

 

Teaching Quality: 8

Typical tutorial video quality from SansMind.  Probably overtaught in places, but it gets the point across.

 

Overall Quality: 7

Visual, instant reset, can write with it if you wish, and affordable but certainly not cheap.  It’s a solid bit of magic all around.

 

Do you have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at thewilliamdraven@gmail.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

 

 

 

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Draven Reviews: Prevision By: Peter Eggink

approvedTitle: Prevision

Artist: Peter Eggink

Producers: Magic from Holland

Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer

 

Demo Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uuys1jhXFTI

Retail Price: $34.95 USD

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Length of DVD:  32 Minutes (Approx.)

 

 

Prevision takes the open prediction to a whole new level where the predicted card ends up being the spectators signed card!  Peter Eggink’s Prevision is a worker’s dream come true.

 

There’s not a whole lot to say about the packaging.  It’s a small, unassuming little fold of cardboard.  Inside a preconstructed gimmick and instructions to view the tutorial video online.  You’ll need to supply a deck of playing cards the same color as the gimmick inside.

 

The effect is easy enough to learn.  Some sleight of hand will be required, but if you’re not confident in your sleight of hand skills, then the trick can be learned quickly enough with enough practice.  The rest is quick.  And this is a wonderful opener to any number of card routines you plan on doing with the deck there after.

 

This is a worker’s effect.  It’s going to be something you’ll put strait into your close-up case, and it probably won’t leave it.  I’ve enjoyed performing this for my friends and family and I think you’re going to love adding it into your show 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 three points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, and Overall Quality.

 

Product Quality: 8

The gimmick is well built, and the price isn’t that bad either.  Great effect.

 

Teaching Quality: 8

Good Tutorial.

 

Overall Quality: 8

I recommend it!

 

 

Do you have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at thewilliamdraven@gmail.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

 

 

 

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Draven Reviews: The Gift By: Angelo Carbone

approvedTitle: The Gift

Artist: Angelo Carbone

Producers: Murphy’s Magic

Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer

 

Demo Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnvvM7dwWxg

Retail Price: $74.95 USD

Learning Difficulty: Moderate

Length of DVD:  40 Minutes (Approx.)

 

 

Well I’m late to the game on this one, but holy hell was it worth it!  I’ve been dying to get my hands on Angel Carbone’s The Gift for several months now, and I’m quite pleased to say that the wait was worth it!  The Gift is an amazing experience of close up magic wrapped up in a nice little box of impossibility.  This has got to be one of my favorite effects for the year.

 

Starting off with production quality The Gift, mine is black, is well constructed.  The gimmicks are built in and impossible to notice upon even close up inspection.  It’s safe to allow the spectator to handle the box, as they’re not going to discover anything even though the gimmick is quite latterly under their noses.  The magic reveals a playing card that they select themselves, but it’s completely possible to be outfitted to reveal just about anything you’d want so long as you have a way to force it.  So application is limited by imagination.

 

Angle proof, and stunning The Gift is a miracle of close up magic.  Resetting it takes but a quick moment, but it will be one done out of eyesight of your audiences making this a questionable addition to strolling magician’s arsenal of tricks.  For close up workers doing a more structured set though this is magic gold.  It’s visual enough that it works up close, or could be performed for parlor if you had to.

 

If I had to nitpick a negative quality about this product, then I’d have to gripe a bit about the price.  At nearly $75 dollars this is not a cheap effect!  The price alone may keep the average curious person away from the secrets there in, and that may not be a bad thing.  But I feel that for the power behind the magic this price is well worth it.  The Gift won’t be an impulse buy for most people, but I don’t think the price is too much to cause buyer’s remorse either.  Is it worth penny pinching until you can afford it?  It absolutely is.

 

Overall the Gift is a stunning bit of magic.  I loved the tutorial video, and even though it’s a download the quality is certainly there.  This is a powerhouse, and will quickly become a worker for you.  I highly recommend you check this one out while you still can.

 

 

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 three points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, and Overall Quality.

 

Product Quality: 9

Bit on the expensive side, but well worth it.

 

Teaching Quality: 9

Great video!  Good ideas, and easy to perform with practice.

 

Overall Quality: 9

A must have.

 

 

Do you have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at thewilliamdraven@gmail.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

 

 

 

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Draven Reviews: Holely Change By: SansMinds

approvedTitle: Holely Change

Artist: SansMind Creative Lab      

Producers: SansMind

Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer

 

Demo Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWMonl46R6U

Retail Price: $29.95 USD

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Length of DVD:  13 Min (Approx)

 

 

Holely Change is a neat little visual card change effect where a selected playing card is signed by the spectator and then the back of the card changes instantly and visually in front of their eyes as it passes thru a pair of blank cards with a large hole cutout at one end.

 

This is another entry into SansMinds “Worker” series where the magic is intended to be used by magicians for real world applications.  Surprisingly, given SansMinds track record so far of putting out material that looks better in the promo than in real life, the magic in Holely Change is quite functional.  The transformation is very visual and fairly easy to do.  If you’re a complete new comer to card magic then you may have to practice your double lift a bit, but other than that, and a little finesse on the handling, this trick is something you’ll figure out in five minutes.  The presentation isn’t very long, which makes it perfect for strolling situations, and the signed card is a nice keepsake at the end for the spectator.  The trick practically resets itself too, so for you table hoppers out there, this is an attractive option.  Of course, you won’t be seeing this one done on TV anytime soon, as SansMinds reserves the TV rights to any of their products, and this one is no different.

 

The instructional DVD is blessedly short.  Tapping out at just a little over thirteen minutes it teaches the routine without overkilling the instructions. The trick is completely practical and well recommended if you enjoy card magic.

 

 

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

The price is standard, the magic is visual, and the trick resets in seconds.

 

Teaching Quality: 8

Taught well..

 

Video & Sound Quality: 8

No bad audio or visual issues to note.

 

Overall Quality:  8

Overall a nice little trick.

 

 

Do you have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at thewilliamdraven@gmail.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

 

 

 

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Draven Reviews: Ellis Ring 2.0 By: Joe Porper

approvedTitle: Ellis Ring 2.0

Artist: Joe Porper

Producers: Illusion Works

Link: http://illusion.works/product/joe-porpers-wedding-band-ellis-ring-v-2-0/

Retail Price: $200.00 USD

Learning Difficulty: Easy

 

 

At the end of September, I got super lucky and got contacted by Illusion Works, who has taken over manufacturing items for Joe Porper.  Because I already owned a JP Wedding Band Ellis Ring I got selected for an opportunity to sample a brand-new version that hadn’t been released on the market yet.  An Ellis Ring 2.0 if you will.  At the time I received my copy I want to say only about thirty of these rings were in existence, so I was super stoked that I got the chance to test drive this new magic device.

 

After about two weeks of nervous anticipation the package finally came in the mail.  Cloaked in the usual Joe Porper Cover / Instruction sheet was a small tan leather pouch with two slits on the inside just large enough to hold a ring.  One of them curiously empty, the other, I could see the shiny brass gem peeking out of.  At first glance everything from the leather carrying pouch, to the finely milled brass ring just sings with precision that the Joe Porper brand has become known for.  The new ring was noticeably larger than the previous one that I bought.  Along the sides were artistic millings giving it kind of an industrial cog like look.  Given that Steam Punk is all the rage right now, this was a nice touch when compared to the previous ring.  The larger size also meant that I could perform this for larger groups of people with better overall visibility.  The mechanics of the rings operation is smooth and very finely tuned.  A lot of work went into putting this thing together.  And I respect the craftsmanship involved.  One size will fit all wands, and strings.  This probably isn’t going to be a finger ring prop for most people.  I certainly don’t present it as one, but I think that’s part of its allure really.  The ring came with a leather carrying pouch, which holds it when not in use.  As an added note, the second slit in the pouch perfectly fits my original JP Ellis Ring!  So two rings now sit in the same pouch giving me the flexibility of choosing which one I need for the performance I’m doing.

 

Working with the ring has been a dream.  I’ve had the opportunity to test run it at a large theme park attraction I was working all throughout October.  I was working with audiences as small as two or three in a strolling environment, to full stage with a couple hundred looking on.  I switched back and forth between my old ring, and the new one fairly frequently and found that the new one holds up just as good under repeated use.  There’s quite a lot you can do with an Ellis ring, and admittedly I only do the bare minimum, but it’s effective.  Ring off Rope, or Wand is my usual go to, and with the added size of the new Ellis Ring 2.0, it made for a perfect go to when working the stage.  It was visible enough in the stage lights to be seen from the front row, as well as the back.  The reactions I’ve received while performing with the Ellis Ring 2.0 has been nothing short of spell bound.  I’ve got a lot of “how did you do that reactions”, sprinkled in with an occasional woman screaming at me and accusing me of having satanic powers.  An accusation I shamefully was not so willing to dispel at the time.

 

The Ellis Ring comes with the standard instructions, as well as an additional bonus routine that puts the ring in a knot tied with a silk.  The instructions also reference other sources to learn alternative ring on / off stick routines from.  As far as instructions go they’re pretty basic.  The pictures are nice, and the descriptions are helpful, but in an industry where online tutorials and DVD’s are quickly pushing out printed instructions, the ones that came with the ring feel a little antiquated.

 

The price is going to be a challenge for some people.  At $200 dollars it’s easy to get sticker shocked by this marvelous little gem, but I can assure you it’s worth it.  If you’re not familiar with Joe Porpers work, it’s top notch.  Illusion Works has continued his legacy by putting out finely crafted metal miracles, and that time and craftsmanship certainly is reflected in the price.  Treat this prop well, and it’ll be something your grandkids could be performing with years down the line.  Another interesting claim made by the manufacturer, is that this ring is interchangeable with their Amazering, which is sold separately.  I don’t own an Amazering so I can’t vouche for this personally, but knowing Joe’s reputation, I wouldn’t doubt it.

 

Overall this little gem has been a blessing.  It resets fairly quickly, and can be done under cover of my hand making it a worker when it comes to strolling.  It’s visible enough to be used on a stage, and the magic performed is pure classical sleight of hand.  It occupies minimal pocket space, and the nifty pouch that it comes with holds not just it, but my previous ring too!  The price is a bit of a shock, but it’s well worth it.  I’m super stoked to have had the opportunity to pick one of these up prior to them being widely released.  Now rumor has it that while more of them have been made available to the open market, they are still in fairly limited quantity thru Christmas.  So if you really want one of these beautiful pieces of collectible magic then I’d recommend you snap one up quickly while you still can.  Like other works by Joe, I don’t anticipate the collector value diminishing on these anytime soon.

 

 

 

 

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 three points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, and Overall Quality.

 

Product Quality: 9

Beautiful craftsmanship, finely milled.  One size fits all wands.  Not cheap.

 

Teaching Quality: 7

Written tutorials, no videos.  Good pictures for references, and the routines taught are quick to pick up.

 

Overall Quality: 9

Be it for a collector or a working performer, this ring is a beautiful addition to anyone’s collection.  I’d seriously get one before they vanish and never return!

 

 

Do you have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at thewilliamdraven@gmail.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

 

 

 

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