Draven Reviews: Holely Change

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: $29.99 USD

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Length of DVD:  15 Minutes (Approx.)

Notes: Red and Blue Gimmicks Available.

 

A red backed card is selected and signed by a spectator, it’s sandwiched between two blank cards with holes in them, and visually the red backed signed card turns blue! The card is examinable at the end leaving your spectator with a memorable keepsake of their magical experience.

 

SansMind has been hit and miss with me this past year.  They’ve had a few duds, but then again, they’ve also had some cool tricks too.  This Holely Change is one of them.  As far as magic goes this one is as strait forward as it can get.  There really isn’t a lot of need for long presentations, and a look-see-do approach for this illusion is perfect for eliciting strong, if not in some cases violent reactions from your spectators.  True Story: I got my arm slapped, as a reflex, from a coworker the first time I showed her this trick.  Note to self: For such a little thing, she hits hard!  But I digress.

 

The product comes contained inside a DVD box.  You’ll get an instructional DVD, and the gimmick.  As a note to magicians: the gimmick works on a very old principle in magic, and will need to be touched up from time to time with the special something that makes it work.  If you’ve been around for a minute you probably have everything you need.  If not, a quick trip to your magic store and less than twenty bucks later you’re set.  I had to touch up my gimmick out of the box, just because I was not happy with the way it handled when I got it.

 

The gimmick is a pair of blank face, blank back, playing cards that have a rather large hole cut thru them on one end.  The gimmick comes in two options, Red or Blue rider back Bicycle playing card.  I do not like how flimsy the upper portion of the card is, above the cutout hole.  I’ve had that little section get weak, and want to give crimp on me during practice.  And I can assure you, crimping is not something you want to do to the gimmick if you want to perform this trick!  This maybe a design flaw, but it also maybe a limitation of the illusion that is not going to have much of a work around.    Maybe if the gimmicks were made from a sturdy plastic it may have a longer shelf life, but if so would the gimmick still work right?  I feel this is a question for R&D.  As it is, you’re going to be doing a lot of double lifts to perform this trick, so these hole cards are going to get a lot of constant wear and tear from being manipulated.  If you do this trick a lot you’re going to eventually have to replace the hole cards.  This means either you’re making yourself a new gimmick on your own, or you’re buying the product all over again because SansMind does not offer a gimmick “refill” on this product as of yet.

 

It takes all of about five minutes to learn the trick, and this one doesn’t need a lot of presentation so it’s ideal for the novice.  Just get out there, sign a playing card, sandwich it, and presto!  Instant magic.  Reactions have been strong, and angles are nonexistent.  The sleights involved aren’t hard, a basic double lift is all you really need, but the trick does have a bit of a reset.  The reset isn’t hard, nor is it long, but it can’t be done in view of the audience so table hoppers need to beware.  It is a very fun trick to perform, and I think it’s position within SansMind’s “Workers Series” is justly made.

 

At the end of the day you have a very fun, very visual illusion ideal for a novice, and powerful enough for a working pro at your fingertips.  Give this one a look.  You may even fool yourself.

 

 

 

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

The price is on par with other products of this caliber, and the illusion is solid.  The construction of the gimmick gives a little to be desired and will ultimately wear down/out with frequent use causing need to be rebuilt/ replaced.

 

Teaching Quality: 8

Easy to learn.

 

Overall Quality: 8

Fun, Quick, and Ends in a souvenir for the spectator.  You can’t go wrong with Holely Change!

 

 

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: MagiKub by: Federico Poeymire

approvedTitle: MagiKub

Artist: Federico Poeymire

Producers: Murphy’s Magic

Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer

Demo Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9efYpvNoi-g

Retail Price: $74.95

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Length of Video:  7 Minutes (Approx.)

 

Boy has Rubik Cube magic been popular suddenly.  Ever since Jason Brundage went on AGT everyone’s been going nuts to follow in his path with performing or releasing their take on magic with this popular children’s toy.  So let’s take a look at Federico Poeymire’s MagiKub and see how it turns out.

 

Initially you maybe taking back by this products packaging.  It’s not big.  A simple black box.  Murphy’s has a standard for elegance I’ve come to expect from their packaging.  You flip the lid open and your instructions for online video download is right there.  The video is about seven minutes long, and is bare bones about teaching the trick.  You get a snappy music playing in the back ground, and subtitles explain what it is you’re doing while the hands on the screen walk you thru the motions.  All in all it’s a simple trick, and shouldn’t take too long to master.

 

The Rubik’s Cube itself is gimmicked.  You can’t let the audience examine it, unless you switch.  The magic is visual, but it is angle sensitive.  Great for camera work!  The illusion is that the cube is mixed up, and with a simple toss, roll, or other quick movement, it is impossibly solved!  Instant reset.  It is possible to mix the cube up even though it’s gimmicked.  So, if you’re not very good at solving these things, like I am, this is good to know.

 

The price point on this product though is where the real magic is!  Getting someone to shell out nearly seventy-five bucks for this thing is impressive!  At the current price, I’m not sure this is going to be something that is going to appeal to everyone.

 

Over all I guess you get what you pay for.  It’s a visual illusion of an impossible solve on a puzzle cube.  If you do magic with these kinds of toys already then this may appeal to you.  As a stand alone trick it’s visual, but there’s not much to it.  For closeup it has serious angle issues, leaving me thinking this is better played from stage.

 

 

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 prop.  Expensive.  Visual magic.

 

Teaching Quality: 8

Short and sweet.  Visual.  Easy to learn from.

 

Overall Quality: 8

A visual impossible solve to a popular kid’s toy.

 

 

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:

Do you have some extra holiday cash burning a Ho Ho Hole in your wallet?  Want to know what you possibly missed out on this season?  Well I’m back with a special holiday edition of my Draven’s Reviews to discuss whether this new batch of tricks are holiday hits, or just steaming piles of yule tide turds destined for the land of misfit magic.  So grab your eggnog, sit back, relax, and let me tell you about what’s hot and maybe what’s not this holiday season.Do you have some extra holiday cash burning a Ho Ho Hole in your wallet?  Want to know what you possibly missed out on this season?  Well I’m back with a special holiday edition of my Draven’s Reviews to discuss whether this new batch of tricks are holiday hits, or just steaming piles of yule tide turds destined for the land of misfit magic.  So grab your eggnog, sit back, relax, and let me tell you about what’s hot and maybe what’s not this holiday season.

 

approved

Title: In A Flash       

Artist: Felix Bodden

Producers: SansMind

Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer

Demo Video Link:

Retail Price: $24.99 USD DIY / $34.99 With Gimmick

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Length of DVD:  30 Minutes (Approx.)

 

In A Flash is a hyper visual card transposition on steroids.  What you get is a DVD, and some super secret special gimmick making stuff.  Some assembly will be required.

 

If you have been a fan of my reviews, and have been reading them for some time, you know I hate having to build gimmicks.  I usually call these DIY tricks “Art Projects” and for good reason.  Fold this, cut here, glue that, tape there.  Some of these constructions can get intense.  In A Flash is one of those “a lot of set up for a little work” kind of tricks.  The gimmick for In A Flash requires careful consideration to how cards line up with each other.  The wrong measurements, can throw off the entire gimmick causing you the pain of having to start all over again.  They say on the DVD box that the gimmick construction time is around 20 minutes.  I think it took me closer to 30 minutes.  My end product just doesn’t look or feel like it would fool anyone.  It’s too thick to pass as a single card, and as a rule I just hate using the secret stuff in general.  This looks killer on video though!  Of course, you can get away with things on camera that you can’t in person.  I should also note that SansMind also reserves all TV rights.

 

Performing with the gimmick is easy.  The gimmick does the work for you.  There’s a little magic maneuvering you must do to finish the transposition, but that’s not hard to master.  Honestly performing the trick isn’t as hard as building it!  It certainly is more fun than building it.  There are no angles to be worried about, and the reset on this is near instant.  So good walk around effect.  The visuals are strong up close, but they get muted if seen at a distance.  This is certainly only a closeup style effect.  The gimmick, or at least the one I built, is thick.  I don’t like it.  I don’t feel it looks and feels enough like a regular card to pass for one.  This maybe magicians guilt, but I think there’s too much going on here to be fooling.

 

At the end of the day this is another trick that looked good on video, but in person leaves me wondering.  I’m not satisfied with the product I came out with in the end.  I’m not going to blame the magic though.  Not yet at least.  I’m going to assume that my clumsy craft skills are to blame.  For now this gimmick sits inside the DVD box, along side the DVD.  I’ve put it into my library, and maybe at some point in the future I’ll revisit it.  Maybe try and rebuild it.  But for now that’s too much work, and I have time better spent on other things.  I’m sure someone out there is going to love this trick.  I’m just not sure that someone is going to be me.

 

Editors Note:  Upon completing this review, and prior to posting it, I discovered that this trick exists with the gimmick already made for you.  It costs ten dollars more, but for those of us, like myself, who lack any skill at construction it is probably money well spent.  Hind sight being what it is, I wish I had known about this prior to choosing the DIY version.

 

 

 

 

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: 5

Standard pricing, visual magic.  Not so sure on the gimmick.  Not happy with the DIY result.

 

Teaching Quality: 8

Tutorial is easy to learn from.

 

Overall Quality: 5

Not sure about this trick.  It looks amazing in the demo video, but I’m not happy with how my gimmick turned out.  I’ll give it an average score of 5 and assume my displeasure is my fault for not building it right.

 

 

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 Gordon Diary by Paul Gordon

Do you have some extra holiday cash burning a Ho Ho Hole in your wallet?  Want to know what you possibly missed out on this season?  Well I’m back with a special holiday edition of my Draven’s Reviews to discuss whether this new batch of tricks are holiday hits, or just steaming piles of yule tide turds destined for the land of misfit magic.  So grab your eggnog, sit back, relax, and let me tell you about what’s hot and maybe what’s not this holiday season.
Title: The Gordon Diary
approved
Artist: Paul Gordon
Producers: Alakazam Magic UK
Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer
Retail Price: $45.95 Complete Package $24.95 Lite Version
Learning Difficulty: Moderate to Hard
Length of DVD:  58 Minutes (Approx.)
            I’ll never forget the first time I saw a diary style performance done.  It was the closeup room at the Magic Castle back in 2005.  I was floored by how magically impossible the entire effect seemed!  Since then I’ve owned a diary or two over the years, but I’ve always been so apprehensive about performing with one because they usually involve a fair amount of memory work, and I’m admittedly not that very good at math and memory stuff.  Things like memorized decks and diaries usually make me shy away from them.  Then came the demo for the Gordon Diary from Paul Gordon.  I’m a fan of Alakazam.  Peter and the crew over there usually put out solid products so that got me curious enough to nibble at the bait and see if I land a winner with this new effect.  Let’s just say that so far, I’ve not been disappointed.
            The effect comes packaged in a nice little box.  Included in the box is the diary itself, a crib sheet card, and the instructional DVD.  First off, and out of the gate, let me just say the presentation of the box the effect comes in is exquisite.  This is a first-rate boxing job, and it’s something I don’t want to go unmentioned.  Under the foam protection, and cradled in a custom cut foam holder is the diary wrapped in protective plastic.  The diary itself is light weight, and pocket sized.  Perfect for nestling in your inside coat pocket or your back pocket.  The diary also contains a page in the front that list the Zodiac signs and their corresponding dates, as well as important information on each month’s birthstone and flower along with the flowers secret meanings.  For the average worker this maybe some useful information to use in witty banter between you and your mark, but the Bizarre workers are going to love this because it gives them perfect ins for cold reading the mark and making the most out of their experience with the trick.
            The idea for the effect is strait forward.  A spectator’s chosen card matches identically to an entry in the diary of a freely nominated date made before the card was chosen.  The thing that caught my eye about this particular diary is that it requires no stack.  No memorizing deck orders, and No set ups.  Making this a powerful piece of closeup that is ideal for strolling.
            The DVD ranks in at just under an hour.  You get to see great live, in studio, performances and the hands-on tutorial portion is really top notch.  The effect is strong enough to stand on it’s own, or versatile enough that you could use the information gathered from your spectator to segue into other mentalism or reading style effects.
            There is no memorizing deck orders that’s for sure, but there is obviously some cerebral mechanics going on behind the scenes to make the magic happen.  Nothing worse than an invisible deck though, so that’s good!  It’s not hard, hell even I could do it.  But I think this will be an effect that is going to either resonate with your performance character or it won’t.  I don’t see everyone doing this.  I’m not going to mislead you intentionally with this review.  The learning process has a curve.  And until you get what it is you’re doing, it’s going to seem hard.  But once it clicks, it’s not that bad.
            The pricing is also good for how strong the effect is.  At just under twenty five bucks, this is less than the cost of an average movie ticket for you and a date.  If you wanted to make your own diary using Paul Gordon’s system then you could purchase the Lite version of this trick for about twenty dollars less.  The Live version just has the DVD and the crib sheet.  You’d have to find, and create your own diary from there.  This actually may appeal to some because it allows for the maximum amount of individual customization.  Food for thought, especially for those are not new to diary style effects.
            Over all I’m satisfied with the Gordon Diary.  Still not sure if this will be something I will be adding to my personal act anytime soon, but it’s really fun to play with, and the magic it helps you perform is rather quite strong.  If you like this kind of thing, you should certainly check out The Gordon Diary!
            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
            Fair price.  Strong magic.  Not a lot of props.
Teaching Quality: 9
            Very well taught.
Overall Quality: 8
            Over all I really liked it.  It’s not as hard as other diaries, and it packs a powerful punch on spectators.
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: 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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