Draven Reviews: Tie Shell by David Penn

approvedTitle: Tie Shell
Artist: David Penn
Producers: World Magic Shop
Retail Price: $47.15
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Length of DVD: 32 minutes
Notes: You will need to purchase a tie, destroy it, and build the prop yourself.



•    Play All
•    Introduction
•    What You Need
•    Preparing The Outside
•    Prepare The Knot
•    Assembly
•    Set Up
•    Tie The Tie
•    Removing The Tie
•    Live Ditch
•    Final Words

Tie Shell by David Penn is a wonderful piece of stage magic in which you’re able to quickly and visually change the color of your tie.  This can be used in many different ways from a quick change act, to a challenge to test your audience’s visual perception skills.

Tie Shell comes in a compact little box with the most minimal of things required to create the prop for yourself.  You’ll need to supply your own art tools as well as a tie that you’ll need to cut up in order to make the shell.  I actually like the fact that I have to build this prop out of my own ties because this way I know it’ll look like something I’d actually wear.  The construction was easy enough to get through that any future shells I make I imagine will probably take me less time to construct.  Speaking of construction this has so far been one of the most involved bits of arts ‘n crafts I’ve ever had to do to set up for an effect but it thankfully wasn’t too bad to get through.  I think it took me about 15 minutes to construct the shell and that’s because I’m slow at these sorts of things.  Most of the things you’ll need you’ll either already own, from having to do other similar arts ‘n crafts projects to assemble magic props in the past or you can pick them up at your local craft store for less than $20 bucks.

The tie color change is ideal for stage, though David makes some valid points for its adaptability for close up magic as well.  He’s done it in conjunction with a color changing deck routine and I think changing the color of your tie during such a thing is just a wonderful bonus kicker of an idea.  I’m also grateful for his brief but informative comments about microphone placement during performance.  If you do perform with a mic you’ll want to make sure you’re not using a lav when you do this tie color change for obvious reasons.

For what this product is, and what it does, I’m in love with it.  Once it’s built its solid and sturdy.  The tie shell holds the grip on your tie very nicely, and doesn’t slide around or slide off very easily at all.  I find the ditch to be lighting fast and easy to execute.  It’s versatile enough that it could be done on stage, in parlor, or in close up at the performer’s discretion.  The DVD is well taught, and David makes sure to go through the construction at a pace that I found to easy to keep up with.  While the construction of the shell took me a few minutes, I’m very pleased with the results!  If you can find a purposeful use to change the color of your tie during your performance then David Penn’s Tie Shell is exactly how you’ll want to do 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 four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 8
I like that you get a quality stage piece of magic for less than $50 bucks.  It’ll hold up well, and last a long time.

Teaching Quality: 8
The DVD makes learning how to build this prop easy.

Video & Sound Quality: 8
Sound and Video quality are all good.

Overall Quality: 8
If you find a need to change the color of your tie in the middle of your performance then simply put you need David Penn’s Tie Shell.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!


About William Draven

William Draven is a professional magician and sideshow performer living in Los Angeles, California. Follow him on Twitter at WilliamDraven or on facebook at www.facebook.com/thewilliamdraven
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