Draven Reviews: Octopalm by Jim Bodine

approvedTitle: Octopalm
Artist: Jim Bodine
Producers: Murphy’s Magic
Retail Price: $9.95 USD
Learning Difficulty: Easy to Does Not Apply
Length of Video: 1 hour 50 minutes
Notes: Includes access to an online instructional video

•    One Jar of OctoPalm
•    Download Link to Online Video

I wasn’t sure what I was getting into with Octopalm, but I knew I had to find out when I saw the trailers go up for it online.  I wasn’t disappointed.  What I received was a small jar, similar to what I’d expect to find at a cosmetics counter at the local mall, but inside of it is all sorts of wondrous possibilities.  This isn’t a magic trick.  This is a powerful utility device that is limited in use to your imagination.

The video introduces Jim Bodine, and strait away we see Jim performing a very classic version of Coins Across using six dimes of all things.  No shells.  No extra coins in the hands.  All he needed was a little jar of Octopalm.  The level of sleight of hand this stuff makes easily possible is nothing short of a miracle.  It’s almost so good it should be outlawed for competition work.

So what the heck is it exactly?  Since this isn’t really exposure of a magic trick I think it’s safe to say that Octopalm is a type of gel that has a resign like sticky quality to it that allows you to easily hold onto small objects like coins, and cards or even stick them to your hand or fingers.  Octopalm dries colorless, odorless, and undetectable on your skin within minutes, and will hold its gripping effects for a couple hours.  Clean up is easier with mineral spirits than soap and water.  Soap and water doesn’t really do much to it. A little bit does go a very long way so use it sparingly.

What can you use it for?  In short: everything!  Octopalm can be used to vanish, or appear small objects.  It can be used to enhance existing magic routines, or it can be used to make sleights much easier to execute.  Really you can use it on anything that would require you to have a good grip on the props you’re using.

Going back to the Coins Across effect that opens the downloaded video I have to say Jim’s presentation would fry any laymen and most magicians.  You simply can’t perform Coins Across this cleanly using any other method.  It’s beautiful.  But that’s not the only thing you can use Octopalm on.  Octopalm is really up to you to figure out what creative ways you can use it to make magic happen.  But to get your brain juices flowing Jim teaches the following ideas in the form of full routines.

The Coin, The Salt Shaker, & The Napkin: The classic Coin Through Table plot and Salt Shaker Through Table plot rolled into one using the power of Octopalm to enhance the effect.  It’s interesting to consider that with a little ingenuity you can enhance existing magic routines and make them stronger using Octopalm.  The Coin, The Salt Shaker, & The Napkin being just one example.

The Homing Match: You remove a match from the packet, burn it, then throw it back in.  The matches can be counted before and after to verify that the match not only rejoined the pack BUT restored itself in the process!  I’ve seen this one taught on a couple YouTube beginner magic channels.  The usual method to how this is done renders it impractical for professional use.  However using Octopalm it’s now possible to practically get away with murder.

The Linking Match: A solid through solid penetration using matches instead of the usual cigarettes.  I’ve had to learn how to do this trick using normal sleight of hand.  However Octopalm makes this practically sleightless.  So simple, so easy, and it’s criminal.

Dice Routine: A fun, and classic dice routine in which the spots on the dice jump around, and change places.  The added bonus is Jim teaches you, in depth, the Turnover move that you’ll need to make this work.

For Card Moves: Octopalm isn’t just for dice, matches, and coins.  You can also use it to enhance your card magic.  Jim along with sleight of hand master Eric Jones sit down to give you some ideas to get you started.  Some of the card sleights Octopalm can make easier as demonstrated in the video are: Buckle Count, The One Handed Top Palm, The Bottom Deal, and the infamous Second Deal.

Bonus Material:  The download also has an extra bonus section where Eric Jones gives his insight and handlings to some of Jim’s routines yet further demonstrating the use and versatility of Octopalm.  Also Jim talks about how to apply it, and just how much to apply.  Between Jim and Eric they cover just about everything you need to know to get started.  I get the impression that Octopalm is going to be one of those “living” products in so much as it’s just going to get better with the more ideas people generate from trying it.

Now with all the glowing good things said about it let’s talk the dirty details on some of the real world issues you’re going to face.  Octopalm does have an odor when you open the jar up.  It smells like sap from a pine tree.  Now the odor does go away after it dries on your fingers but I know for some people out there that odor is going to be an issue.  While Octopalm is capable of assisting you in performing some awesome miracles this won’t be the impromptu performers’ best friend.  Since you need to set it up in advance with enough time to let it dry, even though that time is a couple minutes at the least, this means you’re not going to be using it in any on the spot situation.  Octopalm is best suited for magic that you’ve planned to use it with in advance.  No one is going to be out on the street doing walk around magic, stop and say “Hold on a second” turn their back to the spectator, quickly dab a little of this on their finger, and then go into a three phase Coins Across routine on the back of the spectators leather briefcase.  So don’t get me wrong it’s freaking amazing for what it does, but this is a product that must be used with a purpose.

So what we end up with is a versatile little invisible helper that can assist you in the process of making your magic that much easier by using it.  Magicians, especially card guys, have sworn by other products like hand creams and moisturizers for some time now claiming that it makes the moves easier to perform.  Octopalm may very well replace the need to carry expensive hand creams with you every where you perform.  It packs small, and is pretty inexpensive, but the range of applications is nothing short of amazing.  This is something that belongs in your magic kit.  Put it next to your rubber bands, and decks of cards.

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
Octopalm is an amazing utility prop that is highly affordable, and worth every penny.

Teaching Quality: 9
I don’t know how Murphy’s managed to squeeze nearly two hours of quality instructional material from something that  would have otherwise come with  a paragraph printed on a piece of paper the size of a note card but they found a way.

Video & Sound Quality: 9
Great sound and video.

Overall Quality: 9
This is a must have utility device.  It just makes life so much easier, and the range of applications is limitless.

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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