Title: Alchemist Series: Self-Bending Screwdriver
Artist: Taiwan Ben
Producers: SansMinds Magic
Retail Price: $129.95
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Length of DVD: 25 Minutes (aprox)
Notes: Includes two self-bending screwdrivers.
• Two Gimmicked Screwdrivers. One that Self-Bends and One that Unbends by Itself.
• Instructional DVD
• Play All
• SandsMinds Products
What an interesting time we live in! Magic previews are starting to get to the point where they almost look like movie trailers and that’s certainly the case with the trailer for SandsMinds new Alchemist series effect: Self-Bending Screwdriver.
The name leaves a little bit to be desired. It’s not as flashy as some of the other products being put out by younger magicians. I would have expected something that sounded more edgy that had nothing to do with what the effect was but Self-Bending Screwdriver has at least a mote of honesty in the name. There’s no doubt at all to what you’re buying, a screwdriver that bends itself.
Self-bending items have been around for a few years now and other companies have put out products that behave similarly. I’ve seen products like this take the form of paperclips, keys, nails, and of course silverware. But a self-bending screwdriver… now that’s new. The ideology behind why SandsMinds chose to make a screwdriver into a self-bending effect was interesting. They say that when you think about a tool like a screwdriver you think of something that is used to manipulate other metal, and not something in itself to be easily manipulated. I suppose they’ve got a bit of a point with that.
The screwdrivers themselves are pretty well made. You get two of them in the set. You get one that bends itself, and one that unbends. They look identical so it’s possible to take out one, bend it, switch it, and then unbend it in one full unbroken routine. The only thing that bothers me a little about the screw drivers is that they look a little small to me. They both fit inside the DVD case the video comes in. Then again I don’t really work a lot with screw drivers so this maybe the right size for an all purpose flathead around the home general use. I prefer the unbending one more just because it actually looks strait when you finish. The bending one, once you’ve got it set up, even if you are careful about the setup, still has a sleight bend to it. It may just be me but I think that’s a bit telling.
The method behind why the screwdriver bends itself works like a charm. Sometimes products like this have to be kept in certain temperatures, but these seem to work just fine at room temperature where I live. The plastic handles on the screwdrivers actually make it easier to handle them without causing the metal to bend. Resetting them is fairly quick and easy. I will throw in a word of caution though: If you are under the age of 18 you may need your parents help with the resetting process as it involves using a product in a way that is expressly ill advised on the product label. The metal holds its form quite well. I’ve carried them around with me in my close up case for a couple hours now and I’ve not had any problems with the metal bending itself without my direct influence.
The DVD is well taught, and I don’t feel it ran too long with trivial extra information. I feel the boys over at SandsMinds did a good job of putting together the information, discussing how it is used, and giving you some ideas with how to play with it.
Whether you do this routine as a standalone, or you incorporate it with your other metal bending stuff the Alchemist Screwdriver is going to be a crowd pleaser. The magic can happen in your hands or in their hands, which I think is even better. There’s nothing to suspect, you start and end as clean as you can, and it will as good on stage as it does in close up. The product does look like a small screw driver and has the right weight, feel, and texture that you’d expect to find from a real screwdriver.
If you are into self working metal bending effects this maybe the one to get. If not for anything other than the amount of product you get for the price. For a $130 bucks you get two screw drivers, where as other similar products are selling at anywhere from $100 to $200 dollars depending on where you look and what you are looking for.
Overall I have to say that I’m pleased with Alchemist: Self-Bending Screwdriver. For what it is, what it does, and for how much you pay for it I think it’s a solid product. I don’t do a lot of metal bending in my work, but this is certainly something that I’d add into the act if I wanted a little extra bang. If you do perform metal bending then I would strongly encourage you to take a look at this. You’re going to love 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
Good price for what you get. Well made. Works, and stays stable in room temperature until needed to bend.
Teaching Quality: 8
Not a lot to say here. It’s a tutorial. It’s complete, and it doesn’t run on with too much needless information.
Video & Sound Quality: 8
Great sound and video. Amazing trailer!
Overall Quality: 8
This is a fun little product. I think metal benders are going to get some good use out of it, and it may just inspire others to start exploring metal bending as an act as well.
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