Draven Reviews: Canic by Nicholas Lawrence

not approved Title: Canic

Artist: Nicholas Lawrence

Producers: SansMind Magic

Retail Price: $29.95 USD

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Length of DVD:  1 hour 15 Minutes

Notes: Some assembly required


  • Instructional DVD
  • Gimmick


  • Play All
  • Menu
  • SandsMinds Products
  •  Credits

What is Canic?  It’s an organic piece of situational magic that takes place right before your spectators eyes using an object that everyone is familiar with, and more than likely you can encounter in any urban setting… a soda or energy drink can.  Nicholas Lawrence, one of the creative forces in house at SandsMinds magic has created a mini miracle that, once you’ve set up the gimmick, you can take it with you and perform it anywhere you find an empty soda can or energy drink.   The magic is visual, and the reactions are strong.  This is a nice little pocket piece you’ll want to have with you at all times.

When you’re presenting this illusion you’re going to be doing a torn and restored kind of effect but you’re not using a playing card.  Instead you’re going to be using the pull tab that is found on any can of soda or energy drink.  After you’ve cleanly and clearly pulled the tab free from the can, just by tapping the bottom of the can to the tab it vanishes and reappears attached to the can.  The spectator can even check it out and inspect it!

The illusion isn’t angle proof, but it’s no worse than performing something like Sinful from Wayne Houchin.  So long as you’re spectators are in front of you you’re going to be fine.  You won’t want anyone at your sides, behind, or above you.  You may feel guilty or self conscious when working with the can, but you don’t have any real things to be worried about.  The major drawback this illusion has is that it’s NOT impromptu!  You’re going to need to gimmick whatever can you are using well in advance and either justify carrying an empty can with you, or plant it somewhere before you perform the trick.  The gimmicked prop CAN be inspected by your spectator after the illusion is performed with relative ease without fear of them discovering the secret.  They just can’t do a thorough investigation of the can.  That means that this is certainly a one off trick, and not something that will appeal to everyone.  Sadly, there really isn’t any real practical way to gimmick a can on the fly that wouldn’t be noticeable to make for an impromptu handling.  So is it beautifully visual and organic?  Yes.  But when they say “situational magic” what they are really saying is that this is something that really needs to be set up, planted, or justified and isn’t something you’re going to be doing while strolling table to table.

Overall I’m on the fence with Canic.  If I was doing magic for TV or the internet then it’s a brilliant little one off bit to do, but it’s just too much hassle for me to plant a pre-gimmicked soda can somewhere, perform the trick, and then have to dispose of the props in a way that I can somehow recover later without making it look obvious that the can is special to me.  Honestly for that much effort to do a basic Torn and Restored kind of effect I’ll just stick to my cards thank you.

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: 7

Great illusion, very visual, very organic, and for the most part can be inspected by the spectator, but suffers greatly from having to be justified, set up, or planted in advance pre-performance.

Teaching Quality: 6

Very well taught.  Perhaps over taught.  There are some points in the DVD where you just feel like “does this REALLY need to be explained in that much detail?”

Video & Sound Quality: 8

Good sound and video.

Overall Quality: 4

For me this isn’t practical.  There is too much set up and monkey business going on to do what would otherwise be a torn and restored plot.  The organic nature of the can is a nice detraction from the standard medium of playing cards, but overall not worth the effort needed to perform it.  Someone out there may like it, but I certainly didn’t.  This wasn’t for me.

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!  Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.


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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