Draven Reviews: CLIP by Taiwan Ben

 approvedTitle: Clip

Artist: Taiwan Ben

Producers: Taiwan Ben

Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer

Retail Price: $49.95 USD

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Length of Video: 10 minutes

Notes: Includes link to online instructional video

Includes:

  • Two gimmicked paperclips.  One self bends, the other self un-bends.

There has been a resurgence of memory metal effects on the market lately.  First Ellusionist launched their Shift line, then came the Alchemist series from Sansminds, Then Will Tsi had his Blossom fork, we can’t forget Wire Grams that I think was another Ellusionist release, and now Taiwan Ben entering the field with yet another uninspired memory metal gimmick.  At this point in time memory metal plots are becoming as played out as “pick a card” tricks.  Here, let’s take this ordinary object that doesn’t quite look right like the object it’s suppose to be, and watch as it bends itself in your own hands!  You can rest assured that if the object is made of some silver like metal- someone will find a way to turn it into a memory metal prop and then charge a crap load of money for it because apparently creating memory metal props is expensive.

With your average memory metal prop costing you in the neighborhood of $150 to $200 dollars it’s a huge sigh of relief to know that Clip only costs around a quarter of that.  Weighing in at just pocket change shy of $50 bucks you get not one but two self bending memory metal props.  Well you get a self bending and a self unbending prop, but now we’re splitting hairs.

If you’ve never played with memory metal before then I highly suggest you watch the online video tutorial for this PRIOR to handling your props.  You can seriously damage or break your CLIP paperclip if you don’t know what you are doing when you try to set it up.

The tutorial video is about ten minutes long so it’s pretty to the point.  Ben provides you an explanation of what memory metal is, how to set it up, and what the average temperatures are needed to activate the metal’s unique properties.  He also gives you a couple different routine ideas to start you off with.  If you’ve worked with memory metal before then you probably won’t find the video useful.  As for the product itself, it comes beautifully packaged in this really nice looking square box, which is way too large for what little packing space it actually utilizes.  As for the paperclips themselves, they look pretty fake.  When you think of a paperclip you think of these shiny nickel colored things and what you get with clip are these dull gun metal/ graphite colored clips.  The wire also feels considerably more flimsy compared to a standard paperclip.  This might not be noticed in the heat of the moment by your spectator, but these are things that I notice when I handle props like this, and an unrealistic color/ weight compared to the actual prop these memory metal gimmicks are imitating has been a long outstanding, and often frequent, complaint from those who work with the stuff.  But hey… if you’re broke but you still want to do a memory metal bit $50 bucks is pretty hard to thumb your nose at.

EDITORS NOTE: I realized that after I had written this review that paperclips now days do come in a variety of colors and sizes.  So while CLIP doesn’t resemble a traditional paperclip in design and weight, it is possible to find enough similar colored paperclips or a completely random assortment of paperclips to help hide and mask the nature of your prop.

Performing with Clip is as strait forward as it can get.  You take out a paperclip, you cause it to bend with your mind, you then secretly switch it for the other clip, put it in the spectators hands, and then it unbends in their own hands!  Let me tell you something.  As much crap as I’ve given Clip so far in this review the reactions I’ve gotten with this thing could have started religions.  The hardest sleight?  A shuttle pass.  Making performing with Clip virtually ideal for any close up, strolling, or walk around setting.  Stage, just due to the size of the props, probably isn’t advisable.  This can be done strolling or close up but it’s not an instant reset kind of trick.  You need to take some time to reset this prop away from the prying eyes of the public.  While I’ve not had any notable issues with my gimmick in specific, you also have to be aware of the ambient temperature of the area you are performing in because if it’s too warm outside, or your own body heat gets to the prop while it’s still in your pocket, it can trigger the effect prematurely.  If you want to get around this, then Ben does have a recommendation for storing CLIP in your pocket when it’s not being used but I find his method impractical for walk around/ strolling/ or street magic.  Ben recommends keeping a small Tupperware container stocked with ice in your pocket and storing CLIP in that prior to use.  It’s almost better, in my opinion, to set this up sight unseen minutes before you’re ready to perform it than go through the measures he recommends for storage and carry.  I just don’t like having to fuss around with the mess melted ice can leave behind.  Also given the cold storage, and the set up method involved, you’d think that the spectator would notice that the paperclip feels abnormally cold to the touch.  Strangely enough, and I’ve done this effect several times, I’ve never once been called out on that.  This is just some food for thought.

Overall Clip has been a cost effecting mental miracle in a box for me.  I’ve been impressed with the results despite the notable- I’ll just call them “character flaws” I found with the prop.  If you’re working on a budget, then Clip is something you’re probably going to want to look into.

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: 6

Doesn’t really look or feel like a paperclip, but for the price you’re paying this isn’t a bad memory metal prop.

Teaching Quality: 8

The video is short, sweet, and to the point.  You’ll be doing this in minutes.

Video & Sound Quality: 8

Sound and video were both good for a streamed video.

Overall Quality: 7

Good memory metal effect on a budget.

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.

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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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