Draven Reviews: Side by Side: The Swami Gimmick

approved Title: Side By Side: Swami Gimmick Comparison

Epic Writer vs Everlast vs Band Writer vs Bug Writer

Artist:

Epic Writer: Arron Calvert, James Anthony

Everlast: Rafael D’Angelo

Band Writer: Vernet

Bug Writer: Vernet

 

Producers: Magic World UK, Murphy’s, Vernet

Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer

Demo Video Link:

Epic Writer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5W9xQy0YK54

Everlast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DWu-Ep-o9I

Band Writer:  N/A

Bug Writer:  N/A

 

Retail Price:

Epic Writer:  $19.95 USD

Everlast:        $24.95 USD              

Band Writer:  $18.00 USD

Bug Writer:    $20.00 USD

 

Learning Difficulty:

Epic Writer: Easy

Everlast:        Easy

Band Writer: Easy

Bug Writer:    Easy

 

Length of DVD: 

Epic Writer: 1:31:06 (Approx.)

Everlast: 11:36 (Approx.)

Band Writer: Printed Instructions

Bug Writer: Printed Instructions

 

Okay gang!  Here we go!  My first attempt at what I call a “Side by Side” review.  In this review, I’m going to take a few similar magic props and put them side by side noting each one’s strengths and weaknesses to see if there is anything that makes one stand out from the others or if it’s just all a bunch of media hype.  In my first side by side I’m going to be tacking the subject of the Swami Gimmick.  There’s a lot of them out there so please don’t be surprised if I miss one or two of them.  Some of these writers come with lengthy videos discussing different tricks and ideas you can do with the Swami.  For this review, I’m going to assume you know what a Swami is already, and what you can do with one.  With that being said here we go!

 

Epic Writer:

First up in this review is the Epic Writer from Magic World UK.  This brilliant little gimmick delivers all the power of the Swami strait onto your thumb tip with the bonus of allowing you to write in ink!  No grease marker, no pencils, strait up ball point pen ink.  The writer is small, and comes with a powerful disk magnet that you can glue to the gimmick for easy storage, ditch, and load.  It comes with two refills, and some form of adhesive to attach the writer to the pad of your thumb; ether in the form of Zots or double stick tape.  The tiny little device also comes with a whopping hour and half long tutorial video link that you can watch online.  If you’ve never used a Swami before, there’s some GREAT stuff in this video to help give you some ideas on what you can do with the Epic Writer.  The Epic writer probably has the most in depth tutorial on applications of the Swami gimmick of all the products in this review.

 

The Pros:  Low profile, skin toned powder coat, write in ball point ink.  Ink nubs write for a very long time with proper maintenance.

The Cons: Relies on sticky tape to hold onto thumb.  If you have sweaty or oily hands this may not work well for you.  Metal flap that holds ink well in place may break after repeated refills.  Handle with care. Refills available from Murphy’s Magic directly, or find you own that work.

 

 

 EverLast:

          Next up we get the Everlast writing ring from Murphy’s Magic.  This little Swami is quite cleaver.  There’s no need to steal, load, or ditch as you’re wearing it right in front of your spectators!  Everlast takes the classic Swami idea to the next level by incorporating the gimmick into a ring.  The nice thing about it is that the gimmick is made from a special type of material that will write on most kinds of paper, AND it will never run out!  No need to buy refills.  Just slap this baby on your finger, and you’re ready to melt minds!  The ring is well constructed, and has kind of a silver wedding band look to it.  Proper care this thing will last a life time or two.  When you write with the gimmick it looks close enough to a graphite pencil type markings.  It’s a little more silver than most pencils but this will fly by most people.  Except for those who spend a lot of time looking at how different things write.  People like magicians.  They’ll probably care.  Your audiences won’t.

 

The Pros: Hides in plain sight.  Never runs out of lead.  Never needs a refill.  Writes on most types of paper.

The Cons: It’s a thumb ring.  Not everyone likes that kind of style.  You will also need to move the ring up on your thumb during your “get ready” and then back down again after you use it.  Given that the ring is silver that may not fly by your audiences as invisibly as other Swami’s.  Sizing is also important.  Know your ring sizes people!  The writer’s markings aren’t as strong as other writers.  This is largely due to the nature of the gimmick.

 

Band Writer:

          Vernet has produced some quality Swami’s in the past, and the Band Writer isn’t any exception.  The Band Writer comes in two different formats:  Grease and Pencil.  Both write very well, but I prefer the Grease tip better as the marks are bolder and easier to see at a distance.  The skin toned plastic gimmick fits snuggly around your thumb and one size fits most.  The wonderful thing about the sizing is that the band writer has two hole settings to accommodate thinner and fatter thumbs.  It’s not a fix all for all solution but it will work for most people.  The Band Writer comes with printed instructions which include the type of lead to use, and where to purchase refills.

 

The Pros: Comfortable fit, and low profile. Easy to see markings from a distance.  Writer stays in place during use.

The Cons: Needs refills eventually, and the instructions don’t really show you what you can do with it.  Just gives you a basic idea within a short paragraph.

 

 

 

Bug Writer:

          The other Vernet writer that I have is a Bug Writer.  Like the Band Writer, also from Vernet, the Bug comes with a single sheet of instructions printed on both sides.  One side in English, the other Spanish.  The Bug writer gets its name for the Boon writer it was inspired by.  Bug stands for Boon Ultra Grip.  The bug writer was also designed to work with a special magnetic holder that will store the writer safely until you are ready to deploy it.  The holder is sold separately.  Similar to the Boon style writer the Bug will sit on the pad of your thumb held in place by some very strong, very stick double sided tape.  Like the Band writer, the Bug comes in both grease and pencil.  Also like the bug, I prefer the grease more as it is more visible from a distance.  The bug has the lowest profile of the writers reviewed as it attaches to the pad of your thumb with nothing protruding.  Those who like the Boon style writers but have issues using the gimmick may find that the Bug gives them more comfort and confidence. The larger surface area, compared to the Boon writer, makes the Bug hold more snugly giving you a greater sense of control.  The instructions included also explains how to replace the lead, and where to get replacements when needed.

 

The Pros: Low Profile, comes in grease and lead, more stability offered over a Boon gimmick.

The Cons: Adhesives may not stick well for people with sweaty or oily hands.

 

 

There’s a lot of options out there to choose from when it comes to Swami gimmicks.  The Swami is a powerful utility prop that you can use to create some memorable moments with your spectators and can be applied to a wide range of magic styles.  From closeup, to Stage, Mentalism to Bizarre, there’s certainly something you can use a Swami to do.  Finding the right Swami for you can be a process, but I hope with this review I’ve made that process somewhat easier.  There’s a lot to consider when selecting your Swami.  Things like how easy it is to refill, how easy is it to write with, and how comfortable and confident do you feel when using it.  Hopefully you’ll find a Swami in this list that you’ll be able to use, and if you have any insight on other Swami gimmicks that I’ve not included in this review please feel free to share them below.  I know there are thumb tips, and nail writers I just don’t own those.

 

Normally I close my reviews by giving a metered score based on different aspects of the product.  I’m going to pass on that because these all do exactly what they are supposed to do, just some do it differently than others.  So this isn’t a case of superior or inferior products, more of a what’s right for you.  Having said that, I hope you’ve enjoyed the review and we’ll see you next time!

 

 

Do you have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at thewilliamdraven@gmail.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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