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 Post subject: The Extractor by Alakazam - my review (very long!)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 1:26 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 10 Jun 2006
Posts: 4333
Location: Arlington, TX
The Extractor is a utility item created by Rob Bromley and Peter Nardi of Alakazam Magic in the UK. Some on the forums have argued that it's merely an unnecessary assist to one of the all time classical card sleights available, however the gimmick introduces an "impossibility" that otherwise wouldn't exist. After watching all three demo videos on YouTube, I was floored by the second one, and decided to purchase.

I fell for the impossibility factor, which convinced me that my spectators would fall for it as well.

Available from:

http://www.alakazam.co.uk/acatalog/Hot_List_1.html

Cost: £50 (or $100 US thanks to our horrid dollar rate)
Shipping: £5


What You Get:
------------------
- Gimmick
- Instructional DVD lasting 2 hours 15 minutes
- Product catalog DVD


The Gimmick:
------------------

Each gimmick is hand made, and is extremely convincing. The yellow warning paper says, "Please watch the enclosed DVD thoroughly before attempting to use your Extractor", and you should pay attention. This thing is delicate enough that sitting on it, getting jammed against a wall while it's inside your pocket, or any other harsh pressure will ruin it. You can also ruin the mechanism by inserting items forcefully in the wrong direction. Exposing it to excessive moisture or excessive heat will also certainly ruin it.

Considering it costs $108 US (with shipping), sitting on it would not be advisable. Peter Nardi has not mentioned replacements for a cheaper price, and does contend on the DVD that your gimmick should last for years. Alakazam is currently (as of this writing) selling units as fast as they come in, and only receiving 5 per day from the creator, so the product is not available at your local magic shop, or from Murphy's.

You could theoretically create your own unit once yours has been broken, however expect to spend several hours.

At the bottom of your gimmick, you'll find the words "I know you chose the queen of hearts" disguised as bar code. Nowhere on the DVD nor the documentation is this mentioned, but you could use that as a "Tricycle" type reveal of a forced card if you hold the case correctly.

Altogether, this is a fantastic gimmick and very ingenious in its creation.


The DVD:
------------------

Chapter 1 - Demo Video

Here is Nardi performing the "Card to Pocket" routine to Spelman. Basically, spectator picks a card, signs it, then returns it to the card box. Performer shows hands completely empty, then reaches into his pocket to retrieve signed card.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfrlg9YFloY

Chapter 2 - "Thanks for purchasing" segment.

Chapter 3 - The history of the Extractor.

Rob Bromley came up with the idea after fiddling around with one of their previous effects. He sent it to Peter, who ran with it.

Chapter 4 - What is the Extractor?

A detailed look at how the gimmick works, care and feeding of it, and what NOT to do during your performances.

Chapter 5 - The power of Extractor

Nardi took this gimmick to Blackpool, and searched out the top card magicians in an effort to find someone that would "catch on". Nobody did, the built in misdirection was so strong. He explained that Richard Sanders couldn't believe it after being told, David Stone had no idea, etc.

Chapter 6 - element of time

Another discussion between Nardi and Spelman about the built-in misdirection that Extractor provides, and how to use the element of time to your advantage.

Chapter 7 - the Peter Nardi card in pocket

The actual performance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfrlg9YFloY

Chapter 8 - the Peter Nardi card in pocket (explanation)

An exhaustive look at their signature routine. Signed card is placed back into box, appears in impossible location (front pants pocket). Although Peter uses a jacket for this, it could easily be modified for jeans, workout shorts, sweats, even pants that have no pockets. The sealed, closed deck makes this impossible magic. Peter and Marc bouncing ideas off each other, I thought really added to the segment.

Chapter 9 - basic palming techniques

Peter reviews his palming method, based out of his jacket pocket.

Chapter 10 - additional palm

Palm based out of his pants pocket.

Chapter 11 - Mark in my pocket (performance)

Mark Eldson routine based upon Darwin Ortiz's "Harry in my Pocket".

Cards are spread on the table, and spectator chooses any card he'd like. Spectator signs the card across the face, then inserts back into the pack. Nardi seals the pack with a small sticker (like you'd find at Staples), then claims he'll remove spectator's card and reseal the pack in under 1 second. Nardi then removes a single card, and places it face down on the table. Afterwards, he hands the still-sealed deck to the spectator, and asks them to unseal and count off all the cards, looking for theirs. Of course, it's not found, the card is face down on the table.

Chapter 12 - Mark in my pocket (explanation)

I disliked the three-deck-plus labels routine, IMHO. Very pocket heavy. Could be modified during the selection process to lighten it up, but still didn't impress me. I believe sealing the deck didn't add much, since to the spectator, the deck is already sealed once it's closed.

Chapter 13 - Chris Congreaves' "PIN" and Gary Jones' "That's Write" (performance)

Nardi talks about credit card fraud, and how's it's rampant these days. He instructs spectator to imagine the deck is 52 credit cards, and to select one and write an invented PIN number on it. Then insert back into the deck. Nardi correctly guesses his PIN number.

Chris' original idea was to use a wallet (which I thought would have been stronger, but meh). I must admit, this gimmick does beg for a CTW wallet.

Gary Jones' idea involves a post-it note and a thought of word, which is almost exactly like Christopher Williams' version of Aaron DeLong's BELIEVE effect.

http://www.emagicsupply.com/the-believe ... -p-15.html

"The unBELIEVEable Case - This clever adaptation will come in handy when you take it to the streets."

Of course using the Extractor gimmick.

Chapter 14 - Card in Shoe (performance)

Card is selected, signed, placed into a sealed box, then appears in Nardi's shoe.

Chapter 15 - Card in Shoe (explanation)

Traditional folded card in shoe. Could also easily be modified for Paperclipped, Sanders' card in matchbook (Sankey/Sanders Sessions), David Stone's Cell, Joshua Jay's card in remote control, or any of the other hundreds of "card in impossible location" effects.

Chapter 16 - folding techniques

Ideas and enhancements for handling the folded card, including TopIts, etc. The card in bottle was especially cool.

Chapter 17 - impossible prediction (performance)

Spectator selects a red-backed card, signs it, inserts it back into the box. A blue backed box is introduced and shown to be in new deck order. As the cards are shown and counted through, one red card appears amongst the blues - it's the spectator's signed card.

THIS EFFECT ABSOLUTELY FLOORED ME. Very very powerful, built to be a spectacular closer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqcVQ6eH6uc

Chapter 18 - impossible prediction (explanation)

Based upon a routine by Michael Kaminskas, from his book Miracle Material:

http://www.penguinmagic.com/specialorde ... hp?ID=3521

Nicely done effect that will leave a spectator speechless. My personal favorite off the DVD.

Chapter 19 - Extractor brainwave (performance)

Same as "impossible prediction" above, but the card is not signed, nor is the blue deck in new deck order. Similar to the BrainWave deck, however no R&S required. Camera zooms out to reveal that Marc has no pants.

Chapter 20 - Extractor brainwave (explanation)

A washed out trick, copying the very good previous effect. In my opinion, having the card unsigned loses the jolt contained in Chapter 17. You could easily replicate this using some type of force, and skip the gimmick altogether.

Chapter 21 - sealed prediction (performance)

Card to sealed envelope routine. Selected card (can be signed) is placed back into the box, then appears in the opposite pocket inside a sealed envelope. The poor man's Card to Wallet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipttHhdofi8

Chapter 22 - sealed prediction (explanation)

All the different handling ideas are covered.

Chapter 23 - lone (performance)

Spectator chooses between a red deck, and a blue deck. Marc selects a prediction card from his deck, then allows the spectator to choose his own card, freely. After spectator inserts his own card back into the box, Marc reveals his prediction blue card that's been inside his pocket the entire time - it matches.

Chapter 24 - lone (explanation)

Very clean reveal of a different colored back prediction card that matches the spec's. I'm definitely going to use this! My second favorite effect off the DVD.

Chapter 25 - topit idea

A method of switching the gimmick with another deck.

Chapter 26 - card to spectator's pocket (performance)

Same routine as "Card to Pocket", however the signed card ends up in the spectator's pocket instead.

Chapter 27 - card to spectator's pocket (explanation)

Using a bit of misdirection, jam the card into the spectator's own pocket during the performance. Cool idea, and yet another destination for "signed card to impossible location". Gary Jones' additional handling here was awesome - card to your wallet inside spectator's pocket! I'll definitely be using this for walk around.

Chapter 28 - Yet another "Thanks for purchasing" segment.

Chapter 29 - Credits


My Conclusion
------------------

You're paying for a device that allows performing "signed card to impossible location" under test conditions. In other words, not only did they sign the card and return it to the deck, they returned it themselves to a box of cards, that were promptly SEALED. If you believe that extra convincer is worth $100 US then by all means, pick this gimmick up. If not, then stick with your own favorite methods of that classic routine.

I do understand the higher price tag, since each unit is hand made. The Extractor is not being jolted out the end of a factory line, but instead hand cut and created by some guy in his basement. Thus the cost doubles. But to me, personally, it was worth the cash.

Overall, I'm extremely pleased with my purchase, and would recommend this gimmick to anyone.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:21 pm 
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Penguin

Joined: 02 Mar 2008
Posts: 296
Wow! Very Very nice review there. I just ordered Impossible Card In Bottle, the card can be signed By the way, but now your making me have secound thoughts! :shock: This just sounds amazing and your review was amazing as well, Great Job! 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:03 pm 
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Joined: 08 May 2008
Posts: 38
gajb wrote:
Wow! Very Very nice review there. I just ordered Impossible Card In Bottle, the card can be signed By the way, but now your making me have secound thoughts! :shock: This just sounds amazing and your review was amazing as well, Great Job! 8)


The Extractor IS amazing...nothing short of it. Everyone needs it. No hyperbole here.


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 Post subject: Re: The Extractor by Alakazam - my review (very long!)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:39 am 
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Joined: 02 Mar 2005
Posts: 1
I think this is one of the most useless tools ever created.
You open the card case, pull out the cards and let the spectator select one; close back the rest of the cards in the cardcase; say the spectator to show the selection to the audience; in the meanwhile you switch the deck with the gimmicked tool; open the tricked cardcase and have the spectator push inside the selection; insert the cardcase in the jacket pocket; palm the selection and quickly remove your hand (that you cannot show empty); produce the selection from anywhere you want.

You can perform all the effects (I repeat: all the effects) showed in the DVD with no gimmicked tool, without changing them at all, and making them even more simple!

Excellent for beginners!


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 Post subject: Re: The Extractor by Alakazam - my review (very long!)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:41 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 22 Mar 2003
Posts: 3251
Location: of my spongeballs eludes me.
That certainly is one way of looking at it but there is SO MUCH MORE to routines with The Extractor than that post portrays. (Check Akira's post again plus using one's own imagination) One can say it's for beginners but one can also say that about TT's and "magic" decks. It's about one's presentation and what how one utilizes a prop. Many effects have more than one way that the end result can be obtained. This one in my opinion is genius!


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 Post subject: Re: The Extractor by Alakazam - my review (very long!)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 9:38 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 14 Feb 2006
Posts: 891
marcucciraffaele wrote:
I think this is one of the most useless tools ever created.
You open the card case, pull out the cards and let the spectator select one; close back the rest of the cards in the cardcase; say the spectator to show the selection to the audience; in the meanwhile you switch the deck with the gimmicked tool; open the tricked cardcase and have the spectator push inside the selection; insert the cardcase in the jacket pocket; palm the selection and quickly remove your hand (that you cannot show empty); produce the selection from anywhere you want.

You can perform all the effects (I repeat: all the effects) showed in the DVD with no gimmicked tool, without changing them at all, and making them even more simple!

Excellent for beginners!


And who is this guy? Member 2005 and only 1 post.

I use the Extractor by Alakazam all the time it is very usefull. For the beg as well as the pro.


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 Post subject: Re: The Extractor by Alakazam - my review (very long!)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:34 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 22 Mar 2003
Posts: 3251
Location: of my spongeballs eludes me.
Strange...This is the second time in which someone with a far off "join" date and a single post count has chimed in.


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 Post subject: Re: The Extractor by Alakazam - my review (very long!)
PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 5:46 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 14 Mar 2005
Posts: 1145
Location: Australia + New Zealand
I have been looking at this for a while now. how does this compare to the pandora system?


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 Post subject: Re: The Extractor by Alakazam - my review (very long!)
PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 7:15 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 22 Mar 2003
Posts: 3251
Location: of my spongeballs eludes me.
This thread may help;
http://www.penguinmagic.com/discuss/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=156150


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