Blackout! - My Review
Buy it: http://www.penguinmagic.com/specialorde ... p?ID=11472
Price: About $46 after discount. Comes in quarter or half dollar version.
After seeing numerous rave reviews about this product on the Cafe, I decided to take the plunge and pickup the half dollar version. It allows a completely clean vanish of the coin "in any black (or even partially black) shirt, pants or jacket". If you read that sentence a couple times, you'll instantly know what it is. At first glance I thought possibly I can just create this at home, but no, the device is actually 200x better than anything you could possibly glue together.
What you get:
- Blackout! coin in its own little plastic holder (similar to ones you'd have for CSB, CS coins, etc
- Two bandaids
- Blackout! other gimmick you'll need to make the vanish
- Warning insert
- Introduction insert
- DVD with chapters listing insert
So much thought has gone into creating the gimmick, that it's simply impressive in nature (and to look at). Although he states it will last a lifetime, I doubt everything will stay glued together over a couple years of heavy use (IMHO). You can vanish a coin, or make one appear out of nowhere with Brian's ingenious method. In fact, the vanishes are so clean that you'll find your brain going "HUH?!" while watching the video, even though you obviously know the secret.
The coin productions can be performed virtually without moving your hands, ditto with vanishes. Few products (or none?) can do this so cleanly and effiencently with hardly any body movement, and literally nothing to see for your specs.
The DVD is very bare bones, and only contains 2 opening choices: Play Movie and Scene Selection. Almost like he created it from a home movie wizard application. Running 58 minutes, Brian appears in front of a large blue plastic sheet, I think like the ones you'd toss over your front window if it broke.
1. Introduction (4 mins)
Brian talks about how the gimmick came about, and the actual principle this is based off. Surprisingly this is very old, just applied to coins and honed to specs. The machined coin created by Roy Kueppers went through about 30 prototypes with lots of feedback from Brian and his father. His story is pretty amazing considering how much pickiness and sweat went into this final creation.
2. Props (5 mins)
Your new gimmicked coin and it's brother device are explained. Where to place it, the process of vanishing, how to hold the coin, it's all here.
3. Applying Props (3 mins)
4. Clothing (2 mins)
Black, black or really dark clothing is required. Can be a shirt, pants, jacket or whatever. I think pants would be awkward in my opinion, so I'd stick with shirt or jacket. You're probably thinking, is it really invisible? If you're wearing a black t-shirt, you have the absolute PRIMO invisible gimmick. Seriously, someone could turn a police search light on you and couldn't notice anything.
I've performed this with a dark blue shirt, and a black shirt also and went over smoothly in full sunlight and coffee shop type forescent lighting.
5. The Get Ready And (Edited For Exposure) (4 mins)
You can load the gimmick very easily with any standard coin move. Brian recommends a closed hand for positioning, but you could also perform via tenkai or a variety of other coin hides.
6. Care And Maintenance (2 mins)
The gimmick is actually very fragile if dropped, and you must keep it in its little plastic holder until you're ready to perform. This could be an issue for some, but realistically once you're using it, you'll keep doing so for other people and groups. He also covers how to properly clean it.
7. Tenkai Pennies On Acid (8 mins)
The routine Brian uses 90% of the time he performs using Blackout! A coin is shown in each hand, then the coin jumps across to the other hand, leaving 2 on the left hand, nothing in the right. Your hand can be shown completely empty, virtually stunning to a lay audience, and everything can be examined. It does use Goshman's pinch, but you can substitute other coin hiding methods.
When I do this, I have specs molesting my empty hand. The coin literally vanishes into thin air without you moving your hand. Brian suggests some motion misdirection but even without it, the vanish is sqeaky clean.
8. Basic Vanish (1 min)
You pull a pen out, tap your hand, then suddenly the coin is completely gone. Very cut down and basic vanish for times when you need a quickie.
Vanish with One Coin Routines (not listed in the table of contents)
He takes a strand of hair from his head then tosses it at the coin, then coin has disappeared. Kinda lame.
9. JFK Gets A Makeover (3 mins)
Switch the Blackout! gimmick with a half dollar that's been written on (Brian drew a beard, moustache, etc on it). I really disliked this trick, but you can easily switch the half dollar for a penny, euro, whatever suits your style. This is merely a switch methodology.
10. Reflection: 3 Coins Across (4 mins)
Attractive, very clean xcross using the Blackout! and 3 normal coins. Uses Goshman's pinch and the pointy transfer (ala 3/4 Across from On The Spot). The final coin going across took me by surprise, even though I knew how he did it. Just odd seeing a coin, then it's gone without any ditches, hand movements, nothing.
Brian says the issue with 3 Across has always been that last coin, which is eliminated using his gimmick.
11. Platt's Across (1 min)
Extremely similar to Reflection (chapter above).
12. Matrix Possibilities (7 mins)
Max Grousman (dunno if I butchered the spelling, it wasn't listed) demonstrates a standard one-ahead matrix with a super clean ending using Blackout! Obviously, a black close-up pad is required. The coins are originally on top of the cards, then are turned over one by one until all four appear under the last card.
13. Williamson Striking Vanish
14. Fun With Muscle Pass / Productions / Invisible Purse
15. The Ear Trick
16. Final Thoughts
17. Closing Credits
After 30 minutes of playing with it, you'll have the moves down easily.
Virtually immediate. Vanish, reproduce, vanish again, reproduce. Walk to next table, repeat all night.
Brian Platt has successfully created a remarkably clean coin vanish. All the care and detail that has gone into his creation is apparent after you perform it a few times for real people, and see the blank stare and shock reactions. At $50 the pricetag isn't cheap for a single coin, however you can apply it to just about any coin routine in your arsenal. You'll find it slipping into your normal coin work almost immediately.
Overall I'm VERY pleased with my purchase.
The official spam:
BLACKOUT! is a new utility coin that allows you to perform ridiculously clean vanishes, changes, productions and transposition miracles... right under your spectator's nose! BLACKOUT! is machined to precise specifications by master craftsman Roy Kueppers. It then goes through a second and third stage of meticulous handcrafting and treatment by Mike Platt. The result of this laborious process is a unique gimmick that brilliantly overcomes the inherent problems of combining "BA" with the unforgiving conditions of close-up coin magic. After well over a year of excruciating trial and error, Brian & Mike Platt's BLACKOUT! is here! Perform in any black (or even partially black) shirt, pants or jacket. Comes complete with full length DVD, and everything you need to perform ridiculously clean, impossible looking coin magic. "It is not until now that there has been such a fantastic gimmick on the market... I'm a perfectionist and I love Blackout!"
-- Mickey Silver
"I think you have solved the problems (with 'BA' and coins) and opened up a whole new dimension in Coin Magic. There is a special thrill magicians get in knowing that they can hide something in plain sight."
-- Gary Kosnitsky