Artist: Visual Magic & David Evangelista
Link: http://www.exomagic.net/index.php/fuse- ... ution.html
Retail Price: $25.00 USD
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Notes: This is a utility device. Although it comes with suggestions for use, ultimately the application is dependent on the magician to provide a creative purpose for its application.
1 Bottle of Fuse
1 Paint Brush
1 Explanation Sheet
1 Stick of Incense
3 Sheets of Tissue Paper
The magician presents a blank sheet of tissue paper and a deck of cards. After the deck has been shuffled, a card is selected and returned to the deck. The magician then explains that they will reveal the card in a most unusual fashion. He lights a small stick of incense and touches it to the tissue paper. Immediately a trail of smoldering fire burns into the paper forming at first a shape matching the suit of the selected card. With another tap of the incense stick, a number burns into the paper revealing the suit. This is just one of many possible plots and applications for this utility device.
I first saw this being used on another product that I've reviewed, and I have to say it really got my interest! I couldn't wait to get my product in the mail and for good reason. This product is a lot of fun. At first I was a little put off at the size of the bottle. I didn't expect it to be huge, but it was certainly smaller than what I was hoping for. The good news is that a little bit of this stuff goes a long long way so if you can learn to ration out your use, it should last you quite a bit. The product comes complete with everything you'll need to practice and perform the effect. They recommend using six inch squares of tissue paper, but from what I've seen the size doesn't really matter. You just need to be aware that the bigger the paper you use, the more solution you'll need to apply, and thus the faster you'll deplete your supply.
To perform Fuse you'll need to apply the solution to the tissue paper in the form of the revelation in advance of the show. This will mean that some setup is required. While I was experimenting with Fuse I learned that you really don't want to apply too much of it, otherwise it doesn't dry clear. The solution also has a slow dry time. It can take as long as 20 minutes to get set up or as little as 5 minutes depending on humidity, and the conditions you are prepping in. Once it's dry though you're good to go. I performed this for a co-worker of mine, and forced upon her the five of hearts. I light an incense stick and touched it to my Fuse prepared tissue paper. The number five was the first to burn a pattern out, followed quickly by the shape of a heart. Her reaction was genuine. Pure shock, turned to joy and amazement. Of course my performance was only the most obvious of plots that could be used with this product. I can only begin to imagine how powerful this could be in the hands of someone with a well thought out plot, and well devised presentation.
The nice thing about this product is you really don't need any instructions per say to figure out how to use it. It's pretty self intuitive. However the instructions do give some great pointers for using the product to the fullest of its potential. As with any effect dealing with chemicals or fire, especially both, Fuse comes with a long list of Do's and Don'ts regarding it's safe use. Most of these seem common sense, but it's good that they are on there. Much to my chagrin though, there isn't any health warnings, or instructions should you accidentally ingest Fuse, or get it into your eyes. I understand it's a proprietary chemical mix, but this oversight just seems irresponsible on the part of Visual Magic. The instructions also has a nice list of ideas to the patterns you can have fuse burn into the tissue paper ranging from the religious symbols, to the traditional playing cards, and even ESP symbols.
The effect is portable, visual, packs light, plays big, and is ideal for closeup, street, parlor, stage, mentalism, or walk around. This is more a utility prop, than it is a stand alone effect and because of that it's very versatile. The only draw back to this is the need to use fire, and have a light stick of incense. According to the instructions, you can also use a match that is still smoldering hot from just being lit, but I've not had a lot of success with that myself. The product specifies that you need a wooden match, but again no real luck. When you're dealing with incense, some people don't like it. They don't like the smell, could be Asthmatic, there's a few reasons why you'd need to be sensitive to the needs of your audience. However I think your risks are small, compared to the possible payoff. This really can create powerful magic presentations, and is well worth your investment.
Over All Opinion:
I think fuse is a great product, and it should fit in well with any kind of performers material. Since it's called “Spirit Fire Writing” in the instruction manual it's clear the creators intend it to be more for the bizarre worker, or possibly the christian magician, but I think that's really trying a little too hard to categorize it. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. This is a utility prop, limited only by the imagination of the person using it. In the right hands, the effects this product can help create could be quite powerful indeed. This product is not only fun to play with, it's also fun to perform with. I highly recommend it!
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, Performance Practicality and Over all Quality.
Product Quality: 7
I loved the product. The price is just about right for everything you get with it. However I wish they'd just sell a larger bottle of just the fluid by itself for a similar price. I don't want to have to keep stocking up on paint brushes and incense sticks every time I need to reorder this.
Teaching Quality: 4
I felt the quality of the instructional page was not in the teaching of the effect, but in the few ideas they give you to use it with. The instructions also do a good job of telling you how to handle your product safely, and get the best results. However the lack of what to do in case of accidental exposure to the chemical either by ingesting it or by getting it into your eyes will certainly cost it some big points in this category.
Performance Practicality: 6
The effect is mostly practical. You are dealing with fire, incense, and a chemical reaction. You need to be very responsible anytime you're messing around with fire. The reactions you'll get from the performance will off set and justify the lengthy preparation process you'll need to endure to get ready to do any effect using Fuse.
Over All Quality: 7
I think this is one of those products that you should keep in your magic case at all times. I had to bump the overall quality score just a little bit, because this really is an amazing product. I hate to see a good product suffer on the account of a few technicalities with the scoring system. One thing though that the reader must understand is that this product is reliant upon your own creativity when it comes to presentation! It will be your presentation that will make or break this effect for you. Having said that, waist not a moment more. Get Fuse, and add it to your kit today!