So I received my pre-ordered Gimmicks Lab stuff yesterday and had a chance to go through most of it after work. I'm going to look at this as a full package for the price, even though some of the items were only included with the pre-order.
- Gimmicks Lab DVD
- Sankey's Best Magic With Ordinary Objects DVD
- 5 Infiltrator gimmicks
- 5 Scar Tissue gimmicks
- 1 Metamorph gimmick
- 1 set of Holey Moley gimmicks (including the Unholy)
- 1 Maximum Capacity gimmick
These discs have a lot of material on them. Of course, the Ordinary Objects disc is a compilation so if you own some of Jay's other material you might have a few of these tricks already. However, with 20 effects on it, there is bound to be at least 2 or 3 things on it that you will be able to use to create good if not great impact on your spectators. Something I particularly enjoyed about this disc was that there is not a single card trick on the whole thing!
The Gimmicks Lab disc focuses, unsurprisingly, on the gimmicks that come with the package; and there are ideas for several other gimmicks that you can make on your own in almost no time. I think the effects here are all strong, and you'll probably find at least one effect, and a presentation idea that will fit your style for it. That said, I will likely not perform everything on this disc. The best thing on the disc for me as a casual, impromptu magician (ie: a hobbyist with just over a year in magic) was the insight Jay gives about making the magic real. There was a lot of good information and insight there worth thinking about.
One last thing about the Gimmicks Lab DVD: Jay filmed it all himself so he will reach up to the camera to repoint it from his face to the table and back throughout. I'd heard some people voice their concerns about this, but I didn't feel that it detracted from the material at all. It would have been a lot smoother if he'd used a cameraman though.
The Infiltrator gimmicks will be destroyed when you use them. Scar Tissue gimmicks can be reused, or destroyed / given away depending on your style and presentation. The rest of the props are very well made and should last a long time.
I feel like I got a lot of magic for my money. The stuff I've described above ran me approximately $83 including shipping costs. Now if I hadn't received all of the pre-order items like the extra DVD or Holy Moly set, I might not feel that it was as good a deal. If any of the effects in the preview appeal to you it will be worth a purchase. Or if you're more of a hobbyist who is looking for some theory to improve your magic, as well as some very strong effects to work with, this would be a good recommendation. For the more experienced or working magicians, most of you will already have methods, tools or tricks that will be similar. As such the value for you will not be as good.