I have mixed feelings about Champ, which is presented by FISM champion Rick Merrill. The two central
routines on the video are beautiful. In the first a Sharpie disappears and re-appears in the
magician's hands. In the second a silver dollar turns into a Sharpie and back again. Both routines
are very brief, involve similar moves, and look like real magic. If anything, they're even more
amazing than you would think after watching the trailers on Penguin. The drawback is that both
routines seem to be highly angle sensitive. Merrill discusses this issue briefly in the video, but
I wish he had gone into more depth. My impression (and I may be wrong) is that these effects work
only if the spectators are directly in front of you. From that angle the tricks are devastating.
But you definitely can't have anyone behind you, and I'm doubtful whether you can have anyone toward
your sides. For this reason the two effets are impractical for mmost walk-around situations. They
may be too risky for restaurant work too. If I learn one of these tricks, I will probably use it
only in one-on-one situations, when I have a single spectator located directly in front of me who I
really want to impress.
12 of 13 magicians found this helpful.
This is a very nice vanish, looks great from head on, but angles can be a problem. Seems to be a
good stage effect, but would be hesitant to work it as a walk around bit unless it is a small
audience standing in front of you. Working it in restaurants, the patrons sitting behind or on
other tables might well see how it is done. That said, I have only practiced it a few times and am
pretty quickly getting the hang of it. Based on some old principals and does require a watch. (could
be a spoiler for some there. His coin and pen transpo is very clean, simple and one that I will USE
in my act. I really like this effect, but it does have some limitations - works best straight on.
Only reason it does not get 5 stars is due to working angles. Well worth it to learn. He also
includes explanation for his coin roll and pen spin.
8 of 8 magicians found this helpful.
Dammit! I always feel conflicted when Penguin sends and email introducing a download or product...
should I look at? Will I feel compelled to buy it? Will I be disappointed? I knew I had to buy it
when I looked at the trailer. And, thankfully, it was well worth it! This is truly an excellent
vanish/reproduction which is very accessible. The sleights are really not difficult, but the result
is excellent. I purchased this at an introductory price. The only reason I did not give it 5 stars
is it is a little angle sensitive, so you need to think about when to introduce it depending on the
context. However, this is very fast and can be impromptu. I actually mean literally can be
7 of 7 magicians found this helpful.
This is a really, really nice download, however you're going to wanna have some more Sharpie-stunts
to play around with after this! So then I really do recommend you to get the Pencyclopedia DVD by
Tom Crosbie as a combo together with this trick. Get both while you're at it.
6 of 6 magicians found this helpful.
Mr Merrill covers two routines, a pen vanish and routine and a pen becoming a coin becoming a pen.
He also teaches a pen spin and a coin roll. The routines are very slick and really nice but there
are some proviso's.
As you might predict the angles on the pen vanish are insane. If you
are performing for one person who is straight on, or stage you are good to go, otherwise, personally
I wouldn't so it though the vulnerable period is brief. Mr Merrill himself says "I realised if you
were performing to someone who is straight on".
So 5 stars if you are on stage or
performing to one person straight on. 2 stars otherwise as the download does teach the flip stick
move, the pen roll and the coin roll and demonstrates excellent routining....but for my typical
working environment no - enjoyable for me to watch, but I won't be using it anytime soon. Still a
good purchase for the money.
Otherwise the routine as a whole isn't really use-able,
6 of 7 magicians found this helpful.
There's a lot of fine details (especially at the crucial phase that involves the open-hands display)
that Merrill skips or glosses over. Fortunately, the video production quality is good enough to
allow someone really determined like me to reverse-engineer the things he doesn't explain, like the
angle to hold the "holdout," the miming and covering actions, etc.
1 of 1 magicians found this helpful.
Very nice production values. Very clear step-by-step instruction with several repetitions at
different speeds and angles. Bonus finger-roll and pen twirl very helpful for beginners like me.
This is an excellent instructional video.
1 of 1 magicians found this helpful.
I didn't find anything spectacular with this one apart from being able to briefly show both hands
empty which has problem angles, but works well one on one.
Spend the additional $10 and get
"The Marvelous Pencyclopedia" by Tom Crosbie instead.
1 of 2 magicians found this helpful.
A remarkable use of angles, sleight of hand and creative thinking. This download is well worth its
value I would have even purchased it at a higher price. Simple but knacky routines to keep you
learning with organic items. A great piece for the camera!
This is angley (Duh) but it is a jaw dropper. It will take some audience management skills but well
worth the price.
If you do restaurant work, or close-up at parties and such, people on side
tables can see how some of it is done, as in many close-up magic tricks. In my experience, they
never know what they are looking at, so they don't figure it out.