DVD Production Quality: C: (I did play this on a PS2 so take this rating with that in mind) There
was no fancy musical score nor was it shot on high res. The sound seemed to get louder or quieter at
times but not enough to make the teaching inaudible. The camera work was direct and to the point.
Not a fancy DVD but good enough to teach the material (and thats all we really need anyway.)
Teaching: A-: David Penn is a fine teacher. He is humorous if sometimes cheesy. He reminded me a
bit of Gregory Wilsons teaching and performance style. There are a few card and coin moves that are
used in the effects taught that he glosses over but most of those interested in Toppit work will
already know these. His main focus is on teaching the installation, toppiting stances, proper
routine construction and misdirection, three basic sleights, and the five routines he covers.
Installation: He covers how to fit and install the 21st Century toppit in a sport or dress
jacket. The nature of this toppit allows you to install a fastening device in several different
Jackets so the toppit can be added to any jacket you may wear. While he does not cover the toppit's
use in vests, hoodies, and other clothing items that hang higher on the body, most intermediate
magicians should have no trouble adjusting the handling and body postures required to make these
Techniques: In this section he covers basic movements and body postures for a
toppit. He discusses how to structure a routine that creates natural use of misdirection. He also
covers some common mistakes with handling toppits.
The Pitch: The most common sleight used
for toppiting. The move is fairly easy and the misdirection used is quite natural.
Reverse Pitch: This is not a difficult move but a bit knacky. I had the most troubles with this
sleight. Its a bit like rubbing your belly and patting your head. Once you train your brain its
quite easy but it may take a while to get there.
The Open Pitch: This used for vanishing
larger objects. With this move you should be able to vanish anything your hand can cover for a split
second. Most of the vanishes done on the promo video for the Gecko could also be done with this move
however the handling would be a bit different. This is an easy move to do however it requires a bit
more misdirection. When you consider the utility of this it will be well worth the practice.
Black Eight: A++!: This routine is fantastic! Magician has spectator
select a card and buries it in the deck. Magician asks for the name of the card and spec says 8 of
clubs. Magician says, If I could get a black eight to fly out of the deck with just a whack would
you be impressed? Magician then has the spec cup his/her hands together, hits the top of the deck
and a billiard 8-ball drops into the specs hands. He then points out that that wasnt the card
(obviously!) Slaps the 8-ball and it changes back into the 8 of clubs.
This effect is what
the toppit is perfect for. I havent seen Apollo Robbins or David Regals version of this to compare
but if you dont have another version of this effect it is worth the price of this DVD/gimmick.
Coin in Bottle: C: This is just a version of coin in bottle that utilizes the toppit. Some
interesting ideas on toppit use but not strong enough for me to replace the coin in bottle routine I
Kid at Christmas: C+: Magician shows the spectators a coin bending back and
fourth. He then teaches spectators how to do the effect. As he is showing them how to perform the
effect the coin vanishes.
Basically some nice window dressing for a coin vanish. The kind
of throw away effect you do in between routines.
Salt Inspector: B: Salt shaker appears
from nowhere, salt is shaken on the table, you take a taste of the salt, and then vanish the shaker.
This is a nice effect that would probably play well for a restaurant worker. The appearance of the
shaker is particularly nice.
Circle to the forth Dimension: A: Magician pulls out a large
ring(3-4 diameter) and a coin. He drops the coin through the ring and it vanishes. He reaches
inside the ring and pulls out the coin. He drops the coin in the ring again and it grows into a
jumbo coin. He drops the jumbo coin in the ring and it turns back into a normal coin.
is another fantastic effect. If you dont own a jumbo coin because you are not sure what to do with
one, well, this will give you some great ideas. A very creative effect.
B+: Magician taps a wine glass with a fork and the base falls off. Magician then restores the base.
This would be a great little opener for a restaurant worker.
materials: B+ The gimmick itself is an improvement on some earlier models used by Patrick Page. He
does not mention, nor have I seen the Michael Ammar toppit so I cannot say if it is better or worse
than that design. The big advantage to this design is that is can be used in several different
jackets so long as a fastening device is added to each jacket used. There are other removable
toppits on the market that have received some bad reviews however I find this one easy to use and
easy to install.
Difficulty: Basic card sleights and or coin sleights are a prerequisite
for this gimmick and a solid understanding coin magic will make the handling and misdirection even
Applications: This is definitely a must for close-up workers looking for a gimmick
that vanishes larger objects. Restaurant and Bar workers will love some of the routines taught in
the DVD but even if that isnt your venue most routines could be adapted in full or in part by
anyone doing close-up work.
Experienced Toppit workers probably wont gain much from this
unless they are interested in a specific routine described above or are curious about this toppits
This device could replace your Raven if you desire however it will not
interfere with most Raven hook-ups. The two could easily be used in the same routine and each brings
a certain character and visual style to in hand vanishes.
Final thought; Much like the
Raven and the M-5 some of the Toppits strongest applications are not so much in the vanishes but in
using the vanish to accomplish a transformation. The two effects listed above (Black Eight and
Circle to the Fourth Dimension) use the toppit in this way to accomplish some stunning visual magic.
Overall Rating: B+ This was my first experience with Toppits and was very satisfied with
it. I think it would be a great introduction to anyone interested in toppiting. If you are
interested in vanishing larger objects than your Raven and M-5 can handle this is definitely a
cheaper alternative to the Gecko. Even for smaller coin sized objects the Toppit hold and edge over
the Raven in that its immediately ready for the next vanish. I did dock this a bit on the DVD
production quality however I care less about that than in the information contained within. If you
agree dont hesitate to give this a try. I would not recommend this for people already familiar with
toppits. By looking at the contents listed on other Toppit DVDs (Bob Fitchs in particular) the 21st
Century Toppit seems less comprehensive.
6 of 6 magicians found this helpful.
I have got the topit book 2.0'on iBooks and will use the techniques and pattern on that but the
thing with this is you can miss easily and the stickiness on the Velcro will soon need replacing
might use but I think the michael ammar topit is better sorry david .
David Penn has managed to improve on the Toppit and give magicians the flexibility of moving the
Toppit from one coat to another, which for me is a huge plus. Not only that, but the opening is
bigger and closer to the front edge of the coat, making vanishes much more reliable and deceptive.
Best of all, David shares several terrific routines and tips that look great and eliminate the need
for "tossing". The gimmick is nicely made and the dvd routines are clear and well taught. Thank you,