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Mirage Pen (Bending Pen) - Trick
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"I highly recommend it, I have no idea how you did it, you fooled me badly!"
- Ricky Stephens , NYC
Come complete with black and white photo illustrated, 7 page, saddle stitched booklet and one pen.
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Yup it's a mirage alright . . . Report this review
Pro Privacy ON (login to see reviewer names) on April 2nd, 2010
It took me seven minutes to read this booklet (yes I actually timed myself) which is printed with white ink on a black background. Not black paper, but white paper that has had black printed on it. The communication skills of the author range from bad to atrocious. Here are just a couple of examples:
"The slower you rotate, the better, it will look much more good."
And another example:
"Now you'll say, 'look it's starting to bend'. You have no idea of the psychological impact of such sentence. If you are performing it for an audience, it will be even better."
Ok, so on the first quote above, maybe he had the book translated, and some things didn't make it through. I can live with that. However, I found no author and no copyright information anywhere on the booklet, so I have no idea if what the origins are.
Let's assume that the majority of the errors were due to lost-in-translation, for the sake of argument. However, how do you explain the second quote? He talks about the psychological impact of a statement, then proceeds to claim that this psychological impact is even more amazing when you say it to a person. Really?!
The layout of the book is hard to read in a few places where the paragraphs are smushed together, and some of the pictures don't match up with the descriptions.
All the production issues aside, what about the effect. Well, the video demo is weak at best. The bend that you see in the pen is so small and subtle and you see a ripple right at the bend on the pen which was put there by the prep work. So the demo alone isn't that great. Then I tried to follow the instructions to create my own gimmick because as he (whoever that is) says, "You have been supplied with a regular pen to make your own gaff."
He supplies a white pen, yet in the instructions he says that black pens are best because " . . . they create confusion to your eyes. It's much more difficult for the eye to understand the details of something of black colour - that's why you can do tons of things using black art." I almost stopped reading right here. The more I read, the more annoyed I got. By the way, even the pen in the photos is black.
Next, in the instructions, he says to remove the ink stick and cut it in half and replace it in the pen. What he fails to discuss is how to deal with the fact that once you cut an ink stick in half, you now have an inky mess everywhere and an ink pen that leaks. No help was offered here. I was smart enough to not cut my ink stick, but rather just remove it to test the rest of the set up.
Without revealing too much here, the set up he explains actually caused the supplied pen to break rendering it (as my mom would say) as useless as tits on a boar. The pen supplied was hard plastic. I think a bic that's a bit softer might work better, but at this point, I'm "burned" out on this effect if you know what I mean . . . wink . . . wink.
Assuming this were a good effect, I would have marketed it thusly:
* Spend a bit more time proof-reading.
* Improve the quality of the book
* Make it full color
* Sell it as an e-book without the pen but rather recommend a specific brand that works well
* Then sell it for $12 to $15 bucks not the $23 that is the asking price.
Instead, for the $23, you get the crappy booklet, the crappy pen, and a sturdy plastic baggy.
Save the paper, save the trees, and save time, packaging and shipping cost and pass that on to the customer. However, there's one fatal flaw in my plan . . . the trick/effect is stinky.
So, Jeff, is there anything good about this product? Well I'm glad you asked. Here's what I look at when I review a product:
* The Prop itself - CRAP.
* The production quality of the DVD or book in this case - Mostly crap.
* The Effect - Weak at best
* The "teaching" - decent.
The teaching is ok, but the problem is Mr. Mystery Magician is teaching an effect that is basically crap. He did, however, take some time to give a brief background, minor history and some crediting, so he didn't end up with a total crap score, but he still didn't make it out of my junk drawer. Rubble.
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