Mark Leveridge Magic New Releases 2011

Reviewed by Jay Fortune

February 1st is the release date when Mark Leveridge brings his latest creations to market. 2011 sees 6 new products, 4 tricks, a gimmick and a book. Nice choice.

Assembly Point. The effect in a nutshell: Leveridge leads us up the garden path in what appears to be a coin matrix, only to have a neat twist, with all four coins vanishing under the cards and gathering magically in a purse which has been displayed throughout. This is well thought out, with some nice handling of the coins in play, routined to leave you clean with only four coins, a purse and four cards, all of which are ungimmicked and can be examined. Whilst not suitable for strolling work, this is a good effect to play with as it is magically strong, and makes a good practice ground for smooth handling of both cards and coins. The final effect is clean and striking, with a clear magical plot, and would be ideal for a small close-up show, or one-off performance. Comes with the leather purse, DVD performance and instructions, written back-up instructions. You need supply only a deck and some coins. Price £15.

Colour Confusion. Nutshelled effect: Card chosen from blue deck, all cards change to red except chosen card. OK, so what do we have here? Well, a free (ish) choice of card. A deck with no rough and smooth. The deck can be handled openly, and the trick gives the impression that the deck is entirely blue and changes to entirely red, with faces displayed throughout. The deck is supplied with this trick (Bicycle) and is a one-deck effect. But for table-hopping it is a nice card routine, which is strong and memorable. The effect begins and ends with the cards removed from and returned to the box and the box is also left out during the effect. So it has a nice ‘one-trick-routine’ feel to it. When reviewing this trick I showed it to a few folk and they were really impressed. To me, that’s the ultimate test of any magic trick. So, for your £15 Leveridge supplies you with the deck, DVD performance and explanation, written back-up instructions and a sealable plastic bag housing the lot.

The Collected Card Magic of Mark Leveridge. This is the second installment of Mark’s planned four volumes collecting his card magic together, re-edited and updated. The effects in a shell with a nut casing are; 1-2-3 Jumbo Cards Across; still in the current catalogue at £20, this effect is easily made and clear in presentation for any audience. The Blankety-Blank Pack; a blank deck prints itself. Diary of a Nobody; a one deck, one diary and a kicker-finish to the classic Diary Trick. Corrector; a prediction and card change combined. And an excellent envelope idea. Seeing is Believing; four blank cards instantly print themselves. The Free Selection Collectors; a classic magic routine and card act. It Pays to be a Lady; visual production of money from jumbo cards building to a strong finish. 007; a stickered, signed coin finds a chosen card. The Modest Card; card-warp inside a paper tunnel! Transparent Switch; a card prediction and transformation within a see-through wallet. So, there’s the effects. Is it worth the price? For £15 Leveridge has sold his money-making soul in my opinion! With many of the effects previously marketed through MLM, and all simple to make and create, this book is worth many times its asking price. You’re bound to find something to add to your repertoire.

Timed Piece. Effect ala nutshell: a finger ring is vanished and appears secured on your wrist watch’s strap. There’s actually a lot more to the effect, as it is routined nicely to make the moment of magic very strong. The borrowed ring is held under a hank, held by another. Your watch is removed, showing your hands empty. Then the watch is refastened and you ask a participating audience member to time how fast it takes the ring to vanish. The hank is pulled from the spectators grip and the ring instantly vanishes. Upon remarking to the time it took, it is soon noticed that the ring is now securely threaded onto your watch strap. A spectator undoes the strap themselves and removes the ring. It really is on there! The fact that the magician’s hands are shown clearly empty between the ring being placed under the hank and the removal of the watch adds greatly to the magic. Leveridge provides the hank for the self-working vanish, a Vanisher gimmick (reviewed below) and full colour photo instructions. Having played with this, I think it is also easy to do this with a borrowed watch. At 15 earth pounds, the hank and Vanisher gimmick can be used for many other routines, making this good value.

The Coin Collector’s Purse. Effectus unt NutShellus; the magician removes an old coin from a coin collectors purse (hence the title). A spectator initials a sticker as does the performer, both attached to their own sides of the coin. The coin sits on the spectators outstretched hand. Into their other hand is placed the purse. The magish takes the coin, places it into his own hand and it simply melts away leaving both hands genuinely empty. The spectator opens the purse which is still in their possession to find the signed, stickered coin inside. Another strong piece of magic, as the coin and the purse are held by the spectator with one in each hand before the magic happens. Playing with this took a while to get smooth, but with practice, this could easily be a coin trick for close-up performance that is actually workable and easy to understand (is it just me or are most close-up coin tricks confusing and rarely that magical? Look, the silver coin has turned to brass! Really, we didn’t notice given the dim atmospheric lighting) Clear plot, a strong magical moment and props that make sense. £15 gets you the purse, Vanisher gimmick, sheet of stickers and photo illustrated instructions.

The Vanisher. This simple gimmick allows you to vanish or retrieve any small object quickly and easily. To work this, fix a gimmick to your performance suit and away you go. The set contains two gimmicks, instructions on how to install them and no routines. This gimmick is good, conveniently placed to be invisible and natural in method. For any routine where you require showing both hands genuinely empty either after a vanish or prior to appearance, this is a well thought out method. As the product says, no sleeving, magnets, threads or pulls and it’s not a Topit. For the extra £5 investment though, I’d recommend purchasing either the Coin Collectors Purse or Timed Piece, as you receive the gimmick (only one per product), and additional trick props. But if you want just the gimmicks on their own, Leveridge can supply two per pack at £10.

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© Jay Fortune, April 2011