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Spiraled by Jimmy Strange

DESCRIPTION: Everyone knows what a Sharpie is… So, it’s time to give it a twist! After you have used a Sharpie, ask a spectator to hold it tightly in their fist. Slowly rotate the pen as you pull it from their hand… it comes out impossibly twisted in the middle! Write the word, “twist” on a little piece of paper, and explain that you are going to prove the ‘POWER OF WORDS.’ You wrap the paper around a Sharpie and ignite it. With a flash, the Sharpie is twisted! Before you put away your Sharpie, you take a moment to hold it at the fingertips and twist it as if it’s made of candy.

JUNKIE THOUGHTS: Spiraled is a fun quickie to do with the ever-present magician’s friend, the Sharpie. The description and trailer above says it all. You offer your Sharpie to a spectator to sign a card or write a word. You take it back and give it a twist. The Sharpie comes out permanently disfigured in a twisted shape. It can be fully examined and you are clean. Great trick.

The idea of twisting a pen is not a new one. Lubor Fiedler did this years ago with regular writing pen. This was released separately and with the Paul Harris Astonishment set. I believe the grandfather of Sharpie magic, Jay Sankey, may have played with this plot as well. However to my knowledge Jimmy Strange is the first to apply the twist to a Sharpie.

The effect itself is relatively easy to do. There are some clothing requirements to do the effect as taught on the download. However, if you are adept at sleight of hand you could probably work out a method that does not rely on sleeves and elastic (see what I did there?)
The gimmick (if you call it that) is well made and is indeed fully twisted. A surprisingly unique and interesting object.

Spiraled comes with everything you need including a normal Sharpie (a thoughtful inclusion). The instructions are available as a download which is where this product starts to fall short. The instructions are terrible. I’m not sure if its Jimmy Strange himself on the video as all you see is a set of hands. This seems to be shot from a camera sitting on a desk with only one angle and no movement. The demo of the effect is terrible and does the effect no justice. In fact the demonstrator fumbles often and rarely accomplishes the effect without some sort of mistake. This is ridiculous and frankly unacceptable. What does it take to re-shoot, and re-edit a video? My nine year old son can shoot, re-shoot and edit video on his ipad in about 15 minutes. For a product to be released with this kind of instructional video is inconsiderate and in my opinion a bit of a ripoff. The video does get the point across and thankfully, the price-point is low but its really no excuse. There are four routines included and again the explanation is terrible. The routines aren’t bad (they’re actually pretty good) but it seems the demonstrator just came up with the routines about 10 minutes before he sat down with a camera to film them. He fumbles through each of the routines to the point where its clear he’s never performed them. (that must be why there’s no performance on the download). The final routine utilized the Lubor’s Lens which is from the original version of the effect. Spiraled does not come with the Lubor’s Lens so you’ll have to dig through your magic drawers or the Astonishment boxed set to find one. The effect is great and worth it if just to fool yourself. Lastly, it only comes in black Sharpie, so if you’re one of those individuals who use blue, red or green, you’ll have to change your tune… er, color.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Overall I enjoy the effect. Its easy, visual and interesting. It provides what David Regal calls a Unique Magical Item. The effect could even be done in the spectators hand which I think would be incredibly powerful. The price is decent (I mean you get a normal Sharpie with it so that’s a deal). While the download is a terrible example of instruction, don’t let that dissuade you from checking this out. If you like the effect give this one a try.


Spiraled by Jimmy Strange, $15.95 – Available from your favorite magic dealer. Dealers contact Murphy’s Magic, www.murphysmagic.com

Vision by Mickael Chatelain

DESCRIPTION: Hand your deck of cards to a spectator, and ask him to exam and shuffle it.
It’s a standard deck, all the cards are different. The cards are face down in your hands. Ribbon spread the cards and ask a spectator to touch any card – really, ANY card.
At this point, no one can know the identity of the card as the deck has been shuffled and the cards are all still face down. Close your eyes or turn your head so that you’ll see NOTHING!
Show your spectator the card he just touched and replace it in the deck in its original place, changing nothing, manipulating nothing. The deck is immediately placed in the center of the table. Point out that in such conditions, it would seem totally impossible that you could discover the chosen card. Concentrate for a few seconds before writing the name of the card on a piece of paper. As you turn over the paper, invite the spectator to name the card that he had simply touched. It’s impossible, but you have divined the correct card!

How is this possible with a freely-chosen card from an ordinary deck shuffled by a spectator? You’ve seen NOTHING, yet you were able to name the chosen card!
Those are questions no one will be able to answer!

JUNKIE THOUGHTS: Mickael Chatelain has a knack for creating complex and magical gimmicked cards. Often his gimmicks create some sort of visual magic. But that’s not the case with Vision. This is indeed a gimmicked card but this one is designed to be used surreptitiously in the deck. If performed correctly, the spectator will never know you’re using a gimmick.

Vision is similar to other items that you’re probably familiar with. However, Mickael is the first that I know of to take this classic gimmick and build it into a playing card making it hidden in plain site. This changes the use of this classic gimmick, but still works. As explained above, you are able to discern the value of a selected card or find a named card in the deck without looking at the faces. The effect is such that the spectators may think you’re using a marked deck so be prepared to prove otherwise as that’s not the method.

Vision comes with a gimmick and downloadable instructions. Be sure to specify Blue or Red back when ordering. And its only available in Bicycle. The gimmick itself is beautifully made. Typical of Mr. Chatelain. The instructional video is fairly quick but provided all the instruction necessary for the two routines. Of the two, the first is my preference, but to each their own.

One thing I must mention is the somewhat false statement in the description above. The description states that you see nothing. This is not entirely true. The entire method of the effect is you seeing a card. However this is done under very fair circumstances and if done properly, the spectator will never see you get your peek. The method is likely nothing they would ever suspect.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Vision is a decent trick. Not earth-shattering and honestly not my cup of tea. However, the gimmick is wonderful and could potentially be used for other things, particularly gambling routines and demo’s. If you’re a fan of Mr. Chatelain’s work you will no doubt be interested. If the above routines sound like something you’d like to play with and the gimmick sounds intriguing, give Vision a try.


Vision by Mickael Chatelain, $24.95 – Available from your favorite magic dealer. Dealers contact Murphy’s Magic, www.murphysmagic.com

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