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  • What's the Difference - Part 4

    Posted on October 23, 2008 by chris ballinger

    Levitation Devices:

    We carry quite a few utility items and routines involving the defiance of gravity. Here's a quick review on a couple to help you choose what's right for you.

    Floating Match on Card or Cosmosis by Ben Harris:
    If you've never played around with floating or levitation effects, this is a great place to start. Floating Match on Card comes with two gimmicks in case on breaks. Cosmosis is the "magician's" floating match on card routine. It comes with the gimmick, supplies to make more gimmicks, and an excellent instruction booklet.

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    Strengths: Easy to carry around visual, unexpected magic. One of the few levitation tricks with no "hook-up".
    Weaknesses: It's delicate. Very delicate.

    Floating Dollar Bill by Jon Jensen:
    The first routine with an "IT Hook-up" that I would recommend. It's eerie, visual and simple. Ball up the bill and watch it go.

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    Strengths: It's done with a borrowed object which is examinable before and after the trick.
    Weaknesses: After setting up the trick you are limited with where you can perform it. Anytime you want to make something float, you have to be standing in the same spot.

    Hummingbird Card by Magic Makers:
    This is a floating card effect similar to the UFO Card or the Hummer Card trick. This is another great introduction to IT effects.

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    Strengths:It looks really cool and can be done anywhere.
    Weaknesses: I've never felt safe with this hook-up in place. Maybe I just haven't gotten used to it, but if I'm doing walk around, I've got a lot more to worry about than a very invisible delicate thing running across my body.

    I.T.R.s i.e. Thread Genie by Magic Makers and Spider Pen by Yigal Mesika:
    Reels are great for walk-around because you can set it up and take it down anywhere you go. The effect usually looks just like the Floating Dollar bill, although there are other hook-up variations possible for tricks like floating ring, floating match, and haunted deck.

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    Strengths: They both are very portable. The Spider Pen uses an electric reel and has more flexibility in control and distance between performer and floating object.
    Weaknesses: Both are delicate and require practice. Repairing a break can be frustrating at best with the Thread Genie, it's easier with the Spider Pen.

    Enlightenment by Ben Harris:
    This one doesn't really fit in with the rest of the tricks in this segment, but I've had a lot of questions about it, so here it goes... A selected (could be signed) card rises off the pack and then floats back down for full inspection.

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    Strengths: No thread is used and the card can be examined before and after the effect. The bold performer can even perform this trick while the spectator is holding the cards.
    Weaknesses: The angles are great, but the trick is certainly not angle-proof. Unless you get the Development Kit, Custom Deck, and/or the Paradigm Shifter, you've got some construction and hunting-down-of-materials to do.

    If you made it through the whole post, congratulations. This one was a doozy!


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  • Fans of the Geeks

    Posted on October 22, 2008 by chris ballinger

    If you like magic or geeks or both, now is your chance to let the world know! We just created the Magic Geek Fan Page on Facebook. The fan page is a place where we can post awesome videos, exciting notes and get in-touch with our Facebook homies!

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    Show your Geek Pride and become a fan of Magic Geek. We promise not to clog up your feed.


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  • What's the Difference Part 3

    Posted on October 17, 2008 by chris ballinger

    Today I want to take a look at tricks where the entire deck turns blank except for a selected card. We are going to focus on tricks that use full decks today and save the similar packet effects (Tricks using on a small number of cards) for another time.

    Point Blank by Jordan Cotler:
    A card is selected and the entire deck changes into blank cards leaving the selection as the only printed card.

    Point Blank

    Strengths: This is the easiest of the three tricks in this article. Simple, to the point and resets instantly.
    Weaknesses: The cards are not examinable at the end of the effect. This might not bother some people, but if you've ever had an unruly spectator grab your props, this is a scary drawback.

    Erazer by Adrian Gower:
    This is more of a Brainwave effect than the other two. A card is named and it is shown to be face-up and to have a different colored back, and to be the only card with printing on the face.

    Erazer

    Strengths: Well, it's got that different color back thing that the other two effects don't have and it's got a fun routine.
    Weaknesses: This is a good trick, but some people consider it to be overkill. The thought-of-self-flipping-color-changing-only-unblank-card effect scares away a couple of magicians, but audiences seem to like it. The biggest weakness on my opinion is that there is some verbal forcing involved. They can kind of name any card in the deck. That's why I recommend this trick to people that have a bit of experience in mentalism.

    Blizzard by Dean Dill:
    This is probably my favorite gimmicked card trick. Someone literally names any card (no force) and this card is removed from the deck. You do some stuff with the card and then show that it is the only card in the whole deck with printing on it.

    Blizzard

    Strengths: The Spectator can name ANY card. The beautiful ending to the trick is matched only by the fact that everything can be examined.
    Weaknesses: This one takes some nerve to pull off. The first time I read the instructions I was like, "I'm going to get caught every time I do this." But, the very bold (yet easy) sleight fools them every time.


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  • What's the Difference Part 2

    Posted on October 10, 2008 by chris ballinger

    We carry a few different versions of the Pen/Pencil through Bill effect. So it's time to tear things up and ask "What's the difference?"

    Perfect PENetration by Magic Makers:
    This is a fantastic gimmick. You push a pen through a borrowed dollar bill. When you pull it to the side the hole seems to melt through the dollar and eventually slides completely off the dollar bill.

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    Strengths: The gimmick is very well made and allows for several different handlings. It's pretty easy to use and looks great.
    Weaknesses: The pen looks like a regular pen and so it's easy to loose. There is some sneaky stuff that has to happen in order to make the pen examinable and you have to be careful around anything that's not made of wood, glass or plastic... if you know what I mean.

    Just Passin' Thru by Russ Niedzwiecki
    This is a pencil through bill effect. The actual penetration is not so much a stab as it is a sideways melting through action. This gimmick also allows for a lightning-fast penetration through the side of the bill.

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    Strengths: For some reason a wooden pencil is a lot more convincing than a plastic pen. The melting through effect looks amazing.
    Weaknesses: The pencil used in this is thicker than a standard pencil which kind of looks strange. There is a switch involved in this trick that is kind of awkward.

    Misled by Timothy Wenk
    There is a reason that this trick was performed by David Copperfield on national television... it's really good. The first phase is a puncture, tear and restore effect and the second phase is a slow melting like Just Passin' Thru.

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    Strengths: Uses a very normal/examinable pencil. There is a very dramatic tearing sound that happens when you rip the pencil out the side of the bill.
    Weaknesses: You have to steal the gimmick away at the end of the trick but it's small and easy to hide. You have to be careful with your angles.


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  • Discount Update

    Posted on October 3, 2008 by chris ballinger

    If you haven't started carving your pumpkin yet, now's the time to do it! If you send us a picture of your magic themed pumpkin, we will give you 10% off all of your purchases in the month of October. This is where you can keep up-to-date with all the goings-on of the give-away.

    Keep checking back on this thread as we post pictures and comments on the incoming jack-o-lanterns. And please feel free to leave your comments and thoughts on the pumpkins.

    ------------------- 10/09/08 -------------------

    David sent us a pumpkin "carving" that needs to be mentioned. Since he wasn't allowed to use a knife he got a little creative and came up with this prize-winning pumpkin.

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    Congratulations David, we give you points for creativity and effort. We love the hat and magic wand. Thanks for participating in our festive giveaway.

    ------------------- 10/03/08 -------------------

    Oh boy! The entries are already starting to pour in! Just check out this pumpkin sent to us by Jordan:

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    That is definitely a prize winner. I like the inverse moon/hand thing going on, on the right. Good work Jordan, you've set very high standards for the rest of us.


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  • Want a Discount?

    Posted on October 3, 2008 by chris ballinger

    We had so much fun carving our pumpkin that we want to see what you do with yours. If you send us a picture of a pumpkin carved with a magical theme, we will give you 10% off all of your purchases in the month of October!

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    Pumpkin images will be featured in this blog and the carvers will receive a coupon code good for the whole month of October. But you should act now because the sooner you get your masterpiece to us, the longer your discount will last.

    The Rules
    1) The pumpkin carvings must, in some way, have to do with magic.
    2) One discount per customer. You can send us a bunch of pictures if you want, but it's just the 10% off per customer.
    3) Image files must be sent by e-mail attachment to chris@magicgeek.com.
    4) The "Pumpkin Panel" has final say on all carvings, if they deem an image as not magical enough no discount will be given.
    5) I am allowed to write whatever I want about the pumpkin image. If you send it, I'm going to say something about it and you should be okay with that.

    Be sure to check back here for updates. I'll be posting the images as they get delivered. So go out there and get some pumpkins! Whoo-hoo!

    Also, if you want to carve a really cool pumpkin, but have no idea what to do, we've posted the template to the pumpkin that we carved up. Just go to www.magicgeek.com/pumpkin.pdf for the exact image used in our video. If you end up going with this design, send us a picture of it and you'll get the discount. No creativity required!


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  • Pumpkin Carving

    Posted on October 1, 2008 by chris ballinger

    Happy October everybody! Check out the Magic Geek Pumpkin!

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    I know you're all dying to know how this pumpkin was made so we video taped the entire process and sped up the footage with easy-to-follow steps:

    Magic Geek is your Halloween tricks and treats store and we plan on posting a bunch of videos to help you find the scariest, most practical, and down-right fun magic for your Hallow's Eve festivities.

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  • David Blaine's Dive of Death Exposed

    Posted on September 25, 2008 by chris ballinger

    David Blaine did a bunch of magic on his latest special and we wanted to break the whole show down for you trick by trick. This video explains what gimmicks Blaine used in the special and we've posted links to all of them below. Enjoy...

    PK Ring
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    Twisted

    Kronosnull

    Strange Travelers
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    Card Fictions
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    Spun
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    Silver Impression
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    Heiny 500
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    The tricks Lit and Compression will be available on Magic Geek in about two weeks and we are very excited about them.


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  • Disneyland Magic Shop

    Posted on September 24, 2008 by chris ballinger

    In my never-ending attempt to turn family vacations into business trips I dragged my family to the magic shop on Main Street in Disneyland. Magic Geek's roots are in the brick and mortar magic shops and they still serve as our inspiration. Also, they're just so darn fun to go into.

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    Since I was a little kid, I've insisted that we stop at the magic shop on Main Street. In a place that is so reliant on tourists buying souvenirs, it's fascinating that the old shop is still there and still stocking classic and advanced magic. They could have just filled it with the easy plastic stuff and called it a day, but they still maintain the integrity of old school magic.

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    The store has a long history in Disneyland. I talked with the lady behind the counter for a while about how Steve Martin used to work there back in the 70s. I also find it cool that Disney seeks out clerks that can actually demo every trick in the store.

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    Anyway, the Main Street Magic Shop gets two very geeky thumbs up from me. They may not have a ton of magic, but they make what they do have count. And they also gave my daughter a "First Visit" pin, so that was cool.


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  • Don't Forget

    Posted on September 23, 2008 by chris ballinger

    Tomorrow night (Wednesday, September 24th) David Blaine will be on network television performing magic in his Dive of Death Special. Yesterday Blaine began a unique physical challenge by hanging himself upside-down on a wire five stories in the air. He will remain hanging upside-down over Central Park's Wollman Rink for three days until the end of his special. Blaine will perform this stunt by using electromagnetic boots, only lifting himself back up to regain circulation his blood and drink water. As for how he gets down... that's a closely guarded secret. He plans on surprising fans with some crazy finish to this very dangerous stunt.

    Throughout the special they will show footage of Blaine's recent road trip across the United States. Every town he stopped in he performed for people in unexpected places. I have been told that this special will include a ton of new magic.

    So don't forget to tune in. It's not very often that magic gets this kind of exposure on network television so it's important that we tune in. Since Blaine's first television special a new wave of urban magic has taken hold of the country and it's always fun to see what he's doing next. Check your local listings for channel and time.


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