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Sibex

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Reply with quote  #1 
I am curious to know what your thoughts are on the latest magic releases over the last year or so.

When I watch reviews on places like Alakazam, World Magic Shop or David's Magic Othodoxy I am usually left thinking, "so what?" or "how would that fit in?"
Now don't get me wrong, the people who create these effecs are bloody clever and I certainly couldn't come up with anything close. Actually, I couldn't come up with anything at all. So I am not criticising the effects in and of themselves, nor am I criticising the reviews, as they are normally spot on.
What I do think is that perhaps there is so much pressure to continually come up with the newest and best and to pump out products to sell, that little thought is given to how the created effect would fit into a set or indeed how it would be introduced into a conversation to begin with.

So many effects appear to be stand-alone Instagram "moments", that for the 30 bucks you spend, you are left with a random, out of context effect that seems to make little sense.

To highlight what I am talking about, as an example take Sans Mind's Fresh Swap that was recently released. What's the point of it? I just don't get it. It doesn't fit into any sort of set, and say you're a hobbiest, how weird is it to say, Hey look! Check out this gum.....
Now compare that to something like Garrett Thomas' Stand Up Monte. Here is something that has been thought through and would easily play as part of a gambling set or stand-alone as a response to "so, you're a magician, can you cheat at cards?"

Now I know that there is a place for all sorts of different magic, but surely there has to be some consideration given to the amount of cheap throwaway stuff that is marketed these days?

And with all that said, doesn't this just highlight how amazing books are as a resource? People won't think twice about coughing up $50 for one throwaway trick but will baulk at paying the same price for a book with dozens of effects inside, most of which can be adapted endlessly too!

So what do you all think?
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #2 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sibex
I am curious to know what your thoughts are on the latest magic releases over the last year or so.

When I watch reviews on places like Alakazam, World Magic Shop or David's Magic Othodoxy I am usually left thinking, "so what?" or "how would that fit in?"
Now don't get me wrong, the people who create these effecs are bloody clever and I certainly couldn't come up with anything close. Actually, I couldn't come up with anything at all. So I am not criticising the effects in and of themselves, nor am I criticising the reviews, as they are normally spot on.
What I do think is that perhaps there is so much pressure to continually come up with the newest and best and to pump out products to sell, that little thought is given to how the created effect would fit into a set or indeed how it would be introduced into a conversation to begin with.

So many effects appear to be stand-alone Instagram "moments", that for the 30 bucks you spend, you are left with a random, out of context effect that seems to make little sense.

To highlight what I am talking about, as an example take Sans Mind's Fresh Swap that was recently released. What's the point of it? I just don't get it. It doesn't fit into any sort of set, and say you're a hobbiest, how weird is it to say, Hey look! Check out this gum.....
Now compare that to something like Garrett Thomas' Stand Up Monte. Here is something that has been thought through and would easily play as part of a gambling set or stand-alone as a response to "so, you're a magician, can you cheat at cards?"

Now I know that there is a place for all sorts of different magic, but surely there has to be some consideration given to the amount of cheap throwaway stuff that is marketed these days?

And with all that said, doesn't this just highlight how amazing books are as a resource? People won't think twice about coughing up $50 for one throwaway trick but will baulk at paying the same price for a book with dozens of effects inside, most of which can be adapted endlessly too!

So what do you all think?


Sibex, I totally agree with your comments.  I buy very little magic these days.  I have enough good books on my shelf that I have literally all of  the tricks I'd ever really need.

Now that doesn't preclude wanting to know about new stuff so I do watch most all of MagicOrthoxy's reviews.  I always learn something.  Sometimes it tickles a thought that helps me with something I already do.  Sometimes I watch the review and laugh, wondering how it got released in the first place and who is going to be sorry they bucked up for a copy.  Still other times I see the item as having a place in a worker's set but still am not motivated to purchase.

I think some people have the sort of disposable income that they buy anything new and popular and probably never actually perform the trick.  If that floats their boat, so be it.

When I was in my teens and active in the IBM, there were some older members that came to all of the meetings, attended the lectures and bought a lot of stuff and you know what?  I never, ever saw them perform.  Anything.  I guess they were hobbyists and just being around magic was fun for them and they wanted to learn but not perform.

The internet has totally changed the way magic is bought and sold.  We used to be lucky if we had a printed catalog.  I remember the excitement of getting my hands on an Abbott's catalog!  Hundreds of pages of written descriptions and drawings in black-and-white.
You had to use your imagination for the most part along with the glowing description of how miraculous the effect was.

Now you watch a vignette of a "live" performance that is shot from the best angle in the best light and frequently edited to eliminate the moments when the "dirty work" is done.

That isn't true for all of the producers, but many of them for sure.

I've said it before.  If you buy a good book, particularly one of Harry's, you'll have top-flight effects that play entertainingly and end up spending about a couple bucks or less per trick in many instances.  That's where the value is.  
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #3 
Funny, I was thinking similarly earlier this week after receiving an email advert from Vanishing, Inc. The video demoed a gimmicked coin effect in which three half dollars transform into an English Penny, a Chinese coin, and wait for it, a button. Really? A button? Uh, context?

Look, the trick was visual, the creator young and enthusiastic, but the gimmicks were, at least to my eye, nothing new. In fact, most of us could perform the routine as shown with items we have lying around. Oh, and the routine appeared to require use of a knacky, difficult to master sleight, but I wonder how many folks that flew past? The price? A mere $60.00 US.

I thought, for $55.00 they could instead grab a copy of Mike Powers' Tesseract and have a veritable cornucopia of magic at the fingertips using cards, iPhones, coins, rubber bands, rings, and more. The free market is a fine place, but it is also a place in which to keep one hand on your wallet, and the other one focused on a sign floating directly in front of your eyes reading, caveat emptor.

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rready

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Reply with quote  #4 
Books have always been the best bang for your buck. 
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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #5 
Amen!
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