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Nothing quite gets to me as a consumer than reading descriptions of magic effects and having to read between the lines. If it says "no threads involved", then it probably uses magnets. If it says "everything is examinable at the end", then it probably means palming something away or switching something out. You know the routine.
Of course, "reading between the lines" takes on a new meaning with some reviews you read of magic effects. Too many times, a review is written by a dealer that wants to get rid of overstocks or just to increase his sales. My all-time favorite are reviews written by the creators and manufacturers themselves.
Reviews done at Visions are written independently of any supplier or manufacturer. At Visions, what we see (and experience) is what you get. We don't care how many manufacturers we might anger or how many dealers dislike us -- you're the consumer, and our reader, and we want you to know what you're getting into. In order to make sure you can get to the effect we review, we'll always mention a source or two where you can locate it, but you can rest assured that it is only a convenience for you and not part of a "wink-wink-nudge-nudge" deal to get you to buy the product.
However, magic being what it is, we will also never reveal the complete working of the effect. We won't give the secret away. Period. Even if the trick is absolutely worthless in our eyes, we still won't compromise our own values. We may tell you everything else, from workmanship to presentation value, but the secret will stay with us.
Having said all of that, here's what we look for in reviewing effects:
Practicality. Just how practical is this effect? Is it something you can do under a ton of conditions, or something that can only be done when the moon is just right?
Workmanship. How well made is the product?
Documentation. What's the docs like? Well-written or slapped-together? Easy to read or a challenge?
Effect. Just how powerful is the effect? Does it rock everyone back on their heels, or do just a select few seem to enjoy it?
Presentation. What does it do to the spectators? Is the handling really suspect, or do you get away with murder?
Originality. Is it another variation on Twisting the Aces, or is this something no one has ever seen before?
To keep things simple, we give you a capsule of all the details in a section we call In a Blink. There we rate every aspect of the effect on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being an absolute dog and 10 being a winner which makes you appear to have godlike powers. If you're in a rush, or want to do some comparison shopping, In a Blink is for you.
Of course, we also give you our own take on the thing with an in-depth review of the product, just in case you have a few minutes to keep you from spending your money on something you wouldn't use.
So that's what we're about. That's our mission. And we will continually try to bring you the effects you want reviewed in a manner that serves you the best.
If you have an effect you want reviewed, drop us a line and we'll get right on it!
All content ©2008 The Visions Group. All Rights Reserved. Any duplication without expressed written permission is strictly prohibited.
The views expressed are solely those of the contributors and may not necessarily be those of TVG, its clients, sponsors, or affiliates.