Cris Johnson here with a brand new review! Before I get to it, I just received this email regarding my Clear-View Airborne:
I just received the Clear View Airborne in the mail last night. I have nothing but praise for what you and your wife Libby have accomplished here. I’ve been performing this effect off and on for quite some time. I’ve used the Coke can, 7-Up can and the Ultimate Airborne (with any bottle.) I experienced all of the frustrations that you described with the preceding gimmicks and I’m delighted to have such a well made prop.
I speak to business audiences 30 – 40 times a year. Wine bottles don’t fit my presentation. The Ultimate Airborne gimmick is so large and visible it practically gives away the secret. The Coke and 7 Up cans are not only difficult to hook up and frustrating to fill, they don’t last very long. (Yours is a bit pricey, but I’m betting it will outlast the cans by 2 or 3 times.)
I love the Airborne effect and now that I have yours, It’s going back in to the line-up on a regular basis.
Thought you’d like to know.
That was from John Tongick, a CPA out of California. thanks John!
the Clear-View Airborne magazine ad is in this month's Magic magazine and I think Hocus Pocus did a GREAT job!!
On to this week's review:
TASTE by Bobby Motta - available for $1495.00 from Hocus Pocus. Here's the link: http://www.hocus-pocus.com/magicshop/inc/product_detail.cfm?item=13942
EFFECT: Five ordinary cups are filled with different drinks. The performer can either be blindfolded or in a different room and will always know which drink has been TASTEd. Stop reading and think about that for a second. Yes it's that amazing. You are reading senses so convincingly clean that it no longer is a puzzle, but a question of uncertainty to any skeptic. This effect will take you there! More than just a great mind reading tool but a totally unique approach to mentalism.
WHAT YOU RECEIVE:
5 customized black steins/cups (much nicer design than the ones used in the video performance).
ProMystic Modular Receiver
Industrial finger suction cup to access the secured gimmick
5 professionally cut circular dry erase labels with Velcro
Dry Erase Marker
Full Instructional DVD with performance rights
Modern Carrying Case
QUALITY OF PROPS: The electronics are top-notch and are small and easily hidden. The cup units are removeable so you can wash the cups, but once in place, I don't think anyone will ever find them. They are designed to be invisible. The receiver (that lets you know which cup is being drank from) is tiny. You could easily palm it if you want. Bobby gives you several ways to conceal it, but it's so little, that a myriad of possibilities are there.
The receiver works like a dream - again, REALLY well-made. The cups themselves are nothing special...just 5 plastic 'mug' type cups with a little velcro to hold the white, round signs to identify the drinks. Mine came a little scuffed up, but being black, it's not a big deal. Although initially disappointed, I realized that fancy cups would detract from the effect.
the carrying case is top notch. I'm always impressed when a product comes with a case. It's a great way to transport everything and protect the investment.
QUALITY OF INSTRUCTION: there are actually two sets of instructions - one by Bobby and one by the creator of the electronics. Both are required viewing, as Bobby's way of 'installing' the electronics to the cups each use was much easier than what the electronics guy talked about, yet the electronics guy covered critical info on batteries, maintenance and details on how the electronics work.
Plus, Bobby gives you several ideas as far as routining, so you're not just saying, "Drink something and I'll tell you what it is." Of course, the fact that the dryerase signs are removeable serves as a great way to end the routine as well as throw off the illogic of having the drinks poured out of the original containers.
Details like this convince me that Bobby's been doing this routine for quite a while.
DIFFICULTY: This is easily a 1 out of 10. The hardest part is the set up and the memory of which signal signifies which drink. Although Bobby talks about using mnemonics to remember the drinks that an audience freely chooses and puts in the cups, I've (for now) opted to go with the same 5 drinks (provided by me) at every show (as Bobby himself usually does it.)
Again, the true "work" will be your scripting and routine.
MY THOUGHTS: I do have to say I was initially disappointed that there is NO performance video. Bobby included one such video on the ALIVE DVD (his stellar rat trick). I'm not sure why he did not include such a video, as it would have been very helpful in terms of pacing and routine structure. Of course, it's his right to protect his own routine, but it would have been helpful.
Nevertheless, the routine for me does play quite strong. After quite a bit of rehearsal with the props, I put together a simple 3-phase routine and have performed it 5 times thus far and I'm pleased to report it plays very strongly. I'm a firm believer that performance #5 of a new effect will not NEARLY be as good as performance #100, so I'm sure the reactions will get better.
I only mention this as a warning...the props do 98% of the physical work, so solid scripting is crucial here.
As a comparison, the Mind Reading Goose, at the same fee, gives you a rock-solid, scripted routine, a good goose prop and a not-so-hot method (messy set up), while this investment gives you INCREDIBLE props and some decent ideas of routining, but no scripting at all. Both are worthy investments, but are in many ways exact opposites in terms of what their respective strengths are.
Again, both are great, but different. Just something I noticed.
PLAYS TO AGES: As further endorsement of this purchase, I bought it primarily for my middle school shows...grades 6-8. These kids do not respond to most traditional magic (they like animals, but if you pull out a silk routine, you'll more than likely get booed off the stage. Conversey, many times this age group does not have the patience for a lot of traditional mentalism. Case in point: Bob Cassidy's 4th Dimentional Telepathy. SENSATIONAL routine, but all that envelope stuffing would die in front of middle schoolers.
I bought TASTE with the idea that it was so direct and so impossible that it would work for this difficult age group. Thus far, I'm right.:)
What does all this mean for you? I think ages 12 and up (college, teens, adults) will love this. I think a family audience with lots of little kids might not be appropriate because a 6 year old will not understand "mind reading."
MY RATING: I give this a rock-solid 9 out of 10. I think in time for me it will be a 10, but I've got to fine-tune my routine. The props are incredibly well-made and in my opinion, it's a great investment.
Next week, I tackle Bobby Motta's THE END.
Until next time...