Friday, February 15, 2013

Bill Abbott's Pack Smart Table and REVIEW: Rubik's Nightmare by Michael Lam

Hello all,

Before I get to the Hocus Pocus review, I want to mention a killer item from Bill Abbott - his Pack Smart Table.

Basically, The Pack Smart Table has a telescoping stand, is very sturdy, and looks great on stage. Additionally, both the stand and table top will easily fit into a briefcase, making travel a cinch!

What can the table be used for? Well, I myself use it currently for my Pro Viper. It's set up on the table back stage and is ready to go. You could use it for a Zombie routine or just about any routine where you need a flat surface. You can use it for close up work too. The sky's the limit!

In a nutshell, I LOVE this. Additionally, Bill's customer service is unreal. My table came with a scratch on the underside and despite the fact that I would be the only one who ever saw it, Bill replaced it at no charge.

Check out Bill's site -

OK, on to this week's review - Rubik's Nightmare by Michael Lam. It's available for $45.00 from Hocus Pocus.

AD COPY: Michael Lam, an Asia star of magic, frequents on Major CCTV channels among Asia regions. For the very first time in ten years, he is revealing the full work of his Rubik's Nightmare routine.

Rubik's Nightmare is a two-phase professional routine directly from Michael's TV repertoire. Gimmickless. Angle proof. NO you do NOT need to know how to solve a Rubik's cube to learn this. Michael has done his work to sand it down and simplify the process. With multi-angle step by step instruction, you'll be performing Rubik's Nightmare in no time.

Rubik's Nightmare is not a trick. It's a professional routine that's designed to kill even in the toughest live TV environment. A great addition to your repertoire and for TV exposure.

If you are looking for a polished material that packs small, and proves to play HUGE, Rubik's Nightmare is your answer!

Full TV routine included.

WHAT YOU RECEIVE: You receive an extremely well produced DVD and a black cloth bag to transport the cubes. Yes, this means you’ll need to purchase the Rubik’s Cubes needed for the routine.

QUALITY OF INSTRUCTION: The well produced DVD does an exceptional job of teaching the routine, especially the somewhat complex second ‘instant solve’ phase, and includes over-the-shoulder camera shots to make learning the routine easier.

DIFFICULTY: The first phase of the routine, where the audience volunteer mixes a cube and you rapidly match it with a second cube, is very easy and very practical. I was stunned by the ease of this and very excited.

The second phase of the routine, the ‘instant solve’ phase, is fascinating because it looks so damn good! This phase is definitely more complex in terms of difficulty. It does require memory work. It’s not a lot, but consider yourself warned. In terms of how this part of the routine is accomplished, it’s similar to another method out there, though not exactly the same.

Additionally, both phases utilize ungimmicked cubes, meaning once you know the secret, you can put the routine together anywhere, meaning if you ever lose your gear, you can run to a store and put together this routine…and yes, despite what some folks on the CafĂ© have said, I have recently seen the mini cubes in stores.

SIZE OF AUDIENCE: Because the first phase of the routine relies on seeing the nuances of the cube colors in different orders, and because the routine handling requires the use of a min Rubik’s Cube, the routine is really only suited for very small parlor situations. I would say it’s not applicable for strolling because of the re-set (at least for the second, instant-solve phase).

ANGLES: Angles are pretty well covered, so if you are doing a casual living room style show or similar situation, you should be fine.

MY THOUGHTS: I really like this release! It’s practical, well thought out and in terms of the unique nature of the first phase of the effect, it’s something very different. Really, the only drawback is finding a venue, as it’s really designed for only up to a dozen people and not really great for strolling magic.

FINAL REVIEW: I’ll give this an 8 out of 10…I’d rate it a perfect ten, but due to visibility and the fact that it’s not really good for a traditional ‘strolling’ closeup gig, the routine has some limitations….but it really is super.

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