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[quote] On 2010-06-15 17:25, Cody S. Fisher wrote: Name of Product: The Blades Creator: Scott Alexander Distributor: Bob Kohler Magic A few weeks ago I was considering purchasing “The Blades” from Bob Kohler Magic. I was curious after reading the ad copy so I decided to contact Bob in order to ask a few more questions so that I could determine if this was “right for me” and the venues where I normally perform. After a very informative e-mail / phone call in which all my questions were answered, I decided to make the purchase. Why am I mentioning all this before I get to the actual review? I guess in hopes to encourage others to do the same. Not just with this product, but with any investment you are ‘on the fence’ about. Instead of reading endless pages of speculation on various forums, why not just go directly to the source? I simply sent an e-mail to Mr. Kohler asking some genuine questions and he responded back within a few hours. One conversation later and all my questions / concerns had been addressed. My point is this; don’t be afraid to contact magic dealers directly if you have an honest inquiry about their product. I am always willing to speak with individuals who contact me concerning my products, and I am sure that most dealers are too. Onto the actual review! The Effect: For a complete description you can read the ad copy on Mr. Kohler’s website (www.bobkohlermagic.com), however for the sake of completeness here you go: The entertainer apparently swallows sharp razor blades and a length of thread. For the finale the performer is seen regurgitating the thread with the razor blades tied at intervals to the thread. What You Receive: When you open the box you will be looking at several items plus a nice little carrying bag to store all the props. Besides the various threads and blades you will need for the routine, you also receive a few gimmicks and an instructional DVD. I am intentionally being vague on the nature of the gimmicks as they are directly related to the actual method behind the routine. It’s a little difficult to rate the overall quality of ALL the items you receive as some are fairly common objects. How does one really rate the quality of the thread? ;-) In any case, everything you will need to perform is included in the package (minus a drinking glass). If I were to comment on quality, it would primarily pertain to the gimmicks that you receive and suffice it to say they will last a VERY long time. The DVD Instructions: The included DVD is professionally produced and contains a live performance of the routine and detailed instructions. Those who have purchased items from Mr. Kohler in the past will see the same high quality and standards as his previous releases with Mr. Alexander. Even though I had a fairly good knowledge base for this type of effect I still found myself learning new things. For example, Scott’s method for setting up the blades for the final reveal is quite ingenious. The wrapping procedure he teaches keeps the blades from becoming tangled and ensures that they exit the mouth in the proper orientation. The Set-Up / Performance Notes: The basic set-up is fairly easy. Once you have done it a few times you will be able to get everything ready in a matter of minutes. You will not have to make up a new set for every performance as one gimmicked blades packet will last for MANY performances. Once everything is set-up, the main gimmick will easily fits in an inside jacket pocket. This could be performed entirely out of the pockets; however it would be a little easier if you had a small table on stage to hold a few of the props. (i.e. the glass of water) The only item not included in your package is a drinking glass. I would recommend one of the unbreakable plastic wine glasses you can find at Wal-Mart or Target stores. They are only a few dollars, look like a real wine glass, and are impossible to break. Performance Venues: If you have your own national TV special or you are considering getting your own live show in Las Vegas, then you may not want to purchase this as those rights are reserved. However, for ‘the rest of us’ you can pretty much perform this at all your normal gigs. Video Restrictions: You are not permitted to upload any video of this to the internet. I personally do not see a problem with this. If this bothers you then you may not want to purchase this. After speaking with Mr. Kohler about this I now understand where he is coming from. The video restrictions that have been set in place are for the buyer’s protection. Mr. Kohler and Mr. Alexander want to keep the routine, the method, the jokes, the lines, the gags, the bits of business, the music, and the choreography of the routine exclusive to their buyers. Angles / Costume: No issues here; could be performed completely surrounded. There are no clothing restrictions either. The Actual Routine: Other than the secret and the gimmicks, you are also purchasing an audience tested routine. When I initially watched the performance part of the DVD I was very impressed by the routine itself, I laughed at several of the original jokes and gags, and yes I was completely fooled by the method. The routine itself is structured so that is has a defined beginning, middle, and ending. The routine begins with a well scripted introduction to the effect along with several funny lines that help set the tone for the routine. This is also the part of the routine where the performer can have the blades examined for authenticity. The opening joke of this section of the routine is very funny, one that I had never heard before, gets a BIG laugh from the audience, and fits the routine perfectly. (Mr. Alexander credits his father for the joke.) From here there is a very funny (and original) segment where Mr. Alexander demonstrates just how sharp the blades are. I have always found that this was the most boring part of any routine of this nature, but Scott has added a little something extra to it that makes it an absolute gem to watch and even gives you an extra added effect that will get a laugh. I should mention that the routine from here on is wonderfully choreographed to music. The choice of music is absolutely perfect and will be recognizable by most audiences. The music allows for a little comedy byplay in the beginning as the performer eats the thread and then builds to a dramatic finish as the blades are removed from the mouth. I personally found the routine easy to learn as the music gave me audio cues as to what I should be doing at each stage. Upon the completion of the routine and after the applause level dies down, Scott has one more VERY funny gag that brings the routine to a logical conclusion and has the audience in stitches once again. Note On Music: The music is NOT included in the package but you are given the title, album, and artist and it can be easily found on iTunes for 99 cents. Final Thoughts: Overall I am VERY pleased with this purchase. It is definitely something that I will use. Cody S. Fisher [/quote]
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