Northern California - United States
Posted: Aug 24, 2007 4:00am
Mind Blank by Bob Solari Magic
Description / Effect: A spectator freely selects one of the six face down cards that are held in a spread. The performer explains that five of the cards are exactly the same, and one is different. The performer turns the five cards face up showing them all to be the same. The spectator turns his selected card face up. It is the odd card!
Works every time, No skill, no force, no rough and smooth cards. Instant reset. Learn in minutes.
The above ad copy (taken from the actual instruction sheet) sounds great, doesn't it? Well, it is great...the effect anyways. (If I sound a bit sarcastic, read on and you'll soon learn why. )
Like the previous Bob Solari trick I reviewed (The Omega Gimmick), this latest offering comes with some photo-copied and stapled pages of instructions. You are instructed how to do the effect (using the supplied six cards) and the instructions include five photographs to help you understand more clearly - so far, a typical Solari magic product.
Is the trick good? You bet, in fact VERY good. Is it easy to do? YES! Is the card really freely chosen? YES! YES! and YES!. Should you rush over to Bob Solari Magic and purchase this item? NO! NO! NO! NO!
Do I have your attention now? I knew I would.
Let us take a small detour here, shall we?
As someone who creates magic from time to time, I know just how much hard work goes into researching, manufacturing, testing, packaging and marketing a magic trick. I've sometimes spent months, even years working on ideas for new tricks and routines. Some ideas pan out, others do not. There are many reasons a trick may not work out and be something you want others to see or use.
Often the idea sounds good at 3am and you go to bed thinking you've really got something special. Once the sun rises, you've taken a shower and actually had something to eat, you sit down with that deck of cards and it quickly dawns on you that this isn't working out the way you had originally planned. This often happens because the night before you hadn't calculated all the small details (hard to do when your seeing double).
Other times the trick works out just fine, WOW - it's a winner! You test it out on a few close friends who all seem very impressed. The postman loves it and Doris down at the flower shop thinks you should be on television. Finally, even the wife is fooled (which ain't easy I tells ya) and says you should think about offering this to the magic community. Gosh, what a feeling. I just get all warm and fuzzy inside thinking about it.
But wait, as an after thought it occurs to you that all of this is just too good to be true. Not wanting to look like a fool or viewed as a thief, you call a few knowledgable magic buddies who are impressed with the initial concept, but they think there is something about the idea sounds kind of familiar. Then it happens, you go thumbing through the volumes of sacred texts which grace the shelves of your magic library (you do have a magic library, don't you?) and there it sits, your future Nobel Prize winning effect is actually a trick that Charlie Miller came up with back in 1968 - rats! Say it isn't so! Worse still, a few days later you stroll into your local magic shop and see a new trick for sale that you had thought of only moments ago while driving to the shop...oh the inhumanity of it all. It just isn't fair!
Okay, where was I? Oh yea, Bob Solari's Mind Blank. After the trick is described in the instruction sheet, Mr. Solari goes on to say; "This effect has been 'brewing' in my head for quite some time".
It has? Really? I wonder if Bob took the time to show this to his magic friends. Okay, surely he would have consulted a book from his magic library...apparently not. Alright, he's a dealer and certainly is aware of what the competition is selling, at least on the internet, right? Well, I don't know the answers to those questions and I won't speculate here.
However, I will tell you that the trick Mr. Solari wants you to purchase is very old. How old? I'll just say this, I was performing this little masterpiece back in 1975, and it was a standard trick even then! Even today you can pick this bad boy up at just about any magic dealer, internet or otherwise. The best part is, it will only cost you around $3.00! Yep, three green backs will get you the real deal.
I looked through a few boxes and found my original. The little envelope which holds the cards is a little yellowed now, but the blue printing can still be seen very clearly. The face of the envelope reads: "Ve Don't Care Vat You Say, Dot's Impossible!" This little gem was dreamed up and originally marketed by the one and only Al Cohen.
( NOTE: For you youngsters, Al ran a small magic shop in the Washington DC area for many many years (the store closed in 2001). Inventing a slew of classic tricks, Al was best known as the guy behind the counter who could sell a magic trick to just about anyone. No kidding, the only demonstrator I can think of today who rivals Al would be the one and only Mark Mason - but that's another story. )
Back to the trick. Dot's Impossible used six cards, three had a red spot on the face, the remaining three showed a blue spot (the cards Mr. Solari sent me consisted of three blank face cards and three cards each showing the Jack of Clubs). If the spectator took a card with a red spot, the remaining five cards were blue spotted. If blue was taken, the rest showed red...you get the idea. The description read something like this:
"Six cards are placed face-down on the table. A spectator freely chooses any card. When he turns his card over, it has a red dot on it. The remaining cards are all blue. The feat is repeated. This time the spectator selects a blue card. The other five are shown to be red! It does not matter which card is selected, it is always the odd one out"
Anything here begining to sound familiar?
Having said all that, you can see why I cannot recommend anyone purchasing Mind Blank from Bob Solari Magic. It's clearly not an original item and can be purchased just about anywhere. Whether or not Mr. Solari independently came up with the same effect as Al Cohen's Dot's Impossible is anyone's guess. What is clear however, is that Bob Solari needs to do some research before marketing anything in the future. If he is an ethical guy he will simply pull the item off the market, simple as that.
Finally, you the consumer now know the facts and history behind this great trick. So do the right thing, purchase the original. Buy Dot's Impossible, it really is a fun trick. Regarding Bob Solari's Mind Blank - I cannot recommend this trick to anyone.
My rating: ZERO
Suggested retail is: $10.00 + S/H
Mind Blank can be ordered directly from Bob Solari Magic
You can contact Bob 24/7 at:
Visit Bob's website to order direct:
Bob Solari Magic
Bob Solari Magic Company
223 LAKEVIEW AVE
CLIFTON, NEW JERSEY
Phone: (973) 773-8818
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