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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Mentally Speaking » » The Business - Romanos/Alakazam (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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IAIN
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This is a mini-review, as I've only had this for a day, but had also seen a friend's one the day before...
£40
from - alakazam.co.uk

What is it?
Stainless steel mirrored-finished business card p**k case

What does it look like?
Pop onto places like VistaPrint, WH Smiths and other shops, and you'll be offered one for free, or easily bought for a few pounds. Its SHINY! its slim, metal, and you get the prepared one, and a regular one. A little black cloth carrying case for it, and the dvd.

My view
I have a lot of mixed feelings about this product, for many reasons. So if I just ramble on, you can pick the bones out of it - ok?

Right, lets get to grips with the negatives. For the prepared case to work, you need a dark surface. Black. Hence the cloth case. However, if you have even the beginnings of an imagination, there are other solutions. Black business card print/stock, black performance mat, that kinda thing. Personally, it can sit on top of a PL pad nice and easily and it does the job. However, I do think its a weakness having to have that with you. It can be explained away - however, in comparison to just about any other p**k device out there, it loses points because its not entirely self contained. If I had to draw comparisons to other items - the PAC stack is its closest cousin. However that is all internalised, and self-contained (very good product that is, by paul c. from mental voyages). Anyway, moving on...

The other negative is the supply of the second case, which mr nardi even says in the dvd that he doesn't understand the fear some have about having stuff constantly examinable - and I agree. So I wish it wasn't included, and afew quid knocked off the price. People who worry about such things just need to grow a pair and that's that. Learn how to work and engage people, and to not act guiltily around such things - that's my advice.

The other comparison is maybe with the SUC, not in method - but in how you achieve the p**k...i believe credit should go to docc Hilford for the best/most straight forward way of gaining the info. This is done naturally and doesn't need any kind of open explanation in this review.

IT IS SHINY! and you have to be clear to show indirectly that you are not using it as a sh*ner either...just another minor quibble - but when there are other items out there where you don't need to do this - well, its another point off, and just another minor thing to consider whilst performing. Of course, the fact that its SHINY is also a plus point in certain other aspects outside of its own primary use.

The "thing" that is used, that also dictates that you need something black to rest it on, is very clever - and is a very nice convincer. And another part of the set up (which isn't absolutely needed, but is probably worthwhile as it adds another layer towards the idea that it is safely tucked away within the stack of business cards, inside the very solid business card case) has been around for many, many years - the Fred Kolb book "exciting experiments in ESP" explains a version, and has been used in a fair few routines and releases over the years.

So once their card is in the case, the lid is closed and the case put away - from there, you have seen the info. Job done. Clean and efficient. The quality of the p**k is very good and clear. You will need a little care when putting it away, just like you would any form of SUC type case/wallet. (This product does NOT use the SUC function, its just the nearest I can get in explaining the general method).

Despite the negatives, I also "kinda" like it. The case is pretty much openly available in the shops I mentioned, it also looks pretty smart too (if you're careful with your instructions, I'm sure you could get an engraver to do their thing on the top lid) - it holds around 15 or so business cards, standard size...

The dvd is clear and straightforward. And everything is of a good quality - however, I feel it is (in comparison to the PAC stack in particular) a little pricey. Especially when you consider the cases only cost maybe £2-3 each, or even free from some print sites. And maybe just under a tenner for a better quality/posher version.

The p**k area is around 75% which is good, maybe a little more overall. It does work well, and it does what it says on the tin (get it?! eh! eh!) - but I can't help feeling its missing something that'll make it "great" rather than "goodish".

i want to like it more than I currently do - I will report back if I change my mind after using it more. I have had a wallet/card case addiction for a long while, I blame Tony Razzano.

Overall, about a 6.8 out of 10 for me at the moment.
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Stephen Young
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Thank you for taking the time to pen your thoughts mate.
Very much appreciated.

steve
JanForster
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Iain, you hit the nail Smile. Jan
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Sean Giles
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Great review Iain.
Jamie D
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Ian, thank you for your detailed review. When I first saw the pictures of this thing, I thought it would be great for certain situations but to be honest, it just sounds like there's to many complications for what it is.
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IAIN
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A quick and easy workaround would be a business card made out of jet black card on one side - and something like mylar on the underside, and attached to the base of the card with some repositional glue...that way you can kinda peel off/away onto some other business card stock...its a silly solution in many ways - but it would work...
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David Thiel
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Thank for the excellent review, Iain.

David
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NeilS
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Thanks Iain and, having The Business myself, fuly agree with your comments. It is something I can see myself using and this, in itself, says a lot.
Khuluma
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I received this last week. Iain's views above are very accurate and would agree with his summary. That said, I used it at a wedding on saturday night and a wedding fayre on sunday. At the Fayre, I must have used it 20-30 times and no-one could figure out how it was done and it went down extremely well. The bag I found was a little cumbersome. I used it all the time as there was no dark surfaces elsewhere. I don't think people were suspicious about the bag, it was just an inconvenience to have, for me. One thing I have noticed is that I have a few sharpie marks on the surface where the signed/drawn spectators card goes in. So with those who have this or in the know, how do you clean dried sharpie from 'that surface'?
IAIN
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I'm glad I don't use sharpies!

the cloth cover is handy to keep the case well polished, so I guess it can make sense in that respect...but even so...its a bit fiddly just for that 'convincer'...

i keep returning to the pac stack comparison - I think in general terms, magic props tend to have internal p**ks, and mentalism props tend to have external p&&ks... then when there's a bit of crossing over to be done, things get a little fiddly...

again, I do have to be honest and say I do 'kinda' like this, I just think there's a much better solution out there with a bit of thinking, than the cloth case itself...
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NeilS
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Funnily enough I rather like the bag and, in addition to being a convincer, it also allows for another ruse.
saysold1
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Quote:
On Mar 3, 2014, Khuluma wrote:
I received this last week. Iain's views above are very accurate and would agree with his summary. That said, I used it at a wedding on saturday night and a wedding fayre on sunday. At the Fayre, I must have used it 20-30 times and no-one could figure out how it was done and it went down extremely well. The bag I found was a little cumbersome. I used it all the time as there was no dark surfaces elsewhere. I don't think people were suspicious about the bag, it was just an inconvenience to have, for me. One thing I have noticed is that I have a few sharpie marks on the surface where the signed/drawn spectators card goes in. So with those who have this or in the know, how do you clean dried sharpie from 'that surface'?


I think dried sharpie can be removed by using dry erase marker over it as I recall, then wiping.

Maybe someone can verify.
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TuneHV
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Was on the fence about this one... thanks for the detailed review
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Jamie Ferguson
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Quote:
On Mar 3, 2014, saysold1 wrote:
Quote:
On Mar 3, 2014, Khuluma wrote:
I received this last week. Iain's views above are very accurate and would agree with his summary. That said, I used it at a wedding on saturday night and a wedding fayre on sunday. At the Fayre, I must have used it 20-30 times and no-one could figure out how it was done and it went down extremely well. The bag I found was a little cumbersome. I used it all the time as there was no dark surfaces elsewhere. I don't think people were suspicious about the bag, it was just an inconvenience to have, for me. One thing I have noticed is that I have a few sharpie marks on the surface where the signed/drawn spectators card goes in. So with those who have this or in the know, how do you clean dried sharpie from 'that surface'?


I think dried sharpie can be removed by using dry erase marker over it as I recall, then wiping.

Maybe someone can verify.

100% verified. A little known dodge. Until now.
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Khuluma
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I have heard that twice now about using dry erase, so thanks.I'll give it a go.
NeilS
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Presented this for the first time today and went over a treat.
Fire Starter
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Thinking on getting this but just not sure? I like and use the Steam principle, I use it in a note pad in a wallet so it is a little large,i can not afford GHOST but I do like the look of this but Iain has really given a very consisive review which make's you balance out the negatives and the positives,mmmm,what to do?.
NeilS
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Having had this now for quite a few weeks, I do like this and carry it around with me. It is useful to supplement and provide an alternative to other methods, as well as being a good way to carry business cards.
IAIN
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I've kinda given up on mine... too much fuss when other cases and techniques do the job better...plus the fact its very shiny is kinda off putting...and if it puts into someone's mind that there's a reason for its overall shininess, as way of explanation (despite it being naturally shiny) - then I'd rather not have an elephant in the room...

the Business case could have been a little deeper, so it can hold more than a dozen cards at once... especially as there's effects out there that would have benefitted from it (like Mignon's Hotel)...

i did recently buy Roni's new Mystic Wallet, which is a business card case really...and I like that a lot...
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psychomind
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Thanks for the review IAIN.
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