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Topic: The Business - Romanos/Alakazam
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Feb 28, 2014 05:21PM)
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.
Message: Posted by: Stephen Young (Feb 28, 2014 05:38PM)
Thank you for taking the time to pen your thoughts mate.
Very much appreciated.

steve
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Feb 28, 2014 07:37PM)
Iain, you hit the nail :). Jan
Message: Posted by: Sean Giles (Mar 1, 2014 02:47AM)
Great review Iain.
Message: Posted by: Jamie D (Mar 1, 2014 08:36AM)
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.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Mar 1, 2014 09:31AM)
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...
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Mar 1, 2014 09:43AM)
Thank for the excellent review, Iain.

David
Message: Posted by: NeilS (Mar 2, 2014 02:35AM)
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.
Message: Posted by: Khuluma (Mar 3, 2014 06:28AM)
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'?
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Mar 3, 2014 06:35AM)
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...
Message: Posted by: NeilS (Mar 3, 2014 01:08PM)
Funnily enough I rather like the bag and, in addition to being a convincer, it also allows for another ruse.
Message: Posted by: saysold1 (Mar 3, 2014 03:33PM)
[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'?
[/quote]

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

Maybe someone can verify.
Message: Posted by: TuneHV (Mar 3, 2014 03:45PM)
Was on the fence about this one... thanks for the detailed review
Message: Posted by: Jamie Ferguson (Mar 3, 2014 04:03PM)
[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'?
[/quote]

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

Maybe someone can verify.
[/quote]
100% verified. A little known dodge. Until now.
Message: Posted by: Khuluma (Mar 4, 2014 01:12PM)
I have heard that twice now about using dry erase, so thanks.I'll give it a go.
Message: Posted by: NeilS (Mar 5, 2014 02:57PM)
Presented this for the first time today and went over a treat.
Message: Posted by: Fire Starter (Mar 27, 2014 02:25PM)
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?.
Message: Posted by: NeilS (Mar 28, 2014 07:21AM)
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.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Mar 28, 2014 07:36AM)
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...
Message: Posted by: psychomind (Apr 10, 2014 04:48PM)
Thanks for the review IAIN.
Message: Posted by: Jerome Finley (Apr 10, 2014 06:28PM)
I was always a "SUC", "SAW", "Cassidy Wallet" and, more recently, Paul C's "The Lookout Wallet" kind of guy. :)

When I first saw the advert for this particular product & offering, I was not impressed...and that's putting it mildly. Neither the product or the performer and creator behind it did anything for me.

Outlaw carries some fantastic alternatives too, and the above mentioned are still the ones I stick with. I rarely use wallets...if you're going to jot a piece of info down, I'd rather stick with my handling of Kuff's "Bold Business" and its variants and/or a blank index card and whatever is handy.

My opinion,
J.
Message: Posted by: DigaMag (Jul 2, 2014 08:43PM)
Can I ask something... which one is better between the business and lookout wallet ? I like doing drwing duplication... and I was confused to deciced which one I'm gonna purchase...

Thanks in advance...
Message: Posted by: Stunninger (Jul 3, 2014 07:59AM)
Everyone has their own preferences and is entitled to their own opinion, to be sure. The idea of carrying not one, but two cases (gimmicked and ungimmicked) plus a special bag, just to do a full billet peek, does not appeal to me in any way.

I recently purchased Tony Miller's Complete Peek Wallet, which I really, really like. But to be completely honest, I'm not sure I really needed a peek wallet. A simple, clean, full billet peek such as Banachek's, Acidus Globus, Bold Business, or others, get the job done nicely without having to purchase or carry any utility device.
Message: Posted by: Yano (Aug 12, 2014 11:11AM)
Wondering is the gimmick well hidden? How well does it stand under scrutiny? From the front of course.
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Dec 2, 2014 08:35PM)
Hmmmm the only reason I would get this is to base a routine on this:

[youtube]cISYzA36-ZY[/youtube]

I can see "seeing into the inner psycho" of a person as a premise... but it does seem pricey - its almost like I'd just use a normal peek and then have it placed in an ungimmicked version just for theatre...

Any more reviews out there? It was given a good one in TLC recently, so it piqued my interest...

Or pass?
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Dec 6, 2014 09:31AM)
Nothing? Guess that is the answer!
Message: Posted by: MJG (Jan 3, 2015 04:45PM)
I used this for a little bit and while the peek is fantastic I found it a little fiddly compared to a standard peek wallet. I never actually had anyone ask to examine it but like previously mentioned carrying around this (and maybe even an ungimmicked case for the spectator that may want to inspect it afterwards) for a simple peek has made the item redundant for me. I'd rather just use a more versatile peek device e.g SAW or just do a standard billet peek.
Some people will probably love this but after testing it out, I decided it wasn't for me.
Message: Posted by: mikenewman (Nov 1, 2017 02:24PM)
Old thread, but I just ordered this for myself.
I agree that you can get a peek so many other ways....
But..
I think that it is an additional option to brig out another "toy" and something other than playing cards, coins, etc.
I like it, as it will be something to bring out in between effects.
As far as it being super shiny, you could affix a label on it.

Like for me, I am in the Army. I can put a red SECRET label on it, and use it along those lines. And possibly keep my I.D. in it too.

I'm excited for it.
Will let you know how it goes once I get it and play around with some ideas I have.

Thanks

Mike
Message: Posted by: NeverMind (Oct 26, 2018 02:37AM)
Sorry for bumping an old thread.

A magician friend recently gifted this to me. Used it a few times. It is ok and does what it says on the tin. But overall, I would not be using it much. There are other much better and 'smarter' ways of getting this done, imo. But heck, it was a free gift after all, so I like it. :smiles: