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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Mentally Speaking » » The Device by Docc Hilford (10 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Having just had tremendous success with Switchblade, Docc Hilford has just announced his latest release at a special price and with chance also to win a prize. It looks as if The Device will become available tomorrow but it certainly looks interesting and versatile. As always, the promotional film is a delight to watch and with Docc a real master when it comes to presentation.


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Profile of CSArscott
Just downloaded this.

Great piece of deceptive thinking, but not suited to my performance style.
Andre Hagen
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Just downloaded and watched this. Another great idea from Docc.

Very innocent looking device. Useful and well worth the low price.

Thanks Docc!
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein
David Thiel
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Docc is a master salesman. No question. So I figured it was worth ten bucks to find out what his latest brainstorm was all about.

IF you can rationalize actually using this "device" in your shows (and in fairness, the "Device" is an object that would be perfectly in place at, say, a seance) -- AND you can work out a plausible reason for WHY a billet would be put into this object -- I suppose it may be of use to you.

The instructional video is entertaining, if only from the perspective of counting the number of times Docc says "oops" as things don't quite work out the way he intended them to...or when he backtracks because the billet got hung up on...something...thereby necessitating a looooong explanation of what to do when this...thing...happens.

If it sounds like I am being careful not to disclose much -- it's only because I am. Suffice it to say that there's a reason why Docc never shows the actual Device in the promo. Most of us would look at it and know exactly what it is.

For those of us who don't do seances -- or shows where a candle needs lighting, I'm not seeing any application that is not already taken care of by a pile of better options. The copy says "And when you easily remove the DEVICE from the object, it can be left behind!" This isn't strictly true because in order to leave anything behind, the entire "Device" has to be swit**ed out.

If you're visualizing yourself doing "all sorts of master mentalism INSTANTLY" (as it says in the ad) you may be in for a disappointment. In fact, if you're thinking about using this in any scenario other than seated at a seance table in dim lighting, I'm not sure the "Device" is a good match for what you're considering. (Pun intended.)

Is this a negative review? That's hard to say -- since I don't do seances. I will say that I am in awe of Docc's salesmanship and, further, that I greatly and genuinely respect many of his creations. This just isn't one of them.

But what the heck? It's ten bucks.

Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except bears. Bears will kill you.

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Profile of rasp
Agree with everything David said in his review.
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David, thank you again for another wonderful and detailed review. I cannot tell you how much I have come to respect your opinion and appreciate your reviews.
STARE, AN4QVU, Mr. Chumley Takes a Peek, The Elvis Peek, Micro Billet Q&A, Instant Psychic Readings or Just for the Hull of It (Q&A 1-2-3 + Hull of a Peek) are sold separately and are available for $20 each. To order send Paypal for $20 to: mindreaderfxfx@gmail.com and specify which title you are ordering.

Videos are streaming only and cannot be downloaded.

Reviews can be found by doing a cafe search
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Profile of NeilS
As always, very good to have David's insights on this. I am sure this will help many come to a decision.
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Profile of brehan
Iam in for it to win the computer haha! Smile
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Profile of Dorianmagic
Tanks Dave; you're the man
Docc Hilford
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Thanks for your honest appraisal.
However, I think you may have missed quit a bit in your viewing of the gimmick.

First, I think you tip too much.
I learned that many in the magic game have closed minds.
They look at method only.
If one sees a trick from the perspective of the audience, they are often fooled and amazed. They want the trick.
Yet when the gimmick is revealed as, say a billet index, they instantly deside they would never use an index and discard the trick.

The DEVICE is similar.
Your talk of justifications and use in a seance is not intirely sound.
A color changing knofe doesn't need much "justification" to be in one's pocket.
Yet countless magi carry a thin little knife in a suit pocket.

Also, I feel you may be too generous in stating that if the gimmick was displayed in the trailer, most would know what the method is.
In fact, the inner workings are simple, yet intricate.
From an audience's viewpoint, it's invisable and convincing.

Again, let me state what's been said before...
This gimmick is to eliminate the sleight of hand required for many billet tricks.
Switchblade is great, yet may be unnecessary to someone who does a simple billet s****h.
Same here.

It's not for every body - as stated on the trailer.
It's an inexspensive share for those who want it.

Should it be less than $9?
Then video production cost wouldn't warrent release.
Should I merely not share it?

And as far as the couple of times I had a handling error because I was trying to hold the gimmick in an odd way to the camera, I feel most buyers are happy to see real time explanations.
Rather than the shots taken and re-taken until the trick looks perfect as in other videos.
When something happened on camera, I have left it in and explained why it happend...

I want to be as thorough in the demonstrations as if you were sitting with me.
My videos are transparent.
We've all read manuscripts that claim if we say this or that it will cause an audience to see or not see somthing.
It may read well, but in practice it's often boloney.
Face it - most magic and mentalism isn't transparent.
It's polished up to be something perfect.
Then if we, as buyers, have a problem, we're told it's our fault.
I adress any possible stubling blocks along the way so everyone can do the trick.
"This can hang here if you don't push it past this..." remember?

As for removing the gimmick, you sir have missed the idea completly!
If a signed card appears in a sealed envelope, the signature gives proof it's the same card.
Identical thinking with The DEVICE.
Please don't say any more.

I'm all for honest viewpoints shared in public.
It's healthy.
But, please keep secrets you know should be kept.
We like to have fun, so NO SPOLIERS.
It can devalue what others may hold in high regard.

For the record... this isn't meant to be a cure for cancer.
This is a fun, practical and unique gimmick.

With respect and equality,

PS - There's a drawing for a new laptop and a new tablet.
A purchase at 50% off automatically enters you in the drawing.
So good luck David.
(It would be cool irony if you win, my friend.) ;-{D>
Docc Hilford
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Another little fact about The DEVICE...

100% of the profit goes to a local charity.

That's a little secret only Dan knew.

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Profile of mindguru
I've bought quite a few of Docc's products, but I'm not sure if this product is something I need. I just have to say I loved the trailer it was entertaining and funny. Docc is a true salesman.
Docc Hilford
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I want to be clear I was NOT being snide nor insulting with my response to David.
Merely being honest in my views on his observations.
As we are all (him, you and me) free to do.
Jamie Ferguson
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On May 21, 2014, David Thiel wrote:

I'm not sure the "Device" is a good match for what you're considering. (Pun intended.)


I've sussed what the device is from your pun. All I needed to do was box clever! Smile
When the chips are down, the duvet is uncomfortable.
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I will say that when Marc Salem was in town he wanted to talk about two things. The DEVICE was one of them.

I can understand where David is coming from and know more than a little bit about how he approaches things. But the DEVICE is one of those things that expands the more you think about it.

The price is low for now. It is still low after it goes up. You will gain more than you pay just from the ideas tossed out along the way. If you think the DEVICE is only about the item being discussed then you don't understand what you are getting.

~ Dan
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I rarely comment on reviews, especially if I haven't road tested the item myself ( I just purchased The Device today), but I'm compelled to reply to Dave's criticisms. After making and handling the gimmick for an hour, it's already clear to me what a terrific utility device this will be, and not just for billet peeks and steals.

Like Dave, I don't perform seances (just not my style), but as a professional corporate magician and mentalist, I'm convinced The Device is something I will use, and use often. As for the video quality, I for one appreciate that Docc is willing to poke fun at himself on occasion (something the rest of us should take to heart), and that handling any gimmick has its limitations. How refreshing to watch a pro be comfortable enough in his or her own skin to mess up, talk about ways to fix the inevitable fumbles we all contend with, and move on. As Fred Kaps liked to say, "I judge every performer by how professionally they deal with mishaps".

And Dave, until you've developed and marketed dozens of real-world effects like Docc has, please don't tip method, even if you think the wordplay is clever. After all, a guy's gotta eat. All that said, I would have been pleased with The Device had I paid 3-4 times the amount because the concept has opened up several new avenues to my own effect construction.

And the money goes to charity? That sounds like a no-brainer purchase. To my way of thinking, everyone on this thread should buy it and THEN decide if it's useful to their particular performing needs. With just a few hours of quality time spent to consider the possibilities, I believe the value will be self-evident.
Mark Zust, The Perceptionist. "Changing the world, one mind at a time." Speaking, Training, Entertaining.
David Thiel
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Guys...relax. As Docc said -- we are all entitled to our opinions. A review is, by nature, highly subjective. It's neither right nor wrong. It's just an opinion. Obviously Mark, as a corporate entertainer, feels he will get great use out of The Device. I, as a corporate entertainer, don't feel the same way. So? Does somebody have to be wrong and somebody else have to be right? Nope. Two guys. Two opinions.

And to be clear -- I adore simple methods and clever props. Docc's Evoque is on every show I do. If you thought I was dissing his vast body of work, you would be wrong. (I did say that, didn't I?)

I also use a bille* inde* all the time, by the way...and consider the CT a thing of near mystical beauty.

But I do apologize, most sincerely to Docc. I honestly didn't mean to tip methods and truly thought I had not done so. In retrospect, I was wrong. I'm sorry, Docc.

Finally...I want to say that Docc and I corresponded, agreed to disagree and parted as friends, because that's what gentlemen do. And IF I win that laptop or the tablet -- I want him to give it to that charity. Smile

Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except bears. Bears will kill you.

Grail Quest
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That is indeed what Gentlemen do. Very well said David.
Having experienced absolutely superb customer service from you both, I would expect nothing less.

With regard to 'The Device' I very nearly fell into the trap of disregarding its efficacy entirely. The 'giveaway' price of $10 made me assume a throwaway product. Price equalling value is such a universal heuristic, I guess I'm probably in excellent company Smile

However, I trusted in the creator's reputation & took the plunge. I'm so glad I did. The gimmick does exactly what all gimmicks should do. It does a specific task exceptionally well, whilst remaining completely invisible. Couple that with a disarmingly truthful training video and, for me, you have something really rather wonderful. I particularly liked the fact that, paradoxically, its chameleon-like qualities blended in with such a hugely diverse range of venues. Consequently, whether you're performing on the street, or in the Boardroom, Docc's got you covered! Clever.

Naturally, my opinion is completely my own. However, for the satisfaction of effectively making a $10 donation to charity, isn't it worth picking this up to see if you agree with me?
Big Sam
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One issue that I'd like to throw in - FUN!

I love to build stuff and I love spy-like gadgets. So even if I never use it in a performance, the Device was just plain fun to make and play around with.

Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes
Tony Razzano
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OK, I have the Device and plan on using in my walk around show tomorrow. Someone told me about this thread, so I jumped on here to offer my 2 cents at hs request, as he also has the Device but is not to eloquent with words (I think he is fine, but is self conscious). Anyway,
I must disagree with my friend David as far as rationale goes. The specs don't care. In my 40 or so years of performing, a spec never askes what logical reason do I have to do this or that. Never. I do concede that a few may have thought that, but I don't know. Anyway, my point is rationale and logic don't really play into performances of any type, for the most part.

The Device is a clever gimmick that delivers a real time peek under fire. You can peek, steal or load without a problem. The decice is a rather common item. I bought a bunch in my local supermarket (Shop Rite for you NJ guys). It needs to be constructed, but it took me less than half an hour to make it. Once you have made it, there is no need to make another one. Well, it might wear out over a few years. but that should not be a problem as it is rather easy to make/remake.

I love the peek! Everything is good, but the peek is simply my favorite way to use it. Now, from David's post, many of you think that he tipped the method. I really don't think so. I can't see how you may have figured it out from David's
post, but perhaps a few of you have. As to the spec taking the device home, well you need to ring a duplicate, but to the spec, it looks exactly the same and is easier than doing that with a deck of cards and most of you have no trouble doing that. The spec's perception is that the Device is the same item.

Is it for everyone? No. But I can find several venues to use it. Please understand that its suitability is for several venues. As I said, I have so much confidence in it that I will be using it in a paid walk around show on Sat.

If you didn't buy it and say its not for you, how do you know? I really have a hard time believing that you doped it out correctly. Anyway, in the forty minute video Docc gives you instructions on how to make the gimmick. Not hard and once you make it, you won't need to make another for quite a while. I wonder how many of you I may have fooled before you "Figured it out". Well let me ay that if you truly figured it out, go buy the few things you need to make it and do so. Then perform it.

Yeah yeah, I know. Some of you will think that this is hype. It isn't. I truly like this Device.

I give it an excellent recommendation!
Best regards,
<BR>Tony Razzano, Past President, PEA
Winner of the PEA"s Bascom Jones and Bob Haines Awards
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