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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Mentally Speaking » » Mentalism Chair v2 Review (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

elimagic
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The most recent Mentalism Chair from Yaniv and Cobra Magic
Link to the product
http://www.cobramagic.com/Mentalism-Chair-V2-0.html



REVIEW TIME:

Hello everyone! I've used the chair in my last 5 mentalism shows. As a quick sentence about me as a performer. I perform both a comedy magic show for family audiences and a stage/parlor mentalism show for adults. I keep them separate for reasons some of you will understand and others won't, but that is a much longer post Smile The majority of my performing environments mixed with the normal private house parties, weddings, and colleges interspersed. This prop is being used in my mentalism show as part of a larger touches routine.

Background:

I bought the chair as soon as I heard about it as I was always a huge admirer of the original version, however, couldn't justify adding it to my show because of how it looked. For those that didn't see the original, it was a beautiful wood folding chair with metal accents. It really looked gorgeous, however, just looked "too special" and in my opinion, looked a bit out of place. So I held off purchasing that original version. Then, I heard about and tried several other devices. Some being pads with the electronics housed in them that were hidden under chair covers, however, I didn't like this option either because I didn't like the idea of covering the chairs. Other devices used setups where you would be attach something to the spectators with tape and the device would pull the tape off, simulating a touch. The problem with this option for me was that multiple units would be needed for multiple touches which caused the issue of attaching but also hiding the units. Finally, I tried a device that you could attach to the back of a chair and a programmable arm could be activated to touch the spectator. This solved some of the issues I had with previous versions, but had the same issue of hiding the unit with the additional problem of being a bit noisy and hard to get in the "sweet spot". Then, the Mentalism Chair 2.0 was released.

The Chair:

So as you can tell from the ad copy of the Mentalism Chair 2.0, it is built to look like a normal plastic folding chair. Seeing it in person, I can confirm that noone will have any issues with how it looks. I believe that Yaniv has actually modified an existing Ikea chair, adding the necessary components and special housing. This to me is an advantage because when placed next to the Ikea chair, they look nearly identical. From a distance of 10 feet away, you would swear they are the exact same. What I love about this is that I have a constant supply of very very cheap duplicate chairs. (i believe I bought 3 duplicate chairs for around 35 dollars shipped from ikea).

Functions:
The chair has 4 functions built it. The first 2 functions are a tap on the left and a tap on the right shoulders. The spectator feels a physical tap/poke on their shoulder as if you were actually touching them. The third function is a vibrate feature which they feel throughout the back of the chair. The last feature is shocking feature built into the seat. (more to come on this below)

My experience with the chair so far:

In the shows I have used the chair in, there are a few things that could be helpful in future versions. The first is PK ring activationg. The remote supplied with the chair is small, however, I would preffer to not have to palm the unit on stage. Yes, I could use an assistant to trigger the touches for me but most shows I work alone. I would much rather have the remote in my pocket and simply bring my pk ring near my pocket to activate the touches. This would be great. Also, you cannot activate more than one touch too close together. So if you want the spectator to feel two touches on their right shoulder, you have to press once on the remote, wait a second, and then press it again. A small thing but worth noting.

Sound:

Yes, their is a small amount of sound. If you are using it in a small room with no background noise, something will be heard. However, in real world envrionments where I perform, it is not a problem at all and is more quiet than some of the previous devices I have tried. I really wouldn't worry about it.

The Shocker:

Okay, so we come to the Shocker. The shocker will be a divisive subject. Some performers would have no problem shocking a spectator and others would dream about it. Let me say this on it's strength. While Yaniv says it is fully customizable, I believe that is is too strong. With Yaniv's help, I adjusted mine as low as it would go and it is right at the edge of a little too painful. I asked my wife to sit on the chair without her knowing would was goingt to happen and when I shocked her, tears welled up in her eyes. While this is not super uncommon for her, she did say it it on the edge of being too strong. (God bless her for not divorcing me haha) So take that for what you will. I don't thing I will end up using the shocker because it, in my opinion, is a bit strong and I would be worried about a lawsuit if done on the wrong person.

Carry case;

The carry case that comes with the chair is nice. It is a lightly padded case that will allow you to carry your chair safely to and from gigs. The problem I have with it is two fold. The first is that it says in big letters "Cobra magic" on the side. I wouldn't ever walk in to a gig with a prop labeled like this, especially when the prop was supposed to be a simple chair. In the corporate world, many times, you are setting up with other people in the room and this would not be suitable for me in this type of situation. Easily fixed, though, as I simply used some gaff tape to cover the writing up. The other small issue I have is than the carry case only holds the mentalism chair. There is no room for a duplicate chair to be carried with it. So in going to my gig, I had to carry in the second chair separately. Again, not a big deal but worth mentioning.
As a solution to this, Bretty Barry has posted in the Mentalism Chair facebook group another carry bag which holds 2 chairs.

The Instructions:

This is the biggest area for improvement in my opinion. For such an absolutely fabulous prop, good instructions should have been provided. What you get is a five or so minute video shot on a phone of Yaniv just talking you through what the chair does. When he is describing things, though, like how to turn the chair on and off, it would have been nice to actually see a closeup as it can be a bit hidden, requiring a sense of "feel" to activate it. Small things like a good camera, close up shots of the components, etc would have been appreciated. Also, like most high end custom props like this, no routines are given, which is fine as it is a utility tool, but some tips and handling tips would have been helpful. I didn't fully understand everything I needed t know so I emailed back and forth with Yaniv and asked him to shoot another video to describe how to adjust the strength of the shocker and vibrate functions. This video was much of the same and still required me to skype Yaniv for further clarification. For such an expensive prop, better instructions were needed. Even a simple pdf explaining everything would have been great. This bring me to my last point.

Customer Service:

Yaniv has gone the extra mile for me as far as answering questions, skyping me, etc. His customer service has been very good. One thing that he mentioned to me is that if after I use the chair in several shows and find that it needs adjusting, he would do that for free if you send the special somethings back to him. I thought this was a very nice addition. I am sure that in the future if something was to break, he would replace or repair it without issue.

In closing:

The majority of this may seem negative, but I simply wanted to focus on the small things that could use imporovment and were worth talking about. But this is an A plus product and the positive points are ovbvious to anyone that can read what it does and see how it looks. This prop is awesome. It does what is says it does, very well, in a completely normal looking package. With the complete simplicity in its look, it will go by unnoticed and will match any decor. I also feel like the prop is pretty rugged and should obviously be handled with care, but doesn't need to be coddled. There is only one part Yaniv warns not to touch and that is the "arms" that does the touching. One last feature I wanted to mention that was cool was that a pk ring can be used to turn on the shocker. By turn on I mean to get the unit ready, not to activate the shock itself. This was a good feature to add as the on switch is a little bit harder to reach for that part of the unit whereas the on switch for the touches and vibrate is easier to activate once you know where to "feel". If you read the description and see the picture of the chair and like what you see, you will have no unpleasant surprises, it is a very good prop that I have no doubt any worker would be happy with.

It gets 5 stars from me but of course, if anything changes I will share my thoughts here.

Great job Yaniv on an excellent prop.

-Eli
Decomposed
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Eternal Order
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Nice informative review. I would be interested in the longevity of this invention.
elimagic
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Is the number you're thinking of...
1469 Posts

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Quote:
On Feb 9, 2019, Decomposed wrote:
Nice informative review. I would be interested in the longevity of this invention.


A year later, a good amount of use and I really like it and it is still working flawlessly. The remote, while small enough to conceal in your hand, is the one thing I wish was easier to activate in my pocket so my hands could remain free. But it's a great unit and while the instructions could be better, the boys over at cobra are very accessible.
Pete Legend
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Ha! I love the way you tested the shock feature on your wife - really made me laugh! I told my wife and she said she would kill me but I'll get her alright....she loves anything Ikea so easy prey.

P.S. Appreciate the review!
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