This box has been siting in my pile of stuff to review for about a year. Why have I put it off so long? I think it because it has forced me to ask some very basic, yet hard-to-answer, questions... questions that get at the core of this website.
Let's start with the basic question: what is it that makes a good magic product? Notice that I'm concerned with a product, not necessarily an effect or routine (though they're obviously related).
One answer would be popularity and sales volume. How many get purchased. Of course, we all know now that this isn't the case. We only have to look at the massive amounts of crap hitting the market with very enticing demo videos. We watch the video. We're fooled. We buy. Then reality sets in and we're usually disappointed.
So maybe it is the inherent quality of the product that makes for a good buy. But there are lots of pieces to consider. There's obviously the workmanship, assuming you're not just buying information. The script. The instructions.
I think it has to be all of these.
And then there's a hidden factor: how many hours has the creator put into actually performing the item? That's never stated and not obvious until you've got the thing out in front of an audience, yourself.
Ahh... now we're on to something. Maybe it's about the “performability” (to coin a phrase). How will this go over in front of a real audience? Can I take it, as is, and start performing it (with ample practice and rehearsal, of course)?
So now I can propose an interesting way of judging a magic product. How many people are actually performing it? Of course, I'm assuming the people doing shows are smart enough to drop a trick when it's not getting a good response.
With that in mind, what can I say about The Martin Lewis Signature Edition Sketchpad? Well, based on the number of performers I've seen do it, and get a great response, I think it may be one of the best platform tricks ever marketed.
Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer
Product info for Signature Edition Sketchpad Card Rise
Author: Martin Lewis Average Rating: (1) Retail Price: $175.00 Buy Now
The effect used by JOHNNY THOMPSON, DAVID COPPERFIELD, WHIT HAYDN, MICHAEL WEBER and many professional magicians worldwide.
Presenting Martin's classic effect in which a card rises from a drawing and is then handed out as a souvenir. This brand new signature version is designed and made by Martin's Magikraft Studios. It's better, faster, and far mores durable than any other version ever. It includes DVD instruction on care, handling, and performance. Insights gained by 30 years of performing experience.
It features a hard wearing laminated cover and an extra heavyweight backboard.
The oversize spiral makes the action fast and easy and the new plastic gimmick will never warp.
A redesigned template makes drawing the picture faster.
Plus lots more improvements that come from those many years of real world performance.