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Hardcore Review

Official Review

April 7th, 2011 9:43pm
Reviewed by Jeff Stone
Pre-Review "Disclosure"/"Disclaimer":

Ok many of you probably know that Jay Sankey and I are good friends and that we've worked together on a project or two in the past, and we also are consultants to one another.

I get feedback from him on my stuff, and he gets feedback from me on a lot of his stuff. Additionally, I do not receive any sort of compensation whatsoever for reviewing or "pitching" his products (I was involved in this project a fair amount. I offered my help in crediting, history, alternate handlings, feedback on mahy of the effects that were planning on being in the video . . . some were left out based on my recommendation).

I tell you that up front just to sort of clear the air and to let you know that when I give Jay feedback, I'm brutally honest with him. I tell him if I think he has a crappy idea or a good idea. He wouldn't have it any other way, nor would I. So I want to make it clear that Jay's products get the same level of scrutiny as any other products I review.

On to the review:
The latest addition to the Sankey family o' products . . . Hardcore. The trailer says, "Hardcore Effects; Hardcore Methods." I'd say that's mostly true for most of the effects on this DVD. There are a couple effects that aren't quite as gem-like as the majority of the DVD. However, there are a lot of effects on here that are absolutely hardcore and definitely worthy of your attention.

For example, take Entranced. Penetrate any small object into a sealed box of Tic Tacs that you can give away as a souvenir. Speaking of souvenirs, this DVD has a ton of effects where you get to give out to the spectators the magic'd item.

With Wrapture you get to borrow a penny and a quarter. Bend the quarter around the penny making a taco with the quarter as the shell and the penny as the meat. The spectator may keep this souvenir. The handling and the visuals on this are too cool.

Fishbowl is a clever ending to the classic ACR plot. The handling is clean, simple and beautiful. This effect like many others on this DVD are done with stuff that you'll find laying around in everyone's house. Imagine you're at a friend's house and he wants to see a card trick. You do ACR; then for the final phase you have him get a plastic freezer bag out of the kitchen. He covers your hand and the deck with the bag, yet the card still rises to the top all the way through the plastic.

You'll find that Heist is another perfect, at a friend's house type of effect. Break the tab off of a Coke can and reattach it, or cause it to melt through the inside of the can to the outside of the can.

Speaking of Coke, imagine getting some soda in your straw by holding your finger at one end as we've all done before, but then . . . the soda defies gravity and rises up the straw. That's what you'll find in Jay's effect Climber. Very "street" and also very down-to-earth . . . perfect for house parties and casual performances with friends at meals, etc.

Though there are a ton more cool ideas/effects, I'll conclude with just one more . . . Spiral. Another crazy give-away (one of my favorites on the DVD). Borrow a dollar bill and magically cause it to be spiral bound to the middle of a pocket spiral memo pad.

Some final thoughts:
If you're strolling and performing these effects multiple times in a row, then yes, it's a bit of a pain to give away some of the items because you'll need to carry around extras for each table, etc. However, for set shows, and house parties, or hanging out with friends, you can't beat these give-aways . . . again, very street.

What I like about a lot of the material on this DVD is the fact that it's much more suited for the casual performance. You're just hanging out at a party or with some friends, and you just grab something and go. A lot of this material is not impromptu. It does require carrying something with you or having some prep. However, it feels to the audience (your friends that you're hanging with) very impromptu.

Of course, there are quite a bit of impromptu effects as well. There's something for just about every style and just about every skill level. Additionally, there are bonus handling ideas, and alternate versions found in the explanation section.

Considering that there are 11 effects and that the DVD comes with a good chunk of the props you'll need, the asking price of $35.00 bucks is pretty solid.

As with all Sankey products, the teaching is very well done and extremely thorough, and as always, you get a nice peak under the hood of Jay's brain as well as a bit of "crazy Jay" that we've all come to know and love.

Even with 1 or 2 "so-so" tricks, this DVD easily warrants a 4 star rating with a final verdict of Gem.

Product info for Hardcore

Author: Sankey, Jay
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $35.00
Buy Now
Manufacturer's Description:

The most anticipated DVD of the year has arrived!!!

JOSHUA JAY (FROM MAGIC MAGAZINE) SAYS: "HARDCORE is a startling, impressive, all-new collection that represents some of Jay's finest thinking to date. I love that nearly all these effects are short, visual, and powerful. 'Wrapture' -his bending coin effect- is a favorite, and I love the new filming style. HARDCORE is Jay at his best."

The exciting 90-minute DVD features brand new, hard-hitting magic with soda cans, coins, playing cards, drinking straws, note pads, dollar bills, Tic Tac boxes, finger rings, Ziploc bags, post cards, card cases, rubber bands and even golf balls!

INGENIOUS GIMMICKS INCLUDED! The 'HARDCORE' DVD comes complete with special props for 3 outrageous new effects including 'Babylon Band,' 'Entranced' and 'Border Crossing.'

BORROWED + IMPROMPTU! Several of the amazing routines are completely impromptu and involve ordinary, borrowed objects!

CLOSE-UP & STAND-UP EFFECTS! Many of the routines involve shocking images with enough visual impact to rock audiences during both close-up and stand-up performances.

MULTIPLE HANDLINGS! No two magicians have the same style or skills, so Jay developed MULTIPLE handlings for many of the devastating effects on the 'HARDCORE' DVD. That way, you are guaranteed to learn magic that is right for YOU!


Jay's 'Climber' effect is a perfect example of a truly original effect AND a truly original method. Dip a drinking straw into a can of soda. Press the tip of your finger over the top end of the straw to trap a few drops of soda at the bottom. Then watch people freak out as you cause the trapped soda to slowly RISE UP THE STRAW. Immediately hand out the straw to be examined (no switch required.) 'Climber' is the ideal magic effect for the school cafeteria, lunch room at work, parties and more.

Leave it to Jay to combine one of the world's most popular sports with something so ORDINARY as a post card to create a STARTLING close-up production. Jay structured the handling for maximum ease and practicality. Guaranteed to rock both close-up and stand-up performances.

A totally fresh approach to bending a borrowed coin, featuring an outrageous new visual that leaves the usual collection of magic bends in the DUST. Jay even teaches you step-by-step exactly how to make this fascinating new coin gimmick in just a few minutes with tools you'll find in any tool box.

A devastating, two-phase 'dance' involving a borrowed ring and two unprepared drinking straws. A completely impromptu, in-their-hands heartstopper, it's also dead easy to perform. Any ring. Any 2 straws. Any time.

A freely selected and signed card MELTS through a plastic baggie, with the deck AND even the hand holding the pack, SEALED inside the baggie! No gimmicks, no suspicious moves, no bad angles. Combine it with your ACR, card to wallet or Jay's 'Paperclipped' effect. Keep the unprepared baggie folded in the back pocket of your jeans and always be ready to end a close-up set in STYLE.

A wonderfully organic transposition with a LETHAL kicker ending. Remove the metal tab from a can of soda. Slip the tab inside the can and have a helper hold tightly to the can. A moment later, cause the tab and a borrowed dime to switch places in a flash of fire. As for the knock-out finishing phase...we'd don't want to ruin the surprise! Completely impromptu, this hard-hitting routine is going to quickly find its way onto your A-list.

An off-the-hook effect with a borrowed dollar bill that ends with a truly SICK souvenir people just CAN'T get over. 'SPIRAL' includes a very fresh approach to corner switching you are destined to use with playing cards, business cards and more.

An inspired combination of a torn + restored card CASE with a devious 'time travel' effect. During the detailed explanation, Jay blows the dust off a little know false cut + teaches you Herb Zarrow's renowned false shuffle.

Featuring an extremely clever, double-duty gimmick, 'Entranced' allows you to make almost any small object visually appear inside a box of Tic Tac mints with the untorn, factory seal still in place. Jay teaches two full routines including a mentalist effect with a borrowed coin and a magic effect with the corner torn from a playing card.

Learn the secrets to transforming an ordinary rubber band into an amazing magic tool capable of revealing playing cards, people's names, numbers, dates and more. Keep the band wrapped around your card case or wear it on your wrist, and be ready to astound people at a moment's notice!

A 'very heavy' torn and restored handling of a signed playing card. Completely impromptu. No gimmicks, duplicates or set-up of ANY kind. A holy grail. A totally bullet-proof 'worker.'

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