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Phantom Band 360 Review

September 18th, 2007 11:30pm
Reviewed by James Sanden
Phantom Band 360 is a penetration effect where a rubber band penetrates through a folded dollar bill. The basic idea is sound, but the execution is not what I had been hoping for. My main concern is that the penetration itself seems to go in the wrong direction. That is to say, once the band is linked inside the folded bill, the band doesn’t penetrate to the outside. Instead, the portion of the band on the outside penetrates to the inside of the bill so that the entire band is inside the folded bill. The effect is then repeated by overtly moving a strand to the outside, at which point the remaining linked strand penetrates from the inside to the outside, leaving the entire band outside the bill.

This sequence of effects is strange and illogical. If you link two objects in the course of a magical effect, magic logic dictates they should clearly separate when they unlink. There is a clear image before and after the penetration, which isn’t the case in this effect. The reason for this unusual sequence of effects is that the appearance of the penetration is dictated completely by the method. No other handling or subtleties are added to make the effect as a whole clearer and easier to understand. In fact, had the second phase of the routine where the band clearly penetrates from the inside to the outside been the entire routine, I would have liked this routine much better. And were I to perform this effect that is exactly what I would do. But this would require me figuring out a method for doing so. In my mind, that should have been done by the creator before releasing the DVD. It may seem strange to criticize the effect rather than the method, but I think that the way in which this effect is presented dilutes the impact of what this method offers. There is unmined potential in this routine. And it is the creator’s obligation to mine as much of that potential as possible before releasing his material.

While my complaint may seem like a quibble (especially given the relatively low price this DVD is being sold for), I believe if you are to present a single effect to the fraternity (and charge money for it), you should put a great deal of time and effort into making it a “worker.” But (and I’m far from the first reviewer to say so) with the advent of easy DVD authoring, combined with distributors with little or no concern for quality, effects are constantly being released that just aren’t ready for public consumption.

The creator does mention on the DVD that he consulted the “magic forums” for advice and suggestions, which I heartily commend. Consulting with other magicians is a fantastic way to make sure your work is at its highest level. So I checked out “The Magic Café” and, frankly, what surprises me is how many people loved this effect.

Perhaps my standards are too high. But I love the art of magic. I think about it and work on what I perform all the time. I take great efforts to make every aspect of everything I perform as flawless as possible. This means the script, the handling, the effect as a whole, the hook for the presentation; as much as I can think of. I believe it is our job as performers to take all of these factors into consideration before performing for strangers, and certainly before selling our work to our fellow magicians.

I think that magic deserves a better reception from our audiences than it’s currently getting today. Not every routine need be a blockbuster, but for what it is, it’s potential should be maximized. This effect is not a throwaway or gag. It’s a clear, clean penetration. Or at least it has the potential to be one. If we want our audiences to respect our work and treat it us as more than just a bunch of guys who do tricks, we as performers must raise the bar for ourselves. And I believe if that bar were at the level it should be, Phantom Band 360 would have been sent back to the drawing board for more work.
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Product info for Phantom Band 360

Author: Brian Rodgers
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $16.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

A totally new take on the classic idea of solid thru solid. Here's how it goes:

Phase One - Borrow a bill and show a normal, everyday rubber band. Fold the bill in half, then fold the bill around the band. One end of the band is inside the bill, with the other on the outside. Then slowly melt the band entirely to the inside of the bill!

Phase Two - Show the bill with the band inside it from both sides. While totally surrounded, take one end of the band out of the bill, leaving the other still hooked inside the bill. Then visibly and slowly melt the band right through the bill!

The only band and bill penetration effect out there that can be done:

  • Completely Surrounded
  • No Gimmicks
  • Totally Impromptu

*Also included - variations on the basic effect using other objects other than a rubber band.

Running Time Approximately 23min

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