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Merge (Gimmicks and Instruction) Review

Official Review

July 20th, 2015 6:43pm
Reviewed by Dr. J. M. Ayala de Cedoz
There are many different versions of the Linking Finger Rings on the market and they all fall somewhere in the $30/USD to $1,000/USD range. The versions from the past as well as some current versions have all been made with a wide range of quality and materials from cheap sterling silver to expensive platinum and fine gold. This version falls in the lower end of that spectrum.

The routines that have been put into print are as varied as the price and quality of the gimmicks themselves, some bold and almost gimmickless and others very easy. For the most part, the linking finger rings is an effect which, due to its very nature, is better suited for platform, parlor or stage. THIS version by Paul Romhany, due to ITS nature, can be done close-up.

With this package you get a 46-page booklet with black and white photos which shows you how to do the basic Romhany handling for MERGE. He also includes a great optional ending idea from Pete Biro should you choose to use it (and it is a very good illusion). He also gives you an alternative display for different situations. Inside the book you will also find a link and password for an instructional video, which Paul says is not as detailed as the booklet but I would say it has more details in it than the booklet.

The booklet is nicely laid out and easy to read. There are a couple handfuls of typos that could have been fixed by using a spellcheck and a proofreading. They caused me to have to re-read a few passages more than once, but in the end they did not hinder understanding of the text.

The gimmick and the examinable ring look quite good for what they are. These rings fit into the wedding band style of Himber ring. The design is not necessarily as common as a plain wedding band but it is not such a custom design that it looks like it could be "tricky". If you have ever used any of the other styles of rings on the market, you will notice that the opening on this gimmick is a lot larger than others - something that allows for the ease of the Romhany handling. The gimmick seems to be well-made for the price and it should last for a long time with proper care. If not, it will not exactly break the bank to replace it in the future.

The routine itself is nice and is not hard to do. I like how open it is because Paul has come up with a one-handed handling of the gimmick that leaves the rings in full view of your audience for the linking and unlinking phases, no fumbling necessary provided you give this the proper time and practice it will take to smooth it out. It is not difficult to do, which is a bonus.

It is noted by Paul that HIS routine can really only be done with his version of the gimmick, which is mostly true. This is not meant to be a deceptive statement because once you see his handling, you will understand what he means. There is only one other type of Himber ring I know of that can be used to do the Romhany handling but I have not tried it yet, so I am not sure if it would work as smoothly. You certainly cannot do his handling with the signet style rings that permeate the market. In the book you will find a couple of pages with references to many other LFR routines and handlings. It is by no means exhaustive but is a very good list nonetheless.

If you wanted to use any of the other handlings out there, say for stage/platform or parlour, you can certainly use this gimmick for those provided you can find a ring that reasonably resembles the MERGE gimmick. Really the only complaints I have for the MERGE rings are the color and the size. Personally, I wish they came in a plain silver color instead of black enamel and I wish that they were just a bit larger. Please understand that the previous statement does not reflect on the quality - it is just something I would have preferred.

Having said that, the rings have a grooved design and a black enamel (read: enamel-like) finish. The finish looks quite hardy and I see no reason why, with good care, it should not last for a long time. I have larger fingers and these rings only fit onto my little finger. The nature of this handling gives you the justification for using your own ring for the linking sequence and it also helps to eliminate any suspicion of that aspect in the minds of your audience. The gimmick itself is easy to handle.

For $50/USD I did not expect the quality that I did find inside the package. Yes, there were a couple of things about the rings that I would prefer to be different, but that does not affect their quality or their usability. If you have never done a Linking Finger Ring routine before, this is a nice place to start if you can pull off wearing a black ring - it is not for everyone. If you do not want to use it for close-up, it is still a great place to start for a stage/platform/parlour handling as far as the price goes. You just have to do a little shopping among your audience to find a ring that could pass for the ones that you get.

Overall not a bad product and the handling certainly had some interesting aspects to it and the ring could be used for more than just this handling.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Merge (Gimmicks and Instruction)

Author: Paul Romhany
Publisher: Paul Romhany
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $49.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

The Linking Finger Rings is considered by many to be the strongest magic routine ever conceived. Being able to link and unlink finger rings has been in the repertoire of some of the most prominent magicians in the world. In the past this has been used only for stage work, however, Paul Romhany has taken the classic Linking Finger Routine to a new level with a close-up version that is designed to be performed under ANY close-up condition from the street, bars, corporate functions to restaurants. With the moves he has created you will instantly link and unlink rings which are in full view and done using only one-hand. If you've ever wanted to perform a Linking Finger Routine in a walk-about situation and be able to have instant re-set now you can!

This is the closing effect Paul finishes every walk-about performance with, whether it be in restaurants, trade-shows or just showing friends some magic - MERGE is something people will remember for a very long time where you are able to link and unlink their finger rings.

You will learn a one-handed link and unlink that keeps the rings in view throughout the entire routine.
No more fumbling to link or unlink the rings - everything is open in plain site.
The LINK happens in the spectator's hands making this the perfect walk-about routine.
The unlink is instant and very visual
Bonus ideas include using a pen and various other methods for the one-handed unlink

You will receive:
Regular Finger Ring with matching Himber Ring
Download video tutorial so you can watch and learn Paul's routine plus bonus handling ideas for different sized rings
Instructional booklet with bonus ideas

"This handling of the Linking Finger Rings turns it into an amazing close up routine. Something that has never been possible before in anything like this manner. It is totally deceptive and great visual magic!"
- Nick Lewin

"If you are looking for a well designed, thoroughly audience tested, virtually angle-proof, STUNNER of a close-up routine ... then Paul Romhany's "MERGE" is for you. Paul completely describes every nuance of the routines handling with detailed explanations, including alternative "moves" for various situations so that you understand all the in's and outs. You won't need to spend a fortune to have a reputation making effect at your finger tips."
- Dameon - USA

"Visually this looks amazing - The best handling I've ever seen - more brilliant thinking from Paul"
- Neal Scryer

"Paul has worked out a totally stealth handling with MERGE where you can do the most practical one handed switch of the gimmick ring, so good it looks like there is no move. I am so impressed with Paul's thinking I still wonder what he eats that makes him so clever."
- Alan Wong

"It's clear some serious thought and design has gone into this piece of magic."
- Franz Harary

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