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Sweet'n Salty Review

Official Review

September 26th, 2016 8:31pm
Reviewed by Dr. J. M. Ayala de Cedoz
This is a very cool little gimmick to have a play around with and there are a lot of things you can do with this if you just put your imagination to it.

What you are getting is a gimmick that is made for you, a little something to help you with the set-up and a page of instructions that show you how to set it up. Also on that one page is an idea with which to use it and a link with a password to the online instructional video. The ad copy is 100% honest but there was mention of 3 videos and I only found one. Perhaps it was a typo or someone forgot to put them up or something, but I do not think it was intended to be deceptive - perhaps I just missed something. If I figure it out I will post an edit here.

The gimmick is well-made and the quality is typical of certain Vernet products - it is hard to say much more without giving it away, but suffice it to say that the quality is very good. It should last you forever if you care for it properly. The only trouble I really had with this gimmick was the first few times trying it out because while the grip required to open the gimmick is pretty natural, it was still kind of odd operate mechanically (at least my gimmick is) because of where the opening is, and also because, it seemed to me, that the gimmick required a little bit of breaking in. After about 5 or 6 times of setting it up and getting used to how it needs to be positioned to work efficiently, it got easier. Also, the amount of salt that this thing holds is surprisingly significant. When I was emptying it out as I was playing with it, many times I thought I had exhausted the load of salt inside but boy was I wrong! You are not going to produce a salt tsunami with this, but you can fit a significant amount into it.

The instructional video is very well-produced: the lighting, the audio and the video quality are excellent. Inaki Zabaletta and Manuel Llaser show you what the gimmick is, how to set it up, how to operate it and then they show you a collection of effects that you can use it for. This video follows the format of demonstration followed by the explanation for that effect. Some of the performances are done to the camera and others involve a live audience in the studio, which gives you the satisfaction of knowing that this can be used effectively in front of live people.

I have something to clarify about this gimmick: This gimmick is not a means to one particular effect or even multiple effects in and of itself, but it is a utility gimmick. Maybe one or two of the effects in the video could be considered stand-alone or "feature" type of effects, but most of what you would use this utility for would not be feature effects. What this would be used for are tie-in effects; for example: You perform the classic Gypsy Thread as you normally would except at the end, you ball up the restored string and turn that ball into salt. In fact, that is one of the things you will learn here (the ending, NOT the Gypsy Thread itself).

You may watch this video and see nothing worth using, which is fine. Since this is a utility gimmick, it is open for you to explore ways to use it that work for you and/or fit your effects and routines. That said, there are two effects given here that I think could be very strong if you present them correctly and in my opinion, the first of the two is one of the best uses of the gimmick. The particular effect that I am talking about is a supposed demonstration of hypnosis and is very clever. You show four audience participants an unopened packet of sweetener and you can even ask them to open it. You pour a little bit of sweetener in each of their open palms and have them close their hands around it. One person is asked to name a number from 1-4 and whichever participant falls on that number, they are the one that will be "hypnotized". After you go through the bit of hypnotizing them, you ask the other three unchosen participants to taste the sweetener in their hand one at a time, and they will all confirm that it is sweet. You then have the supposedly hypnotized person taste the sweetener in their hand and they taste salt! At the end of the routine you pour a bit of the leftover sweetener into their now empty palm, "reverse the hypnotic spell" and ask them to taste it. They will confirm that it is sweet again.

The second effect is a Follow-the-Leader type of plot where you pour salt from a packet onto one plate and have someone confirm that it is salty, then you pour the rest of the salt on the plate and place the empty packet in front of that plate. On a second plate, you pour a bit of sweetener from a packet and have it confirmed that it is in fact sweetener. Once confirmed you pour the rest of the sweetener on the plate and place the empty packet in front of it. After a bit of byplay you simply move the salt packet in front of the plate with the sweetener on it and move the empty sweetener packet in front of the plate with the salt on it. After a moment, you ask the ones that confirmed earlier to taste the substances on their plates again and they find that the salt and the sweetener have changed places!

Both of these effects are easy to do and do not require stooges of any sort. As a matter of fact, before I even read the ad copy myself I saw the gimmick and immediately thought of doing something like an Endless Salt Pour type of effect using a salt packet, which ended up not only being mentioned in the ad copy but also taught in the DVD in a different way.

The effects that are explained on the DVD are taught very well and everything, including the live performances with audience members, is spoken in English with Spanish subtitles. Having paid attention to both the subtitles and the spoken English, the translation was done very, very well by someone well-versed in both languages. This is a breath of fresh air because usually translation in magic DVDs is very poor and sometimes outright ineffective - not in this case.

I think $25/USD is a fair price point because you are getting a quality gimmick that should last you forever but if for any reason you ever need to replace it, you could make your own. They do not show you how to make the gimmick, but you will know exactly what you need to make another one. All the necessary parts can be bought in any magic shop for less than $6/USD. Considering that you get a gimmick already made for you and a very well-produced 44-minute instructional video, I think the price is fair.

The ad copy does not tell you what the gimmick is, but it does tell you the kinds of things you can do with it and if you want to do any of those things, or you can think of places in your own effects, routines or acts where something like that would fit in well, you have all the information you need to decide whether you should purchase this or not. I have no doubt that if you have a place for it, you will not be disappointed.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Sweet'n Salty

Author: Vernet
Publisher: Vernet Magic
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $25.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

"Sweet n' salty" is an amazing new utility gimmick. You can make salt disappear and reproduce it from an empty bag. You can mix salt and pepper and then magically separate them. You can do the "Lotta" effect with any salt or sweetener bag. You can produce salt and sweetener from different objects: a pen's cap, an empty salt shaker, a kid's ear, nose and even his hair! You can always carry this specially made gimmick in your pocket, in a safe way and be ready to amaze!

Some effects:
Reproduce salt from a true empty bag
"Follow the Leader" with salt & sweetener
Hypnotize a member of the audience
3 Sugar Monte
Produce salt from a kid's nose or ear
Salt & Pepper segregation
"Lotta" salt effect Includes 3 download videos 10 routines explained Ideal for close up, parlor and kids shows Produce salt/sweetener from everywhere Perfect to carry it in your pocket The best gimmick to do bar and table hopping magic Very easy to use

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