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Vice (Gimmicks and Online Instructions) Review

Official Review

January 12th, 2017 4:34am
Reviewed by Dr. J. M. Ayala de Cedoz
Jeff Prace has put out a number of things in the past, some of them good and some of them so-so. This one might fall in the middle of those, closer the good side though. Allow me to explain:

First off, you get all of the necessary items needed to perform this effect except for the regular roll of Lifesaver mints. You get two gimmicks and 50 finale pieces (they say refills are available but I have not seen them anywhere as of this writing on 16 of December of 2016), a special tube to carry everything in and a pre-printed label that matches the real thing. You also have access to two PDF files that allow you to print your own labels for a kicker ending, and one of the PDFs is for the Polo Mints brand which is more common outside the U.S. You do not get a DVD with this but you do get a link to a video with a password which you can either stream or download. The ad copy is 100% honest.

The video was nicely shot with good video, audio and lighting quality. Jeff did a very good job of teaching you how to set everything up, how to finish the gimmicks and in taking you through different variations on the basic handling. He also includes two bonus ideas at the end of the video. The mechanics of this effect are not very difficult at all and use two moves that most magicians are familiar with, but due to the nature of one of the gimmicks, you have to change the handling of one of them slightly, or at the very least, take care while executing it so as not to expose the nature of the gimmick.

The basic handling is done in your hands, but Jeff also offers a great variation where you place the regular mint in the hand of the spectator and have them close their hand, squeezing tightly. When they open their hand, they find the permanently squished mint which they can then eat if they want to. This leads me to another point which Jeff also addresses: this effect may not be for everyone because in general, after you have handled a mint (or any other edible object), not too many people would be keen on eating it, regardless of how clean your hands might be. Certain demographical groups out there may care less (kindergarteners, young children or college kids). You can actually perform this without ever handing out the squished mint at the end but in my opinion that would lessen the effect. This just requires you to lacquer one of the squished mints and you will be able to use it forevermore as long as the lacquer is properly applied and does not wear off over time.

Of course with something like this I just had to open one of the bags of squished mints and give them a try. The first thing I noticed (and I do not regularly consume real Lifesavers mints, but I have had enough of them to know) was that the texture after a few seconds was very different from a real Lifesavers. The second thing I noticed is that the flavor is not quite as strong, and it is not quite the same as Wint o Green (which is the label you get in the box and the PDF). This may be noticed by your audience members when they eat this (if you elect to hand it out and they elect to eat it). I am pretty certain that if they are familiar with the brand they will notice something, but to clarify all of this: the texture and flavor are different, NOT off-putting. It is kind of like the difference between eating a banana cream pie made from real bananas vs. eating one made with just vanilla pudding and banana extract flavoring.

I think this does have some good possibilities and for what you are getting the price is just right at $29.95/USD. One thing to keep in mind with this is that it will not play to a huge crowd - it is best suited for 1-5 people at close range and this is just because of the size of the gimmicks/props. If you like what you see in the trailer then I am sure you will not be disappointed with this. At the very least you can use your extra performance gimmick to perform a version of an old effect that was popular at one time, which is one of the bonus effects that Jeff teaches.

4 stars.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Vice (Gimmicks and Online Instructions)

Author: Prace, Jeff
Publisher: Murphy's Magic Supplies, Inc.
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $29.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

Handing out an impossible object as a souvenir is one of the most memorable things you can do to close a routine. But, can you eat it? Usually, no, unless Jeff Prace is performing Vice.

Vice allows you to take out a simple Lifesavers hard candy mint, gently hold it between your fingers and slowly squeeze the candy until it is fully compressed and distorted. This is where most tricks stop, but with Vice, you can instantly hand out the crushed mint as a souvenir. Your spectator can even taste the mint to verify that it is, in fact, real!

Ridiculously easy to perform, yet so bewildering to spectators. You'll love the stunned looks on their faces as they hold it in their palms wondering how you made a hard candy easily bend and suspend its new shape.

Includes everything you need to start performing immediately and you can learn & perform in minutes.

What you'll get:

- Reusable performance gimmicks
- 50 real, edible crushed mints to hand out (extra refill mints available)
- Online video instructions jam-packed info including performance ideas, handlings, tips & ideas
- PDF label templates to print your own favorite mint labels

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