Frea-Capped reviewI remember seeing a trailer for Frea-capped some time ago and thinking – wow – that looks pretty good. So how did the reality match up?

In essence this is a sharpie that will re-cap itself. Kieron has an amusing presentation about being the world’s no one one-handed sharpie re-capper – and then lifts it to the next level by doing it ‘no-handed’ with the sharpie and cap held in his mouth.

It’s easy to do – you can do it pretty much straight away. You’re provided with a gimmicked sharpie and materials for repairing it or making a new one (you could make it in other styles of pen with a little thought).

My hesitation about this effect is this. James Brown – who’s opinions I usually take seriously – says “you would be a fool to underplay this.” But I struggle to see how to ‘overplay’ it. It feels, to me, like a nice extra addition to a routine – an amusing bit of business – but not a stunning effect. Yes, Troy used it on his TV show, but I’ve watched the clip (see below) – it takes less than 18 seconds!

The only other small negative (and it is a very small negative) is that there’s a little ‘talk’ on the gimmick – which will hardly be noticeable in most performing contexts but is worth mentioning.

The DVD explains a few extra bits you can add to your routine. It details some switches – to help you incorporate it into, for example, a signed-card routine. It also teaches a kind of ‘cigarette up the nose’ type move but with the sharpie. Instructions are included for constructing or repairing your own gimmick but unless you’re really good at this kind of thing I would suggest just buying a spare!

I haven’t yet had a chance to road-test this with real people – and so it may be that the reactions generated are (as Kieron repeatedly insists on the DVD) out of all proportion to the ‘quickie’ nature of the effect. But until I have established that I remain slightly underwhelmed…

Frea-capped is available from Merchant of Magic (with thanks to BBM (who kindly supplied the review copy). £19.99

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