steve haynes fair play reviewSo I feel a little late to the party with my review of this little beauty which was unleashed upon the magic community towards the end of last year. But it was well worth waiting to have a look at. In case you’ve been living in a box, Fair Play is a really clever gimmick which takes the subtle Free Will effect to a new level. It looks like this – a spectator has a (genuinely) free choice of how to distribute three objects and the exact result has been predicted beforehand on a keyring which has been in view all the time.

Lots to like

Magicians – you will simply love this – because the gimmick is SO clever. It is ingeniously engineered and works beautifully. The thing you will have to work hardest at is trying not to smile when you perform it! The gimmick looks very well made and is undetectable at very close range.

The DVD explains everything you need to know very clearly. I particularly appreciated some of the thought which had gone into Andrew Gerard’s bonus routine. It’s not really a new routine but has some clever subtleties – several of which I would incorporate into my own handling. And subtlety is the name of the game since selling this effect is all about presentation.

One of the major attractions of this effect for me is that it fits logically on your key ring – and takes up very little pocket space – and so is available to perform at a moment’s notice. The downside of this is that I probably shouldn’t continue to keep my wallet in that pocket – let the reader understand…

A few buts

If I was being really picky I would also question whether they’ve tried too hard to make the prediction look like it is on a piece of notepaper. There are possibly some design reasons why this was necessary – but it doesn’t quite work for me. The reset is also a tiny bit fiddly – but since I wouldn’t want to perform this twice in quick succession this may not be an issue.

Also many reviews have mentioned the language issue – in particular the original (US) version uses the word ‘bill’ which is not a common way of referring to currency in the UK at least. There is now a UK version which says ‘note’ – and I don’t think ‘bill’ is so unintelligible to the average person that this is a deal breaker for me. In fact, you could always use a receipt instead – saying that it is a ‘bill’ from a restaurant visit or something?

In conclusion

All in all, this is a superb little effect. A great prop, well-made, simple to perform, allowing plenty of scope for your own presentation. Very highly recommended.

£29.99 at the time of review for the Original (US) version or the UK version.

Review copy kindly supplied by Murphys Magic – to whom all dealer enquiries should be made.

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