pocket sans minds sharpie reviewLast time I reviewed a SansMinds effect I complained about their over the top introductions which may work in the US but not in the UK. I need to apologise – I realise they are actually a Canadian company. But I still find their introductions over-hyped. And I can’t quite get over the fact that their name seems to mean ‘without minds’. Anyway, what about the Pocket SansMinds Sharpie?

I didn’t see the original Sharpie but it appears that this is literally a pocket-sized re-release of an earlier effect. Given the nature of the effects you can perform with this pen, it makes a lot of sense to have it in a portable size. They say it allows you “to perform impossible ink moving effects on the fly” – and to some extent that’s true. But to be honest I haven’t been that impressed with this.

First of all the effectiveness of the ‘moving’ part of the effects relies much on the surface you use and other variables like your skin type. In my experiments I rarely got as ‘clean’ an effect as on their videos (though they have a ‘tip’ for this – based on the fact that no one has ever seen moving ink and so it is entirely logical for there to be residue… really?!).

Secondly, I think that for many spectators the method for these effects will be fairly obvious to re-construct. Again, this may be cultural – perhaps in the UK the ‘permanent’ nature of Sharpies isn’t so well established – but I just think that most intelligent spectators will get right there.

And finally, the I am slightly underwhelmed by the effects on the DVD. There’s a moving symbol effect – on a table. A prediction effect, where the ‘wrong’ prediction magically changes to the right one. A symbol prediction. A routine where a coin drawn on the table disappears and re-appears in an empty mug (a bit of preparation needed – but some nice moments). An effect where a symbol drawn on the back of a spectator’s hand ‘penetrates’ to the palm of their hand.

For me the strongest effect is the one where a picture of a coin turns into a real coin after being ‘dropped’ into the pen lid – this has a nice ‘organic’ feel to it and has potential. Apparently there are more ideas on the original SansMind Sharpie DVD – but I won’t be rushing out to get a copy.

It was disappointing that there were no ‘live’ performances – and I think that is in part because the pen requires very specific performing conditions to work right. Many of the routines needed a glass table-top which isn’t that common in the sort of places I normally perform. And I’m still not convinced about the etiquette of writing on your spectator’s hand – especially without much warning.

I don’t want to become a grumpy old SansMind man – but I’m underwhelmed by this – and really hope they put something out I enjoy soon!

If you want to make up your own mind, it is available at MagicShop.co.uk for only £21.99.

Review copy kindly provided by Murphys Magic to whom dealer enquiries should be directed.

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