The Essential Card Magic Toolbox bills itself as ‘a complete course in the art of card magic’ and I have to say that I entirely agree with that description. This 8-DVD set is essentially a compilation of some of the DVDs we’ve reviewed over the years, nicely packaged in one of those snazzy four-section cases which open up to display all the disks. We’ll make a few comments on each disk and link to our more in depth reviews, and then finish with some final observations.
Ultimate Self-Working Card Tricks – this is a super disk which we loved full of strong but more or less sleight-free effects. Rather like the Card College Light concept, the idea is that you can gain some valuable performing confidence and skills with some effects which are easy to do, yet still pack a punch.
The False Shuffles & Cuts Project – being able to appear to mix the deck up whilst retaining its order is a valuable skill in its own right and adds extra conviction to many of the other routines you’ll learn.
The Double Lift Project – more or less the most useful sleight in the repertoire – this comprehensive treatment will teach even an old hand some new techniques. Some great techniques and some excellent effects.
The Forces Project – again an indispensable skill (how often have you read ‘force a card using your favourite method’?) and covering a wide variety of methods from the more or less self-working to the more skillful techniques like the classic force.
The Controls Project – this is the one disk on the project we seem to have missed out in our detailed reviews – but even sight unseen I would recommend this. A recurring theme of our other reviews is the quality of Liam’s teaching, so I have no doubt that this will cover all you need to know about controlling and moving selected cards around the deck.
The Elmsley Count Project – the wonderful method behind so many amazing packet tricks – this DVD teaches you not only the basic count, but many variations and other counts, to say nothing of some awesome effects using them all.
Ultimate Impromptu Magic – this is another cracking disk in which you’ll learn some astonishing routines you can perform at the drop of a hat. Being able to perform some stunning magic when someone hands you a deck and asks you to show them a trick is an essential skill for any would-be card magician and you’ll learn some brilliant material here.
Ever since these disks started appearing individually (back in 2012 I think) I’ve had the sense that they would be worthwhile gathering together, and I’m so glad they finally have done. If you’re just starting out in card magic, I would be hard-pushed to suggest a better place to start. The quality of the teaching is excellent and the routines have been hand-picked to be both strong, but (mainly) relatively easy to do. If you devote yourself to mastering the 16+ hours of material on these disks you will be well on the road to being a card magic pro. And you’ll probably find some deals which will make this an even better value investment than buying them individually.
Unreservedly recommended. Available direct from Merchant of Magic – currently at the bargain price of £64.99.