Control is best described as a PK starter kit – and if that means nothing to you then read on for our full review.

What’s in the box?

The nicely packaged box contains your control gimmick – a m****t attached to a vaguely flesh coloured clip – and an assortment of magnets and PK props which will help you produce a wide range of magnet. Be warned – the nature of the props mean that some are very strong and very fragile – a dangerous combination! The box also contains a link to online teaching – which runs to over 2 hours of routines and ideas,

The teaching

This is quite varied. Greg Wilson hosts a chunk in his own inimitable style. He teaches some superb routines (about which more later) with excellent detail and tips. I didn’t much care for some of the rest of the teaching which included somewhat lame joking and somewhat lame effects – but you’re really buying the gimmick not the routines. These should just be starting points for your own ideas.

Darryl Vanamburg - Control - review

The props

There are some cool extra gimmicks here – including a PK Pebble, and a PK plectrum (guitar pick) in addition to a variety of different sized magnets.

The gimmick itself is similar to the ‘Movemint‘ gimmick – but has been improved and strengthened. It feels a bit bulky – which no doubt accounts for the strength of the magnet. I have average sized hands and found it a little loose.  But there would be ways to increase the grip which would enable you to move your fingers more freely.

A few tips are given on how to adapt the colour of the Control gimmick so that it might be less obvious. But as with many of these kinds of things, much depends on the way you perform. They won’t spot it if they’re not looking for it.

Many of the routines assume that you will start and end clean and pick up and ditch the gimmick as required. To this end a further gimmick is included to enable you to do this fairly easily. From my perspective I’m not certain I would want to use it in the way they describe in a walkaround setting. But I think you could easily come up with alternative techniques.

SansMinds - Silent Assistant - review

Control v. Silent Assitant

I hadn’t planned it this way, but I find myself looking at the Control gimmick few weeks after I reviewed the Silent Assistant. And in many ways they are very similar. From what I have seen, the Silent Assistant is a little more discreet and more comfortable to wear. However, the magnet is considerably less powerful. Control also comes with some really cool extra accessories – which given the small price difference makes it much better value. Control can be used for pretty much any of the Silent Assistant routines, but may be slightly less silent! However, even this can be dealt with via a small customisation if you think about it…

The Routines

I should say I particularly enjoyed watching the Greg Wilson live performances which show you how strong this can be. I loved the ‘Impromptu Chop Cup’ using a banknote and polystyrene cup. This is a real worker routine which you should use.

Darryl Vanamburg - Control - review - haunted deckThere was a moving bottle routine which excited me less – but had a nice presentational hook. Also a 2 cup monte kind of routine which seemed to be getting better reactions than I would have expected. There was also a haunted deck kind of effect which was more useful.

You can do a whole host of PK type effects – and they taught a PK cigarette, moving pebble, flipping pebble and moving pen/straw routines. If I’m honest I’m not a huge fan of these kind of effects which feel a little ‘obvious’ to me.

If you want to get started with PK effects, Control seems to be a great way to do it. A versatile set of gimmicks, a couple of strong routines and a variety of further ideas to get your imagination flowing.

Control is available from MagicShop.co.uk for £58.99 (at the time of writing).

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

Darryl Vanamburg – Control – review
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