Collard 2 is a cracking mentalism set piece from the clever mind of John Archer. I didn’t actually see the original version – so I’m unable to make direct comparisons with that – but will instead review it as a release in its own right.

What is it?

Collard 2 is a fantastic take on Al Koran’s famous Medallion Trick (which I first came across more than 20 years ago in Al Koran’s Legacy – when it was already 20 years old!). By changing the presentation significantly, Archer has made this a trick suitable for all kinds of audiences. The effect boils down to this – your audience come up with a name for your toy dog and you are able to reveal that this name is already inscribed on the dog’s tag – which has been in full view throughout.

What do you get?

The package is very comprehensive. It comes with the name tag, the ‘naming certificates’ a clipboard, some special somethings, a pen, all in a neat drawstring bag. As is common these days you are supplied with a link to online instructions. You will need to supply your own toy dog – but that leaves you with flexibility since you could perform Collard 2 with any kind of animal – depending on your character and routine.

The teaching is very clear – and the method is sneaky and very straightforward. Just how I like it! You also get to watch a live performance – which is classic Archer – and there is a separate discussion with Lavent about his own use of the effect and some of the ideas and subtleties he has come up with.

Without giving too much away, you need a matching pen, and I’m surprised that it wasn’t included (it is possible it was missing from my set?). The one supplied is pretty similar to a Sharpie but not identical, so I’m not sure how easy it will be to find one. However, the instructions assume you will be supplying both pens, and it wouldn’t be too hard to find what you need.

What do we think?

I absolutely love this effect. The premise is brilliant and could fit into almost any kind of performance – more serious mentalism, general magic, family shows or adult ones. I intend to add it to my all age shows very soon.

john archer - collard 2 - review - live performanceAs I’ve already mentioned it is easy to do – so you can focus on the presentation side of things. In fact the biggest challenge for me, is that having watched John Archer’s brilliant performance it is hard to come up with your own take and not simply copy some of his brilliant lines! Of course, I would always encourage you to come up with your own presentation.

Collard 2 comes highly recommended. It is available from for £45.50 (at the time of writing).

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

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