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Pen OR Pencil Review

Official Review

December 4th, 2015 9:12am
Reviewed by Doc Johnson

It’s hard for me to believe that this is original, but I’ll leave that issue to the creator and anyone else who might challenge it. On to the review:

You get two regular pencils, one regular pen, and one gimmicked pen. You also get enough material to create three more gimmicks. Very nice.

There is studio performance and explanation. After seeing the performance, I rather like the routine. I can see that it offers opportunity for quite a bit of audience interaction. See the suggestions section for additional thoughts.

There is a bonus section with a routine that involves a napkin and handing out both the pen and pencil at the end for examination. Very nice.

There is also a very thorough explanation of how to create a new gimmick with enough material to create three gimmicks. Me also likey this!

While the methods could include any standard paddle moves, there are some new moves that Mickael teaches that are based on how you would ordinarily hold a pen or pencil. Excellent moves. The difficulty level is very easy. I performed a little routine minutes after watching the DVD for my kids and my youngest daughter gasped. That’s not a bad endorsement for kids who have “seen it all”.

The ad copy is very specific regarding what you get and I would say that the effect is very true to the ad copy.


I had some concerns before getting this, so perhaps it would be good for me to address them here. One of my concerns was that the effect would be very angle sensitive. I don’t think it is much secret that this involves a paddle move. Therefore, it is angle sensitive, but to my surprise, it is not really any more angle sensitive than most any other paddle move routine.

I was also concerned that because it is a round gimmick that it might be hard to handle without giving away the secret. I also found that it is pretty easy to get used to the movements required to hold the gimmick just right so as to not give away the secret. I found it particularly useful that if I hold the gimmick at eye level and perform it for myself then my participants are seeing exactly what I want them to see.

My third concern was that the gimmick would not look good given it is made from a see through pen. To my great surprise, the gimmick looks tremendous! The gimmick gives the illusion that the pen is still see through, even though it really isn’t.

While you can’t perform this entirely surrounded, I would say that as long as your audience is either to the side or in front of you, you are good to go. If you are performing it at eye level, then you wouldn’t want spectators looking from below or from above.


Before getting this, I thought it was a really lousy idea. After getting this, watching the DVD, and giving it a test run, I think is it simply great!

Suggestions from the Reviewer

He demonstrates a nice little routine where he takes out a pen and a pencil and asks a participant to select either pen or pencil. They make their selection and he pockets the pencil. He then attempts to make the cap disappear. However, instead of the cap disappearing, the pen turns into a pencil. I like the routine, but I think it would be better to come out with a pencil with a pen cap on it and a pen without a cap. Then, attempt to have the cap disappear. When it doesn’t disappear, you say: “Why would I make the cap disappear if I have a pen? This is more humorous and allows for greater audience interplay.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Pen OR Pencil

Author: Chatelain, Mickael
Publisher: Gi'Mick Magic
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $29.95
Buy Now
Manufacturer's Description:

We are really happy to present to you the NEW TRICK of Mickael CHATELAIN : PEN or PENCIL!! For the first time, No playing card needed! An exclusive and very visual effect, so easy to perform! Based on a well known handling, this effect will fool your spectators!

The well-known English magician, Dynamo, has done this several times on his TV show, "Dynamo: Magician Impossible." Today it's your turn to do "Pen or Pencil" for your spectators.
The simplest things are often the most difficult to implement. Here's the proof!

By Mickael Chatelain

Today, Mickael Chatelain is offering his new creation, Pen or Pencil. Based on a simple principle, this new, extremely visual effect will completely fool your spectators.

This time, no playing cards, just two writing implements - one transparent Bic pen with its cap and a wooden pencil.

Take out the Bic and the pencil in front of your audience. You have nothing else in your hands. A wooden pencil in one hand, a Bic pen in the other, that's it! Invite one of you spectators to chose either.

Let's say he chooses the wooden pencil. Place it into your trouser pocket, leaving only the Bic pen in your hand - nothing else.

Remove the cap from the Bic while explaining that you'll make it disappear merely by blowing on it. You don't believe me? Close your fingers around the cap and blow on your hand. When you open your hand, the trick seems to have failed as the cap is still right there in the palm of your hand! It hasn't vanished!

Explain that it's not the cap that was supposed to disappear, but the Bic pen!

I don't have to describe the reaction of your spectators when they notice that you are no longer holding the Bic pen in the the other hand but rather the wooden pencil!!!

The Bic has completely disappeared without a trace! A disappearance in full view! Your spectators won't believe their eyes. With just a fleeting glance at the cap, the Bic has changed places with the wooden pencil!

It's completely impossible. You haven't moved a muscle! You then proudly take the Bic from your pocket where moments ago you had put the wooden pencil.

An absolutely unbelievable transposition! An effect that we guarantee will drive your spectators crazy! You may, if you wish, hand out both the Bic and the pencil for examination at the end of the routine.

Do it for yourself in front of a mirror. You'll fool yourself, so strong is the illusion!

Take Note:
No pulls, no manipulation! You have only the Bic and the pencil in your hands, nothing else. The pen and the pencil are really different; no one could confuse them. You can learn to effect the change in five minutes! Perfect for close-up or in the street. You'll keep it on you at all times. Instant reset! Delivered complete and ready to go!
The DVD will explain everything you need to know!

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