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Al Schneider: Linking Rings Review

Official Review

January 7th, 2014 7:10pm
Reviewed by Fredrick Turner
I will admit that I have had some struggles with the disk. I first met Al Schneider at my first major magic convention in the late 70's. (I was very young - honest.) He quietly sat at his booth and performed some mind-bending close up with cards, rope and coins. Everything was clean and very magical. I became a fan. His work on the zombie was amazing.

Fast-forward to 2013 and I receive Al Schneider: Linking Rings for review. I watched it and was less than wowed. I intended to write a review and then life got in the way with a new job and a subsequent move. The disk was misplaced and only recently resurfaced. Unfortunately, my opinion hasn't shifted with time.

The disk has two routines: a short five ring interlude and a longer, stage piece that uses an assistant. Neither are show-stoppers. The short routine was previously published in the Al Schneider Magic. Its a nice routine with a few twists. The best feature is an innovative ring count that looks like each ring is shown separately.

The longer routine's redeeming quality is that each ring is handles by the assistant but its really long. Really long. Not to mention a wee bit dangerous. Let me elaborate on the danger. The magician opens a cardboard box and brings out a sphere of rings that are on fire. The fire is a piece of flash paper which is only a little concerning. With luck it will go out before hitting your client's carpet. The danger is that Schneider recommends you use a cigarette or birthday candle to ignite it. Hmmm...lit candle or cigarette in a cardboard box. No worries there. He does mention that a stick of incense can be used. A little less concerning but still fire in a cardboard box. The routine also requires 9 rings - not the usual amount most of us have sitting around.

The bottom line comes down to the question: Is this worth $34.95? My answer is no. Not when you consider that you can spend another $35.00 and get the very complete and well-researched Levent's Ultimate Guide to the Linking Rings.

As I said, I have been a fan of Al Schneider for a long time. I admire his approach and thinking about magic. I really wanted to like this but I couldn't. Its just not a good value.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Al Schneider: Linking Rings

Author: Schneider, Al
Publisher: L&L Publishing
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $34.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

Project Codeword: Quantum Rings

From the L&L Underground Research Facility

The goal for these experiments was to push the envelope of existing Linking Rings technology far beyond its normal limits. We believe these goals have been realized in the Quantum Rings project.

You'll find two Linking Ring routines demonstrated and explained on this DVD. The first utilizes five rings and is a shorter routine suitable for use in a parlor shows or as an opener for a larger stand-up show. The other is a six-ring routine intended to be a featured item in a very formal stage show. This routine utilizes several people from the audience to come up on stage and assist the magician.

Both of these routines serve to introduce several new bold and original ring concepts. The first is a five-ring false count that, while fairly easy to do, really appears as if you are fairly counting five separate rings. The other concept is a keyless ring routine. In the six-ring routine, the performer links the rings and gives them to audience helpers to examine. Please keep in mind that the helpers have all the rings and each and every one of them is completely solid. This is accomplished by clever switching, creating the appearance that single rings are linked together.

Besides these revolutionary new Linking Ring moves, here's what else is contained in this confidential file:

Solo Linking Rings -
This is the standard Al Schneider ring routine as featured in his book, Al Schneider Magic, but with the addition of the new five-ring count. In addition, a few extra subtleties are added to the routine to make it that much more impressive.

Full Stage Linking Rings - This routine opens in a dramatic way as the magician removes a sphere consisting of three rings from a large box with a flame - yes, a flame - burning in its center. The routine consists of three phases and the first is manipulation of the three rings. In the second phase, an audience member is brought up as three other rings are taken from the box. The performer links these rings together and has the rings examined carefully by his spectator assistant. It's important to note that during this phase, the audience member has all of the rings and every one is found to be solid! Then, in the final phase, the rings continue to link and unlink in mysterious ways until, finally, they are shown to be all separate once again.

Running Time Approximately: 47min

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