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Cube 3 Review

Official Review

December 22nd, 2015 1:10am
Reviewed by James Sanden
In the 80’s Doug Henning threw a scrambled Rubik’s Cube up in the air and when he caught it, it was solved. For a long time the method he used was the only one widely known. In recent years, a number of talented magicians have been exploring this plot, along with other effects with the cube, with Stephen Brundage being the most visible proponent, his notoriety arising from a viral video of him getting out of a speeding ticket by performing magic with a Rubik’s Cube. Mr. Brundage has now released Cube3, his work on the plot of magically solving the Rubik’s Cube.

The project begins with a lengthy tutorial on solving the Rubik’s Cube. Mr. Brundage teaches a basic method in detail, with a number of examples. The examples seem to go on a bit and are somewhat repetitive, though I appreciated the commitment to the viewer’s understanding. However, rather than repeating the same material over and over, it would have been useful to more carefully plan and organize the tutorial content. At the same time, a number of useful mnemonic devices designed to make remembering the necessary algorithms easier are taught, and there are several walk-throughs of solving the cube, start to finish, which provide a nice overview. An excellent addition is the inclusion of a “follow along” solve, where Mr. Brundage shows the viewer how to mix a cube to match his so that the viewer can follow along, cube in hand, as Mr. Brundage solves the cube.

The instruction for the magic follows, beginning with a discussion of the cube itself, including how to handle it. Starting with orientation and notation, Mr. Brundage also discusses how to hold and manipulate the cube, including instruction for the basic techniques used during the routines. Once the fundamentals have been established, he goes into more detail, introducing the principles and methods he uses while mixing and shuffling the cube during the various routines.

With the foundation laid, Mr. Brundage then teaches the actual effects. The routines are all variations of the same plot, which is magically solving the cube. Specifically, the effects are: magically solving the cube while it’s in a bag, while tossing the cube behind the back, instantly in the hands, as well as two handlings that create the effect that the cube is magically solved in slow motion. While the instant solve is an excellent effect, his imagination solve is just lovely and a highlight of the project. Mr. Brundage also offers additional ideas for presenting the various effects, several of which are clever and entertaining. He then ends the instruction section with some Rubik’s Cube facts, discusses speed solving, touches on cube maintenance and ends with a couple of flourishes.

Instruction is complete, if a little repetitive. Additionally, with a subject as potentially confusing as the Rubik’s Cube, more thought could have been put into organizing the material and explanation. In particular, navigation is extremely difficult. Because the producers elected to go with files on a thumb drive instead of a DVD, chapters are not available. This would be less of a problem with more straightforward material, but this project contains many, many different algorithms (sequences of turns of the Rubik’s Cube) for the various effects (as well as for solving the cube), and without the ability to search the contents, finding what the viewer is looking for can be frustrating.

Of note is the fact that Cube3 includes an ungimmicked Rubik’s Cube to practice and perform with. The included cube is a high quality speed cube, which is necessary for not only solving the cube quickly (should that be of interest), but also because the routines require the cube to be rotated quietly, which is not possible with the official Rubik’s Cube found in most toy stores. It’s a nice touch to include the cube, and will make learning much easier, as well as providing everything needed for a basic performance out of the box.

Magic with a Rubik’s Cube has become extremely popular in the last few years, with Mr. Brundage being one of the most visible proponents. However, like many magicians, he has built on the work of his predecessors, and there are a lot of great Rubik’s Cube magic resources available. Cube3 is a fine approach to the “Instant Solve” plot and his “Imagination Solve” is a unique effect. As it also includes a Rubik’s Cube, if you’d like to add this effect to your repertoire, it’s a good value. If you’d like a more complete routine, or if you’d just like to learn more excellent Rubik’s Cube magic, I’d also recommend “The Cube” by Takamitsu Usui and “Cube FX” by Karl Hein and John George.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Cube 3

Author: Brundage, Steven
Publisher: Murphy's Magic Supplies, Inc.
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $34.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

Everyone knows that solving a Rubik's Cube can be a long, frustrating, hair-pulling feat. That is, until Steven Brundage steps in and short-circuits the whole idea, by turning a near-impossible puzzle into a jarring moment of excitement.

Steven shocked the world by using a Rubik's Cube to get out of a traffic ticket and the video populated social media feeds all over the world. Not sure about cube magic? Think again. He fooled Penn & Teller, then Steve Harvey, Good Morning America, NBC, ABC... the list is still going on from the countless media sources that want to experience what you're about to learn with Cube3. Now, Steven wants to teach you how he uses his closely-guarded Rubik's Cube routine to crush audiences all over the world.

What you'll get: Steven Brundage's signature 3x3 speed cube Instructional USB drive with hours of jam-packed material What you'll learn: Imagination Solve: A slow, multiphase morph of the mixed cube that seems to solve itself. Toss Up Solve: A jolting solve that people never get tired of watching. Behind-the-Back Solve: This is the one that the world went crazy for. Bag Solve: A cube inside a paper bag that seems to solve itself. Instant Solve: Boom. Fast and hyper visual.Color Change solve: The cube never moves, but still finds its way to a perfect solution. Plus so much more:Eye-popping cube flourishes Basic & advanced cube solving techniques Presentation, handling & performance ideas Cube care & maintenanceHe'll take you from zero to performing the most visual displays of cube magic in the world today. We have thrown out all the gimmicks and show you how to do fearless, impromptu magic with such an impossible object. No gimmicks Beginner to Advanced Completely examinable A new approach to cube magicGet Cube3 and start mystifying the masses in a whole, new way.

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