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BLINK Review

Official Review

December 29th, 2015 11:33pm
Reviewed by Stuart Philip
Blink is an effect in which the performer asks to see a spectator’s phone so they can show them a series of drawings (of animals and objects) on a Facebook page. An image is selected. One way is that the performer just picks an image. The other method is that the spectator picks an image when the phone’s screen is held down and they touch the screen. The spectator cannot see the screen at the time the image is “chosen.” Then the performer shows the spectator that they are wearing a ball chain necklace with a double-sided blank dog tag, under their shirt. The performer takes off the chain from behind his neck (which can be a bit tricky), removes a dog tag and places it in the spectator’s flat and open hand. The one-exposed side of the dog tag is then covered by the spectator’s other hand. With the dog tag sandwiched between the two hands, the spectator’s hands are turned over. When the screen is shown again, the shading inside the selected drawing is gone leaving only an outline of the image on the screen. When the spectator’s hands are opened, the image that disappeared from the phone is on the dog tag.

Blink comes in a top quality black box with a magnet close. It contains a small velvet bag, excellent quality dog tags, a small ball chain for the dog tag, rubber cases for the dog tags and a credit card size flashdrive. The flash drive contains three files; an instructional video for Blink, an instructional video for an iPhone trick, Bypass, and eight digital image files.

The instructional video for Blink is 23 minutes long. It starts off with a performance video whose production quality is average and the lighting is poor. Before the performance starts, a disclaimer subtitle states “The conversation in this performance was muted due to surrounding noises and upon the request of the performer, we had to blur his face in the video.” Weird. The performance is done for two spectators who are apparently sitting on a sidewalk and the performer’s face is in fact blurred out. Subtitles for the patter are inserted and the video is set entirely to music. After the performer takes the spectator’s phone it takes about 35 seconds to find the Facebook page. That is an eternity, especially when there is no discussion or patter. During this very long gap, the two spectators are quietly looking at the faces of various cards for no apparent reason. The cards have nothing to do with Blink. At one point during the wait, the spectators start chit-chatting with one another while the magician is setting things up. Not good. After the effect, the performer gives away the dog tag with the art image on it. This is unlikely to happen because you can only give a dog tag away 4 times and then you will be unable to perform the trick. So, that is about $25 per dog tag. The video indicates that you can buy more dog tags, but it does not indicate how much they cost. It just suggests that you email them and they will get back to you within 24-48 hours.

The explanation is easy to understand and it explains three variations of the same trick. First, the one explained above. Second, using the velvet bag to hold the dog tag instead of having it on a chain around your neck. Finally, a version on your own phone with pre-loaded images.

The promotional video is misleading in that it indicates that the spectator chooses an image and makes it look like an image is freely chosen. The text that suggests that the spectator chooses an image is displayed in between video clips of a spectator is freely scrolling through images that are facing the spectator. As explained above, the selection process does not happen like that and is not as fair as that. In fact, the selection process is very controlled (and not free) and may raise doubts among more sophisticated spectators. Secondly, it shows a blank dog tag on both sides and shows it being placed into a spectator’s hands in a way that leads the viewer to believe it is the same double-sided blank dog tag. Perhaps from the spectator’s point of view they believe that is what happened, but a step is edited out of the video. Additionally, the video says that there is a precision crafted gimmick. This lead, at least this consumer, to think that there is some sort of gimmick that does something, when there is nothing of the sort. That statement, coupled with the statement that it resets in seconds lead me to believe that there is some sort of morphing gimmick, which there is not. This trick really does not reset in second, especially if you are performing the necklace version, which will take more than just seconds. Finally, the ad-copy that states that it is “[f]ully examinable before and after effect” is also misleading because there is a point in time before the magic occurs that inspection by a spectator would ruin the effect.

Some performance issues are that the chain is hard to take off quickly which results in the performer needing to fiddle around behind their neck, which is not a good thing. In fact, in the performance video, the performer apologizes for the delay in taking the dog tag off his neck indicating that the necklace is “kinda tight.” Also, if you wear a tie and a buttoned-up shirt, it is it extremely difficult to do the moves. Since you will need to pull the dog tag up from the front of your shirt and remove it from behind your neck, anyone that works with a jacket and tie won’t want to use this method.

Maybe it is just me but I think that most spectators are wary of tricks with phones and have their antenna up for some technological artifice. To do this trick with a spectator’s phone, they will need to have Facebook already installed on their phone and have a decent wireless of WiFi signal. Although the video informs you how to get rid of the evidence of the visited Facebook page, that may raise questions in of itself. And, if you are unable to remove the recently visited pages, you will get busted. There is just too much fidgeting with and control of the spectator’s phone to be an impressive routine. Also, most notably, I found the image selection process to be too stiff, restrictive and unfair.

Also included is an almost 7 minute video file with a trick called Bypass. Bypass is a way in which you apparently unlock any iPhone without the security code by waving your hand over the phone, shaking the phone or some similar method. The demonstrations and explanations are set to music and contain English subtitle instructions, like Blink. Similar to Blink, there is no spoken language. The production quality of the videos is very good. The trick itself is cool, but will require a bit of clean-up once you trick the owner of the phone. You will also need to perform the trick in an environment in which you can tinker around with some things on the phone in front of the owner of the phone. It is not a bad trick, but it was one that I saw on a random YouTube video a few months back when searching for tricks with iPhones. There is also a brief reference on how to do the trick with an Android phone.

This is a very expensive trick, no doubt due to the top-notch workmanship on the dog tags. After watching the promotional video, I thought I was getting something else. I was disappointed.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for BLINK

Publisher: Mystic Arts Productions
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $99.95
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Manufacturer's Description:


In the beginning, the performer will BORROW any Smartphone from a spectator and will search for a tattoo design on the internet. The spectator will choose one of the designs from the list. Next, the performer will show his metal tag chain, which is empty on both sides, and puts it in the spectator's hand. The miracle happens suddenly as performer visually transfers the design from the BORROWED phone and SEALS it on the metal tag, which is being held by the spectator the entire time.
A magic metal tag like never before.

FEATURES: Perform with any borrowed Smartphone
Fully examinable before and after effect
Easy to perform
Re-set in seconds
Multiple variations

WHAT YOU GET: FOUR precious crafted gimmicks that will last you a lifetime (illustrated by Skymember)
Necklace ball chain approximately 60cm long
Silicone cover (For metal tag)
USB Credit Card (Instructional Video)
Velvet bag (5cm x 7cm)

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