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Paul Harris Presents Phone Phreak (iPhone 5) Review

Official Review

February 21st, 2016 2:33am
Reviewed by James Sanden
“Phone Phreak” by Jeff Prace is a method allowing the performer to perform one of three effects with an iPhone. First, a bill trapped beneath the transparent back cover of an iPhone visually transforms from a one to a five to a twenty, which the audience can then remove from the case themselves. Second, a torn photo trapped beneath the transparent cover of an iPhone visibly restores itself, after which the audience can remove the restored photo themselves. And finally, the performer can visually move the Apple logo on the back of an iPhone (again beneath the transparent back cover), which the audience can then examine after.

The effects themselves are great ideas, and are clever, organic uses for an iPhone that don’t lead the viewer to credit the magic to an app. The concept behind the method is also fantastic, and allows for some incredibly visual magic that ends with completely examinable props. The unfortunate problem is the execution of the idea. First and foremost, the actual method is not convincing. The concept is wonderful, but the way it looks in practice just isn’t particularly believable. Maybe future versions will appear as they should, but at the moment this one does not.

In addition, the supplied iPhone case is not well made. It must be adjusted with supplied tape in order to stay on (or be held in place with rubber bands), and even then it fits poorly. It also all but makes the phone useless for day-to-day use. The home button is covered by the case, as is the lens for the camera, so it’s clearly designed for performance only. What this also means is that the effect is not particularly practical. If you keep your iPhone in a case you must, prior to performance, remove your normal case, set the phone for performance, then place the Phone Phreak case on it. For one-off performances this is viable, but for casual performers this may be frustrating. And for most, I imagine, the effect isn’t strong enough to warrant the effort.

“Phone Phreak” comes with the necessary props, as well as access to both downloadable and streaming versions of the instructions. The props include a case (the purchaser chooses the type when buying, based on the model of their own iPhone), a sample photo, plus some additional items. The instruction is clear, if a little incomplete. The handling is a little finicky, and Mr. Prace doesn’t fully demonstrate and explain the various options he offers. Instead he offers a basic explanation, then suggests some alternate approaches, but doesn’t cover them in depth. The instructions for set up also require some in-app installations that weren’t well explained and were somewhat counter-intuitive, which could have been easily avoided with a complete tutorial. However, the video offers something I haven’t seen before, which is bookmarks, allowing the viewer to instantly find the exact section of the training they would like to view, which I very much appreciated.

At the end of the day, “Phone Phreak” is a wonderful idea in theory whose execution did not live up to its potential, both in actual method as well as prop. The illusion isn’t particularly convincing, and the included case could have been much better made. Had more development and time been put into the project, it’s entirely possible this could have been an outstanding release. But rather than try and solve some basic problems, this appears to have been sent out the door with less than exacting standards. I rarely say this, but I simply do not recommend “Phone Phreak.”

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Paul Harris Presents Phone Phreak (iPhone 5)

Author: Prace, Jeff
Publisher: Paul Harris
Average Rating:  (3)
Retail Price: $44.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

Paul Harris Presents
Phone Phreak
Created by Jeff Prace

The PHREAKY automatic bill change!

Nothing to palm, ditch, or steal. Everything can be examined!

"This is literally the best idea involving a cell phone I've ever seen. Versatile, visual, and the method is revolutionary. If you have an iPhone, you need this... you know you do."
-Dan Harlan

You show a folded $1 "emergency" dollar (or other currency) stashed under the clear iPhone case that protects your phone. Everyone can clearly see the single dollar bill through the back of the case. Of course, for a bigger emergency you require a bigger bill... a quick wave of your empty hand and the dollar instantly changes to $5! Or if you feel like it, use no cover at all: just a quick shake and the $1 changes to a $5 in full view!

You then drop the cased phone with the changed $5 onto a spectator's hand, and the $5 instantly changes to a $20 bill (or any other bill you would like)!

She can immediately pop off the phone case and remove the $20 bill herself. And there's genuinely nothing else there! Just the phone, the case, and the bill.

EVERYTHING IS EXAMINABLE: The bill, the case, the phone, your hands, your clothes, your body, the room... EVERYTHING! There are no other bills, bits, or gimmicks anywhere to be found.

Or, if you prefer, make a stashed bill instantly vanish under the spectator's hand in a modernized handling of PH's classic "Whack Your Pack!"

You can even use the same PHREAKY method to perform the world's cleanest and EASIEST torn and restored photo!

And for a final Phone Phreak bonus: point out the Apple logo on the back of your iPhone and then magically (and automatically) slide the Apple logo from one end to the other.

This is a brand new PHREAKY method with no shells, palming, or extra stuck on bits. No moves or sleights. Nothing to load, steal, or ditch. Your hands are always empty and EVERYTHING CAN BE EXAMINED. Resets INSTANTLY Everything is 100% examinable No sleight-of-hand No magnets, wires, threads, shells, sticky stuff, extra bits, etc. No palming, loading, stealing, or ditching Adapts to most foreign currencies (see list below)
US, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Europe, Hungary, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Macau, Norway, Russia, Turkey, UK, Uruguay If you have your iPhone, you can get PHREAKY anytime, anywhere, whenever you feel like it!

*IMPORTANT: Phone Phreak will work with any iPhone 4, 4s, 5, 5s, and 6. You must own one of these iPhones to perform Phone Phreak. (Please specify which phone you have when ordering.)

Complete with custom Phone Phreak gimmick and downloadable instruction.

Experience the PHREAKY automatic bill change today!

"This is THE modern way to perform a bill change!"
-Dalton Wayne

"It looks great! I will actually do this and I'm not a fan of phone tricks."
-Nathan Kranzo

"THE most clever use of an iPhone case... EVER!"
-Greg Rostami

"Innovative. Visual. Fooling. Prace is in top form!"
-John Guastaferro

"I saw Jeff performing this on laymen and the reactions were incredible."
-Dave Penn

"Phone Phreak phooled me!"
-Angelo Carbone

"I love it! It's practical, resonant, practically self-working, and so clever that it's just fun to perform."
-Alex Linian

"Jeff Prace is the millennial magic mind for modern mystery."
-Michael Carbonaro

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