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Vice Review

Official Review

May 30th, 2022 9:51am
Reviewed by James Sanden
“Vice” by Jeff Prace allows the performer to visually squeeze a lifesaver candy into an oval, then hand it out to the spectator, who may then eat it. For $30 you get two gimmicks, 50 altered real mints for giving away, plus materials to build what looks like a Lifesavers roll of candies that allows you to carry everything in your pocket for performance. The tutorial is 43 minutes and is quite comprehensive for what is a fairly straightforward method.

Jeff has clearly performed this many, many times, and the details in the instructions reflect this. In the tutorial he teaches how to build the gimmicked Lifesavers tube, 3 ways to approach the switch (spoiler alert: there’s a switch), a kicker ending where an image on the Lifesavers tube transforms, plus two bonus routines: a linking Lifesavers effect and a way to “catch” a Lifesaver on a pen in midair. Both bonus routines take advantage of the nature of the gimmick in an “out of the box” way, but the mid-air catch of the Lifesaver on a pen is far more deceptive and magical.

I think the most important question is: would it be weird for you to give away candy to strangers that you just squeezed between your fingers? If you perform for friends and family, or do “street magic, then it’s likely fine. But if you’re a professional magician, paid to entertain, then handing someone a mint to put in their mouth that you’ve just squished between your fingers would likely be weird. (Several of the people in the tutorial seem surprised to be asked to eat the altered mint, including one person who said, “I’m supposed to eat this?”) At the same time, if you’re interested in creating a weird, unusual moment and want to give your audience a strange experience, then this might be right up your alley. There’s no disputing it is a surreal, unique effect with the potential to have a strong impact. Alternatively, if you have a clever, reality bending premise, this might be the perfect solution. (I’m thinking Andy of the Jerx might love this.) But please, if you haven’t asked these questions of yourself and thought through the answers, do not go around awkwardly asking strangers to eat candy you squished between your fingers. And of course, if you do hand the candy out, you will run out after 50 performances. Refills are available at the moment for $7 for 25 mints, but I’m sure they won’t sell them forever, so keep that in mind. If you don’t want to hand out the candy (or if you run out and they no longer sell refills,) Jeff did suggest lacquering one of the squished mints so that you can use it over and over again. While that’s true, it does feel like doing so defeats the major benefit of the routine, but you may disagree.

In my mind, either “Vice” is for you or it isn’t. As I said in the beginning, if you like the idea of visually squeezing a lifesaver candy into an oval, then handing it to the spectator to eat, then you’ll love this. But personally, I wouldn’t perform this in a million years, but that’s not because it’s a bad trick. It’s just not my style. Your mileage may vary.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Vice

Author: Prace, Jeff
Publisher: Murphy's Magic Supplies, Inc.
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $29.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

Handing out an impossible object as a souvenir is one of the most memorable things you can do to close a routine. But, can you eat it? Usually, no, unless Jeff Prace is performing Vice.

Vice allows you to take out a simple Lifesavers hard candy mint, gently hold it between your fingers and slowly squeeze the candy until it is fully compressed and distorted. This is where most tricks stop, but with Vice, you can instantly hand out the crushed mint as a souvenir. Your spectator can even taste the mint to verify that it is, in fact, real!

Ridiculously easy to perform, yet so bewildering to spectators. You'll love the stunned looks on their faces as they hold it in their palms wondering how you made a hard candy easily bend and suspend its new shape.

Includes everything you need to start performing immediately and you can learn & perform in minutes.

What you'll get:

- Reusable performance gimmicks
- 50 real, edible crushed mints to hand out (extra refill mints available)
- Online video instructions jam-packed info including performance ideas, handlings, tips & ideas
- PDF label templates to print your own favorite mint labels.

(Gimmicks and Online Instructions)

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