Locked for Life

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Locked for Life

Postby Farlsborough » Nov 13th, '06, 14:37

Locked for Life

Cost: £29.99

Effect: (Example presentation) The magician asks a married couple to remove their wedding rings and clip them on to a padlock - he then asks them to turn the number wheels, locking the rings firmly in place. He hands them a pad and paper and asks them to write down the code... "no, the code before you locked them on..."
Uh-oh! The magician asks the couple to try lucky numbers, phone numbers etc. but nothing works - he then asks them to try the date on which they got married, and bingo - the lock is opened.

1 - very easy to do.

Review: I'll try to keep this brief because my reviews are usually the coma-inducing side of thorough!
This is a plug-and-play trick. It feels a little pricey, but you really do get a prop that I expect will last you for life. No secret buttons or gaffs - the padlock, unlock others on the market, is almost 100% examinable... infact, it is "examinable", just not "testable", ie. you cannot leave it with the spectator after the effect to try many other different combinations. But I really love it, because much as I do love receiving a new trick, whacking in the DVD etc. and practicing to perfection, sometimes you just want something which is powerful straight out of the packet, and this lives up to that very well.

You get - the very well made padlock and the secret. That's it. No magnets, no "holding it at an angle" - the secret is simple and beautifully idiot proof. The trick plays out well because it uses several different hooks - the random prediction, the emotions associated with marriage (or the ring used if you present it in a different way) and the amusing bit of anxiety in the spectator as they are thinking "I really hope he knows what he's doing..."

One important fact: the website states "The number doesn't have to be a year of birth, it could be the first four digits of a phone number, an important year to a spectator (more personal!)...anything you want!" This is not strictly true, or at least, could be misleading. When you receive the prop you will immediately realise what could work and what wouldn't, and how you could build many different presentations around it, but the fact remains you cannot have the lock open at simply any combination they think of at your will - other, more expensive and more gimmick-laden and non-examinable locks on the market do this, but in my opinion this is easily versatile enough.

Overall: I will be putting this straight in my close-up jacket pocket, safe in the knowledge that if ever I'm feeling off form - or my fingers are freezing cold...! - I have a fantastic self working effect that needs only your presentation to power it. Again, £30 feels a lot of money but you could dream up a hundred variations of how to perform this (perhaps locking two specs together by the belt loops...?!) without worrying about angles or moves to pull off, and again, I'm convinced this effect will last a long, long time. Recommended.

[Breakdown - powerful and very easy to do trick, but effectively it is just the one trick with possible different presentations, and £30 feels a lot to splash out on one prop - but you get your money's worth!)


Postby David R. » Nov 13th, '06, 22:18

Very nice review!However you left out if the spectator can be allowed to be the one to unlock it.


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Postby copyright » Nov 13th, '06, 22:50

After looking at this, I have mixed feelings. Mostly because the method looked obvious after reading the first paragraph. There could only be one way. As part of a greater effect, this lock could be great. For £29.99 I'd like the lock to be designed so that the gimmick could be 'switched off' so to speak.

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Postby Farlsborough » Nov 13th, '06, 23:53

Yes, the spectator can indeed be the one to unlock it - infact, the spectator handles it throughout - the only necessity is that they *don't* see the combination before they swizzle the numbers, otherwise it's all a bit dull! :D

Copyright, congratulations on working out the method. I would, however, put forward the following points:
I am quite an analytical thinker, yet even I was waiting for some secret button/gaff/gimmick etc, so the method is not "obvious", especially to those who are not familiar with the ways a magic creator's mind works. Yes, the workings are simple, but I still think they are ingenious - I think this is a case where it would be wise to put yourself into "spectator mode", rather than think "I've worked that out, that's rubbish". As Paul Daniels said at Ipswich, "there are no bad tricks, just bad presentations."

You are of course welcome to your opinions! But if you take a look at the "10 greatest reaction tricks" thread or something along that line, you will find someone who uses this regularly lists it as one of their biggest hitters. Also, you mention you would like it to be able to be "switched off" - that would involve a) it more than likely being less examinable, and b) the magician taking back in his hands - well - if one is any sort of magician, you might as well "switch out" than "switch off" if it's back in your own hands! And I would argue that once the lock has been returned to you, it's time to get on and do another trick... yes, it's good to have examinable props, but why waste good magic time letting every single spectator present have five minutes "handling" of every prop you use after every trick? People happily and very effectively use props far less examinable than this without suspicion.

As for the price, I would say: make this machined brass prop - from scratch - for less, and I will gladly concede!


Postby copyright » Nov 14th, '06, 00:34

Copyright, congratulations on working out the method. I would, however, put forward the following points:
I am quite an analytical thinker, yet even I was waiting for some secret button/gaff/gimmick etc, so the method is not "obvious", especially to those who are not familiar with the ways a magic creator's mind works.

Don't be too hasty, I might not have worked it out. I'm not that technically minded but one method which would definitely work immediately came to me on reading the ad copy. Maybe I know more about locks than I think I do. I do like those burglar books by Laurence Block.

A switch would be perfectly acceptable. If the suppliers sold one gimmicked + one ungimmicked for £29.99 then I would buy the effect.

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Postby nameless » Jun 26th, '07, 23:01

Sorry for bumping this old post. I was just having a look at some on The Center Tear and came across The Dream Lock which looks quite interesting. Obviously Locked for Life is a lot cheaper...how different are the two locks? Would it be possible to play Locked for Life as a mentalist thing, like "I'm going to transmit the numbers to you".

Farisborough said "but the fact remains you cannot have the lock open at simply any combination they think of at your will", without giving the game away, how is that any different from using a phone number or whatever?

It's all a bit confusing :?

If anyone knows of any other similar lock effects I'd be interested to know about those as well.

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Postby Totally Mental » Jul 22nd, '07, 12:56

I bought the Dream Lock a few weeks ago - I have been looking for a good combination lock for some time.

On first glance I wasn't overly impressed - it is very expensive (not a problem if it can be given to the audience to play with) - sadly this can't. It can be made to lock very easily, but it can also be opened very easily.

I have been playing around with it for a few weeks and have worked out a handling that will make the audience member feel like they have fairly tried different combinations (which in fact they haven't) but I am not particularly happy with the lock and my search continues.

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Postby Hade » Sep 11th, '07, 16:55

Sounds like a nice, different trick.
I imagine there's loads of possibilities for locking other stuff up.
However, they're all a little pricey. Dream lock: $97!!! I'd better get saving!

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Postby Thirteen » Mar 20th, '10, 12:41

Like Totally Mental, I wasn't overly impressed at my first sight of Dream Lock when I bought it, but it's not too difficult to develop some good handlings with it. It's a very well made piece of kit though which gives more scope than the Lock for Life by the sounds of it. But really, do you need it?

I can't see why any imaginative performer couldn't do the same effect with Locked for Life as they do with Dream Lock. The reveal should be just as beautiful because, after all, it's your performace, not the padlock, that really sells the reveal isn't it?

So why do I own Dream Lock instead of Locked for Life? Actually, I've just ordered Locked for Life and it will be replacing my Dream Lock! :wink:

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Postby Smilada » Apr 5th, '10, 06:01

Where can I order Locked for Life or Dreamlock?

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Locked for Life Locked for Life

Postby roddy » May 6th, '10, 07:01

Can this be used as a padlock on a backpack providing there's no rough treatment. I was thinking it would be great for traveling.

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Postby Mr Grumpy » May 21st, '10, 12:12

Hullo, magical persons.

I'm really interested in padlock effects but they all seem to have some problems, like how this one is examinable but not testable. Surely even if you have excellent spectator control there's a possibility that someone will say, 'Wait, can I see the lock?' at the end. What are you going to do, say 'No you can't?'

As someone mentioned, to be completely safe with this, you need a switch. I wouldn't mind buying a more-or-less matching padlock and using that as a switch. But does anyone know if there is one available that matches closely enough?

(Or since this thread started... can anyone mention a newer padlock that's safer to use?)

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Postby EckoZero » May 21st, '10, 18:34

If it's a general lock effect you're after rather than this specific presentation then Paul Brook's Locked In Thought is the stuff.

People can play with it as much as they want.

In fact if I didn't work with the people I work with (because they'd probably nick it!) I'd happily leave it with them all day and come back to it to find them still satisfied it was a perfectly normal lock

You wont find much better anywhere and it's nothing - a rigmarole with a few bits of paper and lots of spiel. That is Mentalism

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Postby Mr Grumpy » May 22nd, '10, 11:57

Thanks for the reply, my devilish friend.

I reckon I'm going to buy this.

Though I'm a bit confused by some people saying there's no gaff. Surely it's not like Sankey's key trick (I forget the name) that comes with keys, so you think it's going to be some clever gimmick, but in fact the keys are just normal keys.

Put it this way. Could you swap the padlock for another similar padlock bought from a normal lock shop?

At £45 I'd be surprised if that were the case!

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Re: Locked for Life

Postby spooneythegoon » May 22nd, '10, 19:22

Farlsborough wrote:unlock others on the market

I thought for a second that meant it worked with any padlock... :(

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