Beyond ESP 2 by Michael Murray

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Beyond ESP 2 by Michael Murray

Postby Replicant » Jul 21st, '05, 12:30



Image

The Effect
A deck of Zener cards is used in various ways to demonstrate the existence of ESP.

Cost
£14.99

Available from Magicbox.
Magicbox no longer have an exclusive on Beyond ESP 2 (BE2), but I have yet to find it cheaper elsewhere.

Difficulty
(1=easy to do, 2=No sleights, but not so easy, 3=Some sleights used,
4=Advanced sleights used, 5=Suitable for experienced magicians only)

1 or 3
Some routines require no sleights, but most require a false shuffle or other sleight (see Review for details).

Review
Included in the package:
:arrow: 56 cards, comprising two marked decks of 25 cards each and six gaffed cards
:arrow: Black card case
:arrow: 32-page instruction booklet
:arrow: Two identical envelopes, each large enough to hold a single ESP card
:arrow: One small card listing the twelve signs of the Zodiac

Image Image Image
Photos courtesy of Magicbox

Upon opening the parcel, I was pleasantly surprised to have received all of the above. I guess a part of me was expecting a single deck of 25 cards and nothing else, so this was a nice bonus.
The BE2 cards come with a high quality 32-page instruction booklet with clear instructions on how to perform seven effects. These are accompanied by numerous black and white photographs to assist learning. Contributors are Michael Murray, Paul Younghusband, Lee Earle, Banachek, Wayne Dobson, Scott Drebus and Richard Osterlind. Some brief ideas and patter for cold reading are also included and make for interesting reading. I found all the effects to be good, with 3SP being a favourite. This effect requires the possible use of a Mexican Turnover, which is clearly explained in the instructions and should be within the abilities of most, with some practice. Some of the effects require a stacked deck and as such, false shuffles should be incorporated. To this end, the Charlier Shuffle is also explained; this is a simple but convincing false shuffle. The booklet contains a short chapter on Further Reading with a list of suggested books and DVDs.

I was also very pleased with the quality of the cards themselves. Being manufactured by the USPCC, I would expect nothing less. They are plastic-coated poker sized cards and handle very well. Bicycle stock is not used, which is not an issue here as these cards should really not be treated like regular playing cards, anyway. (In view of the nature of the cards and the atmosphere you are attempting to set, excessive fanning and use of card sleights is not appropriate or recommended). The inclusion of six gaffed cards is very welcome and opens up the possibilities of coming up with my own routines. Two small envelopes are provided for use in one of the routines, as is a small card listing the twelve signs of the Zodiac. The two marked decks (one red-backed and one black-backed) are fantastic and bring me nicely onto my next point.

Image

The marking system is absolutely ingenious and will never be spotted on casual inspection (or, for that matter, on prolonged scrutiny). In any case, with the proper presentation, spectators should not even suspect you are using marked cards. Before reading the secret, I spent a good ten minutes scrutinizing the plain black backs of the cards, which proved to be fruitless. The marking system is very subtle and once learned, it takes a glance to identify the card in question. I had it down in just a few minutes and will be able to perfect it with practice. All the cards come in a plain black case with "International Paranormal Research Association" printed on it - a very nice touch which only serves to heighten the sense of mystery should you choose to use it to store your cards.

Overall
BE2 is easily the best set of ESP cards I have ever used. Everything comes in a high quality package and is worth every penny. I have been out of the mentalism scene for a number of years now (card magic being my preference), but BE2 has now rekindled my interest. The scope for coming up with further routines is enormous for those of us creative enough to invent our own effects; if the included material does not inspire you to experiment, nothing will! My highest recommendation.

Score: 10/10

Last edited by Replicant on Jan 11th, '11, 14:16, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby bananafish » Jul 21st, '05, 17:37

That is possibly one of the best reveiws I have seen. Certainly pretty anyway.

However, as nice as it is it has been reveiwed before here and we do tend to preferpeople to add comments to existing reviews rather than duplicate them. (It makes it easier for people searching for information).

Having said that - please don't let it put you off writing more reviews to that standard....

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Postby dat8962 » Jul 21st, '05, 18:27

I totally agree with Bananafish- What a great review. Well written and extremely well illustrated. What a difference the occasional and carefully selected image makes.

Member of the Magic Circle & The 2009 British Isles Close-Up Magician of the Year
It's not really an optical illusion - it just looks like one!
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Postby Replicant » Jul 22nd, '05, 07:56

Apologies for not locating the first review for this. I must confess that although I did carry out a search, I only went as far as scanning the first couple of pages for Beyond ESP 2. Had I checked the third page, I would have found adethomp's review! I will be more thorough next time.

Thank you both for the kind words; it will encourage me to write more reviews in future. :D

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Postby Mandrake » Jul 22nd, '05, 11:11

it will encourage me to write more reviews in future
Echoing the comments above, this was a real pleasure to read, so well laid out and professional - but we'll expect nothing less from you in future :wink: !.

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Postby Sym » Jul 22nd, '05, 13:10

Mandrake wrote:but we'll expect nothing less from you in future :wink: !.


Indeed, I think he's setting a president! Hehe...

I'm actually looking forward to putting in as much effort for my next review =o)

~Sym~

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Postby magicdiscoman » Jul 22nd, '05, 14:21

this is definatly going on my list thanxs m8.

magicdiscoman
 

Postby calexa » Jul 24th, '05, 15:33

Wow, great review. I have this deck, and I can only agree: it is excellent!

Magixx

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Postby GeordieJester » Jun 19th, '06, 12:45

Sorry to everyone for reawakening an old thread. But I would just like to add that I also think these are a fantastic product !

I realise that these are a bit 'old news' for most of you, but I got these at the weekend for Father's Day from the cats (dont ask!)

I spent a while looking for the marks on the deck before reading the booklet. I was way off ! I thought I knew what it must be, but it wasn't. Very clever system.

One nice comment to make at the start is to hold them up to the light and say that they have been printed PLAIN black on the back so there is no way of seeing through the cards. This indirectly points the spec away from the idea of a tricked or marked deck.

The most impressive thing is the feeling of quality. Everything is really beautifully made. And with the addition of double-backs, smart little gold envelopes and a zodiac card just really finishes it all off nice. Oh and the box too ! Great thing to bring out.. and nicely marked up with "International Paranormal Research Association" branding.

The routines work well, with 3SP, Think as I think and Zener cycle looking the most useful for me personally. 3SP is getting great reactions. I love doing each stage and leaving the props and cards that have already been used to one side of the mat (laid out nicely). It means when you end the final part the cards all look aesthetically pleasing.

There are so many times you feel slightly short-changed when buying magic I feel. Things that could have been better etc etc. But in this case....... I have no hesitation in saying that these are worth every penny. and at 15 quid - a "must-buy"



Paul

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Postby AJ82 » Jun 19th, '06, 13:09

Very nice review. I must improve on my rewiewing skills.

A pleasure to read.

Alex

Magic is real, just look around you, some of the most amazing things have no reason, no explanation but are very real.
Quote - Appreciate The Trick For What It Is!
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Postby Discombobulator » Jun 19th, '06, 15:21

When I bought this from Magicbox in Newcastle, Michael did a demo for me and also sold me a DVD which includes the effects in the instructions as well as several bonus effects. Its good strong magic. well recommended.

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Postby Johnny Wizz » Jun 19th, '06, 15:51

Discombobulator wrote:When I bought this from Magicbox in Newcastle, Michael did a demo for me and also sold me a DVD which includes the effects in the instructions as well as several bonus effects. Its good strong magic. well recommended.


What is the DVD? I love this deck and am always interested in any new options

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Postby GeordieJester » Jun 19th, '06, 16:08

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Postby IAIN » Jun 19th, '06, 16:14

submodalities...hmmmm

i was dissapointed with that dvd...when i bought it there was no mention of it just being an extention of ESP2 (which i didnt have at the time)...

and it being filmed at a haunted location...well, what a waste that was - i felt they could of made alot more of that fact, as it is, you see one giant fireplace, and then thats it...

...might of well said "filmed in my uncle's shed"...

full marks to the deck though and some of the effects...

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Postby Johndoe » Jun 20th, '06, 01:38

great deck great review

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