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Gonzo Review

One DVD, one gimmick, $90 bucks and one Gonzo Review. Is it gem or is it rubble? Stay tuned to find out.

Gonzo Review: Effect

Many effects are possible with Gonzo. Basically it allows you to vanish any small, ahem . . . metal . . . object in a very clean way.

Gonzo Review: Method

As mentioned in the ad copy, this is a hold out. It's worn on your forearm right about at the elbow. It's comfortable to wear and out of the way when not in use. It hides under your sleeve. You'll need long sleeves. As long as you can roll it up to about 3/4ths of the way up your forearm, the gimmick stays hidden. When the gimmick is in use, you will have to deal with some angles for sure, but it's still very workable.

Whatever arm is wearing the Gonzo gimmick is the side you have to protect. In other words, if you wear it on your right arm, then your right side is a bad angle. The other thing to consider is that your spectators should be standing. You need have them somewhat looking down at your hands. Watch the ad trailer and you'll see the correct vantage point. As long as they're looking at your hands from that perspective, you're fine. Also, they can be seated, but you'll need to bring your hands down a little lower than you might normally.

The gimmick is "activated" when you roll up your sleeve. Activating it is super easy. There is a one time set up that you'll need to do to make it fit your particular forearm. Once you do that, it's super easy to put the gimmick on in the morning (or whenever) and take it off at night (or whenever). It stays totally hidden and undetectable when you're not using it. Once you "activate" it, you just have to watch the angles I've mentioned.

This is a pretty simple device to operate. It only has two moving parts, and you only move them twice. You move them just before you start to use the gimmick. Then you move them again when you're done using the gimmick. It takes seconds to do, is completely invisible and can be done right in front of the spectators. Any venue where people are standing (e.g., cocktail parties, etc.), this will work quite well.

I'd say that this is good for all skill levels. Though this is nothing like Chuck Leech's Raven, if you've handled a Raven, then you'll be very familiar with the type of movement and usage potential this has. For those curious, the advantage of this over the Raven is that this is attached to your body and not your clothing. It's also easier to operate and a bit more practical.

Keep in mind, however, that this is not designed for a group. It's more like for one on one or maybe 2 or 3 people max.

Gonzo Review: Ad Copy Integrity

After re-reading the ad copy and re-watching the ad trailer, I've gotta say, I'm impressed. It is very accurate. The only thing that I feel needs a bit of clarification is the 8th bullet point that says that this is best used "with small objects like coins, candy, rings, bottle caps, gum, etc." This is true for sure. Just keep in mind that candy and gum will need to be shimmed, and so will the ring — gold is not "attracted" to the Gonzo gimmick.

Shimming a ring doesn't quite work unless it has a crown. In other words, a wedding band won't work. Lastly, the appearing dollar bill at 1:03 may or may not have been taught on the DVD. I honestly don't remember. The DVD was FOREVER long (in a good way). It took me three different sittings to get through it. I don't remember that bill production being taught. However, it may have been. Secondly, even if it wasn't, once you understand how Gonzo works, you'll be able to reverse engineer (easily) how to do that production.

Finally, just keep in mind that anything that isn't "attractive" to Mr. Gonzo will need to be supplied by you rather than borrowed. Everything else in the ad copy is solid.

Gonzo Review - Magic Reviewed

Gonzo Review: Product Quality

This is where this thing really shines. Everything is included. You get the Gonzo hold out plus all the stuff needed to properly fit it to your forearm. Further, you get some little extra doohickeys that can be added to it to allow even more stuff that wasn't even shown in the trailer. There's also a bonus thing included that allows you to add a little something to the gimmick that allows you to "deactivate" it in a more automatic way. You don't need this, at all, to use Gonzo, but if you want this extra feature, you got it.

On top of that, they included a sheet of shims that you can cut to size for doctoring up any of your non "attractive" props (e.g., gum, candy, etc.). Further, you can even use this stuff on normal coins. On top of that you are also given a Lubor's Lens and the special penny needed for the penny to dime effect. The went all out in making sure you have all the tools you need to do the effects shown in the trailer. You'll have to supply your own Tic Tac box, but that's about it.

The teaching is in depth, thorough and complete to be sure. They do a good job of covering each different technique in its own segment. Then at the end, it pulls it all together. It's an excellent tutorial.

As thorough as everything was, there was one thing (i.e., how to shim a straw) that was not covered very well at all. Also, there was one moment during the presentation of a particular method for a coin vanish that requires the coin to "jump" into place thus making a little bit of noise. The audio just so happened to cut out at that moment. That felt a little fishy to me.

Other than those two pretty minor things, the product quality is solid.

Gonzo Review: Final Thoughts

When you consider the quality of the gimmick, plus all the stuff that comes in the box coupled with the in depth training and the possibilities inherent in this gimmick, $90 bucks is a reasonable price to pay. If you perform in the venues/circumstances mentioned above and you liked anything in the trailer, then you'll be very happy with your purchase.

Final Verdict:
4.5 Stars with a Stone Status of Gem.

Available at your Favorite Magic Dealer. Dealer's see Murphy's Magic for details.

13 Comments

  • Daniel Cochren says:

    Sounds cool & fun! If I had an extra hundred bucks lying around I’d nab it, for sure……

  • Steve Black says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Great review! I think that the reason this was such a quality product was the involvement of Paul Harris. It just seems odd that after investing so much money and time he would pull out and not have anything to do with the final release. I read the criticism that this could only realistically be performed with the spectator looking down so I didn’t bother because of the price. I might have another think about it after reading your review!

    • Jeff Stone says:

      @Steve – Thanks. Keep in mind, that the angle (spectator looking down) is still required. Also, I had no idea Paul Harris was involved. What’s the story there?

      • Steve Black says:

        Hi Jeff,

        I was told at the time of release that Paul Harris had financed the development of this with the view of marketing this under his own label but in the end pulled out but gave permission for the creator to market the product under his own name.I can only assume that he just thought the product was not good enough and so sacrificed his investment to protect the ‘Paul Harris’ brand.I think the angle issue (spectator looking down) is still an issue for me as it may have been for Mr Harris which is a shame as a great deal of time and thought was given to this release.

  • Victoria says:

    Hi Jeff

    One thing, can one not rolled up their sleeves when performing this? And would that solve the issue regarding angels?

    Victoria

    • Jeff Stone says:

      @Victoria – That’s an excellent point. You’d have to have them still slightly rolled up to have enough of the gimmick exposed in order for it to work. Also, retracting the gimmick may be a bit more tricky if your sleeves are down. It’s worth experimenting for sure.

      • Dr. J. says:

        I would say that if one were to use shirts with French Cuffs on them it would be a bit less finicky to do with the sleeves unrolled and even buttoned up (or closed via cufflinks).

        It will still take some fine tuning either way, but indeed it can be done.

  • Dr. J. says:

    Just for those wondering: ‘ferromagnetic’ metals like iron, cobalt and nickel (or alloys containing one or more of those metals) will be attracted to magnets.

    Gold, copper and silver are not normally ferromagnetic but they ‘could’ become magnetized if placed in a magnetic field.

  • Charles Ellers says:

    Jeff I am new to your website. From what I have seen I think you may be able to help me out of a little difficulty. I have been at best a 55 year hobbyist. Other than a few bar gigs and family entertainment over the years I have not put in the time to be a finger flicker but I think I do have good presentational and audience mgt. skills. Most of my magic is from old skill technology and now thatI am retired and can put in the time I thought I would concentrate on bringing the presentation of what I have accumulated to the forefront. I have made a promise to only look at accessory items that might enhance an existing effect[i.g.flash, smoke,special holdouts etc.concentrating on the delivery of the “wow” factor. Which brings me to the question of “Can I ask you to review and suggest items that fit that criteria without making waves?” Also I have been trying to find a “Funkenring” to no avail.Last but not least years ago there was an item called “The Mystery Adder”. It was a cardboard sleeve with a window that required the spectator to add one by one a series of numbers thru a window cut into the sleeve. No-one and I mean no-one ever added them correctly as easy as it appeared to be. Cannot find them anymore. Would make a great giveaway or lead in. Any help you may offer would be greatly appreciated on the topics above.

    • Jeff Stone says:

      @Charles – Thanks for the post and welcome to the site. The reviews will pick back up in the new year. I’ll try to look for things that fit what you’re looking for. As for the Mystery Adder, I’ve not heard of that, and I’m not sure where to get Funkenrings.

  • Tim Flanigan says:

    This trick Gonzo is JUNK. I have been performing for over 40 years and I don’t think I ever saw a trick that sold for as much as this did and I can’t use it. Maybe and only maybe if you are doing a trick for one person and have them stand in front of you and instruct them that they can’t move and must stay where you put them. Then and only then you might pull it off. Bad investment The only thing that is GONZO is your money.

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