Random I-Tunes Song of The Moment: This is Where I Came in by The Bee Gees
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: 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.
4.5 Stars with a Stone Status of Gem.
Available at your Favorite Magic Dealer. Dealer's see Murphy's Magic for details.