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Is this the ULTIMATE course in learning card magic?

Is this the ULTIMATE course in learning card magic?

Liam Montier's Essential Learn Card Magic Toolbox is probably the product we are most proud of at BBM. 16 hours of clear, detailed, fun tuition in card magic, right from total novice to utter ninja.This eight DVD boxset is the solid foundation in wizardry with pasteboards that WE wanted when we were starting out on this journey. It's only £59.99 and, if you're tempted, you can get it HERE!

Well, earlier this week I received an email from a customer who had purchased the Essential Learn Card Magic Toolbox and felt compelled to write a review. His incredible, indepth writeup took my breath away. Nearly 1500 words on what this series meant to him, and exactly WHY he felt the material was so special. 

And, here it is - the complete, unsolicited review for Essential Learn Card Magic Toolbox from J Lebowitz:


Excellent instruction
Well paced
Never boring
Comprehensive and foundational
Shows how the sleights taught are actually used to create a magic trick
Great production values
Incredible bang for the buck

No instruction on the Pass in the Controls DVD. I wish I had bought this when I started with card magic about a year ago (Okay. Not really a con, but I had to say this)

If you are just getting into card magic or even intermediate and at all serious about learning sleight of hand: Stop! Go no further and just buy this. Seriously.

This may be an odd way to start a review, but--yes--Liam Montier's Essential Card Magic Toolbox is just that good. My only disappointment about purchasing this set was that I hadn't bought it about a year ago. Liam really teaches you the basis of sleight of hand card magic.

As with most budding card-magic hobbyists today, I started out with YouTube. I looked for advice on exactly what to buy and purchased Hugard and Braue's Royal Road to Card Magic and Expert Card Technique. These books are definitely essentials, but they are not the easiest books to interpret. The thing is, sleight of hand is a physical thing and it's not always so easy to figure out a move from a description in a book. Undaunted, I started collecting the volumes of Card College. CC is more up to date and the illustrations are clearer, but it's still a rough go for a newbie.

I am all for books and do not regret the purchases. Books definitely give you a lot of bang for the buck. For less than $10 you can pick up a used copy of Expert Card Technique and have the descriptions of 100s of sleights and a more card tricks than you'd ever get on a DVD.

The thing is, if you can actually SEE a move done it takes less time to get it down. Once you have the basic sleights down, it's much easier to understand the complicated stuff and all of a sudden the books make a lot more sense.

And that's where this set comes in. By learning false shuffles and cuts, perfecting your double lift, learning forces, and mastering card controls, your magic will grow synergistically. These moves are the basis for most card magic. Once you've got these down, you can move on to the Elmsley Count Project and do some incredible packet tricks.

Liam Montier did a simply incredible job of putting this all together. If you are just starting, do not fear--each DVD begins at the very beginning. I didn't think, for instance, that I needed to needed to learn how to hold a break or do a double undercut--this was basic stuff that I already knew. But when I put in the Controls DVD, I just hit play and, what do you know, I learned some tips to make my break better and make my double undercut truly deceptive. Even if you think you know what you are doing, Liam can help you brush up even the most basic of sleights.

Liam has also selected sleights that will be useful to you. There numerous sleights he could have chosen, what you get here, though, is a curated selection that will serve as a strong foundation for your magic. So this is not meant to teach you everything. It's meant to be foundational and it works.

The quality of the instruction is simply unparalleled. Liam has a patient way of teaching that is neither too slow or too fast. He goes over the move, concentrates on technique, hand position, and then goes over common pitfalls that keep a sleight from being invisible. His pacing is perfect. I often pause the DVD to try something over again but have not had to rewind because I missed something. Liam's teaching style is calm, precise, and patient. That said, he is never boring. He may have a reserved demeanor, but you clearly pick up on his endless sense of wonder and love for card magic. This is perfect instruction. (Even in the promotional video--and magic DVD promotions have more overblown hyperbole than TV infomercials--he just can't over-hype the product. Even when he says 'ultimate.' He just doesn't have it in him.)

There are some excellent teachers on YouTube to be sure, but you will not get the consistency and clarity of instruction for every sleight the way you will get it here. So if you are wondering why you might bother to purchase something that you can 'get for free' online, the reason is that you will NOT be able to find all the sleights seen here on line or find the same consistency of instruction that you will get from Liam.

Moreover, this set is competitively priced. You get 8 DVDs for $75. That's less than $10 a DVD (or less than you'd pay for a movie on DVD that you find in the bargain bin at Target.)

As an added bonus, each instructional DVD has a group of tricks at the end so you can apply the sleights that you learned to create real magic. What's more is that these tricks are for real--these are not throw aways.

To make the package even better, there are two DVDs of tricks alone: Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks and Ultimate Impromptu Magic. The first DVD has 11 self-working tricks that don't require any sleight of hand. In spite of what you might think, these tricks are not only deceptive but usable. They are well taught. As Liam teaches you, with sleightless magic you really need to hone your presentation and know the procedures cold so that they work. The final DVD, with Liam and Cameron Francis, shows you how the sleights you just learned can be combined for some amazing, impromptu magic.

There are at least 3 ways to buy this set: 1) you can buy the entire toolbox of 8 DVDs; 2) you can buy 3 DVDs in the 'Learn Sleights Box Set' which only includes False Shuffles, Double Lifts, and the Elmsley Project; 3) you can buy the DVDs separately.

My advice: buy the entire 8 DVD set. The 3 DVD set is okay, but you will absolutely want the Forces and Controls DVDs and (should you ever see them) you will kick yourself if you passed up on the Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks and Ultimate Impromptu Card Magic DVDs. As to buying the DVDs separately, you will save a boatload of cash if you just buy the 8 DVD set.

Anything major missing? Just one thing--there is no instruction on the Classic Pass or its variations on the Controls DVD. Although, you will learn a number of controls that can sub in for the pass, I would be grateful if Liam would come out with a Pass instructional DVD at some point to round out the set.

Again, you must realize that no DVD set could teach you everything. There are unlimited numbers of sleights and techniques in card magic as well as variations of those sleights and techniques. However, this DVD set is not just foundational. It teaches the basics but goes beyond the basics. Better than that, it really teaches you how to do the sleights correctly and how they are integrated to create a magic trick. Realize as well that learning and refining the sleights requires more than just watching a DVD; it will take a lot of work and effort.

I am not exaggerating when I say that this has been the most useful and important purchase I have made in learning card magic. This modest DVD package lives up the magic-store, best-ever hype without ever having been hyped this way. I am certain that my book purchases will serve me well way down the road but this DVD set has been the key to unlock their usefulness. And that's real magic."


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