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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricks & Effects » » E.S.P. Chips - REVIEW (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Tom Lauten
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Anthony Blake and David Harber’s “E.S.P. chips”

Cost: $45, includes postage and handling within the USA, $10 outside the US via priority airmail.

Available from: http://www.espchips.com

Category: Mentalism utility

Difficulty: 1 out of 5. Not self-working but only basic handling is needed. Routines included vary in difficulty from 1-3 out of 5

They say:
The Breakout "HIT" Of MINDvention 2005!

Mystery Arts Publishing presents Anthony Blake's & David Harber's "E.S.P. Chips" -- as seen in the Dec. 2005 Genii ad and featured in Max Maven's Dec. 05 Magicana Routine "Pentathalon"...

Real 39mm/10gram composite casino chips printed with Rhine/Zener symbols and each chip individually secretly marked for easy detection... ideal for mentalism and mental magic uses...

Featuring routines by Anthony Blake, Jheff, Greg Arce, Max Maven, Rick Maue, Jack Kent Tillar and more to come (future routines available as downloads from a private owners/members only website)...

Limited stock currently available... don't delay...


I say:
At last…someone has provided those of us who perform mentalism effects with a useful alternative to Rhine/Zener cards… chips…as in poker.

Often performers find themselves under suspicion when using ESP cards simply because many people are aware of “card tricks” and “fancy moves”.

“E.S.P. Chips” offer an alternative. One can easily present them as "proper ESP testing" tokens or counters. One could even go so far as to suggest that these “counters” are employed to eliminate any fancy moves, shuffles etc.,... things “tricksters” employ.

Ahhhh but…we know different!

The chips (the size and weight as described in the advertising) feel genuinely hefty and purposeful…almost ceramic. The front is white with a colour ESP symbol on it; circle, cross, wavy lines, square and star patterns are printed, each in their own individual colour. The printing is part of the composite material used to face the chip so there is little chance (if any) of the pattern on the front or back wearing off. The back of each chip is also white. The edges (actually the middle layer of the finished chip) are a rich cream colour. The back sports “The National Institute of Paranormal Studies” printed boldly across it and surrounding this is a repeating circular border of the 5 ESP symbols. All the printing on the back is in black.

Like many esp card sets, the chips are marked so that performers can ascertain the symbol on the face by simply glimpsing the back, The marking system is crystal clear, uncomplicated and integrated more than well enough to assure that spectators could not easily detect the marking method by a casual look. In fact, when face down; the chips will naturally orient themselves in such a way that observers will have a difficult time performing any visual analysis of the backs to begin developing an idea of a marking method.

The package one receives is very impressive. A heavy Ziploc bag containing a full colour cover slip, 10 “E.S.P. Chips” (two sets of the five symbols) in a pocketed sheet of clear vinyl, a velveteen drawstring pouch to keep the chips in during performances and a stapled “booklet” of 10 fully detailed effects produced specially for this product. Contributors include, Anthony Blake, Max Maven, Banachek, Rick Maue, Jack Kent Tillar, Jheff, Greg Arce and others.

The purchaser is also invited to a website devoted to the use of the “E.S.P. Chips” where one can discuss the use of the chips, share performance ideas, get questions answered and download routines written by the good and the great! The site is also the place where future related products would be announced including “gaffed” chips and related items. At the time of writing (December 2005) the site is not yet open but I am told it is merely a matter of a few days away as final details are being ironed out

This new mentalism tool (a TOOL… NOT a one trick pony) is a breath of fresh air. The chips provide an alternative and are substantial both in their construction and in terms of credibility in performance. Like all effects, the manner in which they are presented must be confident and believable but this product will set you on that road in true style and with quality.


Overall: 10/10 A welcome and very convincing departure from standard “ESP testing” materials…beautifully made!
Living at and loving Loch Ness!
Bananafish
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Simon Shaw, Suffolk, England
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Well they certainly sound very nice.

Definitely worth having in the "arsenal". I'm not convinced they could be justified if you were already using Zener Cards, but agree they do make a nice alternative if you are going down the Psychic testing route, and nice well made props are always well worth having.

How examinable are they - and the effects supplied with them and ho likely do you feel the spectators would want to examine them? My guess is that with the pedigree of the authors of the effects they probably wouldn't suspect markings anyway.

I love the idea where there is a devoted forum for people who have bought them. It would be nice if there were more places like that.

Great review. Thanks for posting it.
david_a_whitehead
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I think the effects are excellent and they are very examinable! You will find it extremely difficult to find the marks on these chips. I personally think they are far better than zener cards for mentalists to use.
mattH
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Can some one describe some of the effects that are supplied with
these little gems?
Decomposed
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Quote:
On 2005-12-15 10:30, mattH wrote:
Can some one describe some of the effects that are supplied with
these little gems?


Great review! I got the new catalog and looked at these immediately.

Yes, please, could someone post a list of effects that are supplied? Also, can the markings be clearly seen from a distance?

Thanks in advance,

Candini
cfrye
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You can find three of the effects listed at http://www.hocus-pocus.com/ ; just search for esp chips.


Curt
afknight
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I agree with all of the positives mentioned about these chips... just be mindful that the dye from the blue cloth bag these chips come in (at least my bag was blue) runs onto the chips. Mine are awfully discolored as a result. I haven't looked into getting a new set but I wanted to forewarn anyone who has or plans to get them. The effects are terrific!
Decomposed
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Thanks and thanks! Wow, Curt!
Are these effects on Hocus clean? I mean the matching chip in the envelope, the business card devine (with no NW action) etc?

Candin
cfrye
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Candini,

They're relatively clean. I saw relatively because for the business card prediction you must use a basic skill found in Corinda and elsewhere, and for the chip in envelope you crush the envelope to prove it contains nothing else. There's always a flaw (or we'd be doing real magic), but those two effects are just the tip of the iceberg. The manuscript comes with about another ten effects and you get access to an area on the espchips.com site to exchange knowledge with other owners.


Curt
Tophie
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I tried ordering these direct from espchips.com and the toll free number is not active and the order link does not seem to work...

Anyone have any recommendations?
Decomposed
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Thanks Curt!
A_Blake
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Hi, this is Tony Blake, co-creator of E.S.P. Chips...

We checked into the website and toll-free ordering challenges...

The shopping cart on the website apparently developed a glitch but it has been fixed and is now working at full strength... thank you to those that let us know of the problem...

As for the toll-free number... it's been working fine, my partner receives orders everyday via that number as he sells custom designed chips for clients all around the world... we checked to make sure that there weren't any problems but nothing came up...

On the blue bags... we don't know what has caused any dye transfer... we've literally sold hundreds of chip sets and have only received the one notice from afknight... even I carry my chips in the blue bag and have never had the dye transfer... we do take this notice and concern seriously though and are looking into what may have happened...

The one thing that you must be mindful of (and we're not saying afknight did this) is to make sure that your bag does not get wet or if you are in highly humid situations or your chips are used in humid situations (wet hands, bars, etc.) that you might want to dry them quickly before putting them away or wrap them in a small piece of neutral color cloth (muslin or uncolored silk works great) before you place it in the bag... or you can store your chips in another bag or container...

Even with 1 notice we are currently checking out alternative bags to include with the package, possibly a vinyl leather-like bag that would be more protective in the case of wet or humid conditions...

The chips CAN be cleaned (although I don't know as to what extent the dye transfer has caused discoloration)... when they get dirty you can clean them with soft eraser or with a soft cloth with light soap (diswashing liquid works, just use a drop or two)... even though the color is embedded within the chips please do not use any abrasives or caustic materials as it will ruin the chips and cause them to break down... I clean mine with an eraser (pink gum or artist gum) when they're lightly dirty and the soap/water method when they get heavily soiled (which is rare)...

Right now with the chips there are 10 routines that come in the instruction booklet but I am working on 3 more that will be sent out to registerd owners soon... one is a way to use the chips to do readings that is quite effective and the other is a version of a cool and easy to do divination routine I call "Psychomechip"... You can also use the chips for many of the routines in Michael Murray's "Submodalities" DVD (in fact I use 2 routines from that DVD with the chips in one of my close-up acts - they kill)... We're also developing and planning a DVD that will detail the routines in the E.S.P Chips booklet as well as the new routines and several others that will be added...

Sales are still going briskly, Jheff, Stevens and Hocus-Pocus are our exclusive resellers outside of the http://www.espchips.com website.. in fact both H-P and Stevens have just reordered as they can't keep them in stock... and the reviews and comments from every owner has been nothing but positive... they love these things!

Thank you for helping make the E.S.P Chips a success... it's a wonderful tool that allows you to do some powerful effects and routines with them...

Success!!!

Tony Blake
The Thoughtreader
Co-Creator Of "ESP Chips"
Õ¿Õ¬
Decomposed
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Anything new regarding the routines/spectator reactions with these babies?
Decomposed
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How about the DVD routines?
Parson Smith
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As one of the first owners of these chips, let me say that they are awesome.
They are, in fact, so great that as soon as I returned home from Mindvention, I immediately called and ordered another set.
I have had no "bleeding" on the chips, but I have had a few "oohs and ahs."
Peace,
Parson
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kissdadookie
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The ESP chips have already been reviewed thoroughly by Tom Lauten so I will cut right to the chase and review the incredible customer service by Tony Blake. Tony Blake is incredible with his extremely quick and personal response. I have rarely had such informative and enjoyable service from any dealer or manafacturer with the exception of Jim Pace and Andrew Mayne. Here's the story. I've recently purchased a set of these extremely well made chip and was an unlucky and rare customer who received a damage chip. One of my chips had a chip on the edge of the chip and I immediately contacted Tony. Within hours I received a reply to my message and was asked for my number so that he could further learn of my situation. After I gave him my number I received a phone call within 10 minutes and was greeted by an enthusiastic and very pleasant person who said "Is this customer service or what?!?" At that moment I was awe strucked at the fastest customer service I have ever encountered. I explained my situation to Tony and everything was cleared up at a snap of a finger and we continued to chat about routines with these chips as well as other bits and pieces about mentalism and even about Max Maven and about Max's new DVD set, Nothing. We chatted for a good 20 or so minutes and I now I have utmost trust in Tony as a creator and a great person. Dealers and creators alike should take notice of service like that of Mr. Blakes. Thank you Tony and keep up the excellent job.

Oh yes, before I finish this post, these chips are EXCELLENT. I'm ordering another 3 sets at the beginning of November without hesitation!
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