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My Best volume 1

John Mendoza

I wasn't going to do a review of this DVD because I did not want the material in this DVD to become too public and overused. Well, I decided to write a review out of respect for John Mendoza. He put a lot into this 3 volume set, so it is only right that he receives a lot of respect for it. So without further ado, here goes my review.

Effects: 10/10

John first shows the full routine that he does in his parlor shows. Each effect flows nicely together and he performs them extremely well. He starts off with a nice Dice Stacking routine with a 2 kicker ending. From there he goes into a great card effect where a number is selected between 1 and 5 and the cards are cut to that respective number. After a few face up and face down shuffles to mix the cards in a chaotic order, he asks what the number was again. He then spreads the deck face down and all the cards are face down, except the selected number.

Directly after that he decides he needs some aces out of the deck so he cuts the deck and produces an ace. He shuffles a bit and then produces another ace. Then he does the super hard double production, and the last two aces come out on a single cut. From there, John goes into a nice Collectors effect using no funny moves, where three cards appear between the four aces that were sitting on the table the entire effect!!!

From here, John does an incredible Out Of This World effect where the spectator places cards into two piles. John asks if he put 26 cards in each pile and the spectator says "I don't know". John states it doesn't matter, and shows the cards are separated blacks and reds. John then shows a move called The Squeeze. It's a gamblers move that keeps the deck in perfect order, so no matter how many times the deck is shuffled and cut the deck is in the same order as when he started.

John now goes into his chop cup routine. He states his Chop Cup routine is not a trick and it wont fool you, its a game. The game is simple, find the ball, ending in a double surprise.

The next effect he shows will blow anyone who sees it away. A female spectator freely selects a card. The card is placed face up on the table, and a story is told. The story goes on about how this was his first deck of cards, and he named all the cards. All the cards have names of male friends. He shows that all the cards have names on the back, and yes they are all male names. He then asks the spectator what her name is. John says that is an interesting name...............for a card............. Yes, that is right, the spectator selected the only card with a female name, and it is her name!!!!!!!!!!!! I should tell you that John never meets the spectator before the show and she doesn't know him either. It is a beautiful effect and will leave the lady speechless.

Next John does a gambling effect where he deals out 4 hands of poker and the spectators are asked to mentally select one of their cards and remember it mentally. They are not to tell anyone which card they are thinking of, but he is able to find their selected card in a way that will fool anyone.

John finishes off his show with his Cups And Balls routine. 3 balls appear and disappear under 3 cups. He then tells how its too hard to follow 3 cups and 3 balls and 2 hands, so he uses only 2 cups and 2 balls and only 1 hand to make the balls appear under the cups. He then takes one more cup and one more ball away and while a spectator is holding onto a cup, he makes the last ball penetrate the cup in plain view of all the spectators. Then 3 balls that almost don't fit under the cups are produced at the same time!!!! A truly remarkable routine that left me speechless the first time I saw it, and I knew how he was doing it.

When I first got this, I figured he was just going to show a few effects, then teach them. This is not the case. This is an actual routine he uses to make money with!


John goes over every move with great detail. Every sleight is taught very slowly and you are left with no doubt as to how to do these sleights. There are multiple angles on each sleight shown at the same time so you can see how they should look while doing them. John also tells how each effect came to be. I was left knowing a lot from this DVD and I will use every bit of what I learned.

Quality: 10/10

The quality of this DVD is superb. It was produced very professionally and a lot of time and effort went into this project.

Overall: 30/30

I was expecting a lot from this DVD, and it delivered. This is by far the best purchase I have made to date. The material on this DVD is far superior to anything I have ever seen, and I will be using most if not all of the effects in it. I can only wait until I get the other 2 volumes, because I am sure they are just as great. I now have a new Cups And Balls routine that I will practice until perfect.

Volume 2

I wasn't as impressed with this volume as I was with the others but it is still very good


John starts off the set with a nice bowl routine where sponge balls appear and disappear from underneath a bowl. He then goes into a nice sponge ball routine It ends with the production of some things you wouldn't expect, which is pretty funny. Next John does a double signed card to wallet routine using no palms or funny moves that looks too good to be true.

After that, John does a nice 3 card Monte type routine that turns into a 4 card Monte game that ends with all the cards being aces. This is a very visual ending to a great routine. Next, John does an incredible coins through table effect where 3 coins travel through the table all at once to meet the other 3 in his other hand, then after than each coin penetrates the table one at a time. He then tells you how its done and produces something that you wont believe.

Next John goes into Vernon's cups and balls routine which in my opinion is the greatest routine ever devised. John has added his own little touches to it and has added a finale that is unbelievable baffling.

Multiplying Bunnies is where John goes next on his magical mission to entertain. This is just a sponge ball routine using bunnies, but it is pretty fun to watch and the ending is spectacular.

Next John turns a deck of cards into an ace producing machine. Aces appear at the command of John in an entertaining way. The routine is called the Automatic Deck if you were wondering and is one of the greatest 4 ace productions Ive seen in a while.

John then goes into another 3 card Monte routine with an entertaining story. This goes to show that you never play 3 card Monte with a professional because the ending to this effect still has me in a frenzy, and I know how its done!!!!!!!!!!!

Translocation is almost the perfect coins across routine. The coins travel one at a time, from one had to the other, without John ever taking his hands off the table!!!!!

John ends his set with the worlds fastest cups and balls routine. Imagine a complete cups and balls routine, where balls travel from one cup to another, penetrate and reappear in their cups, and all 3 final loads appear in a matter of 30 seconds!!!!! Well, believe it because it is true. I will be working on this one for a while because it is just so fun to watch.

I started off writing this thinking it wasn't as good as the rest, then I started remembering how good the material is in this video. I recommend this dvd very highly.

Volume 3

OK, this volume is by far the best of the 3.

Effects: 25/10

John starts off by showing an envelope that he explains has a card in it. The envelope is in a wallet that also contains a 100 dollar bill. He tells the spectator that if she picks a card and it doesn't match the card in the envelope, she gets the bill. He has her deal one card at a time until she wants to stop. She flips over her card, and it is an exact match to his card in the envelope. Totally startling because she deals the cards herself!!!!!
John then does a very convincing color changing deck routine where 3 cards are selected by 3 spectators and are easily located by him because the are the only red cards in the deck. the rest of the cards are now all blue backed.

John then does a routine using a poker machine, I wont get into detail with this because to me it was very boring and he doesn't teach it

John now has a spectator think of a card and he names it. He writes on a piece of paper Clyde, I told you he named it!!!!! This gets some good laughs but then explains that all the cards have names of people on the back of them and when he turns over her thought of card, it says Clyde on the back of it. This is a killer effect, and it is one I will be using a lot.

John then has a spectator select a card from a blue backed deck and when he turns it over, it happens to have a red back. He has the spectator sign the back and John then signs the face of it. He tears it into little pieces and then hands a corner to the spectator to hold. He then completely restores it except for the corner the spectator is holding!!!!! This is highly visual and another I will be using.

The Mystery of the 19th card, thumbs down. This is just the basic 21 card trick but John makes it entertaining. This is a good trick to know when you are dealing a poker game and someone says that you are good with card and you know some good card tricks, right Jared .

Unearthly Powers is what John does next. The spectator selects a card and returns it to the deck. Through process of elimination and putting 4 piles of cards on the table, John is left with only one card in his hand and it happens to be the selected card. He then patters on about how that isn't the hard part. The hard part is how he was able to get the 4 aces to be the top card in each pile. He then says that it was even harder to make the bottom card in each pile a king!!!!!!!! I was floored by this when I first saw it and I am still floored because this trick is hard as a mutha to do, but is well worth the practice.

2 cards are then selected and found, but unfortunately they are put in front of the wrong spectators. John then rights his wrong and when the cards are turned over, are found to be in the correct spot.

John then goes into his Ambitious Card routine, where a spectator names a card out of the deck and it comes to the top numerous times. For a finale, the other 3 cards that match the spectators named card, are found to have followed the named card to the top as well. I like this routine, and am currently in the practice mode of it.

Between your palms is a great effect as well. This routine is an Alex Elmsley classic, so you know it has to be good. John added his own touches to it to make it fit him better, and he made good with that. A card is put under a spectators hand. 3 cards are selected, 1 of which is signed and returned to the deck. John is able to find the first 2 selected but cant seem to find the signed card. Not to be made a fool of, John shows that the card place under the spectators hand happens to be the signed card!!!!!!!!! He then pulls out a slip of paper that names all 3 cards and tells which one will be signed. Simply beautiful.

My favorite and the most visual effect of all 3 volumes is Simple Tunnel. A card is selected by a spectator and is found to have turned face up in the deck. John then explains that he will show you how it is done. The signed card is place in the middle of the deck with another card face down and when pushed through, the selected card visibly turns face up. This has to be seen to be believed, my eyes came out of my socket when I saw this the first time.

John then does the Most Difficult Card Trick In The World. 2 selected cards are lost in the deck, and then fails to find them. He finds himself a card and tosses it into the air and catches it in between 2 cards, the selected cards!!!!!!!!!!Let me start off by saying how hard it is to catch a card between 2 cards with only one hand, then you will know why this is the most difficult card trick in the world.

To end the set, John does McDonald's Four Aces, well his handling of it anyway. This was the one disappointment of volume 3. It just doesn't look that good, and I wasn't impressed by it one bit. The handling is pretty awkward and it just didn't pull me in. But anyway, the 4 aces are shown and 3 indifferent cards are placed on top of each. The aces leave their respective piles and join the ace of spades. Great effect, but John's version just didn't do it for me.

If you want hard hitting, not too hard to do effects, I recommend getting this set of DVDS. You will not be disappointed, and if you are, you should quit magic at that moment you become disappointed!!!!!!!
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Nice review. I was wondering when you were going to do the rest after reviewing Volume one. These interested me awhile back, and are still on the long wish-list. I will grab them as soon as I can recover my current lavish spending spree and actually earn some money with the material I already bought.
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
Steve Haynes
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Everything he teaches is his own bread and butter, no pipe dreams, just solid workers.
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Profile of Magikrn
Yes, he put a lot of work into these routines and have lasted the test of time. Everything can be adapted to your own handling and no clones will be made from these dvds. John doesn't have much of a presentation, he just does the effects and gets great reactions from them, so there isn't much to steal from him in the way of presentation and patter.
Review King
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One of L&L best sets. Chock full of routines that are workers.

On these shoots, you can tell when an audience is being polite and when they are truly entertained. On Mr. Mendoza's DVD's, they are enetertained.

On the explanation portion, John says " I'm not a funny guy". Well, if he hadn't said that, you wouldn't know it by the way the audience reacts to the magic. They laugh, gasp and applaud.

"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
Steve Haynes
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His out of this world handling is as direct as it gets, and just one of the several effects from this set that I use.
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Profile of bdekolta
Thanks for your review. I appreciate that you took the extra effort to describe John's effects without revealing some of his surprise endings. A nice gift to those who will view the material in the future.

When I first worked many years ago John's advice always panned out for me.

Nice to see solid working material that has been honed in front of real audiences for many years offered over much of what we see show up today.

Thanks again.
Dan Amos
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Thank you for the review . Nice job. I bought v 2 . Just got it today. Merry CHRISTmas
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Profile of Wordsworth
Dan, how did you like this? I haven't seen the Mendoza before, and wondering how they've stood the test of time.
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