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Steve Brooks
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Murphy's CLOSE-UP PADS by Murphy's Magic Supplies, Inc.

Description / Ad Copy:

Murphy's Economy Line of Close-Up Pads contain a non-slip back, a high-quality fabric top and a high-quality inner-cushion. Murphy's Economy Pad is extremely affordable and will last you years.
Acid-dyed fabric top, Non-slip back, Dense inner cushion, Brilliant colors that will not run or fade, Easy to clean, Won't crease or tear, 3mm thick. Available in two sizes and multiple colors.

Murphy's Standard Line of Close-Up Pads are everything but standard. These pads contain a thick, dense, high quality inner-cushion, non-slip rubber back, and a high quality fabric top. By all means a high quality, professional close-up pad with which you will be proud to perform. Acid-dyed fabric top, Non-slip back, Thick, dense inner cushion, Brilliant colors that will not run or fade, Easy to clean, Won't crease or tear, 5mm thick. Available in two sizes and multiple colors.

Murphy's Deluxe Line of Close-Up Pads contain the thickest, high-quality inner cushion on the market today. This extra thick cushion makes it super-easy to pick up coins, cards, or any other object you're using in your performance. Each Deluxe Pad includes a high quality non-skid rubber bottom, extra thick inner-cushion, and our signature high quality fabric top. Acid-dyed fabric top, Thick non-slip back, Extra thick, dense inner cushion, Brilliant colors that will not run or fade, Easy to clean, Won't crease or tear, 8mm thick. Available in two sizes and multiple colors.

COLORS - Black, Blue, Green & Red.

SIZES - 11X16 & 16X23



Some of you might be asking yourself; Why do I need a close-up pad? That is absolutely a fair question. For the sake of argument I will assume that many of you who are reading this review do not now own or use a close-up pad. The rest of you either already use a close-up pad (but you are thinking of replacing it) or you have used one in the past and are now considering taking the plunge because you remember having a good experience using one of these. Otherwise, why else would you be reading a review on a subject which centers around something you have absolutely no interest in?

I will be honest and state right up front that you do not need a close-up pad. Think about it, magicians have been performing magic for hundreds of years and I suspect that most of them never owned a close-up pad. So why then should you shell out your hard-earned moolah and buy one of these bad boys? Because there are a number of reasons why owning one or more of these little beauties will not only help make you look more professional but actually aid you in your magic endeavors. In fact, the argument can easily be made that there are more advantages in using a close-up pad in your performances than disadvantages.

I purchased my first close-up pad in the mid nineteen eighties. Manufactured and marketed by the UNI-MESA Co I believe it set me back $40.00 USD - a large sum for the time. I made use of that pad for over ten years! Since then I have always used a close-up pad both for performance and plain old-fashioned practice.

But why? For starters a close-up pad provides you with a mini-stage of sorts, a backdrop as it were. This backdrop provides a natural setting where playing cards stand-out better, coins appear brighter and just about anything else (e.g, dice, cups, balls, wands, etc.) seem to have a better contrast and look oh so much nicer. For your audience it defines an area where special things are taking place and helps to keep their attention focused on the action at hand. Generally speaking it is essentially a portable stage you take with you and it allows you to stand out from the crowd. You do want to stand out and be noticed, right? Right! Smile

So aesthetics aside, how can one of these pads help my magic? Great question and an easy one to answer. Close-up pads generally come in different sizes and colors and the prices vary depending on the manufacturer. However, the one thing that most of these pads have in common is a very soft surface. The material varies with each brand and can range from a basic pool table type felt to real velvet. The idea is to have a surface that has some give to it which not only makes doing card spreads very easy but a must have for coin assemblies such as Matrix. Ideally you want the ability to easily grab any object (e.g, coin, ball, etc) and having a nice spongy surface makes this possible as opposed to the normal hard surface of a typical bar or table. In addition many pads allow you to roll them up for easy transportation while others may have a stiff backing made from wood. In the end I think whichever you choose will most likely depend on your budget and the venues you perform at. Having worked restaurants and bars for many years I prefer a pad that is very flexible and can easily move from table to table. When I'm done for the night I simply roll it up and away I go. Naturally if you intend to only use a pad at home for practice purposes portability will most likely not be an issue.

So having said all of that I can tell you I've had the opportunity to use the close-up pads that the folks over at Murphy's Magic Supplies are now shipping to dealers around the globe. As described in the ad copy you have your choice of two sizes, four different colors and the thickness varies between the three types offered: Economy, Standard and Deluxe. While all three are very usable with a soft spongy feel, I prefer the deluxe due to its extra thickness which is really nice. All three are very flexible and easily rolled-up for transporting. The backs are made of a rubber like material which insures the pad will not easily move and that's a good thing. The smallest will work nicely for table hopping while the larger size is great for general close-up behind a bar or at home practicing. While the color choices are all good I prefer the green which seems to lend itself well with playing cards. I think the best part about all three pads being offered is the price - these really are affordable and there is a pad here for every budget. Having seen some really cheaply made pads on the market (some actually selling for much more) I am really impressed with the quality here. Can you find nicer pads out there? Of course you can if you are willing to spend the moolah. Those of you searching for a nice quality pad at an affordable price should look no further. I think the bang for your buck is high here and I would recommend you give these your serious consideration. Smile


My rating:

Suggested retail price varies depending on size and style:

ECONOMY - 11X16 $6.95 USD / 16X23 $14.95
STANDARD - 11X16 $9.95 USD / 16X23 $19.95 USD
DELUXE - 11X16 $14.95 USD / 16X23 $24.95 USD

Available from your favorite dealer.

Dealers - contact Murphy's Magic Supplies, Inc.
11500 Gold Dredge Way
Rancho Cordova, Ca. 95742
Toll Free Order Line: 1-800-853-7403

Or visit Murphy's website:
Click here!

"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
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