• Alex Hui

TRICK REVIEW - Champagne Supernova by Matthew Wright

Updated: May 14



Here is my in-depth review of Champagne Supernova by Matthew Wright.


REVIEW PHILOSOPHY


The philosophy is simple: to give you the truth.


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YOUTUBE REVIEW


If you want to watch the review, here is the YouTube version.



WHAT YOU GET?


You will receive a gimmicked coin and gimmicked sharpie for the effect. There are 5 versions of coins (pick when you order): Euro, Japanese Yen, Pound, Half Dollar & Quarter. 

A link to the password protected online instruction is also provided.


QUALITY OF THE GIMMICK


(I ordered the Half Dollar version, thus my review is based on this)

[Coin]

The coin in my set is 1976 Kennedy Half Dollar with Bicentennial Design. In other words, it is ‘coin with the building’ at the back, not the Kennedy Half Dollar we magicians are accustomed to. 


This is just to illustrate the back design. Not the gimmick you will receive.

The coin I received is in good condition, it’s not too shiny or old. Thus it can match most of the half dollars in circulation in terms of appearance.


 The gimmick part of the coin is very well done. It’s precisely made to facilitate the effect. I am satisfied with it. 


[Sharpie] 


The sharpie is very specially made and it is an essential part of the effect. You cannot do it with another sharpie. 


I am quite impressed with one of the features which I haven’t seen in other gimmicks before. Adding this feature proved that Matthew Wright has really put some thoughts in developing this effect. 

There is no delicate part in the sharpie thus it should last very time. 


All in all, I am very satisfied with the gimmicks. However, I am a little bit disappointed at the packaging because it really looks cheap. I know it doesn’t matter at all for most of us because we use the gimmicks to perform, but not the packaging. A good packaging doesn’t necessarily mean non-eco-friendly or expensive material. So I hope publishers can spend some efforts on such details as well. 


That being said, the quality of the gimmicks alone has justified the price. It is top-notch.


QUALITY OF THE TUTORIAL


The explanation comes as online tutorial on Murphy’s Magic website. It is downloadable on your device. 


The effect is well explained in a 46 minutes and 19 seconds long video. The explanation is hosted by Matthew Wright mainly. The video is shot in studio with multiple angles. The explanation is extremely clear and moves are demonstrated in great details. 


For each session, I will give it a name because it is not named on the instructional video.


Length (in minutes) of the main parts (I literally counted): 


  • Trailer - 3:28 

  • Gimmick - 1:15

  • Explanation - 15:35

  • Bonus Handling - 1:40

  • Bonus Live Performance - 1:16

  • Bonus Handling by Tom Crosbie - 19:36

  • 2 Live Performances - 3:29


In ‘Explanation’, Matthew goes into details about setup and full handling of the basic version of the effect. The setup is easy and it is diabolically clever. There is a coin technique involved after setup but any average magicians should have mastered it already. The setup also allows very clean handling of the gimmicks, which makes me smile when I saw it.



For every single move (literally every move!) there are clear shots from multiple angles. There is no way for viewers to miss any crucial sleights. All moves are not difficult and I really like the fact that they are carefully put together to make the trick work convincingly. In my opinion, there is no redundant move in this routine at all. The choice of moves is almost perfect. 

The get-in and get-out of the effect is demonstrated clearly. Matthew also explained alternative handling to handle the gimmicks when the routine is finished. However, in the live performances, you can clearly see that some dirty works were done at the end, but that part is missing in explanation. 


The 'bonus handling’ is the one you saw it done with the black sticker. Technically it is easier than the first version and superior in terms of presentation. In addition, there is a very clean moment when you pull out the sharpie and the black sticker is clearly visible on the coin. I would recommend learners to master this version first before you move to the non-sticker version. However, the product doesn’t include any stickers. This is quite disappointing because the instruction deals with the sticker version in great length. Not able to practise the effect with stickers in hands at once is frustrating. 


The Bonus Handling by Tom Crosbie is essential a full routine with the sticker version ending. The routine is a fine piece of coin magic with many visual elements. Technique-wise it is not difficult but requires moves to be done smoothly. Even if you don’t perform the routine exactly as it is, there is certainly 1 or 2 things you can learn from it. However, there are not multi-angle shots in this session. And some (famous but intermediate) moves are not explained in details. Beginners may find difficulty in learning the whole routine. 



Throughout the video, there are dozens of live street full performances by Matthew Wright. I appreciate the fact that in one routine a spectator spots something but Matthew still uses the footage. This is very honest and illustrate how the creator himself tackled the situation. 

To conclude, the tutorial is supremely done in many aspects. Matthew has done a great job in making the instruction easy to understand. He even answered some of the questions I had in minds. But I have one little complaint: the music is  just too loud and redundant.


DIFFICULTY


The trick is not difficult to do, but not automatic. Learners have to put some efforts to coordinate the moves to make the illusion look perfect. It varies among learners but if you are comfortable with certain basic coin moves, it should not take you more than a day or two to make it work. For me, the difficult part is the clean up which takes some knack. But clean-up is not a must. 

EXAMINABLE?


The signed coin is examinable of course. But the sharpie is not. 


RESET TIME

The reset time is really nothing. It only take seconds for get-ready. Therefore, this effect is ideal for strolling performances.  


PERFORMANCE ANGLE


Almost no issue on angle. If you execute all the moves properly, nothing will flesh. 

CLOTHING REQUIREMENT

No special clothing is needed.

ANALYSIS OF THE EFFECT


I will include my analysis of the effect in my product review. In this analysis, I will present my view on the strength and weakness of the effect. And will also go deeper with magic theory in mind.

As Matthew Wright mentioned in the trailer, the weakness of classic cigarette-through-coin is that audience will always want to take a full look during performance. The reason is simple: when one end of the cigarette fairly penetrates into the coin, the audience expect it should fairly penetrate out of the coin. These two sequence forms the whole picture and thus the magic, Without showing back side of the coin, it will leave a question mark in spectators’ minds and thus the coin will look suspicious. 

With Champagne Supernova, this issue is beautifully solved. However, solving one problem usually incur another issue. 


Unlike cigarette-through-coin, which spectator seldom suspect the burning cigarette, there are two items in this routine which are suspicious: sharpie and coin. Since you are showing the coin (and even signed coin) fairly this time, the sharpie will become the primary suspicious item in this effect. Therefore, performers have to make sure that the sharpie can be handled freely by spectator at certain point. In this effect, it can be done at the beginning but not the end. But I would recommend to pass a non-gimmicked sharpie for examination at the end. 

PROS ABOUT THE PRODUCT


  • Good quality gimmick. They are durable.

  • The tutorial is crystal clear. And the effects are very well constructed. 

  • This is a worker in real world. A perfect piece of magic which is time-proved. 

CONS ABOUT THE PRODUCT


  • The packaging doesn’t look nice. More thoughts could be put to make it look professional. 

  • Though it won’t be too obvious during performance, the Half Dollar with Bicentennial Design is not a nice choice for making the gimmick. I instantly spot this when I open the package. 

  • The sound track in the tutorial is annoying. 

  • Stickers are not provided.


FINAL VERDICT


Matthew Wright’s input into the classic cigarette-through-coin is brilliant. I think he somehow found the holy grail which is both practical and impressive. 


Besides, it is very thoughtful that 5 versions (Euro, Japanese Yen, Pound, Half Dollar & Quarter) are released so that many can perform this naturally with coins in their own countries. 


This is a very impressive effect which once lost its popularity among magicians because of the non-smoking movement these years. But Matthew Wright has successfully brought this effect back alive with Champagne Supernova.


At current price of  $29.95, it has my highest recommendation to any magicians, professional and hobbyist. I will certify it with ‘Perfect Choice’ without hesitation. 


  • Video Quality: 8/10


  • Effectiveness of Tricks: 9/10


  • Practical: 8/10


  • Creativity: 7/10


  • Cost Performance: 10/10


  • Final Score: 8/10


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