Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hip Shot Wallet Review

I was on a mission. To find the fire wallet that I saw demo'ed at an Orlando magic shop. After much research on the Magic Cafe and magic retail web sites, I determined that the fire wallet was most likely the Jardonnet wallet. After reading a lengthy forum thread on fire accidents and liability, I decided to forego the "fire" part of the wallet for now. After narrowing my choices to the best candidates AND to the wallets that were not back ordered, I selected Anthony Miller's Hip Shot Wallet manufactured by Murphy's Magic Supply and purchased for under $35 from Penguin's Magic.




Marketing Fluff

"You love card to wallet... but you don`t wear a jacket that often? Then you should try shooting from the hip. Introducing the Hip Shot! A bi-fold hip pocket wallet made of high quality calf-skin, built from the ground up to function as your everyday wallet. Contains two zippered compartments that can produce your selected cards... One of which can produce a whole deck! A Word From The Pros..."

"A classy prop! The kind of wallet you`d be proud to own and use."
- Rafael Benetar

"It`s easy to use... Is well made and looks great. If you`ve been looking for a wallet of this type, be sure to check it out. Recommended."
- Mike Close

"Tony`s wallets are just like Frosted Flakes... They`re Great! Being a professional magician, I of course have almost no extra money, but I did actually shell out my own dough for one of these wallets! It`s nice enough that even if you don`t do the card in the wallet trick, you`ll be proud to carry it around."
- Mac King

Quantity of Prop

Anthony Miller's wallets seem to have an excellent reputation on the magic forums for high quality and solid design. I was not disappointed. The wallet is made of soft, fine, high-quality leather. This wallet is definitely comparable in quality to any fine leather wallet in a department store. It has become my every day wallet.

I will warn you it is a bit larger than I expected. It seems to fit in my Dockers and Lee jean's pockets without sticking out; but just barely fits completely into the rear pocket. Perhaps in a smaller jean style it might be tight.

Features
  • There are slots for at least 14 credit cards or a bunch of packet tricks!
  • Large zippered bill compartment
  • Small zippered compartment big enough for cards and coins
  • Two loading mechanisms
Here's a look at the inside:



The documentation indicates that the larger of the loading mechanism can handle a full deck of cards. That doesn't seem practical but it does appear possible and I found some forum posts where magicians were doing full deck to wallet routines. You can use a credit card as a guide into the smaller chamber (a very nice feature) and it also comes with two large, black plastic guides.

The zippers certainly add to the mystery of how the card got into the wallet.

I've been working on the card-to-wallet routine that is supplied with the wallet. The routine is a climax sequence for an Ambitious Card Routine. I'm not quite comfortable with the routine yet but it looks like a killer method of ending the ACR.

I am using it for Kenton Knepper's Kollasal Killer (KK) routine. KK is essentially an invisible deck routine without the invisible deck. There are better wallets for this routine but I did make it work with a little ingenuity. You can use any wallet for the KK effect but the size of the wallet and the zippered compartments really make the KK effect strong.

I performed KK today in a corporate leadership training session and it drew audible gasps. I set the wallet on the table, went through the patter about predicting events and that I have a prediction in the wallet. I opened the wallet to show a normal wallet. I ask a student to visualize ANY card. Showing empty hands and without any hesitation, I picked up the wallet, unzipped a compartment and pulled out the predicted card. Truly killer.

Documentation

There is no excuse for this crappy, pages out-of-order photocopy. Why offer such a quality wallet and provide such a poor quality document? Sorry Murphy's but there is NO excuse for this garbage photocopy.

Paper quality aside, the documentation describes an excellent routine for a no-palm card-to-wallet. The suggested patter is excellent and the card handling is described in detail.

Overall: 7/10

This is my first wallet review so I'm going to rate this a bit low to leave room for other wallet reviews. The Hip Shot lost 1 point for poor quality documentation. Otherwise, this is an outstanding quality prop that I hope will hold up for a couple years. I am kind of hard on wallets so we'll see if it can hold up to my abuse!

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