Title: Pure Smoke Artist: Jason Brumbalow Producers: Ellusionist Link: Not available for purchase yet. Retail Price: $147 for the Pure Smoke device and it will come with 5 white and 5 red smoke cartridges. * White Smoke refill cartridges should be around $2.29 each when you buy in quantity of 20+. * Colored Smoke should be around $2.79 each when you buy 20+. * Each cartridge should give 35-45 shots of smoke per cartridge. Learning Difficulty: Easy Notes: This effect deals with the production of a smoke like substance (vapor) from your hands. The vapors are 100% safe, and nontoxic, however children under the age of 18 should be advised against purchasing it without a parents consent. Includes: • Gimmick • 10 Refills for Gimmick that is good for about 300 to 400 performances total. (30-40 per refill pending use.) • A card with the instructions on how to download the Instructions video The magician has a card selected, it’s shown, signed, and dealt to the table. The magician selects an indifferent card, and deals it to the table as well. He then holds his hands over the indifferent card, saying he can feel the magic taking place. It feels hot. Without warning, huge plumes of white smoke raise from under his hand, choking the card in its swirling vapor. The magician slowly turns the card over as the smoke still rises off of it, and it’s turned into the signed card! The effect is simple and pure. Pure Smoke that is. Pure Smoke is Ellusionist’s big, end of summer smash hit that magicians have been waiting for since the release of Ultra Smoke 2000. Every problem that Ultra Smoke faced, Pure Smoke fixes, and then brings along a few challenges of its own. This utility device is a powerful presentation tool in the hands of the magi that knows how to use it, and nothing more than an expensive toy in everyone else’s hands. The minute I saw it demonstrated at the Magic Live convention, I knew I had to own one for myself. Pure Smoke works on the same principle that E-Cigarettes operate off of, so it produces plumes of thick smoke that are in reality only water vapor. The refill cartridges are double thick, and manufactured especially for Ellusionist so they don’t contain any dangerous chemicals usually associated with other E-Cig refills. Unlike other smoke producing devices, such as the Ultra Smoke 2000, since Pure Smoke doesn’t use chemical heavy loads the smoke it produces doesn’t rot away or destroy the lining of your jackets, coats, or shirts that you have it pinned into. The refill cartridges will produce between thirty to forty bursts of smoke depending on how often you use it, and the refill cartridges will be sold separately on Ellusionist later this fall for around $20 dollars USD for 10 refills. The device itself is capable of delivering smoke in two intervals. One is a three second burst, the other a five second burst. The amount of smoke produced is dependent on how long you hold the switch down for. Right now the only colored smoke that is available to the public is white, however by the end of the year Ellusionist plans to release other colors such as red, black, blue, and green! The rigging allows for the option to either strap the device to your wrist, or pin it into the inside of your shirt or jacket. If you wear a coat, or vest it is possible to rig it so you can produce the smoke sleeveless, it just depends on how creative you are setting it up! The smoke producing apprentice is simple in design, and pretty rugged. I’ve worn it for upwards of six hours in a day, and taken it with me everywhere from the movie theaters, to gigs I was performing at. It isn’t all that uncomfortable to wear at first, but I found that it did get in the way of casual activity after an extended period of wearing it. I found it best to only wear it if I know I’ll be using it for a specific effect. The Pure Smoke system is a powerful visual device that can lend itself to many applications; it just takes a little creativity to figure out how you’ll make it work for you. It can enhance productions, multiplications, vanishes, and transpositions. I would honestly urge the buyer though, to fully think through their intended use before running out and smoking up every effect they do. The first time you produce the smoke is absolutely amazing for the spectator, but the second and third time loses much of the initial surprise. This is one of those effects that actually become more effective the less you use it during a routine. The instructional video that accompanies the product is about 38 minutes long. Jason, the device’s creator, walks you through everything from the history of how Pure Smoke came into being, into how to set it up, care for it, and use it. Jason also explains what all comes with the product. The video is very direct, very thorough. Jason does a great job of educating you on how to care for your Pure Smoke, the safety concerns involved, and gives you some good performance ideas as well. Another neat bonus to purchasing the Pure Smoke system is access to the private forum. The Pure Smoke Forum is a private forum on Ellusionists website that owners of the system will get access to in order to share their ideas, and applications for the system. Personally one thing I’d like to see though for a future release is a short production detailing the many different ideas for Pure Smoke’s use, similar to what they did with the Army of 52 DVD, and maybe it could compile some of the best ideas shared on their private forum too. As much as I love the idea of producing smoke from your hands, this system isn’t complete without its problems. I spoke with the VP of Ellusionist, and the device’s creator Jason Brumbalow about these flaws at Magic Live so they may or may not exist when the product releases to the public. However in the interest of a thorough review here they are, as they exist in my personal model. There is a noticeable flaw in the way the refill cartridge attaches to the unit. Since it just pushes on, it can (and often does) become lose after a period of wear, and/or use. This often results in the cartridge falling off, and becoming lost. When you only have ten of these things, and no way of getting anymore until the product officially launches this can be very annoying! I can see it becoming frustrating after the product releases just because of the need to constantly replace the lost refills. Until this problem is addressed in the design of the unit, the best way to help prevent the loss of the cartridges is to wrap either black gaffing or electrical tape around the base of the unit and the cartridge. This seems to work for the most part, though it is possible the tape loses its’ effectiveness after prolonged wear. Pure Smoke is very practical, and due to its versatility can be applied to many different presentations of magic ranging from close up, to stage, and event mentalism or bizarre. I can only imagine how much more versatile it will become once the additional smoke colors become available to the general public. Overall I really liked this product, and believe in its potential as a utility device. It takes a little bit of experimenting playing with it to dial it in, but the results are worth it once you figure out how to set it up so it works for you. If you perform in expensive costume pieces, as I do, the ability to produce smoke without fear of destroying your wardrobe is also an added plus. There are bound to be people out there who won’t like Pure Smoke, they’ll say it won’t work for them because of this or that, but that’s to be expected. For the rest of us who figure out how to apply this device to our magic, we’ll enjoy the results it brings. When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound and Video Quality, and Overall Quality. Product Quality: 6 The product quality is great! This effect is very visual, practical, portable, and versatile. The price is okay, and the refills aren’t that expensive. The only reason why this product is ranking so low on the quality score is because of the frequency I’ve lost the smoke cartridges during my short time using it. Teaching Quality: 8 Jason gives you all the information you need to care for, perform, and use Pure Smoke, as well as plenty of back ground information to how it came into existence, and why it’s superior to other existing systems like the Ultra Smoke 2000. Sound and Video Quality: 8 The quality of the instructional video upholds with Ellusionists typical high standards for their products. The sound is crisp, and there is no video abnormalities, lag, or artifacts. Overall Quality: 8 I loved this product! This is an amazing effect, and I’ve enjoyed playing with it since I got it. I am looking forward to the color smoke refills that should be out by the end of the year.