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Review of TKO 2.0 (The Kaylor Option) by Jeff Kaylor

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Review of TKO 2.0 (The Kaylor Option) by Jeff Kaylor
Now even better than the original TKO when it comes to vanishes, and it’s sporting a key new feature, “TKO 2.0" delivers.

TKO 2.0 effectively combines the capabilities of Jeff Kaylor’s original TKO (you can read my review here) and his Ultimate Card Control Utility (UCCU) gimmick, which was the core of his “Any Signed Card to Any Spectator's Wallet” (you can read my review here).

In addition, version 2.0 comes with incremental enhancements that improve its handling and usability. This version 2.0 is a clear success and the act of combining functions does not result in a product with lesser capabilities in either area. In execution, no function was compromised.

TKO Vanishes

The TKO functions allow you to vanish small objects such as coins in a manner that mimics a well known gimmick commonly used by close-up magicians but that requires a jacket. Like the original TKO, you can vanish small objects while wearing a button-down shirt that may either be left out or tucked in. The ability to vanish objects while wearing a button down shirt (probably without a tie) was a huge selling point for the original TKO and 2.0 follows in the footsteps.

As a vanishing device, the new design accommodates larger coins (in the original version, you could only work with coins up to half-dollar size but can now use silver dollars). The device now offers two built-in retrievals, one for tucked-in shirts and the other for untucked shirts. If you’re vanishing multiple coins - one after the other - there’s an intriguing "plinko" system that slows the descent of the coins and reduces the tell tale “clink.” As before, the device favors right-handed users and it’s designed for use with a man’s shirt (it’s the way that the shirts button).

Not mentioned in the ads: I find that some of the incremental changes make the TKO easier to adjust and work with. And these changes make it fairly easy to adjust the device depending on the function that you wish to use (although you may discover a setting that works well for you for both functions).

Any Signed Card to Any Wallet

The built-in UCCU functions allow you to control one or more cards as a spectator shuffles the deck. The cards can be later produced from the deck or from an impossible location, such as an envelope that has been sitting in plain sight the entire time or a spectator’s wallet.

More specifically, as with the earlier “Any Signed Card to Any Spectator's Wallet,” the TKO 2.0 effectively works as a “mucking” device that allows you to secretly take a card or multiple cards out of play and ring them back in later. It’s also great for bringing in gaffed or stranger cards after a spectator has examined and shuffled a deck of cards. Angles when working are wide although it’s best to have your audience mostly in front of you.

The Gimmick

The TKO is a mostly fabric gimmick that must be incorporated into your button-down shirt. The kit comes with both a black and white TKO 2.0 to work respectively with dark and light-colored shirts - you receive two full gimmicks. The gimmicks are high-quality.

The setup requires that you make a minor modification to your shirts and this necessitates some basic sewing that anyone can do. TKO 2.0 comes with a sewing kit so you don’t have to chase down materials: needles and thread and such. If you don’t want to sew, there’s also a “no-sew” version that eschews the thread.

Keep in mind that you are altering your shirts in a rather permanent manner. You can transfer the TKO from shirt to shirt but each shirt will need to be modified. If you want to wear the shirts without the TKO 2.0, you can remove the gimmick and use a safety pin or some tape to allow the shirt to appear normal.

The kit comes with a 50-minute DVD and there have been a few additions since version 1.0. The DVD teaches some techniques that include a multiple-coin and one-handed coin vanishes and new applications with playing cards. You can also learn how to employ the TKO in routines such as a coin matrix, finger ring penetration onto a headphone cord, mirage coin, quarters to halves, coin in bottle, card to envelope and more.

Working the TKO

The moves are relatively straight-forward but will require considerable practice to execute smoothly. The DVD makes everything look easy but it takes time to perform these techniques flawlessly under performance conditions.

In all, TKO 2.0 is not simply a minor improvement, it opens an entire world of magic possibilities for those who perform close-up magic in button-down shirts. If you work with both cards and coins, and other small objects, this device is well worth the look.

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