Originally posted by Mark Johnson:
You can find corner rounders at craft stores, but they aren't usually the correct radius. I have no idea if the $25 rounder sold with a booklet has the right radius or not, but I feel that knocking a product that the inventor/owner/distributor is trying to sell to feed his family is not very nice.
Mark raises an interesting point, and since I am the "knocker", let me respond.
First, the package I saw for sale at the Gatlinburg convention, which I think is the same as that advertised in Genii (don't have the magazine handy, which is one reason I haven't mentioned names or product brands here), was simply a hobby store corner rounder and a booklet of effects. I don't recall if the booklet was newly written for this product, or was one of the booklets already in print (for example, "On the Corner Short" by Jerry Mentzer, available new for about $10, used for less; I think there is one by George Schindler as well. Plus many other effects in Greater Magic, Hugard & Braue, etc.)
In other words, a $5 gimmick you can easily obtain and a booklet worth maybe $10 if you don't already have the information. But many magicians do have a basic grasp of the principle, and the basic effects that can be done with a corner shorted card are available are so common as to almost be "public domain". So, I don't think I'm being unfair if I say that a package consisting of the above is no bargain at $25.
Second, while I am sympathetic to the plight of anyone trying to earn a buck, I feel no special obligation to be silent if that person is a magician. Once he enters commerce, he should be subject to the same standards that I hold anyone else to -- good value, honest business practices, etc. It's not fair to those magicians who produce products that are a good value, for everyone to tacitly agree to not (honestly) criticize the products which aren't such a good value.