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Review by Philip Sweeting at

Clicks & Mortar Focus – PropDog


propdog - outside viewDriven. If I had to sum up Dave Bonsall in a word that’s the one I would go for. As regular readers will know I am something of a fan of traditional magic shops you can go in and visit. I’m not anti Internet – it’s how I earned my living for several years – but you just can’t beat the face-to-face, have a natter and a cup of tea experience of a real shop. So I was delighted when I heard PropDog had opened just such a shop. And even more impressed when I saw it in person.

propdog - dave bonsallSo let’s start at the beginning. PropDog is unusual straight away in that it is located on an industrial estate in the Hounslow/Twickenham area.  That keeps away the usual curious passers by of a high street shop and is surprisingly convenient for access to M25/M3.

When you ascend the stairs you reach a room which is half showroom (with a counter – but one you are actively encouraged to go around/behind!), half office and half (yes I know that makes more than ‘one’ – but it is a magic shop) lounge/kitchen. You can watch a magic DVD, browse through his library, or look at a prop before buying and Dave is friendly and un-pushy. The room is light and airy – decidedly unlike some of the more ‘traditional’ stores – and comes complete with a dog (called Lucy – and yes – she is the dog who inspired the shop name!) and rescue parakeet called Peeby (P.B. = PropBird of course) on a cage!propdog - peeby

Cup of tea in hand (mine, that is) Dave explained how PropDog had started. He’s a man driven by the next challenge and had reached a point in his performing career where he was busy but felt unchallenged. At the same time, always enjoying making things on the side, he was finding an increasing demand for some of his custom items – the famous Ring Flight Revolution and popularBonsalopes. And before he knew it he was running a magic store – the next challenge he wanted.

But what impresses me most about PropDog are the high standards Dave sets himself. From the simple but important ‘if it’s on the website it’s in stock’ rule to the 100s of prototypes he goes through to create the perfect prop. His Starbucks Chop Mugs are things of beauty and he’s still working on making the perfect chopped sugar cube to go with them.
propdog - workshop

He’s a man of clear vision and plenty of energy, and takes obvious delight in experimenting in the fully equipped workshop which is on the ground floor of his unit. As I wandered around with him I could see various props some released and some on the way in different stages of meticulous production processes. He’s an enthusiast and the results are very impressive.

propdog - bicycle cardsSo if you’re in the area I would highly recommend popping in for a chat and to pick up some great magic. Or take advantage if you can’t pop in. I hope to be back before too long.

Oh, and I had to take this picture didn’t I?…


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Well I just got my ring flight revolution, what a revolution. It is by far the best version of this trick I have ever seen. In the past, I have used Immakulate ring flight, Gaeton Blooms Flying ring, sharp ring etc etc and if anyone is still using them, I strongly advise that you put them in the bottom drawer where they belong and invest in the revolution ring flight. Great reel, no silly looking key case, not bulky, comes with a guarentee what more can you ask for 10/10 great product.
Sleight King - The Magic Cafe Forum

I have one of these, and have performed it both at the weekend to 1000 people, and last night to just 150 (both close up), and both times it has worked a charm and got brilliant reactions. Having used to work in a Magic shop, getting to see every device available, I used Rinky Dinky a lot, as with my age, I couldn't get away with a key case.

Dave though has released something truly amazing and is by far the best I have come across! As far as ring flights go, this has my highest recommendations!

Christopher Williams - The Magic Cafe Forum

Just received mine yesterday.
The best one so far, its has a bit longer line than (Departure).
It comes ready to put into action, keys and all.
I have a small problem with the lobster claw, but I fixed that with a different clip.
The only other ring flight I haven't bought as yet is Pete's (just in case) and I'm now looking to getting one.
This buy was well worth the money.
TrickyRicky - The Magic Cafe Forum

For what it is worth I do not own revouliton and I never perform any type of ring flight
however, Dave your product is the best I have ever seen and with the gaurentee,and I would neve squable over a price for such a quality product.
good luck with your sales
the godfather of magic
Vinny - The Magic Cafe Forum

Well worth the money for me as well. A 2 year guarantee is unheard of! except with Dave!
Marky Mark - The Magic Cafe Forum

I just got my RFR and sent David an e-mail to tell him how impressed I am with it. Now I'd like to share that same sentiment here. This is truly a fantastic improvement over the traditional RF that we have all come to know and love. My RFR has the BMW key and it works perfectly. I'll be using it tonight for the first time in actual performance and I'm really looking forward to it.

As an aside, I also just have to comment on the DVD that David sent along with the RFR. I know it is supposed to be a temporary DVD and a more professional grade production is in the works, but I actually kind of like the impromptu version! To me, I guess there is just something more real about this video and it seems to feel right with the overall package. I'm probably in the minority on that view, but so be it.

Bottom line is, I love the RFR and applaud Dave for making it happen. Very well done!
Bagwizz - The Magic Cafe Forum

I want to go on the record and also vouch for this version. 10/10. 100% the best ringflight on the market...thanks for everything Dave.
Josh's Magic - The Magic Cafe Forum

Seth Kramer showed me your ring flight at Magic Live. Love it. Obviously used and designed by a pro for other pros. Congratulations on a truly great product. I bought one from a friend. Got it yesterday and tried it last night. The handling is natural and the method for the lock is direct, simple and ingenious.

I'll probably end up getting a couple more...
Stuff this good is a must have.
Bob Kohler - The Magic Cafe Forum

Everyone I have shown it to has had nothing but positive comments. A+++ all the way!
Corpmagi - The Magic Cafe Forum

Blackpool Magic 2011

There were over 125 dealers at Blackpool this year and I have only talked about a few of the great dealers and products. However for me if I had to choose one product as the best buy of the convention it would have to be Dave Bonsall's Ring Flight Revolution. This is the most practical and useable ring flight I have ever seen. There are many different ring flights out there but none of them compare to this one. I know there was some magicians that thought it was expensive, but trust me it is worth every penny. The way it has been made is superb and it is very durable as well, Dave also says it will last a lifetime. So if you perform or want to perform ring flight give him a ring and order one!
Andy Chase
2011 Blackpool Magic Convention

The Effect

I wont go in to what a ring flight but instead will paste the relevant segments from a thread on TM in which Dave first made this ring flight known to me.

“A few of you know about the locking ring flights I make and use. At Blackpool, I had a lot of people interested in buying them. The mechanism is hidden inside a car key, like the old Rinkey Dinkey ring flight, but these are genuine car keys and much, much better.”

“I also won’t be selling them through a dealer, as they will nearly double the sale price.
This means that, when released, I'm able to reduce the sale price to £85. Each ring flight will also come with a 2 year guarantee. So if, in the unlikely event anything goes wrong with it in those 2 years, I'll either fix it or replace it at no charge. After the 2 years, I'll fix it for a small fee.
I'm so confident that magicians will love this ring flight that I'll also be offering a 1 month trial with it. So if you're not entirely happy with it in that month, you can return it for a full refund. No questions asked!
The keys will be Peugeot, Citroen or Ford. All genuine car keys. Other models are available, but are made from second hand keys, and I can also custom make keys if required.
Each key comes as a key bunch, with other keys, the unique thing about this ring flight is that once the pull retracts, it locks in place, allowing the spectator to remove the ring. The clip is also separate from the car key, between two door keys. So is even more deceiving”


As Quoted above


(1=easy to do, 2=No sleights, but not so easy, 3=Some sleights used,
4=Advanced sleights used, 5=Suitable for experienced magicians only)

Difficulty is all dependant on the routine but the device itself is very easy to use (1)


I think it is only fair before I get cracking into this review to let you know where my experience lies when it comes to ring flights.
I have always loved the idea of them but the key fob wallets always put me off as a most suspicious item for someone who is neither a caretaker nor of an age which requires me to wear cotton slacks, smoke a pipe and grumble about “How thing’s where better during the war”.
Then several months ago “Departure” came out and I bought one straight away and quite frankly I loved it (so much so that when I lost one I immediately bought another). However, it wasn’t perfect with the casing feeling cheap and slightly unconvincing and the line being to short for my liking.
Finally there were the stories I heard from other saying theirs had broken. Anyway these days are now over for me as Ring Flight revolution has come into mix and changed all that.
I have only had it for a day, given, but as I already have a well practiced routine that uses a ring flight it has just been a matter for me of testing this gimmick out and seeing how it feels to use within a ring flight routine and I must say I think this thing is pretty damn good indeed.
The first thing that hit me when I opened the package (which got to me within 24hours of enquiring!) is that I was presented with a set of keys, I threw them over to the (magic cynic, seen it all) missus and she looked at them and commented why I’d been sent a bunch of keys through the post. The build quality or more accurately the gimmicked innards are to an outstanding level which will never raise any suspicion.

The reel length and strength are exactly how I like them although Dave has told me that both these factors are adjustable and it is this adjustable and fixable nature that makes one feel secure in using the product. Pile on top of this the 2 year guarantee and it is quite hard to find a fault.

The final element to this device which is just a bonus but upon trying it out on some spectator is that they can be safely allowed to remove the ring from the key ring clip themselves due to the locking mechanism built in. This locking system is great because it involves no switch or button and (I think) is activated by the process of the revelation itself.

I don’t want go on too much in this positive vein just in case I get of accused of laying myself down at the Bonsall altar with a dagger and a goat so I will add one bit of very lame criticism at the device. The clip the ring is attached to is of the traditional variety that anyone with a ring flight is most likely to have used and personal I’m not a fan as I’m quite used to the one on “Departure” and so have swapped it on to my gimmick.
This is probably contrary to most people who would probably prefer the one supplied but I had to complain about something, I’m British for crying out loud!
Anyway, I’m off to find a goat and a dagger...

Ooo before I do one last thing that I think needs to be addressed. I hear cries of “Expensive!!”. They are hand made individually, work brilliantly and have a 2 year guarantee. What more do you want?

If you are looking for an out of 10 you are going to be sadly disappointed. If you cant be bothered to read the review then I cant be bothered typing in a number.


This is my first review so please let me know if it was helpful. I would first like to say that after spending a few thousand dollars on tricks and gimmicks, I started thinking perhaps I should start buying something that is practical. When I say practical, what practical means for me at least, is something I can use when I am hired as a professional. I started realizing that what looks cool in front of a camera, does not always translate into a workable effect in the real world. If I am hired to entertain at a party, dinner, or event, I can't spend half the time fiddling around with preparing my gimmick when I'm supposed to be out and about entertaining guests. For example, Thread is not a real world effect because if you do it more than twice in the same night, you are going to have a painful eyeball for the next couple of days or so, and reset can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 25 minutes; I say that because I have had one of those nights where many things fell apart. However, it is great for stage, but I find that I don't like using it that much because I haven't figured out patter that I like and it doesn't really fit my performing personality anyway. If you have worked professionally, you know as do I that an effect needs to be hard hitting, simple for you to implement, and it has to reset quickly because you need to do it again and again and again. AND it needs to look like a normal item not a gimmick. This brings you to my review of:

Ring Flight Revolution

First of all, I would like you all to know that David Bonsall, the creator of this very magical item, is a gentleman. I have sent him many emails to the point where I probably seem like a pest to him and he has always been very gracious and understanding, so I really feel compelled to write a review of his excellent gimmick so that more magicians can learn about it and purchase a copy of their own.


-RFR gimmick
-Extra clips and wire

The RFR gimmick itself looks 100% natural because it basically is...well perhaps 99% natural. David takes real keys and turns them into the RFR. He does this with a variety of types one being the flip out key which is the one I use. He can even convert your own keys into an RFR if you send him a pair! I think that's quite awesome and it has got me thinking about how I could turn every day items I have into gimmicks that I may not have previously considered. The RFR is very very clever. You could hand it out to a spectator and they would not detect anything unless they examined it for a few minutes and fiddled around for a bit. All the inner workings are safe from view and it is actually hard to crack it open so no one will ever think there is something inside unless something in your patter guided them to that conclusion. Also, when the reel retracts it locks in place, so the spectator can take off their own ring without you worrying about it stretching out. The keys that the RFR comes with look a bit odd because they are keys from England, but I believe you could change them for more American looking keys if you wanted to. This resets as soon as you take off the ring and put the RFR back in your pocket. Before you approach your next table, just simply pull the wire out and clip it on your belt and you're ready to go. You will want to use this with your shirt tucked in. When I practiced it on a few friends, it snagged on my shirt and just dangled there before it retracted. The RFR is made very well and works flawlessly, so far that is. It's very easy to execute and no one is burning your dirty hand as long as you have a strong routine and can execute your sleights smoothly; and you're only dirty for around 3 seconds anyway.

DVD Content

The RFR comes with a DVD which has a lot of useful information. The production quality is nothing like a Dan and Dave DVD; in fact it's very simple and plain, but what it lacks in the production value, it compensates in content. It includes the following sections:


David briefly goes over what it is and how it operates. He also goes over what it comes with and what each piece is for.

How to use it

David goes over how to prepare the RFR before you use it and various ways to have it set up ready for use. He goes through the entire process from approaching a table, the patter he uses and the actions he takes.

Performance problems, tips and pointers

David goes over many common problems that may arise and how to overcome them.

Maintenance and repair

This section is great and is the section on the DVD with the most detail. He goes over how to fix the RFR it it does break and how to fix it. It's not hard and he is very clear in his explanations.

Live performance

This is the lame part of the DVD. He has one short performance at one table. I would like to see him approaching multiple tables to see how he handles different types of people. Actually, he has a much longer performance video on his website. However, his performance and routine is very good.

In Conclusion

Quality 10/10

Teaching 10/10

Practicality 10/10

Reset 9/10

Customer service 10/10

David has a one month guarantee where if you are not completely satisfied, you can return the undamaged RFR for a complete refund. To top that off, he also will repair it for you for up to one year if anything goes wrong for FREE, and will charge a small fee after one year. I lost my DVD and extra wire and clips; when I asked how much to send some more, he sent them FREE OF CHARGE and paid for the postage! Now that's customer service!

All in all, this is a well made ring flight and I have personally had no issues while performing with it. It is a bit pricey, but you get what you pay for and then some. I am very happy with my purchase and I know you will be too if you purchase one.



I guess you could make your own envelopes, but Dave Bonsell's are so good and reasonably priced, I'd stick to those to be honest. Yes, you get 12 loaders which means you could do the routine 12 times in a row from table to table, which is a great advantage for most performers wanting to do the card in envelope and the most you'd probably need in one set.

In the demo at the end of the trailer the camera goes in close as the lady opens the first envelope and it's at that point that Harry puts the wallet back into his pocket and reloads the 2nd envelope. If you watch the trailer he is ready way before the camera comes back out again to a long shot and at a guess I'd say he's reset the envelope in about six seconds. After that it's just a case of reloading into the wallet the second time round and that's all he's doing when you see him go back into his jacket the second time.

The response to this has been unbelievable and our first batch has now sold out. We'll have another batch to ship on the 21st February and will honor all orders made before the 18th with the promised discount. I know that Harry will have some in limited numbers (if he hasn't also sold out yet) on his stand at Blackpool.
Russ Stevens - The Magic Cafe Forum

I got a few sample today - wow, this is going to make life so much easier! 100% examinable befor ethey open to get their card/ring etc
these are great. I highly recommend you ask Dave for a sample, then order!
Thanks very much for all the time and effort you have put into this Dave, bye bye copydex!
Matt Wainwright - The Magic Cafe Forum

I ordered 250 of these and got them today. They are the perfect size and save a lot of time and hassle. Anyone who has the Jerry O'Connell Plus wallet and performs card/ring etc to wallet should have no hesitation in ordering them. I know that Dave got an initial order of 7000, there's a quote on his site from Martin Sanderson saying that he's ordered 1000. I'm guessing it won't be long before they go. A big thank you to Dave for getting this sorted, fyi his customer service is excellent.
Briz - The Magic Cafe Forum

Dave kindly sent me some samples. Imagine the plot: after an ambitious card routine, or a mental routine using business cards that are signed, or whatever, you reach into your pocket remove your wallet and remove a signed and sealed envelope that you hand to the spectator to open!

Fantastic. The enevlopes are nicely made and Dave was super efficient and friendly.
Dr Todd - Talk

I had to post my thoughts on here. These are just perfect, theey are asy to use and very very well made, I overlooked this for along time.

I will be ordering lots and lots of these. Top marks Dave for sorting this out.
Lee Smith - Talk

They are fantastic, I was grinning like a idiot after I first tried these.

I got the thicker envelopes and they are really excellent. The first time I used it the spectator took a while trying to open it. This worked really well, and at the end of the routine he mentioned how impossible it was for the card to get into an obviously well sealed envelope. They really cam examine it as much as they like and never ever find anything wrong with it.
Giznorm - Talk