Review: Pen OR Pencil by Mickael Chatelain

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: Madame Curator”][vc_column_text]I shot a couple of Instagram quickies with Pen OR Pencil by Mickael Chatelain, and the reactions were astonishing. People really REALLY loved this visual effect where a ball point pen changes into a pencil, or a pencil into a pen, or they exchange places right before their very eyes. The magical presentation and plot is entirely up to you.

My performance passed the test on social media, receiving hundreds of “likes” and positive comments on both Facebook and Instagram. The next step was performing this close-up effect in a real world setting… the verdict? It also scored a “WHOA!” from impressed spectators, who immediately tried to get grabby- but nothing a quick switch using misdirection and sleight of hand can’t resolve.


As with most magic effects, there’s no issue if you are mindful with your performance angles (no extreme sides or people behind you) and audience management (anticipate them doing a fast grab because this is one magic trick they’d really want to check out right after the magic moment).

Chatelain, known for his brand of DIY magnetic card magic, has generously included “refills” should your ready-made gimmick get grubby from wear-and-tear. I’ve used mine quite substantially since getting it but I’ve stored it properly in a ziplock bag to keep it away from dust and grime, so it still looks very much brand new and pristine.

Pen OR Pencil by French magician, Mickael Chatelain, is a visual beauty that would also bring you much joy (geeks R us) simply doing the move before a mirror. I actually performed the above transposition effect right out of the package, without prior checking out Chatelain’s instructions on his multi-lingual (French/ English) DVD.

If you can do a decent paddle move, the world is your oyster! Simple, beautiful and highly visual – if you’re a professional magician it doesn’t hurt to include this close-up stunner in your promo video. Get this and try using the concept on other everyday objects 😉 2 Thumbs up!

Magic is our passion but we are not a magic shop ? You can purchase this here!

[usr 9][/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: Michael Siegel” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left”][vc_column_text]I first became aware of Pen or Pencil created by French magician Mickael Chatelain when I saw our very own hostess/magician par-excellence, Ning Cai, perform Pen or Pencil in a video posted on her Facebook page. You should definitely check it out! Well, after watching her incredible and super cute performance, I had to order one for myself. I am glad I did. Thanks Ning for the inspiration!


Mickael Chatelain is a French magician who has created many magic effects that I personally use. He is very creative. Pen or Pencil is a simple, but clever creation. The basic effect is that you show a wooden pencil with a white eraser and a blue crystal clear blue pen with a blue cap. You ask a spectator to choose one. Let’s say she picks the pencil. You put the pencil away in your pocket leaving you holding only the blue Bic pen. You remove the cap and then bam! Without any cover the blue Bic pen instantaneously changes into the pencil. Yes. It is as clean and simple as that.

There are no pulls, magnets, wires, threads, mirrors, or trap doors. Everything is self-contained. You can do this mini-illusion in your short shorts if you wanted to. Despite warnings from my neighbors of calling the police, I tried it and it works fine.

The basic effect is very easy to perform. You don’t need to be David Copperfield or even Claudia Schiffer  to pull it off. But you do need to watch your angles. I would say you are of course good straight away and about 120 degrees on both sides of you. No one should be behind you. This is a great trick to do for video or a few spectators at a time. The reset takes a second.

What you get:

  • An ungimmicked pencil
  • An ungimmicked pen
  • A gimmicked pen
  • Extra supplies to make three additional gimmicks.
  • A DVD with a performance and a thorough explanation by Mickael Chatelain. You can select either French or English language. His English is perfectly understandable, much better than my French would be.

The fabulous routine that our very own Ning Cai did was different than the standard routine. Oh, that Ning is very clever and original indeed! Instead of putting the pencil away and causing the pen to change into the pencil, she held the pencil in one hand and the pen in the other and with a wave of her pretty hands, the pencil and pen magically and instantaneously changed places. Super magical and super cool! Now to do the routine as performed by Ning, you will have to make up another gimmick using the supplies provided. (You don’t need to get your nails painted like Ning does to perform the routine. I tried and it does not help.) You do get extra supplies to make three extra gimmicks. Needless to say, Ning is much more talented than your humble magic reviewer so I had a little bit of difficulty preparing the extra gimmick. Not that it is hard, but it takes a certain finesse to do it perfectly. After a few minutes I was able to do it perfectly. It would have been extra nice if Mickael added a second, already prepared gimmick to do this routine, but you can make it yourself with the supplies provided.  

Pen or Pencil is a really cool effect! It is very visual and straightforward. It is also easy to do. In fact, I taught my 10 years old son to do it in 5 minutes. Just be aware of your angles. It is a really fun effect to perform in the mirror, on video and for spectators. Available at Murphy’s Magic for only $29.95. Highly recommended.

[usr 9][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]



[/vc_column_text][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”gp-standard-sidebar”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Ning Cai is a Singapore Literature Prize nominated author, who was also long listed for the Epigram Books Fiction Prize in 2016. A bestselling writer, she is also recognised for her illusionist/ escapologist stage character Magic Babe Ning, and recognised by Channel News Asia as South East Asia's first professional female magician.

Table of Contents

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Share on telegram
Share on email