Monday, September 20, 2010

Twisted Blizzard

I love this effect! The demo video is straight to the point and gives you the perfect idea of what's happening here. The spectator chooses any card (yep, any card) and it's the only card in the deck that has anything on it. The rest of the deck is blank! While this may sound like the standard blizzard, the nice thing here is you're using one deck, and everything resets nicely. There is also a bonus effect here called "White Trash" that is an "Out of This World" type effect with a nice twist.

The only thing I don't like about this effect is that there comes a point where it's possible for a spectator to choose a suit that you'll need to sort of magician's force them out of. To me, that lessens the effect greatly from the pick any card strength. To fix that, here's a variation on the trick I came up with that is to me just as miraculous: ask the spectator why they chose that card, then say it doesn't matter and show that it is the only blank card in the pile of four. Then spread the deck and show the rest of the deck is printed up with their chosen card being the only blank one. Yes, it's an entirely different effect that way, but the spectator will feel they've truly chosen the only card in the deck that was blank and have no idea how they did it. If you wanted to, you could then repeat the effect to a different spectator and if they chose any other suit you can do the Twisted Blizzard as you a real miracle for the spectator of how the deck went blank after they saw the faces on there.

This is one of those wonderful effects that you practice for a few minutes and then can just concentrate totally on performance rather than worrying about keeping up with everything going on. The DVD is a great step-by-step guide to everything you need to know.

If you're looking for a nice effect that gives you a great bang for the reasonable price, grab this one.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


If you watch the demo of this you'll be extremely excited, and yes it does look like a miracle...but that's because there was something important left out of the demo vid that you won't find out until after you own the effect: contrary to what they claim, the spectator does NOT have free choice of any drink.

The first part of this routine (and the part conveniently left out of the video) is the part where the spectator "chooses" the drink from a prepared list of possibilities (and you can see where this goes from there). Then you proceed to make the drink appear out of a Coke or whatever. There is no "pick any drink you can think of" walk up like they do in the video. While this might not set some folks off on the effect, it's something that should have been shown rather than misrepresenting the entirety of the effect.

Next is the gimmick. You are given enough for 15 performances, after which you buy refills (don't try to make these yourself). Then there is a good amount of prep work done before you perform, but that's to be expected. Just be careful because the prepared drink can and will leak if you don't keep it upright. And the spectator cannot hold or inspect the can during or after the effect.

There is actually an easier way to prepare the can that doesn't involve the gimmicks and actually plays bigger and safer because the spectator could actually open the can and pour the drink out. I won't give away the secret of "Cansposed", but for a non-gimmicked version let me just say concentrate on the bottom of the can and the idea will probably open up to you.

On the plus side, the gimmick could be used for other effects. It's easy to see where this could be strong for several things if you use your imagination.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mash Pack by Garrett Thomas

This is literally a one-trick pony. You can "vanish" a card box and have the deck appear, then have the box reappear if you'd like. Unfortunately, the deck cannot be used for a trick itself as the sides are marked too much for use. Garrett does a good job of showing how to ditch the deck for one you can move into with your act, but you'll need to be wearing a jacket in order for this to be effective (deck switch only as he shows can do the disappearance of the box without it). It seems a little limiting for a card trick like this.

The follow up using the other included deck isn't much more impressive, though in its defense it is an effect you can slip into your routine as a closer (since the entire deck has the card box's face on it). You could use the deck for any other trick after the "transformation" though, because the backs are identical even if they are different from what the spectator is used to seeing.

There are two things I don't like about this. First, the price is far too steep for something like this. While you do get two decks and a DVD, I feel this could easily have gone for $20-$25 and been more in line. Second, the performance on the DVD is less than impressive. At one point he's going to vanish the deck into a hat and have it switch places with the box. Unfortunately, while he's holding the box and deck in the same hand he's got it positioned so it plainly shows the marks of the deck parallel with the box (making it painfully obvious to the spectator and us what's going on). Likewise, his performance with the other deck is unimpressive. He does the effects with two different audiences, and the two ladies he chose to use in the pool hall are completely under-whelmed at everything. They look like they know they're supposed to be acting impressed, but are either too nervous to act natural or just aren't impressed with what's going on. I'm not asking for some Criss Angel crowd screaming and fainting here, but he might have done better using a more enthusiastic pair.

This isn't the worst effect I've bought this year, but it's definitely not one I'd feel comfortable performing.