So Why Should You Use The Draven Reviews?

So I’ve been writing reviews now for a little over a couple years and one of the question’s I get asked a lot is “What makes your reviews better than anyone else?”

Admittedly there’s a lot of options when it comes to magic reviews.  You’ve got review columns in most magic magazines like Geni, and Magic Magazine etc.  But what you don’t have in those column’s is the Draven Reviews.  But what makes my two cents worth so much more to you?  Because my reviews are unlike anything I’ve seen on the market yet.

Honesty:

My reviews are in depth, thorough, and brutally honest.  Just because I respect an artists work, or have a friendship with them doesn’t mean they get a free pass on my review.  I’ll call a steaming pile of dog crap out for what it is, and while that opinion may not be liked very much (usually by the creative force behind the product) I feel that it is generally appreciated by the community who read my reviews overall and that’s who I write for anyways;  The community, not the artists.  When you read my review you can depend on them being more than just “I like this.  Buy it.” Because I’ll tell you why you should like it.  Why you need to buy it.  I try to focus on addressing what tricks are practical for what situations, and how easy the gimmicks (if there are any) are to use or build.  When a product has earned the Draven Seal of Approval you know at a quick glance that the product is something that is either good or bad.

No Hidden Surprises:

A lot of magic tricks sold on the market rely on a certain unknown element to sell themselves to you.  That unknown element has often been the result of disappointment, or anger when you finally get the product home, opened up, and then you realize that had you known XYZ before you bought it, then it would have altered your buying decisions.  I try to catch these little disillusionments and call them out for what they are.  If you read my reviews then I try to arm you with as much viable material to form a solid purchasing decision as I can.

Freelance Opinions:

I am not paid for my time!  I can’t stress this enough.  I write these reviews out of my love and dedication to the art of magic and the community that performs and collects magic.  This for me is a labor of love, not something that I do because I’m paid or compensated for it.  That means that you know my seal of approval (or occasionally disapproval) is honestly earned by the products and not paid for or bought by a sponsoring party.  While I try to keep my reviews to a weekly schedule because they are produced in my free time, they are subject to fluctuation in my posting habits.

No Exposure:

I typically try to write my reviews with a biased against exposing the magic methods involved unless the artist has given me permission, it’s utterly unavoidable given the nature of what the product is, or I feel the product itself is misleading in its advertisement with regards to what it is or does.

Range and Depth of Information Provided:

I don’t just tell you about the product; I tell you about the price, where you can buy it, link trailers when applicable, the run times of the DVD’s, who the artists are, who produces it, and just about every other vital bit of information I can dig up on a product.  My reviews give you a lot more in depth knowledge about a magic product other than you should buy it.  Not only do I tell you that you should own it (or not) but I’ll tell you where you can go to get one too!

So having said all of that I know there’s a lot of options out there when it comes to getting reviews on your favorite magic tricks.  Whether you get your information from the magic magazines you subscribe to or you chose to go online to your favorite magic forum I want to thank you personally for reading my reviews, and subscribing to my blog.  You are the reason why I started this endeavor a couple of years ago, and the driving force why I keep doing it even to this day.  I hope that you feel better informed about your purchasing decisions after reading one of my reviews and I’d love to hear your feedback as well!  Please tell your friends about me, link me, and subscribe to me.  I need all the followers I can get.  If you are a producer of magic, independent artist, or a magic production company, and you want to have me review one of your products then please reach out to me and let me know.  I can be reached personally at Draven@williamdraven.com

Thanks so much for choosing the Draven Reviews as your go to source for information on what’s hot and what’s not in the magic world.  I’ll see you back here for the next review!

 

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Draven Reviews: L.O.V.E. by SansMinds

not approvedTitle: L.O.V.E.

Artist: Chris

Producers: SansMinds Productions

Link: Available from any official Murphy’s Magic Retailer

Retail Price: $24.95 USD

Learning Difficulty: Easy

 

 

Length of DVD: 12 minutes

 

Features:

  • Play All
  • Menu
  • SansMinds Products
  • Credits

 

With L.O.V.E. what you are really receiving is a four card switch out move which can be used as a utility change packaged up under the premise of using a card trick to hit on some poor unsuspecting girl. Magically speaking the change is pretty novel, and can be useful in other applications. However the additional gimmicked cards that spell out LOVE from the spectator’s point of view I think is deplorable. I’m not going to get onto my soap box and preach about magicians substituting their skill in magic to over compensate for a lack of social skills but I am adamant about not using magic as a form of pick up art when it comes to meeting people you are romantically interested in. Just…. Don’t.   If you can’t get a date under normal social means please for the love of god don’t give the rest of us magicians a bad name by using cheesy pick up lines and card tricks intended to get into some unsuspecting girl (or guy’s) pants. Just because you can do something with magic doesn’t mean you should. Oh and Chris that comment you make in the video (which is repeated on the add copy on the back of the DVD) about “Showing her how good you are with your fingers” I really think was uncalled for and lewd.

 

Performance wise there’s practically nothing to this trick. You’re setting the spectator up to see a visual card change in which the results spell out the word LOVE. Obviously you’re doing this to hit on them or try to get a phone number. It’s just pathetic. The move isn’t hard to master and the most difficult thing in this DVD is the pinky count required during the get ready phase. The DVD comes with four USPC made gimmicks for the letters “O”, “V”, and “E”. These are cards made to the USPC’s usual high standards for their playing cards. That is to say these cards will likely last you quite a while under normal to heavy use provided you don’t do anything like a TNR, Card Warp, Mercury Fold, or other equally damaging moves with them. I assume if you do end up needing a replacement you could probably just contact SansMinds and they might be able to sell you a cheap replacement card pack. Or you know you could just not bother doing this cheap (explicit removed) trick to begin with.

 

As far as close up card tricks are concerned this one isn’t very practical. You’re either going to have to have this setup on the top of your deck before you start performing, or you’re going to have to introduce them to your deck at some point before you do this particular trick. Failing that you could always deck switch for a deck setup with this trick too, but it just seems like such a waste to blow an entire deck setup on just this one rather lame trick.

Overall if you want to pick up on a girl I’d recommend buying her some chocolates, writing her some poetry, or you know… try to actually listen to her when she tells you what she’s into, what she likes, etc. Don’t be the magic douche that tries to pick up on her using crappy card tricks. It’s never as cool to her as you think it is.

 

 

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

 

Product Quality: 2

This is a lame concept. You should never try to over compensate for a lack of social skills by using magic. I’d flunk this with a 1, but the utility move is actually pretty useful if you get rid of the crappy LOVE pick up / hit on patter.

 

Teaching Quality: 2

Easy to learn. Patter provided, and trick concept shouldn’t have been taught.

 

Video & Sound Quality: 8

Sadly it’s a good video with solid sound. Other than the end credits that’s the only thing I liked about this video.

 

Overall Quality: 2

Actually use some social skills when trying to pick up on a date. Don’t give magicians a bad name by being “that guy” who tries to hit on girls at a party using card tricks.

 

 

Have a product you want reviewed? Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval? Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!

 

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Draven Reviews: Mugshot by Kevin Schaller

not approved Title: Mugshot
Artist: Kevin Schaller
Producers: Kevin Schaller?  I can’t find any producer credits on this product.
Link: You can purchase this from any of your favorite Murphy’s Magic retailers.
Retail Price: $25.00 USD
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Length of DVD: About 30 minutes give or take
Notes: A lot of build it yourself gimmicks will be required.

 

 

Features:
•    Teaching
•    Effects
•    Trailer

Mugshot offers the magician a selection of six “practical” and “commercial” effects that were designed to be performed on the street or at a serious magic gig.  Creator Kevin Schaller hopes that you will find these tricks easy to perform, and easy to succeed at.

The only catch is that I would consider none of these effects “practical” by any definition of the term.  As a working street magician (busker) and having worked a number of restaurant and private party style gigs in my life I can say that none of these tricks are tricks that I would consider strong or practical enough to use in a real gig environment with a paying client.  If by commercial Kevin means to be used for a webcam then yes.  He’s at least got that part right.  This is a collection of cute tricks for the webcam and or Youtube but they quickly fall apart when you put them in front of a real performing situation.

The names selected for the tricks, such as “Firearm”, “Sham”, “Singularity”, “Mask of Sanity”, and “Dark Hourse” as well as the name of the DVD (Mugshot) have nothing to do with the effects.  This is just another product from a young kid trying to come up with “new” magic all the while trying to make things sound cooler than what they really are.  Kevin has built the hype car but failed to install the hype engine.

I’ve got to give Kevin some credit.  His ideas are pretty original.  He’s obviously an out of the box thinker for a young person of his age.  However I’d encourage him to spend more time with R&D testing his products before he releases them for consumer consumption.

The problem I have with Kevin’s teaching style is that it’s nonexistent.  He doesn’t teach you anything.  He just goes through the gimmick assembly with a musical beat playing in the back ground and flashes words of what you are suppose to do on the screen.

Another huge problem I have with this entire DVD as a whole is that there is absolutely zero performance videos of these tricks for any live spectators.   All of his handlings, during the performance part none the less, look so unmotivated, so unnatural it practically telegraphs “I’M BLOODY DOING A SECRET MAGIC MOVE RIGHT THIS SECOND!  DON’T LOOK!”  This alone makes this products claim to be “practical for street or serious magic gigs” a farce.  Kevin doesn’t deliver a single line of patter, and his performance character, if you can even call it that does not support or justify a mute or silent act at all.  This entire DVD is a lot of look-see-do magic that is done for the sake of doing something to look “cool”.  Having never met Kevin before, and knowing nothing about his magic background, other than what I’ve seen with this video, I’d question if Kevin has even entertained for a real audience or just does card tricks for his youtube channel friends.  I’d question if he even knew how to handle a real audience.  These are not good questions to have going through your mind after having just bought a DVD from him that’s supposedly full of material that I’ll use in “serious magic gig” situations.

Having said all that let’s take a look at the tripe he’s trying to pass off as “serious magic”.

Singularity:  (What Kevin says about it) A visual change of a playing card clipped to your baseball cap.  This gives your spectator an impossible and unique souvenir.
My Impression:  For starters this requires me to be wearing a baseball cap with one of those plastic size adjuster things in the back.  This just has never been a fashion accessory I’ve ever made practical use of when working for any paying customer.  Be they a corporate client or even on the street corner busking.  A base ball cap is just too casual for my liking.  I mean it’s great that magic exists with them but this isn’t something I’d ever use.  Also the gimmick assembly for this effect is just not something I’d ever consider using.  And even in his demo, his fan change is hardly subtle.

Sham: (What Kevin says about it) Change any liquid inside a drinking cup.  Lemonade into real lemon juice, water into ice, or coffee into coffee powder.
My Impression:  What you see is him take a sip from a straw, supposedly drinking a colored liquid.  He removes the lid and straw throwing them away and then pours a crap load of sugar out of the cup.  The gimmick construction for this mediocre effect is once again more involved than what it’s worth.  There’s a thousand and one ways to do this change better than what he’s created. “Hospitality” from Magic Tao is just one of them.  Also you can’t let the spectator see down onto the top of the cup OR see the lid and straw after you remove it.

Firearm:  (What Kevin says about it) Turns any baseball cap into a utility prop without harming it.  Make cards shot out of the cap or change cleanly.
My Impression: Any performance video that opens with crappy camera special effects for a magic trick already loses a few points in my book but I’ll ignore the poor editing choices in favor of giving this effect an honest fair opinion.  In Firearm you use your baseball cap to cover up the deck and send a selected card(s) flying from under the base ball cap all projectile like.  This is once again dependant on a card made gimmick that you’ll only use for this one effect.  When it comes to ending a card trick there a thousand and one better ways you could do a card reveal before having to do this one.  Does anyone still read Tarbell or Card College these days?

Mask of Sanity: (What Kevin says about it) A highly visual penetration of a straw into any bottle, no matter if it is plastic or glass.  No holes or slits.
My Impression:  First off the “no holes or slits” is utter bull crap.  There is a hole in the cap and there is a slit in the straw.  Don’t lie to us to sell your cheap crappy magic.  Secondly, you’re not going to be able to let the spectator see the straw or the cap unless you switch out for an ungaffed version.  Once again this looks way better on a youtube channel than it would in practical live performance.

Dark Horse: (What Kevin says about it) Visually link a rubber band onto your cap.
My Impression: Once again you have another trick that the gimmick construction outweighs the strength of the performance.  You have to gimmick a baseball cap and put a normal rubber band onto a sleeve pull in order to do this linking effect.  Seriously Crazy Man’s handcuffs or Marcus Eddie’s “Stairway” in his DVD titled Five would be better selections to perform in a “serious magic gig” environment than this tripe.  This is a classic example of just because you can doesn’t mean you should when it comes to performing magic tricks.

Snapback: (What Kevin says about it) Rip and restore a signed card.  Hand it out after.
My Impression:  Ignoring the convoluted gimmick you have to build the handling alone suggests strongly to the spectator that there is something sticky on the card that shouldn’t be there.  If you want to do a signed Torn and Restored card then I highly recommend you look into Joined by Dario Capuozzo.

By the time I got to the end of this DVD there wasn’t a single effect on it that I could find myself saying “Yes this justified my purchase.”  Not only is this DVD a waste of your time it is a waste of your money.  Maybe Kevin Schaller has some creative ideas but he’s got a long way to go before they become usable in a real world environment, let alone commercially viable as a marketable product.  I wouldn’t even recommend this DVD to someone who just started learning magic this afternoon, that’s how bad it is.  This product has fail written all over it.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 1
Crappy magic created for a Youtube generation with no performance skills by the creator or practical real world applications.

Teaching Quality: 1
Kevin’s lack of stage presence is so prolific that it follows him into the tutorial portion of the DVD.  His nonexistent teaching quality has only added to the complete failure of a product that Mugshot is.  The teaching style of this video is just shows you generally what they want you to know and then flashes words on the screen.

Video & Sound Quality: 1
The same repetitive back beat music that plays throughout the entire DVD is highly annoying after the first two minutes of it.  I ended up just watching the entire DVD on mute, and the scary thing is it didn’t take anything away from the experience (performance or learning)!

Overall Quality: 1
Every time I’m tempted to fail a product I have to ask myself “Is this REALLY as bad as Alpha Cards by Jessie Feinberg?”  In the case of Mugshot I can honestly say that not only is it as bad as Alpha Cards but it is quite possibly much, much worse.  To slightly adapt a quote from the singer / songwriter Meatloaf: “This is a leamon and I want my money back!”

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!

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Draven Reviews: Blind Date by Stephan Leathwaite

approvedTitle: Blind Date
Artist: Stephan Leathwaite
Producers: FlatCap Productions
Link: Available From Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Retailer.
Retail Price: $35.00 USD
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Length of DVD: 31 Minutes
Notes:

 
Features:
•    Play All Performances
•    Performance Selection
•    Explenations
◦    Play All
◦    Scene Selection

The spectator is invited to go on a “blind date” with one of 12 eligible male bachelors.  Since their selection is at random you’ll place a prediction in play that ends up being the date they select to go out with!

I’m not a huge fan of magic tricks designed to hit on or pick up on girls, but this particular effect is kind of cute in a comical way.  What you end up getting is a set of 13 blind date cards.  They are about the size and thickness of a business card printed on card stock, the fact that the come in a Yu-Gi-Oh collectible card game card sleeve is probably only humorous to me since I’m a geek like that.  Two of the Blind Date cards are blank so you can put your own picture and information on them.  Obviously one of them is the prediction card, the other is the card the spectator will select.  The blind date the spectator ends up going on is of course with you.  –insert eye roll here.

The Blind Date cards come blank with the exception of a picture of the guy on them.  You can write in information like Age, Name, location, occupation, and marital status.  Why a married man would be going on a blind date seems a bit odd to me, I’d optioned for a contact method, but that’s just me.  Maybe if all the other options were married and you are the only single option it would make the ending more powerful?  I admit I haven’t played with that option yet.  Of course you don’t have to write anything in either but I think it adds a certain amount of showman ship to fill the cards out.  You’ll also need to get a couple passport sized photos of yourself printed so you can attach them to the card using whatever glue you fancy.  There’s certainly an element of “some assembly required” before you can perform this trick, something I generally dislike, but thankfully it’s minimal.

The methods explained on the DVD are pretty simple.  You have a dice method which produces a “random” number via some cleaver maneuvering, and then you have a card force as a backup in case you can’t hit the right number you need with the dice.  While the card force is less clean than hitting the right number on the dice roll it is still effective to get the right card in the spectator’s hands.

This effect plays well for a close up performer, or a table hopper.  You’ll need a surface to work on so this may not be the best effect for someone who works in a strolling atmosphere where all your effects need to be out of the pocket and in the hands.  This effect could easily be converted into a larger stage version with minimal effort. The reactions I’ve received from performing this trick have been great!  Overall I’d say this is a fun, and funny trick that you’ll probably enjoy.
When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 7
The cards will last for a long time, and the price isn’t bad.

Teaching Quality: 6
Learning to perform this trick is pretty easy.  Shouldn’t take you very long at all to master it.

Video & Sound Quality: 4
The sound and video isn’t the best.  The performances look like they were shot on a camera phone.

Overall Quality: 6
Not a bad trick.  I normally don’t like tricks like this and I could see myself using this in the right setting.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!

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Draven Reviews: Propel by Rizki Nanda

approvedTitle: Propel
Artist: Rizki Nanda
Producers: SansMinds Productions
Link: Available From Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Retailer.
Retail Price: $34.95
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Length of DVD: 25 Minutes
Notes:

 

 
Features:
•    Play All
•    Menu
•    SansMinds Products
•    Credits

A drawn dot on your fingers visually moves across your hand and then transfers to your finger on your other hand before the spectators eyes!

Moving Ink magic has always been something of a hit and miss for me.  Visually, when they work, they are amazing but often times the method is so impractical that the effect could only work for a camera.  Then came Rizki Nanda in combination with SansMinds and the game changed.   Propel is a killer visual effect that redefines the moving ink premise.

Propel is the brain child of Indonesian magician Rizki Nanda, and taught by SansMinds resident magician Herman with live performances by Jason.  The gimmick involved is simple to make, and the DVD comes with enough “magic stuff” to make several gimmicks.  On the plus side the gimmick is simple to use, easy to get in and out of, and visually stunning.  On the down side, as with most moving ink illusions, you’ve got a permanent ink dot on your off hand that won’t go away without soap and water.  So unless you can keep from flashing the dot on your finger this should probably be your opening trick.  That makes this less practical for a strolling/ street magician and more idea for film or TV work.  Oh and about that TV thing- all rights for TV use is reserved.  The other downside I have with this specific product is that it is angle sensitive!  Be careful of who you are performing for!

I’ve taken this trick on a test drive on the streets of Los Angeles for a few days now and every single time I perform Propel you’d think I was starting a religion with the reactions I get.  One girl rubbed my finger for several minutes insisting that the dot wasn’t real!  The reactions alone justified the purchase.  Herman, the guy teaching the trick on the DVD, does a great job explaining everything to you.

Overall I probably won’t use this trick a lot.  Moving Ink just isn’t something that I get a lot of use out of, but the reactions I have received have made for a hell of a solid argument for this trick’s power to amaze.  If you like the concept of moving ink then you’re going to love Propel.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 8
Good price, great reactions, solid trick.

Teaching Quality: 8
The trick is easy to learn, and well taught.

Video & Sound Quality: 8
Great video, and sound.

Overall Quality: 8
If you like moving ink illusions then you’ll love Propel!

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!

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Draven Reviews: Foresight by Oliver Smith

approved Title: Foresight
Artist: Oliver Smith
Producers: SansMinds Productions
Link: Available From Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Retailer.
Retail Price: 34.95
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Length of DVD: 21 Minutes
Notes: Some Assembly Required

 

 
Features:
•    Play All

A powerful highbred between visual magic, mentalism, and moving ink!

My jaw hit the table when I saw this demo.  Six ESP symbols (Zenner) are placed on the table.  These are drawn on the backs of playing cards and the spectator selects a symbol.  Your prediction is on the table in an envelope and when you open it to show the spectator you’re wrong!  Crap… Well with a magical wave of the card the ink on the card begins to move and realign itself to match the spectators selected card.  You’re prediction was right after all!  It’s almost as if you had the power of Foresight.

Finally a moving ink illusion that I will use!  No mess, no fuss, easy reset, and you can end clean.  I love this.  I love this to hell and back.  The number one problem I’ve always had with moving ink illusions is the methods for making them work are often so impractical that done for anything other than a TV camera it just isn’t worth the trouble.  Propel, also from SansMinds, was the closest I’ve ever come to finding a moving ink plot that I actually liked, but now I have Foresight.  Stop the bus, let me off here.

You’ll need to build a gimmick and the DVD will teach you how, but once it’s built this thing will last you a long time.  I’ve been using mine for a couple weeks now and it’s a powerhouse when it comes to visual effects.  Chris is a great teacher too.  He’s got so much energy that he’s as entertaining to watch as he is to learn from.  Once you’ve got the gimmick built you’ll need to spend a few minutes mastering the handling.  It’s a quick trick to learn though, so that’s good to know.  The best thing is thanks to a very special secondary gimmick provided you can switch out the card with moving ink on it for a duplicate.  That means the spectator can take it home with them and have nowhere to go when trying to explain how this works!

This is a great trick for walk around, street magicians, and even mentalists.  The visual nature of this trick makes it a home run with any audience watching.  The reset takes just a few moments, and can be done with your back turned to the audience if you need to.  Overall I loved Foresight!  This is effect that went straight into my performance case and hasn’t left since.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 8
Solid trick, and a great price.  The gimmick is easy to build which makes replacing it when it wears out easy.

Teaching Quality: 8
Love Chris and love his teaching style on the DVD.  He’s fun and easy to learn from.

Video & Sound Quality: 9
Great video and sound.

Overall Quality: 8
Love it.  This is a must own if you like mentalism, visual magic, and moving ink illusions.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!

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Draven Reviews: Joined by Dario Capuozzo

approved Title: Joined
Artist: Dario Capuozzo
Producers: Titanas Unique Magic
Link: Available From Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Retailer.
Retail Price: $29.95
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Length of DVD: 34 Minutes
Notes:  Some Assembly Required

 

 
Features:
•    Play All
•    Performances
•    Explanations
•    Credits

A Torn and Restored card plot without glue, magnets, or sticky stuff.  Can be done surrounded, and has an easy set up.

I love the classic effects and when it comes to card tricks the systematic destruction of a card and then the reassembly of the pieces through magic is one of my favorites.  As a story teller there is so many different angles you can take on this plot it’s about as varied as the many different ways there is to achieve its workings.  From the strait forward destruction and the restoration of the card to the metaphoric death and rebirth approach the torn and restored card plot has earned its place among the classics.

Dario has created possibly one of the nicest versions of the TNR that I’ve ever seen.  Though the setup involved will take a little bit to get used to the results are something that you can’t argue with.  It’s fun, simple, and commercial.  This really is the simplest way I’ve ever seen to perform this effect.  The DVD is 34 minutes long and is expertly put together.  I found the DVD to be well taught.  The card can be signed and unsigned.  While I liked the idea of doing this with a signed card, the handling I found to be a bit awkward.  When performing this I prefer the unsigned version.  The results I’ve gotten are great too so that never hurts!

This is a brilliant, simple, and easy to do effect.  No glue, no sticky stuff, and no magnets.  The method surprised me because I’m shocked no one has thought of it before.  This is great for close up work, or even small stage.  I highly recommend Joined if you like Torn and Restored effects.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 8
This is a great trick at a good price.  Highly commercial handling.

Teaching Quality: 8
Easy to learn, and easy to master.

Video & Sound Quality: 9
Good video good sound.

Overall Quality: 8
Loved Joined!  This is my go to for performing the Torn and Restored card.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!

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