Title: Shock Twist
Artist: Gary Jones in association with Top Secret Magic
Producers: Magic Tao
Retail Price: $20.00 USD
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Length of DVD: 18 minutes
- Instructional DVD
- Cards + Gaff
- Play All
- Elmsley Count
Shock Twist is an interesting variation to the classic Twisting the Aces by Dai Vernon in which at the end of the effect you show that what was once all blue backed (or red depending on what you get inside the DVD) cards have now changed to four different colored backs.
For twenty bucks you get a nice little packet trick that you can put in your wallet, carry with you, and always have that little something extra to show people when they say “You’re a magician!? Do something magical for me!” For many magicians the Elmsley Count, the backbone of this trick, is something we learn early on when we are just beginning to study card work, and what I like about Shock Twist is that it takes a classic of magic: Twisting the Aces by Vernon, and adds a new visual element to it that you don’t normally get. Once you’re done turning the four cards over one at a time the backs end up being all different than what they were when you started and it gives such a delightful punch to the ending of this trick.
The cards themselves seem to be arranged from other existing Bicycle decks. My cards are Red, Cyan, Blue, Purple, and a black and white pattern that I’m not overly familiar with. I imagine though that the colors may differ though from individual unit to unit due to how it’s manufactured and packaged. The colors really are a moot point, and if one really wanted to it wouldn’t be very hard at all to assemble your own Shock Twist packet out of just about any deck you wanted. This is good because if you use this effect a lot your cards will eventually wear out and it’ll be nice to know they are very easy to replace. The quality of the cards seems standard to what I would expect from Bicycle.
The instructional DVD is short, coming in at just under 20 minutes in length. I’m not really sure a DVD was needed to teach this effect though. Even though it does teach the Elmsley count which I think is a nice touch for beginners, I don’t really see anything of value the DVD brings that a simple piece of paper with instructions on it couldn’t have accomplished. However the DVD was pretty easy to follow along with. So I guess that’s a plus.
Shock Twist is a close up workers working trick. It’s a nice one off effect that you can do as a standalone piece or as a segue into another bit of magic. I’ve been carrying mine around in my lapel pocket in my suit and using it whenever someone asks me to show them a magic trick. It’s practical, and it holds up well on its own. A cleaver revisit to an otherwise classic effect.
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 DVD was unnecessary, which is probably the justification for asking 20$ bucks for an otherwise 10$ dollar trick but at least it was well produced. The card’s are standard Bicycle quality, and thankfully even at $20 dollars the trick isn’t too expensive that you can’t afford it.
Teaching Quality: 9
Short, sweet, and to the point. Just the way an instructional video should be. It also teaches not one but two different versions of the Elmsley Count for beginners who may not be familiar with the move already. A nice touch.
Video & Sound Quality: 9
Sound and video are both solid.
Overall Quality: 8
This is a cute effect. It’s a worker, it will travel with you, and you’ll find all kinds of ways to incorporate it into your close up or walk around / street magic. At only 20$ bucks it’s not a huge investment. I liked it and I think you will too.