Draven Reviews: Dots To Die

not approvedEffect: Dots To Die 2.0
Artist: Sumit Chhajer
Link: Available from your Favorite Murphy’s Magic retailer
Retail Price: $35.00 USD
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Notes: Dimensions 6.0 x 6.0 x 0.8

 

 

 

 

Includes:
•    1 Dots To Die Gimmick Die
•    1 Bag of Elastic Thread
•    1 Cloth Caring Case
•    1 Printed Set of Instructions

The Effect:

I love the Hopping Spots magic trick!  Back when I used to deliver pizza and do a little magic show for tips as a teenager this was my go to.  Kids loved it, parents loved it, it had great comical beats, and played well for audiences of just about any size.  Dots To Dice is a revisit to a beloved classic but instead of having a flat surface in the end you end up with a three dimensional die.

The packaging for the product is quite nice.  I didn’t expect to get a nice, all be it kind of cheap, cloth like caring case for the Dots to Dice gimmick.  I highly recommend you store your Dots to Dice in the storage case it comes with just because of how delicate the gimmick is.  Rough handling could break the gimmick and ruin the prop for you.  Unlike the traditional Hopping Spots trick Dots to Dice doesn’t rely on magnets.  So in a way, it’s good that you’ll never have to worry about losing any dots.  On the down side it does rely on thin rubber strings.  So I’m not so sure this non magnet approach is a better one since to me rubber bands are far more finicky to keep in working condition than magnets.  For one, rubber over an extended period of time does wear out regardless of how often they are used.  Magnets don’t.

The size of the prop is nice.  It can be seen well from a stage by a good sized audience.  When folded up the Dots to Die lays mostly flat.  Maybe it’s just me but even when I watch the Demo trailer for the product it just seems like there’s more to it than not so the final production / transformation into the cubed die just doesn’t seem all that special to me.  I think the final production lacks the punch the creators’ was hoping to give it.

The instructions are just a simple folded card that shows how to fold up the die, and work the gimmick for the spots.  With such printed advice like “avoid falling on the floor” how could you possibly go wrong?  Okay so grammar checking may not be their forte, so I’ll cut them a little slack there.  After all we’re magicians not Engrish teachers right?

The final production of the three dimensional cube die is a cute way to end this classic effect but the final production lacks a certain punch a finale needs.  The non magnet approach is novel but I question the need to diverge from a tried and true method.  Replacing magnets with elastic bands that can wear out and snap just doesn’t seem like a step forward.  More like a step sideways.  At least if I lose a magnetic spot I can usually just convince my local magic shop owner to sell me a new one.  If I snap a rubber band I’m out a magic die trick.  I should make careful mention here:  The Dots To Dice trick comes with additional rubber bands to replace the main elastic responsible for transforming it from flat square into three dimensional cube.  The construction of the prop does not allow you to easily repair the broken elastics on the dots themselves should you manage to snap one of those!

This would be a cute trick for the children’s entertainer if you can justify using a prop that could be an expensive liability to replace.  Honestly folks I’d just stick with the classic Hopping Spots if I were you.  Sure you can’t turn it into a nice three dimensional cube at the end but the chances of a headache from a failed prop is also significantly less.  This product fails on the grounds that it functionally isn’t that much of an improvement it claims to be.

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, Performance Practicality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality:
$35 bucks is way too much money to spend on a product powered by temperamental elastic bands that once broken isn’t easily fixed.

Teaching Quality: 4
The instructions, for what they are, should be fine for most people; comical grammatical errors aside.

Performance Practicality: 2
This product tries to sell itself as an improvement on a classic effect by not requiring magnets.  Honestly I’d take the magnets over the elastics any day.  Remake this in a magnetic version and you’ll have a fan for life.

Over All Quality: 3
Use at your own risk.  I personally would pass on this one if I were you.  If they ever make a magnetic version then I’d go with that over this elastic one.

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About William Draven

William Draven is a professional magician and sideshow performer living in Los Angeles, California. Follow him on Twitter at WilliamDraven or on facebook at www.facebook.com/thewilliamdraven
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