Draven Reviews: Heirloom Deluxe

approvedTitle: Heirloom Deluxe
Artist:  Jamie Badman & Colin Miller
Producers: Alakazam Magic UK
Retail Price: $50.85 USD
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Length of DVD: 1:20 min
Notes: You’ll want access to a printer for all the good extra PDF stuff on the DVD


•    Play Movie
•    Chapters
•    Original Heirloom
•    Bonus Materials

Comes With:
•    DVD
•    Custom Photos
•    4 Custom Printed Letters
•    The Original Heirloom PDF
•    The Movie File
•    The Underground Collective PDF
•    Bonus Card Images (back designs) PDF
•    Silent Past PDF
•    Hit Letter for Original Heirloom PDF
•    Heirloom Redux PDF (Mark Elsdon’s streamlined version)
•    Full Script for “Emily’s Revenge” Presentation

You tell a story of your Uncle Charlie who was a gambler.  He always had a favorite card, and you ask the spectator to name a card.  At the end of the story you turn over a photo showing your Uncle Charlie, his wife Emily, and his favorite card he was holding is the spectators named card!

Heirloom is based on Kenten Knepper’s Colossal Killer, and is a powerhouse of an effect.  I was disappointed when it was discontinued in 2012 because it always got such strong reactions.  I was elated to see that it was re-released in this now highly more upgraded version called Heirloom Deluxe.

There is so much information, so many good gems jammed packed into this DVD it’s hard to know where to start.  Heirloom is one of those tricks that sort of have a life of its own.  Since its release there have been many magicians who have added their own twists, turns, and handlings to it, and some of the best alternative versions have been included in this DVD.  This is literally one of those tricks you could spend hours on researching, practicing, refining, and still find new nuances of this masterpiece that will make it play stronger for your audiences.

If you missed your chance to own the original Heirloom don’t panic!  This deluxe version comes complete with the original typed and printed reveal letter, as well as “upgraded” reveal photos.  I’ll discuss these “upgrades” later.  If you suspect a fair amount of sarcasm in my writing regarding this then you’d be right.  The original story in Heirloom pits your Uncle Charlie against a den of gamblers in a situation where the spectators freely named card either is the card featured in the photo of your Uncle Charlie (the card he needed to win his fortune) or it will be off by one as referenced in the letter he writes to your Aunt Emily.  In this original version we don’t really ever get to know much about Emily’s character but in the Deluxe version you have the option to build on that more.  Emily apparently had some gifts of her own, and her psychic premonitions leaves a chilling added kick at the end of the story that every bizarrest will love.  If you perform White Star by Jim Critchlow, then the Emily’s Revenge version of Heirloom would be an ideal opener to segue into that routine.  The Emily’s Revenge take on Heirloom will leave your audience with more than just a magical memory.  It may send them off with a creepy unsettling feeling that could haunt their dreams.

One of the weaker points in the original Heirloom is the use of the One Off letter.  If your spectator would name a card that wasn’t a hit with a photo out you’d have to produce the wrong card photo, same suit but one off of the card the spectator named, and then the one off letter as well to explain this miss and turn it around into a hit.  The problem is you only use the letter if it’s a miss so only during half the performances would the audience see this letter.  I say that’s a problem because a prop like that in a story telling trick like Heirloom, I think really adds something to it.  In Heirloom deluxe you get a hit letter as well as a miss letter so it doesn’t matter which way the story ends the spectators still get a creepy letter to read that ties it all up nicely.

The DVD has a lot of extra bonus material on it too.  You get copies in PDF format of everything you get in prop format.  So if you wanted to you could produce your own letters and photos on whatever paper stock you wanted.  This is something that I HIGHLY recommend.  One of the things that I absolutely hated about Heirloom deluxe is the crappy thick card stock quality of the photos.  In the original Heirloom the photos were printed on photo paper which made them feel organic and real.  This crappy card stock photo takes away that mystery of plausible realness and makes it feel very much like another magic trick.  Personally I just took my old Heirloom photos, put them with the new Emily’s Revenge reveal letter, and chucked the new card stock photos into a zip lock bag destined for the bottom of my magic trunk.  The hit letters are marginally better in so much as they are printed and designed to look like aged paper but honestly a quick run through a quality printer on a nice thick paper stock and a tea treatment and you’d have something of equal if not better quality.  Included in the DVD is PDF copies of all the hit letters, as well as the original letter from Heirloom.

The DVD comes with PDF copies of the full script for Emily’s Revenge presentation, and a PDF of Mark Elsdon’s version of Heirloom which only uses four photos, the Queens, for the reveal and is much more streamlined than the usual Heirloom presentation.  Along with the Bonus items included you’ll also find the instructions for the original Heirloom, and the Heirloom Wallet.  It’s like they went through their archives and took out everything they had related to Heirloom and threw it together onto one DVD.  The Legacy PDF covers more ideas for Heirloom and even gives you some solid tips on how to age paper and photos.  So if you have never done that before and you don’t want to use the crappy photos that come with Heirloom Deluxe, then just follow the tips given in Legacy and you can make your own.  Legacy gives you some additional Heirloom presentation ideas such as a no letter reveal, making your own Heirloom Diary, and some more ideas on how to work Heirloom into existing magician’s wallets like the Real Man’s wallet, and the Stealth Assassin wallet.  The final PDF in the bonus section is the Silent Past presentation.  Silent Past is based off of Ben Harris’s Cross Roads principle, and in this version of Heirloom there is no letter, and there are no off by one.  This is a script heavy routine but it requires less photo outs than the usual Heirloom.

Heirloom is one of my favorite effects of all time.  It goes with me everywhere I go, and I keep it handy in my wallet for any occasion.  I can vary the degree of impact from impossible magic trick to a creepy story with a heavy atmosphere around it by changing the presentation just a little bit.  Heirloom is supported by products, like the Heirloom wallet that was made specifically for this trick.  Many magicians, as evident by all the bonus material, have contributed their own thoughts and ideas into making this a truly unique piece of magic.  Heirloom has a life of its own, and I’m sure you’ll even come up with a few ideas of your own on how to present it.  It’s ideal for close up, or walk around, and I’d say even parlor if you play it right.  I love this effect and I’m so glad that once again it is available on the market.

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:  4
Let me explain this grade real quick.  I LOVE Heirloom.  I love all the bonus material you get.  I HATE the cheesy card stock “photos” the Deluxe version comes with.  IF the photos were printed on actual photo paper like the original was this failing grade of 4 would have been an instant 10.  Moral of the story folks: If you’re going to call something “deluxe” don’t cut corners on production costs by changing an aspect that made the original so unique.

Teaching Quality: 9
Bang on, and with so much information to digest.  You can spend hours alone just pouring over the wealth of information included in the bonus section.

Video & Sound Quality: 9
Good sound and video.  No problems with the DVD portion.

Overall Quality: 7
Don’t let the Product Quality grade or the Overall grade (affected strongly by the score of 4 in the Product Quality) fool you.  This is an AMAZING effect.  It’s a blessing to be back out on the market, and you really need to get a copy before it disappears again.  I love Heirloom, I use Heirloom all the time personally, and I strongly recommend it.

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!

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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