Draven Reviews: Upgrade by Danny Weiser

approvedTitle: Upgrade
Artist: Danny Weiser
Producers: Big Blind Media
Retail Price: $27.00 USD
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Length of DVD: 32 minutes
Notes:  You may need to construct your own UPGRADE gimmick after extended use.



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Upgrade is a unique utility gimmick that allows you to, pardoning the pun, “upgrade” your close up magic to reality defying levels.  Basically what this gimmick allows you the freedom to do is to transform one card into another whether this is a transformation of a indifferent card into a spectators signed card, or a simple very visual color change.

The versatility of this particular product is quite nice since you can “upgrade” your existing card plots to include use of the gimmick such as a more ambitious card routine, or a strange card traveling plot where the selected card jumps from a spread in your hand to being the face down card placed on the table at the start of the trick.  You’ve got a lot of play that you can get out of this little trick depending on how you want to use it.  I think my favorite idea dealt with Danny using a blank card, and using the gimmick to transform a face card into a blank card leaving the revelation to impossible location up to me.  This little gimmick has a lot of potential.

You get the gimmick prebuilt for you already when you buy the DVD.  But it does come with some extra special “gimmick making stuff” so you could make your own once this one either wears out or breaks.  Danny explains to you in detail how to do this on the DVD.  He also covers multiple different uses for the gimmick to give you some ideas to start with.  Like most things in magic though I think this gimmick is best used if you understand how it works and then find a way to incorporate it into your own style and character rather than just say perform it cookie cutter to how Danny does it on the DVD.

Performing with the gimmick is pretty easy.  It fits well inside your deck without any real obvious signs saying you’re using a gimmicked card.  It’s easy to find, and control too.  As for the operation, that will take a little finesse to get used to loading the gimmick, but once you get the feel for that down you’re good to go.

This is a nice little miracle that you can keep in your pocket and take it with you anywhere you go.  If you are familiar with his other effect Skyline then Upgrade works on a similar principle.  I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the idea to create Skyline didn’t come from creating and playing around with Upgrade.  Danny is certainly creative with his magical ideas.  Upgrade is a fun and easy gimmick to play with.  I think the instantaneous change between indifferent and desired card is pretty cool.  I’d certainly check it out if I were you.

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 price for a hand crafted gimmick is fair.  The product works, and the chard change is very visual.  Using the gimmick requires a bit of finesse but nothing that you won’t figure out with a little time practicing with it.

Teaching Quality: 8
The tutorial was easy to follow.  The Gimmick is easy to build should it break or need repairs/ replaced.

Video & Sound Quality: 9
Good sound, clear video.

Overall Quality: 7
This is a very visual card change, and useful utility gimmick.

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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