Draven Reviews: Counterfeit by Daniel Meadows


Title: Counterfeit

Artist: Daniel Meadows

Producers: Magic World

Retail Price: $24.95

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Length of DVD: 17 Minutes


  • Instructional DVD
  • 6 Specially Printed Cards


  • Play All

This is a fun little packet trick that uses cards but not in the traditional way you’re used to. The magician presents six cards each with a familiar yet odd sounding movie title. For example “The Hunger Pains.” The spectator is asked to select one movie title for themselves, and one for you. The four remaining cards have the word “That” written on their backs with the backs themselves being one color, while the two selected have “This” written on them and their backs are of a different color. It’s quite an interesting presentation!

The DVD comes with the six specially printed cards you need to perform this trick. I wish the cards were made better. It looks like either the images were ink jet printed on the cards or they used really low quality images to print from. Also in the demo Daniel uses an envelope with “counterfeit” written on it which isn’t included. Not horribly hard to make mind you, but still. It goes to further the feeling that the production of the actual props was rushed. The cards are standard size so this makes for a great packet trick that can live in your wallet and be used anytime you need something fast and fun.

The trick is pretty fun to do. The package says there’s “no memory work” involved and that’s a bit of a misnomer. There’s a little memory work involved with keeping in your mind which movies tie into which ending, but the good news is there’s a hidden mnemonic code to help you with that. Also since there are only six cards and two groupings at the end it really won’t take you long at all to remember which moves go with which grouping. Word play is very strong with this effect and its use of “This” card or “That” card. This gives it an added kicker ending when the reveal is shown that they’ve selected the only two cards that match. I’m also grateful that the backings of the cards that I received with the DVD aren’t Bicycle brand. The sort of generic star backing on the cards gives this less of a card trick feel and more emphasis on the movie plot line. Also given the comedic movie titles there’s lots of room for some comedy byplay should that be something you like to do with your audience.

The hardest sleight you’ll have to know how to do is the Elmsly count. Granted there are a lot of better resources to learn this move from out there but if you’ve never seen it done before then Daniel does run through it. This makes Counterfeit a solid selection for beginner or a pro.

Counterfeit plays strongly in the close up environment where you have a small group of people in an intimate setting. Because the cards are the size of regular playing cards they lose all their impact from any decent distance. The reset on this trick is near instant, which means strolling, and street guys are going to love it. Overall it’s a pretty easy trick to learn, fun to perform, practical for close up work, and has a fun comedy movie/ pop culture tie in.

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: 6

The price is a bit of a setback for this effect. You’re basically paying for the DVD, since the props could almost be remade from home with a little Photoshop, and some higher grade images plus a trip to Kinko’s (or your favorite local print shop.) However it is fun to perform and easy to learn.

Teaching Quality: 8

Daniel’s a great teacher. This is a quick learner.

Video & Sound Quality: 9

Good sound and video.

Overall Quality: 7

What a fun little trick. It’s refreshing to see something come along that uses cards but doesn’t rely on the standard card plots.

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! Don’t forget to like my blog where all my reviews are posted at www.williamdraven.wordpress.com.

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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