Draven Reviews: The Matrix Pad by Richard Griffin

not approved Title: The Matrix Pad

Artist: Richard Griffin

Producers: RG Magic Presents

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Length of DVD:  34 Minutes (Approx)


  • The Matrix Trailer
  • Uncut Performance
  • Explanation

The Matrix Pad is a really neat spin on the classic Four Coin Matrix by Al Schneider in which the magician draws spots on a post-a-note and then proceeds to move those spots one by one into a corner of the pad leaving the spectator with a very magical souvenir to take home from their experience.

What you get in the package is one DVD in a paper case, two post-a-note pads, one of them being already gimmicked, an extra gimmick sheet, and enough gimmick dots to last you for quite a while.  The only thing you need to provide for yourself is a Sharpie marker.

As far as construction is concerned the gimmicked pad is durable.  No better, no worse than what you’d expect from a standard pad of post-a-notes.  That’s mostly because it IS a standard pad with the exception of one minor alteration.  Performing with the Matrix Pad is easy because it’s small enough to fit inside your jacket pocket, and is ideal for walk around or table hopping magic.  The reset is fairly quick, and could be done within a few seconds as you move to your next group/table if you are in a strolling environment.  If you really wanted to there is a way you could set it up in advance to where you can get multiple performances out of the pad without resetting but that would require a little finessing.  Your angles while performing this is pretty good.  So long as no one is standing behind you looking over your shoulders they won’t see anything.

The downside of this product is that the gimmick is not as strong as it should be.  There’s a real problem trying to get the gimmick and the dots to work right, or stay where you want them, even during performance.  When it works it’s beautiful, but when it doesn’t it’s a complete botch of a trick, and the weakness of the gimmick really doesn’t instill a lot of confidence that you need to pull this illusion off right, which is a critical flaw if you ask me.  The flaw is fixable if you want to run to a hobby store and play around with ways to make the gimmick stronger but that’s on you if you want to invest that kind of time and energy into salvaging something that you may or may not be able to do without.

The DVD is very helpful in teaching the illusion, and provides you some additional insight to managing your dots, which is nice but it also tells me that the creator himself knows how fickle this pad can be.  The moves needed to perform this illusion are simple enough that a new comer to magic could get them down without too much trouble which will make this appealing to more advanced practitioners as well.  The DVD isn’t very long, and doesn’t waste your time with needless fluff and banter.  It’s strait to the point:  this is what you get, this is how you set it up, and this is how you perform it.  That’s a feature I like.  Get to the point, and let me worry about the creative process.  Just show me how the mechanics work and I’ll figure out the rest for myself.

I’ve got to question the practicality of this effect for real world use just given the nature of how iffy the gimmick can be.  I mean if you have it set up and in your close up case and it’s a single one time use for a show you may not have a huge problem with it.  But if you’re planning on strolling, or keeping this in your pocket for extended periods of time doing street magic, and of course depending on how tight your pockets are, you may have a different and less pleasurable experience.  Once again, it’s a great illusion, but due to the strength of the gimmick involved it doesn’t instill a lot of confidence when it comes to handling it.

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

Great idea, but you end up with an unreliable and temperamental prop that may not work right.

Teaching Quality: 8

Great tutorial!

Video & Sound Quality: 8

Good sound and video.

Overall Quality: 4

I love the idea of drawing dots and doing a moving ink matrix, and even giving them the paper as a take home souvenir but the prop doesn’t give me a lot of confidence when I’m using it which is a huge problem for me.  The weak strength of the gimmick creates more problems than I care to solve.

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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