Draven Reviews: Weapons by Eric Ross

 approvedTitle: Weapons

Artist: Eric Ross

Producers: Eric Ross Productions

Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer

Retail Price: $29.95 USD

Learning Difficulty: Easy to Difficult

Length of Video:  37 Min. (Approx)

Notes: Option to download instructional video included on website.

Includes:

  • Deck of Gaffed Bicycle Playing Cards
  • Link to Instructional Video Online.

If you’re not familiar with what a Gaff deck is then you’ve been living under a rock.  Specially printed gaff cards aren’t new to magic, nor are the full deck of gaff cards (like Weapons) either.  Every now and again a magic company produces something “special” that is “better” if only because it’s newer than other products on the market.  Eric Ross has now entered the ring with his rendition of gaff cards for the modern miracle worker.  Let’s see if they bring anything unique to the table, or if they are just another copy of an already existing product.

Coming in at just two cards shy of a regular full deck Weapons offers you a selection of fifty custom printed gaff cards that you can use in your close up card magic to take your magic to the “next level”, as the ad copy claims.  These gaffs consist of some classic ones like the old 52 on one gag or the moving pips plot, some that haven’t been printed in a while, and others specially created for this deck, such as the farting Queens and Kings’s.  Yes… that’s a thing now.  Royal court cards that fart.

One of the nice things that I liked about this gaff deck is that you get both red and blue standard backed Bicycle cards in it.  Most gaff decks on the market cater to one specific kind of back, so it’s nice to see that someone realized they can print both backs in the same deck and make more people happy with a single purchase.

If you like to do a lot of work with gaff cards then you’re going to love Weapons.  This deck is a treasure trove of ideas and possibilities.  You’ve got cards that blur, cards that have coins on them that you can use to produce real versions of those coins, you’ve got cards that look like a book of matches but unfolds into the selected playing card (who knows, maybe it WAS a real book of matches and you switch it out for the gaff), cards that are “burnt thru” to reveal a selected playing card.  You’ve got a lot of really neat creative options.

The stock is standard high grade Bicycle stock.  The feel good, fan well, and moves like doubles, triples, color changes, and passes work well with them.  The deck comes with an instructional video link that is password protected.  Eric Ross shows you some street performances for a couple of the effects possible, and everything else is taught in a studio with a single camera static shot.  The tutorial video is worth it, even if you are already familiar with doing work using gaff cards if only because he does highlight some of the decks feature cards.  The only thing I didn’t really like about the video is that it’s like thirty-seven maybe thirty-eight minute long but there’s no real introduction or wrap up to the video.  It starts sharply by thrusting you into the first trick you’re going to learn to do, and it ends about as abrupt.

I hear what you’re asking me next.  “Draven is it practical?”  Yes.  Yes it is.  You’re going to receive props that you can use to really have fun playing with your spectator’s minds.  As with any card magic you’re going to have to be aware of the sleights you are using and those will dictate angle sensitivity, if there is any, but those aren’t qualities indicative of this product directly.  Can I open with it?  Can I close with it?  Again these are questions that are dependent on what you’re using it for.  What this product is is a tool box loaded with options you can use to enhance your performances with.

Overall I liked Weapons.  While I’m not someone who does a lot of gaff card work I can certainly see the potential with this deck.  I think it’s going to make a lot of card workers really happy.  So if you do card magic then check out Eric Ross’s Weapons.

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: 8

The price is good.  The product is great.  There is a lot of creative potential here for magical mischief.

Teaching Quality: 8

Eric is not only a good teacher, but he’s really good at inspiring you to think creatively on your own.

Video & Sound Quality: 5

This video isn’t going to be winning any awards for its cinematography anytime soon… if ever.  The shots are static, gritty, and ugly.  Disembodied arms perform the moves needed while a voice teaches.

Overall Quality: 6

Do you like card magic?  If so then you’re going to like Weapons.

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.

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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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