Draven Reviews: Trojan Horse by Steven Himmel

 approvedTitle: The Trojan Horse

Artist: Steven Himmel

Producers: Murphy’s Magic

Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer

Retail Price: $24.95 USD

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Length of DVD:  48 Minutes


  • Instructional DVD
  • Gimmick

Demo Video

What is The Trojan Horse?  Well here’s what the marketing copy has to say, then we’ll see how it really holds up under a closer real world inspection.  “Trojan Horse is a genius utility playing card gimmick that will allow you to:

  • Transpose a selection, card, bill, or billet
  • Change the Face or Back of a selected card
  • Produce currency or small objects
  • Quick, easy and powerful mentalism routines”


So what is this awesome little genius utility gimmick?  Well calling it “genius” for starters is really being a bit too kind.  This double thick playing card is constructed from real standard bicycle cards and is very similar to an old six card repeat gimmick that I saw when I was probably around the age of sixteen.  Sure it can turn selected cards into currency, paper or coin, and it could produce small objects but anything that you produce needs to be folded pretty flat and be the thickness of a single playing card plus or minus a bit of give to really work with this gaff.  What this gimmick excels at is hiding a single playing card in plain sight.


The DVD spends a good amount of time explaining how to make the gimmick which I suppose is a good thing seeing as how it’s made from playing cards it will eventually wear out.  You also learn four different effects you can do with the gimmick, though they claim you can do more if you are inventive with your magic.  Given the limitations of the gimmick due to construction, and without exposing it, I can’t say that I would be confident this gimmick could realistically handle much more, but that’s just me.  The gimmick tends to flash a little when you know what you’re looking for so you’ll want to do your best to keep the audience from looking too closely at the backs of the cards.  Like most single card utility gimmicks this will be something you will use to do a specific effect and then ditch if you’re going to continue doing magic with the same deck of cards.


In a real world setting the magic that you can do with the Trojan Horse is practical.  I can see this being a favorite tool of the beginning magician, but working pros are probably going to shy away from it since a lot of the effects you can do with a gaff can be achieved thru other more complicated sleights.  So overall this is going to be a matter of personal taste.  As for myself it’s one I’ll pass on.  I don’t see the gimmick being that cleaver, nor do I see it being that useful.  However it does achieve the magical effects easily and without much need of skill so that may appeal to some people.   Overall this one was kind of “meh” for me.



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: 5

You’re paying mostly for the DVD.  The gimmick isn’t all that cleaver.


Teaching Quality: 7

48 minutes long, four routines, and tutorial on gimmick construction comprise this DVD.  I think this is something that’s over taught.  It’s not that complicated to figure out.


Video & Sound Quality: 8

Good video, good sound.


Overall Quality: 6

I’ll take a pass on this one.  It doesn’t do anything for me.  The simplicity and the fact that you don’t have to be a card expert to use it will appeal to some.



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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