Draven Reviews: Mutate by Arnel Renegado

 not approvedTitle: Mutate

Artist: Arnel Renegado

Producers: Magic Tao

Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer


Demo Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8F-5hUAq0rs

Retail Price: $25.00 USD

Learning Difficulty: Easy

Length of Video:  15 Minutes (Approx.)


A playing card is freely selected, the magician rips it in half, and then the spectators witness the card visually restoring itself.  A miracle!


A Miracle?  Or an utter complete waste of time, money, and magic?  I’m one reviewer who was incredibly disappointed in this product.  It seems like every single new product that his the market these days is being labeled with ad copy like:


“This is the next evolution in magic” and Mutate is certainly no different, except it’s not an evolution.  If anything, it’s a step backwards.


Mutate comes in a tiny little package, and has one gimmick already preset, plus enough extra gimmick material to make more if you need it.  The card insert has instructions to an online tutorial video which is blessedly short.


The problem I have with Mutate is that it’s obviously a product that was given birth during a brainstorming session where magicians were asking themselves what all could be done with a specific kind of “special stuff”.  The results are an illusion that I feel looks good for a camera, but will leave real world performers lacking.  Up close it just doesn’t pass the test, and even my usual regulars that I test new material on called me out on it during a test performance.  If you watch the demo video once or twice I’m sure you’ll even see what I mean.  Looks GREAT on camera.


Real world performances are tricky.  This trick is angle sensitive as all get out.  Anyone watching from the wrong side will completely see how this is done so you must keep that in mind. Also, let’s talk about the price for a minute.  When you purchase Mutate you’re spending $25.00 bucks for what exactly?  An online video which costs them nothing to reproduce, a premade gimmick, and back up gimmick “special stuff” so you can make more gimmicks.  That gimmick stuff is maybe $5 bucks at a fabric store which will give you a lifetime supply.  At a cost of $25 dollars you are WAY overpaying for this trick.  Over all I’m just not happy with this.  I’ve seen a lot of torn and restored card plots in my day, and this one just doesn’t stand out.  Sorry boys.  Try harder next time.



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: 2

Overpriced, and it under delivers in person.  Hallmarks of a product that belongs in a book publication of thoughts, ideas, and applications.  NOT as a standalone effect.


Teaching Quality: 8

At least the video was short.


Video & Sound Quality: 8

Good video, nice sound.


Overall Quality: 3

Whenever I fail a product I always ask myself “is this as bad as Alpha Cards?”  the answer for Mutate is “no.”  But it’s darn close.  This is NOT my go to for a TNR effect.  And I personally think it’s an utter waste of time and money.



Do you have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at thewilliamdraven@gmail.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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