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Magnetic Deck (DVD and Gimmick) Review

Official Review

November 15th, 2014 6:10am
Reviewed by Dr. J. M. Ayala de Cedoz
I have no idea where to begin...This was one of the worst instructional videos I have ever seen in my life!

Let me get the good points out of the way first: The gimmick is well made, the lighting on the video was good and the video quality was clear.

Now on to the crappy parts...and there are plenty. I will try to be brief.

So the DVD starts right up on a menu. At the top is a button for the trailer, then one for the Index of Effects and another for a Tutorial Introduction. Below those three are 12 buttons for Effect 01, Effect 02, etc. Then there is a button which will take you to a second page where you see 11 more buttons for Effect 13 through Effect 23. At the bottom of the second page is a button for a trailer of another product.

What you DO NOT see anywhere is a Play All button. Nor is there any mention of where to find the instructions. Back to the front page again. It was only after watching the videos for Effect 01, Effect 02, Effect 03, Effect 04 and Effect 05 that I realized that those are the "Index of Effects" list. Okay. So now, where are the instructions?

I clicked on the "Tutorial Introduction". This is the only part where there is speaking anywhere on this DVD (subtitled in English) and all it is is an explanation of a couple places to store the gimmick and how to ring it in for use. It is only 3 minutes and 40 seconds long. Sufficient for what it needed to be. Another point but a decidedly minor one: in this section he mentions that there are orientation markings on the gimmick. There were absolutely none on mine, but this is something that you can easily do yourself, so it is really a non-issue.

It was only after watching those Index of Effects buttons that I realized that those ARE the instructions too...So it is both a demonstration of what the effect is supposed to look like from a head-on shot, then the camera switches to a different angle to show you the "explanation". There is no step-by-step instruction. Most of the "explanations" were just a run-through of what you saw in the head-on shot. There is no real break-down of the moves that you must do with the gimmick and in every effect, depending on the desired outcome, the gimmick must start in a specific orientation. Only some of the time does he show you the starting orientation. There are no words or subtitles to explain various steps or to give any hints/tips for the moves. Some of the explanations are done a little slower, but you still have to be creative in order to work the handling out completely.

Some of the figures and the movements/grips/adjustments required make it so very obvious that you are using a gimmick. Some of the figures you are making s.c.r.e.a.m. 'GIMMICK' because the movements or actions to set up are so clunky.

Now, I am not an XCM guy nor do I do any fancy flourishing in my public performances - it is just my preference in relation to my style and character. Having said that, I broke out a deck of regular cards to try and make some of the figures with regular cards. Since I have no practice with XCM, it took me a few seconds to work some of them out, but I was able to do most of them without issue, albeit slowly. Anyone with XCM experience would undoubtedly be able to make them easily and speedily. For that matter they would also be able to make them a lot cleaner, both in setup and display.

Now, there are some things that are shown with this gimmick that absolutely cannot be done with a regular packet of cards. Some of them are more realistic than others and yet again, some of the scream "gimmick". One example is dropping a packet of cards and kicking it into the air and catching them on the rest of the deck without dropping a single card.

The gimmick does have its limitations as most do. For one thing, it is all-backs. I understand this but I think it would look better (more realistic/appropriate?) with faces in appropriate spots. Second, it only closes in one direction - at least mine only closes in one direction. If you try to close it in the opposite direction, there is a resistance that does not allow it to close completely. I cannot really say more than that without giving it away.

The ad copy is short but only 99% truthful. The 1% docking comes from the claim of "Step by step instruction" - nothing on the DVD can be counted as such. The second point is a minor one and rather subjective, but it says that you will be able to use the deck to do "unbelievable flourishes" - most of them are unbelievable alright - they look like crap and are quite obviously gimmicked. The third point really is not even a "point" but it is the statement of " with real magnets..." Real magnets as opposed to what? Fake magnets? Why put that in the ad copy?

If I were to rate this product solely on the quality of the gimmick, it would probably be around 4-4.5 stars, but unfortunately I cannot do that.

I do realize that this product is aimed at "lazy" people that want to do XCM without the practice or those that do not have the time to practice, but given the limitations of the gimmick, the practice that would be required to set some of the figures up with said gimmick and combined with the horrible teaching, you would be so much better off getting the Dan & Dave Trilogy series and learning the real stuff.

I just cannot wholeheartedly recommend this product, but if you think you might find a use for it, go for it. Again, personally I would recommend that if you want to do anything of this nature (XCM), buy the Dan & Dave products and learn the un-gimmicked stuff. For starters the teaching will be light years ahead of that on this DVD.

I was torn as to whether to give this 1.5 stars or 2 stars, but because of the possibility that someone might find a use for the gimmick:

2 dim stars for the gimmick alone.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Magnetic Deck (DVD and Gimmick)

Author: Granell
Publisher: Granell Magic
Average Rating:  (3)
Retail Price: $29.95
Buy Now
Manufacturer's Description:

Imagine a special deck of cards with real magnets that will allow you to perform unbelievable flourishes.
You will be able to do in minutes what professionals take months to practice.

Do Incredible Moves

Learn in Minutes

Special deck with real magnets

With step by step tutorials

Special Gimmick Included

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