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Thought Wave Extreme (Props and DVD) Review

Official Review

June 25th, 2016 11:58pm
Reviewed by Stuart Philip
Thought Wave Extreme by Gary Jones and Mark Bendell is marketed and distributed by Alkazam Magic. The trick is described as a psychological experiment. The performer displays a double-sided poker sized plastic card labelled “Psychological Testing Card Symbols 1 through 26” on one side and “Psychological Testing Card Symbols 27 through 52” on the other. The performer then writes a note on a piece of paper and folds it so the writing is not visible to the spectator. He does that a second time on a different piece of paper. He shows the Symbols Card and shows that there are many different signs on it such as a dollar sign ($) a circle, a hashtag, a star, a square, a smiley face, a ying-yang sign an ampersand and many others (but, not 52, as discussed below). He asks the spectator to write one symbol down on one of the papers and then write the name of any card down on the other. The performer then shows a phoenix backed deck of cards and that each card has a different symbol drawn on its back. The performer also turns the deck over and shows the spectators that the cards are different values as he fans through them. And, amazingly, when the papers are opened a miracle is revealed. The paper on which the magician wrote a card value and suit and on which the spectator wrote a symbol is removed from the deck and the front and back of the card matches. So, for instance, if the performer wrote the Jack of Spades on the paper and spectator wrote the "female" sign on that same piece of folded paper, when the Jack is removed from the deck it has the "female" sign drawn on its back in Sharpie. Then, double or nothing, the paper on which the performer drew a symbol (i.e. the "plus" sign and the spectator wrote a card value (i.e. the 9 of Hearts), when the 9 of Hearts is removed from the deck, the "plus" sign is drawn on the back of the chosen card. This is an absolute killer. A super-fantastic effect.

This trick is extremely easy to do. It has a breath-taking maximum impact on spectators. The method behind it is not new, but it is genius. To the best of my knowledge, this sort of card trick with this method, was first released many years ago as a trick by Brian Caswell called Trilogy, also marketed by Alakazam. The ad copy for Trilogy reads as follows: You name a random card, spectator one picks a random number. Next you name a second random card and a second spectator picks a different number. Finally, YOU name a number and spectator three names ANY CARD he likes. Get this, you ALWAYS choose first! We bet you can see where this is going and are already thinking how the...! OK - here goes: You open the card case and remove the deck. You freely show that all 52 cards have different numbers on them. You remove the card spectator number 3 named and place it face up on their hand. You now turn the deck over and remove the cards bearing the numbers spectators one and two named. When you flip over the first two you have an exact match card/numbers! The third card is still face up. Remember, spectator three had a free choice of ANY card. It couldn't possibly be, could it? The spectator turns it over - it's the exact number you named !!! All three spectators are left holding the exact card/number match that they picked! How clean is TRILOGY? Well, there are NO sleights or cosy handling of any kind. There are NO forces, NO one-ahead and NO sticky cards.

The basic difference between Thought Wave Extreme (TWE) and Trilogy is that Trilogy has numbers (1 through 52) written on the back of each card and TWE has ESP-like symbols. This is a great improvement on this ingenious method and original trick. It is true that there are no forces, there is no one ahead and there is a true free thought-of choice of the symbols and card. There are no angles to be wary about and the reset takes about a second. However, you cannot hand out the deck and you cannot repeat the trick for the same audience, although the spectators can choose any symbol and any card. TWE appears to be an update to Thought Wave by Alakazam and Gary Jones, but because I am not familiar with that product so I cannot say how TWE has been updated.

This trick comes with a special phoenix backed deck, a 25 minute DVD and the above-mentioned Symbols Card. Unfortunately, there are not 52 different symbols as the ad-copy and the DVD instruction claim. There are actually 49 different images and three symbols are repeated twice. This was just a mistake, which Alakazam Magic acknowledged when I contacted them. It is true that after 20 performances of this trick that only one spectator called me out on it and it was easy to explain… i.e. ok, there are 49 different symbols and you can pick any one and avoid the duplicate if you wish or we can see if you the same symbols are picked. This manufacturing error is very disappointing because it just adds a distraction for a very small percentage of the spectator population. Quite frankly, I am shocked that Alakazam let a defective card be shipped as they are known for their top-notch quality in tricks and quality. Good business is good business so Alakazam should re-print the card and send them to all their customers that register this trick on their website. Alakazam did ship me the 52 symbol card from the original Thought Wave in response to my request. The difference between the original Thought Wave symbol card and the new TWE card (aside from the double printing of some of the symbols) is that the new card is red and looks nicer. the old one is white and a touch smaller.

When you get this trick you will need to draw the 49 different symbols (well, it should have been 52) on the backs of the cards with a Sharpie marker. That takes about 20 minutes. The instructional DVD is taught by Peter Nardi and David Loosley in studio. The instruction is clear, but there are no live or studio performances to non-magician spectators. There is one performance by Nardi with Loosley pretending to be a spectator. Alakazam encourages you to register your purchase on their website for additional handlings, but as of the writing of this review their is no bonus or additional content.

This trick can be performed as mind reading, psychological testing, a dream sequence, intuition test or anything that you can think of as there is a lot of room for creativity.

TWE would have easily been a 5 out of 5 stars if it was not distributed with a defective Symbols Card. If and when Alakazam fixes this error and makes a Symbols Card with 52 different signs on it (and delivers it to their customers), I will revise the rating and this review and include a statement of praise indicating that they have done the right thing, fixed an error and stood by their customers. Until then, the rating is 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Suggestions from the Reviewer

Contact Alakazam and request that they fix the defective Symbols Card. Also, if you want to stretch this trick to include 3 impossible predictions, instead of 2, you can do one with the RED cards and one with the BLACK cards. It makes this amazing trick, well, amazing!

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Thought Wave Extreme (Props and DVD)

Author: Jones, Gary
Publisher: Alakazam UK
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $36.35
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Manufacturer's Description:

Thought Wave Extreme by Gary Jones & Mark Bendell

Gary Jones is very well known for creating 100% commercial routines, which play as well to the Lay Spectator as they do to magicians. Thought Wave Extreme is no exception!

With Thought Wave Extreme Gary and Mark has taken a principle and given it a new lease of life with an incredible double hit mind reading card routine.


You start by writing a prediction (sight unseen) on a business card, Post- it note etc. The card is folded and placed on full view on the table.

A small card which contains 52 different symbols is examined by your spectator who then merely thinks of any one of the symbols (this is a totally free choice).

You now write something on another card and once again fold it and place it in full view. At this point you have committed to two predictions without your spectator giving you any information or saying a single word.

You now ask your spectator to draw his symbol on the outside of the first piece of paper. The second prediction is now placed onto the spectators hand and they name aloud the first playing card that comes in to their mind (absolutely no force) they now write their thought of card on your second prediction.

You draw attention to a deck of cards which has been on the table since the start of the effect. The cards are removed and shown to have images drawn on the back of each one. You remove their freely named card and the card with the freely chosen image on its back.

I bet you can see where this is going!! Your spectator now opens your first prediction (the one they have drawn their image on) and it reads the 5 of clubs. When they turn over the card it is in fact the 5 of clubs!! You now state that the second prediction was even harder as the spectator could name any card. When they open prediction number 2 they see you have drawn a clock. They turn over their freely named card only to reveal a clock on the back!!!

This really is a 100% commercial routine that has been well thought out and packs a very big double punch!

No Memory Work, Instant Reset, No Switching of Predictions in any way, No Sleight Of Hand Totally Self Working

Comes Complete With High Quality Special Deck, Plastic Symbol Card and full instructional DVD.

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