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Alpha Cards Review

Official Review

March 14th, 2008 6:05pm
Reviewed by Bryce Kuhlman
Cool! That's the best word I could find to describe this product.

It's a "real" color-changing card. Just like the description says: hold it in your hand and it changes from black to red; then wave it in the air and it changes back.

So what's the real deal? Well I obviously can't pass on the secret. But I will do my best to describe what you get, how well it works, and what you can do with it.

You get two cards and one plain instruction sheet. Both cards are "normally" four of spades and change to four of hearts when the "magic" is applied. The "magic" is a bit of chemical technology that's basically self-working. Considering this, I was very surprised at the low price.

The change from black to red can be triggered by many sources, including just holding the card in your hand. The change is relatively quick. Going back to black tends to take a bit longer and you have less options for activating the change. But that can be handled with an appropriately-timed script.

I had two problems with this product. I'm primarily a close-up worker and this effect lends itself well to many close-up routines (several are covered in the instructions). But the cards I received don't hold up well to close inspection. In their "natural" black/spade state, I can clearly see a red outline peeking around the black pips. It appears to just be a printing error, but it's an error nonetheless. It was the same on both cards I received, so it seems unlikely that I'm the only one who got the misprinted cards.

Second, once the cards turn to hearts, the "tails" of the spades never completely go away. There's always a gray hint of them. You wouldn't see this (or the red outlines) from several feet away. But you do see it up-close.

But even with the little color issues, there's a world of potential applications for these tricky cards.

P.S. I'm writing this in Las Vegas where I'm teaching at a Master Class with Jeff McBride and Eugene Burger. Jeff had some nice work on a transposition effect that helps alleviate the "spade tails" problem. Here it is...

Give the spade Alpha Card to your helper and have them hold it in between their hands. You show the four of hearts and use your favorite color change to turn it into the four of spades. Have the real four ready for a top change. As soon as they open their hand and freak out that they're now holding the four of hearts, take it back from them and execute the top-change on the off-beat.

Thanks, Jeff!

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Alpha Cards

Author: Jesse Feinberg
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $20.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

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Heat sensitive, REUSABLE color changing cards! Hold an Alpha Card in your hand, and it will magically change from spades to hearts! If you wave it in the air, the card will change back to spades. No setup or reset required. Just add a little body heat to the special playing card. This is a brand new technology for magicians. It looks like real magic!

MANY POSSIBILITIES! Includes 2 special Alpha Cards, and instructions.

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