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Shinkansen Review

Official Review

December 14th, 2002 6:50pm
Reviewed by Brad Henderson
Card across effects are really two "tricks" in one. How does the card leave the first packet, and how does it end up in the second?

Max Maven's Shinkansen is a good solution for the first trick, and a tremendous answer for the second.

Let's work backwards. The cards are FAIRLY counted by both the magician and the spectator before being placed between the spectator's hands. Nothing is added nor stolen away. No sticky cards, no double thicknesses, just fairness. The solution employs an age old gimmick that we have all looked at and thought, "what a piece of junk." Max's application makes it a viable magic tool.

This gimmick is very well made and totally deceptive regardless of working conditions. Coupling its use with the appearance of an ODD backed card, makes it even more so. This part of the trick is 5 stars all the way.

Now, for the vanish from the first packet. I have seen Max perform this and it can be deceptive, but then again Max does a killer half pass; and yes, you will need to do one too. It's not as bad as it sounds, even if they see some cards flip over, it doesn't explain how the card vanishes entirely. Further, the pass occurs at a well placed moment.

While the half pass is a viable move, I have always been a bit timid in its presence particularly in a stand up situation. (If everyone is huddled around and staring down at your hands, it's a breeze.) Aaron Fisher's The Paper Engine has perhaps one of the best handlings of the pass in recent publications and I encourage all timid half passers to look it up. It will give you the edge you need.

However, one could also substitute the Half Pass from Earnest Earick's By Forces Unseen. This is a beautiful pass, not at all difficult to execute, and the angles on it are MUCH better than the traditional half pass. Finally, the packet turnover move from Hatton Plate works great in a stand up environment, and could play close-up with careful angle control.

The description of the Half Pass in the instructions are clear and concise. So don't shy away from this routine if you have no experience with the move, just know that you will have to spend some time working with it.

Really, the half pass is the only obstacle in the Vanish sequence. If you can perform it adequately then your audience will be surprised when they deal 3 cards into your hand when a moment ago they clearly saw all four.

Finally, the only other weakness, in my mind, is the method for forcing the thought of card. Having worked for lots of magic savvy lay people, I can say that the technique involved will be recognized by a handful. A simple modification will eliminate most of these moments. Instead of holding the packet by the long sides, as would be traditionally dictated, hold it in more of a biddle grip. Lay people who are familiar with this technique (and many young people are, though they do perform it poorly) will not recognize it when executed from this different grip. Those who purchase the product will understand exactly what I am talking about.

So, overall Shinkansen is a good trick and a GREAT trick. If someone were to compose a presentation that really played up its assets, one would have a miracle on their hands. My suggestion would be to keep thinking about the first packet vanish and find a technique that looks invisible for your hands, regardless of what that might end up being.

Good Luck!

Product info for Shinkansen

Author: Phil Goldstein
Publisher: Murphy's Magic Supplies
Average Rating:  (3)
Retail Price: $15.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

Four red-backed cards are displayed; they're counted and held by a spectator.
Another set of blue-backed cards is shown, and a second spectator simply thinks of any one. The packets are held by the spectators, who stand far apart from each other.

With the utmost fairness, the mentally chosen card vanishes from the blue packet and appears in the red!

Includes detailed, 16-page booklet written by Phil Goldstein and fully-illustrated by Tony Dunn and the seven specially-printed cards on Bicycle stock that make this effect possible.

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