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Decode Red (DVD and Gimmick) Review

Official Review

November 27th, 2014 12:25am
Reviewed by Stuart Philip
In Decode a spectator selects a card from a deck of bicycle playing cards. The performer then apparently writes a “code” on the back of another card in the very small white margin. The code can be a foreign language, a string of random numbers, weird shapes or symbols or whatever you imagine. As the performer holds the card, the spectator views the code and is unable to understand it until the performer either flicks or shakes the card at which time the code visually and instantly transforms into the name of the spectator’s selected card. The magician is able to hand out a card with the written name of the selected card on it a few moments after the transformation takes place, but not immediately.

The trick comes with a gimmicked card and a twenty-five minute DVD that demonstrates and explains the routine. The DVD is produced well and not only has a live demonstration of the routine, but also studio demonstration. In both demonstrations, in between the card transformation and the moment that the card is handed out to the spectator, there is a move that I believe is obvious, detracts from this effect and may cause an audience member to call you out. However, with the proper misdirection this obvious move may go undetected. I credit the World Magic Shop for not editing this move out of the DVD or otherwise disguising it with camera angles.

Suffice it to say that the ad copy that says that this is “the most practical moving ink effect ever created” is a bit of puffery with which I do not agree. There are other moving ink effects on the market that I believe are stronger and less detectable than Decode. The ad copy claims that the “card is then examined by your spectator and can be kept as a souvenir” and the “gimmick can be freely handled at all times until you are ready to Decode.” I do not think this was meant to be misleading, but to be clear, the card cannot instantly be handed out and the gimmick can never be handled by a spectator. Although the ad copy does not claim that, I believe it can be inadvertently misunderstood.

This trick cannot be repeated since the reveal is always the same, unless you engage in an arts and crafts project and either create a new gimmick or modify your existing gimmick. The DVD has two different presenters explain how to create and fix the gimmick, which is useful because the gimmick will at some point and time need repair.

The gimmick that I received was not properly made which made it easier to detect. And, although it is easy to fix it, I believe this gimmick, even when perfectly made, is easier to detect than other moving ink tricks. After watching the DVD closely and playing around with the gimmick, I realized that if the code writing is done in a certain way and in a certain area in the gimmick, the method is less detectable. Unfortunately, the DVD does not mention this solution and because I do not want to give away the method, I cannot mention the fix to this problem.

Although I think this trick is easy to perform and visual and it may impress some spectators, other spectators may see something “off” with either the gimmick or the post-reveal handling of the card. I was disappointed that the gimmick was not properly made, which was not a factor in the rating of this trick. While I think the gimmick is clever, in light of the above, Decode will probably not get as much use as some other tricks.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Decode Red (DVD and Gimmick)

Author: Nanda, Rizki
Publisher: World Magic Shop
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $37.50
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Manufacturer's Description:

This is the most practical moving ink effect ever created. After the spectator has chosen a card you write down a random code, a sequence of dots, dashes or some sort of binary code onto the border of a playing card. With a simple flick or shake that code instantly morphs into the chosen card. The card is then examined by your spectator and can be kept as a souvenir.

The ingenious gimmick created by Rizki Nanda will also give you the freedom to perform other style of visual animations and different revelations. The deck and gimmick can be freely handled at all times until you are ready to Decode.

World Magic Shop would like to thank Rizki Nanda for submitting this amazing effect.

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