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Tube (2 Gimmicked Maps) Review

March 7th, 2016 9:25pm
Reviewed by Doug Cuff
I wanted to like this effect. The idea is clever and the effect on the audience memorable. Unfortunately, the presentation is sub-par.

My comments apply to both the regular edition (which has two smaller maps) and the stage edition (which has a large map in addition to the two smaller maps).

The maps are beautiful to look at it. This is quality printing on quality paper, not the cheap tat that some magic props get. The maps are gimmicked in ways that are not obvious.

All versions of the map have two flaws, one slightly annoying and one devastating. The merely annoying error is that the mapmakers swapped two tube stations on the Central Line, Oxford Circus and Marble Arch, for no good reason. I live in Canada, and even my eighty-year-old, directionally-challenged mother has done enough shopping on Oxford Street to know which side of Oxford Circus you will find Marble Arch on.

That tiny, careless error doesn't bode well for the rest of the map.

The map is gimmicked in such a way that you can tell your volunteer(s) which station they begin and end their journey on, which is terrific. Except that the mapmakers forgot to consider what will happen 3% of the time, when the trick will go horribly wrong.

It's really distressing when people who have a brilliant idea--or their publishers--fail to do fairly elementary quality control. They just plain forgot to consider all the cases, even though the outstanding case is pretty obvious. The DVD explanation doesn't even mention the possibility of failure, or what to do about it. On the bright side, the publisher didn't take the opportunity to make a lame excuse about how getting it wrong strengthens the mentalism, so there's that much to be grateful for.

Yes, you can come up with a way around the problem. But then again, if you're inventing things, you can come up with a way to a similar effect with a completely ungimmicked map, so the whole idea of "hey, there are workarounds!" won't hold water.

It gets particularly disturbing when the publishers fails to do anything about the error when it is pointed out to them.

Did the publisher pull the effect? No.

Did the publisher reprint the gimmicked maps? No.

Did the publisher put together a video, available from the publisher's website for those who purchased the effect (cf. Vanishing Inc Magic and Penguin Magic), that provides supplemental instruction on how to handle the 3% case? Did they hell!

You might argue that they publisher doesn't have to do any of those things. Obviously they don't, not legally... given a reasonably lax trial judge. But a truly top-notch publisher would do a lot more than shrug their shoulders and say, "Well, the maps are printed. Whaddaya gonna do?"

There are supplementary effects that are not affected by the errors in gimmicking the map, but please note that all material for Tube makes it absolutely plain what the main effect is. And that main effect just simply has not been thought all the way through.

I give Tube two stars. A lot of the time, the effect will work and it is strong. Some of the time, the effect will fail spectacularly, and you will look a right prat.

Product info for Tube (2 Gimmicked Maps)

Author: Leeds, Ethan; Leeds, Russell
Publisher: World Magic Shop
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $55.98
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Manufacturer's Description:

You ask a spectator to think of any one of the 284 stations on the Underground Map and commit it to memory. Nothing is ever written down! You then ask them to travel down the same line in their imagination and stop at a completely different station. Without doing anything suspicious and no memory work you can impossibly reveal their departure point and final destination.

As well as the main TUBE effect, the innocent looking and yet specially gimmicked map has other bonus effects built in. These allow you to reveal a London landmark that the spectator is thinking of, reel off the telephone number of a thought of Station and a great routine for parlour or cabaret shows.

2 Specially Gimmicked Maps Included
No Memory Work
Nothing Written Down By The Spectator
Innocent & Deadly

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