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The Bullet Review

Official Review

March 25th, 2016 3:18am
Reviewed by Dr. J. M. Ayala de Cedoz
As most readers of this post and indeed this site in general well know, there are a lot of utility items out there for magicians and among them there are the "one-trick ponies" and then there are the multi-purpose utilities. This item falls squarely into the latter, though it only does essentially one thing.

The one thing it does, it does very well, and that is to score a card exactly in half along its length and along its width. This is an aid to those doing the Mercury Fold and wishing that they could have a perfect, neatly-folded card every single time they use the Mercury Fold.

If all this utility does is score the card, then why do I consider it a multi-purpose utility? Well because the Mercury Fold itself is not a "one-trick pony" thing in and of itself - there are lots of different reasons and effects for which you would need/use a folded playing card.

If you have ever practiced or used the Mercury Fold, you are very well aware of the one issue with it: No matter how much you practice and how good you get at it, it is difficult to get the exact same result every single time. Not impossible, necessarily, just very difficult. I myself have used it for years and have gotten quite good at getting it close to the same every time, but never exactly and they are never perfect.

The Bullet gives you the ability to pre-score cards and put them into your deck ready to go. Once they are scored, they will give you the ability to fold a card perfectly into quarters each and every time. Why is this such a big thing? Maybe it is to some of you and maybe it is not, but in my personal experience, if you produce a signed card at the end of an effect (say, perhaps, from a wallet or a Kennedy Mystery Box) and it is precisely and perfectly folded into quarters, people react strongly to the impossibility of the perfection/precision. Furthermore, if you are doing an effect like the Jay Sankey 'Paperclipped' where the "prediction" (a card folded in quarters and put into a paper clip) is introduced before the effect and stays in full view the whole time, the audience has a chance to look at that folded card. If the folds of the card you produce at the end does not match that one (at least closely), they will know what you did.

Once the cards are scored and finished, they can be put right into your deck and the deck can be used as a normal deck because, for all intents and purposes, it is. The audience members can handle the pre-scored cards and they will never see the score lines if you have properly prepared the cards. They will also not hinder any sleights that you wish to use, but they will not tolerate any that require an extreme bending of the cards in the way that certain palms or concealments might cause that to happen.

The items that you get are an acrylic guide and a cutting tool which was made via an injection molding process. With care there is no reason they should not last forever. I am pretty sure the blade will not dull either if used only for its intended purpose, but if it does, it is not something that you could replace yourself. You also receive a DVD with Todd Lamanske himself showing you how to use the tool as well as a handful of effects that you can do that use a Mercury Fold. None of the effects are extremely difficult, but they will not necessarily suit every performer and they are a great starting point and will certainly give you some nice ideas to play around with. In particular, my favorite thing in the effect section was the 'Card(s) to Pocket(s)' routine - really good stuff!

The DVD is very nicely shot in HD with multiple live performances, the audio, video and lighting quality are all very good. The menu is laid out well and very easy to navigate. Todd does a great job in teaching you everything you need to know and does an excellent job of referencing different moves and ideas. There is even a "toolbox" section because during the teaching of effects there are certain moves that Todd breezes over and promises to teach in more detail later in this section, which he does.

I have mentioned that this tool will allow you to score a card to help you do a Mercury Fold, which ends with the card folded into quarters. What if you have a need to fold a card into sixths, such as the John Bannon 'Lightning Fold'? Well, this tool can also be used to score a card in sixths too and Todd shows you how. In the video he says you need a straightedge or a ruler, but I have found that you can actually use the guide if you know where your score lines have to be. Todd uses Bicycle cards in the video, so if you use cards with a different back design, you will have to figure out where the score lines go yourself if you want to fold it into sixths.

If you are wondering if this tool can be used with any card brand and any back design, the answer is "yes", it can. IF for any reason you want to have a card that ends up not being perfectly (squarely/neatly) folded every time, you can also do that with this tool to create an askew score line.

Scoring and finishing the cards does not take a lot of time. I personally would not score an entire deck at a time, just a few of them (like a complete suit, for example), but just to time myself, I was able to prepare 54 cards in under 6 minutes without rushing at all. The Bullet is very easy to use, but you will take a little knack to know how hard to press with the tool - if you press too hard you will see an obvious line on the opposite face of the card or possibly go all the way through.

One thing to keep in mind: The Bullet will make the cards easier to fold and will make them accurate, but you will still need to acquire the mechanics of the move itself. In other words, it makes the fold easier to do but it does not make it self-working.

Another thing to keep in mind: Not every playing card out there is perfect. If you have ever seen a deck of cards where it looks like the printing was off-center, the problem actually lies with the cutting, not the printing. That said, if you use the cutting guide to score a card, it may not create a perfectly centered score as far as the printing or back design is concerned, but it does create a perfectly centered score where the dimension of the card is concerned. This may sound confusing, but if you have handled many decks of cards you have seen the issue I am talking about and you know what I mean.

You also get a card with your tool that gives you a password to a discussion forum on the main Bullet website. This forum is, as of this writing (11 of 03 of 2016), active and there are videos with additional ideas on there as well.

All in all, I think for $30 you are getting a great tool that takes a great utility card 'move' (for lack of better term) and makes it not only easier to do but even more accurate than ever before.

If you have ever done the Mercury Fold and wished it could be perfect every time or if you have always wanted to but never could get it down, this is the tool for you!

VERY highly recommended if you have the need for it!
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Product info for The Bullet

Author: Todd Lamanske
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $30.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

What is The Bullet?

The Bullet is a precision-made tool to score a playing card, allowing you to execute a Mercury Fold perfectly and easily every single time! It comes with a detailed DVD teaching five Killer routines with a Mercury Folded card plus access to the Bullet Forum.

Why Use The Bullet?

The Bullet is custom made to score a playing card exactly the correct depth so there is no guess work. This ensures a perfect fold and gives the performer confidence that each fold will look exactly the same each and every time.

Who can use The Bullet?

If you have never done the Mercury Fold before because you couldn’t master the move… If you’re a seasoned pro and just want to improve the consistency of your fold… If you want to take your card magic to the next level, then The Bullet is for YOU!

Here’s what you get:
•The Bullet Tool
•The Bullet Guide
•Instructional DVD containing these 5 Routines:

Card 2 iPod
Card-iac Arrest
Card(s) to Pocket(s)
Dream On
Card in Cell Phone

Plus access to the Bullet Forum

When purchasing this product it ships with an invitation code for the Bullet Forum. The Forum gives you access to product info, bonus ideas, updates, videos and more! You will be able to interact with the creator of the Bullet as well as other magicians like yourself by registering with your invitation code.

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