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Cold Case (Gimmick and Online Instructions) Review

Official Review

August 13th, 2016 12:32am
Reviewed by James Sanden
Deck switches are a powerful tool, but their effectiveness is directly related to the invisibility of the switch. Whether using gimmicks or sleight of hand, if the audience suspects the deck was switched, any experience of magic flies out the window. Greg Wilson’s recent release, “Cold Case,” is a clever approach to the deck switch that solves this problem with a flexible, convincing and, when done well, invisible method.

“Cold Case” is a gimmicked approach to the deck switch, and, unlike some recent deck switch releases, there are no moving parts. It comes with the gimmick, ready to perform, as well as a link to online instructions that can either be viewed streaming or downloaded to a computer. The gimmick is simple and essentially indestructible. It comes ready to switch a deck of red Bicycle cards, but that can be changed easily. The only element that will wear out is the flap, which can also be replaced quickly.

The biggest thing that sets “Cold Case” apart from other methods is its flexibility. It can be done on a table or in the hands, and allows for a variety of handlings, depending on the context of the performance. And unlike some deck switches, during many handlings the audience can watch the performer’s hands and see nothing discrepant. Mr. Wilson teaches eight different ways to switch decks, including Daniel Madison’s spectacular “Fracture (using Mr. Wilson’s gimmick,) taught with Mr. Madison’s permission. The variety of approaches is eminently practical, as not all handlings are created equal. The premise, plot and presentation of a given effect determine the best choreography for a switch, and with “Cold Case” the performer has a great menu to choose from.

The other impressive aspect of “Cold Case” is the extensive instruction provided. Clocking in at 3 hours and 40 minutes, it’s an extremely thorough discussion of not only the use of the gimmick, but everything related to it, including a number of full routines. Mr. Wilson’s explanations are clear, thorough and well thought out. He is both a “worker” and experienced teacher, and this is obvious in his discussion. In addition to the method, he covers details and the “work” on everything he teaches, including technique, construction, presentation and performance. In addition to method, Mr. Wilson also discusses a variety of topics critical to the deck switch, including psychology, practice techniques, motivation, misdirection, context as well as how to ring in the gimmick. He also uses an approach he calls “via negativa,” where he teaches someone with no experience how to use the gimmick on camera, providing the viewer insight in to what it looks like to learn how to use the gimmick, a wonderful pedagogical tool.

The instruction also includes ten full routines using the gimmick. The routines include effects you’d expect, including poker deals and deck transformations, but also more subtle applications, including a card/deck to box effect, a prediction, a deck vanish and a 10 card poker deal. While one or two of the routines seemed a little too simple or obvious, the majority either hid the switch in the guise of a different effect, or had a clever method, handling or subtlety that dramatically increased the effectiveness of the routine. My personal favorite was the idea of using the gimmick as a servante, allowing the performer to switch decks, then switch them back at the end, an idea with tremendous potential. Finally, there is a section listing a treasure trove of ideas for the gimmick, ranging from plots (the story deck) to methods (mem deck) to gimmicks (invisible deck) to routines (tossed out deck).

“Cold Case” by Greg Wilson is a failsafe, flexible and deceptive approach to the deck switch. If just the gimmick and the various switches were taught, this would be well worth the investment, but with the addition of not just the various routines, but the extensive discussion of performance and theory, this is a valuable resource for any magician. Highly recommended.
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Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Cold Case (Gimmick and Online Instructions)

Author: Wilson, Greg
Publisher: Murphy's Magic Supplies, Inc.
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $39.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

"This fooled me badly. I will use this deck switch!"
- Christian Engblom (Inventor of The Cooler)

From shuffled to stacked in seconds - this deck-switching device is so simple in concept and execution that you can tell your audience in advance you're going to switch the deck and they WILL NOT SEE IT.

Best of all, we arm you with a precision crafted gimmick and full streaming instructions that explains TEN original routines, handlings and applications by Gregory Wilson, David Gripenwaldt, Michael Weber, John Kennedy, Justin Miller and Raj Madhok.

Plus, it makes the classics instantly accessible: perfect poker deals, color-changing decks, story packs, new deck order finale and mental miracles.

"Unlike other deck switches using a gimmick, this is one you can and will do."
- Roberto Giobbi (Author of The Art of Switching Decks)

Cold Facts: TEN original routines, handlings & applications, taught in over 3 hours of detailed instructions by Gregory Wilson Instant reset Easy to perform Mostly angle-proof Great for close-up or stand-up No moving parts to wear out or break down Pre-constructed in red Bicycle, but can be easily altered for any brandCold Case is hailed as the next evolution from respected deck switch pros all over the world.

"This can be done sitting, standing, leaning, with eyes open or closed, drunk or sober, in plain sight yet completely out of sight."
- Jon Racherbaumer (Writer. Reviewer. Rebel)

"The problem with most deck switches is the discrepancy. But, with Greg's gimmick, you can do it under test conditions while hidden in plain sight."
- Rick Lax (Creator of Wizard Wars)

Cold Case is so devious it should be criminal. Make the switch!

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