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Ultimate Backflip Review

Official Review

January 25th, 2004 4:48pm
Reviewed by Tracy Atteberry
There are a lot of things wrong with this effect so let's start with something easier -- what was done right. The instructions for Ultimate Backflip are nicely produced with clean lines, colorful cover graphics, and well-drawn illustrations.

Now that we have that out of the way, let's begin by reading that description again. This is clearly a trick about the props doing some inexplicable things for no apparent reason with no apparent motivation. Ugh. Kudos, however, go to Murphy's for really cleaning up the effect description for their website since the one on the back of the trick itself is ten times worse.

I put this trick aside for a long time based soley on the description but then thought hey, maybe it's just some bad writing. Maybe the trick itself has some merit, some good moves, or a good script that might be adapted elsewhere. That illusion was soon to be shattered.

First, this is a typical no-story magic effect. The script, such as it is, consists of a stark play-by-play description of what the cards are doing. "I would like to show you a trick with these 4 cards. If I take this card and turn it face upwards,...", and so on. It's all about the "adventure of the props", and that accompanied by mindless chatter.

Second, the instructions claim that you receive a number of cards
and that "2 of them have different red backs". This was not the
case for me. What I received was a red backed Bicycle card and a blue backed Bee card which, according to the cover art was supposed to be red. Okay, fine. A lesser person might feel cheated at this point but, believe it or not, it really doesn't damage the effect that much.

So the effect is muddled and it doesn't come with exactly what it says, but I can still hear someone out there asking "but what about the trick? Are there any cool moves in it?" You know who you are. The required sleights, while unmotivated, are not difficult. You will need to know how to hold a double and do an Elmsley count. There is also an "Advanced Version" which introduces a snap change in the final phase.

At one point an awkward variation of the Elmsley count is suggested that requires that "instead of taking the top card as the first card, your right hand draws out the bottom card as the first card" and then proceed normally. This, the astute observer will note, is not a natural looking moment, and sadly this is not the only one.

Bottom line: Ultimate Backflip is a confusing blur of eye candy, inane chatter, and awkward moves with no real motivation. It would have been better if Mr. Pei had just gone all the way did the effect silently, miming where required. There would still be significant problems but at least it would provide a bit more focus for the eye candy adventure of the props.

If the moves were clean and the effect were performed silently I would give this effect up to three stars. As it is, I find little to recommend it and I give it one star -- mostly for nice cover art.

2 of 4 registered users have found this review helpful.

Product info for Ultimate Backflip

Author: Pei, Jeremy
Publisher: Magic By Jeremy
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $20.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

The magician displays four face-down red Bicycle cards all of which are the same value. One card is turned face-up and all the other cards magically turn over! One card is then turned face-down and the rest of the cards magically follow again and turn face-down! One card is then set aside and the remaining three turn face-up, one at a time. Suddenly, the card placed aside is back in the packet! Now, two of the cards are revealed to have different backs from the rest and the other two have different faces!

Resets quickly
All of the cards may be examined at the conclusion of the routine
Instructions also contain another version for the advanced card worker
where the cards visually turn face-up in the spectator's hands

Comes complete with the necessary specially-printed cards and detailed instructions.

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