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One gimmicked deck, one DVD, $30 bucks and one Dissolve Review. Is it gem or is it rubble? Stay tuned to find out.
Dissolve Review: Effect
If you're familiar with Dai Vernon's classic effect, Triumph, then you've seen this effect . . . sort of. There's an extra added effect where the deck is clearly and cleanly shown to have cards facing both directions (i.e., face up and face down). Then as you riffle through the cards, some of the cards are seen to change from face down to face up. One more riffle, and all of the cards are seen face up. Spread the cards face down, and the only reversed (i.e., face up) card is the spectator's selection.
Dissolve Review: Method
The method relies on a specially gimmicked deck that does 90% of the work for you. The deck cannot be examined. However, it can be used for multiple other routines. Prior to doing the Triumph effect. Due to the nature of the method, it will require a little bit of a knack to get the exact proper operation of the gimmicked-ness of the deck. It took me about 30 minutes of fiddling before I finally got it, so it's nothing too daunting.
The method (i.e., deck) combines multiple card gaff principles into one deck. Generally speaking, using the deck is not hard. It's just the acquired knack needed to do the display where the cards start turning face up that's a little tricky.
The reset is easy (more on this in the ad copy integrity segment) and totally doable. The method itself is totally doable as well. I'd say that even newbies could do this. Also, it is totally usable for strolling and for any venue where the audience members are close enough to see the cards as your riffle through the deck and show them changing to face up.
There is a no reset version taught as well. If you're doing that version, then the deck is pretty much a one trick pony. However, if you're using the version where you reset after each performance then you can use this for multiple effects, not necessarily every effect you might do with a normal deck, but plenty. With the reset-required version, you could get away with carrying only this deck and nothing else. Do a set of a few card tricks and close with the Triumph handling. If you're using the no reset version, then you'll need to carry a second deck for your other card tricks.
He also teaches a bonus effect which requires a hefty bit of set up to pull off. It's basically a paradox card plot. It's not the cleanest version of this that I've seen. It can, however, be done in your Dissolve deck if you're using the reset-required method.
Dissolve Review: Ad Copy Integrity
Other than being a bit hype-y, the written ad copy is fine with one exception. It mentions "instant reset" this is not true, unless you can instantly cull 26 cards from the center of the deck to the top of the deck. My guess is that you cannot. Also, you don't have to be able to cull to reset. You just have to strip out 26 cards from the deck (in no particular order) and place them on the top of the deck. This really only takes about 23.51 seconds. Yes, I timed myself. That's the kind of hell I go through to provide you people with accurate information. I know. I'm hard not to love. I said all that to say that a 23.51 second reset is not an "instant" reset.
The video trailer is a good representation of what you get with one exception. At 12 seconds into the trailer, some dude in a suit reacts as if he just Francis raise Criss Angel from the dead while simultaneously possessing David Blaine's right nipple — Blaine's right nipple is more magical than all 7 of Criss Angel's nipples. Yes, I counted them. That's the kind of hell I go through to provide you people with accurate information. I think the spectator in the trailer had 37 too many barrels of monkey urine.
If this were my project, I would've cut that reaction out of the trailer. It's way too over the top and ridiculous. He wasn't reacting to the Dissolve effect. He was reacting to the Hawthorne Effect. Other than that, everything was accurate.
Dissolve Review: Product Quality
The deck is well made. It's standard Bicycle 808 stock. The DVD was well produced — most Murphy's products are well produced. The teaching was also very detailed and covers everything you could imagine. He gives multiple handling ideas for different settings (i.e., table vs. non-table, etc.). He also covers a couple of different patter ideas for your presentation. Everything is taught well and covered in excellent depth.
Dissolve Review: Final Thoughts
Basically what you're getting is the ability to do the display that happens at 37 seconds into the trailer. Yes, I counted. That's the kind of hell I go through to provide you people with accurate information. If you like that, and you don't mind using a gaffed deck to pull it off, then you'll be very happy with your purchase.
4.5 Stars with a Stone Status of Gem.
Available at your Favorite Magic Dealer. Dealer's see Murphy's Magic for details.