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Inferno Review

One DVD, two sets of "special" cards, one matchbox, one paper clip, $30 bucks and one Inferno Review. Is it gem or is it rubble? Stay tuned to find out.

Inferno Review: Effect

The effect in its simplest form is a thought of card revelation.

Inferno Review: Method

The method involves a couple of things. First, a very, very, very, very subtle form of equivoque is employed. It's so subtle and undetectable that it really feels like the real thing. Secondly, the cards (supplied) in the match box play a role. There are two options. You are supplied with gimmicked cards and non-gimmicked cards. Each has its advantages. The trailer used the non-gimmicked cards. The advantage there is that you can let the card be handed out at the end. It does require you to secretly palm out a card. The gimmicked version has no palming, but the card cannot be handed out, and you can't display it as cleanly as you can display the non-gimmicked cards.

The method is not what I would call a beginner's method. The palming out of one of the cards is a little tricky. In fact, I was never quite able to get it to look as clean as I wanted, so I modified the method by adding one more layer to the "selection" process that eliminates the need for palming out a card. That said, the method is doable. It'll just take some practice and dedication to get it right.

Inferno Review: Ad Copy Integrity

This is an effect that I use occasionally, so when I decided to review it, I figured it would be easy to write since I do the effect, etc. However, as I'm reading through the ad copy, I'm finding a lot of issues. So for all you doubters out there who need more proof that just because I love an effect that doesn't mean I'll give the product a great review.

Let's take a look at bullet point number 2 in the written ad copy. It says that there is "no sleight of hand to speak of." What does "to speak of" mean? There is definitely sleight of hand. There are two specific places where sleight of hand is used. The first place is very minimal, and one could argue that this is "no sleight of hand to speak of." However, the second place, is very much "speak of-able." It's secretly finger palming out a card and hiding it while you open up another card. That's sleight of hand folks.

Bullet point 2 continues on by saying that the technical aspects of the trick are "quite easy." This is debatable for sure. I was not able to "easily" do that part of the effect. However, that could just be me, so it's hard to say.

Bullet point 4 makes another claim that I must dispute. It claims that there are "no angle restrictions whatsoever" and that you can "do it surrounded if you like." Um. Nope. This most definitely cannot be done surrounded. During the performance, anyone standing sort of behind Josh on his left side would most definitely see him steal out the card.

The last thing I'll point out is not an untrue statement. However, I feel it needs clarity. It's more of a method thing, but it kind of fits in here too. They claim that everything you need to do the trick is in the matchbox. This is definitely a true statement. However, the set up in the matchbox is 3 matches, and the paper-clipped "card." Each performance uses the three matches, so after each effect, you need to add three more matches to the match box.

Again, I don't feel that any misleading statements were made. I just wanted to make sure you understand that if you're going to do this trick multiple times, it's not as simple as just putting the Inferno matchbox in your pocket and going. You have to either carry around another box of matches to replenish the used matches or you have to not use matches. Not using matches is certainly an option, but it does eliminate some of the theatrics of the effect.

Next up, we have the ad trailer. There are two problems with this. First, at 1:21, Josh says that you're about to see an uncut performance of the effect. He then says "that's how it looks every time you do it 100% of the time." Both of those claims are not true. First, there is a cut, and second, it doesn't look like that every time. If it's true that it looks like that every time you do it 100% of the time, then you'd be able to watch 10 different performances of it and not spot a difference in the verbal aspects of the presentation. This is simply not true.

Granted, the difference between different scenarios certainly would feel the same to different sets of spectators. In fact, if you were to show this to 10 different groups and they all compared notes later, they would all be convinced that the procedure was identical. However, it is not true that it looks the same every time. This one bugged me a little, but the next one really "got" me.

The uncut performance of the effect has cuts. Most of them of them are insignificant. They don't "hide" anything. However, there is one cut at 3:21 that is right at the moment the extra card is palmed out. Right then, it clearly cuts.

Here's what bugs me the most with all of these mistakes in the ad copy. There was no need to make any of these claims. Leaving all of the inaccurate claims would not have hurt anything. Rather, it would have helped them get a better review from me. But maybe my review doesn't matter.

Inferno Review - Magic Reviewed

Inferno Review: Product Quality

The product quality is solid. Josh does an excellent job teaching every aspect of this effect. The handling and equivoque are covered in depth. Josh is an excellent teacher for sure, and it shows here as it does in all of the products of his that I've reviewed. The production quality is pretty solid as well. The special cards are well made and designed perfectly to do effectively complete the task at hand.

Inferno Review: Final Thoughts

Sadly, this would have been a 5 star product easily . . . if it weren't for the misleading claims in the ad copy. What's worse is that those misleading claims could have been left out without damaging the awesomeness of this product/trick. If I were judging effect or method alone, this would be 5 stars. However, as we know, effect is irrelevant since you may or may not like the effect.

But the method does count a little. What counts the most is ad copy integrity and product quality. In the product quality category, this product shines. It's the ad copy where things fall apart a little bit. Having said all that, if you like the effect, you'll be very happy with the method and this product. Also considering everything that you get, $30 bucks is a small price to pay.

All of the little things that were misleading were minor and were almost true. The problem I have is that if you're going to go out of your way to make a claim like "you're about to see an uncut performance" then make sure you really show an uncut performance.

If you're going to go out of your way to say that it can be done surrounded, then it better be doable surrounded otherwise don't mention it. Or better, say something like "virtually surrounded" or "98% angle proof." Be honest, accurate and transparent.

Final Verdict:
3.5 Stars with a Stone Status of Gem.

Available at your Favorite Magic Dealer. Dealer's see Vanishing Inc. Magic for details.

12 Comments

  • Matthew Crabtree says:

    The one thing I didn’t like about this was the match box. The website on the box leads you to the Card Shark website and a few of the foodies who I have done this for looked up the website. So I have moved onto a normal matchbox and now an Altoids tin (for Toibox).

    • Jeff Stone says:

      @Matthew – Thanks for the post. I never found the Matchbox to be a problem. However, I switched to an Altoids tin pretty quickly, so I may not have used the matchbox enough to notice a problem.

  • Matthew Crabtree says:

    It only ended up an issue when I did it for people who like to try new restaurants around Houston. Since they never hear of it they saw the website and went there. I never even checked to see where it led to before it started happening. I did have one manager ask if I had a different match box since he didn’t want me using a box from a competing restaurant. So I ended up using my match box from my brass block penetration for the rest of that night. Then moved onto the tin. Now that toibox is out I have kinda stopped using this and just use the tin.

  • Ed Wilde says:

    Hey Jeffro,
    I love inferno as much as you do. I have had it since it came out last year and consider it one of my favorite purchases of 2015 (or was it 2014?). I gotta’ hear your additional handling, for I am also not a slight-of-hand expert and fumble a bit with revealing the one of four cards at the end. How can I prove to you I have the trick so that you will clue me into your additional method for the reveal?

    Ed Wilde

  • Mark W says:

    Hi Jeff, did you say that it looks and feels like Blaze? that you keep in your wallet? I’d be interested in also knowing what trick that is especially since you appeared really impressed with it.

    • Jeff Stone says:

      @Mark – Thanks for the comment. Not “Blaze” but “B’Wave” by Max Maven. Many people mistakenly pronounce it as Bee Wave, but it’s actually Buh Wave. “B-Wave” is how the former would be spelled, and “B’Wave” IS how the latter is spelled. πŸ™‚

  • Mark W says:

    Thanks Jeff! -I listened to your mentioning many times and googled the heck out of “Blaze” trying to find it πŸ™‚ I just ordered “B” Wave. I just got Inferno based on your review and absolutely agree with you. Everything you discussed was spot on. My only minor disappointment was the “no sleight of hand to speak of” in the ad which you warned about. I have a nerve impairment in my dominant hand but can deal/shuffle a deck of cards however I am extremely clumsy with sleights-basically like having 2 left hands and despite how easy it might be for most to perform the move I am incapable of doing it smoothly. I will say that the instruction was done well and there is the other option however you don’t end completely clean. I received an introductory email from Josh after my purchase which was probably auto-generated but conveyed his and Andi’s thank you and passion for the trick. I don’t understand why Josh didn’t like your input if it adds another dimension and especially if you end clean without sleights. I am VERY curious to your handling and would be glad to forward my purchase email from VanishingInc to prove my purchase so you could share it with me. All in all I would say that the technique/method of spectator choosing the card was worth 2/3 the price of the trick alone.

    • Jeff Stone says:

      @Mark – I’m glad you found my review useful and accurate. As for my extra idea, I’m happy to share it. Just make sure that when you forward your receipt that it doesn’t have any credit card info, etc. on it. Forward it to stonecoldmagic at gmail dot com.

  • Mark W says:

    Thanks Jeff! Invoice sent

  • Mike Newman says:

    Jeff,
    This review is spot on!
    Love it, and great job.

    I bought Inferno back when it first came out.
    I truly had a hard time understanding the instructions and pretty much gave up.
    I’m a visual learner for the most part. And the way the tutorial is shot, just confused me. I need over the shoulder. It’s me, not Josh or whomever edited it. I just have a slight learning disability.

    I would love to hear what you are doing to change the handling. It may help me out.

    I do not have a receipt as I bought it years ago. I can take a pic of myself holding it… I will shoot you an email. I’d really appreciate it very much, if you’re willing to share.

    Anyways,
    I’m motivated to try it again.
    And more importantly, I’m watching more of your reviews! Love how you’re like a buddy sitting here just talking.

    Thanks for doing these and your honest, upfront review. Greatjob!

    Mike

  • Khuldrin says:

    @Matthew… thank you for making me slap myself on the forehead. Why didn’t I think of the altoids tin? Thank you for the solution I have been looking for.

  • Peter Brodie says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I bought this effect in Sidney, Australia two years ago when I was traveling on holiday and I also have difficulty with the palming out and would like to know the method you have devised to get around this. I do not have my receipt so I understand that that might be a problem, however, I would appreciate any help you are able to provide me.
    Many thanks,
    Pete.

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