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Sparks Review

One DVD, over a dozen effects, ideas, moves and concepts, $25 bucks and one Sparks Review. Is it gem or is it rubble? Stay tuned to find out.

Sparks Review: Effect

Take a look at the ad copy; they lay out the effects quite nicely. However, you're really getting a bunch of utility moves. There are some effects too, but it's more like a tool box of ideas and concepts.

Sparks Review: Method

The methods range from super easy to super hard. Much of the work here will require a fair bit of practice and the development of the knack to pull it off. Whereas other effects/ideas will take a lot less effort. Every method is doable with practice. However, some of the effects are extremely angly . . . so angly, in fact, that I would say they're unusable. Below is a list of the effects and a brief commentary about their angles and other possible issues.

Spin:

Meant mainly for a small group of 3 to 4 people who are very much in front of you. Doable and legit, but sensitive angles.

Latex Slydini:

No angle issues whatsoever. Totally doable and easy to do.

POG Production:

Also no angle restrictions. This is very simple to do. It appears as thought it will be hard to do, but I got it on the first try.

Wave Change:

Pretty easy with no angle problems other than behind you.

ACAP:

Very knacky and moderately angly. They need to be on one side or the other (depending on whether you're a lefty or a righty).

Fake Tilt:

Also knacky and has the same angle sensitivity as the original Tilt/Depth Illusion.

CHLAK:

A modification of the Vernon Strip Out move that is a bit angly and fishy even when he did it. However, I've played around with the move, and it's doable . . . practice, practice, practice!

Fan Change:

Super angly. They basically have to almost be standing behind you looking over your right shoulder. It's a slightly knacky move, but I was able to do it without too much effort. However, I don't think you'd be able to do it for more than one person, and you'd have to really control their line of sight. Borderline unusable.

Clean Transpo:

Pretty simple with a little practice, and pretty much angle proof. Totally usable.

Drunken Production:

Simple and angle proof and actually a full routine.

Unsleeve:

This is mostly for one person. She will feel a coin appear on her hand. You can do it pretty well surrounded, and everyone else will see a coin magically appear, but the effect is the strongest for the one person who feels it.

Behind the Force:

This is pretty much unusable. You need to have a spectator standing nearly behind you on your left, and you can't have anyone else nearby. In the training, he suggested that this would be used in a situation where a person in front of you picks a card the normal way; then someone to your left (behind you) picks a card using this force technique. If you do this, the first guy, in front, who picked a card will see everything.

T2P:

This one is pretty decent on angles, but it has one fishy move. However, this fishy move can be overcome with better timing and practice than JC James showed on the DVD. It's totally doable with practice.

Sparks Review: Ad Copy Integrity

The ad copy is mostly accurate. The opening line about sparking creativity is a good way to describe this project. It's a series of ideas and moves (and some routines) that will, likely, get your creative juices flowing.

Some of the claims, however, need to be addressed. First, regarding Spin, the claim that you'll be doing it in minutes is not true. It's a little trick and knacky and wasn't explained clearly enough, and one of the reproductions of the pen was never taught. There are some finer points and details that should have been addressed but weren't

Next, Latex Slydini cannot be done naked unless you're willing to substitute nature's orifices for your pockets found in your clothes that you're not wearing. This relies heavily on the use of a pocket. The method is solid and doable, but naked-doable.

During the video trailer, two claims are made that are iffy. First, they claim that everything is impromptu and no gimmicks are used. One effect does use a duplicate card. I don't know if I'd consider that a gimmick, but it's certainly not impromptu. Everything else, however, can be done with a borrowed deck and/or borrowed items (coins, bills, rubber bands, etc.). Also, on the ad trailer, they claim that there are "predictions." I'm assuming that means "prediction effects." However, I don't recall any such effect, and if you look at the ad copy, you'll see all of the effects listed. None of them, as you can see, is a prediction effect. The closest thing is CHLAK which claims to be a phone number prediction. However, it's more like a revelation because it's your phone number that's being revealed (not predicted).

The last thing that I must question is the claim that everything is real world tested. I would be very surprised if that were true of the Fan Change and Behind The Force. Many of the effects taught on the DVD were shown being performed in front of live audiences. However, those two were not. They were performed for a very forced camera angle that is not a normal position that you can have a spectator stand.

Sparks Review: Product Quality

Generally speaking, the teaching is pretty solid, but there were a few exceptions. First, as already mentioned, pieces of Spin were left out. Second, during the performance segment of Wave Change there was a moment where he handles a double. However, he does a move that makes it look very much like a single card. This is never taught during the explanation. Other than some minor language barrier issues, there were no other real issues.

Sparks Review - Magic Reviewed

Sparks Review: Final Thoughts

Though a couple of the moves taught here are not usable in any real world setting that I know of, the majority of the material is relatively practical (with some knack acquisition and practice). The ad copy mistakes, for the most part felt more like mistakes than dishonest intentions. However, attention to detail in situations like this is very important. All things considered this is a solid product with a small handful of relatively not-so-minor problems.

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

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