Random I-Tunes Song of The Moment: I Will Always Love You by Roger Whittaker
Unload by Anthony Stan Reviewed
One DVD, the stuff to make a gimmick and $45 bucks. Is it gem or is it rubble? Stay tuned to find out.
Many effects are possible, but the gist of it you're able to make the deck of cards vanish from the closed box. The spectator can then open the box to find the deck is gone . . . or the deck is gone, but his selected, signed card is the only card left in the box. There are other effects, but they all have this same foundation.
The method uses a very clever gimmick that extracts the deck from the box leaving the box clean and empty. Generally speaking, the method is solid. There are several additional effects taught on the DVD that use the gimmick in various ways. Some are more awkward than others. There are a few cases where the awkwardness isn't worth it.
For example, the box can be used as a switching device. You place (for example) a folded and blank slip of paper that is the same size as a dollar bill inside of the box. Then you hand the box to the spectator. She opens it to find nothing but a real dollar bill. If you were to place a folded piece of paper into a card box, it would be a simple thing: open the box, and drop it in. However, when using this box for the method, you don't simply drop it in. You have to fumble and put it in the box a very specific way that makes it look very awkward.
There were a few effects on the DVD where this was the case. Also, the effects where all but the selected card vanish do require a bit of an awkward moment sometimes. However, it's not as bad because it may just look as though you're struggling a little bit to put the whole deck back in the box. In my opinion, the best way to use this box is to simply vanish the entire deck. Of the many effects on the DVD, this one is the only one that doesn't really have an awkward moment while putting the deck in the box.
That said, many of the effects that may have an awkward moment can become less awkward with practice, but even then, it still depends a little on how finicky the gimmick may be when you're performing.
While testing the gimmick, I ran into a couple of possible issues. First, in the routines where you're vanishing the deck, but leaving a card behind in the box, on occasion when the gimmick extracted the deck from the box, the selected card went with it. However, since the selected card is not actually inside the gimmick, it just falls to the floor leaving you with a very awkward moment.
This is a very visual/cerebral effect, however, that leaves the signed card behind and has an added something extra to prevent the selection from being inadvertently extracted with the gimmick. If you watch the trailer you'll see this effect. It's the one where there is a hole in the box so you can see the deck in the box. Then the spectator pushes the deck through the hole and the deck (all but the one card) vanishes. It's very visual and weird and wonderful and there is no risk of the selection sneaking out on accident.
You still have the slight awkward-ness of putting the deck into the box, and the added security that makes the selection stay in place does add a bit more to the awkwardness of putting the deck in the box.
The box itself is gimmicked and there is a gimmick that extracts the deck from the box. The gimmicked box, however, is gimmicked in such a way that the spectator can handle it and open it to retrieve their selected card, etc. without detecting the gimmick. The advantage of the box gimmick is that it can be used for other effects that don't require the extractor gimmick. There were a few ideas using the box without the extractor in the bonus section. They were very clean and very un-awkward. You'll need to be seated, but other than that this is by far one of the best ideas on the DVD.
One other possible issue with the gimmick. Once it extracts the deck, there is a possibility that the whole deck of cards will just decide to fall out of the gimmick. There is a simple and easy way to prevent this that is not taught on the DVD. However if you buy this, here's the prevention method: Simply squeeze the side of the cards while the deck is still in the box and just before you activate the gimmick.
This will easily make perfect sense if you own the product. However, there still a consideration when doing this. Many of the effects require you to retrieve the deck (secretly) from the gimmick. Well when you do the aforementioned squeezing action, you're making it a bit harder to secretly retrieve the deck.
As you can see, I'm a bit back-and-forth on this method. The concept is clever, and with a little bit of extra effort you will be able to make this work. It will just take some practice and testing of the gimmick to get familiar with how it operates and what you can do with it.
Ad Copy Integrity
The ad copy is pretty solid. Though the claim that it resets in 10 seconds is a little iffy . . . more like 20 - 30 seconds, but still very quick. The only other thing I might question is the "easy to do" claim. It's pretty easy, but it will take some getting used to and some pretty heavy testing and practicing to make sure you full understand how to manage the gimmick.
The DVD was not the best quality I've seen, but it's good enough to be able to get the information being presented. However, it's got that problem again where it's being spoken in French, but subtitled in English. This just makes it so that you'll have to rewind a few times because you'll miss the visuals while you're reading the subtitles. Also — possibly due to the language barrier — I felt like not everything clearly covered. For example, the effects that require you to load the deck into the gimmick, but the selection outside of the gimmick had no real clear information on the best way to get the selected card in place without fumbling.
This one is tough to call. It has potential, and the method is good, but it's a bit finicky. To further complicate matters, I had this exact same idea for this same gimmick about 11 years ago. It's in one of my journals. I had a different use for the gimmick. My idea was to put the deck in the box then just fold the box up and put it in my wallet after doing a few card tricks. The method was to use this exact same gimmick/concept to extract the deck, but the vanish was never the effect. The effect was that I folded up a full deck of cards and put it in my wallet.
Anyway, because I had the same idea, I have to constantly "check" myself to make sure that my review of this product is not biased because he "beat me" to the market, etc. So part of me wants to give it a higher rating to "prove" that I'm not bitter. However, the other part of me wants to give it a lower rating because there were some issues with the product as outlined above.
Yet, on the other hand, his version of this gimmick made some improvements over mind and solved a couple issues I was still trying to work out. Back-and-forth . . . back-and-forth . . . In the end, the method is doable, but some effects are more doable than others . . . there are some minor risks/considerations with the method. The ad copy was pretty solid, and the product quality was "okay."
Any other product with the above written review would get a low to middle of the road star rating, so with all that said . . .
2.5 Stars with a Stone Status of grubble (a gem with its fair share of rubble here and there - but with the scales slightly tipped toward gem).