DEVOUR by SansMinds Creative Lab

Written by John Teo

Devour is a novelty card effect.  Novelty card effects never fail to bring smiles from the spectators.  Here is the effect of Devour:


A spectator freely selects (no force) a card and signs it.  The performer slides the chosen card into the center of the deck and places the entire deck inside the card case.  He takes a marker and draws 2 quick straight lines on the back of the card case to represent a pair of closed eyes.  He draws another line – an upward curve to represent an unhappy mouth.  He turns the card case around to show the audience of his simple sketch of an unhappy sleeping face.


He tosses the case from one hand to his other hand.  Instantly and visually, the sleeping face changes into a very angry face with the two eyes wide open and a mouth snarling showing both the upper and lower teeth.  The angry sleeping face has woken up.  This will cause a smile from the audience.

The performer shakes the closed case in his hand.  A rattling sound is heard – a full deck inside the case will not make any noise.  The case is opened and the performer pours out small cut pieces of playing cards onto the cupping hands of a spectator.  The angry face has “chewed” up the cards into small pieces.  This will cause another smile from the audience.  As a finale, the performer draws from inside the case the spectator’s signed and chosen card unharmed!


From the description, this is definitely a good effect to have and perform.  Here are some comments you need to heed before you decide to purchase the effect:


• Obviously, the card case must be gimmicked.  You need to construct this gimmicked case yourself.  It is not supplied.  You also need to make another gimmick that will go inside this gimmicked case.  The description on the product is a little misleading.  It states that “Gimmick supplies included”.  Nowhere does it state in the write-up that you have to make the gimmicks yourself.  You receive an instructional DVD and some necessary materials to construct your own gimmicks.  The DVD, as expected from SansMinds Creative Lab, is of excellent production quality and the teaching, including how to make the gimmicks, is clear and easy to understand.  It also covers all aspects of the effect, including tips and alternative handlings.  However, to construct both the gimmicks does take more than an average art-and-craft person.  This person needs to be a good DIY individual.  You also need to supply 4 card cases of your own in order to construct the 2 gimmicks.

• Another obvious thing is you have to switch the real items for the gimmick ones.  Although you are taught in the DVD on the optimal moments in your performance to do the switches, you need pockets that are large enough to contain both of the gimmicks.

• You need to manage your audience.  Firstly, the effect cannot be performed surrounded.  It is best performed with the audience in front of you.  You also need the necessary misdirection to do the switches.  

If all these comments are of no problem to you, you should immediately go ahead and purchase this effect.  You will have a definite winner in your hands.  Add 4 more points to the rating here.
The advantage of making your own gimmicks is that you can customize your props.  Instead of the angry face, you can have other designs of your liking.  This is discussed in the DVD.  You can also construct your own gimmicks using and brand of playing cards you wish. 


If the necessary gimmicks were to be supplied, this would easily raise this rating by 3 more points. 

(6/10 stars rating).