Magic Products Review


Written by John Teo

Manufactured by: Marchand de Trucs (France)

To purchase or reserve the product(s), read the conditions above.

“Social Networks” is a deck of cards, similar in size to poker playing cards, but containing the following sets of specially printed cards:

Emoji cards: 4 sets of 5 emojis: happiness, laughter, anger, sadness and love; 1 set of 9 emojis with no emotions; 1 double-face (love/anger) emoji;

5 Instagram communication snap shot cards, each of them corresponds to each of the 5 emotions of the emoji cards;

Message cards: comprising 9 red “thumbs down” cards, and 9 blue thumbs up cards;

1 double-back card.

There are altogether 54 cards housed inside a nice card box designed as a box to a social media card game called “Social Netwrokd The Game”.

The backs of all the cards are also cleverly and secretly marked so that you can easily tell what are on their faces.

These cards are created to take

advantage of the current popularity

of social media. They are not

designed for a new effect in magic.

They are created to correspond

with cards that magicians commonly use for their magic.

For example, the 5 emojis can be used instead of the usual 5 ESP symbols. Therefore, whatever effects a magician performs using the ESP symbols can now be performed using the emoji cards. This makes the tricks more current, relevent and attractive.

You receive a deck of nicely printed and good quality social network cards, and a link to a video tutorial. In the video, French magician Maxime Schucht takes you through 5 routines using these cards.

1. Out Of This Digital World – as the name implies, this is the “out of this world” effect performed using the 9 red “thumbs down” and 9 blue “thumbs up” message cards. This presentation shows how a person from a modern generation is able to retain control and is not easily distracted by the constant bombarded of social media. The performer plays a social media video clip by Ulysse Thevenon on his mobile phone and asks a lady spectator to watch this video while dealing out a packet of 18 cards randomly into 2 piles. In the end, she is plesantly surprised that she has subconsciously separated the cards into a pile containing all the 9 red “thmbs down” cards and another pile containing all the 9 blue “thumbs up” cards. This presentation is based on works done by Paul Harris and Pete McCabe.

2. Obsession – a spectator imagines she is obsessed by one of the 5 emotions depicted by the 5 emojis. The performer deals cards from a small packet of emoji cards, and the spectator calls “stop” at any time. The card stopped at turns out to be the emotion that the spectator is obsessed with. The other cards are turned over to show that they are emojis without any emotions. This indicates that a person can be so obsessed with an emotion that she ignores any other form of emotions.

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3. Empathy – the spectator shows that she can empathise with the performer by herself dealing cards from a small packet of emoji cards and stopping at any card she wishes. A prediction of this card was earlier posted by the performer in the spectator’s facebook. An excellent effect to get yourself promoted to all the friends of your spectator.

4. Mirror Empathy – 2 spectators are involved in this effect, with the performer acting as a psychic channel between them. One spectator thinks of one of the 5 emojis. The other spectator deals a packet of emoji cards and instinctively stops at 2 cards. She then selects one of these 2 cards. This turns out to be the very emotion chosen by the first spectator. The card that was discarded turns out to be of another emotion.

5. Timeline – the performer and the spectator are each given a packet of the 5 emoji cards. Not only is the performer able to match each of the 5 emojis chosen by the spectator, with his packet of cards, he is also able to divine a secret friend of the spectator.

“Social Networks” enables you to make your favourite mental tricks more current by using cards printed with social media symbols. The emoji cards are great to use because mental effects usually involve human emotions.

Although “Social Networks” is a tool for magicians and mentalists to use with their favourite card effects, all the 5 effects taught in the tutorial are great mental tricks. You can also learn from Maxime Schucht’s performance. I particularly like his presentation of the “Out Of This World” trick. It is certainly one of the better versions I have seen of this effect. You are also taught a nice peek envelope from one of the routines. (5/5 stars rating)

Highly Recommended!


Written by John Teo

This is a pocket trick with a commercial theme.

The performer shows a small folded Cocktail List which depicts 26 different cocktail drinks. The name of each drink starts with a different letter of the alphabet.

A spectator mentally selects one drink.

The performer shows several cards with different letters of the alphabet printed on each of them. The spectator who selected the cocktail drink sorts out all the cards that bear the initial letter of her drink. The other cards are discarded and given to the performer.

The performer asks the spectator to imagine she is holding the drink of her choice in her hand. The performer mimes dipping one of his fingers into her drink and then puts this finger into his mouth to taste the cocktail on his finger tip. Straightaway, he is able to identify the name of the cocktail chosen by the spectator.

You are supplied with a nicely printed folded list of the cocktail drinks, the special alphabet cards, and a link to a downloadable pdf set of instructions.

The cards and the menu are small enough to be carried in the shirt pocket. Because of the theme, this makes for a nice after-dinner trick. It is also suitable for performing in a bar or café, or in any small gathering.

Although it is based on methematics, there is no formula for you to memorise. There are no numbers involved and you do not need to do any mental calculations. The effect works automatically. Different drinks can be selected each time.

There are no performing angles for you to worry about. No resetting is required, and this makes it ideal for table-hopping.


(Rated 3.5/5 stars).

FADEAWAY by Chris Philpott

Written by John Teo

Chris Philpott is a creative magician and has the knack of coming up with quirky magical effects or taking something standard and making it outlandish.

“Fadeaway” is a case in point of the second fact.

Chris takes R.W.Hull’s “Mental Photography Deck” and makes the cards slowly fade into blanks, instead of the original versioN where the cards instantly becomes blank on both sides.

In the “Mental Photography Deck”, the entire deck is shown to consist of cards blank on both sides. With a magical gesture, the faces and backs of the cards in the deck become printed with proper faces and back design. Just as quickly, the cards in the entire deck become blank on both sides again.

In the “Fadeaway Deck”, Chris has a card chosen from what seems to be a regular deck of cards. He then causes the cards to slowly fade away until all cards in the deck now become blank on both sides, except for the chosen card, which is the only card that has a proper face and a back. To see the entire deck of cards slowly fading away is truly a magical moment of wonderment for the audience. Both the faces as well as the backs of the cards can be seen to be slowling dissolving away.

You receive this special deck of cards plus a link to a more than an hour of tutorial featuring Chris himself as well as several of his magician friends showing various ways of performing the Fadeaway Deck.

Chris gives 2 versions: an easy and straight-forward one, and another slightly more involved version. Included in the deck is a comedy “ERROR 404 card not found” card. Here is how it is used. The performer wishes to cause the chosen card, which was lost in the middle of the deck, to rise to the top card. The magician fails in this attempt. When the top card is turned over, it is not the chosen card, but an ERROR 404 card. This means the entire deck of cards is going to “crash”. It does, and the deck is shown to slowly fade away into blank cards except for the chosen card.

In the tutorial, Steve Valentine demonstrates several ways of magically making the ERROR 404 card appear in the deck. Michael Rangel as well as Tom Frank show different methods of making the ERROR 4040 card pops up from the middle of the deck. Apollo Robbins contributes an interesting colour change of the bottom card of the deck. These are ideas for you to use with the Fadeaway Deck.

Imagine you have performed a series of card tricks using an ordinary deck of cards. You then secretly switch to the Fadeaway Deck and perform Fadeaway as your final trick. It makes a very nice and meaningful finish to your card magic.


(Rated 4.5/5 stars).


Written by John Teo

Self-working tricks are usually based on clever mathematical principles. Some of these mathematical principles, like the Gilbreath Principle, are so subtle that a performer may know how to carry out the procdures, but may not understand how or why they work.

Of all the self-working tricks, the Trapdoor Card, by Robert Neale, is the most baffling. The effect is very visual and looks completely impossible to accomplish. This is based on another branch of mathematics called topolgy, which is the study of the inside and outside of things.

The “Magical Up-Down Arrow” is another topological trick and looks impossible to explain.

In effect, a strip of yellow paper has a cut-out of an arrow in the centre, and 2 rectangular cut-outs at its top and its bottom respectively. A narrow strip of black paper is inserted through the 2 restangular cut-outs so that the yellow paper is now loosely attached to the black strip.

The cut-out arrow on the yellow paper is pointing downwards. The performer attempts to bring this arrow pointing upwards without disengaging the yellow paper from the black strip, or revolving the entire structure 180°.

To prevent the performer from turning the entire paper structure, a spectator holds the top and bottom edges of the black paper strip. The performer can now only manipulate the yellow paper that is attached to the black strip. The performer folds the yellow paper several times around the black strip. When the yellow paper is unfolded, the cut-out arrow is now seen pointing upwards. The black strip is not moved at all during this procedure. The result seems totally impossible.

You receive both the yellow and the black strips of paper. A link to a video tutorial is also provided.

Once you get the knack of the folding procedure of the yellow paper, you can perform this effect wihout any problem. You will be amazed yourself that it works. Do not bother to try to understand how it works – you are likely not able to.

Both strips of paper are made of ordinary grade of paper and they will be worn out through multiple performances. Using these 2 papers as templates, you can made new ones by using coloured papers purchased from the stationery store.

A visual and impossible-looking effect that is easy to do. You will want to have this in your performing repertoire.


(Rated 4/5 stars)


Written by John Teo

Tenyo’s products are characterised by very well made (often precision-made) magical props. Many of them are viewed by non-magicians as such: magician’s props. This is because they are not usually found in our everyday lives.

Flash Dice can be considered as an exception. The prop consists of 6 ordinary dice and a plastic container to house them in. The plastic container is seen as just a container with a lid to store the 6 dice. The container, together with the lid, looks ordinary enough and does not warrant anyone to want to inspect it. Actually, both the 6 dice and the container are precision made.

The product reviewed here is a new version of Flash Dice. The original version was released in 1976.

It was invented by Takuya Yoshizawa based on his observation of the Sure-Shot Dice Box. Flash Dice was my go-to effect when it first became available in the market because many effects are possible using the special container and the 6 dice. This is not a one-effect trick.

You receive the specially manufactured dice, the dice container, and a very nice blue colour sleeve to store the props. You will be given a link to a set of instructions in the English language.

Here are some possible effects with the Flash Dice. You can combine some of them to make a nice multi-phase dice routine.

The Obedient Dice – the 6 dice are arranged in the container in a 1 to 6 order from left to right. The lid is replaced and the container is shaken. When the lide is removed, it is seen that the dice are in a random order, as they should be. The lid is replaced and the container shaken. This time the dice return to their 1 to 6 order. Another shake of the container and the dice are now arranged in the reverse order from 6 to 1.

Dice Paradise – a spectator takes any one of the 6 dice and rolls it so that a random number comes on top. Let us say this number is 4. The performer replaces the other 5 dice into the container in no specific order so that random numbers are seen on top of each dice. The container is closed and the spectator’s dice is placed on top of the container. The container is shaken. It seems that the spectator’s single dice has influenced the rest of the 5 dice inside the container. When the lid is removed, all the top faces of the dice inside the container now show the number 4.

Flash Dice Prediction – the performer writes a prediction and places it aside. A spectator places the 6 dice in any order inside the container and totals up the numbers shown on top of all the 6 dice. The lid is replaced on the container and it is given a shake. The lid is removed and the spectator totals up the new random numbers now appearing on the top of each of the 6 dice. The spectator adds this sum to the original sum to obtain a new total. This matches exactly with the performer’s prediction that was placed to one side before the performance.

Dice and Cards – 6 playing cards, from Ace to 6 (suits do not matter), are mixed by a spectator and placed face downwards on the table. The performer places the dice in no specific order inside the conatiner. The dice are shaken and when the lid of the container is removed, the order of the dice coincides with the order of the 6 cards when they are turned over face upwards.

A professionally made product that allows you to perform many effects. Once you know the principle, you can come out with your own effects.

Highly Recommended!

DESTINATION by Phillip Ryan

Written by John Teo

The svengali principle is an ingenious concept in card magic. The svengali deck quickly became a classic in gimmicked card decks.

Unfortunately, it is readily available in the open market, including in beginner’s magic sets.


Destination is the application of the svengali principle to postcards.

You receive a total of 15 custom printed postcards of different countries and cities from around the world, and 15 postcards of the force country, which in this case, is France. They come inside a nicely printed postcard collection box. You are also provided with a link to a video performance and explanation by Phillip Ryan.

In the performance video, Phillip Ryan shows a stack of postcards that he acquired from different countries and cities around the world. He has a spectator cut the stack at random and look at the postcard she cut to. He then divines the country of the chosen postcard. Finally, a prediction that was on the table throughout the performance proves to be the selected country.

The force postcard is cut in both directions, ie lengthwise as well as widthwise. You can therefore display the postcards in either one of the 2 directions. Philiip shows you how to handle the postcards, including actually riffle-shuffling the postcards supposedly to mix them up.

There are so many other things you can accomplish with a svengali deck than just a prediction of the chosen card. However, Phillip Ryan does not mention any of them in the video. You can easily check them out in the internet for the different applications of a svengali deck.

Here is a 4-phase routine you can use with the svengali postcards. Show the stack of postcards to be all different. Have a spectator cut the stack at random to determine a chosen postcard – read the mind of the spectator and divine her chosen country, France, in this case. Take the stack behind your back and “lose” the France postcard into the stack. Bring out the stack and deal the postcards, one at a time, onto the table, and have a spectator stop you at any point. The postcard stopped at proves to be the selected postcard. Again lose the postcard into the stack behind your back. Have a spectator call out any number between, say, 4 to 26. The postcard at that number proves to be the chosen one. The postcard is lost once again into the stack. This time you riffle the ends of the postcard and the spectator puts her finger into the stack to stop your riffle shuffle. The card beneath her finger turns out to be the selected card. The chosen postcard lost in the stack is found 3 times, with 3 different spectators!

Performing an effect using these postcards helps to disguise the svengali principle being used. Phillip Ryan and Vortex Magic also produce an invisible deck using these postcards. The product is called “Intuitive Destination”. “Destination” can be used together with “Intuitive Destination”.

Destination postcards can be used both in close-up and stage performances. Mentalists who want to force a country should invest in a set of these postcards. (rated 4/5 stars).