Mono – Xero Playing Cards by Luke Wadey. A Review

Mono – Xero Playing Cards by Luke Wadey. A Review

Mono – Xero Playing Cards by Luke Wadey. A Review

Welcome to round two of the popular Mono series of playing cards. This is the Ad Copy:

The latest deck in the Mono collection, exploring the use of a single color palette and combining patterns and gradients to achieve a dynamic and unique deck of cards.

Mono – Xero picks up from distinctive theme set by Mono – X, using a bold 2-way back design combined with side details on the card faces to allow for cardists to flourish and magicians to excel in their routines. The deck uses a variety of line thicknesses with negative space and gradients to maintain the recognisable theme is carried through from the distinctive card back where a ‘O’ is created, all the way through the custom pips and court cards. The deck uses a blue theme throughout, still with clear distinction between the suits.

-Manufactured by Cartamundi
-New slim-line stock with B9 finish
-Fully custom 56 card deck, including a double backer card
-Custom tuck, designed to partner with Mono – Xero R
-One time print run, only 2500 decks produced

Be sure to grab both Mono – Xero and Mono – Xero R, their bold designs are a true show-stopper and be a part of design with community in mind. Together, we are Xero.

My Thoughts:

When I first opened Mono Xero I wasn’t overly impressed. The lack of multi-colors made the cards seem a little stale.. until I began to handle them. They cam alive, and now I’m a fan. I actually received Mono X, the first of the series, and Mono Xero, the newest addition, at the same time.. so I wasn’t familiar with the X cards. Had I been, the Xero cards would have been received with anticipation.

I don’t want to repeat the ad copy verbatim.. but I’ll offer my personal observation nonetheless. The X and the Xero are both created with a single color. The X is black and lighter black, almost a charcoal.. and the Xero cards are available in two different designs – One a differing gradient of dark blue and the other a gradient of what they call red, but what I call maroon. Maybe it’s just me…

Each deck, X and Xero, relies on a series of lines to create the design of the card. The lines vary in thickness and width apart to create a design… A stylized X on the X cards and a Zero on the Xero cards. Some of the lines extend onto the side of the card, giving the deck a very unique look. Although the backs are two way, reversing a card doesn’t change the design on the sides… a smart move by London designer Luke Wadey.

The cards are printed by Cardimundi. Although very popular in Europe, Cardimundi has always felt rather stiff to me.. because of my life-long use of Bicycles. Xero is printed on a new slim-line stock that makes the deck somewhat thinner and a pure pleasure to shuffle and faro.. not to mention flourish. I could perform perfect faro’s with Xero after three or four shuffles. Compare that to fifty or more shuffles with a standard deck of Bikes..

I’m going to let a couple of pics fill in the gaps. Seeing X and Xero is, as they say, better than a thousand words. These cards are both limited to a one time run of 2500 decks.. so it would be wise to purchase several before time runs out. If you are a card flourisher, you’ll love both the feel and the design of Xero. I know I did….

$12.00 Available at Murphy’s Magic and dealers who carry their line..

Review by Rick Carruth for the Magic Roadshow

SINIS – Playing Cards – A Review

SINIS – Playing Cards – A Review

SINIS – Playing Cards – A Review

SINIS is a new addition to the collector card market. Designed by Marc Ventosa and  created by Cardinates.. here’s the Ad Copy:

BREAK FREE from mainstream custom playing card designs with SINIS Playing Cards.

With modern base-line art reflected throughout the deck, EVERY detail of SINIS Playing Cards was considered to create an original and authentic artistic expression.

The custom Court cards mirror the square block theme on the tuck. The Aces reflect the explicit typograph approach.

Together, the striking balance between thin and thick objects is an intriguing surprise for the collector, cardist and magician when viewing or fanning the deck.

Even the name itself, SINIS, is a Palindrome integrated into the card artwork.

Highlighted on the backs, the name SINIS is completely symmetrical (rotational and front-to-back), breaking the traditional two-way design –while maintaining the feel of symmetry.

Available in Turquoise or Raspberry and Black on Bee stock, both are a tasty treat.

Custom seal
Custom designed Court cards, Jokers and Aces
2 gaff cards included
Bee stock
Printed by US Playing Card Company
Designed by Marc Ventosa
Created by Cardinates

My Thoughts:

SINIS is a new entry in the collector card market. Although designed as an artistic endeavor, they are printed on Bee card stock to increase handling.

There is a custom designed factor to almost all the cards. The court cards are definitely different, with the face not covering the entire surface of the card, but a smaller, square area. I think this is a method to capture the ‘museum’ feel of the image, as it resembles a painting mounted on a wall.. I could be wrong.. but that’s my notion.

The Aces are adorned with the word ‘Ace’ and the suit of each Ace spelled out in the middle of the card. This is a very unique look.

The cards are available in two colors: Turquoise Blue, and Raspberry and Black. Each is a matt finish that eliminates any reflective surfaces. The back of the tuck box and the back of each card are identical.. each with the word..’SINIS’ printed from top to bottom. The combination of the turquoise and blue as well as the raspberry and black, makes the backs of all cards two-way.

The name SINIS is, as the ad copy explains, a palindrome… reading the same both ways. You can tell there is an overall effort to wrap all the cards into a symmetric little world of their own.. and I think they have succeeded very well.

As a collector card, they are definitely one of the better cards available, and as a card capable of being used for magic or gaming.. the Bee stock assures it will handle as well as virtually any card. Needless to say, I am VERY partial to Bee stock.. and I am very partial to SINIS cards as an addition to my collection.

$12.00 Available from Murphy’s Magic and dealers who carry their line..

Review by Rick Carruth for The Magic Roadshow..

YOU KNOW (UNO) – David Jonathan – A Review

YOU KNOW (UNO) – David Jonathan – A Review

YOU KNOW (UNO) – David Jonathan – A Review

YOU KNOW is a brand new effect from David Jonathan, one of my favorite creators. Here’s the Ad Copy:

You Know is a powerful display of foresight that is so direct, so fair and so utterly baffling. It uses an ancient, underused principle that has been dusted off and modernized with new twists to create a stunning hands-off prediction.

So what’s the effect? A pack of UNO cards is introduced and a participant names any of the four colors in the game to be their target color. They take the cards and genuinely shuffle them into a truly random order. They now look through the shuffled pack and remove the first three cards of their target color that they come to. The numbers on these cards are added together to arrive at a sum. An envelope, that has been on the table, is turned over to show one number was written on it – the sum of the three numbers! Even more impressive, inside the envelope is a prediction of the SPECIFIC COLOR they named and the EXACT THREE NUMBERS they arrived at!

Ends clean
No gimmicks
No sleight of hand
Super easy to do

Tons of extra ideas and variations are covered on the tutorial, as well as ways to incorporate the concepts into a variety of routines (e.g. book tests, pin code revelations, etc.).

You Know provides an engaging change of pace from run-of-the-mill card tricks, so download it today to learn one of the strongest effects with a pack of UNO cards!

Note: While this effect was designed for UNO cards, it is also easily adapted to playing cards

My Thoughts:

I just reviewed FORTUITY, another David Jonathan effect, for Murphy’s Magic a few days ago.. and out of the blue David contacted me about his newest release – YOU KNOW (UNO). Having reviewed three of David’s effects in the past, I knew his work, his style, and his dedication to offering customers a great deal for their money.

That said.. if you read the Ad Copy above, you have a good idea of how the effect plays out. You Know is performed with a partial deck of UNO cards (not provided), but can be performed with a regular deck if you want.. I don’t want. I love the idea of performing this effect with a deck of UNO cards. Performing with UNO cards makes this a very unique effect.. one unlike anything the spectator is apt to have seen previously. Plus, no one thinks of UNO cards as being gaffed or marked, which they aren’t, adding to the mystery and improbability.

I’m going to go ahead a say.. this is one of the very BEST effects I’ve reviewed in a long time.. and the BEST effect for the money. The instant download is $8.95, which is an absolute steal. As I mentioned, you need to supply your own UNO deck which, if you don’t already have one, can be bought at virtually any drug store or big box store for a couple of dollars. From that point, David shows you, via a Vimeo link, what to do with the cards. Only 40 of the cards are needed, and you’re almost ready to perform.

The spectator is handed the deck and he/she really performs a riffle shuffle of the deck. For good measure.. they perform a second riffle shuffle. They go through the deck as explained in the ad copy and remove three cards of a color they selected. Now, they total the three cards.. and find the number matches the prediction in a sealed envelope produced earlier by the magician. For good measure, the magician also predicts the color the spectator will pick. There is NO deck switch and nothing added or subtracted to the deck.

The secret is a very old secret and -possibility- one you’ve read before… if you’re a student of magic. But, I’m willing to bet you’ll not figure this one out, as it’s the unique formulation of the cards from the beginning that enables the mathematics to work. Don’t let that word scare you.. there’s nothing for you to calculate. It’s actually self-working once the spectator gets cards-in-hand, even though you can count on the spectator NOT being able to riffle shuffle perfectly. They don’t have to… This effect works despite their imperfection.

David provides a link to a Vimeo video which runs 40 minutes. Every step is taught carefully and everything explained in detail… The Materials, Preparing the Prediction, Setting up the UNO pack, The Number Force and The Routine. He also provides alternate handling, including using a standard deck, and a PDF with final suggestions, including a shortcut not shown on the video.

There are almost Zero sleights. There is one brief move you make which I’m not even going to call a sleight… if you can cut a deck, you can perform this simple move.

If you perform mental magic in your routine, this is an excellent effect to have in your repertoire. I urge you to take time to create a line of patter that matches up with the effect.. and you can easily increase the dramatics two-fold. Spectators love effects that permit them to shuffle the deck and perform the handling. It makes YOUR magic so much stronger. I highly recommend YOU KNOW (UNO) to all my readers…

$8.95 Instant Download.. from either of the two links below..

Reviewed by Rick Carruth for the Magic Roadshow

Fortuity – David Jonathan – A Review

Fortuity – David Jonathan – A Review

Fortuity – David Jonathan – A Review

From the creative mind of David Jonathan comes Fortuity. An amazing prediction that looks so clean and fair, it will truly blow your spectators’ minds!

David has taken the Duel Match premise to incredible new heights with a complete change of method.

By rolling two dice, your spectator generates a random number. You cleanly count to this number from either end of a rainbow deck and remove their chosen back design.

The deck is now completely spread to show that there really is only one card with this unique back design. The dice are rolled again and once again the cards are counted from either end of the deck to arrive at a random value. The deck is completely spread to show absolutely no duplicates are in play.

In essence, your spectator has created a random playing card from these two free selections. You now ask

him to open an envelope that has been sitting in view from the very beginning — inside is a perfect duplicate of the card that has been created.

Your package comes complete with a very special custom deck, two beautiful dice and full video tutorial. Fortuity is so easy to do; even a beginner could do it with only a few minutes of practice.

No Loaded Dice, any numbers can be rolled (or use imaginary Dice)

All the cards can be shown both front and back

Absolutely Zero Sleight of Hand

My Thoughts:

David Jonathan, the creator of Cutting Edge, Fourtunate, You Know (UNO), and Arbitrium.. among others.. has a new release – You Know (UNO). David is one of my favorite creators; I’ve reviewed a couple of his effects previously, and I was pleasantly surprised when I saw his name attached to FORTUITY.

David is both a real worker and a practical guy. His effects always make sense. They aren’t overly complicat

ed or contrived, and do exactly what they claim to do. When you read the ad copy for Fortuity, or any of David’s effects for that matter, you can be assured you’ll get what he promises.

Fortuity is a prediction effect. Before the effect begins, you place an envelope on the table. It remains in view throughout the effect and doesn’t need to be picked up until the prediction is revealed. Actually, the prediction inside the envelope is 100% correct in advance, so why tamper with the Truth.

A pair of dice is provided, and the spectator is instructed to roll the dice, as you deal down, from the bottom or the top, to that number. You tell the spectator this is intended to reveal the back design of one card. After removing the card at that number, the back is shown and the cards spread to show the back of every card is different… a rainbow deck.

The spectator rolls a second time, arrives at a second number, and you deal down, again from either end of the deck, to arrive at a number. The deck is spread to show this card’s value and suit is the only one in the deck. Now you’re ready to have the spectator open the envelope to reveal a card with the same back design, suit and value inside.

Yes, it’s this straight forward. If you like mental magic, this is about as fair as it gets. With the right patter, th

is will fool all your spectators.. including many magicians. In all fairness, the ad copy states all the cards can be fully ‘shown’ both front and back.. and they can… but, they cannot be handed out. This is NOT a problem for me, as I don’t let my audience handle my cards regardless. Anticipate audience reactions and be prepared… have a witty reply you can deliver with a smile. Some secrets need to be kept secret!

All in all, I recommend Fortuity to all my readers. Everything you need is included, even the envelope and dice, Bicycle cards and detailed online instructions. You will be performing Fortuity soon after receiving it. Beginners can perform this with a small amount of practice.. as there are NO sleights.. only a little bit of handling that most of you are already familiar with..

$37.25 From Murphy’s Magic and dealers who carry their line of products..

Review by Rick Carruth for The Magic Roadshow..