• Alex Hui

TRICK REVIEW - Expose by SansMinds

Updated: May 14



Here is my in-depth review of Expose by SansMinds


REVIEW PHILOSOPHY


When I review a product, I’d like to judge the product per se, but not putting past record or creator’s name/reputation into consideration. I will provide what is not said on the advertisement and details beyond the product itself.


I have no affiliation with any magicians or dealers, thus you will have everything good and bad about the product. Almost nothing is left out.


I believe by giving you the most transparent information, you will become a better consumer in long run.


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EFFECT


The performer hands a mystery card to the spectator. Then a card is chosen. The mystery card is revealed as a blank card, and the performer torn a corner off and hands over the remaining part of the card. The blank corner is put face up on the deck. It slowly transforms into the selection. Without any switching, the corner is cleanly passed to the spectator which finds that the in-hand blank card also changed into the selection. The corner matches as well.


WHAT YOU GET?


You will get already constructed gimmick in blue Rider back.


You will get a instructional DVD.


QUALITY OF THE GIMMICK


The gimmick is made with blue Bicycle Rider back cards. It’s not easy to break but there is delicate part which will wear for prolonged use.


Since a part of the gimmick is exposed, you may want to store it in a safe place to avoid mishandling.


Maintenance of the gimmick is not particularly difficult. It can be done in less than 5 minutes if the main mechanism is broken.


In addition to the main gimmick, you have to prepare the card every time before performance. The preparation must be done on table and with special tool.


QUALITY OF THE TUTORIAL


The effect is well explained in a 42 minutes and 5 seconds long video. The explanation is hosted by Jason Yu. Full credit is given at the end of the video. The video are mostly close-up shot of Jason’s hands.


Length (in minutes) of the main parts (I literally counted):


  • Trailer - 1:40

  • Introduction - 0:26

  • Full Performance - 1:48

  • Gimmick - 1:24

  • Gimmick Construction - 15:41

  • Preparation - 8:03

  • Main Handling - 16:36

  • Tips & Angle - 9:44

  • Final Thoughts - 0:51


The Full Performance is about performing the trick standing in front of the camera man as the spectator. Although it is a full performance, the camera work somehow helps to cover all the weak moments of the trick. As it is only included in the tutorial, I hope it is done for live audience with a full view so that the viewers can understand all the timing. This full performance is not helpful at all because camera work is too convenient for the performer.



In ‘Gimmick’ session, the mechanism of the gimmick is explained. The idea is not totally new but it is a very clever. The gimmick explanation is bare but clear enough to understanding the working.


Jason taught you how to build the gimmick from scratch in ‘Gimmick Construction’. There are some materials required but they are very standard for gimmick builders. The DIY is not difficult but delicate touch is required to make it perfect. It may take up to 30 mins to make one gimmick but it will last many performances.


In ‘Preparation’, Jason Yu explains preparation of the effect. The preparation is not difficult but quite tedious because you must do it every time. Besides, you need a table and special tool to do it, Unless you have prepared a lot of cards, it is not ideal for strolling performance. It takes about 2-3 mins to prepare for every performance.


‘Main Handling’ is about the main routine used in this effect. You have to load the gimmick in order to proceed the effect. There are basically 5 moves involved and most of them are within the reach of most people. One particular move needs misdirection or it will be very difficult to achieve (not top change!). While Jason Yu may be very good at handling that move, it’s not the best choice for most people in my opinion. Another move is not too ideal when audience burns your hands.


In 'Tips & Angles’, you will learn about some useful tips. For instance, how to handle the torn piece and gimmick. Jason also talks about the maintenance of the gimmick.


Overall, the video is informative and covers every topics well. It did a great job on teaching the viewers about every details of the effect.



DIFFICULTY


While the moves are not difficult, there are certain things to handle in this effect, and things may easily go wrong. Therefore, it is not suitable for beginners with little performing experience.


At one moment, misdirection is needed but it is well covered by presentation. Some practise is needed to make the transformation look like CG. Otherwise it will expose the method somehow.


EXAMINABLE?


The torn selection and corner is examinable. The gimmick is well hidden but cannot withstand close examination.


RESET TIME


It takes about 30-60 seconds to reset if you have the prepared material.


PERFORMANCE ANGLE


There is no strict requirement of angle. But the best viewing angle is when spectator look down 45 degree at the top of the deck.You don’t want spectator to stand behind you or at your sides closely.


CLOTHING REQUIREMENT


No special clothing is needed.


PRATICAL?


Some people may concern that this effect is only for camera but not live performance. No worry, this works for real audience. Much thoughts are put into this effect to ensure that the illusion looks perfect and the gimmick is well hidden. The audience can burn your hands when the transformation happens. But of course, the performer must watch the angle and handle with care.


ANALYSIS OF THE EFFECT


I will include my analysis of the effect in my product review. In this analysis, I will present my view on the strength and weakness of the effect. And will also go deeper with magic theory in mind.


Readers of this review most probably are intrigued by how visual ‘Expose’ is. Undoubtedly, this looks like a CG effect. And the transformation can done slowly without any suspicious moves.


The fact that the torn corner can be cleanly handed to the spectator, plus the transformation of in-hand blank card is a very good ending and provides a nice off-beat for clean-up. Though some people may think the strongest merit of this effect is the visual transformation, I would say that it is the distraction from gimmick right after the transformation has happened. No one will suspect any involvement of gimmick because you are handing the transformed object (which people assume where the gimmick locates) cleanly. In other words, you end ‘clean’ without ending clean. Just think about how many time you did a super visual gimmicked version of change and then people are asking for examination of the object involved, which you cannot hand it over? This effect has no such issue.


However, the preparation for each performance is very time consuming. This is a good effect comes with the cost of preparation. I don’t think it’s an ideal effect for walk-around. Besides, it cost a lot of cards to do it in long run. Although you can use any normal card as the selection, there are certain cards which make this effect look better.


Besides, there is risk for damaging the gimmick when you do the preparation. I am 100% sure that one day accident will happen when you are doing the preparation.


IDEAS


  • Instead of transforming the blank card to the selection, you can utilise the same concept to transform a white paper into a written paper. You can do it with a notebook (of course, you need to make the gimmick).

  • You don’t have to do the preparation if you don’t want. But you need sleight-of-hand to do something after the visual change.


PROS ABOUT THE PRODUCT


  • The effect is super visual without difficult sleight-of-hand.

  • Tutorial covers everything nicely.


CONS ABOUT THE PRODUCT


  • Preparation is time consuming. Not ideal for strolling.

  • It needs reset every time. It can’t be done openly.

  • Every time you do the preparation, there is a chance of damaging your gimmick.



FINAL VERDICT


When I first watch ‘Expose’, I am doubtful if it can be done convincingly. It turns out this is a practical and do-able effect.


It’s good for both social media and live audience, but misdirection is crucial in live performance, though not too difficult to execute due to the presentation.


The principle of the gimmick can be applied to other card effects and paper-type objects. It’s quite versatile.


If you don’t care about doing DIY if gimmick is broken, and invest time to prepare for each performance, this can be a very strong piece of magic for you. This is also good for people who are not comfortable with gimmick card magic because they usually end dirty. This one ends ‘clean’ psychological so well that you don’t have to worry about the gimmick.


At US$35, I would recommend this unique effect to anyone who love visual card magic with a clever twist. This is a good buy.


  • Video Quality: 8/10

  • Effectiveness of Tricks: 10/10

  • Practical: 8/10

  • Creativity: 7/10

  • Cost Performance: 8/10

  • Final Score: 8/10

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Hope the review helpful to you all.


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