• Alex Hui

TRICK REVIEW - Selfie King by Julio Montoro and Victor Sanz



Here is my in-depth review of Selfie King by Julio Montoro and Victor Sanz.


REVIEW PHILOSOPHY


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YOUTUBE REVIEW


If you want to watch the review, here is the YouTube version.


I am doing Selfie King giveaway on YouTube and other social media, don't forget to check it out!



EFFECT


The performer removes a Queen and a King from the deck. Then it’s shown that the King is holding a mobile phone. Instantly a selfie of the Queen and the King is shown on the phone, The King then sends the selfie to the performer’s mobile. 

WHAT YOU GET?


You will receive 6 gaff cards and some DIY material for gaffed version of the effect. 

A link to the password protected online instruction is also provided. On the site, some files are provided to perform the effect. 

QUALITY OF THE PRODUCT

The gaff cards are printed nicely with the design of the picture cards the same as standard Bicycle design.

They can be used with any back designs as long as the pictures cards of the deck look similar. 

However, since the gaffs are not printed by USPCC if my guess is correct, the color of the gaffs are less vibrant than Bicycle decks. It is not a big issue because the gaffs and the normal cards are not shown side by side in the routine. 

The DIY materials are just enough to make 1 set of gimmicks. But since it is not a must in the routine, it’s not a big issue. 

Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of the gaffs. If you do not perform the gimmicked version, you will have a spare set of gaffs for the effect. 

QUALITY OF THE TUTORIAL

The explanation comes as online tutorial on YouTube. There is no option for you to download the video.

The effect is explained in a 38 minutes and 40 seconds long video. The explanation is hosted by Julio Montoro, and was shot in a restaurant. There is only one medium shot throughout the tutorial. The explanation is generally good enough for experienced learners, but for beginners with less knowledge about sleights, it is definitely not detailed enough. 


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


  • Introduction - 0:53

  • What do you receive? - 1:54

  • Preparation - 5:58

  • Impromptu version - 9:58

  • Gimmick version - 9:36

  • Explanation - 8:07

  • Conclusion - 2:14

There are 2 kinds of preparation in the effect: 1. To make message notification happens; 2. To show the selfie message in your WhatsApp. 


The setup is probably the most complicated part in this effect. For the notification, you will receive the necessary file to accomplish it. However, you need to set it up in your phone. It’s a one-time setup and there are many ways to do it. The process is not particular difficult but for less tech-savvy magicians, it may be struggle, because Julio has not gone into details on telling the learning how to set it up. He is talking as if this process is common sense. 


As for the selfie message, there are 2 ways taught on the tutorial. The first method allows you showing the selfie message in real WhatsApp. But I don’t think this approach is practical at all because it’s not something that you can do it alone. Even if a friend of yours help you, it won’t be practical because of many factors. The second method involves a very direct approach but you can’t show the message in real WhatsApp. It involves a 1-time easy setup. This is the approach I would recommend. 

Impromptu version does not involve gimmick but still it involves the setup mentioned above and preparation. The deck setup up is not complicated but it can hardly allow you to use the deck normally before performing this effect. So you either have to make the effect as opener or do a deck switch. It’s impractical to do the setup in the middle of tricks. This version involves some sleight-of-hand. They are not difficult for even advanced beginners, but practice is needed to make the phases flow smoothly. The explanation of the sleights is not detailed at all in some cases, though most sleights are pretty standard. But beginners will struggle for sure. 

The gimmick version involves DIY setup. It takes about 15 minutes but it is not particularly difficult even if you are bad at DIY. It involves some cutting and sticking pieces, In addition, more than enough card materials are provided. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about messing up too much. 

The gimmick version is very similar to impromptu version. Due to nature of gimmicks, less sleight-of-hand is needed. This version is more visual but audience cannot have a up-close look at the cards (though they can’t inspect the cards in both versions). 


To conclude, this effect is innovative and doesn’t look like another card trick. The clever combination of gaffs is nice, but the effect construction is not solid enough in the impromptu version, in terms of justification of deck handling. But still, it’s a good effect in my opinion.

As for the tutorial, there is a lot of improvement which can be done. For example, it should include more details about the preparation and the sleights. 


KEY POINTS OF THE PRODUCT


  • The quality of the gaffs is top-notch.

  • Two routines are taught.

  • The tutorial is not detailed enough on some parts of sleights and preparation. 

  • Good for many kinds of audience.

  • The color of the cards is less vibrant than normal Bicycle cards.

  • Preparation is not too straight forwards.

DIFFICULTY


The effect is not for beginners but it is not advanced either. The most difficult part in performance is about getting the notification on the right timing. It requires good audience management. 

RESET TIME


It takes less than 20 seconds to reset. And it’s practical for table hopping and street performance.   


EXAMINABLE?


All the cards cannot be examined. While for the mobile, it somehow can be inspected if you are using ‘real WhatsApp’ setup. But I don’t recommend letting audience inspect because they may find something.  


PROS ABOUT THE PRODUCT

  • Very innovative routine. 

  • The gaffs are nicely manufactured.

  • Two sets of gaffs are provided for different versions.   

  • Very reasonable price.


CONS ABOUT THE PRODUCT


  • Strictly speaking, the color of the court cards are not exactly the same as standard Bicycle cards. 

  • The tutorial is not detailed enough. 

  • Preparation may be difficult for less tech-savvy magicians.


FINAL VERDICT


Selfie King by Julio Montoro and Victor Sanz takes a theme in our daily lives and make it into something fun and magical. 

It can easily catch the attention of the audience and create conversation. In addition, it doesn’t look like a card trick at all, so it breaths fresh air into your card act.


At current price of $25, it’s a very good trick which you and your audience will enjoy. It works in both casual and professional acts. I will highly recommend to any card magic lovers. Even if you don’t perform card magic much, it can fit into the non-card act naturally.  

  • Video Quality: 7/10

  • Effectiveness of Tricks: 9/10

  • Practical: 7/10

  • Creativity: 10/10

  • Cost Performance: 9/10

  • Final Score: 9/10


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