• Alex Hui

TRICK REVIEW - Invisible Deck Kicker by David Penn

Updated: May 14


Here is my in-depth review of Invisible Deck Kicker by David Penn


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. As I have no affiliation with any magicians or dealers, I am free to give my readers detailed information about the product (without secret revealed). I will provide what is not said on the advertisement and details beyond the product itself.


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 well-informed buyer in long run.


And this is the goal of my reviews, and I hope you will agree in-depth and unbiased reviews are good for the community.


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WHAT YOU GET?


You’ll get a custom deck of cards with fifty-two 52-on-1 cards, each with a different facedown card. And three additional normal 52-on-1 cards.


A link to the online tutorial on Vimeo is included. Unlike most other online tutorials, this cannot be downloaded easily on your device.


QUALITY OF THE GIMMICK


The deck is printed by USPCC in Rider back. Printing time is 2019.


The back design is printed nicely without any off-center issue.


While for the front design, I hope the whole 52-card image can be shifted upwards and left-wise for 0.05mm for the aesthetic reason. It’s because on one side, the distance from edge to the card is 4mm while it’s 3mm on the other side. Likewise for left and right. To untrained eyes, it is not an issue at all; but it is little bit obvious for those who can spot off-center issue.


Not a serious issue, but could have been improved as it is kind of obvious.



QUALITY OF THE TUTORIAL


The effect is well explained in the 17 minutes & 57 seconds long video. It is shot from behind David Penn with only the hands visible to the learners.


The quality is ok but definitely home-made standard. It’s not a studio production.


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


Introduction- 2:55 (exactly the same as trailer)


Explanation- 9:19


Second Routine- 3:21


Uncut Live Performance- 2:22


In ‘Explanation', the main routine is explained in details. It follows the performance you saw on the trailer and explain it step-by-step. There are occasional cut-in scene of live performance so that you can learn the timing of moves.


Many people on forum have guessed that top change is used but it is not the case. I prefer the method taught in the tutorial because it’s easier and more user-friendly. If I am not mistaken, this is also the favourite move of David Regal.


Reset and details about card orientation (not a big issue if you don’t care instant reset and the final visual change) are also taught. The explanation is clear but not many tips are given.


In ‘Second Routine’, a second routine is taught. It is not something you saw on trailer. This routine is way better than the main routine and it will illustrate a point I am going to discuss in ‘Analysis of The Effect’.


In ‘Uncut Live Performance’, you will see the uncut version of the performance done for the younger standing male in the trailer. Everything uncut, everything is crystal clear.


To conclude, the whole is 17 min & 57 sec but there is only 12 mins & 40 sec explanation in total. It’s really too short and I think David should give us more advice and idea on using these cards.


As the video is home-made, there should be no restriction for David Penn to shoot a longer video talking about an effect he really cares (I’m surprised that most of my magic reviews are longer than this :p)


So, the teaching about the core mechanism and the bonus routine is good. But not too satisfactory in terms of advices and tips given to learners.


DIFFICULTY


There is no difficult move at all. Most beginners can handle this effect with ease. Definitely no top change!


The routine is flexible enough if you want to use difficult sleight-of-hand though.


PERFORMANCE ANGLE


There is a very short moment of angle requirement in the routine. It happens when you are locating a card.


Interestingly, David Penn has this problem (he is not aware when performing) during the uncut live performance. I think one audience saw something. But that is not a strict requirement, it always happen in card trick. I believe you can handle it.


CLOTHING REQUIREMENT


You want a pocket to do something.


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.


There are two ways to look at this product. Either you view it as an effect, or view it as a gimmick deck of cards.


As an effect, it’s done as a kicker for Invisible Deck. However, in a strict logical and coherent way, there could only be 2 real kickers for Invisible Deck. Either you make the rest of the cards blank, or make the whole deck the same selection.


David Regal somehow presented the best solution for the blank-card kicker in his effect ‘All Alone’. And we are still waiting the all-the same-card-solution (somehow I have a solution but haven’t told anyone yet, so that doesn’t count).


Therefore, I think David Penn’s solution is not a real kicker, but just another effect imitating Invisible Deck. In that sense, I won’t say it’s a very good effect.


However, if you look at this as a deck of 52 gimmick cards, It’s another story.


As I mentioned earlier, the second routine is good. It’s good because it utilizes the possibility brought by the gimmick deck. And it’s only one of the many possibilities. I’ve already come up with some effects with multiple selections and they work well.


So, how we perceive this product mainly depends on how we view it. For me, it’s a gimmick deck and I love how versatile it is.


IDEAS


Here are some ideas which may sound interesting. And I believe there are many more if you are willing to explore.


  • Have 2 spectators picked different cards. Then you reveal the 52-on-1 card as gag. Then the first selection is revealed. Ask the 1st spectator to pass the card to 2nd spectator, the facedown card changes to the 2nd selection.

  • Though sound stupid, but you can use them for Ace Assembly. Since the Aces and Kings are at the extreme ends of the cards, you can do a fake display of ‘Aces’ very cleanly. It’s like having a double-face on a single face of a card.

  • After the Invisible Deck routine, you squeeze the deck into a single card, leaving an impossible object on spectator’s hand (you can use pocket index to achieve this).


PROS ABOUT THE EFFECT


  • High quality gimmick cards

  • A strong and unexpected routine is included.

  • The price is reasonable

  • The deck can be used for other routines


CONS ABOUT THE EFFECT


  • Very minor issue on the printing of the cards

  • Not much advices are included in the tutorial


FINAL VERDICT


The product is printed with high quality USPCC cards. And the cards are very versatile in other effects.


There is no difficult sleight-of-hand involved and therefore suitable for any levels of performers.


I am satisfied with the quality of the product. At about US$33, it is a good buy if you want is the gimmick cards.


  • Product Quality: 8/10

  • Video Quality: 6/10

  • Effectiveness of Tricks: 7/10

  • Practical: 8/10

  • Creativity: 5/10

  • Cost Performance: 8/10

  • Final Score: 7/10


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Hope the review helpful to you all.


You are welcome to ask any question about the product.


Thank you for reading this review.

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