• Alex Hui

TRICK REVIEW - Wallet King by Joel Dickinson & Andrew Dean

Updated: May 14



Here is my in-depth review of Wallet King by Joel Dickinson & Andrew Dean.


REVIEW PHILOSOPHY


The philosophy is simple: to give you the truth.


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, we can together elevate the quality of magic, and help creators to produce better products in long run.


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YOUTUBE REVIEW


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



ACKNOWLEDGEMENT


Andy has gifted this to me awhile back out of generosity. He didn’t request a review, but since I am big fan of wallet trick, there are something I want to share with my readers. In this review, I take no consideration that the product is a gift and thus I will tell you honestly what this is about. If you have doubts or questions, I am open to discussion and listening to your voice.  


WHAT YOU GET?


You will receive 3 casino membership cards at dimension 8.9cm x 5.9cm. That’s almost the size of bridge card. 


A link to the password protected online instruction is also provided.


QUALITY OF THE GIMMICK


The cards are printed on heavy stock paper and thus it is very durable. It’s almost twice as thick as the normal playing card. It actually feels like a plastic card.Though I haven’t tested it, but it seems that they are water proof because of the surface treatment.


All three cards are different and they serve different purposes. Strictly speaking, you can use only 1 card for performance. Or you can construct routines with 3 cards. 

There are special printings on both sides of the cards. The printing quality is excellent.



All in all, I am very satisfied with the cards. In fact, I am impressed by the quality when I first took them out from the package. 


QUALITY OF THE TUTORIAL


The explanation comes as online tutorial on Real Workers website. It is not downloadable on your device. 

The effect is well explained in a 18 minutes and 48 seconds long video. The explanation is hosted by Andrew Dean. The video is home-made with the camera shoot at full body length, with one camera angle only. The explanation is very clear and concise. 

For each session, I will give it a name because it is not named on the instructional video.


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

  • Introduction - 0:27

  • Gimmick - 3:23

  • Method One - 2:22

  • Method Two - 2:02

  • Alternative Presentation - 1:33

  • How to Divine Card - 5:43

  • No Palm Card to Pocket - 2:38

  • Outro - 0:40


In ‘Gimmick’, Andy goes through what you get from the package. He explains how to distinguish different cards and also explains the features on the cards. Once you understood this session, you’ll have a pretty good idea about how to construct your routines if you are knowledgable. 


In 'Method One’, Andy explains the most basic performance in details. The method is very easy for even beginners and it illustrates the most common use of the gimmick cards. He also gives a good tip on making the disappearance of mental selection more convincing. This method may be the go-to method for most viewers because it is very effective. 


In ‘Method Two’, method involving a sleight is taught. The sleight is within the reach of average magicians but it will suffer from angle issue. It’s a good alternative but not superior to the first method. 

In ‘Method Three’, an alternative presentation is taught. It can be done with either Method One or Two but it’s very very briefly mentioned. Thus inattentive viewers may wonder why the cards are held in hands throughout the performance. It may be better if Andy can explain it with Method One or Two so that it’s more understandable choreographically. 


In ‘How to Divine Card’, detailed explanation is given to divine the thought-of-card. This part illustrates a lot of approaches to divine the selection convincing. If you want to get most out of the effect, you cannot miss the explanation in this session. However, there is an issues which is not handled here. For instance, in some cases audience may pick cards which are not supposed to pick, the creators have offered no solution in the tutorial. Though experienced magicians may be able to handle it, it’s challenging for beginners.


Lastly, a version of ’no palm card to pocket’ is taught. The effect is interesting and very easy. It’s a nice addition in the tutorial because I don’t think it’s an obvious approach with these cards. Thus learners are given a nice variation of the effects. 

To conclude, the tutorial is rather short but covers a lot of crucial material. It is comprehensive and learners should have no problem understand all the workings of the gimmick. It’s a decent tutorial with some thoughtful inputs.


DIFFICULTY


The trick doesn’t require sleight-of-hand at all. But you can use sleights to manipulate the cards in your performance. In very strict sense, Wallet King is a tool, therefore it’s up to magicians on how to handle the cards. Even if you were total beginner, you can still perform all the effects taught on the tutorial. The hard part is to come up with the proper presentation to maximise the effect.

EXAMINABLE?

The cards are examinable. There are nothing strange about the cards.

RESET TIME


It depends on what effect you perform. However, it takes not more than 10 seconds to reset with Method One. 


AUDIENCE SIZE


The effect is ideal with a small audience size. But it can be performed in parlour setting without issue, just as many mentalism shows do. 


PERFORMANCE ANGLE


Basically there is no angle restriction. But if you use Method Two, you need to watch your angle.


CLOTHING REQUIREMENT

No special clothing is needed.

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.


The effect is Princess Card Trick on steroids: a thought-of-card vanishes from the face of the card. 


What makes this effect strong is the fact that the flexibility with the gimmicks. Different combination of cards can accomplish different effects. In fact, when you add normal playing cards, there are a lot of possibilities here. 

While the effect is very strong and direct, its strength may incur a weakness in routine construction. People may just use the gimmicks to perform the effect too directly. Beginners may just take this tool and perform it without careful construction of presentation. This is not the intrinsic problem of the gimmick but more about the performers. It’s super easy-to-use, but sometimes the easier the trick is, the more challenging to use it well.


IDEAS


  • You can talk about how casino has been using subliminal message throughout history. By showing the back of the gimmick briefly, you proceed to the routine and let spectator mentally think of a card. Then you show them it vanishes because it only exist in the subliminal message at the card back.


PROS ABOUT THE PRODUCT

  • Good quality gimmick. They are durable.

  • The cards are versatile and occupy little pocket space. You can carry them in the wallet and perform anytime.

  • The tutorial is thoughtful. 


CONS ABOUT THE PRODUCT

  • There is a potential issue in card selection, which is not mentioned in the tutorial.

  • It doesn’t look like real membership card. Rather the cards look like magic props.

  • Strong presentation is needed to use it well.


FINAL VERDICT


Wallet effect is one of the most difficult genres in magic design. Not only the effect has to be strong, it needs to be small enough to fit tight pocket space.


With Wallet King, I think Joel and Andy have done a great job in making a versatile wallet trick which goes beyond one-trick-pony.  


With 3 cards, there are many possibilities with this tool. Experienced magicians will particularly enjoy the ease and effectiveness of this trick. 

At current price of  £12.47, I highly recommend it to any magician who want to carry strong magic in their wallet. It may not be THE wallet king, but definitely one of the kings in wallet magic. I will certify it with ‘Excellent Choice’.


Wallet King is available at Real Workers.


  • Video Quality: 8/10


  • Effectiveness of Tricks: 9/10


  • Practical: 8/10


  • Creativity: 7/10


  • Cost Performance: 10/10


  • Final Score: 8/10


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Hope the review helpful to you all.


Thank you for reading this review.

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