|[UPDATE: March 5, 2014]
I received an email from the creator, Anton James. He confirmed my suspicions that this product is a completely independent invention from the OCD Deck. He had been working on his deck for two years before it hit the market, including a year of "working with" USPCC. It is not my policy to alter reviews once they've been posted, but please keep in mind as you read the following that Unshuffled is an entirely independent creation and in no way a copy of the OCD Deck.
I find myself ranting more and more often about people selling tricks that were published or sold previously. Sometimes the ideas are old and mostly forgotten. Many are just obscure. Some are just blatant rip-offs. But in almost all cases, there's a significant amount of time, usually decades, between the two "releases."
With Unshuffled, it's only been four months since an almost identical product hit the market: OCD Deck from Andrew Gerard and Will Tsai (produced by SansMinds).
To add insult to injury, both products are based on a very old idea. But with modern manufacturing capabilities, producing these custom gimmicked decks has apparently become very easy. And, of course, for those of you old enough to remember, Paul Gertner became famous for performing a trick titled "Unshuffled" on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson (it's published in his book Steel & Silver and also taught on his Steel & Silver DVD, Volume 3.
I usually prefer to write independent reviews rather than compare two products. But in this case, it seems impossible to do anything else. I suggest you read my review of the OCD Deck for some more insights.
- The two decks are almost identical in construction. There are minor differences (more below), but they're basically the same.
- Both come with a card box that has a custom-branded "bottom" (where you typically find the UPC).
- The basic effect is the same for both. A card is selected, signed and returned. The cards are shown to be in mixed up order. The cards are placed into the box, shaken, and then dumped out to reveal that the cards are now in order, with the selected card in the correct position.
The "design" of the OCD Deck has a minor difference that allows you a bit more freedom when showing the cards in sorted order. This can be a benefit if you're really focusing on that aspect in performance. But it can also be a hindrance if you need to spend more time displaying the unsorted condition.
Where Unshuffled has an advantage is in the DVD materials. The OCD Deck DVD explains the basic construction, handling, a few tips and some troubleshooting. The Unshuffled DVD comes with a lot more material. You're taught several "changes" (created by multiple people) and subtleties in handling the cards. Several interesting performance premises are suggested. Anton also teaches quite a few tricks that have very little to do with the basic effect outlined above (triumph, oil & water, etc.).
But the really interesting parts are the ideas for how to use the deck for different purposes. For instance, you can use it for a very easy peek.
In my opinion, the real gold, probably worth the price of the product, is a Dual Reality presentation. But if you decide to delve into this, skip the "live performance." He should have stopped at the Dual Reality part, but kept going to perform the "unshuffled" phase which, as Eugene Burger says, "turned a great trick into a good one."