May 27th, 2008 2:25pm
|I've been re-examining my use of the star rating system. When we first started MLA, many years ago, someone emailed us suggesting that the ratings should follow a standard bell curve and weren't. Tracy and I, both having advanced degrees in statistics, immediately disagreed. Actually, it's not a problem of statistics, but one of psychology. The people who write reviews because they want to, usually only write when there's something really good or really bad. So we would expect (and find) a bi-modal distribution for user-submitted reviews.
"Official" reviews are a different story. We have to review everything that crosses our desk. So I'm thinking that the official reviews should be somewhere closer to a normal "bell" curve. I've noticed that I was giving quite a few high marks at the end of last year. I'm now making an effort to use the median (3) as my baseline and go from there.
With that in mind, I was going to give this product 3 stars. It's an average packet trick. That's it. Four cards turn blank one at a time and then instantly re-print themselves.
The effect is average, but the instructions are a bit sketchy. The routine relies on a collection of standard moves (Elmsley counts, glide, double-lift, etc.). But there are no pictures to keep track of where you are. I've been learning these types of routines from books for over two decades. I can keep up. But I think if you're going to sell an individual item like this, you need to put more effort into the explanation. There is an insert explaining the Elmsley count and the regular instructions do go over the basics of the other moves. But if you're not already familiar with the moves, I think it would be very difficult to learn them from what's printed in the instruction book.
I suppose my argument is all circumstantial. I'm trying to defend the needs of less-skilled magicians who might buy this. But I learned a lot of these moves from simple packet tricks like this. That's why I bought them. So I'm a big stickler for high-quality instruction for packet tricks.
I have on additional gripe about the instructions. There's actually a move missing. I figured it out after a couple of tries, but that's only because I could see what was coming. The instructions walk you through out-jogging a card. Then you go into a glide. But it never says that you're supposed to strip out the out-jogged card and place it on the face of the packet before you do the glide.
From my perspective, this product failed on several levels. The effect is only average, at best. The instructions, which should have been useful even if the effect wasn't great, were substandard.
Product info for Vanishing Point
Author: David EldridgeAverage Rating: (1)Retail Price: $15.00
David Eldridge's first release in nearly four years, and it is a killer! This is one of the most commercial packet tricks ever devised. Here is the effect: It is simple. A four of a kind is shown front and back. One at a time the cards turn blank until all four cards are blank. Then instantly and visually the cards reprint! This is commercial magic at its best.
* No rough/smooth
* No difficult sleights
* No packet switches
* No Flushtration Count
* Easy to follow instructions
* Perfect for walk-around and table hopping
* All in the hands. No table is needed
* Reset time is less than one second
* Only four cards are used!