I really love the way this was written, packaged, etc. and the gimmick is made of good quality "stuff." But there were more than a few "issues." Because the ad copy mentions that the gimmick is a magnet, I'm going to give a little more detail into some of the challenges that I experienced, however.
You get a clever magnet gimmick that you put inside of a deck of cards. Then using a PK magnet you cause the magnet system inside of the deck to lift up creating the levitation illusion. It's a very clever concept, but it's a bit finnicky.
It takes about 30 minutes to prepare the deck to accept the gimmick. Not bad. However, once the gimmick is in the deck, it stays pretty permanently. It's actually attached using super glue. You can remove it, but you'll only want to do that when it's time to replace the deck of cards. So because it's essentially a permanent part of the deck, you can't do the bonus floating dollar bill trick without taking apart and disassembling your gimmicked deck.
Next problem: The instructions say that you need a PK style magnet and that a PK ring will not work. The instructions suggest you finger palm the PK magnet and while pointing to the deck the magnet activates the gimmick. Nope.
So I reread the instructions to make sure I wasn't missing anything. Nope. I wasn't. So then I went online looking for video demos of people doing the effect. I saw a clip on the magic geek site where it seemed to be working just fine. I saw Ben Harris's trailer which seemed to work fine. However, in Harris's trailer, there were several things that he did that are not explained in the instructions.
He had the spectator hold the deck and wave her hand over it causing the card to rise while he (Harris) was nowhere near the deck. Additionally, the trailer shows a card levitate. Then it drops back down to the deck. Then he starts turning over the top cards singly one at a time. That can't be done with the way the instructions are written.
The ad copy and instructions say that you can let the spectator shuffle the deck and have the cards on her palm when the card levitates. Due to the nature of the gimmick, handing the deck out to be shuffled is relatively safe, so this claim is true. However, just looking at the deck, it looks a little funny. I can't say much more with out giving away too much, but suffice it to say that a quick casual glance at the edge of the cards could be a dead give away that something ain't right.
One other concern . . . the ad copy says you can perform this surrounded. That's sort of true. There are a couple of angles that are a bit susceptible even when the audience is standing in the "right" place.
After multiple times rereading the instructions and watching YouTube video performances, I still could not get the gimmick to work properly or consistently. So I'm assuming that my PK magnet is not strong enough. Well I tried connecting my PK magnet to my PK ring, and that actually worked pretty well. So the conclusion I've come to is that with the right strength magnet, this is doable. But you'll have to be willing to invest in a PK magnet and hope that it's the right strength. Also, much of the ad copy is not 100% accurate. Below is the ad copy with my assessment (true, false or sort of true).
Ad Copy Says:
A spectator shuffles the deck and nominates any of the cards as her favourite card. This card is removed, examined and placed face up onto the top of the shuffled deck. The spectator HOLDS THE DECK IN HER OUTSTRETCHED HAND. On the performer's command, the selected card slowly breaks free from the vice-like grip of gravity - rises into the air - floats for as long as the performer wants, and then slowly descends. So freaked-out is the spectator that she breaks with protocol and reaches for the selected card - turning it over - looking for some secret. NOTHING IS FOUND! It simply looks amazing. Spooky. Hauntingly beautiful.
This is pretty accurate. However, the spectator holding the deck is very risky. My experience has been that if you don't hold the deck a very specific way, the gimmick will jump off the deck and stick to your PK magnet or the block of cards will push off of the deck and onto the floor. Secondly, while it's true that the spectator can grab the card, again it's very, very, very risky. The card itself is free of guile and is 100% examinable, but if they're holding deck, and they remove the top card, the gimmick is somewhat exposed. It does, however (as the ad claims) look spooky and hauntingly beautiful. You just need to make sure it's done in your own hand.
Ad Copy Says:
Amazing magnetic control feels like "real magic!"
- Spectator handles the cards throughout. - My Thoughts: Not 100% true. They can shuffle (overhand only), but when the rise happens, it should be in your hands.
- Performable in the spectator's hand, on the table or in your hand. - My Thoughts: Too risky and unstable. Not True.
- SELF-CONTAINED: nothing added or taken away. - My Thoughts: True.
- Can be repeated with another card and without any reset. - My Thoughts: True
- Can be performed surrounded. - My Thoughts: Mostly true. There are a couple of risky angles, but this is pretty safe.
- Spectator may keep card as souvenir. - My Thoughts: True.
So in summary, if you can get the right PK magnet strength combination to work, the illusion is very spooky and can be done pretty much surrounded (if they're looking down at the deck) in your own hands (not the spectators). Additionally, the other bonus effects using this gimmick will not work if you have it installed in your deck. You have to destroy your deck to get the gimmick out to do the other effects. You basically have to commit to doing one effect with this gimmick unless you buy a second one. So if you don't mind that and if you like the illusion in the demo and you're willing to risk the possibility that your PK magnet (if you already own one) won't work then you'll probably be happy with the purchase.
Myself, I'm a little skeptical when you consider that it's $80.00 for basically a booklet and a couple of magnets and a little "something", we're pushing the limits of bang for buck, especially when you consider that you'll likely have to buy a PK magnet.
2.5 Stars with a Stone Status of grubble (gem of an idea, but a bit of rubble when you look at all of the issues and risks and not-entirely-accurate ad copy).