Its funny how magic tricks seem to go in phases. Just recently there seem to have been a lot of variations on the theme of a vanishing deck. Well we’ve just got our hands on the latest version from MagicTao – and here are our thoughts…

It was obvious from the first time I heard Costas (the very nice proprietor of MagicTao) talk about the Travelling Deck that he was very proud of it. And they have certainly done an excellent job on producing and presenting this effect. The slim package has an attractively designed cover and contains a DVD and the gimmick. In my book there is a point lost for no written instructions – but then I’m a bit of a luddite and video is the world we live in. Positively there is no annoying music on the DVD (!) and it has a nice clear and easy to use menu.

There has been some debate on the forums etc. about some similarity to Angelo Carbone’s Humbug. I haven’t seen that particular effect, but he’s apparently given the thumbs up to Travelling Deck – and there is even a comment on the DVD to that effect.

The DVD mainly features Costas talking about and demonstrating the gimmick. It contains lots of tips on care and maintenance of the gimmick and also explains how to change the face or back of the gimmick to match your deck of choice. The package also comes with some ‘special something’ to help you make/repair a gimmick.

A number of different vanishes are explained, including a ‘one-handed’ version which actually feels slightly more natural than the way Costas prefers to perform it.

Takel – the inventor – originally conceived the effect as a travelling deck routine – the deck is removed from the card box – vanishes, leaving only a joker in its place and is found to have returned to the card box. This is performed and explained in separate sections.

A number of variations on the gimmick are suggested. Two of these – the vanishing stack of business cards and the deck of cards to bank note are true variations. It is a bit cheeky to call the third – deck of cards to 52on1 card –a variation, but it does make for a cheesy gag!

To get your imagination going there are also a number of routines which make use of the gimmick. I won’t go in to detail on them all – but there is a sandwich routine, a deck through table routine, a routine involving two chosen and signed cards, and even using the deck for an ‘8 ball’ type effect/gag. I was pleasantly surprised to see these extra ideas on the DVD – and it helps show that this is a little more than a one trick pony.

The gimmick itself is well made on Bicycle stock and I think looks good/works well. The wife was impressed after only a short amount of playing around with the effect! A little practise is required to ‘get into position’ beforehand, but it is not difficult. Alternatively, it could make a good opener as you approach a table. As with most effects of this kind the gimmick is a little bit angle-sensitive. But it looks very clean afterwards.

All in all a good addition to the range of vanishing decks available. And in my opinion very reasonably priced at £15.99. Exclusively available at MagicTao.

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