Double Take is a gimmick, or more specifically a couple of gimmicks, which enable you to perform some very visual transpositions with a playing card and a bank note. Three routines are taught with the gimmick, though no doubt other possibilities are available with some creativity.

What’s in the box?

You receive various materials for making the gimmicks and a link to online instructions. The instructions run to just short of an hour. There is also a pdf download with currency specific information on construction.

A double take?

After a brief introduction there follow around 4 minutes of crediting. But it is a slightly odd sort of crediting in that it references a number of things on the market with similar methods or partial methods – though this was apparently developed independently. That raises my first small issue with the release – I really have definitely seen several pretty similar things before. Yes, I’m sure that you can make a case for this being unique – and maybe it is just my current lack of sleep talking – but I just found the gimmick a bit samey which didn’t help me to get excited about it.

Given what I’ve already said, the fact that the teaching immediately launches into almost 25 minutes of instructions on constructing the gimmick didn’t help me. I know that I’m in an unusual situation since I’m sitting down to review an effect I know nothing about – and most people will have ordered it knowing what the effect is – but I would have loved to see a performance by this point so my construction of the gimmick could be shaped by that.

Jason Knowles - Double Take - reviewOn the positive side, the instructions for construction were excellent. The pace was good and they were easy to follow. You will need to provide a few (standard) craft materials and, of course, some bank notes (which will be destroyed) in the making of the gimmick. The craft work is not too challenging, but it will take you some time to do it well. There are some helpful tips from someone who has obviously made quite a few of them!

The routines

Double Take routine – I found the main routine slightly confusing based on the performance we saw, but again this may be my tiredness speaking. It is in effect a 3-way transposition effect. A selected card disappears from the deck. An indifferent card goes under your foot. A bank note is in your wallet which the spectator holds. In an instant, the bank note has turned into their selected card which is in your wallet. The bank note suddenly appears under your foot. And the indifferent card (which was under your foot) has returned to the deck and is now reversed in the middle. This requires some basic card handling skills, and in a funny sort of way seems to underutilise the gimmick.

Ambitious Money – I rather like this which is a much more direct and very visual routine. The spectator chooses a card which is lost in the deck. The spectator holds your wallet which contains a bank note. You then say you will try to make the card rise to the top of the deck and if it doesn’t work they will get the money. In a flash the bank note appears on top of the deck and the chosen card is found to be in the wallet where the bank note was before. Super visuals and a really flashy effect which is easy to do.

Invisible Pickpocket – Spectator chooses a card and this is placed in your wallet with a bank note. To an engaging story about pickpockets you remove the playing card from the wallet and then in a flash it changes into a bank note and when they open the wallet the playing card is back inside. This routine is based on a Patrick Kun presentation and I rather like the unusual premise.

What do we think

I preferred the two more visual routines to the Double Take routine itself. It would have really helped me to see some proper live performanecs with real people in the audience. The performances we saw were in a studio with another magician and lacked a great deal of conviction.

Double Take is a nice enough little routine, but it didn’t really light my fire if I’m honest. Of the routines taught, the Ambitious Money was actually my favourite – and it would make a really nice extra phase to an ACR. But if you like the premise and can handle the crafts, then you should certainly take a look. Just bear in mind you’ll need to pick the currency in which you want to make the gimmick.

Double Take is available from the Merchant of Magic for £28.50 (at the time of writing).

Review copy kindly provided by Murphys Magic to whom dealer enquiries should be directed.

Jason Knowles – Double Take – review
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