Of the making of magic wallets there is no end, but what makes the SansMinds Wallet different is that they have boldly forsaken the traditional bi-fold style wallet design and gone for a more contemporary ‘street’ style. I should say at the outset that I am probably not the target market – since I am in my 40. That may colour my remarks.
The Innovation here is not in method but style. These smaller wallets rather than classic UK bifold are becoming much more popular. (I’ve been using a Trove as my every day wallet for a couple of years because I was fed up of the enormous bulge in my pocket with a conventional wallet).
What is it?
To start off with, it is worth saying there are two models. The 2-part ‘formal’ wallet, and the 1-part ‘street’ wallet. They are fairly similar to look at, but the ‘formal’ wallet (which we were sent to review) has a zippered ‘purse’ which slots into the main credit-card holder part. If I’m honest, I didn’t even notice that mine was the 2-part wallet until it was show on the DVD. I now realise that it can easily be visually distinguished by the excessively long strap on the zip of the ‘street’ wallet.
The wallet(s) is gimmicked to enable you to perform a no-palm card to wallet effect (or indeed, anything else you can introduce into the wallet – see below) – and also enables a few other moves/techniques. The formal wallet functions somewhat like a Mullica wallet.
The design is clearly motivated by a desire to be more contemporary. I have seen some wallets in this kind of style – though most people I know do still use a bi-fold. My wife is normally more ‘on trend’ than me and her opinion was that is looked ‘cheap’ – but you will draw your own conclusion on that. I was certainly disappointed that they didn’t utilise real-leather – since there are so many beautiful leather wallets being made today.
The wallet comes packed in a heavy card envelope in which there is also a teaching DVD (more about this below). It explains a number of different effects and techniques. The explanations are primarily geared at the ‘street’ version – but then include a brief explanation of any differences in handling if you are using the 2-piece wallet. I can see why they would do this to save time and money, but it does make the ‘formal’ wallet feel like a poor relation.
Card to wallet – A signed card to wallet routine is taught. The presentational premise – for me – was a bit cheesy – but you can easily adapt your own. But this is your bread and butter card to wallet routine. Given that the ‘technology’ for no palm card to wallets is pretty standard, you could easily adapt your existing C2W routine to work with this.
Mystery Card – this is essentially the same as the C2W routine – but you first demonstrate that a card is inside the wallet at the beginning of the routine. It becomes a different effect as the mystery card is shown to be the spectator’s chosen and signed card – which was chosen after the card was already shown to be in the wallet! I have always loved the mystery card plot and this is a nice and simple solution.
Card Steal – this is a nice two-card transpo effect. The spectator chooses and signs a card, which is zipped in your wallet for safe-keeping. They then choose another card from the deck – and in an instant the two cards change places – so the signed card is in your hands and the second card is zipped in the wallet. The main move in this can be used in many other routines. The move here is slightly trickier – but still pretty easy. [Strangely this item doesn’t appear on the DVD menu so I guess you can only view on play all]
Peek – you can use the wallet for a basic peek function for anything that will fit inside the wallet. I think it’s fair to say this isn’t really the primary function of the wallet – so although you can use it in this way, there are many more elegant solutions which have been specifically designed for this function. I definitely wouldn’t buy this primarily as a peak wallet. In some ways the two part wallet makes this function easier. But at the same time the whole procedure then feels a bit illogical. As ever, presentation is all.
Mind Read – this is simply an application of the peek – using blank cards and a straightforward mind-reading presentation.
ACAAN – I admit I was surprised to see this on the DVD menu. A red backed card is show in the wallet. Spectator shuffles the deck of cards and then says stop at any point as you deal through the deck. Then the wallet is opened and it is seen to be the very card stopped at. This is a lovely bit of lateral thinking which makes for a super easy and pretty clean looking version of this classic effect. I have a half-inkling that I’ve seen this kind of idea before – so I would have liked to see some crediting here.
Business Card Switch – a fun little idea where you look at their business card and then give it back to them to hold – at which point it switches places with your business card inside your wallet. I can’t work out what I think about this one. It could be a great way of getting your card into their hands and theirs into yours. But it almost feels like a non-effect. With the right presentation it could be more than just mildly confusing.
Object to wallet – of course you can get other things into the wallet 🙂 This may or may not appeal to you. When I use a gimmicked wallet (or other prop) I quite like trying not to draw attention to the wallet itself. So I’m uncomfortable with using some of the more ‘impossible’ objects (like a sharpie too big for the wallet) since they seem to do just that.
Wallet Management – I couldn’t get this section to play – nor the final thoughts. But how much more is needed to say at this point?
Overall I was impressed with the teaching which was clear and thorough. All the necessary moves (forces controls, DL etc) are taught at a good pace and from helpful angles.
I was very pleased to see a DVD supplied instead of being bound to an internet connection like so many modern releases. However, (and this may just have been the disk I received) had problems reading the DVD on two different computers I tried. It was more successful on a blue ray player – but even that got stuck at some point. I hope this is a one-off – but it may be a function of the storage of the DVD in heavy card packaging which a bit tight with the wallet in there too and is perhaps more prone to scratch?
What did we think?
If you like the style or are keen on the size then this is well worth a look. It is well-made (though I would have liked to see real-leather) and should last well. I was pleased with the thought which had gone into the teaching DVD which gives the newcomer a good number of different effects to get going straight away. And if you’ve been performing this kind of magic for a while you will no doubt already have many other ideas for how to use it. Definitely one of the better SansMinds releases.
Review copy kindly provided by Murphys Magic to whom dealer enquiries should be directed.
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