Mutate is a really interesting twist on the torn and restored card plot, put out my MagicTao in the UK. Unlike most ‘traditional’ torn and restored cards, the card isn’t torn into 4 separate pieces, instead a single tear in clearly and visibly made in the centre of the card. Then, visibly, the tear slowly restores itself.

At this point it is probably worth showing you a video – and it really is as fair as you see.

What do you get?

You get a simple but ingenious little gimmick, some supplies to make a replacement one (and you could get more supplies fairly easily I think), and a link to some online instructions. This really has to be the most minimal release I’ve ever seen! You will need to supply a deck of cards, including (for the routine taught) a duplicate card.

Chris Webb covers the teaching – which is only about 15 minutes long. He carefully explains how the gimmick works, how to perform the basic routine (including how to force a card if you can’t already do this), how to ‘get clean’ at the end, and how to make a new gimmick. His explanations are clear and well-paced and cover all you need to know.

The restoration really is very visual and slightly eerie. It is very easy to do – probably the hardest part is actually ‘ditching’ the gimmick at the end since there will be quite a bit of heat on the card at that point. But with a little practise to get that smooth it seems feasible.

arnel renegado - mutate - reviewI like the simplicity of the effect and the visual nature. Reset is fairly simple (positioning the gimmick on a new card) though I would probably want to do it out of sight – which might make this a good ‘closing’ effect. That being said, although in theory you could keep the gimmick in place on a card for a whole set, in practise I think it would be rather awkward – so this might be more of a ‘one off’ sort of a trick.

You will need a little distance from the spectator to make this really convincing and you wouldn’t want to perform it surrounded since angles are a little awkward. This isn’t really a big deal though. I think this is a neat effect though for me it probably won’t make it into my working set in spite of the great visuals.

Available direct from Merchant of Magic for £23.50 (at the time of writing).

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

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