Here is my in-depth review of Changing Cards by Richard Young.
The philosophy is simple: to give you the truth.
When I review a product, I’d like to judge the product per se, but not putting past record or creator’s name/reputation into consideration. I will provide what is not said on the advertisement and details beyond the product itself.
I have no affiliation with any magicians or dealers. I paid the full price for this. I am not here to help creators and dealers to make sales, thus you will have everything good and bad about the product. Almost nothing is left out.
I believe by giving you the most transparent information, you will have better insight beyond the product description.
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I received the review copy for the honest review. As always, I will do my best to give you all the details about the product. It will be brutally honest if it needed to be. So you can rest assure that this review will be unbiased as always.
WHAT YOU GET?
You will receive a single unit of changing card with a very smart and nice package.
An URL link for English instruction is included.
QUALITY OF THE GIMMICK
The gimmick card is the same size as the standard bicycle card, measuring 3.5 by 2.5 inches (8.9 cm × 6.4 cm).
The design of Changing Card is based on Bob Swadling’s Changing Cards. Each card is hand-made. According to Richard, it takes 1-hour to manufacture one gimmick. The units I received are made from standard Bicycle Rider back. But you can order variations with other stocks such as Phoenix deck or Jerry’s Nugget etc. There are wide range of selection. At the moment of this writing, there are 24 variations (1 of them is custom-made version, but not pre-defined version) to choose from. So there should be a right choice for any effects you may want to do.
The mechanism of this gimmick is easy to understand but it must have taken a lot of effort to perfect it. I am quite impressed how well made the gimmick is, and it should last for prolonged use.
While cards are very well made, there is a certain of thickness on it. Therefore, it can’t be inspected (as a matter of fact), or sit still in your hand when audience are staring at it. However, it is totally good for close up performance with proper routining and practice. And it is a perfect tool for parlour and social media magic.
Before the gimmick is activated, you hand need to hold the card in certain position. But as you see on the trailer, it can be handled very naturally. Therefore, it’s no issue for performance.
As for the change, it can be one-side or two-side change, depending the versions you use.
All in all, I truly love the quality of the gimmick. From what I see, it’s made by someone with passion in magic. Otherwise, no one will spend such effort in making something with such high degree of perfection.
QUALITY OF THE TUTORIAL
The explanation is hosted on ChangingCards.com. It is not downloadable on your device.
The effect is well explained in a 10 minutes and 06 seconds long video. The explanation is hosted by Richard Young & Harry De Cruz. The video is produced in studio with nice lighting. Camera angle is confined to half-body medium shot, but it is very clear.
For each session, I will give it a name because it is not named on the instructional video.
Length (in minutes) of the main parts (I literally counted):
Trailer – 1:07
Gimmick Operation and Background – 2:02
3 Selections Revelation – 1:02
2 Cards Monte – 1:09
Colour Changing Deck – 1:17
Four Face Changing Card – 1:00
Lucky Ladies – 0:57
Mental Effect and Outro – 1:32
Since the gimmick is rather self-explanatory, it does not take much time for Richard to explain it in the video. The explanation is quite clear and viewers will have no issue in understanding the working of the gimmicks.
There are 6 ‘effects’ taught in the tutorial. Most of them are idea-centric. In other words, it is flexible to create your own routines with these ideas. One thing the viewer has to keep in mind is that, there are many variations of this gimmick. For instance, changing the face of the card, or back change etc. Thus one size doesn’t fit all. In other words, before you get the gimmick card, you need to have a good idea of what you want to do with the visual change aspect of this gimmick. If you want to do a multiple changes, you need to get the right gimmick; if you only want to change the back colour of the card, there is a right gimmick for you. On the tutorial, the effects are done by different gimmicks, but that’s the power of this gimmick. The basic mechanism is very versatile.
My personal favourites are 2 Cards Monte and 4 Times Change. They are very visual, and full utilised the potential of the gimmick. If you are interested, I highly recommend you to take a look at ‘Four Face Changing Card’ and ‘Ace & Queen Transpo’ here. You will love it.
While the tutorial is very short, it has enough ideas to start you thinking. However, I would love to see a more detailed explanation of different changing techniques. Sometimes you need to experiment yourself even after watching the tutorial because there is no step-by-step instruction of how each change is done.
Overall, Changing Card is a versatile gimmick. And there is no short of ideas with these cards. After all, it’s up to magician on how to utilise this gimmick. So I am totally fine with the tutorial because all the ideas are very solid. For beginners, you may want to play with some simple changes and progress to more complicated routines after your repertoire grows.
The change happens mostly during the throw. This may take some practise because catching the card at right spot is not as easy as it may seem. But it can be handled even for beginners.
The change is almost invisible to naked eyes. Thickness and change may be a little bit obvious from the side. But it should be not a big issue.
The gimmick cannot be inspected before and after the change.
Due to the construction, it will be hard to repair on your own. But the build is very strong, I don’t see any chance of breaking the gimmick.
KEY POINTS OF THE PRODUCT
High quality gimmick.
The change is very visual.
Wide range of choice to choose from.
Versatile to use in any kinds of performance.
Need audience management if performed at very close range.
Cannot be inspected before and after the change.
Audience always love visual magic. With many changing card gimmicks on the market, what makes Changing Card different? The simple answer is, the versatility of how the performer can integrate the gimmick into their routines.
With multiple change gimmick, it can achieve some effects which can hardly be done with other gimmicks. For instance, ‘Four Face Changing Card’ is ideal for multiple revelations because the card face changes one at a time visually.
However, Changing Card thickness is quite obvious at sides. So, performer has to take care of how to handle the gimmick if he performs surrounded.
At current price at £25 for pre-designed gimmick and £40 for custom gimmick, Changing Card is something you may want to look into. As I mentioned, the gimmick is perfectly made in a sense. I cannot find any issues with the units I got. To be honest, I am very happy with quality. It’s just top-notch.
I will highly recommend to any card workers who loves visual change (with gimmick), and those who love social media magic. It’s something you will have fun playing with, and its build quality will last a long time!
The cards are available at https://www.changingcards.com
Tutorial Quality: 7/10
Effectiveness of Tricks: 9/10
Cost Performance: 8/10
Final Score: 8.5/10
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