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Trick Review: Mutanz by Bob Farmer

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Trick Review: Mutanz by Bob Farmer
Yet another packet effect, Mutanz starts with the usual cards that turn face-up and face-down. The difference comes in the trick's ending when the cards mutate into mixed-up cards: two face-to-face and two back-to-back cards.

Reset is fast and this one is great for strolling situations.

Packet Process

In Mutanz, you bring out four duplicate cards, for example, four jack of clubs, and show them front and back. You turn a card face-down and the others follow and turn face-down. You turn a card face-up and the others follow and turn face-up. You repeat this one more time with a face down card.

You place a card in your pocket and it magically reappears among the cards that you are holding in your hands. You place two cards in the spectator’s hands and hold the other two cards. You tell the cards in the spectator’s hands to “vanish,” but the cards themselves don’t vanish, their values disappear and the spectator is left holding cards with backs on both sides. Furthermore, you’re left with cards that have faces on both sides.

Really Clean

At the end, you're "clean." That is, if you consider allowing spectators to hold and examine gimmicked cards to be clean. The publishers recognized that this would be an issue and directly address this in the documentation:

“I know there will be concerns that the revelation of doubleback and same-both-sides face cards will expose valuable secrets to laymen. However, from the audience’s point of view, the ending is a symmetrical transposition that makes “magical” sense since it is impossible. With Mutanz, they don’t look upon the cards as the method, but as the effect.”

Alright, this is good enough for me. You’re free to agree or disagree.

Make the Count

If you can perform an Elmsley count, you’ve got the basic skills to perform this trick. As in most packet effects, there are specific sequences that you will have to memorize and practice. Reset is fast as you can set the cards up as you put them away. I particularly like the fact that this packet effect is one of few that doesn’t require a table.

The instructions are among the best that I’ve read for a trick and offer in-depth information and lots of pictures. I particularly like the way that the cards are clearly labeled in pictures and the instructions always take the time to tell you the order of the cards at each stage. Since the publisher performs an Elmsley Count from left to right, the pictures can be confusing at times for “lefties” like me, but the publisher adequately addresses this.

Mutanz Versus "Royal Scam"

Mutanz is strong, but given a choice, I’m partial to John Bannon’s “ The Royal Scam ,” which I reviewed earlier. You may prefer Mutanz’ finale where the cards turn into impossible ones from the spectator’s viewpoint, but I prefer Bannon’s cards turning into a royal flush.

-Wayne N. Kawamoto

MSRP: (US) $20

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Dealers can purchase from Murphy's Magic Supplies, Inc.

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