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Talking Deck by Rodger Lovins

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Talking Deck by Rodger Lovins
Is it a powerful card revelation or a strong bit of mentalism? Or is it simply some cool technology that’s posing as a great magic trick? With "Talking Deck" you get a cool electronic gizmo that allows a deck of cards to speak the name of a card, but the resulting effect just isn’t as impressive as the gimmick and secret.

Talk to Me

In “Talking Deck,” a magician asks a spectator to choose a playing card, look at it, place it into his pocket and concentrate on it. The magician holds his hands up to the head of a second spectator who somehow names the chosen card.

Since the secret is already in the trick’s name, we can discuss it. With “Talking Deck,” you receive a playing card that’s gimmicked with a compact electronic device that plays two different voice recordings at your command. Because it’s integrated with a playing card, the gimmick can be hidden with a deck of cards. If you use the given routine, you will record the names of two different cards (your choice) that you secretly play back into the second spectator’s ear.

Look Who's Talking?

While there’s definite potential with the technology, the trick here is good, but not fantastic. To start, if you follow the given routine, you’ll allow the second spectator to hear the name of the playing card. What I found, however, was that the second spectator was always shocked at hearing the name of the card from seemingly nowhere. And while the second spectator could indeed name the given card, the fact that a mysterious voice uttered it was given away by the reaction, which brought unwanted attention on the gimmicked deck.

And once a spectator concludes that there’s some type of voice recorder at play, it’s far too easy for them to assume that a magician can simply choose and play a recording that reveals each of the 52 cards. While this is not the case here, it’s well within the capabilities of even a rudimentary electronic device.

If you don’t want the second spectator to react in a big way, you’ll have to prepare the spectator ahead of time by telling him that he’ll hear the name of the card. But if you’re going to do this, there are far easier ways to communicate a known card to a second spectator than using an electronic gizmo and you won’t have to spend $50 to do it. For example, if you’re going to take the time to turn a spectator into a stooge, you can simply tell him the “chosen” card ahead of time.

Solid State

The device did everything that it was supposed to do and the instructions were easy to follow. One negative, the device is mounted on a single playing card that will probably warp and wear out over time. Although fixing the gimmick will not be difficult.

For now, “Talking Deck” features a cool technology that is still looking for a great magic trick. Personally, I’d rather rely on sleight of hand than electronics for this particular effect and spend my 50 dollars elsewhere.

-Wayne N. Kawamoto

MSRP: (US) $49.95

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

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