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Numberground by Mickael Chatelain

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


Numberground by Mickael Chatelain
Here’s a devious card effect that will excite magicians with its workings as much as spectators with its impact. You reveal a spectator’s card as one that you’ve written on the back of a playing card. When you’re told that the prediction is wrong, you shake the card and the writing turns into the selected card.

The change is visual and the gimmick is a quality one that looks like a normal card. This one is expensive, but the effect and it’s precision gimmick are impressive.

The Setup

A spectator chooses a card and returns it to the deck. You take out a playing card and a marker and tell the spectator that you are writing the name of their card on the back. When you finally reveal the card, the five of diamonds, the spectator tells you that it’s the wrong card.

After some acting and a look of dismay, you shake the card and the writing turns into the selected card, the three of diamonds. The card can be shown on both sides and the transformation is visual and surprising.

Impressive Gimmick

For magicians, the secret is as impressive as the effect because of the amazing, precision gimmicked card. The card has a camouflaged “dot” that you move with your thumb that actually changes the image of the writing.

You’ll have as much fun showing this gimmick off to your magic friends as you will performing the trick for lay spectators. While the gimmick is virtually undetectable, you probably wouldn’t want to hand this out to spectators to be held and examined.

The gimmick appears to be made from real playing cards so I don’t know how long it will last. I tried out the gimmick at my restaurant the other night. It got good reactions.

Protecting the Gimmick

Unfortunately, in use, the card got damp and warped a bit (I mistakenly placed it in my front shirt pocket where it picked up my sweat). But I’m happy to report that the gimmick still works flawlessly. After some use, I’ve noticed that the “dot” or switch, which looks like part of the playing card, is beginning to fade a bit. I think that the pressure from operating the gimmick is beginning to wear it down.

Based on my experience, I recommend that you always keep the gimmick inside of a folder or such, and don’t put it in your pocket on its own where it’s unprotected.

At $42, this one is pricey. But looking at the gimmick, I imagine that there’s a lot of work involved in putting one of these little babies together. The gimmick and mechanism are downright perfect and the effect is quite surprising.

-Wayne N. Kawamoto

Editors Note: Since writing this review and regularly trying out the effect, I started performing the transformation of the card openly, right in front of spectators. It's getting fantastic reactions. It's as if my hand-writing is changing before their eyes - something of a "Cardiographic" moment. -WK

MSRP: (US) $42

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

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