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Trick Review: “Gobsmacked” - Costas Damianou & Simon Lovell

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Trick Review: “Gobsmacked” - Costas Damianou & Simon Lovell

If you’re like me, you’ve probably never heard of the British term, “Gobsmacked.” According to worldwidewords.com, the term means “utterly astonished,” which can be used to describe this effect.

This effect’s strength lies in the free manner that a spectator selects a card, by dealing them, until they wish to stop. The effect is indeed astonishing, but it’s rather expensive.

Freedom of Choice

The magician presents a blue deck of cards that is placed face-up on the table. From this point on, the magician doesn’t touch the cards. The spectator is asked to cut the deck around the mid-point, select a pile, deal the cards face-up from the pile and stop at any card that they wish. It is an entire free choice.

The magician takes the remaining cards and shows that the deck consists of blue-backed cards. But when the spectator turns over his card, he finds it to be a red-backed card with a message (your choice) written on the back. You can watch a performance of the trick by clicking here.

Wide Latitude

The effect is a strong one that gives lots of latitude for spectators to make a free choice. This one is easy to learn and perform and requires no complicated moves. The reset is fast and it’s great for beginners.

On the downside, at the end, the cards, with the exception of the one that you give away (if you choose to do so), can’t be examined. And you won’t be able to go into a different card routine-the deck has to be dedicated to this effect. The effect uses real cards that you add your messages to. So you can freely give away cards as souvenirs.

Great DVD

The effect comes with cards, an instruction manual and an excellent DVD that offers a performance and good explanations. By varying the message that you write on a spectator’s card, “Gobsmacked” can be adapted for various scenarios, from birthday parties and anniversaries to corporate functions. Here, the publishers offer suggestions and the possibilities are indeed endless.

There are numerous card effects that result in a spectator selecting a different card with a message, most notably, Doc Eason’s “Birthday Card Trick” and Corey Burke’s similar “For Promotional Use Only” (on his PAYphone DVD). Personally, I prefer the Eason/Burke approach over “Gobsmacked” because I think the spectator’s signing of the card is stronger. But “Gobsmacked” has an advantage with its perceived free choice.


Good effect, but at a retail price of $37.50, I find “Gobsmacked” to be rather expensive. Most tricks that package custom, gimmicked cards and a DVD such as “Suits You,” “Group Session” and “Presto Printo” go for a little more than half this price. And “Gobsmacked” doesn’t use custom, pre-manufactured cards.

-Wayne N. Kawamoto

MSRP: (US) $37.50

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

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