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Review of Childsplay by Chris Congreave

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Review of Childsplay by Chris Congreave

Review of Childsplay by Chris Congreave

Chris Congreave’s "Childsplay" is a card trick that offers a wonderful theme of childhood that’s blended with a double prediction. It’s strong and offers an intriguing plot as well as a built-in hook (you’re talking about your kids). It also encourages lots of interaction with spectators. Despite the name, this is a card trick and not a trick for young kids.

Childs' Play

The DVD teaches five different versions of the effect. In the “The Basic Routine,” you bring out a photograph of “your daughter” and set it aside. A spectator selects a playing card and a second spectator thinks of a card. In the end, you show that “your daughter” in the picture is holding the selected playing card. And you bring out the thought-of card from your pocket. But it’s no normal card, it’s one that looks as if it were drawn by a kid. The rest of the routines are simply variations on this basic effect. It’s a winner that is great for strolling and walk around.


The DVD teaches four more variations where the card with the kid-drawn image emerges from a wallet. For this, you’ll need a special magician’s wallet and be able to perform a “card to wallet” effect. Another displays the photo on an iPhone. While it’s common to show pictures on an iPhone, I think this is the weakest of the variations as spectators will think that the iPhone’s electronic capabilities: voice recognition, secret apps, etc, played a role in the method.

Still another effect employs a business card. Interestingly, the disc teaches a version of the trick that uses a picture frame (the kind that you would display on a desk but it’s a dealer item). If you’re performing walk around magic, you’ll need to carry this frame around with you and it’s bulky. Furthermore, I think that the picture frame looks out of place. But I have to admit that this one is strong. In fact, Congreave says that the version with the frame is his favorite for close-up work.

The Kit

Childsplay comes with a full instructional DVD and Bicycle-backed cards. On the disc you’ll also find photographs that you can customize and print out. The photos depict a little girl who is holding a playing card. If you would like to use pictures of your own, (particularly if you want to call the young girl in the picture your “daughter” - it will depend on your ethnicity or would rather show a picture of a “son”) you can make your own by employing some “PhotoShop” style skills. There’s some preparation but it should only take an hour and you only have to do this once. Furthermore, you’ll have to provide a deck of cards that matches the Bicycle-backed cards.

”Childsplay” is not difficult to learn and perform but it require some basic card sleight of hand skills as well as palming. If you don’t like palming, the routine provides lots of misdirection that can cover a poorly executed palm. And if you absolutely don’t want to palm a card, the DVD teaches a routine that don’t rely on the move.

An advantage, this is an effect that can be easily changed to provide different outcomes. Thus, if you happen to perform to the same group twice, you can change the final results. Furthermore, once you master the basic trick, you can rely on your creativity to change the theme and the photos. I think that there are lots of possibilities.

Overall, I liked “Childsplay.” It’s a winner in many ways.

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