Review: 52 Shades of Red (Gimmicks included) Version 2 by Shin Lim

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: Matt Lee”][vc_column_text]I’m quite hard pressed to point out what exactly you are buying when you purchase this. After all, both the site and the ad copy take great pains to point out that the following:

“Television rights for Shin Lim’s 52 Shades of Red / 52V2 / 52SOR routine are not included in this package. For Television rights please contact Shin Lim’s management.”

You might think this is fine given that online video (Youtube, Vimeo etc) is not mentioned in this, however the legal fine print in the explanation video also forbids this. This means that if you bought this with the intention of performing it on Youtube, you just got royally shafted.

This is frankly unforgivable, given that the buyer would have already purchased this before seeing the legal warning. It’s also unforgivable because the gimmick you are actually given only allows the buyer to perform 52V2 (color changing deck phase), and any other effects including the bonus effects require separate purchase and construction of gimmicks.

So to summarize, Shin is selling a gimmick deck to you, but forbids you to perform it in any other medium other than face to face. Shin is also selling a bunch of bonus effects but doesn’t actually include the gimmicks for them.

So what is he actually selling? I’d say he’s selling the secret of the routine. The method is clever and ostensibly has an infinite number of applications. You are encouraged to explore and make up your own routine.

If you expected to receive a complete routine to perform from start to finish, don’t buy this, you will not like what you see. But if you are putting together your own competition style or TV / video magic routine, then this product does have some value. Whether it’s worth the $70USD asking price is up to you to decide.


As for the routine itself, it is far, far better than the original 52SOR. If we’re being honest with ourselves, the original was quite a bad routine in some places – there were points where the concealment of the method was almost laughably bad. Shin does acknowledge the deficits in the explanation video, and he has largely succeeded in refining the routine – the sparkle of brilliance in the original has been maintained and amplified. In my opinion this is the one he should have originally published rather than the obviously half-finished version 1.

My problem with the routine is that he uses a deck vanish at the end which he doesn’t teach. He instead says on the explanation video that he wants to release this as a separate product. So in essence, the routine he teaches is now inferior to the demo, and there is no indication in the ad copy at all. This is a blatant bait and switch. If I actually bought this at full price, I’d feel that I was being taken for a fool.

Other than the routine, there are a bunch of bonus effect. The word ‘effect’ is used loosely – most of these look like half-arsed magic club brainstorming ideas. Some of them almost manage to not be garbage.

I cannot recommend this disgraceful cash grab unless you’ve really run out of ideas for a competition routine. Even then it’s too expensive.

Magic is our passion but we are not a magic shop ? You can purchase this here!

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Ning Cai is a Singapore Literature Prize nominated author, who was also long listed for the Epigram Books Fiction Prize in 2016. A bestselling writer, she is also recognised for her illusionist/ escapologist stage character Magic Babe Ning, and recognised by Channel News Asia as South East Asia's first professional female magician.

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