Review: MUCK OFF by Jimmy K of Mechanics Industries

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: Adeline Ng”][vc_column_text]Muck-off is an online tutorial where hand mucking is taught to create a visual illusion and effect of a coin popping off and then back on the card. Per the description, you would have realized, the effect here has to be done with the mechanics playing card (due to the design of the coin on the joker). That does not mean that the technique cannot be done with other poker cards, but it does mean that you need the same cards/ coin to achieve the effect.

EFFECT

I like the visual-ness of the effect. It does seem quite stunning when done right! I like the idea of materializing something off the poker card and putting it back on. The simplicity and visual-ness of this is quite stunning. However, I’m not quite sure I agree in using hand mucking so blatantly. In terms of magic routining, it is done with all the heat on the hand. I would also go with what the additional tips suggested and not do another muck to “put the coin back onto the card”.

PRODUCTION VALUE

The videos for the tutorial is well produced. There’s no fantastic post-production (and no-need for that anyway) but each shot is clear and the explanations are well-recorded. The voiceover explanations are fairly clear. However, from Bonus Tips onwards, the voice quality of the video goes down (too much echo). Fortunately, it was still clear enough to hear.

Personally I do not like the way the performance/ teasers are shot though. The post-production effects make me feel like it was used to cover some moves, although it really was not. However, I should say that is quite subjective, so it is a personal preference.

PROS

As the introduction to the tutorial mentioned, many times, the most difficult part of hand mucking is the getting in and out. I love that they included quite a few detailed explanations of getting in position. Gambler’s Flat Palm is an extremely awkward position to get into, and having some routines help in kick starting ideas to different ways to potentially get into position.

CONS

I did a quick research, and found that Gambler’s Flat Palm (Expert Card Technique pg 56) is actually quite different in the hold. To be more accurate, the palm taught in the tutorial is a variation of the Gambler’s Flat Palm. I wish they had included more detailed places to point students to learning more about hand muck. That would have been nice.

As I went through the video, I was also using their cards and coin to practise. Unfortunately, their cards are a tad on the soft side (despite it being a USPCC produced card stock!). I have small hands – which does not work well for the flat palm taught in the tutorial. This meant that the cards bent super easy (plus humidity in Singapore is no joke)… within 10min, the cards were out of shape and too soft to muck properly. See the video on the page and you can see how warped my cards had become…

Card quality should not have affected the ratings, but unfortunately in this tutorial, the effect is dependent on using their cards.

OVERALL

The tutorial is only $7. Despite the mixed feelings I get from using hand-mucking blatantly to do the switch, I feel it is a well worth tutorial, especially to get introduced to hand-mucking. Hand mucking is a much underutilized sleight in card magic and I think it is great to have more magicians exposed to the sleight. Production value of the videos still carries through, with clear explanations and videos.

MUCK OFF by Jimmy K of Mechanics Industries

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ning
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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