Review: SOCKS by Michel Huot

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Michel Huot’s SOCKS is the most attention-grabbing, fun piece of mentalism we’ve released in years. SOCKS is simple and strong in premise: you display two packets of cards with different sock designs on each one. You explain the premise: the spectator will choose two socks, and you hope that the spectator can find the only perfect match. Turning them over, two at a time, you show that each pair is mismatched. When the spectator says stop, you place their selections to the side, face down. See where this is going? Well, it’s not what you think.

The spectator turns over the two chosen socks to reveal they do NOT match at all: yellow stars on one sock and purple stripes on the other. But you then lift up your pant cuffs to reveal that YOU ARE WEARING THE EXACT SOCKS THAT THEY CHOSE. This hits people hard and comes as a complete surprise. It’s not a card or coin or rope trick, either. It’s a mentalism piece with an article of clothing, and something everyone can relate to.

For the finale, you snap your fingers, and show that every single pair of socks is now a perfect match!

SOCKS comes with everything you need, including the socks, specially printed cards, and a gorgeous wallet to carry them in. It’s easy to do and takes up virtually no pocket space. It is an IDEAL opener for walk-around performers.

We’ve even included a BONUS effect in which you predict a chosen card on the bottom of the socks you’re wearing. The socks and the specially printed cards are high quality and built to last thousands of performances.

SOCKS comes with everything you need, including the socks, specially printed cards and a gorgeous wallet to carry them in. It’s easy to do and takes up virtually no pocket space. It is an IDEAL opener for walk-around performers.

REVIEW

Socks by Michel Hout is a fun and unusual prediction effect.  You show two stacks of cards, one on the right and one on the left. You start to turn one card at a time face up from both stacks of cards showing that each card shows colorful socks that do not match. When the spectator says stop you put the two cards that were stopped at face down off the side as you continue to deal face up the remaining cards showing that each pair of socks is different. You then turn over the selected pair of cards and show that the socks do not match. You then explain that you actually predicted this selection of mismatched socks and pull up your pant legs and show that you are wearing the very pair of colorful, mismatched socks that the spectators freely selected. As a kicker, you then show that the two piles of mismatched cards have now tuned into matching pairs of socks. 

Inside the package you receive two colorful, mismatched socks and two sets of 15 plastic cards. The plastic carDs are blank on one side and photos of colorful socks on the other side. Also included is a plastic wallet to keep the two sets of cards. The downloadable video instructions is 30 minutes in length.

The socks themselves are well made. I wear a size 9 ½ US to 10 US shoe size and the socks fit me fine. The video instructions are comprehensive.  Michel begins by explaining…I kid you not…how to put on these socks. You may think you know how to put on socks but watching this segment will enlighten you and save you money in buying replacement socks. If you do accidentally tear your socks, Michel now is making replacement socks. I for one have been a victim of the dreaded black hole that exists in washing machines that causes one sock to mysteriously disappear. Being able to buy replacement socks is helpful and appreciated.

Michel then continues with explaining how to set up the cards and how to force the cards. Oddly, a studio performance of the routine is not given until the end of the video instructions. I would have preferred it to be given at the beginning of the video but that is a matter of personal preference.

The success of this routine hinges on the successful utilization of the timing force that Michel explains. However, even he admits that this force “usually” works 90% of the time. My problem with this type of force is that it does not work all the time. In fact, Michel even states that this type of force takes practice and the only way to practice it is performing it with an audience. You will need to practice this with friends or family and be prepared to fail. 

Michel does discuss what to do when the force fails. He discusses an alternate procedure when the timing force fails which I think is somewhat weak and convoluted. Michel does discuss other types of forces, one of which is very well known in card magic. While Michel believes that this particular force is the weakest, I actually believe it is the best to use since it is guaranteed to always work and avoids the elongated and convoluted follow-up procedure that needs to be done if the main force fails. 

After the participant selects the two cards and show that they do not match, it is surprising and fun the to show that you actually predicted what socks the person would select by raising your pant legs and show that you are wearing two mismatched socks that match the two selected cards. This is very funny and strong. It is a different type of prediction effect and plays up very well especially if you have an amusing approach and funny personality.

After showing that the colorful and mismatched socks that you are wearing match the same pair of socks that the spectator selected, you then turn over the cards to show that now the two sets of cards actually have magically been rearranged in matching order and that the selected cards are the only pair  that do not match. Michel believes that this is the strongest approach to this effect even though some people have suggested that it would be better to do the matching of the cards routine first and then showing the socks on your feet last. Personally, I would just do the sock reveal and leave the cards alone if I was only doing mentalism. If I was doing both magic and mentalism then I agree with Michel that his way would be the best way of doing the routine. 

Socks is fun, entertaining and very different type of routine.  I am deducting one lucky charm for the timing force. However, with practice you may feel more confident in doing the timing force which is very clean and direct or simply do other forces which are explained. I recommend this effect and I give it 9 out of 10 lucky charms.

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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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