Review: The Trojan Horse by Steven Himmel

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: Nique Tan”][vc_column_text]When I opened up the package and saw the gaff, I was not immediately impressed. Then I gave it a few minutes of thinking and things started looking better. Then I watched the DVD and I could see my thoughts in action performed by Steven.

This is a card gaff, which will allow you to perform a multitude of effects. You can perform clean colour changes, Sandwich effects, transformations as well as translocations. The ad copy did mention billets and mentalism routines, but no such routines were taught and I am assuming that you are to create your own, which is not difficult, considering the ease of operating the gaff.

It comes with a premade gaff, which will please those who prefer plug and play style of things, and those who are not keen on making up their own gimmicks, but the construction of the gimmick itself is taught in detail and it is not hard at all.

The quality of the DVD is excellent and I like that it showed both live performances with real audiences, as well as studio performances. It is always great for me to watch creators performing their own stuff for real people, as that shows commitment to the material.

As many can guess just by watching the trailers and the name itself, this is a type of “concealment” gimmick. The effects that you will be able to perform are not new, and you do not have to perform any of the routines taught on the DVD. The real value I think comes from exploring how it can enhance the routines you currently perform. Take it out, play with it, and see how it can be added to what you are already doing.

One negative I have heard is that the routines can mostly be performed without the Trojan Horse gimmick, depending solely on sleight of hand. Well, while that may be true to a certain extent, I think some of the clean displays look really fair, and that look of freedom this allows you is not something sleight of hand can provide you.

I will say that if doing really, really close up work, you do need to be careful with sightlines as when being too carefree in the handling, the gimmick might become apparent. However, with a slightly larger group of people watching you, perhaps at a banquet table of 10, this should play well. In fact, I have ideas where it can be used when performing with the cards held up at chest height as well, and not just “Elmsley Count style” card magic where people are looking down.

All in all, this is practical, making it great for table hopping and depending on routining, can also be instant reset. I also like that there is nothing to break and that there are no moving parts. It will wear out at about the same rate as a normal deck of cards in use, and so will match perfectly in terms of wear.

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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