Review: TOKEN by SansMinds Creative Lab

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: John Teo” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left”][vc_column_text]The SansMinds team is known for coming up with creative magical effects, especially those with high visual contect.

Token is an example of a visual transformation of a plastic drawing straw into an orgami heart.

In effect, the performer picks up a drawing straw and puts one end into his fist.  He proceeds to push the straw into his fist until it is no longer visible.  When he opens his fist, the straw has magically folded itself into a neat origami heart.  He gives this “heart” to a spectator as a souvenir of having witnessed his magical prowess!

You receive an instructional DVD plus the necessary gimmicks to make the effect possible.  The gimmicks supplied constitute an utililty equipment.  Most of you will know what it is when you see it.  You can use this for your other magical effects.

The DVD is well produced.  The presenter in the DVD speaks rather fast.  This is no problem for me as it merely makes me pay more attention to the spoken instructions.  In some other instructional DVDs, you can get bored watching and listening to a slow presentation of the effect.  In the DVD, the effect starts with live performances, then followed by a comprehensive explanation of it.

No drawing straw is provided.  You need to supply your own plastic drinking straw.  You need 3 of them in order to do the necessary preparation.  You prepare one straw so that it can “vanish” easily.  The other 2 straws are required to make the origami heart.  Nothing is difficult or complicated here.  It is all taught well in the DVD.

You need an outer clothing on you such as a jacket or wind-breaker.  You also need to secretly plant your prepared straw in the area where you will be performing.  This is necessary because it will not make sense for you to carry a drinking straw along with you!  There is also a slight performing angle issue.  This is a minor problem and it can be easily managed.  These are all the “down sides” – if you can call them that – that you need to consider before you purchase the effect.

However, in the DVD, you are also taught a method where you can borrow the drinking straw from a spectator.  It also teaches you how you can perform this effect fully surrounded.

To me, these are not the major issues.  The main problem is when you give the origami heart away as a souvenir, everybody else around you will want you to take their straws and make them the cute heart too!  The effect is not resettable instantly and you cannot immediately repeat your performance.  How are you going to refuse their requests?  

I suggest that you do not give away the folded straw as a souvenir.  The origami heart is so cute, everybody will want one from you.  Your presentation should be on how your “magical uncle” or a “mysterious magician” once transformed your straw into a cute origami heart.  And from that day on, you keep this as a reminder of his performance.  This is a good reason for you not to give the heart away.  In this way, other spectators may not request one from you.  You also do not claim you can transform the straw – you merely “demonstrate” how the person did this.  And in doing so, you perform the magic!

This is not as strong as when you transform the straw into an origami heart and give this away as a souvenir.  But then you will have to find a way how to refuse making a souvenir origami heart for the other spectators.

Token is highly recommended if the concerns mentioned here are not a major issue for you.  

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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