Title: The Vintage Holdout
Artist: Zach Mueller & Michael Stern
Producers: This Is An Effect On The Theory11’s Wire
Retail Price: $4.95 USD
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Length of Video Download: 19 min
Notes: This is an Instant Download Effect, Some Assembly of the Gimmick Required.
• Instant Instructional Download
• Gimmick Instructions & Concept
• 3 Effects
• 10+ Performances
• Full Tutorial
• Bonus Ideas & Concepts
• Extras: Blooper Reel.
The Vintage Holdout, is at its core, a concept. It’s a utility device that allows you to perform a multitude of different effects limited only by your creative imagination. Three effects are taught on the download to get you started.
Honestly the Wire from Theory11 has been a blessing and a curse to the magic community. On the one hand it’s blessed magicians with the ability to self-publish their own material, and in some cases (such as my own for example) put peoples work out there into cyberspace who may not otherwise have gotten the chance. On the other, less forgiving hand, this also means that anyone with a video camera and half-baked idea can produce something and put it out there for consumption. Even with that being said every now and again something simple, charming, and useful does manage to come along, and in this case that would be found in Zach and Michael’s Vintage Holdout.
Zach and Michael openly admit that this isn’t an effect, but more of a concept. If you watch the video all the way through, you’ll understand more about what they mean by that. At the core, it’s a utility device (and you people by now know how much of a sucker I am for one of those) that can allow you to accomplish a multitude of different effects by employing the use of its gimmick. A gimmick that the boys teach you how to make, and you’ll be glad to know that the materials needed you most likely already have, and if not will cost you $5 from an office supply store.
The video is jammed full of performance examples, as well as a wonderfully shot in-depth tutorial on the gimmick construction, application, and explanation of three tricks that can be done with it. Zach and Michael also toss in some extra thoughts, concepts and a blooper reel for good measure. Unlike what one might expect from a pair of young magicians self-producing for internet downloads this video is surprisingly good quality. Studio style backgrounds during the tutorial portion help to not distract you from what you are learning, and excellent camera work, and sound, keep the focus where it belongs during the video. Zach and Michael’s teaching pace is good enough to not bore you, and doesn’t waste time with needless examples or over explaining of simple concepts.
The Vintage Holdout teaches three effects that can be done using the gaff. It teaches a card coin transposition, some ambitious card ideas, and a rising card that visually changes into the selected spectators card. Of the three effects, I personally like the card coin transposition the best, as it's probably the one taught effect I would get the most use out of. While not an effect in itself, I also liked the Erdnase move that makes the selected card "appear" on the back of the box. None of these effects are what I would consider to be difficult, once you understand what the gaff is.
The Vintage Holdout gets its name from the Vintage style bicycle decks that you need to use in order to make the gaff. Which to me, is the only real major drawback to the entire thing. The product limits you to the use of a specific style deck. Now Zach and Michael do make suggestions on how you could create the gimmick using other more common styles of bicycle cards, but it does employ a rather unmotivated use of a rubber band. Frankly I think that once you see what I’m talking about you’ll prefer the Vintage version over a normal rider back anyways because let’s face it the Vintage deck was built to accommodate this gimmick!
One of the big tests for utility devices is how practical can they be? The Vintage Holdout is good enough to not only function as a performance piece in itself, but it also can invisibly sit in full view during your entire show without calling any attention to itself. In other words put your deck in this, carry it with you, and you’re ready to perform. For five bucks, you’ve got something you can play with. Not a bad price and not a bad product.
When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.
Product Quality: 7
The product is great for people that use Vintage style cards, but I don’t like the solution for using a normal rider back deck. The price is good for the quality of the download.
Teaching Quality: 8
Great in-depth tutorial. Zach and Michael keep a good pace, they don’t bore you, and they explain everything in detail.
Video & Sound Quality: 7
Not bad for an independently produced video. It’s obvious that Zach and Michael know their way around a camera and editing software.
Overall Quality: 7
I liked the concept. This may not make its way into my stage sets, or main show, but this is certainly something I’ll be carrying around with me for casual performances for the next few weeks. Honestly for five bucks, your money isn’t wasted. Would I recommend this to another magician? Absolutely! Draven Seal of Approval granted!