The Platt Pad - my review
From Brian and Mike Platt, creators of the outstanding effect Blackout! comes yet another fantastic release...
Price: $99 + shippingWhat you get:
A pad of paper
Some extra paper
Instructions on how to re-work the gimmick for your other hand
Name/password for the "secret section" of his website, which contains 2 additional videos
9 Yuck and 9 Smiley stickers
Some generic force deck cards (so you can get started immediately)
2 DVDs in a little white flimsy plastic CD holder
The pad you receive is very well made, and should last a lifetime. It obviously cannot be examined, but from ANY distance looks perfectly normal and will not raise suspicion. All the routines are designed so there's zero heat on your pad, and it's such a commonplace object that it's eliminated in the spectator's mind as a method for your magic. Even when Brian performs for a grabby lady, she goes for his sleeves and not the pad.
The whole setup reminds me of Dean Dill's The Revelation. Even though the notebook is the method, NOBODY goes for it, asks about it, or even thinks twice about its presence. Or even The Extractor, where a card is placed inside a card box then appears in your pocket. A spectator's brain doesn't process the card box being gimmicked. Brian has done an outstanding job creating a "non-gimmick" for the sole purpose of small packet tricks. You end perfectly clean, and every card can be examined.
You will eventually need more paper, and I didn't see that covered in the DVDs. But a quick trip to Staples with your last remaining sheet should provide them enough to create a large stack for you fairly cheap. The process of adding new paper is a huge pain however, and probably the only downside I can think of to this entire package.
One of the coolest features of the pad is the ability to end clean on every gimmicked packet trick in existence. Great effects such as Wild Card, Oil and Water, MacDonald's Aces, Twisted Sisters, etc all can be COMPLETELY examined at the end thanks to the wonderful workings of Platt Pad.What can be used:
The Platt Pad supports small flat things like:
- Playing cards (all types, sans jumbo)
- Business cards
- ESP cards
- Dollar bills (will also support a variety of other foreign paper currency)
- Most tarot or oracle cards
- Collectible sports, horror, etc cards
- Small photographs
Both DVDs have animated menus showing you the first few seconds of each chapter. However it's filled with late 80's porn music and the video quality is like watching a YouTube channel at 240 resolution. Once you're past the main menu, the music stops (thank Jesus) and you get into the workings of The Platt Pad.
Most of the tricks are performed at what looks like Platt's house (his pad? get it? ok nevermind) with a weird spotted backdrop. I think his wife (Michelle?) is the one filming, and seems to hold the camera steady and do a good overall job. I do hear a male voice occasionally, but not sure who that is.DVD 1 (one hour, 20 mins)Introduction
25 years in the making, Brian says he and his father have been working on several prototypes over the past few years. It all started when Brian saw a trick that he had hoped would live up to the hype, but didn't. He then went on a quest to re-create it using a better method.Handling #1 - the handoff
The handling on his demo, where he tilts off a card that's been placed on the pad and then turns it over to reveal.Handling #2 - the serving tray
The card placed on top of the pad is handed out to your spectator, and they grab to reveal.Angles
Not TOO bad - people need to be standing or above you in some manner. You cannot perform this for a seated group without revealing something. You'll notice in all the demos that specs are standing above a tabled surface.Mr. Yuck
Shown on the demo. Spectator is instructed to think happy thoughts while selecting a card amongst 7-9 others. They turn it over to see a happy face, while all other cards are yucky faces. You receive 18 yuck/happy stickers to apply to your own deck. I used them on blank face cards I had laying around, and they do look great.
He shows several live demos to adults and kids, all of which are impressed. This is probably my favorite routine on the DVD set.The Basics
More of a pep-talk to magicians to use the pad like a normal pad.Numbers
Spectator freely chooses a single card from 5 possible ones, which turns out to be the predicted number. I do kinda like the trick, however I think the "FU Card Trick" is much better, making this obsolete.X Card, etc
Standard "select the card with an X" plot, and shown as a live performance in the "Introduction" section. You can also use ESP cards here, and have a prediction about which they chose.Find Barbara
A "find the red backed card" trick with an overly liberal use of the flustration count. I didn't like this at all, and would rather stick with red vs. blue backed effects taught on DVD 2.Stop!
Spectator calls STOP while you count 15 cards down onto the table. When turned over that card says, "You will stop at this card" while the others are perfectly normal. Not exactly my favorite, however a very good effect.The Double Switch
You write down a prediction and hand it to the spectator for later. He can then choose between business cards containing several random names. The one chosen randomly by the spectator matches the prediction. This IS a cute use of business cards, and a great method to hand yours out. Instead of names, you can write movies, TV shows, teachers of the school or execs of the company you're gigging at, etc.F.U. Card Trick
The most powerful trick on DVD 1! You write two predictions, and hand them to the spectator for later. Spectator then cuts the deck anywhere they'd like and says STOP 4 times while you count down cards. Once the four random cards are chosen, spectator signs their name on the back of one. And of course prediction #1 contains the names of all four cards, while prediction #2 says "You will sign the 7 of Hearts".
Before you bash the trick, you CAN simplify this a lot. Just have spec slide out 4 cards from the deck, and only have one prediction (containing both reveals) for a cleaner overall effect. Either way, this is fantastic.Ambitiously Ambitious
An ACR with a medium packet of cards (20 or so). Spectator can cut the cards, shuffle, etc and their card always rises to the top. Afterwards all the cards can be handed out for examination, although in the demo he DOES have 2 7H cards in the packet which will make you laugh.Spectator finds his card
Spec picks a random card from the deck, and adds it to a pile of 10 other cards. Once they are mixed up, spec chooses which one would possibly be HIS card, and of course they are correct. Meh, I didn't like.Platt's Princess (Gone!)
Brian's take on Daryl's Princess Card Trick. See the original here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XB_x0G3ZHDg
Spectator thinks of one card from a selection of 5 spread out. Their thought-of card vanishes, and the packet can be examined, leaving the spec with a card that says "GONE!" or whatever. Nice way to make this old trick 100% examinable.DVD 2 (one hour, 12 mins)Magic Mustache
Four queens are shown, and as they are touched to the moustache drawn on the pad, they get a moustache on the card. Cute, but not something I'd use.Padded Reset
Four aces and kings are shown, along with an empty card box. Aces go into the box, which gets pushed near the spectator. As each king is rubbed on the timewheel pad, they transform into aces. And of course, the card box now contains only kings.
EXCELLENT use of the pad, and fooled me the first time I viewed it. There are so many moving parts, that the pad would never come under suspicion.Memory Test
Transposition of two red aces for two red kings. Requires two triple lifts and a couple of gimmicked cards you may not have.NFW...
Brian's version of Gary Freed's NFW, where you end perfectly clean and all cards can be examined. You will need a copy of the NFW trick to perform this, along with some extra cards from another deck. Here's an example of ending clean with any gimmicked packet trick, as described above. Absolute hotsauce.Envelope Impossibility
A stack of envelopes and business cards are introduced. Brian writes the names of different countries on the cards, then stuffs into the envelopes. The one spectator picks matches his prediction which was written long before the trick began.
I really dislike this trick because of the time involved with stuffing envelopes, plus the additional props I don't think add much to the overall reveal. Having a spec turn over a playing card to find an X on it is much faster and less involved.Favorite Color
Five business cards are introduced, and spec picks one. When turned over, the color on back matches a prediction written before the trick began. Includes a live performance (complete with barking dog) where the specs seem genuinely amazed.One Eyed Love
Brian draws a one-eyed girl on the pad. Spec then chooses from 5 cards in a desperate attempt to find her soulmate, One-eyed Jack. All cards are immediately turned over to reveal that spectator correctedly chose him. Then Jim Croce's Time in a Bottle plays while you groan and throw something at the television.
Requires you to purchase specialty cards from a website, so I'm personally avoiding this one.8 Card Suckerwave #1 and #2
Standard brainwave plot where they pick a card, and it's different color than all the others."2 Slot" Pad
You can custom order a larger pad that supports more "stuff" for a variety more effects.David Cassidy
Stage effect using the Platt Pad, where people select different bands or colors.Padded Bills
You predict a serial number for a bill. Spectator selects one at random, and the serial indeed matches your prediction. Requires some gaffed bills from Max Krause, and I'm unsure how much that would cost. Max's site:http://innovativedeceptions.comHot Card
An Out of This World finale, where the spectator can hover their hand over 8 different cards and find the "red hot one". Which turns out to be the only red card amongst 7 other black ones.Business Card Connection
If you work in an office where business cards are plentiful, you can grab several from different people and have a spectator pick their own card while it's face down. Magically, every time they choose a single business card from the stack, it's theirs, and all cards can be examined.Matchmaker
A relatively new effect Brian made up. Cut out magazine clippings of "hunky guys" and tape to the back of business cards or playing cards. Let women choose one, which will be the nasty-looking dude, and then show that she could have chosen any of the other "hunky guys". And of course everything can be examined.
You can easily reverse this by attaching pics of hot women and a couple nasty ones.Final Thoughts
Blackout Call outs
Some additional credits for Brian's Blackout trick[/b]Extras:
You can login to plattmagic.com and access 2 additional videos:
8 Card Grail - 7 mins
The Greatest Stuff on Earth - 5 minsDifficulty:
This will require a week or so to get decent, and possibly a month to master. You can probably get it down kinda-ok after a day of practice, but you'll be at high risk of exposing the gimmick when you do not line everything up properly. That said, it's NOT difficult - you just need to be precise.Conclusion:
If you AND your spectators are standing, with a tabled surface between both of you - then this is an absolute killer. The pad and routines are designed to remove all heat off the device, and onto the cards similar to The Revelation. Such a common object will never come under scrutiny, and handled correctly, can perform miracles. Brian has loaded up THREE HOURS of DVD instruction for you to watch, along with his specialty pad which should last a lifetime.Total hotsauce.
The official spam:
PLATT PAD - An original concept from Brian and Mike Platt.
The PLATT PAD gives you the power to perform mentalism and magic that is so clean, so pure, there is absolutely nowhere for your spectators’ minds to go. If you could really make accurate predictions, it would look exactly like this. Here are just a handful of squeaky clean effects possible with the Platt Pad.
PLATTWAVE- This is the 8 Card Brainwave you’ve always dreamed of - with a clean ending. The performer places eight cards face down in a row on the table and writes down a bold prediction for all to see. He predicts that the spectator will pick the one card that is different from all the rest. The spectator freely chooses one of the eight cards (if you’d like, he can even sign his name on the back) and it’s placed to the side in full view. The seven cards that were not selected are flipped over to reveal they have a scary green Mr. Yuk sticker on the face of them. The chosen card, as predicted, is the odd card out - it’s the only one with a yellow smiley face sticker on the face. The cards are all left on the table for immediate examination! This not only satisfies the toughest of skeptics but it also leaves the spectator with a very pretty and stunning picture as she sees, plain as day, the stark contrast between her chosen card and the seven others. Brian teaches numerous variations including an identical version of the Nick Trost original using 8 different playing cards. The difference? Here, all of the cards can be fairly (and yes, instantly) flipped over and left out for examination. Endless possibilities. ......More (Click here)
"I cannot remember the last time I opened a new magic item and just played with it over and over again. I think this will become a standard mentalism tool." - David Regal
"This is one of the most beautifully created utility devices I have ever seen. It's mechanism is so diabolical it reminds me of something Q would be training James Bond to use…All I kept saying was "WOW" when I laid my eyes upon the secret." - Gary Kosnitzky
"The Platt Pad represents old world craftsmanship combined with modern mentalism! When I first opened the package I couldn't believe how well thought out and well built this device is. At first it looks just like a common pad, but Man, there is so much more! Every bit of the apparatus looks and works flawlessly. Basically, it is a switching device. But what a device! I love it! I love how it is made, how it works and what you can do with it. When I watched the video it was apparent how good this plays and how brilliant the moves are. The DVD included gives you all types of tips and ideas, but I can see how many will come up with even more. This is not something you want to pass by. This is good … REAL GOOD!" - Richard Osterlind