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Overdraft by Paul Fowler & the1914 Review
The1914 have been a powerhouse of magic, with both the props and the tuition being top-notch for everything they put out. I gave a rave review of their Eclipse Zener cards not too long ago. Does Overdraft keep this fine tradition going? Sadly, not entirely.
The props really are great. I would say they are the best magic credit cards I’ve seen to date, but as pretty much every magic credit card prop other than these are bloody awful, it wouldn’t really be much of a compliment. These cards look and feel exactly as they should, there is no stupid “You picked the Four of Clubs” text on them, or an expiry date of 10/89 signaling they are just another magic prop. They really do seem to be just what they are meant to be.
Ahh, this is where the less than positive part of the review comes. Sadly, this section really lets the release down. It’s not terrible, just 100% Meh. There are 16 videos, twelve by Paul Fowler, and four by Lewis LeVal and there is also a PDF addition.
Most of this is pretty much just one routine repeated with different scripts and VERY minor handling changes. There are a couple of changes taught (that you will probably already know), and a pretty obvious switch. Although these can all be done well, Paul flashes like crazy all through the tutorials.
There are only two routines that are different from the rest. One is a horrible magician in trouble routine that was clearly added to so all the routines weren’t the same thing over and over. The other is Plastic intuition, a fun little effect normally done with gaffed playing cards. Best of the bunch, but using credit cards is totally unmotivated and rather odd.
Perception Perplexion – A Pseudo-Hypnosis routine. I’m not a huge fan of this, but think it’s better than anything in the other section. It should get good reactions, but you’ll really need to be on-point with your audience management or you could easily blow it.
Bigger Instant Withdrawal – An extended version of Paul’s Instant Withdrawal, notable mainly for the subtle Patrick Page joke in the tuition.
Snap Twirl – A quick transposition effect, reasonably angle sensitive, but for me, the best thing on the whole tuition side.
Bonus PDF – Turns the card into a crib for performing a mentalism classic. Might be a nice addition for some people, but instead of removing all the work needed to perform it, this only removes one small part of the memory work. Personally I prefer Richard Osterlind’s version anyway, so the crib doesn’t save any memory work at all for me.
The main problem I have with the routines here (other than Paul’s routine that is the same, but dressed up a little differently depending on which one you do), is the credit cards don’t make a lot of sense. OK, we are magicians, a lot of stuff we do or use doesn’t make a lot of sense, but if you are doing a colour prediction, or imagining a sunset, why are the cards in play? You can get around it with scripting, but why the need for convoluted scripting just to use a specific prop?
Normally with the1914, both the props and the tuition are worth the money on their own. Here, all of the money is for the props. The tuition is just padding. I’m not saying you can’t come up with great uses for Overdraft, I’m sure most of the people who buy will be very happy with their purchase, but out of the many routine options available with the package, most will be watched then dropped. If you are interested in colour changing credit cards, this is for you, if you want something else as well, don’t expect too much from the routines taught.