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William Draven
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Title: Got Change?
Artist: Jason Yu
Producers: SansMind
Link: Available At Your Favorite Murphy’s Magic Dealer
Demo Video Link:
Retail Price: $34.95 USD
Learning Difficulty: Medium
Length of DVD: 39 min (Approx.)

So SansMind is now categorizing their magic into different labels. Some are called “Worker Series”, and Got Change falls into their “Visual Impact” section. I guess this is a marketing ploy to help potential buyers isolate what kind of effects they are looking for based upon the reaction or intent they are looking to get. In a way, this is kind of cool, because at least upfront if you know it says: “Visual Impact” then, knowing SansMinds, what it really means is that this product is going to be youtube fodder and nothing else. Given that I’ve reviewed a lot of SansMind products over the years my expectations going into this effect is rather low. I haven’t even opened the DVD yet, and I fully expect it to come with a bunch of pieces that I’ll have to glue or tape together to make a gimmick, and then spend hours fiddling with the gimmick to get it right for my performance use. As typical SansMind reserves any and all TV rights for their effects so chances of this being anything more than, as I said, youtube fodder is fairly slim. They’ve also created a little details section on the back of their product that lets you know how hard the trick is, what the reset time is, the ideal performance angels, and if there is any assembly required. (there always is) And how much time that assembly will take. So, without any further preamble let’s crack on with the review.

Inside the package you get an instructional DVD, a small pay envelope with what I’ll call “super secret rare earth magic stuff” to keep the witch hunters from burning me at the stake for exposure, and a small package of cheap black felt. The effect looks super slick. You take a one dollar bill out of your black wallet, fold it up, drop it on your wallet, and it instantly changes into four quarters.

Right off the bat the DVD says the construction is a pain, and performance takes a lot of practice. Herman is very upfront about this being a good Instagram piece, or demo reel piece, but he seems confident that it can also be a worker’s dream as well. I’m not convinced yet, but as of this point in the review I haven’t built the gimmick or tested it yet so I remain cautiously skeptical. Could this kind of transparency be a company effort by SansMinds to be a little more transparent with their customer base regarding their products? If so this could be signaling a change for the better for these guys.

The explanation portion of the DVD spends a lot of time on the construction of the gimmick. You’re going to want to also provide your own wallet that you’re going to have to prepare for black art. If you don’t have a wallet that you plan on dedicating to the presentation of this effect, then you may want to go pick up a cheap one. Doesn’t matter what the wallet is, because you’ll cover it in velvet by the time you’re done with it. Get ready to spend a fair amount of time doing arts and crafts. This isn’t a complicated construction, but it’s a lengthy one. Which brings me to one of my major repeating complaints about SansMinds as a whole. I really get sick and tired of all the build it yourself projects they put out. Just once I’d love to buy a trick and actually have the props already set to go for me. If this means that I have to pay a little more, then so be it. What I don’t like, is getting home, putting the DVD into my player and then learning that I have to go back out to the store and pick up additional supplies before I can start building the effect, let alone learning it.

Once the gimmicks are built the magic aspect is strait forward. Minimal sleight of hand is involved. Switch a real bill for the gimmick, and then it’s downhill from there. The illusion relies on the use of Black Art. This will look great on camera, and wonderful on stage, but the illusion is sensitive to light sources. You won’t be able to do this just anywhere, and that’s a factor you need to consider if you plan on performing Got Change. Your performance angles are not a huge concern. Yeah, the illusion is vulnerable from behind, but you could easily perform this surrounded, and with some minor audience management keep the illusion intact. The wallet is dirty, so inspection should not be allowed, but the heat will be on the coins, not the wallet anyways. Reset takes a few seconds, and if you’re going to do any coin work then this is a fantastic way to produce up to four coins as a segue into your main routine.

Overall the magic is very visual, and Got Change is a great utility to lead into any coin based magic routine. It’s ideal for Instagram, or any other media that requires something quick, and visual to amaze spectators. If you’re not used to black art, then that’s going to be your biggest challenge. You’re going to have to learn what lighting works for the illusion, and what kind of lighting to stay away from. Needless to say, this isn’t going to be a street magic piece unless you’re performing at night. You will need to supply your own wallet, and then build the gimmick, which does take some time to complete. Execution of the trick is easy, and requires very little sleight of hand. I really wanted to hate this product just so I could pan another one of their tricks, but I’m having a hard time doing so with Got Change. Outside of the extra wallet, and the do it yourself construction, the visual aspect of the illusion is pretty *** cool. This maybe one I reluctantly harrumph to myself about but still use in my close up sets. If you do coin magic, or want something hyper visual, you may want to check out Got Change? Jason Yu’s got a nice little miracle here.

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: 3
The price is on par with products of this type. The quality of my unit is questionable. The black velvet included is as cheap of quality as you can get, and is NOT the same material used during the construction portion of the DVD. Also One of my rare earth secret stuff was damaged when I received it. Both problems easily solved with a quick trip to a fabric and hobby store, but I shouldn’t have to do that step. Original score was a 8, but major points deducted for this.

Teaching Quality: 8
Tutorial was very easy to follow and oddly encouraging. Looks like SansMinds is taking a softer approach to handling their customer base.

Video & Sound Quality: 8
Sound and video are both good quality.

Overall Quality: 7
The overall score was severely, and unfairly hurt by the Product Quality score so I enhanced it after the fact. I believe in the strength of this illusion sans the producers input into quality control of the props received. This could be a worker for some.

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