MK-MOD ESP Testing Cards by Simon Edwards

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MK-MOD ESP Testing Cards by Simon Edwards

Postby Replicant » Jan 12th, '11, 13:49



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The Effect

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Cost
£30.79

Available from The Fifth Column
This price includes the Test Card book. The cards are also available separately for £15.32. All prices include UK postage and packing.

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Difficulty

(1=easy to do, 2=No sleights, but not so easy, 3=Some sleights used,
4=Advanced sleights used, 5=Suitable for experienced magicians only)

1, 2 or 3
The Test Card book refers to a few basic sleights but doesn't describe them in detail. Most of you will already know these sleights, and if not they are easily obtainable from the cited sources.

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Review

Let's see...I already own Beyond ESP 2, Royal Magic's ESP deck, an Aviator ESP deck, Piatnik's ESP deck and Bicycle's ESP test deck. (At least one of each!) I didn't think I needed yet another ESP deck. In fact, I haven't made any magic purchases in at least six months. Good, eh? Then I log in to this place and BANG! I get an email from PayPal with the subject, "Receipt for your payment to Simon Edwards". Some things will never change.

So what did I get for my thirty pounds and seventy-nine pence?

:arrow: Two decks of 25 ESP cards each (one marked, one unmarked)
:arrow: One double-backed card
:arrow: Five double-faced cards
:arrow: MOD-style tuck box
:arrow: An 82-page perfect bound book containing instructions and effects

MK-MOD's pricing ensures that it will likely remain out of the hands of the idly curious and appeal only to those performers who will appreciate it and actually use it. Considering the quality of the contents of the package, £30 is not actually that expensive.

I understand that the cards are produced by Fournier. The card stock is good quality and they handle very well. They are bridge size which is great; I can't quite put my finger on it, but I've never felt 100% comfortable with poker size ESP cards. You also get a nice selection of gaffed cards which will enable you to perform Michael Murray's 3SP and Corinda's The Third Choice, amongst others. Incidentally, both those effects are well worth your time and investment in seeking out, if you haven't already done so.

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The tuck box is also very nice. No cunningly hidden barcode reveals here; just a plain, suitably nondescript-looking case to hold all the cards. Personally, I would have preferred a separate case for each set of 25 cards (but I assume this would have been prohibitively expensive to produce). This, to me, has a number of advantages, one of which is the relative ease with which you could switch the decks out. Granted, you don't need to case a deck of cards in order to switch it, but it does make things easier for me and I need all the help I can get! At my request, Simon very kindly provided a link to Card-Maker's website where I can purchase smaller tuck boxes that will hold 25 of these cards. For those of you who may be interested, clickety-click.

The accompanying book, Test Card, is excellent. (Simon has provided a free sample on his website - check it out here). This well-produced, perfect bound book is very well-written and contains full instructions on how to read the card markings, an engaging chapter on methods and principles and ten effects with contributions from Dale Shrimpton and Evie "Reppy-I-Love-You" Harris, amongst others.

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I'm very impressed with the quality of Dale's output on the subject of ESP effects; he also has at least one great effect in the superb Submodalities DVD, which I urge you to check out if you have even the slightest interest in the ESP area of mentalism and mental magic. I think someone may have posted a rather splendid review of it somewhere on TM.... ;)

So, Test Card. Although I have yet to try most of the effects out, I have every confidence that they will work well in performance given, as always, the necessary investment in time and practice. Test Card contains a good range of effects. Some are old classics that have been updated for modern readers, other classics have been included with the permission of the creator and some are original effects that I don't recall seeing elsewhere. Simon has gathered a great selection of practical ESP effects here; you are bound to find yourself drawn to at least a few of these gems.

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MK-MOD Markings

MK-MOD contains two sets of 25 ESP cards, one set of which is marked. I was so impressed with the marking system that I thought it warranted its own section in this already long and oh-my-god-my-eyes-are-bleeding review.

When I first saw the marking system for Beyond ESP 2 I was, like most of us, suitably impressed. I'm also very fond of the marking system that Royal Magic employs for its own ESP deck. However, both these decks share the same, unfortunate feature: if you have less than perfect eyesight, it can be difficult to make out the markings, especially under poor lighting conditions. If you own those ESP decks, you'll know exactly what I mean. Well, you'll be pleased to hear that there are no such restrictions with MK-MOD. Paradoxically, the markings are clear as day if you know they're there, yet clear as mud if you don't. Read that sentence again because I can't say the same for other marked ESP decks out there, at least not to the extent that it facilitates reading the MK-MOD marks.

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I would say, in fact, that this is probably the best ESP marking system that I've seen. So simple, yet so effective and you'll know almost instantly what the symbol is once you've glanced the mark. I can easily read the markings at arm's length and can even make them out in poor lighting at a distance of over a metre.

The backs on the MK-MOD cards also have a subtle, one-way design which is very useful indeed. However, you'll probably need to be up close in order to distinguish a card that has been turned 180 degrees from the rest of the deck because the difference is quite inconspicuous. (Royal Magic's ESP deck also has a weird, one-way back design which can only be seen from a distance of at least a couple of metres; you can't see it up close).

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Overall

In case you haven't guessed by now, I am rather fond of the MK-MOD ESP testing cards. The military theme gives it an authenticity that I'm sure will help with your performances. It's not an approach I have seen before and I'm convinced it will work well. In order to balance this somewhat gushing review out, I tried to think of some negative comments to put down. But I can't really think of any so you'll just have to take my word for it: if ESP effects is an area that interests you, then you NEED to own this quality package. Unreservedly recommended.

Score: 10/10

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My thanks to Simon Edwards for the fast dispatch of my order, your support and your prompt replies to all my emails. Thanks also for permission to use some of the images you see in this review.

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Postby Tomo » Jan 12th, '11, 13:53

I agree with the review, but I'll add that the cards themselves also have a lovely "Oooh, should I really have these" forbidden military feel to them.

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Postby Replicant » Jan 12th, '11, 14:01

Some alternative sources for great ESP effects are:

Mind Blasters e-book. There is a fantastic and original effect by Russell Hall called The Blackwood ESP Test.

Mind Blasters 2 e-book. Three ESP effects in this one.

Mindsights by Doug Dyment. This booklet contains a superb ESP effect called Bob's Your Uncle. One of my all-time favourites.

Stimulacra, also by Doug Dyment. This booklet contains a 25-card, cyclic ESP stack with no discernible pattern in the card order. Absolutely priceless.

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Postby Ted » Mar 8th, '11, 10:25

Jheff has posted a review of the MK-MOD cards and the Test Card book. He has also reviewed an additional ESP card routine I've produced called ESPsycrets.

ESPsycrets is specifically designed for those who want to concentrate on building a good presentation without worrying about sleights etc. In other words it's ideal for beginners, although the effect is certainly strong enough for professionals.

Cheers,
T.

Last edited by Ted on Mar 8th, '11, 12:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby daleshrimpton » Mar 8th, '11, 11:05

cool. And look at me stuck between....

Jean Hugard, Dale Shrimpton and Roy Walton.


lol.

you're like Yoda.you dont say much, but what you do say is worth listening to....
Greg Wilson about.... Me.
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Re: MK-MOD ESP Testing Cards by Simon Edwards

Postby paul1665 » Jan 5th, '12, 18:52

THanks for the great review, Replicant. Like you, I probably have more ESP decks than I can shake a stick at, and need another one like I need a hole in the head. Simon has created an edgy looking deck however, and my eyes tell me I might need his markings once I'm solvent again.

Paul.

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