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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #1 
Mike showed us a couple of great effects using miniature cards at today's Saturday Session. One of them was called The AmBIGuous Card from his book, Powerplays. It's absolutely fantastic! I'd recommend getting his book and checking it out.

He followed that up with another great effect called, Diminishing Returns.
Check out the video of his performance at his website...

http://mallofmagic.com/videos.htm

I bought it and look forward to adding it to my repertoire. So much for my resolution to quit buying new stuff!!

Rudy

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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #2 
Nice! Looks like trick photography - And that's meant as a compliment.
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks guys! Diminishing Returns is far and away my biggest seller. It continues to sell many hundreds every year. It has been around for about 20 years!

I just filmed a new teaching video to go with DR and will be updating the website with new stuff.

The amBIGuous card is a load of fun by itself and can be a great way to start Diminishing Returns. 

Thanks again for the kind words guys!

And - HAPPY NEW YEAR! 


Mike
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Chi Han

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Reply with quote  #4 
Honestly if I hadn't made that new years resolution this would have been in my cart immediately after our session.  Such a cool visual effect that just looks magical.
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Ben Morris-Rains

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Reply with quote  #5 
I have this somewhere with Hoyle backs I think... I always liked the phase where you take the small card out of the spread and it instantly is regular sized. Great stuff as usual from Mike! 
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Tom G

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Reply with quote  #6 
It's funny Ben mentioned the Hoyle card.  Most  of my magic is stored in bins and yesterday I was looking for something. There were the instructions for DM and they mentioned the Hoyle card.  Of course the rest of the cards/gimmicks were long gone....
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #7 
The original deck for Diminishing Returns was in Hoyle "Shell Backs." I did a run of 2500 decks and U.S. Playing cards wanted 5000 to 10,000 minimum. CardToon had been done in Hoyle and I ended up using Hoyle for round one.

Round 2 was also Hoyle. The 2500 sold out in one day at the national IBM convention in Orlando.

After the next batch sold out I switched to U.S. Playing cards. But they didn't want to use the 808 backs. They used "Bicycle Red" with Hoyle shell backs and standard Bike faces. The faces are what count since the routine is done completely face up. The shell backs with the proper Bicycle red color worked fine for a fan showing some red but the main thing was that they were in Bicycle stock with Bicycle faces. 

Check the faces of your deck. They may very well be Bikes. Just add any cover card and do the routine. The backs are never seen. It's the faces that count.

The most recent runs have had Bicycle backs and faces. I had complaints that they weren't Bikes because of the Shell back. I may as well have had blanks on the back (except for the minis). 

The trick has been out since 1994. That's 22 years and it's still sells hundreds every year. Penguin is thinking of re-launching it in 2017. It is unknown to many of the new magicians who have entered the craft in the last 20 years or especially in the last 10 years or so.

I am about to go in a different direction re: the manuscript that teaches the trick. I'm going to have a PDF download and an online video that teaches how to do the effect. I think we have arrived at place where this should be fine. I'm sure there are a few magicians who won't buy it if they have to go on the internet to learn it. There will be less and less of this as time goes on.

Also, I am removing the "Defective Deck" cards that have come with DR in order to make a separate trick. I don't think that this will affect sales at all. You'll still get a FREE item viz. The amBIGuous Card with Diminishing Returns.

Feel free to PM me with any thoughts on these changes. I am about to send out the artwork for the new version which won't contain written instructions any longer. I sure hope this isn't a mistake.

Mike
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Ben Morris-Rains

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Reply with quote  #8 
Mike, 

I think it will be fine. A few months ago I really wanted to start up a new magic magazine in the vein of Apocalypse and Richard's Almanac. I had thought that a trick based periodical like the old school ones would be a cool thing because it keeps good magic underground and is a better deal than a one trick download or dvd. I had posted about it on another forum and received a lot of backlash, and some had good points. Most just prefer an ebook or a video over printed text. 

I honestly think it will sell better with video instructions than with printed. Unfortunately, people these days ingest media the easiest ways possible and most prefer video over reading. It drives me sort of crazy how many people hate to read lol... We have lost the days of people building a nice library or a study. There are advantages to both written text and videos, but they are even better when combined.

As long as it has an insanely cool irrelevant trailer (Sansminds style) it will sell thousands. But in all honesty, the trick speaks for itself. It is still as good now as it was years ago. 

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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #9 
Thanks for the thoughts Ben.

Those that only go with DVD and downloads have cut themselves off from 95% of magic. The four volumes of Apocalypse contain many hundreds of great effects. How many of those are on DVD or downloads? I think that it would be a very small percentage.

Some people have trouble leaning from books. It may just be laziness. It takes time to learn how to learn from a magic book. Also, some books/mags are poorly written and end up being difficult to read. It takes a skilled author to clearly describe the details of how to produce a certain magic effect. There are also poorly produced videos. They may be slick but if they don't show the details clearly, the viewer is going to have trouble learning. 

Again - thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Mike


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Tom G

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Reply with quote  #10 
Mike, let us know when the new version is ready, I'll pony up.
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Barden

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Reply with quote  #11 
Magick Balay dem'd Diminishing Returns for me at Fantasma a few years back. Enjoyed it then.
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rready

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Reply with quote  #12 
I use to sell Diminishing Returns in my shop and no kidding, almost every time I did a demo it would sell. A great visual trick.
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Stevie Ray Christian

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Reply with quote  #13 
I watched Mike's demo from the Saturday session again this evening and ordered Diminishing Returns from Penguin... such beautiful and bizarre effect. Looking to combine it with the visual moves in AmBIGuous card from Mike's Power Plays. 
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #14 
Thanks for the good press guys.

I think that the continued success of DR is due to the Demo = sale at the magic shop. 

When and if Penguin relaunches DR, they'll produce a good promo video. I have a very good teaching video but I think it's in need of a 21st Century promo that sizzles.

Mike
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luigimar

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Reply with quote  #15 
I just bought Diminishing Returns from Penguin (well actually 2 of them) and they are still on their way home. In the mean time I received the (online) teaching video with Jay Noblezada. I was wondering if there will be any noticeable differences between this video and the new one. I will let you know which version I receive as soon as it gets here (Bikes VS. Hoyle, most likely Bikes according to what Mike said above). I also hope I get the booklet with the instructions.

Mike in case you upgrade the video, how can those people who have the effect get the new video version? Do we need to buy the effect from you? Thanks!




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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #16 
Hi,

I'm updating the DR package. The new teaching vid is at http://www.mallofmagic.com/dr.htm

The packaging will be changing to a download/online teaching video. There will be access to a PDF of written instructions too. The Defective Deck will no longer be a free extra item with Diminishing Returns. Instead, there will be a teaching vid for The amBIGuous Card which is the new freebie.

It definitely needs a new promo as pointed out above. Penguin Magic is working on that and will be "pushing" DR in the near future. One or more of their guys will be making the promo. Youth sells! Meanwhile I'll finish up the new teaching videos and the amBIGuous Card tutorial.

The Defective Deck 2.0 will be released in 2017 with a full teaching video and a new phase.

Thanks for your interest in this product!!

Mike
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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #17 
Excellent job on this instructional video, Mike! You made it incredibly easy for us to learning this POWERful effect!
I'm very happy with my purchase.

Thanks!

Rudy

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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #18 
Thanks Rudy! I just finished up the amBIGuous Card instructional video. That's the trick where a big card visibly gets small then big then small again. I think I shared it either in my lecture or in an online session. It'll probably be a Penguin download in the future but it's free with Diminishing Returns. It's also in Power Plays, if you have the book. The video is about 22 minutes in length. I go into great detail on the fine points of The amBIGuous Card. 

I'll be in Costa Rica for a week but will be finishing up the vid and posting it when I get back.

I'll send you the link.

Mike
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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
Thanks Rudy! I just finished up the amBIGuous Card instructional video. That's the trick where a big card visibly gets small then big then small again. I think I shared it either in my lecture or in an online session. It'll probably be a Penguin download in the future but it's free with Diminishing Returns. It's also in Power Plays, if you have the book. The video is about 22 minutes in length. I go into great detail on the fine points of The amBIGuous Card. 

I'll be in Costa Rica for a week but will be finishing up the vid and posting it when I get back.

I'll send you the link.

Mike


Yes, you shared that in one of our Saturday Sessions. It's great!
I'll look forward to seeing the video when you post it.

Have a safe trip, bro!

Rudy

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