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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Pictorial Review: Mechanic Industries (2) Optricks deck & Coin gear (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

EndersGame
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*** MECHANIC INDUSTRIES ***

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This is the second of a three part series of articles about Mechanic Industries, which has been in the business of "fixing games since 2012". They have create innovative playing card products that aim not only to improve (fix) ordinary decks and make them special, but also can enable you to control (fix) the outcome of magic effects. What is their secret? Mechanic Industries has put out several decks with an industrial styled design that fits the "mechanics" theme with special artwork on the cardbacks that creates a flipbook animation, and doubles as an ingenious marking system. In addition, they've also found a way to integrate playing cards with coin magic, by making custom coins that can appear onto and disappear from the cards themselves!

In my previous article I looked at their signature Mechanic deck, and the luxury Metallic Deck set they released for their fifth anniversary. In this article I'll cover their second major deck design, Optricks, which features hypnotic illusions, and offers another take on the flipbook animation, climaxing with a wonderful card reveal. I'll also cover some of their coin gear. So with all this eye candy in store, let's get right to showing you these inspiring decks from Mechanic Industries!

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*** THE OPTRICKS DECK ***

Tuck box

Caution! Looking at this deck may result in temporary confusion or hypnotism. Presenting the Optricks Deck, a deck of cards that appears as an optical illusion!

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The Optricks Deck is a deck of cards composed of black and white lines in a geometric style that creates hypnotising and mesmerising deck of cards. The box features a whole bunch of black and white lines that showcase what is inside, a truly mesmerising deck.

Card backs

The back design of the cards features a hypnotic design composed of squares with black and white lines coming out of it.

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Of course, the more you look at the back design, the more different shapes and styles you see popping out at you. That’s just what this hypnotic design does to you!

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Ace of Spades

The Ace of Spades is also composed of black and white lines, and really fits the theme of the deck with its optical style, yet still is very obvious that it is a spade.

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The only cards where customization is obvious is in the custom Ace of Spades, the custom Jokers and the colours of the court cards.

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Face cards

The faces of these cards are almost totally standard faces, making these cards ideal for magicians.

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However the court cards are composed of only two colours, red and black, which makes a much more striking and impressive look than usual, while still being totally recognisable.

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Jokers

The extra cards in this deck allow you to perform some great and creative magic, especially with the help of the great tutorials available from Mechanic Industries.

First of all, the deck has two Jokers with a coin like back design, one Joker with the design almost shaken about, and another card that is entirely blank. These Jokers allow you to perform some amazing magic, whether it just be shaking the ink off the Joker card about, or actually pulling the coin design off using a Grinder Coin.

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Animations

What is great about the back design is that when the deck is riffled, each back design flips from one to another, and due to slight differences from one card to the next, this creates a mesmerising and hypnotic illusion as the cards are flipped through. It appears as if the squares sink into each other and come to a point, and truly is a great optical illusion. For this to work though the deck does need to be in order, and doesn’t look as effective while shuffled, but still looks impressive!

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Gaffs

But you can take things to the next level once you realize that along with the animation, the Mechanic Industries crew have also built in a great reveal for the Seven of Hearts.

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This reveal takes advantage of the flip-book animation of the back design to show off the chosen card.

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A great routine called Transmission uses this to good effect, and can be learned for free directly from Mechanic Industries.

Video trailer

See the official video trailer for the deck here:




*** ACCESSORIES ***

Coins

Mechanics Industries also offers a number of accessories for their decks, and special note should be made of their custom coins, which they call "Grinder Coins", and which are designed to be used in combination with their decks, for sleight of hand routines.

These are available in two different sizes (Half & Full Dollar), and two different colours (antique bronze & gun-metal grey).

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I'm not a coin guy, since my preference is pure card magic. But for those who are interested in coin magic, and are intrigued by the idea of combining it with cards, here's the official ad copy which Mechanic Industries uses to describe their custom coins: "Engineered for use in sleight of hand coin magic, every detail has been carefully considered. The diameter, thickness & weight are perfect for coin magic. The milled edge enhances grip for great handling, making your sleights easier and more efficient. The finishes have been carefully selected to ensure the coins would slide effortlessly over each other while keeping the 'chatter' down to a bare minimum. Grinder Coins are fast becoming the preferred choice for many top working magicians. The edges have great grip due to the precision milling, making moves such as classic palms a breeze!"

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I have read some reviews from people who are experienced with coin magic, and they report that the coins "handle wonderfully", and that the pairing of the cards with the grinder coins and tutorials is a "hardcore product".

See the official video trailer for the coins here:




*** CONCLUSIONS ***

What do I think?

Innovation: With the Mechanic series of decks, Mechanic Industries has come up with some terrific ideas, and injected some real life into card magic. These aren't just ordinary decks of cards, but have some real secrets and possibilities built into them.

Cards-and-coins: The first noteworthy and unique element about these decks that impressed me is how the design of the Jokers can be used to perform some powerful magic with the use of a Grinder Coin. This is a great concept that will especially appeal to those who already have some expertise with coin magic. It enables magicians to create a real surprise, because most people will never be anticipating magic that involves an item apparently being removed from a playing card and becoming real. To assist with this, some really creative ideas are available and can be learned from the tutorials available in the Mechanic Industries Workshop.

Animations: The second special feature of the decks from Mechanic Industries is the flip-book animation of the card-backs. This looks terrific, and is something very different from what most people have seen before. This obviously means that all the card backs are different, but surprisingly most spectators won't even notice this until the moment that you want them to, when you start riffling the cards. While this just adds visual appeal with the Mechanic decks, in the case of the Optricks deck it not only has a hypnotic effect, but can be used in conjunction with a great card reveal, thus strengthening the effect of the magic.

Marked cards: The animation system is closely linked to the marking system, and these have been cleverly combined and tied together. It's not the easiest system to learn, but it is well explained in all the PDFs provided for free by Mechanic Industries, and magicians who enjoy marked cards will likely find something here that they can work with.

Quality: The quality of these cards is also great. The decks have been printed by the United States Playing Card Company, and this means that they are high quality playing cards. The stock and finish is something that most magicians will find great to use, and they will immediately have a familiar feel. These decks should prove long lasting and will handle great.

Glamour: If you really want to take the looks to the next level, Mechanic Industries has the answer with the luxurious looking metallic decks, Glimmer and Shiner. The tuck boxes of these decks already look magnificent, outside and in, and the metallic ink on the cards makes these look fantastic. It's rare that they'll fail to impress, and these are a fitting tribute in celebration of their fifth anniversary.

Workshop: One things I really like about the Mechanic Industries Workshop is that you're not left on your own to figure things out. Purchasing a Mechanic Industries deck and getting their gear means you are buying into their brand, and they want to reward you by giving you the tools you need to take this to the next level, by providing you with the learning materials and ideas you need. As a result, each deck is backed up by support from the publisher, in the form of PDFs which explain the marking system, and all the tutorials they offer. Many of these are free, and if you want to progress further, there are premium tutorials to choose from as well.

Tutorials: The tutorials available in the Mechanic Industries Workshop contain some great moves that allow you to perform a lot of visual and unique magic. Pulling a coin off a card is something that I thought was great, and it looks very convincing. Alchemy contains a whole variety of moves which you can perform with a Grinder Coin in tandem with a Mechanics Deck, and these moves all look impressive. These tutorials and effects are not something for absolute beginner magicians, as they have a lot of sleight of hand required, and some of which is assumed for the effect. For more experienced magicians however, these tutorials are a goldmine with some really innovative and clever magic, and are the kind of magic that some will even want to incorporate into routines when performing professionally. The premium tutorials do require a small investment, but they really do offer some good value explanations and ideas.

Where to get them? Decks of playing cards and the accessories produced by Mechanic Industries are readily available from suppliers of specialty playing cards and of magic products. You'll find their decks at online retailers like Rare Playing Cards and Art of Play, and even Amazon and eBay. Most online magic dealers should stock their products, including their coins. Their distributor Murphy's Magic can also provide names of dealers in your area. For the tutorials, you can access these directly from the Mechanic Industries Workshop, which is where you can also purchase the premium tutorials from.

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Recommendation

Are the playing cards from Mechanic Industries for you? I've had a lot of fun with these decks, because they add things to playing cards that aren't commonly seen. Even though I'm personally not skilled in coin magic, I love the ideas of combining grinder coins with the Jokers to cause various vanishing or appearing routines, and I can really appreciate the potential this offers. But in addition, the decks also have animations and a marking system built in, plus they are backed up with some high quality tutorials available directly from the publisher. All that means that these decks are a complete package, and so much more than just another custom deck of 54 pieces of cardboard. If these decks were cars, they would be flashy Ferraris that impress visually, and have powerful engines that can do things that the typical family car of a normal deck never will.

Definitely check out some of the performance videos they have available on youtube to see what the Mechanic Industries decks can do, or head to the company website to learn more. Those who enjoy the novelties that these unique decks offer are not likely to be disappointed!

Want to learn more? Visit Mechanic Industries:
Website: www.mechanicindustries.com
Workshop: www.mechanicindustries.com/work-shop (Tutorials)
Coins: www.mechanicindustries.com/grinder-coins

Follow Mechanic Industries on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Youtube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/MechanicIndustries/videos

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Direct links for the decks featured in this review series:
- Mechanic v2 deck
- Glimmer deck
- Shiner deck
- Optricks deck

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BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame - click here to see all my pictorial reviews: => Magic Reviews <==> Playing Card Reviews <==> Board Game Reviews <==
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