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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Pictorial Review: Mechanic Industries (3) Workshop & Tutorials (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

EndersGame
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*** MECHANIC INDUSTRIES ***

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This is the third and final installment 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 two articles (article #1 and article #2) I looked at their signature Mechanic deck and their second major design, the hypnotic Optricks. In this article I'll cover their "Workshop", which features amazing free and premium video tutorials that give some great ideas for maximizing the potential of their decks, and teach some great routines. So let's get right to showing you more goodies that you will find under the hood over at Mechanic Industries!

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*** VIDEO TUTORIALS ***

The Mechanic Workshop

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In the last number of years we've seen some fantastic decks of custom playing cards being produced with the help of new technologies, and the new marketplace of crowdfunding. Certainly these decks from Mechanic Industries deserve an honourable place among the great new and innovative products that have hit the market in the last number of years. They deserve praise already because of their system of combining flipbook animations with a marked deck, and for how they've integrated coin magic into card magic. But advances in technology also mean that publishers have at their disposal new tools that allow them to create teaching resources as well. Since we live in a digital age, the technology is there to produce high quality instructional and educational videos, and the global use of the internet and social media means that these videos can easily be shared and made available worldwide.

When you purchase a deck of unique playing cards from Mechanic Industries, you also get access to some terrific videos from their Mechanic Workshop that will really help you maximize the use of your new playing cards. These folks don't just want you buying their cards, but they want to help you use them to create the best effects possible with them, and they want to teach you everything you can do with them, especially the new moves and ideas that the unique elements of their innovative products open up. As such all their products link together functionally and aesthetically.

So how does this all work? Very simply, you join their Workshop (which is free), and they will send you passwords to about half a dozen free tutorials, which are designed to help you "get the most out of your gear" and to "fine tune your magic" - to borrow some of their own slogans. Their ad copy describes it as follows: "Our products come with magic tutorials to help you fine tune your magic. Join the Workshop to access our FREE videos and get discounts on premium tutorials." These tutorials add a significant amount of value to your purchase, because in addition to the decks that you get, you also get free access to an archive of helpful material that you can learn from.

But in addition to the six free tutorials, if you want to progress even further, you can purchase their five premium video tutorials, which range in price from £1.99 to £4.50 each. And they're nothing to sniff at - each video ranges in length from the shortest at 15 minutes (Caption) to the longest at 37 minutes (Alchemy). The filming is professionally done, and very polished and clear. In this next section I'll give an overview of the tutorials they have available. If you're considering getting their decks but are still on the fence, definitely check out their free tutorials, which will likely give you the push that you need to make a purchase.

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= Free tutorial video: Flipside =

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Flipside is a nice effect that can be done using any of the mechanics decks and also a Grinder Coin. In this effect, the joker is shown with a coin like picture on it, and with a flick into the audiences hand, the coin visible is flicked off of the card, and the card can then be shown to be an ordinary card with just no coin on it anymore! Another toss of the card and coin and the coin jumps back onto the card, leaving it as it originally was.

The tutorial for this effect is free, all that you need is a Mmechanics deck and a Grinder Coin. You will need to put in some practice into learning this so that you can perform it smoothly and keep some things hidden, but it is definitely worth it! The moves needed are well taught, and it is easy to follow along and learn what to do.

Video demo here:




= Free tutorial video: Grindout =

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Grindout is another neat effect done with a Mechanics deck and a Grinder Coin. The Joker is shown with the coin like design on it, and the coin is very visibly pulled off of the card. Slapping the coin onto the blank Joker then makes it magically appear back on the card, a highly visual performance.

This effect is highly visual and looks very amazing. However, it does require a lot of practice and some sleight of hand. The moves that are needed are not actually taught in the video, but need to be learnt separately, this video just shows how to combine all the moves into an amazing performance. But, it is free, so check it out and decide if it is for you!

Also taught in the video is another, easier performance of how to get the coin off the Joker and then back on, if you wish. The Joker is shown with the coin-like design, placed onto a spectators hand and the coin just falls off the card. This effect is a great way to start to learn how to use your Mechanics deck and coins, and is easy to learn and perform.

Video demo here:




= Free tutorial video: Fanbelt =

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Fanbelt is a neat effect that can be done with the original Mechanic deck, or any of the other mechanic decks if you include your own blank card. The cards are shown to all be blank on the faces, and then the magician flips through the cards, showing the gears and cogs working in the deck to print the cards. The cards can then be fanned and spread out, revealing the deck to be printed.

This is an easy effect to learn, and makes a great use of the flipbook animation of the cards, and is a great way to "print" the deck, and then allow you to start of a magic performance with it. It seems really like the deck is actually printing the cards with the way the cogs all turn, making it truly magical for your spectators.

Video demo here:




= Free tutorial video: Transmission =

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Transmission is a whole routine that makes use of the Mechanic Optricks deck and it’s extra cards. Two spectators participate in this trick, one selects a card and thinks of it, while the other is "hypnotised" by the decks motion into seeing and knowing what the other card is. The final kicker is that the spectator ends up holding the chosen card, which they always had thought was a blank card.

This effect used the Optricks deck and its flipbook animation to create a great performances that will blow your spectators' minds away. This isn’t something that would be for beginner magicians, as some sleight of hand skills are required, such as a force, DL, pass and cop to perform this well, but if you know these skills this is a great effect worth learning.

Information page: http://www.mechanicindustries.com/transm......tutorial

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= Free tutorial video: Ignition & Re-Ignition =

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Ignition and Re-Ignition are magical effects that can be done using the Ignition Key Ring. These effects give you the opportunity to pull a coin off a keychain, leaving it with no holes, and then magically put it back on. The keychain can be handed out and examined, it honestly cannot be pulled off, and your spectators will be amazed.

These effects are really quite interesting, as they are different from usual magic, and you can also use the coin afterwards to do some of your own coin routines, and perhaps end it by putting it back on the chain. The coins and key-chains look really nice and classy, and these effects are a great addition to your performances. They do require quite some practice and skill to ensure it all looks as best as possible, so be prepared to spend some time learning.

Ignition video demo here:



Re-ignition video demo here: (alternate performances: #1, #2, #3)




= Premium tutorial video: BP3 =

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BP3 (£1.99) makes for a nice opening routine. It is a highly visual piece of magic, in which a card moves and disappears from one hand to the other very quickly, in a magical way. It is very eye-catching, and can be used to attract an audience. There are a lot of moves going on that you will need to learn, but many of them are possibly moves that a magician may already know.

The video has 30 minutes of runtime, and the instruction going through the whole routine is well done so that you can follow along easily enough. You will need to spend a lot of time practicing this to ensure you can perform it as smoothly as possible and make it look as flashy as you can. The video does also run through bunch of tips on keeping the angles clean for this routine, which is helpful. This all will result in a wonderful routine once you have learnt it properly, and is a real piece of motion that looks great.

Video demo here:




= Premium tutorial video: Blinds Collection =

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Blinds Collection (£1.99) teaches you to perform a variety of effects using a Grinder coin and a Mechanics Deck. The video teaches three different was to produce the coin from the card, making it appear as if it is flicked off or just pulled straight off the card. Also taught are a few different ways to make the coin go back onto the card after vanishing from the hands. This variety of effects will allow you to choose your own which suits you, and you can then use this to make up your own coin routine, starting and ending with the coin on the card.

The teaching time is roughly 18 minutes, and it goes through the productions and vanishes reasonably quickly, so for a beginner this would not be recommended. It is expected that you already have some skill with coin magic, and are familiar with palming techniques and adept with how to change and modify grips. For more experienced magicians, this is a great way to get into your own coin routine and then end it.

Video demo here:




= Premium tutorial video: Muck Off =

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Muck Off (£4.50) is an effect involving some "hand mucking", hence the name of the effect. This is a form of sleight of hand that a card is concealed from view, and gives the opportunity to switch one card out for another card. In this effect, it allows the magician to seemingly swipe the coin off one of the Jokers in a simple wave of the hand over the card, and with the same action place it back onto the card. This creates a highly visual piece of magic that can be performed using the Grinder Coin and a Mechanics deck.

This video has 21 minutes of teaching time, and goes into how to perform the effect very well. A few different moves are taught, and this actually allows you to choose which of the moves you find best to perform with. For those not familiar with mucking, there will be a lot of practice required, but the tutorial explains how to do it quite well. The practice will all pay off, and for magicians who are more experienced already this is a great performance to take a look at, and well worth learning, as it is a highly visual piece of magic.

Video demo here:




= Premium tutorial video: Alchemy =

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Alchemy (£4.50) contains a variety of sleights, moves, transformations and clean up techniques that are needed to perform some amazing magic. The magic taught gives the opportunity to perform some great card to coin transformations, which can be done in your own hands without the use of a table, perfect for walk-around magic. All the different transformations taught allow you to choose your own favourites and combine them to create a great sequence of magic. These can be done using one of the Grinder Coins and a Mechanic deck, or any other deck and coin, but they look best with Mechanic gear.

With 37 minutes of teaching, this video contains a lot of information and some great transformations. There are 8 different transformations that are taught in this video, and each one is run through well to enable you to easily learn how to perform it. Also taught, which is great, is how to clean up after a sequence, which will enable you to end clean and for the spectators to examine the card, which is always great to be able to do as a magician. Some moves are assumed that you already know as a magician, so because of this it is not something for beginner magicians, but for more experienced magicians this is something you should take a look at!

Video demo here:




= Premium tutorial video: Caption =

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Caption (£4.50) is a great resource for some terrific coin and sharpie magic. What is taught here can be performed with any coin and sharpie marker, and allows you to perform some great magic. A coin disappears in your hands and then reappears in the lid of the sharpie, which it cannot even fit in! A variety of sleights are taught allowing you to perform some great routines.

With 15 minutes of teaching, this video goes through each sleight very well, and will allow you to easily follow along what is happening and how to perform it. Learning these moves will take some practice, but the video does go through them so that you can easily learn how to perform the magic if you put the practice in.

Video demo 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 <==
EndersGame
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Reviewer EndersGame
1363 Posts

Profile of EndersGame
Here are links to the whole series of three reviews on Mechanic Industries:

PART 1: The Mechanic Deck V2 & The Metallic Deck Set
PART 2: The Optricks Deck & The Coin Gear
PART 3: The Workshop & The Video Tutorials

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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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