It feels slightly ironic that we should be reviewing a trick called ‘Just in Time’ so late. But better late than never as they say. This is the first effect we have looked at by Astor. In my mind he is associated with fairly expensive mental items, so this card trick was a great chance to assess an example of his work.
The effect is easy to explain – a spectator’s freely chosen card is the only card in the deck with the time predicted by the magician printed on its back. If you are hoping for some revolutionary new principle in magic you will be disappointed. To put this in a way which will be obvious to those who have been around the magic block a bit, Just in Time shares a strong family resemblance with a well know trick which is part of my name!
But that shouldn’t put you off. What you are buying here is a presentation, and a specially produced deck of cards. And as it happens, I quite like the presentation – I have a bit of a thing at the moment for effects based round ideas of time. And the ‘sucker’ element – I will find your card in 1 minute – does set you up nicely for a surprising climax.
The cards are nicely printed and on a good standard stock. They are jumbo index cards which aids visibility – but may look a bit odd if you are doing other effects with cards with normal indices. However, the premise of the trick – involving a deck printed with timers on the back – gives ample justification for introducing an unusual looking deck into play. A little bit of me wishes they had kept the Astor logo off the back design (it appears as part of the stopwatch’s display) but this is a minor detail.
The instructional DVD provided is what I would call functional! There are no frills or whistles – just a simple menu with 4 options – a welcome, a performance, the setup and the explanation. As a Hungarian, Astor speaks with a slightly quirky accent and an overly deliberate manner, but you can understand what is going on. That being said, I found that I had to listen to the set up more than once to make sure I got it right. I have definitely heard easier explanations of the trick before. Ironically one of the strengths of the trick becomes a weakness of the explanation – since there are a number of subtleties which make it more convincing – but these are a little trickier to explain!
Re-set on this is almost instant and although a table is useful it is not essential, so I think this would work very well in the real world. I like the slightly quirky premise and it is easy to do. Definitely worth a look. Available from MagicDirect.