Modern Triumph (DVD & deck) by Michael Six Muldoon $29.95
Running time: 42 minutes
Available at: http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S14968
Lets begin with a brief, incomplete history lesson. In 1914, Theodore DeLand marketed Inverto. In this effect, the cards are dealt into an alternating face-up, face-down pile. The deck is then spread, revealing that all of the cards have turned face-down. The method relied upon a mechanical deck.
In 1919, Charles Jordan marketed a mechanical deck variation of Inverto called Ultimo.
In 1946, Dai Vernons Triumph was published in Stars of Magic. The method relied upon sleight of hand.
In 1948, U. F. Grant marketed a mechanical deck version of Triumph called Cheek to Cheek.
Fast forward to the early part of 2013. Michael Muldoon releases Modern Triumph, his mechanical deck rendition of Triumph.
The DVD was shot with two cameras in what appears to be someones home. The quality of the audio and video is good.
Sitting on a couch in front of a table, Mr. Muldoon comes across as likeable and enthusiastic. He does a good job of teaching the material. He dutifully cites his inspiration sources, but he makes a few attribution errors.
The organization of the DVD is a bit odd. Mr. Muldoon begins by describing the construction and features of the special deck. Next, he teaches a version to be performed on a table and an in-the-hands version. Following these segments, he says goodbye.
Then he comes back and teaches a shuffle-free version that is performed in a participants hands. Here, he reinvents Inverto, with no mention of DeLand.
Next, we finally see a performance of the effect.
He ends the DVD by providing credits. He erroneously credits Cheek to Cheek to Deland and cites a release date of 1915.
Then he says goodbye again. I kept watching the DVD, expecting him to reappear, but he doesnt.
Here is Mr. Muldoons version of the effect.
A participant freely selects a card which is lost in the deck. The performer turns half of the deck face-up and shuffles it into the face-down half. He spreads the telescoped deck on the table to display its mixed condition. The participant squares the deck.
Without turning over the deck, the performer spreads it on the table. All of the cards are face-up except for one face-down card. He squares the deck, turns it over and spreads it again. All of the cards are face-down except for the face-up selection. The performer removes it and tosses it to the table.
When it comes to non sleight of hand versions of Vernons classic effect, Cheek to Cheek has been the most direct, visually stunning method available. Until now.
Modern Triumph is a Cheek to Cheek deck enhanced by a familiar method. Its cleverly designed, well made and it works like a charm. I like it.
The enhancement serves one purpose. After the participant squares the shuffled deck, you can immediately spread the cards, without turning them over, to reveal that all of the cards are face-up except for a lone face-down card. That is a powerful, gasp-inducing moment.
Unlike Cheek to Cheek, after shuffling this deck and spreading it, you will need to adjust some cards to ensure that the face-up cards uniformly alternate with face-down cards. You do this openly, stating that you want to make sure that the cards are thoroughly randomized.
This procedure slows down the performance a bit. However, if you Faro shuffle or perfectly riffle shuffle the deck, you dont need to make the adjustment.
If you scoff at the very idea of using a mechanical deck to perform Triumph, then youll obviously have no interest in this product.
If you already own Cheek to Cheek and you dont care about the additional display that Modern Triumph permits, then it isnt for you.
But if youre in the market for a sleight-free version of Triumph, I encourage you to take this mechanical deck Maserati for a spin.