Title: The SvenPad Author: Brett Barry Link: http://www.phoenixmentalist.com/the-svenpad/ Retail Price: $49.95 (and it goes up from there depending on your package selection) Effect Difficulty: Easy Notes: Some Customization Will Be Required Includes: • Gimmicked SvenPad • Instructions Every now and again you see an item light up a magic forum and between the item description and the names that are talking about it in said forum you start to get curious. You start poking around at the idea of what your magic would be like if you too owned this product and before you know it your wallet is open, credit card in hand, and screaming “take my money!” at the computer as you wait like a spoiled child on Christmas morning for your package to come so you can rip into it and finally satisfy your curiosity. Was the purchase a good one? Will this be something you will actually use? Finally the day comes when your package arrives. Are the secrets worth the price of admission? All these questions abuzz in your head as you open the priority mail envelope and take your first couple looks at your new prize. For me that experience accurately describes this new thing everyone’s talking about: The SvenPad. And I can tell you now, I’m one very happy customer. The SvenPad is an evil little forcing device. Evil I tell you. So evil that the operations will fly by your spectators as well as most magicians. So evil that the method operandi is so old, so well known, that it is befuddling to me why no one has thought to apply it to the operation of a mentalism notepad device. Needless to say I like it. So what’s in the box? I picked up three pads. One is non gaff so I can hand it out for inspection if I want, and the other two gimmicked pads are of different sizes. One I plan to use for stage and parlor, and the other smaller one I plan to use for close up. I'm very well pleased with their construction. These pads are sturdy and I expect they will last a very long time providing proper care is given to their handling. What can you force? Anything you want! The pads come blank. So you can write in your own force material totally customizing the pad to your own style and presentations. The pads look just like standard office note pads so they are very deceptive and disarming to the audience. The instructions include a routine in which a horror movie is forced, which I rather like since I do tend to favor darker material like that, but you could force words, symbols, letters, you could do a simi-confabulation routine using multiple pads, cards, etc. Minor soapbox time, but I feel like you can show a magician the most profound secrets of the universe and he'll somehow find a way to reveal a selected card with it. Please don't use your SvenPad for card forces. Don't be THAT guy. Sorry not sorry. Kaythankxbai. Moving on… Performing with the SvenPad is as easy as finding a break in a page, lifting up and looking at what is staring you back in the face. It’s angle proof, and the gimmick is well constructed enough that someone would have to be seriously focused on finding a secret to discover it. The only risk of accidental discovery is in the spectator flipping thru the pad to a page of their choice. The instructions give solid working advice to avoid this problem. Use them. The pad is very practical method of forcing things and can be used in just about any environment or setting. Street, close up, table hopping, or stage. It can be used for drawing duplications, mind reading, thought transfers, or other revelations. Any effect that would benefit from you knowing or controlling the vital information from a spectator this utility gimmick will lend itself well to. The only limitations I can think of so far is your own imagination. Thankfully the producers of this product didn’t feel the need to film a two hour demo video to over explain the gimmick either. You get a couple pages of printed instructions which explains the history of the gimmick, how to work the gimmick, how to set up and customize the gimmick, and a full routine to give you an idea what you can do with your SvenPad. The operation of the SvenPad is intuitively obvious anyways making this the ideal product to focus on storytelling and character development during your act. The SvenPad has a couple different price options depending on what you are looking to purchase. They start at around $50 bucks and go up from there. I think the most expensive option is around $95 bucks for a set of four 4.25 x 5.5 pads. There are two sizes to choose from, the 4.25x5.5 size and a larger 8.5x5.5 for stage work. Brett also sells non gaffed pads too with a cleaver marking system so you know just by looking at them which one is the SvenPad and which one is the nongaff version. The price isn’t cheap, but then again I don’t get the impression that these are mass produced either. So it is a little expensive, but worth it I’d say. Is there really anything not to like about this product? The SvenPad has a lot of selling points this is true but I think it suffers from one major flaw that will sadly have some magicians turning their noses up at this gimmick; the method. I’m afraid some people will not give it a fair chance after they figure out that it’s a Svengali principle. (Quell your exposure outrage please. The website outright tells you this, I’m not exposing anything.) I’m afraid some people will pan it for being too simple, too easy, and too closely associated with mental images of one of the most commercially sold gimmick decks out there. Their loss. More for me. I’m fine with that! Fools. They have no clue what this thing can do. Overall I love my SvenPad. The hardest thing I’ve encountered so far is what exactly I want to do with it presentation wise. Figuring out how to customize my SvenPad has been harder than learning how to use it. Honestly this is one of the most fun pieces of magic I’ve ordered in a long time. I’ve felt creatively inspired since getting my pads and that’s a pretty neat feeling. The pad has an instant reset. Though I don’t think you’ll want to use this effect more than once for the same audience without switching out the pads anyways. I highly recommend that you hurry over to the website, link above, and order yourself a SvenPad as soon as you can. Once word starts getting out on these things I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t become harder to find just because of them being out of stock and on backorder. When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Readability and Overall Quality. Product Quality: 9 A bit pricy, but well worth every penny. A Fully customizable gimmick. Teaching Quality: 10 The instructions teach the history, and the operations of the SvenPad very well. Readability:10 Quick read, and very informative. Over All Quality: 10 I don’t make claims that a certain product is a “game changer” but this one certainly is. Mentalists will need this, magicians will love this. You will love this. Quit procrastinating, order one today before the supply on these things run out. Have a product you want reviewed? Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval? 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