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Flip-book card trick that wowed the Britain's Got Talent judges

With this deck of cards, you can ask a spectator to name a card, then riffle the cards to play a flip-book movie that ends with a little cartoon character pulling the named card out of a hat. The judges of Britain's Got Talent seemed impressed, even the mean guy. You can get the deck for $9 including shipping on Amazon.

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Hakone Maruyama Trick boxes

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I sort of have a love affair with beautiful boxes and my friends and family know it. Recently, I received a couple of wonderful trick boxes from a new friend, Marcel. He ordered them for me from a company called Hakone Maruyama Inc.

Each of these trick boxes has a secret for you to discover in order to get it open. This brown one, in which they call “Small box 4”, took me about 20 minutes to crack.

It was very satisfying.

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This lighter one is called “Small box 5” and it is devious.  It took me an hour and a half to open and it was worth every minute.

Over time, I definitely will be picking up a few more.

Thank you for the box, Marcel!

Flash Dice – Magically control six dice inside an opaque box

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I’ve recently discovered the line of cool pocket-size magic tricks made by Tenyo, a Japanese company founded in 1960 that has gained a cult following among amatuer magicians. Tenyo magic tricks are original, clever, and easy to perform.

One of my favorite Tenyo tricks is Flash Dice. It consists of a plastic box and six dice. You can do a number of effects with it. For instance you can put the dice in the box randomly, close the lid, give the box a shake, then lift the lid to reveal that the faces of the dice are arranged in order from 1 to 6. Another shake randomizes the dice, and another reveals the dice are arranged in order from 6 to 1.

Another trick you can do with Flash Dice: Give one of the dice to the spectator and ask him or her to set it on the table with any number they wish facing up. You put the other five dice in the box with random numbers facing up, place the lid on the box, and shake. When you lift the lid, all the dice will show their chosen number.

My 12-year-old says this is her favorite magic trick ever, and Carla (editor of Wink) can’t figure out how it’s done, and she is very hard to fool.

Flash Dice
By Tenyo
$12 Buy one on Amazon

See more photos at Wink Fun.

Teenage magician's mind-blowing coin magic

Teenage sleight-of-hand artist Moritz Mueller performs the One Coin Routine.

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A good $4 magic trick - The Imp Bottle (includes imp)

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Only you can make the Imp Bottle lie on its side. When spectators try, they will discover that the bottle stubbornly refuses to stay down. This trick has driven many people insane throughout the years. The secret is a tiny imp inside the bottle that is loyal to you alone. It requires no feeding or care.

Performance video below.

The Imp Bottle is $4 on Amazon with free Prime shipping. https://youtu.be/SpPrMyeB1WU

How I store and organize my magic tricks

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I use the Stanley SortMaster Junior Organizer to keep my magic tricks organized. It has removable dividers so I can change the size of the compartments, and you can stack and carry up to three organizers at one. Stanley SortMaster Junior Organizer ($16) on Amazon

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The Secret Box magic trick- A small metal can rattles but nothing can be found inside

The Secret Box ($10) is a small metal canister with a lid. Hold it between your fingers and shake it. It will rattle. Hand it to a spectator and ask them to shake it. They will feel and hear something inside the canister. Open the canister and show the spectator that nothing is inside - it is empty. Replace the lid and shake it again. It rattles. Open the canister and hand both pieces to the spectator. They can inspect it as carefully as they want. They won’t find anything out of the ordinary.

Watch another video here.

See more photos at Wink Fun.

Bicycle Pluma playing cards - desaturated elegance with a subtle one-way back

I like the muted hues of the Bicycle Pluma deck. The red ink has a lot of brown in it, as if you are looking at the cards through dark sunglasses. The pips are different from the standard Bicycle deck, too -- more old fashioned looking.

The coolest thing about this deck is that, unlike a standard Bicycle deck, the Pluma has a "one-way" design on the back -- one of the leaves under each the four wings is white (the other three are blue). There are a lot of magic tricks you can do with a one-way deck.

A history of cups and balls magic

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Even when you know how it's done, a well-performed cups-and-balls routine is pure magic. Enjoy this entertaining history of one of the world's oldest (it dates backs to ancient Egypt) and most enduring tricks. My favorite part of this excellent presentation is the video of magic great Dai Vernon's routine (Click on the Performances section).

Magic trick: squeeze a coin through a brass block

The brass coin squeeze ($15) is a well-designed trick that I've been pestering my friends with lately. It consists of two brass tubes and a brass cylindrical block. The tubes snap together and the brass block fits between them. It looks like nothing can penetrate the tube, but you will show the spectator that you can melt coins right through the plug.

The trick comes with an excellent DVD that shows you how to perform a couple of basic sleight of hand moves (which are optional, but can be used to good effect when performing this trick).

Excellent magic trick: accurately predict the number on a die hidden in a metal box

The Die-Cipher II is currently my favorite magic trick because it appears that you can do the impossible: accurately predict the face-up number of a die hidden inside a round brass canister and lid.

The routine goes like this: give the spectator three items: a die, a round canister, and a lid. They are all made of heavy brass. Ask them to inspect the items to make sure there is nothing funny about them. Once they are satisfied, turn your back and tell them to place the die in the canister with any number they want facing up. Then ask them to place the lid on the canister. Tell the spectator to observe that it is impossible to see inside the canister without first removing the lid. When they have finished, turn around.

You do not even have to touch the canister. But you will be able to tell them what number is facing up. The first time you do it, they might think you are lucky. You can repeat the trick. Go ahead and do it a third time. You won’t be wrong. The spectator will beg you to tell them how you do it. Let them suffer.

See more photos at Wink Fun.

Prankster Magic – fake box labels, awesome card tricks, and other tomfoolery

Prankster Magic includes some excellent card and coin tricks that kids can quickly learn. The illustrations are clear and appealingly cartoonish. Some of the tricks are “self-working,” while others require mastering basic sleight-of-hand.

The prank section is fun, too. The book comes with a fake piece of chewed-up pink bubblegum, with suggestions on where to put it for maximum entertainment value (like the screen of your big sister’s mobile phone).

Prankster Magic also includes two pages of phony labels that you can apply to food product boxes. I put a “98% Free of Small Bugs” sticker on a box of Cheerios and freaked out my 12-year-old daughter, wife, and sister-in-law. “Take it back to the store!” my wife said, alarm in her voice. Hahaha!

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Psychic Escape - my daughter's favorite magic trick

The Psychic Escape magic trick ($30) is a bit like the Block Escape I posted last week, but it's better. You don't have to hide the rings as they are put in the tube. In fact, the spectator can put them in the tube. And instead of selecting two colors, the spectator selects one. After all the rings are in the cylinder, the spectator puts the cap on. Then you thread a needle and cord through the rings via the holes on either end of the cylinder. When you open the brass tube, all the rings are on the string except for the spectator's selected ring, which drops to the table.

My 12-year-old says the Psychic Escape is her favorite trick. She wants me to buy one for her, but I said we could share this one, provided she doesn't get the string stained with chocolate pudding and spaghetti sauce when she takes it to school and shows it to kids at the lunch table.

Great magic trick: The Block Escape

The Block Escape is a great trick that even kids can perform with ease. This wood model, which cost $6, is an excellent deal.

Read the rest

Crazy Cube, a magic trick that lets you read minds

Like Jason's beloved Hot Rod, the Crazy Cube is an inexpensive and easy trick you can keep in your pocket and pester your friends with.

Tell the spectator to place the die in the small bottle with their selected number facing up (or down, which is what I prefer to tell them). Tell them to cap the bottle. Then, put the small bottle upside down into the larger bottle and cap it. Have them hold the jar. Look into their eyes, and after a non-creepy amount of time, tell them the number. You are right!

Here's a video:

Mephisto Spiral optical illusion

"The Mephisto Spiral is a neat toy that gives the illusion that you can continuously pull the two spiral halves apart."

It looks like 2 interlocking wire spirals. In your hands, the two spirals seem to wind together or wind apart, completely effortlessly. However when you hand the Mephisto Spiral over to someone else, they find that they cannot replicate the action – the two wire spirals are completely rigid.

Alternatively, by simply moving your hands in one direction, you can make the two spirals appear to unwind, yet however many times you repeat the action, the two spirals never come apart.

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Tally-Ho playing cards are great for magic tricks

As a practicing magician, playing cards are just one of the many tools in our “magical toolbox.” For the causal card player any pack of cards will most likely do. But for anyone who practices card magic or just plays a lot of card games, cards might be a subject of interest. If you’re looking for quality long-lasting budget playing cards, I highly recommend Tally-Ho cards. They’re inexpensive and can be subjected to being bent and abused, while maintaining their ease of handling. Tally-Hos’ durability can be attributed to its linoid finish, which also helps prevent the cards from sticking together. Unlike most other playing cards such as Bicycles or Bees, Tally-Hos are rather resistant to warping after heavy usage. In fact, a pack of Tally-Hos I own for five years and counting, still springs and fans just like it did first out of the box. -- Jefferson Deng

[The magicians who hang out at The Magic Cafe message board seem to agree that Tally Ho cards are more durable than Bicycle cards. Another interesting thing about these cards is that the Circle back design is slightly asymmetrical, which makes the cards useful for mentalism tricks. The one negative thing about Tally Ho cards is that spectators are usually more familiar with Bicycle cards and unfamiliarity raises suspicions about whether or not a deck is gimmicked. -- Mark] Tally Ho Circle Back Playing Cards ($6)