I'm a huge fan of the Emerson & West packet tricks. As a young magician in the late 1970's and early 1980's, these packet tricks (along with those of Trost and Goldstein) literally taught me how to do card magic. They forced me to learn necessary sleights, yes, but they also made it easy and convenient for me to always carry a couple of tricks in my pocket, so I gained confidence as a performer by taking out my little vinyl packet wallet and showing some strong magic whenever someone said "Do a Trick!"
I thought I knew all of the E&W line-up, but here I am, 40 years later, and I discover one I never heard of. This one is called Here's HOW, by Walt Maddison. I imagine that this trick was put out after the success of E&W's The Whole Thing, because the two tricks have a lot in common. (Or maybe this one inspired The Whole Thing... not sure which cam first.) That said, Here's HOW is not as good a trick as The Whole Thing. It is very strange, and the magical effect is pretty obscure. (see Effect below) But this is a RARE find for anyone interested in the history of packet trick magic, or the collector of vintage packet effects.
EFFECT: magi shows three cards with blue backs. He turns one faceup and it is printed with a strange abstract design (see photo). He shows a second card and it also has this wierd design, and finally one more card is shown to have this abstract design. A magical gesture, and when a card is shown again, the abstract design has changed into another similar (but different) abstract design. This is repeated with the other cards -- one of them changing almost visibly via a standard color change move. In the end, one of the cards is suddenly seen to have a large HOLE in the middle of it. And although blue backs are seen throughout, the holed card is turned over to show a red back, and the word HOW printed on it. (Patter tie-in is that this is HOW the trick works!)
I told you it was weird.
The reason I think this trick is more collectible than performable: the abstract design changes are not distinct enough to guarantee the audience clearly sees the change. And the handling is a bit contrived. I had to read the instructions about 4 times before I think I got it right. So I doubt that anyone would want to show this to a "real" audience. But as a collectible, it is something that few others will have, and all other collectors will be very interested in looking at.
It is new-old dealer stock, so it is complete with instructions, cards, Q-card, wallet, outer vinyl package sleeve -- exactly as issued 35+ years ago. (Even has the extra Q-card depicting how to set up the cards to start. This must have been included because of how confusing the instructions are!) HOWEVER, PLEASE NOTE: the back of one of the blue abstract cards has some darkened smudges, not sure what this came from. So I am listing this as slightly damaged at a reduced price.
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