Like many magicians, I have a keen interest in and curiosity about science and optical principles. So I think this set from Marvin's Magic and Dr. Richard Wiseman is really cool. Although it is perfect for a younger magician, older magi (like myself) will have fun with it and also find a few nice performance items for your repertoire.
Favorites of mine from the kit:
a truly weird optical deception where your spectator looks at six "head shots" of various people -- you orient the photos upside down to the spectator's viewpoint, and she chooses one of the photos. When the photos are turned right-sdie up for the spectator, she finds the one that she chose is very weird -- with backwards and upside down facial features (which she did not see as wrong before)
The Jerry Andrus spiral illusion, in which a spectator's skin appears to crawl after she stares into the spinning disc and then looks at her hand. Reverse the disc, spin it, and after staring at it, she looks at your head, which seems to expand and grow huge before her eyes.
There is an excellent version of the geometric vanish -- with a Vanishing elephant theme. The four puzzle pieces are assembled into a square, and there's a box with an elelphant picture in the middle. The pieces are picked up, and then reassembled, and (although the puzzle dimensions are the same), there is now a square hole in the middle where the elephant was!
Other nifty items in the kit include: a version of the classic Martin Gardner Vanishing leprechauns, this one using pencils instead of leprechauns; the bean in the bottle trick, a version of the Devil's Hook that uses a bird that will balance on almost anything by its beak; a packet of optical illusion cards, and a really neat photgraphic optical illusion in which a box seems to float in a photograph (see the photo I took of this completely flat, 2-dimensional drawing); fish-themed boomerang illusion, and other puzzles that don't come to my mind right now. Suffice to say there's a lot of stuff in this box.
I leave a few of the puzzles and illusions on the end table in my living room, and when I have guests, they never fail to get people talking about illusion and magic, which of course is my opening to show some other magic from my repertoire.
It is all very nicely produced, and well taught by Wiseman on the accompanying DVD. The photos show the kit from my own magic collection. The one you will receive is brand new, still sealed and unused.
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