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Wild Wild West (original Larry West set, 1970s)


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As a young magician in the late 1970's and early 1980's, packet tricks 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!"

Of course (along with Phil Goldstein's and Nick Trost's packets), the main source of my packet magic was Emerson and West.  They issued a nice version of Larry West's "Wild Wild West", and I always thought that West created it for especially for the E&W line-up.  But recently I came across this very early version of the effect, which Larry West was selling in the early 1970's before he teamed up with Art Emerson.    

The E&W version of this trick is hard to find.  But this pre-E&W, "Larry West only" version is something I had never seen in 40+ years of collecting and selling vintage magic.     So packet collectors should take note!

This is West's fancy take on the wild card theme, with a bit of Color Monte thrown in, and a bit of the old Eye Doctor's Dilemma effect by Aldini, sort of.     

Not sure why this trick was not more well-known, because the effect is filled with multiple magical moments, and a great surprise finish.  Perhaps because the packet includes 10 cards (none being held secretly, but openly uses 10 cards), it seemed complicated.  Perhaps the multiple magical moments also made the effect seem complicated.   But it is actually pretty straight forward.    

EFFECT:  magi shows ten cards -- nine have a blue diamond on their face, and one a has red diamond.   The red diamond is mixed among the blues, and the spectator tries to guess which one it is.  But she finds a blue card.   When the blue card is placed on the table, the other nine cards are now seen to be RED diamonds.  (Magical Moment #1).   To make it easier, the magi shows five of the reds, and sets them aside, and then mixes the blue among the four remaining reds.  The spectator is successful in divining the location of the blue card this time  (M M #2)     Finally the blue card is placed on the table and the remaining four cards are waved over it.  They turn into four fifths of a royal flush, and the blue card turns into the final flush card.  (M M #3)

The routine deserved more attention than it got, as it is is very well-constructed and very surprising.  Made with bridge size Fox Lake cards, which West had specially printed -- no stickers on blank cards here.  They are custom printed cards.

This set is in very good condition, the cards still handle and look great -- ( a couple of the colorful diamonds show some very minor "rub").  It also has the the original package envelope and instructions -- the instruction pages are done on a 1970's photocopier, so they have that look and feel of very old copies from those days.  These old copies were the instruction sheets that the trick was issued with.

 A great effect, and also a rare find for collectors of vintage packet magic.    Get this for your collection and even for your repertoire -- it is a great performance piece.

previously owned, but in excellent condition, complete with original props and original instructions and package envelope as issued

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