This packet trick was originally put out by Larry West and Arthur Emerson in the 1980's. At that time, E&W was producing so many packet tricks that it seemed like they would make a trick for any pictures they could print on a packet of playing cards. Why not one with Traffic Signal Lights? And so Tra-Fix was born.
But Tra-Fix was never very popular when it was released in the 1980ís. Probably because the handling supplied wasn't very good. (Bad, in fact!) The routine contained some glaring discrepancies, which pretty much gave away the nature of the gaffed card and eliminated any mystery.
Yet when Hampton Ridge re-issued a bunch of E&W packet tricks in 2005, they chose Tra-Fix as one of them. This was the first time I had ever seen the routine or props for this trick. Since I am a sucker for colorful cards with cute graphics, I decided to create my own handling, which (if I must say so) is very good. And certainly far superior to the original. If you buy Tra-Fix from TMGS (that's us), you'll get a full write-up of this new and improved handling, which not only makes Tra-Fix worth performing, but will probably make it a favorite of yours and your audiences.
The effect (as taught in the exclusive TMGS handling) is this:
Magi removes a three card packet from a vinyl wallet, and displays each card to the audience. The cards depict a traffic light, each card showing a different color light illuminated. Magi shows the red light card, yellow light card and green light card. The three cards are placed between the spectators palms, and you ask her to name aloud her favorite light color. Let's say she says Yellow. The magi reaches between her palms, and extracts the Yellow card. It is shown (truly a single card), and he makes whatever comment is appropriate based on her color choice. The magi then shares that his favorite color is Green. So he reaches in and removes the Green card -- again truly a single card, shown and together with the yellow, these two cards are placed back in the wallet. "So what does that leave between your hands?" The spectator answers "Red". "Which means it is time to Stop". The magi asks the spectator to open her hands, and she finds the Red Light has changed into a Stop sign. Of course, she wants to look at the back of the card, and when she does, she finds a picture of the BACK of a Stop sign.
This effect is more or less the same as what happens if you follow the handling in the original instructions, except the new TMGS handling totally removes any discrepancies that your audience would otherwise notice at critical times in the routine. Plus, the new handling puts the magic right into the spectator's hands, so the impact is MUCH stronger.
With the TMGS handling, Tra-Fix is (finally) a strong effect. The patter suggested in the TMGS routine has jokes that grown-ups will appreciate, but if you shift the patter to a "Safety" context, Tra-Fix is also good for kids, who will appreciate the safety message and the colorful pictures.
Poker sized cards with Hoyle back design. Brand new with original instructions (which you won't really want to use) and the instructions for the IMPROVED routine, which are only available here at TMGS.
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