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Magic Puzzle Arcs -- the classic boomerang trick

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One of my favorite early magic memories was showing people the Size changing Boomerang trick -- (known more scientifically as the Jastrow Illusion).  I got a set of the mysterious two arc-ed pieces of cardboard from sending in a box top from Chex cereal (I think), and they were included in my Chex Magic kit that came in the mail a few weeks later.

These sets of magic Boomerangs (or Puzzle Arcs) are not from the Chex Magic kit -- not sure who produced them, but I estimate they are from the 1980's.  I unearthed a few sets of these in a box of estate magic.    They are new and unused, since they were hiding away in a box for a few decades.

These Boomerangs are short and wide -- you can look on the magic discussion threads to see the debate of whether short, fat boomerangs make for a more startling illusion than longer, thin boomerangs.   (The debate seems split about 50/50, but I find these sets are certainly just as deceptive as my old Chex set that were long and thin, -- the illusion created by these short fat little arcs is truly amazing!)

Most magi know the effect:  the two arcs are placed side by side,  (as in the photo) and one appears longer.  But when the positions of the arcs are switched, the shorter one now appears longer.   In the end, the arcs can be shown to be exactly the same size -- which is about 3 inches long.

I still use this effect a lot -- not as "magic", but as an introduction to perception and how we cannot always trust our eyes.   The theme of perception and/or mis-perception is then carried through my set as show the audience more magical effects.     In a less formal setting, they make a great conversation starter about perception, "seeing is not believing" etc that can open the door to show some magic tricks!

As they do with many "beginner's tricks" or "easy tricks", most magicians pass this one by -- but if you show it to lay audiences, you may be surprised that they talk more about the boomerangs than about your perfectly executed rendition of Rollover Aces.   

You get the two boomerang arcs and original instructions. 

Old dealer inventory, (circa 1980s) but brand new and unused with original instruction sheet.

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