Steve Valentine has been hard at work on his digital streaming magic instruction service Magic on the Go, a platform that puts tons of tricks and real instruction right at your fingertips, wherever you are. That said, he’s still got a bunch of physical DVDs and gaffs kicking around in his inventory, and he’d like some help making them disappear.
Valentine’s just launched a flash sale on his website where you can save up to $50 on all of his material. You can grab a brick of five Valentine playing card decks for $30 (normally $50), the Tom Stone-endorsed Cloth DVD set for $30 (normally $50), or get C2P, a seven-DVD set of expert card magic instruction for only $100 (normally $150).
All of this and more is available on Steve Valentine’s website until supplies last – as of this writing, his mind-reading magic trick Booked! is already out of stock, so if you see something you like, grab it while you can.
As always, you can subscribe to Magic on the Go for $29.99 a month, or $120 for a full year of streaming magic goodness.
Vanishing Inc has a new DVD available that sounds as refreshing as a pint of hefeweizen on a spring evening. It’s a four-part collection called Magic on Tap from German magician Denis Behr. Magic on Tap focuses on tricks with playing cards, and you can pre-order the set for DVD or download for $75. It will ship on March 26.
Magic on Tap offers full instruction for 17 routines that Behr uses, including new material that you won’t find in his Handcrafted Card Magic books. The set also includes Behr’s full stage show that he performs at the Krist and Münch Theatre in Munich so you can see the tricks in action.
We’ll drink to that.
Luke Korem’s documentary Dealt is a fascinating glimpse into the incredible life of “card mechanic” Richard Turner and his quest for perfection in spite of a condition that has left him legally blind. And while the film has seen limited showing in theaters across the country and has been available to rent or purchase via digital platforms, details about a physical DVD release have been scarce – until now.
MPI Media Group has confirmed via Twitter that Dealt is now available to purchase on DVD thanks to a collaboration with distributor IFC Films.
— MPI Media Group (@MPIMediaGroup) February 19, 2018
MPI Media Group’s website shows that the disc is currently available for pre-order for $24.99 despite a release date of February 13. Meanwhile, Amazon lists the film available for $19.96, but with a shipping time of around one to four weeks. Perhaps the limited distribution has effected stock, and they’re currently unable to keep up with demand. Either way, if you’re looking to get your hands on a physical copy of the film, make sure you order now so a copy can get shipped to you as soon as it’s available.
If you’re just looking to get your feet wet in magic, or if you want a way to easily impress friends when you’re at their houses, Joel Ward has the DVD for you. The magician just released an instructional DVD called Simple Magic, and it teaches 10 tricks that can be performed with common household items. It’s billed as “For Non-Magicians,” so we’re thinking these tricks won’t be requiring any advanced sleight of hand or complicated misdirection. Pick up the DVD for $20 on his website.
Joel Ward has done a few notable television performances, including on Comedy Central programs, The Tonight Show, and Penn & Teller Fool Us. Here he is on Fool Us performing a fun, tennis-inspired act. (This is probably a wee bit more advanced than what he’ll show you in Simple Tricks.)
It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like magic, but what do you get someone who loves magic? We’ve compiled a few of our favorite gift ideas from some of the most interesting corners of the internet for magic fans of any interest or skill level, whether they know how to do a proper Faro shuffle or simply appreciate the art of illusion. These gifts go beyond your standard grocery store magic kit, offering a bounty of DVDs, books, tricks, playing cards, and much more. Give the gift of magic this holiday season with our suggestions below.
Price: $35 for digital only or $58 for print and digital
We admit, we’re a bit biased, but you’d be hardpressed to find a better monthly magazine out there covering magicians and their craft. Each issue is loaded with articles, tricks, interviews, reviews, and so much more, and features columns by some of the greatest magicians who have ever lived. Your subscription doesn’t just get you new content, either; you’ll gain access to over 80 years of back issues, and all digital issues from 2011 onward contain exclusive audio and visual supplements. It’s nearly a century of magic history, right at your fingertips.
Magic kits come in all shapes and sizes and often range wildly in quality. Not wanting to recommend any old box full of plastic, we’ve picked out the Facinatrix Kit from Fantasma Magic. It contains a bunch of tricks—over 200, the box boasts—and many of them the kind you don’t typically find in your run of the mill magic kit, including linking rings, bitten-and-restored cookies, a mirror box, and even a trick to perform with your smartphone. It’s a bit pricier than the average magic kit, but the Fantasma line is the only one endorsed by the International Brotherhood of Magicians, so you know it’s legit. Perfect for kids or kids-at-heart.
If you’re looking for a magic kit that’s a little less flashy, a little more professional, this is the one to go with. The heart of the set are two DVDs filled with tons of great instruction, ramping up in difficulty from easy, virtually self-working tricks to more difficult, mind-boggling fare. The kit itself is customizable, too—purchase either DVD separately, or combine them and a box of gimmicks to save money on the whole set.
Looking for a quick bundle of goodies but aren’t sure what to get? Grab a Christmas stocking from Ellusionist filled to the brim with playing cards, including Black Tiger, Blood Kings V2 (or Black Rounders if sold out), Blue Keepers, Rockets, and Roadhouse. Act fast because once they’re gone, they’re gone, and Ellusionist has already sold out of its Magic Christmas Stocking bundle.
Price: $9.95 for the deck of cards, or $149.95 for the Lockbox
What’s in the box? Well, they’re playing cards, but each deck is individually wrapped and sealed to give it some added mystique. The Mystery Box deck is designed in conjunction with J.J. Abrams’ production house Bad Robot, with art direction by Abrams and Theory11 CEO Jonathan Bayme. Grab a deck, or spring for the Lockbox, which includes 12 decks of cards inside a handcrafted box made out of 100-year-old reclaimed wood and sealed with an alpha-numeric lock.
Sure, you could just hand someone a deck of cards, but why not make them work for it? The Outlaws Vault is a fiendishly challenging puzzle box, built out of Raintree wood and covered in all kinds of mysterious locks and symbols. It’ll take all the logic at your disposal to crack it open, but once you solve it, you’ll be rewarded with two decks of Outlaws playing cards—the original and the crimson variant—as well as a challenge coin to show off how smart you are.
If the mentalist in your life is looking for an upgrade to their standard impression pad, look no further than Parapad. Its slick design looks classy without appearing obvious, and more importantly, it just works. The $69.95 price tag gives you enough paper to perform this routine over a hundred times, and even includes an instructional video to teach you everything you need to know to perform this trick flawlessly.
Price: $120 (currently on sale for $99)
Shin Lim’s 52 Shades of Red is a stunning work of magic and performance art, and with this starter kit, you can learn how to do it yourself. The kit includes the full second version of Lim’s signature act, twice as many Shim magnets (each one the thickness of a single playing card), as well as the vanish/reappear trick Gone Deck. Stocks are running low, but if it sells out, don’t worry—version three of 52 Shades of Red is arriving on December 8.
This is perhaps the weirdest, most gorgeously off-kilter deck of playing cards we’ve ever seen at GeniiOnline. Developed in conjunction with Stranger & Stranger, the Ultimate Deck features 54 playing cards, each one featuring wholly unique artwork. The three of spades incorporates a charcoal drawing of a skull into the card; the ace of spades features a drawing of a massive, trimmed hedge with the roots exposed. There’s no other deck of cards quite like this one.
The first part in a planned trilogy from actor and magician Neil Patrick Harris, The Magic Misfits isn’t just a whimsical tale of a young runaway illusionist finding adventure with a gang of, well, misfits. It’s also filled with games, secret codes, and even instructions to make and perform your own magic tricks. Perfect for middle graders, but no judgements from us if you decide to sneak in some reading when your kids aren’t looking.
Another ingenious book combining storytelling and puzzle-solving, The Maze of Games is a massive tome filled with crosswords, riddles, logic puzzles, and of course, mazes. It tells the story of two teenagers living in Victorian England, trapped in a menacing, puzzle-filled labyrinth. Each page of the book has a different conundrum that must be conquered before the kids can continue their journey. What makes The Maze of Games so great is that the writing is approachable for youngsters but the puzzles remain vexing enough to challenge even the most ardent sleuth.
The Expert at the Card Table by S.W. Erdnase has been one of the foremost authorities on card manipulation for over a century, and it’s old enough that cheap paperback versions of it abound at bookstores and on the internet. Why not give this classic the appreciation it deserves with this special, faux-leather pocket edition from Dan & Dave? It’s called the Erdnase Bible for a reason: it’s printed on thin gilt edged pages, contains line numbers for easy reference, and even features a ribbon for keeping your place.
Jim Steinmeyer is one of the foremost experts on magic history and the craft of illusion design, and his book explores the life and legacy of Howard Thurston—a man who during his time achieved greater heights of fame than Houdini but has since lived in his shadow. A book as much about the history of two great magicians as it is the psychological battle waged between them, The Last Greatest Magician in the World is vital for anyone wanting to learn more about the Golden Age of Magic.
One thing is certain: the Golden Age of Magic from the late 19th to early 20th century had the best posters. The McCord Museum in Quebec compiled hundreds of broadsheets and documents of the era in an exhibit called the Illusions: The Art of Magic. If you weren’t able to make it up to Canada (or simply love old-timey artwork), Abrams Books has reproduced more than 250 illustrations from the full exhibit in a lovely coffee table book.
Max Maven has been wowing audiences for decades with his brand of mentalism, and now, he’s finally revealing the methods to many of his signature routines. Kayfabe is a four-DVD box set filled with nine hours of videos, with detailed instructions and performance advice, as well as interviews and documentaries about one of magic’s most enduring performers.
Price: $15 ($20 signed)
Our Magic is a documentary made by magicians, for magicians and anyone else who appreciates magic as a serious art form. The two-disc DVD set contains the documentary, filmed over the course of 18 months with conjurers from all over the world, as well as bonus extra features that include interviews cut from the final film. Pick up a signed copy for that extra-special touch.
Price: $175 ($200 for custom wands)
There are magic wands and then there are magic wands, and the Levit Wand is definitely the latter. Each signature wand is hand-crafted over two days with blackwood, faux ivory, and cocobolo, or can be custom ordered and fashioned with a variety of high-quality woods and acrylics.
Price: £30 (about $40USD)
The Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibit is in full swing at the British Library, but if you can’t make it to the UK by Christmas, you can do the next best thing and order the official exhibit book instead. Filled with write-ups and images of ancient historical artifacts, as well as concept art and sample manuscripts from J.K. Rowling’s seminal fantasy, Harry Potter: A History of Magic is a perfect gift for Potterheads and magic fans alike. (Sidenote: There is another, very similar edition of this book also curated by the British Library more readily available in the United States called Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic, but it’s about 30 pages shorter and only available in paperback. I have no idea whether that’s because content has been removed or just formatted differently, so buyer beware.)
Lev Grossman’s hit fantasy series The Magicians tells the story of Quentin Coldwater, a young genius who discovers that magic is real and Fillory, the magical realm from books he loved as a child, is an actual place. It may take place at a school for magicians, but this is no Harry Potter wannabe; the stakes are very high and nobody’s chugging butterbeer. Grab all three entries in the trilogy in this swanky box set of trade paperbacks (or pick up the hardcover editions here for a little more cash).
The world’s first comic book hero is having his magical exploits from the 1930s reprinted in a series of wonderful hardcover editions. This one contains Mandrake’s first Sunday story, but there are a variety of other compilations available from different eras of Mandrake’s legacy.
Max Maven is easily one of the most prolific and influential mentalists in modern magic history, and an upcoming DVD box set will let viewers in on some of his longest-held secrets.
The set is called Kayfabe, a word that loosely translates to ‘secrets’ or, as used in other professions, the staging of fabricated events or actions that are treated as honest or genuine. It’s a four-disc set produced by the Essential Magic Collection with over nine hours of some of Max Maven’s most memorable routines, complete with presentations on method, staging, and performance.
Sample tricks include:
SPY STORY, in which a spectator joins you in an adventure in espionage as a location, time, an amount of money and a shape are chosen. All four have been predicted in the mission instructions given to your spy. You’ll love the finesse that Max brings to this item.
RORRIM is a stunning coincidence effect, a stage routine in which you become the spectator’s doppelganger. Under test conditions, he chooses two cards and places each in one of his pockets. Despite the utter freedom of the procedure, you reveal not only the cards but also which pockets he placed them in.
ABOUT FACE is an applause-pulling psychometry routine in which you correctly guess which spectators made which drawings. A direct method, entertaining premise and smart staging have made it a strong item in Max’s repertoire for many years.
Also included are interviews with Max Maven himself, as well as Fabulous Monster, a documentary about the storied life and career of the mentalist. The set also features subtitles in English, French, Spanish, and Japanese.
Kayfabe is currently available for pre-order on the Essential Magic Collection website for €125 with a worldwide release of November 24. It’s also available for pre-order on Penguin Magic, Vanishing Inc., and wherever else magic products are sold for $150.
It doesn’t get much more legendary than Juan Tamariz. This five DVD set covers more than two dozen tricks and techniques from Tamariz’s repertoire, including some he’s never published before. The final DVD in the set includes a master class in which he talks about the deaf technique for the first time.
Looking to learn a new trick or two on the cheap? Vanishing Inc. has you covered with a surprise flash sale. Pick up books, DVDs, accessories, decks of cards and more to fill out your bag of tricks at hefty discounts—but you’ll have to act fast, because the sale will only last for a limited time.
Some recommended products include Sentio, a gimmick that allows you to mark cards right under a subject’s nose—normally $25, pick it up today for only $10! Or snag the Phoneomenon DVD—retail price $29.95, on sale for $10—which teaches you how to make any prediction appear on a stranger’s smartphone, a trick featured on David Blaine’s Drowned Alive special.
There are all kinds of cool things on sale, from instructional books to back issues of Magic Magazine and Reel Magic Quarterly, and so much more. There’s no information on when the sale ends, so you’ll have to get in there and grab what you can before these prices disappear.