Ironically, although I run a magic shop that sells thousands of magic tricks, with several new ones coming out every week, I’m actually a strong advocate for the classics of magic. Call me an old fogey, but I know what works for me. This philosophy of magic comes mainly from my 40+ years experience performing magic, mostly in parlour settings.

The magic trick industry is always trying to promote the ‘latest and greatest‘ trick, but in my opinion at least 80% of new releases are simply a variation on an existing classic magic effect. Almost always in magic releases there is nothing new under the sun. That being said, there are many excellent variations on existing tricks and routines.

There are a plethora of gimmicked card tricks and card decks out there, and many are excellent. But if you are proficient with a deck of cards in sleights and subtleties, you can perform miracles with simply a regular deck of cards. Personally, the only gimmicked deck I use regularly is The Invisible Deck, because it is a slayer! But I’ve also considered using a Marked Deck as well.

There are many types of magicians out there, but an important distinction is between the professional and the amateur. A professional magician often knows and performs fewer tricks than an amateur. Sounds counter-intuitive, but here’s why: a professional almost always performs for a different audience each time, and so has her set of 10 or 12 sure-fire effects to be repeated for each audience. The amateur usually performs for friends and work associates, and so he needs to come up with new tricks regularly to keep it fresh for his repeat audience. So amateur magicians have a greater need for the new tricks that are out there. Most professional magicians that I know almost never buy anything new for their show, with the exception of expendables (mouth coils, flash paper, thread) and some basic accessories (thumb tips, silks, etc).

Toys for magicians: If you like cool gimmicks, there are some amazing magical contraptions out there, and part of the fun of performing them is knowing the amazing mechanics behind the method. Tenyo has a great line of mechanical marvels, whose methods and workings are sometimes even better then the trick itself!

The best value if you want to have a large repertoire of tricks is, of course, books. One good magic book will contain dozens or even hundreds of fantastic magic tricks. Most books deal with close-up magic: mainly cards, then coinsand strings and rings, and there are plenty of mentalism books and stage magic books as well. If you don’t like learning from books, there are also DVDcollections which contain multiple tricks.

In my kids show, which is the bread and butter of my work, I do the linking rings(which I used to think were boring and old until I started performing it and saw the audience reaction). Of course I also perform the Sucker Die Box, which is a classic kids illusion for good reason, as well as an extended Professor’s Nightmare routine (thanks to Richard Sanders for his brilliant Fibre OpticsDVD), and I even perform the Chinese Sticks (Tissel Tassel), which gets great reactions.

So Todsky, if you are advocating books and DVDs and classic tricks, why do you have thousands of new tricks appearing on your magic store website every year? Well, for one, my main supplier of magic is the wholesaler Murphy’s Magic, and so my site is linked to theirs so I can offer a huge range of products, both classic and new. And there are many magicians out there who do require the latest thing, due to their performing situation. But also, even if only 20% of the new stuff is really good, it’s worth, in my opinion, sifting through the vast mines of magic to find a vein of gold. I’ve discovered some excellent tricks in this way that I have added to my repertoire, including the Rocket Book, which is a brilliant re-working of the colouring book principle.

And if you’re inventive and good at creating your own routines, I highly recommend getting the important stealth accessories, such as thumb tips, invisible thread, gaffed wallets, silks, sponge balls, and ropes.

To recommend close-up or card magic, there’s almost too much out there to wrap my brain around. Do you like gaffs, or do you prefer regular cards and coins and sleight of hand? Levitations? Wallets? Fire?

If you’re not sure what kind of magic you like, you might want to treat a magic store as a large buffet: sample different foods, and eventually you will discover your preferred cuisine.

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