Briefly, I’m always looking for innovation, but what really brings all of these products to the top is that they feature material that is useful to magicians as well as plots that should naturally connect with audiences. In many cases, I speak from personal experience on the effectiveness of these effects.
With this in mind, here are my top ten magic products of 2012 (in alphabetical order):
While many will probably overlook this one, I recommend it because I thought it sounded strong on paper and after trying it out, confirmed that it really connected with audiences. In fact, this is one that I now often perform. I like the way that the effect involves two people and has those multiple revelations at the end that build on top of each other. You can read my review here.
Here’s one that may not sound all that impressive on the surface, but I can tell you that it’s a crowd pleaser. This effect by Daryl has you recreating your first magic trick as a baby. And with this in mind, the sounds from your baby rattle and squeaky ball go crazy. While it’s a bit bulky to carry around for strolling, I’ve managed to bring it out at my restaurants where it’s been getting great reactions. You can read my review here.
Card Artistry by Justin Flom
Here’s something that is innovative and different. If you’ve heard of painting by numbers, this is something akin to painting with playing cards. It’s not practical for strolling situations but it’s great for a formal close-up show. You can read my review here.
Essentials in Magic
In the past, experienced magicians could always recommend books such as Bobo, Mark Wilson and more to beginning magicians. And while these remain great resources, the new “Essentials in Magic” set of DVDs offers informative and foundational instruction on a variety of props that include: linking rings, Svengali deck, stripper deck and more (sold separately). At $9.95 each and with Daryl acting as your on-screen teacher, beginners can’t go wrong with these first rate titles. You can read my reviews here (linking rings) and here (svengali deck).
If you’ve ever wanted to employ an index, or perhaps you already rely on one, you will want to check out “Index-Terity,” an excellent book by George Parker and Lawrence Hass. The book comes with materials to make three indexes that can hold playing cards, billets and small objects and the index itself is innovative in its approach - you won’t be fumbling around with your hand in your pocket. You can read my review here.
More Power to You: The Very Best of David Acer
Here’s a book that is a blast to read and it’s filled with great material. It’s from the brilliant and unpredictable David Acer and this one is really good. You can read my review here.
The Multiple Revelation Project by Andi Gladwin and Rob James
This is a DVD that I wish existed when I was first starting out in magic. This title not only teaches how to perform a “multiple revelation” card trick where several spectators choose cards and the magician reveals each in stunning ways, it offers excellent instruction and teaches lots of techniques. I may have a weakness for this subject material, but the instruction is first rate. You can read my review here.
Now Look Here by Chad Long
One more effect that I’ve been using a lot. This one is hard hitting and features built-in humor. You can read my review here.
The Show Doctor
When entertaining audiences, the ability to connect and present magic is far more important than the moves and methods. For this, Jeff McBride’s excellent “The Show Doctor” is almost required reading for anyone who wants to entertain with magic. You can read my review here.
The Treachery of Tricks
Francis Menotti delivered one of 2012's finest instructional DVDs. The title not only offers lots of insights into performing magic and entertaining with it, but he also teaches clever methods and moves. You can read my review here.