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Steve Brooks
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Most of you are no doubt familiar with Brother John Hamman's classic trick Micro Macro. In it, a miniature deck was spread and compared to four regular size cards which were held in a fan. Suddenly the regular size cards all changed into miniatures! Then, the miniature spread was closed. When it was re-spread, all the cards had changed to regular size cards, except for one selected card! This was a really fun effect, and a real fooler. Smile

Then around 1995 Mike Powers introduced an effect called Diminishing Returns which was based on Micro Macro, but took the effect a step further. It was a very popular item with magicians, and I even recall seeing it performed on television. Mike has decided to re-release this item, using Bicycle faces, and combining it with another effect called The Defective Deck. Mike was kind enough to drop me one in the mail, so I thought I would share with you my thoughts. Smile

Diminishing Returns/The Defective Deck by Mike Powers


Effect: You display the fronts and backs of a deck of cards to the audience. A spectator simply names any card they like, you remove the named card and set it aside face-up. You now spread the deck on the table and somehow the entire deck has visibly shrunk to half of its original size! The selected card is now the biggest card in the deck. Just when the audience catches their breath, the entire deck grows back to its normal size, and now the selected card has shrunk! To finish, the selected card visibly grows back to normal size!


As a bonus, the new
Diminishing Returns now includes a FREE bonus effect...The Defective Deck The performer explains to the audience the meaning of the famous Bicycle guarantee card, which assures the purchaser that any defective cards will be replaced. Next, the magician displays several cards in the deck that all have manufacturing errors. Some with missing pips, others printed using the wrong colored ink, and so on.One by one, the performer magically and visually repairs all the defective cards, restoring them to their normal state! Smile


I will tell you right now that both of these effects are real winners. Starting with Diminishing Returns, I think that this would make a great finale in any close-up set. There are no real difficult sleights used, but you will need to rehearse this many times to get the exact timing down. The effect is very strong, so much so that good audience management will be required in order to keep those curious hands from grabbing the deck. Thus as stated above, I would elect to use this one as a closer. Smile

The Defective Deck (Who's title is borrowed from my good friend Tom Frame ) is a rock'em sock'em routine that will absolutely slay a lay audience. If you can do a swing cut and a double lift, you are already prepared to kill! The sequence of events is mind boggling, each one being a little better then the previous. Your spectators will be scratching their heads for days over this one. All you need is a red backed Bicycle deck, and the crazy gaffed cards that Mr. Powers provides.

Obviously you'll need to practice (but shouldn't you anyway?), and the rewards will be great, believe me. As a card worker, I was having fun with just the first walk thru on this one. If nothing else, having the cool Bicycle cards is worth the price of the package alone, as there are soooo many possibilities. I actually prefer this effect over Diminishing Returns.

The instructions Mike provides for both tricks are clear and very easy to follow, and include great illustrations by Rose Rings. In addition, should you have trouble learning either effect, Mike provides killer customer support via his website. But honestly, I do not believe you will need it. Both tricks are pretty much idiot proof. Seperate, both provide great value for your magical dollar. Together as a package, this combination simply can't be beat! Highly Recommended! Smile

My rating:

Available from your favorite dealer. Dealers should contact Murphy's Magic Supplies, Inc.,

Suggested retail (both packaged together) $20.00

If ordered directly from Mike, for a limited time he will also pay the postage! Foreign orders add $7.50 Airmail.

Mike Powers Magic
1701 Monroe Street La Porte, In. 46350
Phone/Fax: (219)325-8120

You can also contact Mike Powers directly at:
To visit Mike Powers' site: Click here!
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
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