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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Gaffed & Funky » » Tv commercials and the Svengali deck? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Vater Araignee
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Ok I was doing an ambitious card for my father using a Svengali deck and he was being shocked then one of my rings snagged the deck and I dropped about ten.
Well he snatched up the cards and got a bright look in his eyes "They use to sell these on TV when I was a kid."
Now what I want to know is, is this true? If it is then the ramifications are honestly staggering.
"Good enough never is." - Vater Araignee
sethb
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Yes, the Svengali Deck was sold on TV in the 1960's and 70's as "Magic Cards," by a magician named Marshall Brodien. Why is that staggering?

In fact, the Svengali Deck has been around for about 100 years, and started to be sold in volume in the late 1930's at the 1939 World's Fair, I believe. It is a standard pitch item and an excellent trick if you learn how to handle the deck naturally and can do a good deck switch (and don't drop any cards!)

The Svengali Deck is a classic that will never grow old. Potential new Svengali watchers/buyers are being born every day, which is a good thing for Svengali pitchmen! SETH
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Reis O'Brien
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For such a creepy looking chap, you sure are easily staggered. They are still sold in the toy sections of Wal-mart under Brodien's TV Magic Cards brand name.

Heck... I bought first deck at a dollar store and it actually said "Trick magic cards!" on the box.

Perhaps you should just wear less jewelry.
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honus
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I still have a pack of "TV Magic Cards" (and yes, it does say that on the box!) as well as "TV Mystery Cards" (Svengalis that turn blank). Marshall Brodien's commercials are one of the things that got me into magic in the first place. His stuff is now sold through Cadaco.

Marshall was also Wizzo the Wizard on Bozo's Circus.
Vater Araignee
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Ok when I said " the ramifications are honestly staggering " I meant in terms of using exposed tricks and how quickly people forget.
If somebody would have told me they where sold on TV when I got my first deck I would have put them in the trash.
That would have been perfectly good magic down the drain.
Quote:
On 2006-05-09 17:05, Reis O'Brien wrote:
For such a creepy looking chap,
Thanks!!

Quote:
Perhaps you should just wear less jewelry.

I get very nervous performing for my pop, He likes magic but when its me I never know when he is going to try to foil me and it causes me to screw up. With other people I just don't worry about that. Plus I do take one of my rings off. *snicker*
"Good enough never is." - Vater Araignee
sethb
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Quote:
On 2006-05-16 04:41, Vater Araignee wrote:
Ok when I said " the ramifications are honestly staggering " I meant in terms of using exposed tricks and how quickly people forget. If somebody would have told me they where sold on TV when I got my first deck I would have put them in the trash.
That would have been perfectly good magic down the drain.

Even though I dislike exposure, that's why it doesn't bother me too much anymore.

Magic is a new experience for each new generation. Or, as W.C. Fields once said, "There's a sucker born every minute." SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
NeoMagic
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Here's something Derek Dingle said in an interview published in Genii shortly after his death:

"I don't think any exposure over the years has had a detrimental effect on magic. If you expose something, magicians think of something else to replace it. For instance, there's a Svengali Deck on the market that's on TV a lot called 'TV Magic Cards'. People have probably been buying that deck in hundreds of thousands all over the world for the last 50 years. I guarantee you that any magician can fool an audience with that deck. Just knowing a secret is not the big thing about magic; presentation, the way you do it, is the important thing." (Genii magazine, May 2004, p.47)
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Pete Biro
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I remember visiting Marshall Brodien some years ago and he took me to a wherehouse where he kept his TV Magic Cards. It was a huge building and there must have been a million decks of cards on pallets stacked high everywhere.

I said, "Yikes, you don't think you have too much stock do you?"

His answer, "This is only half the order."
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Brad Burt
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Mr. Brodien is a marketing genius. From what I have heard over the years he made a fortune on TV Magic Cards, the Svengali Deck and then lost it on TV Miracle Cards which was a Stripper Deck. Made back on a magic set, etc. The list he generated off the TV sales has to have been worth millions in back end sales. Although it may not seem it magic probably owes a huge debt of gratitude to Mr. Brodien for popularizing it to a wider audience. Folks that love magic, but are not magicians love to watch magic, etc. Best,
Brad Burt
Stevethomas
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Let us not forget the "TV Mystery Cards"...the blank deck. Still have all my ORIGINAL TV Magic stuff around from the 1970's!

Steve
Hushai
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Has anyone ever actually SEEN anyone performing with TV Magic Cards, besides on the old commercials on television? They are marked "TV Magic Cards" on their backs, so it shouldn't be too hard to spot them. Obviously they sell. But, do you know of anyone who uses them in performance, even to family and friends?
sethb
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Didn't David Copperfield use "TV Magic Cards" on his last network special? <grin>
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Magic Patrick
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Vater Araignee,

If you don't like using your Svengali deck then buy some roughing spray and make it into a mirage deck. It is more deceptive and will fool anyone who has or knows how the Svengali deck works. What I like about that is that you can show all the cards as different by fanning them face up. Just a thought.

Patrick
ringmaster
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[quote]On 2006-05-16 09:20, sethb wrote:

Magic is a new experience for each new generation. Or, as W.C. Fields once said, "There's a sucker born every minute." SETH
[/quote ]P.T.Barnum said that. Fields did say"never give a sucker an even break and never smarten up a chump".
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sethb
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Ringmaster, thanks for the correction; now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure that you're right. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Hushai
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Quote:
On 2006-05-25 17:57, sethb wrote:
Didn't David Copperfield use "TV Magic Cards" on his last network special? <grin>




I must have missed that. Smile
DonDriver
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"There's a sucker born every minute." P.T.Barnum said that.

That's the most miss quote of all time. P.T.Barnum NEVER said that.
daffydoug
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Who did?
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Marvello
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Quote:
On 2006-05-26 21:55, daffydoug wrote:
Who did?


A banker named David Hannum, in regards to the cardiff giant. Hannum was an investor in a display of the giant, and he was under the mistaken impression that his Cardiff giant was authentic. He was referring to the thousands of "fools" that paid money to see Barnum's "fake" and not his "authentic" one.
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daffydoug
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Tha'ts amazing!
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
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