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Profile of magical_kid
I was wondering, what is the BEST close-up trick ever? I THINK ITS ACROBATIC MATCHBOX. Please post your comments.
Andrew E. Miller
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Profile of Andrew E. Miller
One of the best close-up tricks is (I can't really say what I think is the absolute one)...Any effect using an impossible location, something with signatures, or something like Paul Harris' Deep Astonishment.
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Profile of Dynamike
Magicians and spectators have different taste. The favorite to me is with sponges. I have dozens of routines.
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Profile of maratekin
Hi, Magical Kid -

A very good close-up trick that uses a few sleights but leaves you clean is Emerson & West's "Color Monte;" it's fun to do, has a good patter line, and isn't horribly difficult. If you plan to do it much, I'd recommend buying two, as I found the colors tended to fade (and stick to the other cards - maybe a function of always carrying it with me!).

You might also want to invest in a thumb tip and get a booklet on the various tricks that can be done with this utility item.

Finally, I'm a big fan of rubber band magic. My most recent purchase is Elastrix 2, which covers a gamut of effects and is quite affordable at US$15. You get a lot of tricks (and some variation) for this investment, and the props are usually very easy to find and lend themselves to seemingly impromptu tricks.

Just some of my thoughts - good luck!

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Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
The Pot-Hole Trick is awfully good.
Pin Demonium
A well done ring & string seems strong Hand Crafted Magic
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The IMP BOTTLE of course.......just kidding, but rather amazing when I was 8 years old (40 years ago......sigh).
I keep revising my favorite, but I like Ultimate 3-fly, card to wallet (palm or no-palm), Kolossal Killer, and recently, Bicycle Thief.
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Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
I don't understand a no-palm card-to-wallet.
how does that work.

is there chewing gum on the back of the wallet and it sticks to the top card of the deck when you set it down?

I use the wakeman wallet.

I don't get it!

What is Kolossal Killer? I've seen this name before but would like to know the effect.

frank Hand Crafted Magic
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Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
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Profile of Pete Biro
Kolossal Killer is featured by Terry Seabrooke (and others). You hand spectator a wallet to hold.


You take the wallet (nothing palmed) and take an envelope out of the wallet and it contains the named card.

Believe me it is a mind boggler. Smile
Scott F. Guinn
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Profile of Scott F. Guinn
Strongest close up trick? Depends on the venue, but I'd say it's a toss up between cups and balls/chop cup and sponges.
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Profile of joseph
I like mismade $$ and twisted sisters. Smile
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Dennis Loomis
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1943 - 2013
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Profile of Dennis Loomis
"Best" has more to do with the performance than the props, of course, but I'd go with a signed card to wallet or perhaps a sponge ball (or rabbits) routine.

To Frank: There are MANY non-palm card to wallet effects. If the card is not signed, this can be as simple as forcing a dupe of a card already in your wallet. You can do a torn corner effect with the Intercessor where the card ends up in your wallet, or you can do a sleight of hand corner switch.

The standard Mullica Wallet comes to mind for a SIGNED card to wallet effect. Another great card to wallet with a non-signed card is to have a card in your wallet, and a deck missing that card. You use the Fiedler Flyer Gimmick on the back of a Joker or Credit card. Now, the freely (?) selected card ends up in your wallet and the deck can be examined... there is no duplicate.

And these are just scratching the surface.

The Deep Astonishment Gaff is another way to achieve a signed card to wallet... a sort of "chopped" wallet if you know what I mean.

By the way, Frank, I received your special order ball yesterday and will send it off to you Monday.

Dennis Loomis
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Larry Barnowsky
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The $100 bill switch because it's very visual and has the emotional hook of creating wealth magically like Midas.
Curtis Kam
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same as you, plus 3 and enough to make
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Profile of Curtis Kam
The "Best" close up trick? Ask a general question, get a general answer...

Upon much reflection and years of trying just about everything, I'd say the best close up effect is Animation.

Really. It beats appearance, disappearance, transformation, and penetration soundly. Levitations are generally self-defeating, and are at their best when they approximate animations.

Good mind reading comes close, but when the votes are cast (and the mistakes from Florida thrown out) you can't beat bringing something inanimate to life.

Problem is, these effects are generally a pain. But they're worth it. The haunted pack, the original dancing cork, Glorpy-based illusions, and....the animated matchbox.

You choose wisely, grasshopper.
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Profile of BenSchwartz
Kolossal Killer is from Kenton Knepper by the way
"The experience of astonishment is the experience of a clear, primal state of mind that they associate with a child's state of mind." ---- Paul Harris
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Profile of Masimax
In my opinion all tricks with no common objects.

I've had a great reaction with "Sympathetic disk","Paddle" and "sponge balls"

Massimo Pulidori
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Profile of magician81
card monte
never try, never know
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Profile of Torkova
I agree that sponge balls is one of the most effective things you can do. One of the reasons for this is that it happens in the spectator's hand. I get a similar reaction doing a basic copper & silver built up with a lot of showmanship. Anything magical that happens in the spectator's hands is many more times effective than the same thing done on the table. I also find that a signed card to envelope in wallet is just as strong and usually conclude my close-up set with it.
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Profile of ferretface
The three card monte is my favorite. Smile
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Profile of 0pus
I am with Scott and Torkova on this one -- go with the sponges. It is one of the most amazing and effective tricks for spectators, especially the participating spectator.

Depending on your persona, the Haunted Key (Key to Borley Rectory) can be quite astonishing.

And there is a routine with a Jardine-Ellis Ring that can make a spectator scream!
Jon Allen
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The best close-up trick in the world is the one you just did that got those great reactions!

Magicians cannot see things from the layman's view. Every layman sees things differently, has different experiences, views, knowledge, interests etc. What is amazing for one person will be a silly little trick to someone else.

Some effects will consistently get better reaction than others, but sometimes something will get a huge reaction you don't expect. I make a ring jump from one finger to another. Nothing special and I started doing it as a fill-in. This sometimes gets a bigger reaction than the ring trick I follow it with!

Whether a trick is good or not has nothing to do with the magician; it is up to the audience of the moment. Every trick, at some time or another, can be the best trick in the world because that is how that particular audience viewed it.
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