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Harry Murphy
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So you want to add a signed card to wallet to your act but are worried about your ability to do an invisible palm.

Wallets, wallets! I have owned and used many (if not most) of the wallets on the market today and I believe that I can give an honest opinion of the ones I have used.

First let me say that I believe that the signed-card-to-wallet is one of the most magical effects that can be done with cards. Often, it is the only card effect I will do!

There are a half dozen card to wallet tricks in the literature and marketed that use duplicate cards or double-faced cards. An example is the very old “Ghost Card” that Al Cohen sells. It is one of the better (the best) versions of this genre. However, none of these have a SIGNED card vanish from the deck and appear in the wallet. For this reason, I do not believe that they are worth buying or performing.

If the card is NOT SIGNED then you are missing the whole point to the effect. The strength lies in the signature! The spectators have a vested interest in the trick, and they know that there is no way that the card found in the wallet is a duplicate - which, by the way is how most spectators assume that a card to wallet, or card to anywhere, is done!

I tend to use different wallets in different venues. For example, when I work in a sports coat, suit, or tuxedo I will use a “gentleman’s” style (oversized, checkbook type) of wallet. If I am in jeans and t-shirt (even with a coat), a hip-pocket style is more appropriate. While I prefer and am comfortable with the palm method, I find that there are times that I will use a no-palm method. For example, if I am really worried about angles and feel that there will be some difficulty in palming, then I will opt for a no-palm method. Often, the routine that I am planning to perform will dictate the prop (wallet) that I will use.

There are excellent “gaffed” wallets being made in both the hip pocket and the “gentleman’s” breast pocket style. There are great wallets being made for both the palm and the no-palm method of performing the trick.

For now I will review the NO-PALM, signed, card-to-wallets that I have used.

In this category and at the very top of my list is John Cornelius “Instant Pro”. This is an entire routine with a signed-card to note book. It looks like John melded some nice ideas together to get a fantastic, tight, routine (one of the ideas is from the old mental trick “Synchronicity III”).

The up side to this effect is that it is very easy, almost sleight-less (you have to be able to control a card, but then John teaches you all you need to know); it has built in sight gags, and is strong. If I was a beginner in magic or if I was worried about my ability to palm a card and I wanted to add a Signed-Card-to-Wallet effect to my act, then this would be the trick to buy! It is well made and well thought out stuff. Typical Cornelius. The prop is an elegant, well made, leather (gimmicked to the hilt) note pad holder with gold pen and business card holder (which is also used as a gimmick!). It is a bi-fold leather wallet-like holder for a note pad and pen, etc. and measures about 4 ½ inches by 6 ¼ inches. It was not designed for hip-pocket use!

The downside (if any) is the size and appearance of the prop. It is not a wallet! It does not really look like anything found in an office supply store. That said, it has never been challenged by anyone. It is accepted as an elegant notebook! It blends well with a jacket/suit/tuxedo performance. Another minus, to my mind, is that the signed card does not end up in a sealed compartment (snapped, zippered, or envelope). In fact it ends up clipped firmly on the back of a large, laminated card picturing the 52 cards. This is part of the routine and one of the laughs. This is only a minor minus!

Overall, I have liked performing this little gem and rate it very high. I strongly recommend it to those who want a foolproof card to notebook effect that they will be performing within an hour of receiving. One of the best parts of this is its low price. This baby can be had for only $40.00 US!!!!! That is very cheap for what you get!

For more traditional hip-pocket looking wallet, in the NO-palm-card-to-wallet category, there are four that I highly recommend. I have used all of them several times. They are: The “Switchback Wallet”, the “Mirage Wallet”, “Celebrity Autographs” and the “Simplex Card to Wallet”.

All are made of black leather and in general appearance (when folded closed) look like typical hip-pocket wallets. All are roughly the same size. When you open the first three (Switchback, Mirage, and Celebrity) you are actually looking right at the gimmick! The Simplex is built more along the lines of a traditional “loading” type of wallet (think of a Patrick Page with a hidden gimmick, maybe more of the Morehouse style gimmick).

Frankly, the only sleight needed for these four wallets, is the very same sleight you needed for John Cornelius’ Instant Pro, that is, you need to be able to control a card to the top of the deck (top or bottom in the case of the Simplex).

However, of the four, the Mirage wallet (Mark Mason) is the only one that actually looks like a “regular” wallet when it is opened. It is made of very nice textured leather with brass corners (all corners). It opens and there is the traditional space for the folding money across the back, three credit card slots to the right (facing you), and a pocket that is holding a back-out playing card, paper clipped to the back of the pocket. It is very thin and looks like a hip-pocket wallet.

In fact, Mason recommends using the wallet as your day-to-day wallet! He states that the gimmick works more smoothly when the leather, etc, breaks in. This is the old “Reverse Osmosis” built into a wallet.

The downside is the same as with the Cornelius’ trick, the card is not in a sealed compartment. It is paper-clipped in a credit card/business card/drivers license compartment, with the top half of the card showing. This is a winner and a keeper. I love this! The handling is natural and the wallet is well built and ordinary looking. The cost for this gem is only $25.00 (magicsmith). The price alone should encourage you to buy it! It does require a little more thought in building a good routine to put it into your act (the Cornelius’ trick requires no real thought). Mason does give you a good skeleton routine to build on, but you will have to flesh it out! This is still beginner to intermediate level stuff. The advanced, practiced magician will have this routined within minutes of receiving it! It is a delight to use.

The “Switchback Wallet” is a wallet version of David Regal’s “Special Delivery”. Now “Special Delivery” is a killer effect (signed card to a sealed window envelope) and costs only $15.00 US but from time to time, you’ll have to make a new gimmick or two. The Switchback costs $40.00. It is made of nice black leather with brass corners on one side only (the left side, open facing you).

It does have a couple of strengths over the Mirage wallet. The first is that the card back is seen in a zippered ID section of the wallet. The second strength is that the wallet can be handled fairly and freely AFTER the signed card is stolen (no sleight here and no loading into the wallet!!! Try to figure that out!)! What I mean is, that the wallet can be handled by the finger tips and thumb, set up opened on the table, etc. and the deck can be put down, boxed, shuffled or whatever well before the revelation.

The downside of this wallet is that when you open it, it does not look like a standard wallet! There is the zippered ID section to the right that holds the card and a section with three slits for credit cards to the left. However there is NO back section (as in the Mirage) for paper money! This is easily overcome. I simply took a large hairpin (bobby pin), a la’ “Celebrity Autographs” and made it into a money clip wallet. Now when you open mine it looks like an expensive money clip wallet.

Then there is a swell little bit called “Celebrity Autographs” being made right now. Its dimensions are slightly smaller than the other three wallets here. The main difference between it and the Mirage and the Switchback wallets, is its method of operation. It “automatically” (almost) steals the card and puts it in place for you! The Mirage and Switchback require your fingers to do “something”, the “Celebrity” does it for you. It also has the strength of a built in routine/story line and the card appears “sealed” in a photo holder amongst other cards. The downside to this prop is that, while well made, it does not look like a wallet when opened. It is a glorified photo album! However the central section, which does the work, can be easily put into your daily hip-pocket wallet. I doubt if you’ll bother, I didn’t. This costs $30.00.

Now we come to the Simplex Wallet. This is made and marketed by Viking magic ( for $40.00. This wallet, like the Mirage looks like a regular hip-pocket wallet. Well almost. It is made of nice smooth black leather and is very, very slim. Open it and you find one credit card slot to the right. The left is blank leather (an ID window for a drivers license would have been nice here, in fact I plan to glue one on soon). The bill section is directly behind this. It runs across the back. Behind the bill section, to the right is a zippered compartment. It is in this compartment that the card is found.

There is a coin purse built on the outside of the wallet behind the zippered compartment. It opens toward the fold of the wallet. The snap lip of the coin purse is used to position the wallet in your pocket. A good idea. For $49.00 you can get the “Super” model that allows you to load the coin purse also. You could vanish a marked coin or wedding ring and have it end up in this purse. Also a good idea.

Finally what the Simplex has going for it is that it “loads” like a standard Balducci/Kaps/Le Paul wallet. It is good for a palming method of card to wallet. However it comes with a nice no-palm routine. In fact the “Super” model comes with a TWO-card load routine. This routine is very good and subtle. Imagine loading a card into the wallet right in front of the audience with no more than a control. Sweet!

All of the ones I have mentioned are good! All play well and receive a strong response. All meet my criteria of being signed cards to somewhere. They all cost about the same. Cornelius’ Instant Pro has a lot going for it. It is a mini act in itself. If you are doing a hospitality suite or are table-hopping where you might only get one or two tricks in before having to move on. This is the trick to buy and perform. It has everything you need. I get hired to do a number of wedding receptions in this area and am expected to hit all the tables briefly. Color changing knives, $100 bill stitch (no gimmick) and Instant Pro fill the evening.

The Mirage wallet can be carried as your every day wallet without any modifications. You are then ready (with a deck of cards) to perform. I tend to use the Switchback wallet more often. I just like the zippered compartment and the free handling of the wallet after I have done the dirty work. It is a toss up here.

However, the wallet that I am carrying with me as I leave the house is the Super simplex. I don’t carry a lot of credit cards so having only one slot is not a problem. One credit card and my driver’s license plus my folding money and I have a card/credit card/marked coin/ring to wallet effect ready using a palm or no palm method.

While I am amused and generally like Celebrity Autographs, I tend to leave it at home. I only use it for a specific spot in an act. I have it built into only one show/act. So from my point of view, it gets rated lower than the others.

Well, that’s my review on the hip pocket, NO-palm, gaffed, signed-card-to-wallets that I have used. I hope that this helps.

I’ll try to find the time to review some of my favorite wallets that require sleight of hand (my preferred wallets!!) later.

For now…

There may be other non-palm, gimmicked card to wallets on the market (Reverse Osmosis, I mentioned above, is a signed card to zippered tobacco pouch) but I have not personally used them and therefore cannot comment on them.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Michael Peterson
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I have the Celebrity autograph wallet. I tell people that it is a magicians wallet, that’s why there is no place to put money Smile

I really enjoy it, it is incredibly strong for how simple it is.

Thanx for the very informative post! Smile
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Very interesting, thanks for the information Smile Smile
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The Dead Ranger
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I normally carry a European type wallet... about 3 1/2" X 7" and have been looking for a good magic replacement for it... thanks for the insights... I'll have to check into some of the ones you recommend.

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Oh boy, that is probably the most comprehensive wallet review that I have ever seen! Mumblepeas, henceforth to be known as "The Wallet King"!......nice one Harry. Smile
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Burt Yaroch
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Thanks for the review Wallet King. That was awesome! I've never used any type of magic wallet but I'm getting one now. Definitely the wait...the Simplex...Switchback...what was that middle one again? Smile
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Now read it again CAREFULLY and get the 'message'! Smile
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Ian Rowland
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Great post, mumblepeas. Very helpful and informative. If ever you get a chance to review ’breast pocket’ wallets, the kind that are typically around 3.5 inches by 7 inches or thereabouts, I’d be fascinated to hear your insightful views.

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Andy Charlton
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Hi there.

Great Review.

I would like to add the Tom Mullica Wallet. I bought mine from Stevens Magic Emporium.

It can use a palm or no palm method, and comes with routines for both. I use the no palm version with Mark Jennest's Magicard as part of it.

I always have the wallet with me when I go out, and I have my colour monte in it, Card Warp, the bill counting trick Off of Doc Eason's 3rd video and a version of Flash Cash with lottery cards. One Wallet plus a pack of cards and I've got half my act in one pocket.


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That was so good a review that I printed it off, all 3 pages of it. I have in the past used a "Bendix Bomshell Wallet" from RAR here in England, but now use a "Mullica Wallet" which I use as a normal wallet all of the time. This way it becomes less of a trick wallet and more of an impromptu(ish) effect. Smile
All the best

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Profile of donaldlaporte
I always carry the Bkm wallet because you have the choice of palming, or a no palm version that is really good also.

don Smile
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I just bought the Mullica Wallet today and I’m already in love with it!

A Card to Wallet effect that is this easy should be illegal. The effect is super strong because the card ends up in a wallet that is inside the wallet. And the wallet itself is so versatile because you can carry so many things in it like packet tricks, credit cards, cash, half dollar coins, billets, and any other small and flat objects. You can carry your whole routine in it. Now it’s not the type of wallet I would carry with me all the time, but I can use it whenever I’m wearing a suit or sport jacket.

It is perfect for my gigs. But if you usually carry a breast pocket type wallet then you can use the Mullica wallet all the time (it also would fit in your back pants pocket if you wish to keep it there). So if anyone is still trying to choose a wallet for Card to Wallet, then you must give this one consideration.

Points to remember about the Mullica Wallet:

1. No forcing

2. Palming is optional. The No-Palm method is very convincing and easy to do. (Mullica himself used the No-Palm method)

3. No funny moves or fidgeting

4. The signed card appears in a wallet that is inside the wallet. (figure that out??)

5. The illusion that is created is perfect.

6. Super easy to perform.

7. very versatile

Have Fun!! Smile
Frank G. a.k.a. Cardguy
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Profile of atkinsod
Mumblepeas review is fantastic, Thank you!

I am currently updating my magic wallets page at and am trying to sort out all the different wallets (again). There are Himbers (z-fold, strapped, pocket size, full size), Loaders (Kaps/Balducci, LePaul, Mullica), and many in between! Even reading Mumblepeas' review gets confusing.

Hopefully my updated pages will be more helpful, currently all the wallets are simply listed in one list.

Doug A.
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Profile of Martino
Mark Leveridge over here in England puts out his "Professional Magicians No-Palm Card to Wallet". It’s a breast pocket wallet i.e. 7x3 and works well. The wallet is ungaffed on the outside and the SIGNED card ends up inside a zippered compartment. It’s pretty good (IMO)!
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Profile of corpmagi
For a no palm wallet, the Mullica Wallet is hard to beat. Eugene Burger has some great handling tips. My friend Danny Orleans does an outstanding job with this prop as well.

I just remembered about Scotty York's Passport Case. There is a great routine included that doesn't use a palm, just a simple double lift. As with all of Scotty's props and ideas, this one is well thought out and well constructed. It looks just like a real leather passport case with a gold seal stamped on the front. I believe the routine is called "Escape from Bulgaria".

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P T Flea
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I use the Mirage wallet. When I first started using it, I was disappointed about the mechanics and thought that the effect was very weak. Then I did it to myself in the mirror and realized just how strong the effect was. Another reminder to all us magicians just how easy it is to overlook what the effect looks like to the lay-person.
The GREAT thing about the Mirage wallet (apart from being able to use it as an everyday wallet) is that the signed card is actually paper clipped inside the wallet which makes the trick doubly more baffling for the spec

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Fantasy Knight
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Hello fellow magician's,...

Just like to say my fav is the BKM.
Just like DON said, that way u have a choice. The card appearing in sealed envelope makes for the perfect ending too. One more thing, love the info you offered mumblepeas you put alot of thought into that, you have a book out yet... call it your opions... JUST A THOUGHT!!

Magicaly yours, Ricker
Grew up near one of the greatest minds in magic the late Stewart James, in a town called Wallaceburg just 15 mins from Courtright where James could be found, time and time again he would inspire me to always be creative and just love all magic.
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Profile of Megatherion

I would recommend the wallet book by J. Mentzer. It is great.

Yours faithfully

Smile Dan Kirsch Smile
The Pianoman
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The Card to Wallet book is great indeed.

I do the first trick called Wallop , it uses a non gimmicked wallet and gets a great reaction.
I agree that a signed card is the way to go though.
It utterley mistifies "Joe Blo" as he cant understand how the card left the deck without him seeing go.

Great Stuff

Regards Alan.
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Profile of Paul
If you show the selection is no longer in the deck before going to the wallet, then it doesn't have to be signed.

But having said that, I normally use a signed card.

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