Exploring Magic Kits
by Alex J Coyne © 2019 Gifts for Card Players
There are a lot of different opinions out there about magic kits. Many professional magicians consider them corny and they’re the butt of many jokes, a la Howard from The Big Bang Theory, but a lot of people in cards and stage magic today can still remember their first magic kit. If you buy the right kit, they can be a great inspiration for a young card player or magician.
We spoke to The Magic Shop about the magic kits on the market and checked out some of the ones on the market, including a few vintage magic kits.
From The Magic Shop
“Magic kits are usually horrible in magic, often reserved for the very young kid as a gift from Grandma or dad to satisfy that first magical urge,” says Kyle from the Magic Shop, an online shop offering various magic kits, card decks and other magician supplies. “These contain the same old plastic tricks (often junk, but still fun) since they began.” Kyle says some kits are better than others – the better ones often come with a DVD or decent book.
He describes Marvin Berglas, son of famed stage magician David Berglas as the ‘Derren Brown’ of his time and “a pioneer of magic kits” – he highly recommends Berglas’ exceptional kits.
But, his own personal favorite is The Complete Magician; “It has quality props, an excellent book and two-hour DVD.”
Then there is Tenyo Magic, “which is world famous, and and creates magic effects/tricks that they sell individually in an amazing package. They are semi-commercialised and very popular in Asia for adults, teens and kids. They have some incredible magic, and some of the greatest thinkers in magic have created very unique magic for them.”
Buying a Magic Kit?
Buying a magic kit? Ask how much further the kit goes beyond the basics: does it teach you only the prop tricks that are included with the kit, or does it take things a little further, such as regular card tricks? Those that come with a DVD or book often will.
Here are some of the best magic kits available online:
Magic World (Tenyo)
If you’re looking for a magic kit that will “stick” and last for years, here’s the recommended option: The Tenyo World magic kits are available from Amazon (and a select few magic shops) and they’re worth investing in.
The Royal Road to Card Magic
A card deck is still one of the best gifts to buy for someone who shows an interest in magic, the stage or card tricks – but you can also consider The Royal Road to Card Magic, one of the best books out there for starting out. Here’s a discussion about the Royal Road to Card Magic on Theory11.
The Complete Card Magic DVD set is set up by card magician Gerry Griffin. It’s one of the coolest sets out there if you’d like to learn more about general card magic (not prop magic) with a regular old card deck.
Here’s the Complete Magician, one of the highly recommended kits by many magicians.
Criss Angel is one of the more famous magicians in the world, and his magic kit surprisingly makes for a great start. Browse over to the Magic Cafe forums and you’ll find a good discussion on this.
Jim Stott’s Magic Kits
Jim Stott offers a range of magic kits that you’re likely to encounter – and they’re great if you’re fine with a start in prop magic. Some people prefer to buy the props separately in this case, but if you don’t, look at My First Magic Kit for Kids, the Money Magic Kit and the Ultimate Street Magic Kit. Amazon has a great collection of Stott’s kits here –>
Magic books can make just as great of a gift, and you can find Card College volumes one to five through Vanishing Inc. Magic. Of course, it helps to buy an actual card deck with these, and your best bet is likely going to be Bicycle (in our opinion).
Card kits are often preferred over magic kits, and this Magic Card Tricks Set has 125 regular card tricks and 101 cards with a special prop “stripper” deck.
Magician’s Smoke Kit
Technically, this is somewhere between magic kit and singular magic prop – but it’s worth owning for older aspiring magicians. This ‘Magician’s Smoke Kit’ mostly means that you can mess with everyone and disappear in a cloud of smoke, available on this is why I’m broke.