Carnival Trick Cards: Gaff deck & DVD (Rudy Hunter)
A complete deck of gaffs for 10 different effects taught by Rudy Hunter
The Carnival Trick Cards is a collection of packet tricks, that includes a deck of gaff cards and instructional DVD, for performing 10 different effects and packet tricks. The ad copy on the back says this:
"The Carnival Deck is a fun and themed deck that will entertain and fool your audience! This deck is printed in Bicycle stock and comes with an instructional DVD. This instructional DVD will teach you several routines you can perform with your Carnival Deck. Rudy T. Hunter will perform and teach you these incredible tricks step-by-step. These cards can be their own entertaining packet tricks or an entire act on their own!"
WHAT YOU GET
- Gaff deck: A gaff deck with 56 cards, which you can use for 10 different packet tricks
- Video: An instructional DVD in a case, featuring teaching by Rudy Hunter
- Online instructions: A link with a website that has online instructional materials
The cards are Bicycle style playing cards, produced by United States Playing Card Company with a quality finish for good handling and durability. The video shows Rudy demonstrating each effect, and then immediately explaining how to perform it, sometimes along with a couple of variations. The entire video is 67 minutes long.
Here's an official video trailer for the package:
Carnival Color Cards
This is a fantastic packet trick consisting of 10 cards that has a very strong impact, and many people consider it among their all time favourite packet tricks. A packet of Aces is shown, and first the Aces start turning magically face-down, and then face-up, and then for an extra surprise, they turn into Jokers. But the real kicker is the ending, which can really fry spectators - it turns out that all the Aces have different colour backs! It's a mind-blowing surprise, and although you will need to have your EC down pat, aside from that this routine is quite easy to learn, and the nice thing about it is that the cards are fully examinable afterwards.
I've seen this trick under several other names, including Queens Out of Control (taught by Gerry Griffin) and Color Aces (taught by Kris Nevling), and it has a long history going back even further. Both of those are also available from the same publisher. John Bannon's Royal Scam (which came later) also has some similarities. Here's a video of the routine demonstrated by Kris Nevling (see performances by other magicians here and here):
Carnival Bunko Bet
Bunko Bet is another name for the popular Color Monte packet trick, which is the more well-known name for this effect, and uses just three gaffs. This routine features no less than seven surprising moments for the spectator, with the final revelation being the most impossible of them all - it really blows people away! The nice thing about it is that it has an interesting story to go along with it as well, and is best performed as the magician describing his own experience with a conman. Spectators love it!
I consider it my all-time favourite packet trick, and many others consider it best and most powerful packet card trick on the market. It does require a knowledge of some intermediate level sleights (which need to be exercised cleanly and smoothly), one of which may be new to some magicians, but they are taught on the video. Once again the cards are fully examinable, and consist of a large red diamond card, a large blue diamond card, and a money card. See Rudy Hunter demonstrate the amazing routine here:
Incredible Shrinking Cards
This routine features a spread of an entire deck of cards which is "midget" size. A simple squeeze of the deck, and when you again spread the deck, it has changed into a full-sized deck! It was created by John Hammond, and is extremely visual. Four gaffs are provided, two in red and two in blue, to use with a standard Bicycle rider-back deck of your choice.
The spectator selects a card, which is shuffled into the deck. The magician attempts to find the card, on four occasions coming up with the wrong card. These cards are then turned over to have changed into the four pieces of a giant King of Diamonds - the chosen card! This routine is credited to Jack Hughes, who originally called it "Four Wrongs Make a Right". A variation is also provided.
Miniature Card Magic
Four different gaff cards are provided, with the main feature being a 52 in 1 card, which is used to reveal the spectator's chosen card, the Four of Clubs. Several forces are taught, but the real attraction here are some of the comedic variations you can use with these cards, making for a very fun revelation.
A banana card is placed between two monkey cards, but the monkeys keep misbehaving, so that the banana ends up in an unexpected place all the time. In the end, all three cards are revealed to be monkeys. The banana has completely vanished - and turns up in the magician's pocket.
Four special cards are provided for this very fun and colourful packet trick.
Three of Spades Trick
This is just a single card that uses the Three of Spades. It has the pips and numbers printed on the very bottom of the card, so it looks like the ink has dropped to the bottom of the card. This is a fun card that you can use in conjunction with a regular Three of Spades, and then do a colour change with this card (which is taught), to make it look like the ink on the original card has collapsed. There's lots of ways you can use this card in your own style; Rudy gives a couple of ideas, but it has many more uses.
Dazzling Diamond Card
This trick comes with two gaff cards for another fun revelation. After the Six of Diamonds has been forced on the spectator, you attempt to find the card, showing an Ace of Diamonds. Not being the chosen card, it is magically turned first into a Four of Diamonds, then a Three of Diamonds, and then finally the correct card, the Six of Diamonds. One of the cards provided allows you to have the spectator examine the card at the end of the trick. This is a fairly well known idea, often performed with dominoes, and is one of the weaker tricks included. See this effect demonstrated here:
A card that is black on both sides changes into a card that is red on both sides. In teaching this straight-forward and visual effect, Rudy goes through a number of possible colour changes.
Genie in the Lamp
This is a set of 22 cards that can be added to a standard red-backed Bicycle rider-back deck.
After the spectator chooses a card, you riffle through the deck to do a cartoon animation with a magic lamp, which first produces smoke, from which a genie emerges, who then reveals the chosen card. You can have some fun with the story of rubbing the magic lamp, so there's some real potential for great patter here. It's a much simpler concept than the Magic Cartoon Deck, and doesn't really involve any real difficult sleights aside from the initial force. Two different reveal cards are included, the Five of Spades or the Ace of Diamonds. See this effect demonstrated here:
One nice thing about this video is that it also teaches sleights like colour changes and more. Rudy Hunter is an old-school type magician: he's not full of flash or charisma, but he knows how to perform magic smoothly and cleanly, and he comes across with a persona that is full of class. He's articulate and well-spoken, and explains things in a tidy and clear fashion. In addition to the DVD, an internet link is provided to the publisher's website, where you can also watch all the teaching material online via streaming video. It's identical to what's on the DVD, but some people will find it handy to be able to access the video material in this way. The sound quality is good, and the filming is also excellent, with multiple camera angles and close-ups.
Some of the tricks are quite straight forward, such as the cards for the Genie in the Lamp revelation. But a number of them do require a good working ability with sleights. Fortunately the video tutorials do include instruction on how to do the sleight of hand that is required, so if you are new to moves like a double lift or colour change, you can certainly learn them from Rudy Hunter on this video. If you already have good experience with the fundamentals of card magic, you'll likely be able to learn these tricks without too much difficulty. Overall I'd consider the material here mostly suited to intermediate level magicians, rather than complete beginners.
The Carnival Trick Deck will especially appeal to people who enjoy packet tricks, and like the idea of a good variety of fun effects. There is a "carnival" theme that ties them together, but it's not really a strong theme as such, only becoming really evident in the more playful packet tricks that are included, like Monkey Monte. The selection of material is quite wide-ranging, with some of the gaff cards mostly suited to be used for novel revelations to close a "pick a card" type trick, while others are independent packet tricks in their own right.
There is certainly some killer material included, with both Bunko Bet (Color Monte) and Carnival Color Cards (Color Aces) both being stand-out routines with the potential to be completely mind-blowing when performed well. Both of these packet tricks can be purchased separately, but here you get them as part of a package that includes 10 different effects. Considering that you also get over an hour worth of teaching material on video, it adds up to a very good value package.
I really enjoy packet tricks a great deal, and my favourite deck with a collection of gaffs and teaching DVD is still probably Packet Killer by Simon Lovell, from the same publisher. This is a slightly more light-hearted collection, but there's some fantastic material here that fans of packet tricks or fun card magic will appreciate.
Want to learn more about Carnival Trick Cards? See: Publisher's page and Amazon