Packet trick. Love ‘em or loathe ‘em, they seem to be a staple in the magic shops – and audiences do enjoy them when performed well. We don’t often seem to review packet tricks these days, but we recently received a trio from Mike Danata’s exclusive range which we review briefly below.

69 Card Trick – Mike Danata/Russ Andrews £10.99
This trick has an unusual premise where a 6 spot card with a 6 written on the back turns into a 9 spot card when you turn the ‘6’ round. At the same time the rest of the packet get multi-coloured backs. For me the explanation is slightly laboured, but everything is certainly clearly explained.

Regular readers will probably have twigged I’m slightly old-fashioned when it comes to instructional material. So I have to admit that for me, the fact that the explanation is only on DVD (no written instructions) makes me go “Grrr…” But it is easy to do and an unusual effect, and comes with a nice set of different coloured Bicycle Cards.

The Joker is Wild – Mike Danata £10
In this effect, the ‘influence’ of a Joker makes a selected card amongst a set of 4 lose its face. Then all four cards lose their faces. An alternative ‘bonus’ handling is supplied which is essentially the trick in reverse – ending with printed cards – and for me the alternative handling makes more sense.

It comes with printed instructions for the ‘original’ routine (hurrah!) but not for the bonus routine which is only on DVD. All the necessary Bicycle Cards are supplied in the usual plastic wallet.

I prefer this to the previous one, but find the handling slightly contrived. On a philosophical note this seems to me slightly more of a ‘puzzle’ than an engaging routine – neither the handling or the plot has the elegance of a Bannon routine for example. But both are easy to do and a little bit different.

Beach Parade – Mike Danata £10.99
This is a twist on the classic ‘Parade of the Kings’/’Dream Queens’ effect but with a slightly more ‘adult’ theme. The three queens that aren’t chosen turn out to be (and I quote from the instructions) “topless beauties.” Now I have to say that this wouldn’t suit my style at all and feels a little but like it comes from a different era. But I suppose that for some performers and environments it would work. Positively, there is a clever patter routine which provides excellent cover for the necessary equivoque. Just not my kind of thang.

We have a few more items in this collection which we will review in part 2 – as soon as time permits.

All available exclusively from

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