Ultimate Self Working Card Tricks by Big Blind Media - DVDIt’s that “most wonderful time of the year” again so we thought we’d devote this month’s column to ideas for your wish list. As we often get asked about what makes a good present for younger friends and relatives interested in magic, at the end of this post we have a few recommendations to help you choose a beginners’ magic kit.

The end of the year is also a time for reflections.  And our two favourite DVDs of the year are going to be our first recommendations.  BBM’s Ultimate Self-Working Card Tricks was a superb release (see our review here) with some killer effects which are easy to do (£19.99).
The Unknown by Mark Bendell and RSVP - DVD
And Mark Bendell’s The Unknown is full of really clever magic which is extremely workable (£25.50). Both would make great stocking fillers for you or your magical loved one!

Sean Goodman's GeneticsFavourite tricks of the year are harder to pick.  On the shortlist is definitely Genetics (see our review here).  Easy to do, entertaining – what more could you want.  And a great wedding routine (£26.99).

Impossible Bottle - Blue DeckThis isn’t a trick, but would look great on your bookshelf. An Impossible Bottle, containing a deck of Bicycle Cards is hard to beat for a ‘must have’ non-trick item for the magic lover. We’ve got one on our shelf! (£59.99 – also available in red)

London 2012 Playing Cards (Gold) by Blue Crown - TrickWe can’t close the year out without mentioning at least one deck of Bicycle Cards!  There have been so many released this year that it is very hard to choose.  But in honour of the year that was, why not grab a deck of London 2012 cards.  The Blue Crown produced limited runs of these decks with a Gold, Silver or Bronze case design.  Why not get one of each to remember a really significant time for the UK? (£9.99)

Choosing a Magic Set for a child

Legends of Magic Set (With DVD) by Fantasma MagicWe promised you some recommended magic sets for any young would-be magicians you know. If you’ve got a bit of money to spend, then you could do a lot worse than the Fantasma Legends of Magic Set. Some of the items in this are of pro quality – and it seems to get away from the plasticky feel of some of the more common sets. At £59.99 it feels like quite a significant investment, but it should keep their interest.

The Secret Magic Set is a cheaper option and comes in a nice case, but the props are of less good quality. At this price you might also consider the Marvin’s Magic Fifty Greatest Magic Tricks – which contains some classic effects and is more widely available.

If price is an issue, then the Joshua Jay books are worth a look. He is a great teacher and the combination of book and DVD is a killer.  And they are readily available at Amazon (see below)

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