creative solutions deckI am always looking out for magic which has an interesting presentational hook, and a plausible rationale for its ‘props’ (a category I might begin to call ‘pseudo-impromptu’).  So I was really intrigued when I first heard about Phil Smith’s Creative Solutions Deck which promised both.

When I got my hands on the deck, things were even better than I had hoped.  If you haven’t yet seen it, the idea of this deck is that it is full of pithy statements designed to unleash your inner creativity.  Phil is a designer and he has done a brilliant job of producing a deck of cards (and a box) which are entirely plausible.  It really is just the sort of thing you could imagine picking up in some trendy artsy shop.

And yet things are not so innocent as they seem, and ‘hidden in plain sight’ are a several different clever mentalism techniques (don’t want to say more to avoid exposure) which immediately open up a huge range of ideas for routines.

The cards are nicely printed on good quality stock and come with a couple of extra ‘gaff’ cards (a blank face and two double-backed) which open up several more possibilities.

Instructions are minimal – a single printed sheet – but more than adequate to get you started.  Any mentalist worth their salt will immediately see a host of different directions to take this.  A nice extra feature would have been some kind of online forum for swapping ideas with the deck – Phil Smith – if you read this – how about it?!

The Creative Solutions Playing Cards DeckIn case you can’t tell, I really do like the look of this and can’t wait to try it out for real. It’s a prop which will easily grab your audience’s interest, looks very innocent and yet will enable some strong magic.

Available direct from (who kindly supplied our review copy).

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