Learn Magic with Penn and Teller

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/08/01/learn-magic-with-penn-and-tell.html

Royal Magic of Chicago (who actually does all of its plastic injection molding in its factory in the U.S.A…

…under the dark of the new moon. Those caught trespassing are never seen again, except, some say, as faces on playing cards.


Penn lost a lot of weight since I last saw him.

I’m kind of surprised that Penn & Teller have slapped their endorsement on this cheesy collection of plastic crap. P&T have cast themselves as the anti-magicians, as counter culture, eschewing cliche’s. Yet this kit is filled with the plastic magic kit cliche’s of my childhood. On would think P&T could create a collection of items that represent the ethos of P&T rather than just repurposing existing stuff molded out of plastics in primary colors - basically, stuff P&T wouldn’t be caught dead using, only selling.

I suppose I may be biased against this kit because of what happened on one of their shows. Last year P&T had an accomplished 13 year-old slight of hand magician on Penn & Teller Fool Us. Riley Siegler performed an excellent variation of the Three Card Monte, but did not fool P&T.

Instead of treating Siegler like their adult performers for his adult level performance, they gave him a consolation prize: their inexpensive Penn & Teller branded beginner’s magic kit. The kid is an advanced magician. Using him for product placement of their beginner’s magic kit was just insulting.

As far as I can tell “Royal Magic of Chicago” is just a brand made by http://www.funinc.com/about/

[quote]The company marketed a broad range of magic tricks, gags, pranks and party items in novelty shops throughout the United States. Traub was the first to develop the idea of using a revolving display rack to sell merchandise through mainstream retailers - not just magic and novelty outlets. The idea proved a stroke of genius.

In the 1970s, magician Marshall Brodien contracted with Fun Inc. to manufacture the popular line of “TV Magic” tricks and sets[/quote]

So, if the tricks in the P&T set look familiar, that’s why. They are the over-used cliche’s of decades old cheap general retail store magic tricks. That doesn’t mean they can’t be used to good effect, just that P&T didn’t make a cool kit. They just let Fun Inc load up a box with a bunch of decades-old plastic stuff in kindergarten primary colors and put P&T on the box. Perhaps their instructional video makes up for it…


Strangely, skinny Penn is on the magic kit box cover, but they are still using the photos of fat Penn on the current season of the TV show, including when they show the duo on the ginormous on-stage video screen as skinny Penn and Teller do their on stage entrance at the beginning of the show. Weirdly cheap of them.

Are you a magician? You have mysteriously read my mind and posted my EXACT thoughts. Impressive! :clap:

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He went on a wacky crash diet that involved raw potatoes and cold showers. He’s got a new book about how he lost weight, too.

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