What were the best magic tricks of 2020?
2020 was, absolutely, a strange year for magic releases.
Some of the runaway hits were virtual effects, but we had plenty of regular effects also break through.
In this list, I’ll be revealing by top 5 picks for the best magic trick of 2020.
This is just my personal opinion, of course.
Now, onto the list…
5. Pocket Nightmare by Max Maven
Pocket Nightmare made quite the scene when it made its debut in February of 2020. I remember seeing it being advertised all over at Blackpool Convention.
It’s a stunning and direct effect that looks like this:
The magician puts one of his hands in his pocket, telling his audience he will perform his next effect one-handed so that he can’t use any sneaky sleight of hand. A spectator peeks at a card from the deck.
The magician then is able to magically figure out the exact identity of the card. It seems like this might be the end of the effect, until the magician hands the deck to the spectator and asks them to try to find their card in the deck.
They can’t find their chosen card anywhere in the deck.
At this point, the magician reminds them that he said he would perform this effect one-handed…
…but he didn’t say WHICH hand!
He removes his hand from his pocket, to show that he is holding the exact chosen card!
It soon became a huge bestseller, and has received praise from some of the best magicians in the world…
“Max Maven has created more usable magic than any other magician alive. His offerings are strong, direct and leave the participants speechless. This effect is no different in that respect. Strong, direct and the typical “WTF… how!!” Max Maven experience.” – Banachek
“Pocket Nightmare is a dream effect with a typically beautiful Max Maven construction and a perfect presentation for a killer effect.”
– R. Paul Wilson
“I have known Max most of our professional careers and I have never known anything he has done to be less than superb. As Max explains, Pocket Nightmare is actually about 40 years old. Both the presentation and secret of Pocket Nightmare made me smile at the typical Max cleverness and framework. This is a totally entertaining routine, incredibly clean, with a surprise ending that is astonishing beyond belief!”
– Chris Korn
This effect is available from most major magic dealers.
4. Cinemental by Nikolas Mavresis
I love this effect.
Maybe it’s because I love movies, but there’s something about it that’s so much fun.
The effect has two major phases…
First, you show your spectator that you have a deck of cards, where the face of each card is a movie poster. You give a packet of cards to them, and they freely cut to a random card. They look at the movie poster on that card and remember it. They shuffle their cut-off packet as much as they like, and hand you the cards. After dealing through the cards, you are able to tell them their exact chosen card (even though it has been shuffled thoroughly.)
But that’s just the ‘warm-up’ phase.
Second, you give another packet of cards to a second spectator. Before they do anything, you write down a prediction and leave it in full view. Next, you let them deal through the cards face up. They can stop at ANY point. When they do, you turn over the card, and note the movie. Finally, you turn over your prediction to show that they match EXACTLY.
The method for this really is pretty much self-working. It’s very easy. The second phase especially has a really fun method – they can really stop anywhere they like, and your prediction really is the same one you made at the beginning.
It’s a great effect!
These people agree…
“I thought I knew what was going on… then that second phase, phenomenal!”
– Tom Elderfield
“Simple, strong, powerful!”
– Fraser Parker
“The first time I saw this I was fooled pretty badly. As a magician it’s really easy to think there is more going on. The genius of this method is its simplicity. It puts you so far ahead that it feels almost self-working and lets you really focus on performance and presentation. A modern day classic.”
– Jason Knowles
“Cinemental is a brilliant two-punch Mentalism piece that fooled the #%@#$ out of me. I simply had no clue as to the method, and when you see the method you will laugh out loud and hit yourself. It’s genius!”
– John Carey
3. The Boy Who Cried Magic by Andi Gladwin
Andi Gladwin is the co-founder of magic company Vanishing Inc. Over the last decade, he’s published hundreds of books from other magicians.
But this year, finally…
…it was Andi’s turn to publish his own work!
This book is Andi’s complete professional repetoire. 16 routines from one of the smartest magicians alive.
It’s also gorgeously produced and FEELS like a magic book.
We actually recently had Andi on our podcast, Of Sleights and Men.
To hear Andi talk about this book with us, check out the podcast below:
Here’s what other people have to say about this book…
“The Boy Who Cried Magic is a perfect magic book, written by the best writer in magic. The tricks are world-class performance pieces, and the book itself is stunning. Every magician should own it!”
“The Boy Who Cried Magic is one of the most beautifully-designed magic books in recent memory. It looks and feels like something you’d find in an art bookstore. As for the magic, Andi Gladwin’s Undo Cut is a highly deceptive false cut that is going straight into my act.”
– Steve Cohen
“A book filled with crystal clear descriptions and illustrations for powerful, commercial magic, and practical ingenious ideas.”
– Paul Wilson
“The Boy Who Cried Magic is a beautiful book, both inside and out.”
– Jim Krenz
2. Virtual Triumph by Adrian Lacroix
As I mentioned at the start of this article, 2020 has been a strange year for magic.
With many magicians turning to Zoom for their performances, there was a sudden demand for effects that you can perform over a video call.
And that’s where Adrian Lacroix stepped in with his ‘Virtual Triumph’ effect.
Here’s what it looks like…
- You video call a friend. Both of you grab a deck of cards.
- Both of you shuffle face up cards into face down.
- The magician instantly and magically fixes their deck, leaving the 4 Aces face up.
- The exact same thing happens in the spectator’s deck!
This effect can be done using the gimmicks you’ll get when you order, or using the ‘gimmickless’ handling they also teach.
According to the official copy…
“Gimmicks are included in your purchase, but also included is a gimmickless handling, plus instructions on how to make your own gimmicks with things that you already have at home. You can start performing the routine right now, don’t have to wait until the gimmicks arrives!!!”
“Lacroix masks his method with super-smart misdirection. It’s perfect magical thinking.” – Penn & Teller
“Virtual Triumph is one of the coolest self-working card tricks I have ever seen. I actually ‘fooled myself’ the first time I did it! I will definitely be adding this to my next interactive online magic show!” – Cody S. Fisher
“Killer effect for virtual magic but also a great do as I do in person effect. Many variations and tips taught to fit any parameters.” – Ryan Shlutz
“I love this! Real magic that has power through a screen.” – Jon Armstrong
“A truly Amazing Triumph for the times!” – Terry Ward
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Step 1: Go to thedailymagician.com
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