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Gulyás Imre Miklós
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Lol at all these suggestions before me!

Give the kid Expert at the card table, and 3 decks of Bee!

ps.
My real suggestion would be Joshua Jay's Magic: The Complete Course book.
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Wizard of Oz
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Joshua Jay also has a beginner card magic book with DVD. So, you can give him a package deal.

I guess what a lot of us are saying jirpel (or at least me), is that while magic sets can be cool, they do have that "ahhhh" factor that usually fades after a short while. Books have the advantage of being a continuing wealth of knowledge. Plus, many beginner magic books contain larger parlor-size effects that he (or you and him) may be able to make yourselves. So then you get the magic experience, AND the building experience.

Much of my youth consisted of getting books out of the library, and building effects in my dad's workshop. I spent hours and hours on rainy weekends assembling those dreams...
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dragonash
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the sticks
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I also have some quibbles with the Melissa and Doug set. The change bag is almost unusable because the wire is so thin it bends instead of flipping the gimmic, and the little plastic mirror in one item is the wrong size so it is bowed when pressed into place.

However, the other items are useable. The outer box on the Dragon Box _could_ have been cut to fit the gimmic more closely, but it will pass.

I think it's a nice set. The age cards made with painted wood lend themselves well to Dan Stapletons's presentation in the Linking Ring magazine not too long ago.
DWRackley
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I'm sure it's a "generational thing", but I wasn't really impressed with Joshua Jay's book (which probably means it's great for a kid!) Smile

I'd go with the Mark Wilson course. It's affordable and concise, and covers a broad range of magic types from close-up to stage illusions. It offers instruction on how to make your own gimmicks (yes, even the illusions), and gives some helpful hints on presentation. The illustrations are some of the best I’ve seen.

And after he’s spent a few months with this book, you might have a better idea of where he’d like to go with his magic.

My son received a TV Magic set (not from me!!!) and there's really nothing in it that anyone would actually use. He's 10 now, and his favorites are an appearing wand, pen through the dollar bill, color changing silk, and a "production top hat" we made together.
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Mr. Woolery
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DWRackley, I have to agree with you about Jay's book. It isn't a bad book. The photos are well done and the concept is not flawed, but it just doesn't do much for me. I love Wilson's book, but didn't when I first got it. The drawings are actually fantastic because they show exactly what needs to be shown to learn the effects, but they just look rather 1950 to me. So, I looked at it and said "oh, an old-fashioned book, nothing for me here." A couple months later, I picked it up and started learning some good stuff. But I think the format might be slightly "un-hip" to modern kids. Who don't say "hip" anymore.

I'd personally suggest a slightly different way of approaching the whole build-a-kit concept. Get a few good DVDs and the needed props. I like the World's Greatest Magic collections, personally. Yeah, the canned audience does sometimes get overwhelming. However, the performers are often fantastic, the effects are solid, and the explanations are there. Sometimes in fantastic detail.

If I put together a kit, I'd get a basic set of cheap cups and balls, a $10 DVD on same (I've seen a package deal with chrome plastic cups and a DVD for like $12 - check with a magic shop), a bundle of soft rope, the WGM rope magic DVD, a Stripper deck and DVD, and one or two self-working pocket tricks that look like things my kid would like. After the child learns some basics and is getting good with his tricks, it is easier to know what to give him next.

Sadly, my kids are not interested in learning magic. I have to buy these things for myself instead.

-Patrick
rklew64
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Build your own! just another vote for that direction. Because then each piece will be used rather than say a third of any magic set discarded.
Many supporting props come from office supply stores, diy hardware stores, and thrift stores for silks.
Get him a briefcase to hold everything. That would be cool, heck it's cool for a grown up as well!
It's a starter, so if both of you stick with it, you will be always adding to your baseline magic kit.
Wizard of Oz
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I love this "make your own magic set" idea guys. I wish I had someone do this for me as a kid.

You could start with a nice close up case, which most young kids store their magic in anyway (just go on YouTube and search for "my close up case" or "my magic stuff" and you'll find dozens of videos of kids going through their close up cases on camera...whatever). Put in some basic props that magicians actually use, instead of the ones they don't (the ones usually found in magic sets). Add some great DVDs as noted above, and you have a winner.

Great, great idea!!!
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DanielCoyne
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I quite like the Klutz Book of Magic. Comes with a few props and a range of effects and presentation ideas. I actually perform tricks from that book from time to time.
NexusMagicShop
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Just to clarify the Criss Angel kit in the Rite Aids, CVS's, Walgreens, stores is Criss's cheaper version the Criss Angel Platinum Magic Kit. The MindFreak Ultimate magic kit is the one you want out of the two. Trust me I have shipped 50+ in the last couple of months. I have seen both, and the ultimate magic kit is better, and offers more. The Ultimate Magic Kit is available from your local brick and mortar or online retail magic store. Kits are are made to teach the basic fundamentals. Designed to really put the hook in the mouth. Most kits use cheap materials, but that's really okay if the child develops the understanding and basic principles behind the art of misdirection. My first kit was so cheap it probably exposed me to lead poisoning... Da da der da!
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Spellbinder
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The last thing to put in that "Do-It-Yourself" magic kid (which is the best way to go, in my opinion!) is to put yourself inside the kit. Make up some "tickets" for your time.

The time you spend with the budding young magician is far more important than all the props and trinkets stuffed in the box. Include a ticket for card magic lessons; rope magic lessons, coin magic lessons, etc. Also, some "free time - you pick the magic lesson" tickets. And of course, some "watch me perform" tickets. If you can handle it, the last ticket (MUST be used last after all the other tickets have been used) is a "Trip to the Magic Store for a new trick" ticket. If you put an expiration date on that last ticket, it will provide some motivation to actually work on magic or miss out on the chance to get a new trick during a trip with you to the magic store.
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DanielCoyne
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Quote:
The time you spend with the budding young magician is far more important than all the props and trinkets stuffed in the box.


Nicely said.

-Daniel
gr8fl1
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I have to agree about Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic. The book, along with some coins, cards, string, and time, will make an amazing gift. Learn a couple and show him where it was done in the book. Best of luck. Smile
DWRackley
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Quote:
On 2010-12-10 12:24, Spellbinder wrote:
Include a ticket for card magic lessons; rope magic lessons, coin magic lessons, etc. Also, some "free time - you pick the magic lesson" tickets. And of course, some "watch me perform" tickets.


Spellbinder, those tickets are a great idea! With my kids, we've been using "TV" tickets printed on old pre-perforated business card sheets; they "earn" television/game time by doing school work. Definitely going to work some magic lessons and show-time sessions into the plan now.
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Wizard of Oz
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Awesome idea DWRackley!!!
My son always worked better with incentives. Heck, I think that's human nature. We didn't have tickets, but kept a tally of A's he received on tests and projects. When the goal was met, he was permitted to go to Game Stop and pick out a used game (great bargains BTW). Worked every time!!!
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David Eichler
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Having spent a couple of weeks looking into "the perfect beginner's magic set" for my best-friend's 8.5 year old son, I decided to help her construct the following:
Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic ($10, used, online)
25' magician's rope ($6)
2 decks Bicycle cards ($5)
An assortment of card gaffes (double-faces, double-backs, etc.) ($8)
Cheap plastic cups and balls ($3)
Paddle-move effect ($3)
Two 50-cent pieces ($1)
Silk handkerchief ($4)
Sponge ball set ($4)

Total is $44 for this set. It is enough for his parents to assess whether this is a quickly-passing interest or if it develops into something that should be nurtured and cultivated with something more special than a cheap plastic cups and balls set.
crochow
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Youngstown, Ohio
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The Mark Wilson kit is an excellent choice, perhaps add a into DVD, like Mike Ammar's " Icebreakers".... that way he can actually see how to perform the effect too.
Magically,

Chris Rochow
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