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Protean Pack by Gary Plants

(c. 2006) (Submit Review) (Submit Update)

Effect: Three cards are selected by three spectators — the King of Hearts, the Jack of Spades and the Ace of Hearts. When the King of Hearts is placed on the bottom of the deck, the entire deck is now seen to consist of nothing but King of Hearts. Then, the Jack of Spades is placed on the bottom of the deck and the entire deck consists of nothing but Jack of Spades. This is repeated once more with the Ace of Hearts. At the end, all of the cards are once again seen to be ordinary.

protean \PRO-tee-un; pro-TEE-un\,

  1. Displaying considerable variety or diversity.
  2. Readily assuming different shapes or forms.

In the past few years we have had the good fortune to witness the publication of a number of works featuring the father of modern magic, Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin. They represent some of the best that magic literature has to offer, and it is practically impossible to read his memoirs without being inspired. Who wouldn’t want to be able to regale their audience with a story or two about the man, and then be able to share one of his miracles with them? Unfortunately it is rather difficult to obtain, a Fantastic Orange Tree, for example, to perform. I doubt the vast majority of us would even have the opportunity to see one, let alone borrow one for a performance.

Luckily the talented Mr. Gary Plants has looked into the repertoire of Robert-Houdin, unearthed a beautiful effect, and had the necessary items made to allow those that are so inclined to perform an effect from the elegant 19th century genius. The trick is the Protean Pack of Cards, and the effect is that the deck transforms itself to consist solely of one of three selected cards when that card is placed on the bottom of the deck. This is done for each of the three selections. Having witnessed Mr. Plants’ performance of this effect a number of times I can state that the effect is striking and grows ever more bewildering with each successive change. Having sprung from the mind of Robert-Houdin, the trick is, of course, an old one and has appeared in his Secrets of Conjuring and Magic as well as Hilliard’s Greater Magic. Those who have those works can learn about the trick prior to purchasing it from Mr. Plants.

What you get is the necessary pack of cards and a write-up of the routine that covers the necessary moves, which are well within the reach of anyone conversant with basic card sleights. The gaffed pack can be utilized with most of the playing cards that magicians tend to utilize: Bicycle, Tally-Ho, etc., and Mr. Plants’ write up is exceptionally thorough detailing the required moves, which are minimal, and the presentation which provides natural cover for bringing out and getting rid of the gaffed pack. If you like stunning magical effects and, like me, think that having an effect from Robert-Houdin in your repertoire is exceptionally fulfilling, then you certainly can’t go wrong with this offering.

(Ricky Smith – M.U.M. Magazine, February 2007)

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Approx. Price: $29.95 (2007) ***

Notice: I am not a dealer and this item is not for sale on this site. It maybe available in the links below or at our sister site: qualitymagicsales.com, but not from here so please do not ask.
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