Time Ahead by Marcelo Contento

(c. 1995) (Submit Review) (Submit Update)

This is a high-end version of Paul Curry’s Touch.

Effect: Two decks of cards, a red deck and a blue deck, are displayed. An audience member selects one of the decks (let’s assume they have chosen the red one).
After showing the faces of the blue deck, the performer selects three blue cards as “predictions.” Without showing them to the audience, he places them, one at a time, onto three points ofa six-pointed star, backs toward the audience.

The volunteer selects three cards from the face up red deck. The performer places these cards onto the remaining points of the star, faces toward the audience. The six cards are in alternating order: blue back, red face, etc.

The performer spins the star and turns it around so that the faces of the blue predictions and the back of the red cards are facing the audience.

When the star stops moving, the values of the prediction cards are exposed. They match the other three freely chosen cards!

Remember, the volunteer has absolutefreedom to select any three cards.

The Props:
Time Ahead, specially designed and built by Victor and Marcelo Contento, includes a brass-chromed Stand, clear acrylic Star, turn-table, two Bicycle decks (one of them specially printed for this effect by the U.S. Playing Card Co.), gimmicks and instructions. The props come in a custom-made polystyrene package that can be used for transportation and protection. The set-up takes a few seconds and what is most important, it is self-working which gives you the opportunity to concentrate on your presentation.

Nick Ruggiero, from Collector’s Workshop, says: “This is a very nicely made piece of apparatus. High quality for professional use.” We agree. This is not a toy. This is an exquisite piece designed for the working Magician/Entertainer.

This is a beautiful known principle exploited to its ultimate potential; if you were to use real magic with this equipment, your audience would not know the difference.


Paul Curry marketed a card prediction effect called “Touch,” (c. 1937) which was later included in Greater Magic under the title “The Infallible Prediction.” Many variations have been published, including versions by Joe Berg, T. A. Waters, and one marketed by Merv Taylor called “Ultissimo,” which was basically the Curry idea with the addition of a clear lucite rack in which to hold the playing cards. “Time Ahead” from Victor and Marcelo Contento keeps the same effect as the Taylor item, but changes the design of the rack, using an anonymous idea from a book by Juan Tamariz.

The magician displays two decks of cards, red-backed and blue-backed. There is also a display rack which consists of a six-pointed lucite star which is mounted on a C-shaped metal stand. The stand is attached to a circular lazy-susan type turntable. The magician removes three cards from the face down blue deck and places each card (backs out) into a clip on alternating points of the star. Now, three spectators each name a card (free choices). These are removed from the face up red deck, and they are clipped into place (faces out) on the remaining three points of the star. The star is given a gentle spin. As it spins, the entire stand is turned 180 degrees, revealing the other side of the star. The audience sees the backs of the red cards and the faces of the blue-backed cards. They also see that the magician has correctly predicted the three cards.

Before I go any further, I should tell you that the star stand is not gimmicked in any way. The trick is accomplished using gaffed cards (which are included). In the Taylor version, it is possible that when the stand (which is simply a horizontal stand) is rotated, a particularly observant spectator may notice that the cards are not in the proper spatial relationship. In this version, the spinning of the star causes the spectators to lose track of the actual positions of the cards. This does not minimize the effect; it simply eliminates a possible clue to the solution.

The stand that Victor and Marcelo are selling is a beautiful prop. The star is 10 inches in diameter and the entire unit stands 15 inches tall. Unfortunately, it’s not cheap, which is why I wanted to make sure that you understood what you’re buying. The trick is a strong one and requires no sleight-of-hand ability. If you have the dough and the effect appeals to you, it is well worth checking out.

(Michael Close – Magic Magazine, March 1996)
Text Source: michaelclose.com – click for details

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Approx. Price: $159.00 (2000) ***

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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