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Tai Ginseng (Headless Man) by Tony Lackner

(c. 1982) (Submit Review) (Submit Update)

This effect is based on a an old children’s toy of the 1930’s: “The man in the barrel”. Others, including: Eddy Taytelbaum, Fred Kaps, Ken Brooke, Herbert Martin Paufler, Tony Lackner, Vienna Magic, and more recently Francois Danis, have also created effects with the same basic principle. Gary Ouellet used his version of this great effect on National Television in Canada c. 1990, it was called Thingamagic from Camirand Acadey of Magic.

A wonderful classic piece of magic from the great German master Tony Lackner.  The little guy just sits there headless and alone until the chosen card is waved over him then he jumps out and impales the card!  Visually great and surprising to the audience! 

This is what it says in the ad copy but in fact it is a little misleading.  The body of the man is placed inside the barrel and the magician holds the head above and at the appropriate time the head is dropped onto the card causing the body to leap out and trap the card between the body and the head.  If you look at the advert from the Ace Place to the side you can see how the head is held in the hand even though it clearly says in the ad copy: “the magician is pushed down into the barrel where he remains with just his head sticking out of the top.

This is how Bob Ostin’s routine goes:

Effect: Bob shuffles about ten cards and has one selected. He then gives the cards to the spectator to thoroughly shuffle. As the spectator is shuffling the cards, Bob introduces the miniature figure of an old Turkish magician, and a wooden barrel. The magician is pushed down into the barrel where he remains with just his head sticking up out of the top. Bob takes back the cards and shows then one at a time to the Magician in the barrel. As one of the cards is being shown to him the Magician suddenly jumps completely out of the barrel! The card is turned over – it is the selected card.

The talented Frenchman, Francois Danis, created a deluxe version of this effect which can be seen here.

Text Source: Paul Stone Catalogue of Professional Magic – 1983

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Approx. Price: $349.00 (2022) ***


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1 review for Tai Ginseng (Headless Man) by Tony Lackner

  1. Andy Martin

    This effect is based on a an old children’s toy of the 1930’s: “The man in the barrel”. Others, including: Eddy Taytelbaum, Fred Kaps, Ken Brooke, Herbert Martin Paufler, Tony Lackner, Vienna Magic, and more recently Francois Danis, have also created effects with the same basic principle.

    A wonderful classic piece of magic from the great German master Tony Lackner.  The little guy just sits there headless and alone until the chosen card is waved over him then he jumps out and impales the card!  Visually great and surprising to the audience! 

    This is what it says in the ad copy but in fact it is a little misleading.  The body of the man is placed inside the barrel and the magician holds the head above and at the appropriate time the head is dropped onto the card causing the body to leap out and trap the card between the body and the head.  If you look at the advert from the Ace Place to the side you can see how the head is held in the hand even though it clearly says in the ad copy: “the magician is pushed down into the barrel where he remains with just his head sticking out of the top.

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