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Zig Zag Card OutDone by Mike Shelley, Morty Rudnick, Magical Mysteries

(c. 1988) (Submit Review) (Submit Update)

Danny Korem created a very elegant (and expensive) Zig Zag Card c. 1978.  Then Mike Shelley and Morty Rudnick of Magical Mysteries released this version c. 1988 streamlining the method and it has been copied ever since.  

It is simpler than Danny’s version, and is pretty much perfect.  Very easy to do, with basic props made from thin artboard that don’t scream gimmicked, and there are no angle issues either.  You you can sign the center of the card and watch the middle with the signature be slid all the way over right before your eyes!

I have a few other versions of this effect, but there is no question that this version created by Mike Shelley and Morty Rudnick of Magical Mysteries is the best I have seen. (Mike also created jumbo versions of this including one with Mickey Mouse, and he had Viking Mfg. create a collectors version made out of wood.  In my opinion the simplicity of the original was also one of the reasons it was so effective.)

Effect:  A card is placed into a holder and even though the card remains in view all of the time, the magician is able to slide the middle of the card out in a most mysterious fashion. The magician then restores the card. 

Patter: you can ask if anyone has ever seen a woman or man depending on what card you have sawed in half. Tell them it takes more equipment than you can carry in your pocket but that you do have the next best thing … the famous zig zag card.

You can explain how you can hypnotize the card so it will feel no pain. As this trick is angle proof show both sides of the holder as the card is in each position tell the audience that you have also hypnotized them too so they actually think that you are able to remove the center of the card.

Explain that you are creating the illusion that they actually see the center of the card move away from the rest of the card. place your fingers through the empty holes to show that there is noting there.  Look through the empty holes and establish that the card is really zig-zagged. Finally remove the card and show it completely restored and get the applause you deserve.


Zig-Zag Card Outdone is not something I expected to like. In fact, I generally loathe close-up versions of stage illusions where an inanimate object is substituted for the magician’s assistant. The thing that makes such illusions interesting, aside from the assistant’s skimpy costume, is that something either dangerous or impossible is being done to her. Who cares if you do Harbin’s Zig-Zag with a playing card?

This version, however, really looks so magical that it overcomes the problem. A card is selected and signed across the center. It is slipped into a thin artboard frame which has holes cut in it so the card remains in view at all times. The center section, with the signature, is then cleanly slid to one side. It’s real pretty, and anyone can do it in five seconds.

(Richard Kaufman – Genii Magazine, June, 1988)
Text Source: lybrary.com – click for details

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Approx. Price: $50.00 (2020) ***

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1 review for Zig Zag Card OutDone by Mike Shelley, Morty Rudnick, Magical Mysteries

  1. Andy Martin

    Danny Korem created a very elegant (and expensive) Zig Zag Card c. 1978.  Then Mike Shelley and Morty Rudnick of Magical Mysteries released this version c. 1988 streamlining the method and it has been copied ever since.  

    It is simpler than Danny’s version, and is pretty much perfect.  Very easy to do, with basic props made from thin artboard that don’t scream gimmicked, and there are no angle issues either.  You you can sign the center of the card and watch the middle with the signature be slid all the way over right before your eyes!

    I have a few other versions of this effect, but there is no question that this version created by Mike Shelley and Morty Rudnick of Magical Mysteries is the best I have seen. (Mike also created jumbo versions of this including one with Mickey Mouse, and he had Viking Mfg. create a collectors version made out of wood.  In my opinion the simplicity of the original was also one of the reasons it was so effective.)

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