Where to buy it: Ellusionist.com
What it is: The wrong card through a window.
Rating: Five massive panes
Details: David Stone's new effect WINDOW is sold with the tag line, "The card trick so amazing that its name must be spoken in all caps." We couldn't agree more.
This effect quickly became part of my regular repertoire, and is so effective that the cost of all the glass I unintentionally smashed while perfecting my performance was quickly forgotten.
In brief, the effect is this: A spectator chooses a card and the magician shows that a card has passed through a pane of glass and is impossibly stuck to the other side. The spectator says, "That's not my card," and demands a full refund of all the money the magician got in advance for the performance. While begging for a chance to make it right and pleading with the spectator not to call the police and file a fraud complaint, the magician passes a hand over the glass and the card magically changes to the one chosen by the spectator.
As an added bonus for expert magicians, the WINDOW DVD includes many variations on this theme, including one where the card appears with its back to the glass so that nobody can ever figure out if it's the right card or not, and another where the window is signed by the spectator and can be taken home as a souvenir.
Beginning magicians will be pleased to hear that WINDOW's method is simplicity itself.
The chosen card is not forced, and since the wrong card will be revealed there is no need to resort to the usual "card through window" setup (having a different card taped behind each of 52 nearby windows). Instead, the magician completely cleans and then removes the glass from a window, tapes a card to it, and puts it aside. Pretending that the space where the window used to be is just very clear glass, the magician has a card chosen and then, when the spectator is distracted by snappy patter, slips the glass -- with card attached -- into place.
The spectator will be amazed for a moment, and while that is going on the magician locates the spectator's card in the deck using a favorite method (Stone recommends searching for the card with the spectator's fingerprints on it). That card is removed from the deck and taped to another piece of glass the magician has nearby.
The magician palms the piece of glass, and here's the clever part: because glass is transparent, it doesn't matter that it is much bigger than the magician's hand since the spectator will just look right through it! While pretending to magically pass a hand over the card in the window, the magician slips the second piece of glass over the first, obscuring the first card with the card on the second pane of glass. If all is carefully lined up and the magician wasn't holding the glass upside down or anything, it appears as if the card has magically changed!
WINDOW is truly an exceptional piece of magic, its only significant drawback being that performing it in a high-rise office building may lead to an unintended deadly plunge. (Corporate magicians are encouraged to wear a parachute.)