Humming Card Endangered?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by VagueTheory, May 30, 2011.

  1. Hey guys. I was at Myrtle Beach, SC yesterday and I walked into a toy seemed that they were selling a "commercially packaged" humming card. I couldn't see all the contents, but there was a T.V with the commercial for the product playing which basically says that, "If you buy this, you will learn how to do THIS! (Make a spinning card float.)"

    While the Humming Card isn't anything new, I really think that commercially packaging magic ideas to sell to the "laymen society" is really unethical. I mean, I highly doubt people will really end up trying to sell cups and balls or Prophet in toy stores, but why would anyone do this to a product that's supposed to be part of an art of secrecy? I don't care how easy the method is or how many people in the world "know how it's done." It's OUR art and I am against it being sold in chain toy stores.

    What are your views on this?
  2. Yes I completely agree! This has been on my mind for quite a long time! This is happening in Asia too!
  3. Two words: You Tube.
  4. Wouldn't YouTube be considered 'one' word?
  5. I think most everyone is against it in general. The difference lies in how against it anyone is.

    Personally it doesn't bother me all that much as the Hummer Card has been hocked at kiosks in malls and even airports for over a decade now, and the impact of the exposure has been quite minimal. As you said, the material most people are using in their working repertoires is not going to end up in Toys R Us, so there really is not much to worry about. Besides, more than once I've been able to fool someone with a double lift that knew the move. Same thing with IT as well as the TT. I personally don't have a problem with laymen having some magic knowledge as those are usually the people that are most enthusiastic about watching magic and seeing me perform, and I know I can show them something they've never seen before and give them that mystery they are so excited in exploring. If you handle it right and don't make it a challenge, but a sharing experience, those people are quite often the best participants and spectators.
  6. You have a point there...

    I'm curious to know if it was a magician who started branching out the sales of Hummer Card to the public...
  7. Oh, wow.

    Toy stores have all kinds of magic kits and effects for sale. They always have. The construction is sub-par at best. The directions teach only basic handling.

    My children both own a set of cups & balls that they received in a magic kit for Christmas (picked out by myself). I didn't get the sets at a toy store, though. Bed Bath & Beyond had some great ones last year. The grocery store sells small magic sets. Adams used to sell cheap knockoffs of working effects for a couple of dollars each. I saw them frequently at costume stores, party supply stores, and the kinds of candy stores that operated mostly in malls. Big chain bookstores sell these sets, too.

    I just found a scan of a magic set sold in 1976 on Flickr. This set was sold in the Sears Catalog, which was pretty much the at-home shopping/Christmas list for kids before the Internet. You would be appalled at first to see how it's advertised. There is a cup and ball set in that kit, too. Then, I hope you would be comforted to know how much of that material still works 35+ years later.

    I would also hope you understand that such magic sets were sold long before 1976.

    Look, I'm with you in spirit. I'm a strong believer in keeping as many secrets as possible.

    Yet, the cheap effects have always been with the toys. Always. The "secrets" contained with them are difficult for the laymen to follow and seldom teach anything beyond the most basic technique anyway. Many, many decades of cheap effects in toy stores haven't ruined magic yet. Some of them have done the complete opposite.
  8. Wow...I can't believe I forgot about the magic sets that I've been seeing in stores nowadays...I guess I've neglected the Svengali deck I bought at the Dollar Store a few years back, haha.

    I see how it can be a good can bring a youngster into the world of magic.
  9. Vague,
    You are exactly correct. Svengali decks and magic sets have been sold to the public for decades. It is what introduced and brought many of us into the art prior to the days of the Internet.
  10. While it's certainly frustrating that some great tricks are sold in toy stores, as others have pointed out, it's been going on for decades. My parents bought me magic sets when I was a kid back in the 70s at Sears and other department stores. It's doesn't really hurt magic. And as someone said, you can still fool people with TT and cups and balls even if they have them in an old magic set. Because the instructions are usually basic and teach only one trick, most lay people think that the prop can only be used one way.

    A TT for example. Most lay people know that it's used to vanish a silk. But you can still fry 'em with a bill switch because they don't know the TT can be used in that way.

    Cups and balls. Most basic sets teach nothing about final loads. Again, lay people will be amazed when you lift the cup to show a lemon or tennis ball or whatever.

    I think exposure on YouTube is slightly more damaging. However, it forces us to think differently about our magic and how we perform it. Wanna do Card Warp for a lay person? You might want to add a few convincers because a lot of lay people have seen that trick exposed on YouTube. Not impossible to do. All you have to do is alter the method slightly and you'll still fool them.
  11. I'm in a unique position to reply to this thread because I'm working for a guy who sells a few magic props at a theme park. We sell the the Hummer Card, the D'Lites, Invisible Decks (not bicycle), Svengali decks (also not bicycle), and the sponge balls. Every time someone buys a trick we teach them how it works on a basic level so they can get started without having to sort through the often confusing directions that come with these props.

    That being said, it's surprising how few people buy these tricks, even after a good demonstration. I think that most of the people that come to the theme park I work at don't really want to know how magic works, or if they do, they're not willing to pay theme park prices for it. Josh Jay makes a point that he doesn't mind revealing tricks in books because, in order to find the secret, you have to put in the effort to pick up the book and look through it. The same goes for the tricks I'm helping to sell, people have to invest some money, time, and ultimately effort, to get the secrets.

    Those who do buy the tricks we sell usually are people who, at least from my quick read of them, will go out and do the tricks. If I'm going to teach magic, I want people to use their new knowledge to go amaze their friends. I believe that we need to teach magic and sell tricks to non-magicians as long as we are sure that we're adding performers to the magic community, otherwise there will be no more magicians around after the current young-guns die.

    Yesterday I had a some guys come in and buy one of each of the main props we sell. They ended up with the D'Lites, the Hummer Card and the Sponge Balls. The looks on their faces as they learned how the tricks worked were priceless. They were as amazed at the secrets behind the tricks as they were with the tricks themselves. I know these people will, at least for a little while, take what they learned and use it to astound their friends, and it's because of this knowledge that I'm happy to share a behind the scenes look at little bit of our amazing art with the people that come and buy our tricks.
  12. Final loads are just the beginning of what those sets don't teach. That is what I stressed that almost anything to be gained from a toy store magic set is going to be so basic that we don't have much to fear.

    Although, to be fair, I sometimes will spend a spare dollar or two on one just to see if there are any obscure goodies to be found. Every once in a while a person can find a little sliver of gold in those things. The laypeople won't even know what they're holding, either.
  13. I bought a kids set some months ago..and it had around 10 tricks...and 2 of them were pretty amazing...1 of them is part of a routine of mine and the other is permanently inside my wallet...also...I got a magic wand from there (yay!!!) it`s good to spend a couple bucks (some pesos in my case) to buy those "silly" case you don`t find anything interesting...they make great gifts in kids parties!!!
  14. There are hundreds and hundreds of magic shops where I live. What does it matter WHERE it's sold? The fact is that these items are commercially available at any time to the layman.
  15. Never thought about it that way're completely right. There's no way to prevent a layman from entering a magic store and buying something.

    Maybe I'm just overthinking this, haha. I'm starting to remember my first magic kit...I bought it in one of those monthly Scholastic sales at my elementary school. It didn't really "get me" into magic wasn't until a substitute teacher (who was a magician) tell me about Penguin Magic after he saw me doing a lame bill switch to one of my friends that really got me hooked.

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