Available from: Aldi on sale from 20th November while stocks last
Suitable from: Age 8 – adult
Initial Reaction: When I received the Amazing Magic Tricks set to review, I decided to test the product out with someone who I thought it would really appeal to – my father-in-law, Tom. The set is aimed at age 8 to adult, and it would be a good stocking filler for a tricky-to-buy-for adult as well as a child. He tried out the set and we went through the review questions together.
Tom thought that the packaging of the box was appealing, that the colours were appropriate and that the overall look of the set aroused his interest. I hadn’t told him where the set was from, and he likened it to the stocking fillers you’d buy in BhS, Marks and Spencer and other high street stores.
The set contains a small but detailed instruction book, a pack of marked cards, other ‘trick’ cards, dice and a range of equipment for the different tricks. Some of the items can be used for more than one trick, and the majority of the tricks in the book are card based (so although there are 50 tricks, you don’t get 50 different items).
Pros: It was easy to get stuck in and start doing tricks straight away. There are several magic tricks that don’t require any slight of hand and are really more like puzzles, so even a child could do them straight away without needing to spend a lot of time practicing. Tom felt that this would help lead kids into the more difficult tricks.
The instructions were often illustrated, making them easy to follow. You don’t need any extra equipment – everything you need to do the tricks is provided in the set (apart from a few coins, which I think I can excuse!).
The set comes in a good quality tin and packs away neatly: much more appealing than the huge plastic toys my toddlers play with! This also means that it would be ideal for travelling, perhaps to keep a child occupied on a long train journey.
Cons: Tom struggled to think of any cons. I thought it would have been nice for a younger audience if the kit included a wand – not essential for the magic tricks, but it would help to add a bit of performance – especially as the kit is illustrated with magic wands throughout. Perhaps the lack of wand is a nod to modern street ‘magicians’ like David Blaine and Derren Brown?
We also thought that it wouldn’t be the ideal present for everyone – for a child who’s very physical, doesn’t have a great concentration span, or gets frustrated easily, the kit might become too challenging to hold their attention. But for the right person, it could be great.
Value for money? Yes. Given current prices, £8 is relatively cheap stocking filler, but nothing in this set looks ‘cheap’ – it’s all good quality.
Overall Reaction: There are quite a few tricks here that can be picked up straight away, so the Amazing Magic Tricks set could be great entertainment for Christmas day. It could even make a more entertaining (and cheaper) alternative to crackers and give some entertainment after Christmas dinner.
This probably isn’t the right gift for everyone – with the temptations of games consoles and TV, not every child will be enthusiastic about taking the time to practice and perfect the skills required to perform magic well. But if the idea of being a magician caught a child’s imagination, this set could be a real winner and start off a long-term hobby.