So, for some wild reason, you feel the need to put together a magic kit for someone you really like. Rather than going out and laying down a couple of bills on an “executive magic kit” (as you can find various places), here’s what I’d do:
- A nice leather briefcase,
- A copy of Mark Wilson’s Complete Course In Magic, by Mark Wilson. Softcover is in print, but hardcover copies in good condition are available very inexpensively from any used-book shop — and you can get an autographed and personalized copy direct from Mark, so that’s the way I’d go.
Then the following gear:
- Two decks of Bicycle Rider-back poker sized cards, one red, one blue. Available from any variety store.
- Six American half-dollars, reasonably well-matched in appearance. Get the kind with an eagle on the back. $3.00 at any bank.
- Two old-fashioned English pennies, the ones that are the same size as half-dollars. You can get these for dollars at a magic shop, or for pennies at a coin shop. You aren’t looking for collectibles.
- A box of 1.5″ Goshman super-soft sponge balls, available from any magic shop. They come four-to-the box, and are very inexpensive.
- The Professor’s Nightmare, a rope trick, available at any magic shop.
- The Twentieth Century Silks. Available at any magic shop.
- A set of cups-and-balls (available at any magic shop).
- A set of 4″ or 5″ linking rings. Any magic shop.
- An Okito coin box.
A packet trick. Choose one from among:
- Twisted Sisters,
- Skinner’s Ultimate 3-Card Monte.
You can get ’em at any magic shop.
That briefcase will probably be the most expensive thing on the list.
Other books might include: Modern Coin Magic by J. B. Bobo. The Royal Road to Card Magic by Jean Hugard and Frederick Braue. Magic and Showmanship by Henning Nelms.