So Many Magic Sets, So Little Time

Most of us started in magic this way, getting a magic set from Mom, Dad, our aunt, uncle, etc. for our birthday, Christmas, or other special event. Nothing matched that feeling that you had when you opened that mystical box of wonders. For me, it was a Transogram magic set purchased for me by my folks at Ted’s Bargain Basement. To this day, I still collect magic sets. In fact, the entire upper perimeter of my office is shelved with them. I have so many now, they’re even stacked up around me.

I remember opening the Transogram magic set up and looking at it in the car going home trying to figure out how to work the tricks inside. My dad was good enough to be my teacher, taking time out to help me learn each effect. What this meant was for the next year for every family gathering, I hauled out my box of tricks and performed them for my ever-patient relatives, even though they’d probably seen the tricks several times, they always applauded and encouraged me.

Imagine how excited I was when Greg Wilson showed up on Monday with an entire grouping of vintage magic sets from his dad’s collection. Now, the fun of going through each one and traveling down memory lane and now having the pleasure of offering them to you. There some great kits here, including a Mandrake Magic Set, Royal Wonder Box Magic Set, Greatest Magic Show on Earth Magic Set, and many more! Many of them look like they were stored in a time capsule. See for yourself:

While going through the magic sets with Greg, I couldn’t believe what I was about to see. When I was around 6 years-old, my parents took me to the movies on a Sunday afternoon. Next door to the movie theater was a hobby shop. In their window display, they had these model kits that were miniature versions of large stage illusions. I can’t tell you how badly I wanted them! The store was closed that day, however. My father said that if I saved up my allowance money, he would take me back to the hobby store to buy the model kits. I went on a frantic money-raising campaign, raking leaves, pulling weeds, running errands, anything I could do to raise the money. Within a week’s time, I had enough money, but it was several weeks before my dad could take me back to the hobby store. Sadly, when we finally arrived, the model kits had been sold. I was devastated. So all these years have passed, and now, sitting in my hands, are those very kits:

Manufactured by the Multiple Toymaker Company in the early 1960s and sold in limited supply through hobby and toy stores, these model kits contain a working miniature of the famous Sawing a lady in Half Illusion and Disappearing Lady ready for assembly. Talk about a flood of great memories!

This is just a sampling of a few of the items that Greg brought us from Mark’s personal collection. Each set and kit comes with owner certificate of authenticity from Mark & Nani Wilson. We’ll be posting more of them in the Private Estate section of the web site over the next week, so stay tuned.

So that about wraps it up for this week. Betty and I are leaving early to enjoy the weekend with our son, Cole, to celebrate his 23rd birthday. In the meantime, between you and me, I’ll be toying with all those great magic sets.

Until next time,



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