Where to buy it: Fooler Doolers (mention this review and they'll take off the $3.95 shipping charge -- really!)
What it is: A card trick using playing cards that you make yourself.
Rating: Ten (slightly misaligned) pips
Details: Presto Printo is an entertaining bit of card magic in which a set of blank cards has standard playing card faces magically printed on them right before spectators' eyes. The trick comes with a number of cards, detailed instructions, and a nice DVD that makes learning the effect a snap but sounds terrible when placed in a CD player (don't ask).
The effect's inventor Daryl says that the trick is quite easy to learn, so to test this statement we asked three individuals to learn and perform Presto Printo. Our test subjects were Fabulous Stu, a professional magician; Margaret, a semi-professional manicurist from Detroit; and Pongo, an untrained chimpanzee from the Los Angeles Zoo.
Test #1: Fabulous Stu
As a professional magician, Fabulous Stu found Presto Printo particularly easy to understand and perfect. Before long he had expanded the effect's scope and was magically printing entire decks of cards for himself, potentially saving thousands of dollars a year.
Test #2: Margaret
Margaret had to wait for her nails to dry before giving Presto Printo a try. Once she was ready, she watched the DVD (a good option for her, since her gum chewing skill currently surpasses her reading skill).
After watching the video a couple of times and getting some assistance with multisyllable words from her husband Buford, Margaret got the moves down and became fairly proficient after only a few practice sessions. Her only difficulty was that the cards she printed never came out quite right. Some were mirror images, others had pips that were smudged or kind of swirled around -- but she just took it all in stride and made the poor printing part of her presentation. Now she performs Presto Printo before all of her manicure appointments and has seen her tips almost double.
Test #3: Pongo
Pongo ate the cards and threw the DVD into a tree.
It seems to us that Presto Printo is a good effect for the card magician who wants something original in a packet trick, and a nice choice for non-magicians who want something fun to perform for their friends and customers. It is also an okay source of roughage for zoo animals.