(instructions in English, German, French, Spanish and Dutch)
by Angelo Stagnaro
Retail price is US$23 (€19) plus shipping. The Phenomena Deck is designed to emulate a normal deck of playing cards so that most card tricks could be replicated with it. I developed this deck initially for my own use as I try to avoid regular playing cards in my mentalism act. The deck consists of 13 symbols based on Rhine’s original five set up in four “suits” of four different colors. The deck is “one-way” in design.
In addition to the many mentalist effects that utilize the original Rhine cards, the Phenomena Deck can be used for the larger percentage of card effects that can be performed with a regular deck of playing cards. Those effects that specifically require a separation of red and black suits will prove to be a bit difficult with the Phenomena Deck.
The first five basic symbols of the Phenomena Deck were originally developed by Prof. J.B.Rhine (1895-1980,) of Princeton University. His seminal research on ESP during the 1920s produced his famous “Zener Cards.” Several of the remaining symbols used in the Phenomena Deck were partially derived from the Phantini’s Challenge Mental Act.
The idea for the Phenomena Deck’s four multi-colored suits was taken from Dr. Thorton’s Perception Deck as described in the Mentalist Encyclopedia – Volume 1 (pg. 192.) The original deck had fifty cards (two complete Rhine decks) and came with three effects.
The Phenomena Deck is designed so as to be used by a wide number of magicians:
Mentalists – This deck is a useful alternative for mentalists to comfortably use card effects despite how their widespread dislike of mentalism effects that utilize playing cards. The original Rhine deck of 25 cards has been useful to our community for many years but many mentalists have lamented that the Rhine deck has limited uses. A full 52-card Rhine-like deck offers many more possibilities. One of the particularly useful aspects of the original Rhine deck is the 1 through 5 inherent coding of the symbols. The Phenomena Deck offers a full 13 indices like a normal deck of cards based on the same inherently intuitive and easily memorized system.
Children’s Performers – I’ve used the Phenomena Deck with great success with children. Children generally have difficulty recognizing and memorizing the normal playing card suits and indices which make most card effects inappropriate for them. The more familiar shapes and colors of the Phenomena Deck would allow a larger number of card effects to be used with them.
Very Young Magicians – The Phenomena Deck can offer very young magicians a helping hand as they begin practicing our art. Frequently, young magicians aren’t completely clear in distinguishing between the indices and suits (especially the latter) of regular playing cards.
Close-up Magicians – This deck would offer something new and different for card magicians who are tired of regular playing cards or feel an old card effect might be enlivened by giving it a fresh look.
International Audiences – In these modern times, where many professional magicians find themselves performing for international audiences or for audiences that don’t all understand the same language. For them, the Phenomena Deck offers an interesting and practical alternative. Symbols and colors are recognizable universally without a need for interpretation.
Disabled Audiences – For those magicians who perform for disabled audiences, the Phenomena Deck solves many communication problems that might arise.
If you have any purchasing questions about “The Phenomena Deck,” please direct them to Manipulix Publishers at firstname.lastname@example.org. Editorial and content questions may be directed to the author at: Erasmus@conjuror.eu.
North American magicians may buy “The Phenomena Deck,” directly from George Robinson Jr. at Viking Mfg. and Collectors’ Workshop:
European magicians may buy “The Phenomena Deck” directly from the publisher:
Zauberhandlung Manipulix Publishers
Ahornweg 11, D 94551 Lalling, Germany
Tel: + 49 (0) 99 04 6 96
Fax: + 49 (0) 99 04 9 59
Mobil: + 49 (0) 172 77 28 5 99