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Thumb Fun Review

Official Review

January 15th, 2016 5:57am
Reviewed by Doc Johnson

This is a classic of magic and a blast from the past! It was released in the 1950s by Sid Lorraine, famous for his illustrations for Abbott Magic. The product was discontinued many years ago, and more recently brought back to life by Devin Knight.

The effect is you show several blank pieces of paper front and back. You show your thumb clean. You press your thumb to one of the blank cards and it leaves a thumb print. You receive five blank pieces of cardstock that are 1.5 by 2 inches, or approximately 4 by 5.5 centimeters. In addition, you receive five pieces of cardstock the same size with various thumb prints on them. One has the number 2 ½, another the numbers 1 through 9, another has a small two of clubs, another has a three of spades, and the last has a five of clubs. Finally, you receive five cards with thumb prints that have a blank space in the middle that you can customize.

You also receive a four page instruction sheet. No DVD or online video, just written instructions.

The method is very easy, and involves the easiest of “moves”. The ad copy says there are no sleights. I’m not going to disagree, given the one “move” you must do really isn’t much of a sleight. I would call it a simple move, not a sleight.

The instructions cover a variety of presentations, covering all the thumb print cards you have. Each card is a different presentation and really slightly different effect. The presentations also run the spectrum of card revelation, gag, and even mentalism.

The premise is pretty simple, but the various routines can be very effective and very entertaining. I never saw Sid perform, but there is a section on the last page of the instructions that is a list of comedy bits that Sid used in conjunction with this effect. Many of the bits are reminiscent of old vaudefille bits and they may not work well today, but some might be brushed off and used, or at least, used as inspiration for more up to date bits. For example, using one of the bits as a guide, you would have a participant hold out their thumb in the same position as a hitch-hicker. You would then ask them to move it forward and backward and you help guide them. You then say: “I am going to do a little reading… you like to travel, but you are cheap."


I don’t know what to say here. You should know that the cards are quite small, the dimensions given above. I don't know if that is a con or a pro. I my mind, it’s more of a pro, but it is something you should be aware of.


A great blast from the past, brought back to life!

Suggestions from the Reviewer

I think this effect would lend itself wonderfully to a give-away, however, you only have a limited number of fingerprint cards. One particularly good give-away would be for a special couple, celebrating a wedding or an anniversary. Take one of the fingerprint cards with a blank space and make a photocopy of it. Using a fine tip pen, modify the fingerprints to be in the shape of a heart. Find out the initials of the special couple in advance. Let’s say they are RT and LT. Inside the heart, write “RT + LT”. Make another photocopy of this onto card stock. Perform the routine as outlined in the instructions.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Thumb Fun

Publisher: Illusion Concepts - Devin Knight
Average Rating:  (3)
Retail Price: $19.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

This was one of Sid Lorraine's most popular tricks. It has been off the market for more than 40 years. Devin Knight obtained permission from the Abbott Magic Company to release this again and to update the original directions. How good is this effect? Well, it was one of the late Doug Henning's favorite tricks and was personally taught to him by Sid. Doug Henning used it everywhere, including in some of his touring stage shows, showing it on a big screen behind him.

EFFECT: A playing card is selected and kept a secret from the performer. The performer shows five small white cards blank on both sides, the size is roughly 1.5 x 2.5. He cleanly removes a card and shows it to be blank on both sides (no double-lift).

The performer shows there is nothing on his thumb and presses it against the blank card, when he lifts his thumb, there is seen to be a black thumbprint with a small replica of the chosen card inside the thumbprint. One of the most novel and commercial card revelations ever invented and a favorite of many professional magicians. Everything can be examined. You can repeat the effect later and have a different card appear. Appeals to all ages. You are not limited to playing cards, you can make numbers, ESP symbols or even the person's initials appear within the thumbprint. You can leave the thumbprint with the spectator to show to others.

This effect comes with Sid's complete directions updated by Devin Knight. A highly sought-after effect by collectors that is now available again. The effect looks so good you will almost fool yourself. Learn to do it in five minutes.


"I really do think this gem is something that many magicians will find as a 'keeper' as they perform it and realize the wonderful effect it has on an audience. You have revived an exceptional piece of magic for many to enjoy! I'm impressed and very happy that you've gone through all that you have to make this available again."
- Chester McBain

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