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I tried to bring back my 3 Electronic Magic tricks, which I created in the 1990's. Nowadays the market is too crowded to sell 3 separate tricks, so I combined them, as well as 7 other tricks in the Skull. I collaborated with Bob Jeffway who did the electronics.

Mr. Setteducati's career as an independent inventor of children's toys, magic tricks and puzzles that he licenses to major toy manufacturers has spanned 30 years and has earned him 18 patents Mark Setteducati's father owned the Greenwich Tavern, a popular New York watering hole that featured an...

Andre Armenante showed me his idea for using a cellphone to create a "Peppers Ghost" illusion in a cardboard theater. I suggested using his theater to perform a Magic show and make it for my Mr. Creepy magic line. While working on it we decided a Sci-Fi theme would sell better than it being a magic set.

Jigazo is a puzzle with 300 pieces that can be put together to make anybody's face. It was a big hit in Japan. Jigazo in Japanese means "self portrait". I collaborated with Ken Knowlton. We went on to create several other versions  which you can see if you click through to the gallery.

Since 1976 I have sent out Christmas cards that I create. I always try to make them some kind of trick or illusion. It is the ultimate challenge to create a magic trick that can fool a person with just cardboard and without the Magician being there to perform it; completely self-performing! This book, published in 1999, was based on my Christmas cards.

A Dutch company "Jumbo" approached me to create a new magic set. Rather than make a box of separate tricks, my goal was to create an actual show; a complete act with a beginning, middle and end that very young kids can perform. My breakthrough was to create a stage with pages/scenes that changed for each trick. This allowed a smooth and organized transition for each trick. 

Magic in toy stores have always been boxes of tricks, quantity over quality. 100 or more "tricks" - a few good and the rest bad tricks. I convinced Milton Bradley on the idea to focus on one great trick rather than quantity. Series 1 were all Tenyo tricks, who I recruited to be part of the project. I also worked with other Magic Inventors to help me invent tricks for future series.

Magic Works was a huge hit, and the hardest part of a success is follow up ideas. At toy fair, you can't just offer the buyers a few new tricks; you have to show them something very new and exciting. That's why I created Electronic Magic. The first ever-Magic tricks that talk!

A mosaic puzzle set has a predetermined number of pieces (45) with unique, directionally visible, identifiers and different brightness characteristics, three for grey scale and five for color, comprising average brightness(es), and direction and magnitude of brightness gradients, enabling assembly to copy any user selected target picture (30) by following a dedicated table/chart (33).

“I guess I’m an inventor, because I have a lot of patents and I invent things. But I consider myself more of a magician and an artist than an inventor, because most inventors try to improve the world — they try to create the better moustra...

A magic show with video and tricks that interacted with the TV. It would have been much easier to have the character on the video be the star and have the kid just follow along, but the Kid had to be the star, and it had to run 5 minutes without pausing.

An illusion toy has a housing in which a blade is rotated in one direction too rapidly to be seen through 270 degrees between rest positions on respective opposite sides of an article receiving through hole, providing the illusion that the blade has rotated in an opposite direction across the through hole, through the article. An actuating lever for a blade rotating overcenter mechanism has a loop aligned with the through hole so that a trigger end of the lever can be visibly moved between opposite sides of the through hole in the same direction as the apparent movement of the blade. A hollow housing handle forms a candy dispensing store and connects to a delivery chute extending across the housing obscuring a radially outer portion of the blade path providing an impression that rotation of the blade in the one direction is blocked by candy.

A savings box housing comprises a front panel with a transparent window and an opaque rear panel and light-opaque side panels extending from the front to the rear panels. The front and rear panels are disposed symmetrically with respect to a partition located in a plane extending across a central location of the housing interior to divide the housing interior into a front compartment on the window side and a rear compartment on the rear-panel side. A mirror extends over substantially the entire surface of a front side of the partition facing the window. A slide assembly consisting of two slides mounted in slots formed in the housing wall on respective opposite sides of the partition for receipt in the front and rear spaces, respectively, is provided in the housing for sliding movement between a first, coin receiving position, in which the slide assembly is withdrawn from the housing enabling a coin to be set on the slide assembly and, a second, coin depositing position in which the slides are received in the front and rear compartments, respectively, with the coin deposited by the rear slide in the rear compartment concealed during deposit behind the mirror surface and partition so that it cannot be seen through the window, providing the illusion that the coin has gone somewhere outside the housing or that the coin is simply missing.

First and second half or associated objects, in respective different sequential positions are aligned behind respective adjacent, first and second, inclined faces of an optical prism so that, when viewed at different angles alternately through a front face of the prism, images of the first and second half objects are seen alternately by transmission and total internal reflection at alternate faces, combining to form completed whole images of first and second objects alternatively, thereby providing an impression of animation by object movement. The half objects can be pictures of half of a same or similar face or person having respective different expressions producing a changing expression or hands producing a clapping effect. Written message portions associated with half objects can form a complete message/slogan when viewed at alternate angles. The optical prism can be solid or liquid filled and embodied in picture frames, domestic utensils or personal accessories/apparel.

A device for creating a variety of visual images includes a pyramidal body which defines a cavity having three identical triangular walls intersecting each other at an angle of 90 provided with an uninterrupted reflective coating. A grease-type pencil or crayon, templates and various objects are provided for the creation of an infinite variety of visual images therein.

A magician's prop comprise a flat body having an elongate body portion extending along a central axis rearward from a head and elongate lateral portions extending laterally and forward from locations on respective opposite sides of the body portion behind the head to free end portions protruding a small distance in front of the head. A ballast weight and a magnetic element of less weight are concealed in respective free end portions, with respective centers of gravity thereof spaced in front of the head. The resultant weight distribution of the body is such that, when extending horizontally, the surreptitious addition and removal of a hidden magnetic balance weight to the magnetic element by a magician's sleight of hand sets the object into and out of balance extending horizontally from a single pylon positioned under the head, the improbable horizontal balance providing an illusion that a portion of the body remote from the head is suspended. A second magnetic element can be provided to obtain an alternative point of adherence for the balance weight and a point of balance alternative to the head. The ballast weight can be omitted and a third magnetic element and a second balance weight.

A deformable drawing tablet in which contiguous longitudinal edge portions of a stack of individual elongate strips which are confined for relative sliding movement to form a drawing surface. A user can shift individual strips longitudinally to deform the drawing surface thereby distorting an image drawn or preprinted on the drawing surface. Longitudinal end portions of the strips form a lateral edge of the tablet so that the lateral edge can be formed into profiles of different characters by shifting the strips longitudinally to different relative positions. An edge forming die includes a stencil for drawing character features. The strips are clamped in a coplanar stack by a transverse locating post, extending through slots in the strips and secured at opposite ends to a cap and a base which house an eraser and a drawing implement, respectively.

A variable geometric board game playable by two or more persons. The game utilizes the six sides of a cube as playing surfaces. The cube is constructed from articulated subcubes that can be rotated about each of three mutually perpendicular axes for changing the playing surfaces. Each of the subcubes has an aperture for receiving marking pegs in accordance with the game rules. The marking pegs are storable in a base unit which interlocks with the subcubes.

A deck of cards having front faces carrying indicia of playing values to and identical back faces each having a first end portion marked with a first image and a second, opposite end portion marked with a second image which is complementary to the first image and inverted relative to the first image so that so that the first and second images of overlying first and second end portions of different cards are aligned in the deck to provide an animated or kinematic effect when the deck is flipped. Front faces of each cards can also have first end and second end portions marked with complementary first and second images, respectively, to provide a kinematic image effect when the cards are flipped. At least three different, complementary images can be provided on respective front faces of different cards to form sequences of reciprocal actions so that exposure in any order when the cards are flipped provides a kinematic effect.

A magic set comprises a valise containing a set of props, cue sheets and a series of illustrated sheets pivotally bound together. The case can be opened to support the sheets as an elevated, horizontally extending stack to form a stage. Successively uppermost illustrated sheets of scenery can be turned over by a magician to hang vertically from the front of the stage interacting with the illustrated sheet next uppermost to provide different scenes of a continuous magic show. Indicia marked on the illustrated sheets interact and interfit with props in the performance of tricks.

A simulated finger is mounted for unnatural movement on a finger-ring structure so that the simulated finger appears to a casual observer to be the person's natural finger. In different examples, the movements are rotational or axial, and can expose a simulated bone and can be accompanied by appropriated sounds such as screeching or ratchetting. In another example, the simulated finger incorporated a whistle sounded by holding the tip of the simulated finger to the lips and blowing.

When merchandising magic tricks, a web site has a first information set with a motion picture of expert performance of each trick type and a second information set with graphical instructions for perfecting performance of each trick type. Tricks are supplied in a store, with either packaging or an adjacent advertising display for each different type of magic trick marked with first indicia including the web site address and a first key identifying the type of magic trick and visible to a customer prior to purchase so that the customer can access the web site for a demonstration of the trick prior to purchase. Second indicia for that type of trick and a second key, different from the first key, are concealed from the customer by the trick packaging so that a customer can access the instructions for perfecting performance only after purchasing the magic trick.

A three-dimensional puzzle comprising puzzle elements and a reflective surface. In one embodiment, the puzzle elements comprise cubes having visual material thereon. When the cubes are correctly arranged on the reflective surface, the visible cube visual material and the reflection of the cube visual material form a composite image solution. In a second embodiment, the puzzle elements are in the form of relatively flat tiles having visual material on their major surfaces. When the tiles are correctly arranged on a flat surface adjacent the upstanding reflective surface, the visual material on the tiles and the reflection of the visual material combine to form a composite image.

An interactive system for motion picture display of a magic show has a remote information site, such as a television station or internet web site having one of a series of cameras for recording simultaneously different views of a same motion element of a live magic show from predetermined different camera angles and a (video) recording of different views of a magic show pre-recorded simultaneously by a series of cameras set at predetermined different camera angles and television or computer for accessing at least some of the different views locally by one of line and wireless means and operable by an individual member of an audience to switch channels to switch different views for display, alternatively, on a screen, during the magic show. A view access fee can be collected. The different views may be stored on a DVD/CD or hard drive.

A magic set comprises of a plurality of leaves form a book. The book is provided with at least one portion for holding movable props at predetermined different display locations on faces thereof and a prop moved by a user in accordance with the directions between different display locations on one face of a leaf in the performance routine of one trick mechanically interacts with one of trick indicia and a prop on an opposite face of the one leaf to determine an outcome of one of a same and another, previously initiated trick, while a portion of the prop which would reveal a solution to the one of a same and another trick remains undetected throughout the performance of routines of both tricks performance.

The invention provides a personalized set of mosaic puzzle source tiles and a method for assembling them in their entirety into a recognizable semblance of almost any user selected target picture such as a person's face by following assembly instructions based on an automated analysis of the selected face in terms of appearance characteristics, in particular average brightness, magnitude and direction of a brightness gradient, of the source tiles and supplied to the user on a source tile arrangement chart, comprising a predetermined, limited number of puzzle source tiles of identical size and shape, which are rotationally symmetrical, and marked with indicia providing respectively different tile identification codes providing directional characteristics enabling the source tiles to be assembled together in correct rotational positions. The method includes the step of comparing sums fo mismatches of pairs of source tiles with pairs of target regions and exchanging the positions of the source tiles for each other if such sum of mismatch values would be reduced by the exchange and progressively storing the mismatch values to avoid a need for measurements of any tile in identical position at a later stage of computing.

The present invention relates to sets of educational blocks having particular shapes and volumetric relationships which may be used for the visualization and manipulation of geometric relationships. Sets of blocks having specific interrelationships are well known and have been described for educational and entertainment use. U.S. Patent 4,317,654 to Whal shows a cube which is cut up to form particular polyhedra. The U.S. Patent 3,208,162 to Wysdom describes a square root and cube root three-dimensional model. U.S. Patent 595,782 describes a block model wherein a cube is divided into volumetric fractions such as one- third, two-thirds, and the like. U.S. Patent 3,645,535 to Randolph describes various relationships between cubes, tetrahedrons and octohed- rons as these shapes relate to a cubic block. Many puzzles have been devised in which a number of blocks or tiles are selected from a larger number of blocks or tiles and are used to create a construction.

An image transformation puzzle comprising a series of elements with image portions on respective front faces thereof successively linked together for incremental translational and rotational movement around a closed loop path between different positions in which image portions of different elements combine to form different composite images. Image portions of successive elements combine in one of the different positions to reduce the total number of composite images in that position producing a vanishing image effect. The elements may be formed as solid profiles of the image portions.

An amusement device has an image carrying substrate with a corrugated surface with a transverse mirror at a rear end and is marked with first and second sets of strip-like image fragments forming, respectively, first and second composite image components. Image fragments of the second set are both differently shaped, laterally inverted and arranged alternately along the image surface relative to image fragments of the first set so that the corrugations selectively expose image fragments of the first and second sets to the front, away from the reflecting surface, and to the rear, for reflection in the reflecting surface, so that the image fragments of first and second sets combine to form first and second image components, respectively, seen by viewing, simultaneously, directly from the front and by reflection so that first and second image components combine to provide a continuous composite image not readily predicted by a casual spectator.

Was produced by Pressman in the mid 1990's, it is a good example of styling. My goal was not to invent completely new tricks, but to style and redesign classic magic tricks using a spooky theme. It still sells today in Europe.

I always loved this classic German sword illusion toy patented in 1933. Where a sword passes thru a toothpick. It is one of the best illusions ever. I wanted to make it larger and have the sword pass thru your finger. A completely new mechanism had to be invented to achieve this. I also changed the shape and enhanced the graphics to make my version much more deceptive then the German version.

As a student at SVA I created a business card using a mirror to reflect my name (I still use it today). It got such a great response that it encouraged me to create other ideas using mirrors. While discussing mirror ideas with my friend and fellow inventor Joe Dibley, we collaborated on a game we called "Illusion". It became "Rubik's Illusion".

I like the old trick where you put a finger from hand over a finger of the other hand and you apparently remove your finger. I do a version of this trick using a playing card over your finger instead of the other finger. When I was asked if I had any ideas for finger puppets, the idea for Tricky Fingers came to me all at once – use a character head instead of the card!

    A toy where the most fun was to draw directly on it's mirrored surface which created an amazing kaleidoscope effect. I created this in the 1980's and is one of my best mirror inventions.

Published on Mar 21, 2013

Mark Setteducati is a magician and artist who uses principles of mathematics and illusions in the toys and puzzles he invents. He's also a founder of the Gathering For Gardner, a biennial celebration of the life of mathematician and writer Martin Gardner. Here he talks about how math and magic influence him as an inventor. .

Magician and inventor Mark Setteducati creates HolograFX, a magic set that lets kids project holograms The game, on which he collaborated with Andre Armenante, is based on the classic Pepper's Ghost magic trick BY JEANETTE SETTEMBRE / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS It’s all fun and games for 58-year-old Mark Setteducati. The magician...