Review: Little Door by Roddy McGhie

Review: Little Door by Roddy McGhie

Now that COVID-19 is thankfully under control and places are starting to open up again, I do get emails from magicians asking for recommendations and suggestions— specifically for good card tricks that they can perform for families in a table hopping scenario at a restaurant or bistro cafe. They are looking for something with a fun WOW factor which is easy to do, appropriate for all ages, and doesn’t require expensive refills. A cute card effect instantly springs to mind and if you haven’t gotten this already, read on to find out more about Little Door by Roddy McGhie!


Effect: You tell the story of a trick a magician once showed you. You explain that he was able to name your chosen card using a little secret door in the card case. You illustrate this by drawing a little door on the card case. Without any funny moves, you proceed to OPEN the little door showing the card within! Of course this was just a story so you close the door before slowly erasing the drawing and immediately handing the case out for examination! This incredible effect is not just a card trick but rather a magical, illustrated tale designed to entertain and enrapture audiences of all ages. It also looks really cool!

Unboxing Little Door by Roddy McGhie

At the expense of sounding like an ancient millennial who used to receive most of her magic purchases in plastic ziplock baggies back in the day, it always impresses me how much pride and professionalism Penguin Magic has especially when it comes to packaging their P3 exclusives. Like in this instance, there’s just three items in this bit of kit and they could have easily done away with the nice sturdy box with the magnetic flap so it doesn’t eat into their profits but the team chose to respect both the creator and their customers in ensuring that everything arrives nicely as they should without any damages!

You receive the same black marker used in the official promo video featured above, which you can easily replace at any office supplies store once the ink eventually runs out, as well as the two handmade gimmicks that will go on to a USPCC Bicycle deck from your stash. These gaffs come in mandolin backs but trust me, no one will notice if you’re using a regular red deck. Roddy apparently made these gaffs himself and they’re very well done, so with proper handling and care I think they should last a very long time.

The password and URL for the online tutorial are printed on the inside of the box flap, and we get not one, not two, but three videos! Two of them are by the creator (Scottish magician Roddy McGhie himself) but if you only have time to just watch the first one by Penguin’s very own Nick Locapo, you’d be good to go as it’s very clear and concise. Several different variations are taught in the online tutorial, including Roddy’s original handling, so depending on your skill level as a magician, you’ll have options on how you’d like to do your presentation.

Let’s talk USP (unique selling points)

There are so many things to love about Little Door by Roddy McGhie the ad copy for this highly visual close up magic trick is accurate; the audience see you use a dry erase marker to draw a small door on the back of your card box, then it stumps them when that door visibly slides open to reveal their chosen card, and just as your spectators are still grappling to figure out how you did it… their minds explode once you invite them to rub away the ink and examine the box. Talk about impossible!

I absolutely enjoy performing this one to muggles. It’s a very charming card effect that never fails to delight the young and old, and every time I get spectators to reach out and erase the magical door at the end, people can’t help but gasp in awe and astonishment when they inspect the card box. Remember when you were a kid and you thought magic is real? Yeah, you’ll see that moment twinkling in their eyes.

So if you’re big on personality and want to do an almost self-working card trick which will boggle the brains of your audience, this would be your golden ticket. I’m confident that once you’ve completed the tutorials, you’d be itching to come up with your own unique spin to present this gem. There are so many possibilities for patter when it comes down to a magical portal in your hands, so feel free to blue sky a little and be creative!

Now while you don’t need to be a card expert to pull off this cute card trick and get instant love from your adoring fans, the only caveat here is that you can’t perform this again to the same crowd. But that is the only limitation and all the positives far outweighs this. Oh yes, a wee bit of drawing practice is also required before you bust this one out for a show. Honestly, I think drawing that door may just be the toughest job required for this clever little trick 😉

TLDR: Little Door by Roddy McGhie

Knock knock… who’s there? It’s just Ning telling you that if you’re searching for a solid opener, look no further than Little Door by Roddy McGhie. The custom made gimmicks for this audience pleaser are well crafted, the premise is fun and the motivations makes sense, plus the brilliant card routine is easy to do (you just need a touch of audience management) and practically resets itself. This highly visual card trick will make you seem like you do have real powers! Trust me, this is one modern day miracle that everyone will love. Very highly recommended!

Grab yours now from Penguin Magic while stocks last.

Picture of ning
Ning Cai is a Singapore Literature Prize nominated author, who was also long listed for the Epigram Books Fiction Prize in 2016. A bestselling writer, she is also recognised for her illusionist/ escapologist stage character Magic Babe Ning, and recognised by Channel News Asia as South East Asia's first professional female magician.

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