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Vanishing Brand Trick

By: Chris Welsh - Updated: 28 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
Vanishing Brand Magic Trick Pencil Trick

Utilising a classic sleight called the paddle move, this trick can be as simple or complex as the magician requires.

The Effect
The magician holds up a common pencil, the kind with the name of the pencil on one end, near the eraser. Holding it up for the audience to see, the magician turns it this way and that, showing all sides of the pencil and then allows it to be inspected. Upon retrieving the pencil he announces that he is going to remove the brand on it and lays the pencil in his hand. After closing and opening his hand, the brand is gone. Once more the hand is closed and opened and the brand has returned.

The Secret
The paddle move allows the magician to hide the brand in a close up setting with little chance of detection.

A pencil with a brand or image only on one side near the eraser.

No advance preparation is needed.


Any magician familiar with the street performing trick called the Hot Rod will know what the paddle move is and enjoy this chance to use it with a common object. For those that don’t know, this trick will introduce them to a useful magician’s tool for manipulating small, long, relatively flat objects right in front of a spectator’s eyes. The application here with the Vanishing Brand Trick can be used with any similar object and is really only limited by the magician’s imagination.

The Paddle Move

  1. magician holds pencilmagician holds the pencil between finger and thumbThe magician should hold the pencil near the point end between the thumb and forefinger of the right hand, with the thumb on top and the brand of the pencil visible. The hand should be held out slightly with the eraser end pointing to the right. Simply by turning the hand over, the pencil is turned over, waving from right to left. Now the audience is seeing the back of the pencil, where there is no brand. Turning the hand back over shows the front of the pencil and the brand, once more.20px break
  2. magician twists the pencilmagicain twists the pencilmagician twists the pencilThis time when the magician turns the hand over, when the pencil is under the magician’s chin, he should slightly roll the thumb back, causing the pencil to roll between thumb and finger. This time when the hand settles on the left side, the top is still showing, but to the audience it will look like there is a brand on both sides of the pencil.20px break

Performing the Trick

  1. The magician holds up the pencil and announces he will make the brand disappear. He does step one of the paddle move (without rolling the pencil) to show that the brand is on one side and not the other (without actually saying this).

  2. magician holds the pencil in his palmHolding out the left hand, the magician rests the end of the pencil within and closes his fist over it. The bottom of the pencil is still held in the right hand, and the magician rolls it when the fist closes. When the fist opens, the bottom of the pencil is showing, with no brand. 20px break
  3. This alone will not convince the audience that the magician has removed the brand, but doing step two of the paddle move- showing no brand on “both sides”, will.

  4. To make the brand reappear the magician repeats step one above and then hands the pencil out for inspection.

Magical Tip

The magician needs to practice the paddle move over and over with the pencil to make sure he knows how much to roll it.

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