Cartamundi’s purchase of the U.S. Playing Card Company has rocked the magic world. Although the sale is not scheduled to be final until this summer, it has already set a bright line between the pro-sale and anti-sale forces.
As the fives of loyal readers of Inside Magic know, we do not take an official position on the conglomeration or acquisition of companies related to magic or the variety arts.
[Yes, we recall that this hard-and-fast rule was broken on two occasions: the merger of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis (Martin & Lewis Combo Doomed to Failure!) (July 24, 1945); and the manufacturer of fine wood magical pieces, Tree Top Trix, with metal and Plexiglas® effects maker Modern Magic Studios (What Do You Get When You Combine Wood and Plastic? We Don’t Know But We Wouldn’t Eat It) (April 12, 1966). As it turns out, we were wrong on both counts. Martin & Lewis went on to be very successful and Top Plastrix turned out some great effects (although only one was digestible and even then only inadvertently and the subject of much litigation leading to the magic studio’s ultimate bankruptcy. “Mini-Marbles from Nowhere” was a trick just begging to be Exhibit A in litigation,” New York Times, February 19, 1972)]