I Paid a Private Investigator to Tell Me the Identity of Mr Blonde

I’m not sharing their name, but I will use this to dive into the topic of anonymity in magic - The Masked Magician, The Jerx, Mr Blonde... why's everyone so afraid of themselves?

I Paid a Private Investigator to Tell Me the Identity of Mr Blonde
American Vandal: Netflix.

Magicians buy magic tricks from magic shops like Vanishing Inc. Most of the time, they’re buying closely guarded magic secrets — sometimes, they’re buying special magic props that allow them to perform impossible magic tricks.

An anonymous magic creator recently released a magic wallet product to the market. They did so under the pseudonym ‘Mr Blonde.’ The magic creator went all-in on their secret identity. They claimed to be a part of an underground collective of three magicians named ‘The Collective.’ Mr Blonde is the figurehead and founder of the secretive team.

His marketing embraced the fact that they use a secret identity to release magic products. His bio reads: ‘Mr Blonde is someone you know. Someone you have heard of. Someone you have watched. He is a well-known and highly established English performer who wishes to remain anonymous.’

Note: the spelling of Blonde/Blond is inconsistent everywhere, so it’s not just this article that switches between the two.

Their first and potentially final (more on this later) magic release is a special peek wallet named ‘The Peak.’ Yes, he’s very creative with his naming skills. The wallet allows magicians to secretly peek inside to gather information perhaps written on a business card by a spectator.

The roll-out, launch, and eventual roll-back of Mr Blonde have intrigued me. The story involves some famous magicians, magic industry drama, product failures, The Jerx (one of the most infamous anonymous magicians), and a private investigator (because I hired one).

You should note that on the 21st of October, I contacted Mr Blonde directly. I let him know I was writing this article, and I asked if he wanted to provide any commentary on his first product release, its aftermath, Murphy’s Magic, and the concept of anonymity within the magic world.

Mr Blonde did not respond to my email.

I waited three weeks to publish this article.

Part 1. The Peak

Mr Blonde’s first product release was released worldwide via Murphy’s Magic. Murphy’s is the world’s largest magic wholesaler. Creators and publishers pitch products to their buyers, Kathy Carini and Patrick Wolford.

The power that Carini and Wolford hold to shape the magic industry cannot be understated. Any excellent or bad product you see on the shelves or web pages of your favourite magic stores was once greenlit, ordered, and sometimes even commissioned and funded by Carini or Patrick at Murphy’s Magic.

I’ve heard that Murphy’s pressures some dealers to list all of their product catalogues in a sort of all-or-nothing approach. This means magic shops have little to no say on which products they sell — giving them limited ability to quality control for themselves. It would be impossible for small shops to stock their entire catalogue, so the majority of the products are essentially ordered and forwarded on demand.

Some local magic shops signal this on their website, with lines on product pages like ‘ships from our warehouse - allow 1-2 days for dispatch.’ Ordering such a product will trigger it to be shipped from Murphy’s Magic in California to the UK shop before getting forwarded to you.

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