Mark Setteducati

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Mark Setteducati
BornNovember 1, 1955 (1955-11) (age 68)
New York City, NY
Occupation(s)Magician, author

Mark Setteducati (born November 1, 1955) is an American magician and inventor of magic, illusions, games and puzzles.[1] He is also an author, known for the book, The Magic Show,[2] and featured on PBS Inventors.[3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

Setteducati was born in New York City, NY and grew up in Emerson, New Jersey. He received his BFA in Art and Design from the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, New York.[5] He later became a member of the faculty, where he created and taught the first ever toy and game design class, which allowed students to be able to receive a BFA with a major in Toy Design.[1]


From 1975 to 1980, Setteducati was the assistant to artist, Louise Bourgeois, and in 1992 he performed Magic in “She Lost it”, a performance piece by Bourgeois at The Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia.[1]

After working as an in-house designer for Astra Trading[6] and teaching design at his alma mater, he decided to become a full-time independent inventor. His first invention that he licensed was in 1981, Rubik Game, a game where you play tic-tac-toe on a Rubik’s Cube. Later he developed and designed Rubik's Illusion, which later would lead to a project with the Harry Potter franchise.[1]

Throughout his career, Setteducati developed and licensed puzzles and games to toy companies around the world. In 1986, he designed a game travel version of the Wheel of Fortune game show, which went on to sell millions of copies, and as well as the travel versions of Jeopardy![1] and the Dating Game.[6] A year later in 1987, he designed his first magic set with Harry Blackstone, Jr. that was produced by Pressman Toy Company.[6]

In 1994, Setteducati created the "Magic Works" brand for Milton Bradley, an all-time best-selling line of magic tricks that are geared towards children.[1][7]

Setteducati co-founded Gathering 4 Gardner, along with Tom M. Rodgers and Elwyn Berlekamp, and for many years served as its president.[8]

Released by Jumbo in 1994, Setteducati's "Magic Showcase" offered performers instant acts.[6]

Setteducati co-created and invented Ji Ga Zo with Ken Knowlton, a universal jigsaw puzzle system, debuted in Japan and in 2011, it started being distributed by Hasbro in the United States.[9]

In 2013, Setteducati was featured on PBS Digital Studio series, "Inventors", which is produced by David Friedman.[4]

The Academy of Magical Arts awarded Setteducati the Creative Fellowship Award for 2014, and an honorary lifetime membership to The Magic Castle, Hollywood, California.[10]

Honors and awards[edit]

Award Organization Year Result
Leslie P Guest Award Society of American Magicians 1994 Won
I.D. I. O. T. Int'l Designer & Inventor of Toys 2002 Won
Medal of Honor National Arts Club 2008 Won
Innovative Toy Japan 2010 Won[11]
Tagie Award (nominated) Chicago Toy and Game Fair 2013 Nominated
Creative Fellowship Academy of Magical Arts 2015 Won

Other work[edit]

He is a member of the educational non-profit corporation, Gathering 4 Gardner.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Setteducati has over ten thousand pens, he is the largest novelty pen collector in the world.[1][12]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Zimmerman, Ann. "The Trickster Behind the Magic Tricks". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  2. ^ Levine, Bettijane (13 December 1999). "Presto!". LA Times.
  3. ^ Lynch, EDW (28 March 2013). "Mark Setteducati, Inventor of Magic Toys & Puzzles on 'PBS Inventors'". Laughing Squid. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  4. ^ a b Kolawole, Emi. "Math + magic = 'mathe-magician'?". Washington Post. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  5. ^ "SVA Alumnus Mark Setteducati Profiled by 'NY Daily News'". School of Visual Arts. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d Rubin, Adam (January 2011). "This Is Not A Oen". Magic Magazine (January). Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  7. ^ Reyland, Mark. "Inventing isn't Magic". The United Inventors Association of America. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  8. ^ About Gathering 4 Gardner Foundation Archived 2016-05-07 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Morgan, Matt. "Recreate Any Image in Jigsaw Puzzle Form With Ji Ga Zo". Wired. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  10. ^ Haydn, Pop (18 May 2015). "2015 Academy of Magical Arts Awards Show Winners!". Pop's Soapbox. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  11. ^ Settembre, Jeanette (17 November 2013). "Magician and inventor Mark Setteducati creates HolograFX, a magic set that lets kids project holograms". NY Daily News. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  12. ^ Rubin, Adam (January 2011). "Mark Setteducati". Magic Magazine. Retrieved 16 December 2013.

External links[edit]