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Hippity-Hop Rabbits

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"Hippity-Hop Rabbits"

Hippity-Hop Rabbits is a classic comedy, sucker effect that uses two cut-out wooden figures of rabbits, on solid bases so they stand up-right, normally one white and one black. Each rabbit has a rectangular wooden cover, traditionally decorated with a black top hat and cane design on both sides of one, and with white top hats and canes on the other.

In its presentation, upon the performer's command the two rabbits keep magically changing places, while under their respective covers. At its finale, the effect culminates with a surprise, sucker-effect finish.

Hippity-Hop Rabbits is commonly used in shows for kids, and has become something of a children's magic classic. Just as with the adult audiences, the kids begin to think they know the secret to how the magician is doing it, which sets up the surprise sucker finish.

Created by Stanley Norman in England under the name Elusive Rabbits'[1]


James Stewart thought very highly of the Hippity Hop Rabbits and at one time he said: "I consider this by far the greatest classic of its kind ever created and vastly superior to the Die Box."[2]

Differing Versions and Variations

  • Petrie & Lewis produced a line of attractive wooden, stage-sized sets of the Hippity-Hop Rabbits apparatus; U.F. Grant has a set called "Streamlined Hippity-Hop Rabbits"; and Aldini provided variations on the routine and patter.
  • Some modern sets for Hippity-Hop Rabbits may use less expensive plastic, or other non-wooden rabbits and covers, in place of the older wooden apparatus of the much nicer, and often hand-crafted, vintage versions. They come in a variety of large to very small sizes (including a "mini" size), and some employ various different cut-out figures (such as one with a monkey and a donkey for the finish, and one called "Fraidy Cat Rabbits") instead of using just the two traditional black and white rabbit figures.
  • Some sets employ different gimmicks (such as magnets) in performing the effect, and at least one performer uses a pair of socks for covering the rabbits.[3]


  1. The Gen, Vol. 2, no. 2, January 1947, page 31.
  2. The James File. Vol. 1, page 1345 (2000)
  3. Magic Cafe Forum. Accessed 2015-07-19