Archive for June, 2007

Are You Reelin’ In The Years?

Posted in Uncategorized on June 29, 2007 by hocuspoc

Well, I knew the day would come! My son, Max, has turned that age where driving becomes a reality, and since he sold his Model T, he’s actively been searching for a vintage muscle car/street rod. The other night, Max caught word that a friend of Cole’s had a truck for sale. Max and Cole started working me over immediately to take a look at this truck, so we headed on over to the owner’s place. The engine was sticking out of the top of the hood a good 4-6 inches. It had no paint; it was just primed. The tires needed replacing along with the interior upholstery. When the owner turned the engine on, it was so loud, I thought I was at the airport with a jet plane taking off. NO WAY! Let me repeat: NO WAY! I did not score points with Max that evening. For those of you who have ever had the experience of buying your child’s first car, can you feel my pain?

So, since then, Max has been searching the Internet and came across this 1969 Chevy Nova! Yesterday, Betty and he went and looked at it, and now, it’s all Max can talk about. Today, they are taking it to our mechanic to have it checked out before POSSIBLY making the purchase (and I do stress POSSIBLY). It turns out that these older cars are a little more difficult to insure than your average vehicle since they are vintage and need to be proven their value and worth, so that’s also something we need to consider… Meanwhile, Max is calling us every 30 minutes to get updates. In fact, Max just called Betty a few minutes ago. It’s gonna be one of those days… Is it Christmas, and someone forgot to tell me? Hopefully, next week, I’ll have an update for you on the final details of this experience. Pray for me. And pray for Max. LOL.


The 1969 Chevy Nova


A look at the interior


Happy 4th of July

In just a few days (can you believe it?), we’ll be celebrating the Fourth of July. Each year, it’s been a tradition that we travel south to a small town only 15 miles away from Fresno called Fowler to enjoy outside festivities and a full fireworks show at the high school where Betty graduated. Afterwards, we all go back to our house, and the kids light their own fireworks out in the street until about midnight.

Mike will be working all day on the Fourth. First at the Copper River Country Club (where we showed you pictures a couple of years ago) for a pre-fireworks full-evening show for all the families, and then afterwards, he and his band will be performing at a private event. I think Mike will be coming in on the fifth looking like a zombie. Pray for Mike. LOL.

Speaking of Mike’s schedule, he will be performing in the San Jose area on October 5 for Magic Live, Volume 1 “No Camera Tricks” along with illusionist Ray Lum and magician Marshall Magoon. This promises to be a great evening of family-friendly entertainment, and if you are anywhere in the Bay Area or surrounding areas, I urge you to buy tickets to see this show. Details are below the flyer.


MAGIC LIVE, VOLUME 1

Saturday October 6, 2007

Heritage Theatre
1 W. Campbell Avenue
Campbell, CA 95008

Two shows:

Matinee: 3:00pm
Evening: 8:00pm

Tickets:

$25.00 in advance
$35.00 at the door
$15.00 Children under 12
$20.00 Senior

How to Purchase Tickets:

There are five ways to purchase tickets to Heritage Theater performances: online, at the Box Office, by phone with Visa, MasterCard or Discover, by fax, or by mail. For more information about ticket sales, call (408) 866-2700 Tuesday-Friday between 9:00am and 5:30pm and Saturdays between 9:00am-1:00pm.

To purchase tickets online http://www.ci.campbell.ca.us/heritagetheatre/boxoffice.htm

Or at the box office:

Regular Box Office Hours:

Tuesday-Friday from 9:00am-5:30pm
Saturdays from 9:00am-1:00pm
Up until 1 hour before Show time

For more information, visit Ray’s web site at: http://www.themagicofraylum.com/how.html

FREE STUFF!


Free posters at Hocus Pocus

That’s right; I said free! I just had four different vintage posters reproduced in 11″ X 17″ sizes suitable for framing. If you’d like to get one for free, here’s how it works: With any purchase of $50.00 or more, just ask for any one of the four posters above, and we’ll send it to you along with your order! They’ll look great hanging on your wall in your magic room or den. You can check them out on our web site in the new category FREE STUFF.

So there you have it: from kids and cars to fireworks and magic shows and free posters, what more could you ask for? Hope you have a fantastic weekend and a fun-filled Fourth of July.

Until next time,

Paul

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It’s Friday Already?

Posted in Uncategorized on June 22, 2007 by hocuspoc

I can’t believe Friday is already here! This week went by with supersonic speed; we’ve been so busy, everyone has been running around like headless chickens. So many new products are hitting the shelves, and we’ve been making deals to bring you new Hocus Pocus Exclusives, and they’ll be appearing on the web site shortly, so stay tuned.

I hope your Father’s Day weekend was a great and relaxing one. Last Friday, My sons, Max and Cole, surprised me by completely cleaning out the Koi pond. They went out and bought a shop vac, removed all the Koi from the pond, completely drained the pond, and scrubbed it down like it’s never been done before. This is done once per year and not an exciting or fun project, as you may well guess. By the the time I got home on Friday, they had spent the entire day on the project and the water was sparkling clear and the Koi were swimming in joy. What a nice gift. As if that weren’t enough, Max and Cole also bought me two Butterfly Koi to add to the pond. Thanks, Max and Cole, for a wonderful Father’s Day!

Saturday night, we had dinner and everyone was there, including my daughters, Aimee and Renee, my mother, and Betty. We had a great dinner and everyone enjoyed themselves. Aimee kept us all entertained as only she can. Pretty lucky I have such great kids.


Craig Harlan and me

You might remember several months ago I wrote about my good friend, Craig Harlan, who was going through a personal battle with cancer. I am very happy to say that after a long, hard road to recovery, Craig came in yesterday and is completely cancer-free and he looked great! He looked like the ol’ Craig all of us remember. He had a pep in his step and a renewed excitement that was extremely infectious! Craig has been a close friend for many years and has watched and helped Hocus Pocus grow into what it is today. It’s like I said before: it’s about keeping everything in perspective. I couldn’t be happier about Craig’s progress; it is nothing short of a miracle.


Would you like one of these?

Would you like one of these? There’s no doubt that the most popular giveaway in the history of Hocus Pocus has been the giant Bicycle card box. We’ve literally given away hundreds of them with no signs of slowing down. We’ve recently obtained a limited supply of these once again so here’s the deal: until next Friday, June 29th at midnight PDT, any order placed with a request for a giant Bicycle card box gets one! We’ll send you one as a free gift with any purchase made! These make great decorations for your magic room and have enough room to house more than a dozen regular decks of playing cards. It’s just another way of saying thank you from Hocus Pocus.

While you have time this weekend, here’s my list of some things you should DEFINITELY check out on the web site; they get my highest recommendation:


Maurice Fogel – In Search Of The Sensational Book – In stock now


The System DVD Set by Dan and Dave – In stock now


Tickling the Mind DVD, Volumes 1 & 2 by Mel Meller – In stock now


Dead Zone Pro by Andy Nyman – In stock now


Connected DVD by Peter Harrison – In stock now

Oh, and I just got a phone call from Bob Kohler telling me that the Fitch Kohler Professional Holdout System is available once again! This is very exciting, and the Holdout truly takes magic to a completely different level. Check it out here!

Just a small sampling of some of the hottest products we’ve gotten in the past week. And now, it’s time for me to go out in the warehouse as I spot the UPS truck pulling in with even more magic! I love my job. Have a great weekend.

Until next time,

Paul

The Heat Is On!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 14, 2007 by hocuspoc

Writing the blog a day early this week as I am planning on taking some time off for the Father’s Day weekend. The temperature here today is 104 degrees. I guess Summer has officially arrived. What I find crazy about this whole thing is that Mike rides his bike to work and back in this heat. Around 11 miles round trip per day at three days a week=33 miles per week. He shows no sign of letting up, and I feel like I should be following him home like they do the the Tour de France! Good luck, Mike!

Tomorrow, now that school is out, I’ll be taking the day up with my son, Max, who wants to build a shelter to put inside the aviary for his quail. This will protect them from the extremes in temperatures when Winter comes and will also facilitate the laying of their eggs when the time comes. He’s recently added more quail, parakeets, and finches to the aviary. All the birds seem to be getting along quite nicely and living happily, and Max couldn’t be happier. He continues to think about and add things to the aviary as his Summer’s project. Each night, Betty, Max, and I sit out by the Coi pond and listen to the birds sing. It’s actually very relaxing, which is something I’m taking the time out to enjoy more and more these days…

As you know, Father’s Day is this weekend, and since my daughters will be working on Sunday, we’re going to switch it up and celebrate on Saturday night, which will be great! All my kids will be there, including Max, Cole, Aimee, and Renee. My mother is also joining us and we’ll be having barbecue ribs, my wife’s famous rice pilaf, and other treats. It will be good to share with the family the relaxation I enjoy near the Coi pond listening to the birds sing. That’s livin’!

So if you’re a father, Happy Father’s Day to you, and make sure to take time and celebrate your father on Father’s Day this Sunday.

Until next time,

Paul

Project Complete

Posted in Uncategorized on June 8, 2007 by hocuspoc

This week, I wanted to talk about a project I am particularly proud of. A little over a year ago, we approached Harry Anderson about the prospect of producing what I think is his best routine of all: Cuff Links. Although this has been a previously-marketed product, I felt a revamping and updating of this particular effect was in order. After much discussion, Harry graciously agreed to allow us to produce a professional quality outfit, and Cuff Links Supreme was born! If you aren’t familiar with this routine, it is non-stop comedy in a stand-up atmosphere that is guaranteed fun for all, including you!

Just to let you in on how the manufacturing process works, a part of this routine involves a special set of gimmicked handcuffs. We ruined over 100 pairs of handcuffs before we found the right style, the correct welding process, and the best quality handcuffs out there. The gimmick on the cuffs must be welded to insure lifelong durability and functionality. So challenge number one was finding someone who was willing to do the special weld on each set of cuffs. Now, as simple as this may sound, it’s not as easy as you might think; after two months, we found someone who was not only willing to do the work, but did it exactly the way we requested.

The next obstacle was the two special wallets required to perform the routine as Harry does it. One wallet is a magnetic locking Himber Wallet and the other is a matching wallet that functions as a fire wallet. For these two items, the best person who came to mind immediately for this kind of work was my good friend, Tony Curtis, from overseas. After several months of samples being sent back and forth, the final approval was made, and the wallets were custom manufactured specifically for this effect.

The next part was the printing of the manuscript. Thanks go to Mike Caveney and Harry Anderson, for they allowed us to reprint a portion of Harry’s routine, word-for-word from Harry’s and Mike’s original book, “Wise Guy.” The manuscript turned out perfect, including photo illustrations and the necessary details.

The next step was including an actual live performance of Harry Anderson performing this routine. Thanks to Meir Yedid, we were granted permission to include a full DVD live performance from Harry’s HBO Special, and it is FUNNY!

Last but not least, all the components were gathered and put together. The final product is, in my estimation, one of the best produced outfits that Hocus Pocus has ever been involved in, and we’ve had our share! It took many months to bring this project to fruition, and I am extremely proud to offer it to you.

The reason why I felt it necessary to give you a step-by-step procedure of this process was to show how much really goes in to creating and marketing a particular effect; it’s not as easy as it may seem. There are many hours spent, money spent, and lots of trial and error to get it right. In the end, when done properly from start to finish, you have a product to be proud of and have complete confidence that those who acquire it will be just as satisfied as you are with the final result.

In closing, I guarantee that if you purchase this effect and take the time to learn and perfect it, you will have one of the strongest and most memorable routines that audiences will remember forever!

For all the details on Harry Anderson’s Cuff Links Supreme, click HERE!

Now that you understand the creative process, I’m very excited to announce that the new Robert Baxt effect, Funny Money is now online for pre-order! All the components of this effect, again custom-made to Roberts exacting specifications, are here and being assembled. We are currently awaiting the live performance and instructional DVD, which, speaking to Robert, should be here next Tuesday or Wednesday, and immediately thereafter, all pre-orders will ship.

For all the details on Robert Baxt’s Funny Money, click HERE!

We at Hocus Pocus take pride in every project we are involved in. We believe in 100% customer satisfaction and we’ll continue to strive to give you the very best we can.

Until next time,

Paul

Home From School

Posted in Uncategorized on June 1, 2007 by hocuspoc

Thanks, Mike, for taking over the blog last week. Betty and I headed north to the Bay Area to help our son, Cole, pack up his things and move out of the dorms for the Summer. Cole was lucky enough to land a resident assistant job for next year, so things are looking good for his return this Fall. After we helped him pack up, we all drove to San Francisco and had dinner at my favorite restaurant, Scoma’s. The city was jam packed with tourists for the holiday weekend, and it took us over an hour to get over the San Francisco Bridge. We all had a great dinner, though, and Cole is now back at home where he’s got a job as an assistant to a CPA.


Robert Baxt and his Funny Money

Last week, as Mike mentioned, my good friend Robert Baxt was here on his way to California Magic & Novelty Dinner Theater to perform for the weekend. While Robert was here, he and I worked out the details for manufacturing his latest release called Funny Money. Although at the moment I can’t give out more information, I will say that it will be ready for release in the next few weeks. This effect will include all the props and a DVD of Robert performing this effect live at the Magic Castle. This is a great comedy magic effect that Robert has been using in his own show, and it’s one of those great “packs small, plays big” effects that you will have with you at all times!


Tim Mannix always gets the chicks

My good friend Tim Mannix from Hollywood was here this week. Tim’s an outstanding full-time family performer, and he always has the coolest stuff to trade with me. One of the treasures I got from him was a custom made Backgammon table decked out with card and magic designs! It is a true one-of-a-kind, and it sits in the middle of the showroom. He also brought with him a lot of antique and collectible props as well as custom Bob Mackie costumes from the Carol Burnett Show worn by Carol and her cast in a magic sketch. Tim spent most of the day here and had a great time roaming the place and checking out all the magic products here.


Doug Malloy’s new Vanishing Radio

In case you haven’t seen it yet, we are very excited to bring to you Doug Malloy’s latest creation, the Vanishing Radio! Two years ago, Doug and I sat down and discussed the possibilities of updating this now classic effect! Doug put his nose to the grindstone, and after trial and error, has developed the best modern version ever offered in my opinion. If you ever considered adding this effect to your act or are even interested in this effect, this is the one to consider!

How many of you got started with one of these? This is an original Marshall Brodien TV Magic Kit. By the looks of Marshall on the box, he appears to be in his early 20s. I just received this in the mail today, and it’s in perfect condition with all the original props intact. This will be a fine addition to my growing collection of magic kits which are “appearing” and growing steadily in my office:


Here are just a few of the kits in my collection

Some of my favorites are an original Doug Henning Magic Kit, several Blackstone Jr. Magic Kits, an original Mandrake the Magician Magic Kit, and Man from U.N.C.L.E. Magic Kit. I love looking through each one of them and the different tricks; it brings back so many childhood memories. If you have any old magic kits that you’d like to sell, please contact me at 800-407-4040 or email me at sales@hocus-pocus.com as I am interested.

This week, Mike has done an outstanding job listing a record number of new products. If you haven’t visited the web site lately, do yourself a favor and CHECK IT OUT!

This weekend, I have no plans to travel or go anywhere. I’ll relax at home with my wife and sons. Here’s to hoping you have a well rested weekend as well.

Until next time,

Paul