Archive for December, 2009

The Start of a New Year

Posted in Uncategorized on December 29, 2009 by hocuspoc

Hope you all had a great Christmas. We celebrated at home with all my kids. Not an easy task to get them all together in one place anymore but we managed to do just fine. We had a great Christmas dinner and reminisced about Christmases past. Before I knew it, the day was gone, and Christmas over. Saturday morning, my sons, Max and Cole and son in-law Jonathan began to dismantle all the outside decorations. Betty and I took on the inside decorations. After all these years, we finally formulated a plan: I start at one end of the house and Betty the other, one room at a time, until we meet in the middle. What started at 9:00 AM was finally finished at 5:00 PM. We spent the rest of the weekend relaxing until returning to work here on Monday.

HOLIDAY HIJINX

It seems that, while we were away, the gremlins were at work here at Hocus Pocus. I arrived Monday morning around 5:45 AM to stacks of orders, thanks to all of you, and then a funny thing began to happen: The phones would ring, I would answer, and no one was there, or so I thought. This continued for about 45 minutes, and as I began to become a little frustrated, a customer was able to get through, and he explained that he was able to hear me, but I couldn’t hear him. A panicked phone call to AT&T to find out what the problem was, and thankfully, they were able to immediately send out a technician who diagnosed the problem — it wasn’t gremlins at all but squirrels. And fog. Yep, you read that right — squirrels. It seems that a certain squirrel family had chewed the phone lines just enough to allow the low moisture to creep into the phone lines that caused the problems. Who’d have thought? Within a half hour, the lines were repaired, and all was well.

So, as we near the end of 2009, I reflect back, I have a lot to be thankful for. Yes, there were both high and low points, but the high far outweighed the low, and even in a year of financial difficulties for many, I am thankful that we had your continued support and friendship to help things along the way. Remember the most important things are your health, family, and friends. However you celebrate New Year’s, I wish for all of you good health, happiness, and prosperity in the upcoming new year, and I thank you for your continued support and friendship. So onward and upward as we prepare for 2010. I think it’ll be the best year yet.

Until next year,

Paul

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It’s Christmas Eve

Posted in Uncategorized on December 24, 2009 by hocuspoc

It seems like just yesterday, we were talking about the beginning of the holidays and now, in just one day, Christmas will be upon us. Thank you all for keeping us busy this time of year and, of course, for your continued support and friendship. No matter what you do or how you celebrate, I hope you create new holiday memories of your own to cherish forever! On behalf of my family and everyone here at Hocus Pocus, I wish you and yours a very merry Christmas.

Until next time,

Paul

One Week And Counting…

Posted in Uncategorized on December 18, 2009 by hocuspoc

Can you believe it? Only one week away from the Big Day. Every year, it seems like the month of December passes faster and faster than the year before. This year is no exception! To say we have been busy would be a severe understatement. We’ve been literally running from one department to the other to make sure you have what you need in time for the holidays. I’ve been arriving between 5:00 and 5:30 AM every morning, and the orders are stacked up online, including a record-breaking number of emails to answer and process. It is fantastic. Who knew I would be able to operate so well with so little sleep? There’s still time for your last-minute shopping and to guarantee delivery, we can still ship via overnight and second day.

NEW TENYO 2010 UPDATE:


Tenyo Floating Card


Tenyo Illusion Truck

Exciting news: the new 2010 Tenyo line just arrived as I’m sitting here typing the blog! Although there were several new tricks offered, we hand-selected what we felt were the best two effects out of them all. And, after checking them out, I think we made the right choices. If you were among the group who pre-ordered, yours will go out immediately. If not, and you wish to get in on the frenzy, order soon because we have a limited supply. These would make great Christmas gifts and are perfect stocking stuffers! Simply click the images above to take you to the products online.

AN ALLAKAZAM CHRISTMAS

Click here for yours! In stock and ready to ship!

Wednesday, Cole and I made a one-day trip to Southern California to meet Mark and Nani Wilson at their warehouse to pick up the 50th Anniversary Allakazam Hats. It was quite a sight to see them all lined up and ready to be picked up. Cole, Greg Wilson, and I carefully packed them into the back of the Jeep. At first it didn’t seem like it was going to be that big of a deal, but the faster we packed them into the Jeep, the faster they seemed to multiply. Believe it or not, we got them all in there. Once again, Jay Leslie has done an outstanding job carefully crafting each and every Allakazam Hat. If you’ve pre-ordered your 50th Anniversary Allakazam Hat, good news; it’s already on its way to you.

Beginning the packing process

How are they all going to fit?

Almost there…

Believe it or not, they all fit!

Safe at home in the warehouse and ready to be packed and shipped

After all the hats were packed into the car, Mark and Greg showed us the new updates on the new Magic University web site, and boy, does it look fantastic! They are even offering a special this month with a great discount and bonuses for all who sign up. This is also a great holiday gift idea. Just think about it: nothing to wrap, nothing to exchange, and it’s a gift that keeps on giving; all lessons are automatically sent to you via email. Once again, Mark Wilson has revolutionized learning the art of magic! Magic University has a universal appeal to anyone at any age anywhere in the world who wants to learn magic. Now, it’s only a click away! I urge you to check it out by clicking the banner below:

On the home front, almost all our Christmas shopping is done. The gifts are wrapped and are resting comfortably under the tree. Tonight, all the kids will be coming over to have pizza and watch A Christmas Carol (with Alistair Sim, the best version, in my opinion) and, as a double feature, It’s a Wonderful Life. I’m really looking forward to tonight. It’s times like these that make the holidays special.

As promised, several weeks ago, below are some pictures of the outside of the Gross household:

Lights, lights, and more lights

Penguin Parade

Gingerbread house

Santa and his sleigh

Nativity scene

So, as you can see by the photos, we take the holidays seriously. I’m dreading, however, the arrival of my electric bill. Oh well, it’s only once a year after all.

Until next week,

Paul

Run, Rudolph, Run!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 11, 2009 by hocuspoc

That’s what we’ve been doing here at Hocus Pocus all week. Never in the history of Hocus Pocus have we been this busy in December, and I mean NEVER, and we love it! Everyone, and I mean, everyone has been running around frantically making sure your orders come in and go out in a timely manner. I haven’t even had time for my blog, so just a quick note to remind you to finalize your Christmas Wish Lists and shoot ’em our way to insure you have what you want and need for all your holiday shows. Speaking of lists, my friend, Steve Dick and I are finalizing the next round of the Estate and Private Collectibles that should be ready very soon, so stay tuned. I’ll be back next week. Same bat time, same bat channel.

Until next time,

Paul

‘Tis the Season.

Posted in Uncategorized on December 4, 2009 by hocuspoc

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday. We certainly had a great time and had our fill of turkey and gravy. Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, we were slammed. I arrived at 5:00 AM, and the voice mail was completely filled on our phone, and orders stacked up online. It was the busiest day after Thanksgiving we’ve ever had! Thanks for making that happen.

On the home front, while Betty and I were at the shop, my sons and son in-law were feverishly working on putting up all our outdoor decorations. They started at 8:00 AM and worked until almost 8:00 PM! This year’s display is even more spectacular than before, and I’ll have pictures to share with you next week.

Saturday, Betty, the boys, and I decorated the house on the inside. A major undertaking, to say the least. Every year, we set up the miniature Dickens Christmas Village on top of our piano. This year, I had the bright idea of creating a new display. It turns out, my bright idea wasn’t so bright after all; I built up a platform with Styrofoam, and then covered it with snow (flocking). Next, all the houses, along with all their electrical wires to light them were installed (this process takes almost 2 hours by itself). After getting almost 80% of the display done, it began to collapse! I looked at Cole, he looked at me, and he could see my frustration, to which he calmly remarked, “Go in the other room, finish decorating, and I’ll take care of this.” He completely dismantled what we had spent hours on, and rebuilt the display as originally intended. And everything was perfect:

The Dickens Village complete

Every year since Betty and I have been married, we bought different pieces to this Dickens Village

Now last year, you may remember my story about the 8 foot nutcracker that my son and I found and brought home. Well, this year, while we were out, last weekend we found a set of life-size Christmas carolers. I guess I don’t need to tell you we brought them home.

Life-size Christmas carolers next to the Dickens Village

So, I guess you could say it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, both at Hocus Pocus and at home.

50th Anniversary Allakazam Hat Update:

Just got off the phone with Jay Leslie, and he will be delivering the 50th Anniversary Hats to Mark and Nani on Wednesday of next week. This will give them a couple of days to sign and number them, and then Mike and I will make the trip down to the Los Angeles area to pick them up. So, we’ll have them in plenty of time to ship so that you have them in time for Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, make sure you print off your wish list and leave them around in a conspicuous place so your loved ones will come across them. As usual, we have extra staff on hand to process your orders faster than ever and various shipping options to insure your package is delivered to you on time.

So let’s deck the halls and let the holidays begin. Back next week with photos, and possible video blog from our trip to Allakazam!’

Until next time,

Paul