Archive for August, 2010

Let the Celebration Begin

Posted in Uncategorized on August 27, 2010 by hocuspoc

This week’s blog will be a little longer than usual, but that’s because next week, I’ll be taking a vacation and celebrating my 55th birthday. It seems like just yesterday, I was complaining about turning 50 on this very same blog! But age is just a number; it’s how you feel, and I’ve never felt better! So, next Wednesday, to celebrate, Betty and I are going to head to the coast to our favorite spot, Monterey, first of all, to beat the heat. It’s been triple digits here all week. We’ll have lunch at one of our favorite places in Pacific Grove then it’s over to Carmel for a little shopping and a visit to one of my favorite garden stores. We’ll have dinner at the Monterey Fish House and then back home on Thursday for just a little r & r. With the Labor Day weekend approaching, I’m sure there will be plenty of family get-togethers and perhaps another day trip. Who knows? I do know, however, that I’m looking forward to the time off. I hope that you and your family have a wonderful Labor Day weekend planned.

Wow. Or should I say Wow 2.0? Everyone has been asking when this was finally going to be available. I’m pleased to say that our shipment arrived Thursday and all the pre-orders and following orders have officially shipped! The wait is finally over! If you’ve been waiting, now’s the time to place your order! I remember when the original Wow came out a couple of years ago how hard they were to get! Now, we’ve got plenty at the moment, so don’t delay.

WHAT’S OLD IS NEW!

You may have noticed that our Private/Estate section of the web site has been growing by leaps and bounds every single day. This is no exaggeration when I tell you that we now have thousands of private estate, collectible, and one-of-a-kind items. For years, I’ve collected these and quietly sold them to private parties, collectors, and performers. It’s now become such a large part of our business, that we’ve decided to openly promote it on the web site. What you see listed is just a small sample of what we have to offer. And almost as fast as Mike’s been putting it up, it’s been selling. We even had some that have sold after mere minutes of becoming visible on the site. So, if you’re interested, please check out the Private/Estate section of our web site HERE. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, send me your list of wanted items. There’s a good chance we may have it or can find it for you! Half the fun for me is searching for that one elusive item that you’ve always wanted. Also, if you have items that you are not currently using and wish to sell or trade in, please contact me by phone or email with your list, and let’s see what we can work out! Old or new, one-of-a-kind, I’m interested in anything you have to offer. sales@hocus-pocus.com 800-407-4040.

Just a couple of shots of the showroom featuring the Private/Estate items

Speaking of celebrations, as many of you are aware, this October marks the 50th anniversary of Mark and Nani Wilson’s Magic Land of Allakazam! I’m so thankful that 50 years ago, my mother called me into the living room to watch the very first episode. It truly changed my life forever as I’m sure it did for so many of you. I was excited to get an email this morning from Mark and Nani Wilson’s son, Greg, and I wish to share it with you:

Dear Paul,

I know that you are probably one of the foremost Allaka-Zammers… and if you can help me spread the word that we have a big surprise for all the rest of the Allaka-Zammers and Allaka-Fans. Everyone is in for a treat!

Introducing…

The First Official on-line Magic Land of Allakazam fan site.

But you have to wait until Saturday Morning, August 28th, (tomorrow for some of you).

This year is the 50TH Anniversary of the show! And to celebrate, we’ve been going through box after box, discovering all kinds of incredible treasures. Because this is such a special time, the Magic Castle is graciously hosting a full week of Allakazam activities. From September 27th through October 2nd (it may extend to Sunday the 3rd but we are not sure yet).

And to organize it all, and let everyone know about the fun, we are creating a website called, http://www.MagicLandOfAllakazam.com

It’s a place to find out everything that is going on at the Magic Castle, and more… And best of all, It’s Free!

We will have Exclusive Photos, Videos, Articles and behind the scenes “real stories” written by it’s Executive Producer, and Star, Mark Wilson! And many more Feature Contributions from Nani Darnell, Mike Wilson, and the rest of the Allakazam Players and creative team, throughout the year.

Just in case your readers don’t know… I’m Greg Wilson, or, Allakason#2. My brother Mike is the one you all saw on the show. (Mom and Dad were too busy to have me until after the show was done.) Though I never saw a Network broadcast, I grew up in a house filled with Allakazam ephemera, the costumes, props, photos, etc. I was hooked immediately, but I was not allowed to touch or play with the stuff. It wasn’t until my 10th birthday that mom gave me a choice of a party or set up the 16mm projector and watch the kinescopes. Obviously there was only one answer… and I got my wish. All day long, from breakfast through dinner, I was mesmerized with Allakazam episodes projected on the wall next to the kitchen.

And now I want to share some of that fun and inside Wilson family trivia and memorabilia with all of the Zammers, and Fans!

This is the goal, everyone! We want to keep the site Free, but we need your help. Allaka-Zammers, Allaka-Fans, & the merely curious… We have all kinds of memorabilia that needs preserving, Original art that needs mounting, photos for framing, and films that need to be converted, but we don’t have the budget to do all that kind of work. So we are turning to the fans and creating an on-line club that is all volunteer supported.

On the site you will find more info on how to contact us, and about a very special offer we are making for the Anniversary Events happening at the Magic Castle.

We are making a very special 50th Anniversary Commemorative Program, full of photos, stories, and more. The program will also feature special full page, half page, and quarter page, “Thank You’s” and “Congratulations”, available to be purchased. We are also a LIMITED LIST of the first 300 fans that want to put their name in the Program. For $20 you can have your name in the book and on the website as a supporter, and as a way of saying thank you, Mark and Nani will raffle a very special Allakazam Collectable which will be featured on the web site. The collectable will be raffled off for mearly $20 per name, but limited to only 300 people. The raffle will take place on September 30th at the Magic Castle at the Anniversary Party (more details on the site).

We are also offering for a little more, only $35, to give you space for a quick message to Mark and Nani. Space is limited, so check on the site and get the details. Your personal message will be printed in the Program and listed on the site for all to see.

And we have one more offer, for a gift of $10 to the site, we will list your name on a special plaque at the Magic Castle during Allakazam Week, and we will also put it on the website. After that week Mark and Nani will have the plaque at home to cherish and remember the love and support from their fans.

So lets get the word out, and show Mark and Nani just how many fans there are around the world. Let’s knock their socks off with a huge list! Can you please help me with this? All of the work that I am doing, our webmaster, and the rest of the in-house team is volunteer. Your support will go to taking care of the costs of preserving this incredible collection, and making it available for you to enjoy on the site. All of your “Allaka-gift money” will go directly through Nani’s PayPal account, so you know it is going to the right place. THE SITE LAUNCHES ON SATURDAY MORNING the 28TH! Just like the show… gotta wait until Saturday Morning to star the fun. Remember the site will have a very long life, but the raffle for the Memorbilia will only be from now until Sept. 17.

So, please go to the site, tell your friends, and lets get some new generations involved too.

Thanks for all your love and support over the years, I think this will be a wonderful way to kick off the 50th Anniversary Celebrations!

Best Wishes, and like Dad says…

Happy Magic!

Greg Wilson

So I’m calling on all you Allakazammers like myself to check out this new official on-line Magic Land of Allakazam fan site tomorrow and be a part of magic history, Saturday morning when the site goes live just like when we were kids, watching those episodes of the Magic Land of Allakazam on Saturday morning. I know where I’ll be tomorrow!

So that wraps it up for this week. I hope you find time to celebrate the Labor Day weekend with your family and friends. I’ll return Tuesday, September 7th.

Until next time,

Paul

Christmas in August

Posted in Uncategorized on August 19, 2010 by hocuspoc

It’s been like Christmas here this week, not that you could tell by the weather (109 degrees on Tuesday). Each day an unexpected surprise has arrived for me either via mail or freight. You might recall several blogs ago, I reminisced about the vintage television commercial shown on the Magic Land of Allakazam. One of the items that I longed for as a child was a miniature submarine that magically dives and resurfaces. Oh, how I wanted this! I remember how Mark Wilson said, “For only 25 cents and a box top from Kellogg’s Corn Flakes,” this could have been mine. But alas, my mother intervened and it was just not meant to be. For now. I must have belly ached and complained about this to my family to this day that my oldest son, Cole, without my knowledge, when on a rampant Internet search for the now infamous magical diving sub. So, Monday, a padded envelope arrived addressed to me. Betty hands it to me and I look puzzled, asking her what it is. Little did I know she was in on the whole thing. I opened the package and all those memories rushed back, and I felt like a six year-old kid again.

You guessed it! 49 years later, and I’m still excited about it! Now all I need is the Swimming and Diving Frog Man to go with it, but that’s another frantic Internet search.

Still reeling in the thrill of the submarine, Tuesday arrives and so does a mysterious package from my good friend, Roger Smith. Roger and I go back to the very beginnings of Hocus Pocus. He was my banker and good friend for many, many years. Lucky Roger now has retired and lives the life of Riley in Oregon. However, not content with retirement, Roger still performs magic shows as “Mr. Magic” and also operates a small mail order company selling unique novelties and other fun items. His biggest selling item is called the “Yes Man.” He felt it was important that it was exactly what I needed.

The “Yes Man”

Now I can sit at my desk and spout off all my crazy ideas and the “Yes Man” agrees every single time, saying, “I couldn’t agree with you more,” or, “You’re absolutely correct,” and other sayings. It’s actually pretty laugh-out-loud funny. So if you want your very own “Yes Man,” visit Roger’s web site, M&R Games at http://www.mandrgames.com and all your crazy ideas will get a welcomed YES every time. Tell Roger I sent you.

So, Monday, the Diving Submarine, Tuesday, the “Yes Man,” I’m on a roll. Wednesday arrives, the phone rings, and it’s a trucking company calling to tell me that they have a pallet of merchandise to deliver. A pallet? Now I’m really like a kid at Christmas time jumping up and down!

Can’t this guy unload the truck any faster?

So the pallet is off the truck, and I’m like a madman cutting open and assembling. Some of what arrived was a Rich Hill Crystal Casket, an Abbott’s Ghost Walks Illusion, and a vintage Abbott’s carnival game which, to my surprise, had instructions on how it could be rigged to let the person playing it win or lose! Who’d have thought? I’m setting it up in the warehouse and letting the staff play it. No one knows it’s gaffed. I told them whoever wins gets the day off.

Rich Hill Crystal Casket

Abbott’s Carnival Pitching Game

Abbott’s Ghost Walks Illusion

So, today’s Thursday, and I can’t wait for what might happen today. Who knows? Tomorrow, Betty and I will be heading north to visit our son, Cole and hopefully escape the heat and enjoy a nice afternoon together. I’ll keep you posted if the good fortune keeps coming our way.

Until next time,

Paul

Not Enough Of Us To Go Around

Posted in Uncategorized on August 13, 2010 by hocuspoc

Good Afternoon!

This has just been an overwhelming week and like the title says, there are just not enough of us to go around! We’re always busy, but this week has been over the top!

We received an enormous amount of Private Estate items this  week – I’m sure you’ve seen them going up on our website everyday and in many cases coming down the very next day because they sold in less than 24 hours. If you are a collector, don’t delay, it is amazing how fast some of these items are selling. I really thought I would get to stare at the Abbott’s Russell’s Vanish sitting outside my office for longer than a day! It was up one day and gone the next…we only have the memories left. If you have vintage or collectible magic effects or props that you would like to trade-in, please contact me at sales@hocus-pocus.com and we’ll see what we can do!

Abbott's Russell's Vanish -- here one day and gone the next

Then, we had the excitement of four new Theory 11 products: Smoke by Alan Rorrison, Colorblind DVD by Luke Jermay, CodeOne DVD by Homer Liwag, and Sentinels Deck. It was so much fun playing with, oops, I mean testing and analyzing the new Theory 11 items. Wish you were here! By the way, we have online videos of all four effects that you should really check out.

Next , we received the coolest two items from the U.K., the Electro-Magic Squeeker and Instant Radio 2. Serious fun with these two; Instant Radio 2 promises “Instant Radio…Instant Fun…Instant Success”, but beware because the Electro-Magic Squeeker  does come with a warning label, “Warning. Use with caution. Could cause mass hysteria.”

 

By the way, you may have noticed the date on my blog hasn’t  changed in a few weeks…Time hasn’t stood still…we just have a temporary computer glitch that will be cleared up shortly.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for all the good wishes and congratulations you sent on my impending grandfather-hood (is that a word?) I still just really can’t believe this…Don’t tell anyone, but it’s more exciting than the Theory 11 items. Seriously.

Until next time,

Paul

Another Major Milestone!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 6, 2010 by hocuspoc

This has been one of the greatest weeks ever…

I have achieved one of life’s great milestones…

DRUM ROLL PLEASE…

Betty and I are going to be grandparents! My daughter Renee and son-in-law Jonathan announced that they are expecting their first child, our first grandchild, next March. Wow, if it feels so great just saying it, I can’t imagine how great it will be when the little jelly bean actually arrives! Here’s the first picture of the next generation…pretty cute…I better start looking for a very small top hat and wand…

My grandchild's first picture

Enough said…what else is there when you have news this great! I think I’ll take the rest of the day off so Betty and I can celebrate. We’ll see you next week.

Until next time,

Paul