Archive for July, 2012

Spider Pen Pro is HERE!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 27, 2012 by hocuspoc

It’s Here!

Finally! Spider Pen Pro by Yigal Mesika arrived this week. The customers were anxiously awaiting this long overdue effect so everyone, customers and employees, were so happy when it arrived. We had them unpacked and shipped out within hours.

Spider Pen Pro in the Hocus Pocus warehouse

The chat boards are already “lighting up” with rave reviews for Spider Pen Pro. From the leading brand in the art of levitations comes the new gold standard in IT reels. When you put your hands on the state of the art engineering in the Spider Pen Pro, your levitations and animations will look like Hollywood’s special effects. Nothing else comes close. The break through, patented Soul Technology allows you to take your mind off of the method and lets you focus on your magic, giving you the undeniable edge for mastering levitations and animations. Take a look at the video and read more…

Just A Chip Off The Ole Block

This week Max, my son, took over the promotional reins at Hocus Pocus. Max will be starting his Junior year at the University as an Entrepreneur/Marketing major so I had him practice his “stuff” this week. He came up with a promotion on our Estate Pre-Owned Books and I have to tell you it was a HUGE success! We sold hundreds of books and our customers got a great deal in the process. So, of course, I then asked what he was going to do for an encore. Take a look at today’s FREE Stuff Friday promotion. That’s Max’s encore. I think I’ll give him a standing ovation.

Ralph Adams Sword Basket

This is it! This is one of the most exciting items to arrive at Hocus Pocus in awhile. This is an ORIGINAL Ralph Adams Sword Basket. And since only six were EVER personally constructed by Ralph Adams, it would be a RARE piece of magic in anyone’s collection. Here is a feature illusion that can be done anywhere … even close up … even SURROUNDED by spectators. This specially-made basket is so small in appearance and so deceptive that it will fool the experts! The basket is made of sturdy wood and painted to resemble a woven Indian basket.  Read more and see the online video…

Original Ralph Adams Sword Basket at Hocus Pocus

One For The Old Timers

For all you “old-timers” like me…I found this video clip on the internet and just knew I had to share it with you on the blog.  This is Jay Marshall and his hand puppet Lefty filmed in the fall of 1996 in the theater at Magic Inc. in front of a lay audience. What a great performer…He was one of magic’s most beloved figures and a walking encyclopedia of magic knowledge. I hope you enjoy this video clip as much as I do…

Have a great weekend.

Until next time,

Paul

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Dollars, Duffy and Dinosaurs

Posted in Uncategorized on July 20, 2012 by hocuspoc

Dollars

We added some new categories to the website this week. Each category represents a dollar price range: Hot Under $10, Hot $10-20 and Hot $21-30. In an effort to make shopping the website a litle easier and acknowledging the economic constraints of many of our members we thought this would be a welcome addition. Times are tough for a lot of people, but, magicians being magicians, we know they still want, maybe need, something new. Hopefully, this helps out the search. Although already visible on the website, we’re still adding items to the categories and will continue to do so as new product arrives.

Duffy

This week we hosted a lecture by Trevor Duffy at Hocus Pocus. We host a fair amount of lectures at Hocus Pocus, but never have I received so many phone

Attendees couldn’t get enough of the Trevor Duffy Lecture at Hocus Pocus

calls in the days following the lecture from attendees who were so thrilled with what was presented. Trevor got RAVE reviews and deservedly so.

His personal stories and anecdotes present his individual and professional philosophy in a very useable and educational manner. This is a man of great heart, and it shows undeniably  during his lecture.

Although, his entire lecture got rave reviews, probably the most popular effect was his Smokey Magic; if you ever have the opportunity to see Trevor perform Smokey Magic, don’t miss it.  Thank you, Trevor, for such an engaging lecture!

Dinosaurs

One of the best things about living in Fresno is it’s proximity to great destinations. We have National Parks, mountains, lakes, and the ocean all within a 1-2 hour drive. There are also many quaint, scenic towns in California that are really nice to visit for the day. Last week Betty and I took a day trip to Half Moon Bay which is right on the Pacific Ocean south of San Francisco. We had never been to Half Moon Bay before, which for us, is reason enough to go there. What a great destination! With stops in Saratoga and Los Gatos on the way, we arrived in Half Moon Bay to some of the best garden stores I had ever seen.

Paul with the dinosaurs

Paul with the dinosaurs

I immediately knew that we should have stayed the night because there was too much to explore. I was in heaven at these stores and nurseries.

One of my favorites was the nursery with dinosaurs; yes, dinosaurs.  We were driving on the highway when all of a sudden I

saw dinosaurs peeking out over a fence! Obviously, we had to stop there.

Zachary riding the dinosaur in Grandpa Paul’s yard

These dinosaurs are all made of metal, each piece individually cut and welded. Art for the backyard. Well, not my backyard because I couldn’t bring one home; it wouldn’t fit in my car or my yard or my budget (each costing several thousand dollars). So, not being able to get the dinosaur I wanted, I had to find one that was more in scale with my yard, my card and my budget. Which I did. As you can see, my grandson Zachary also likes dinosaurs. Now I need a T-Rex.

There will definitely be another trip to Half Moon Bay in our future.

Have a great weekend.

Until next time,

Paul

HOT, HOT, HOT!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 13, 2012 by hocuspoc

Holy Cow! It is HOT!

It has been hot all across the country this past week; I think the news said that 2500 high temperature records were set last weekend! We’ve been over 100 degrees in the Fresno area for the past six days, climaxing with a WHOPPING 110 degrees yesterday.  I believe you can feel the difference in every single degree over 100; it is just unbearable and I feel for everyone out there who has been suffering through this heat wave. It is still going to be over 100 degrees today, but the GOOD NEWS is that the heat wave is going to break tomorrow when it will be a COOL 99 degrees! Although I know 99 degrees is a high temperature in some places, it is the normal temperature for Fresno in the month of July (with the nights dropping down to about 69 degrees). Me and my garden are very excited about the temperature dropping!

Great Performances

I see a lot of trailers for new product introductions and some of them are such standouts that I will watch them again and again. I just love watching a great entertainer’s performance, when they combine magic with showmanship, nothing can beat it.

Stati-Kid by Tom Burgoon and Hanky Panky by Scott Alexander & Puck are two such trailers – they both combine great magic with great showmanship which adds up to top entertainment. Take a look at these, I think you will agree…

First up is Stati-Kid by Tom Burgoon…

And here comes Hanky Panky by Scott Alexander & Puck

Trevor Duffy Lecture – This Monday Night!

We’re all gearing up for the Trevor Duffy lecture this Monday

night. I’m sure it will prove to be a very entertaing evening as we see Trevor show us his very very unique blend of magic and comedy. His magic encompasses close-up and platform shows, tricks with coins, thin cards, bank notes and special innovations with clothing and playing cards.

In this lecture, Trevor also shares valuable ideas based on fascinating, and sometimes tough, experiences he has had. If you’re in the Fresno area you will not want to miss this lecture! I hope to see you Monday night.

Visiting Magician

Magician Bryan Lake stopped in for a visit today and Tim gave him the Grand Tour of the Hocus Pocus Showroom and facilities. I say it a lot, but we do enjoy meeting you – please drop in for a visit!

Tim Mannix with Bryan Lake in the Hocus Pocus Showroom

The Next Generation

The other day I was teaching my grandson, Zachary, how to perform with Eddie Ace’s Hand-Carved Sponge Rabbits. At 18 months old he is showing real promise. I’m telling you, this kid is a natural! Not only was he using the Sponge Rabbits (and showing very good taste by selecting the Eddie Ace Rabbits), but he selected some new hot items (notice the authoritative finger pointing) and the magic wand handling was superior.  I couldn’t be prouder!

Zachary helping out Grandpa in the office

Have a great weekend – I hope it’s cooler for you.

Until next time,

Paul

Rare Finds

Posted in Uncategorized on July 6, 2012 by hocuspoc
Never a Dull Moment

We are used to having very rare magic items and illusions at Hocus Pocus. We are also used to having novelty items that may or may not have anything to do with magic. This is just the way it is around here, but this week we got an “overload” of the novel.

Ethel and Jerry Sutton arrived at Hocus Pocus yesterday and their SUV was packed with  costume characters and animatronics for consignment. These items pack a huge entertainment punch and can be worked into many acts for children, fairs and learning venues.

First, there is the full-body Enchanted Talking Tree. Not only does the tree talk, but it can perform magic tricks especially when it’s feathered friends are helping out.

Here you can see Tim as the Tree in deep conversation with Jerry Sutton – it was actually a great performance to watch as these two, very funny people, put on an impromptu show for the rest of us.

But, it didn’t stop there…We also now have the animatronics, Chirpie and Shortie the Cowboy, and last, but not least, Smooch the Giant costume character.
Chirpie’s and Shortie’s heads and mouths move as they sing-a-long to songs or carry on a conversation with some unsuspecting audience member.

And then there is Smooch.

As you an see by the photo, Smooch is a very, very tall and very, very blue costume character who got his name from his very, very big red lips!

We had Max don the costume and Karen (who stands 5′ 10″ tall) posed with him so you can see how tall Smooch is.

There is a built-in harness to help support the weight and, of course, you have plenty of visibility. The lips move under your control and the very stylish sunglasses are included.

Imagine walking around a fair in this costume!

Tree, Smooch, Chirpie and Shortie will all make it to the Hocus Pocus website over the course of the next week, but I wanted to give you this sneak peak of these great new additions to the Hocus Pocus product line!

Like I said, never a dull moment at Hocus Pocus!

A Little Bit of Local History
This one will bring back  a lot of memories for local Fresno fairgoers. For 27 years, the mechanical Valley Motor Lines exhibits of Sam Naman were the trademark of the Fresno Fair. From 1948-1975, no visitor to the Fair would consider going home without seeing what

Naman display at the Fresno Fair in 1962

Naman had dreamed up for his much-anticipated yearly exhibition. The animated displays always caught a moment of history; the handmade mechanized figures were posed in scenes of life in the 1800s.  For his displays, Naman dressed mannequins in costumes and used small motors to make them move. In 1958, he used 13 motors to drive the figures in a 1890s wedding scene, including a bride cutting the cake, a figure playing the organ and a man mixing punch.

Some of his other whimsical displays included a mother in a kitchen stirring cake batter, the storekeeper wetting a pencil on his tongue to tote up a bill or a chair rocker that just missed the slowly wagging tail of an old dog. Naman, before his death in 1978, sold his entire collection, which filled a 6,000 square foot warehouse, to a local Fresno historian who, along with his family, made a tremendous effort to salvage pieces of Fresno’s history.

Now we have a piece of this Fresno history at Hocus Pocus. Betty and I were able to acquire a few pieces last week.

We both have very fond memories of going to the fair as children and eagerly anticipating the Naman display. It was a family tradition for both of us and now we can share it with our kids and grandson.

Summer Visitors
Last Friday we were thrilled to meet Magician Karen Ivers after so many years of doing business together. It is always nice to put a face to a name! Karen and Elena Kinder stopped by on their way to Yosemite National Park. Thanks for stopping by Hocus Pocus, we hope you had a great weekend in Yosemite. And to all of you – if you’re ever in the area please stop in and visit – we’d love to meet you!

Elena Kinder and Karen Ivers at the Hocus Pocus Showroom

And Zachary Discovers His Kangaroo!
It took less than a year and now Zachary can ride the Kangaroo on his own; that’s my grandson!

.    Have a great weekend. Until next time,Paul