Rare Finds

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


One Response to “Rare Finds”

  1. sandra ciptak Says:

    So glad history was saved by all involved…Fresno Fair display was looked forward to each year with my mom and dad. sandy ciptak

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