Archive for December, 2012

Happy New Year!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 28, 2012 by hocuspoc

We had a peaceful holiday and I hope you and yours did too.

Happy New Year to all our customers!

Happy New Year to all our customers!

After long holiday weekend, we’ve been back at the store for a few days finishing up 2012. After the four-day weekend we had a boatload of orders to process and another four-day weekend coming up, so we’re doing everything in our power to get your orders out as quickly as possible.

It was my grandson Zachary’s FIRST Christmas and it was a joy to watch him open his presents and to spend time with the family. Every time he opened a new gift he would say, “Oh, wow!”

My son Max gave him a Big Wheel and he wasted no time in hopping right onto it and started pedaling away. This kid’s got talent!

I should mention that our Year End Blowout sale continues through Tuesday with over 250 select items on sale at substantial savings. It’s our BIGGEST sale of the year and is a great opportunity to great some great magic at a great price!

We look forward to the New Year with hopeful anticipation of prosperity, health, happiness and success for all our friends and customers.

I just want to offer a sincere Thank You for your continued friendship and support this last year. Here’s hoping 2013 is one of your best years yet!

Until next time,

Paul

Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 21, 2012 by hocuspoc

Last night Betty and I had to laugh as several cars were in front of our house having stopped to watch Santa Claus in the window of our home. We waited in the line of cars, pretending to be sightseers as we watched people laugh, point and generally be amused.

Let me explain. Since we like to decorate to the nines for Christmas, every year I’m always on the lookout for new and unusual Christmas decorations either for inside or for the exterior of the house.

Santa Claus is on the way!

Santa Claus is on the way!

This year, during a random internet search, I happened upon the Virtual Santa Claus. I was immediately enthralled and knew that I had to have it!

It’s a projected image of Santa Claus that plays on an 8-minute loop in your window. The quality is excellent, and the mini-movie depicts Santa doing a variety of things including; unloading presents, carrying a candle about the room, and waving to onlookers outside the window.

Needles to say, it has literally stopped traffic on our street! People are loving this “find” as much as I did. Heck, I would sell these if I could. I ordered the package that included everything, screen, projector, and DVD. It took Betty and I less than FIVE minutes to set it up. Actually, the most time-consuming part was taking it out of the box.

Last night, my daughter brought my grandson Zachary over to see “Santa in the window” and he went nuts for it. He’s not able to pronounce Santa, so he calls him TANTA. As they loaded him into the car, he was waving and saying “Goodbye Tanta”!

Hocus Pocus Christmas Party

Today we are celebrating the season with a company party here at the store. We will be serving lunch from A.J.’s, one the best Mediterranean restaurants in town. We’re having Chicken Kabob, Lulu Kabob, salad and hummus. The food is excellent. This year Tim has decided we should bump up the holiday party by spearheading a Secret-Santa gift exchange — something we’ve not done in quite a while. Between the food and seeing what present who-got-who, it’s going to be fun!

Our sincere wish for you it to have a wonderful and peaceful holiday with your family and friends. We look forward to the New Year with hopeful anticipation of prosperity, health, happiness and success for all our friends and customers.

Until next time,

Paul

Run Rudolph Run!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 14, 2012 by hocuspoc

Christmas_BannerLast night Betty and I went to see my grandson Zachary in his theatrical debut, a holiday performance. Zachary’s exact role in the production was kept secret from the general public, but I suspected he would be playing a reindeer since he was required to wear brown pants and a matching shirt.

I knew my instincts were spot on when I spied Zachary donning a pair of reindeer antlers.

The rogue reindeer and his grandparents.

The rogue reindeer and his grandparents.

The program was comprised mostly of singing, joke-telling and overall cuteness. The older children were first, followed by the slightly younger ones, then finally Zachary’s  group, the very youngest ones. As the program progressed, we noticed a pair of reindeer antlers running down the aisle prompting someone in our group to say, “Hey, look at that kid!”

Apparently, one of the reindeer had broken free from the herd and one of teachers was in hot pursuit. Of course, the place busted up with laughter and it made it even funnier that it was my grandson Zachary!

When it was time for the reindeer to take the stage, they were positioned on short risers and fed marshmallows and Chex Party Mix to keep them at bay. But wouldn’t you know, Zachary made another run for the border, bolting immediately stage-left. The preschool teacher was too quick for him though, so he quickly rejoined the others in the reindeer games.

You could not have choreographed it better had you been staging a comedy act. But, how could the poor kid resist? After all, show business is in his blood!

We all had a great time and I was proud of my grandson following in the footsteps of family tradition by stealing the show.

Tanika Twigg with First Lady Michelle Obama

Tanika Twigg with First Lady Michelle Obama

Heaven’s Got Another New Talent

We were saddened to hear of the loss of our good friend Tanika Twigg, a wonderfully talented entertainer, balloon artist, and painter who lived here in the Central Valley.

Tanika grew up raising horses and was by all accounts a natural. She had an innate sense with animals and she and her horse Kimi had a very close bond. She also became a seasoned pro showing her beloved Dalmatians and Great Danes at many a dog show.

Tanika was a frequent visitor here to Hocus Pocus and was always full of hugs and smiles. She stayed open to learning new things constantly honing her performance skills and preparing her act to take to the next level. One of Tanika’s proudest achievements was performing in Los Angeles for the First Lady.

Tanika’s authentic warmth, youthful energy, zest for life and uplifting personality will be greatly missed.

What trick awaits you under the tree?

What trick awaits you under the tree?

Busy, Busy, Busy!

As the countdown to Christmas closes in, we continue getting orders out as quickly as possible. Yesterday, the postman nearly swallowed his tongue as he was taken aback to see SEVEN fully stuffed mail bags ready to ship out. And our FedEx man and UPS are staying plenty busy as well.

Recently, we’ve had some great new effects added to our catalog. Take our poll to find out which new trick is the hottest. You can vote for up to two different effects.

Remember, generally speaking, if you order before 3pm Pacific Standard Time, we can get it out THAT SAME DAY. We know how eager you are to get your packages, so we do our utmost to ensure orders go out as speedily as possible.

Until next time,

Paul

It’s Like Christmas Already!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 7, 2012 by hocuspoc
Lee Grabel became recognized as America's No. 1 Magician.

Lee Grabel became recognized as America’s No. 1 Magician.

It’s funny, each time I sit to begin composing the blog, I’m initially at a loss as to what I’m going to write, until I begin to review the week. What am I thinking? There’s been LOT going on here! Namely two really choice pieces of magic history found their way to us — and BOTH arriving in the same week.

What are the Odds?

As I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — you just never know what’s going to come through these doors. This week, out of the clear blue sky, we got in Lee Grabel’s own personal Broom Suspension Illusion and a Tampa/Thurston Arenholz Snake Basket with provenance.

Lee Grabel's Broom Suspension...wow!

Lee Grabel’s Broom Suspension…wow!

Two in ONE week! What are the odds of that happening? I think it’s utterly amazing!

On my shortlist of favorite performers has to include Lee Grabel.  Lee Grabel is a magician and illusionist of worldwide reputation. He stands as a living legend in magic and is recognized by many as the last of the grand masters in the tradition of Herrmann, Kellar, Thurston, Tampa and Dante. He was the man upon whom Dante, just prior to his death, bestowed the title to continue his magnificent show. So, to have his actual broom suspension it quite a thrill. I’m hoping it lingers here with us for a while since it’s a thrill just to have it in our possession.

W.J. Arenholz Snake Basket owned by both Thurston & Tampa.W.J. Arenholz Snake Basket owned by both Thurston & Tampa.

W.J. Arenholz Snake Basket owned by both Thurston & Tampa.

And then, within a day, we received an authentic W.J. Arenholz Snake Basket. This is the real McCoy. The intricate mechanism that drives the snake’s action is partially composed of a gramophone motor. It come complete with winding crank, cords, brass rods, two snakes and P&L table base on which the mechanical tabletop sits.

If you not familiar with the effect, a card is chosen, noted and returned to the deck, which is thrown into a woven wicker basket along with an imitation snake. Miraculously, the serpent rises from the basket (lifting its lid in the process) clutching the selected card in its mouth. The fact that both Howard Thurston and Tampa owned this prop AND used it in their shows is itself rare and exceptional. It’s truly an honor to have this historic article of magic with us for a time.

They Always Seem To Come In Three’s!

I’m happy to let you know about three outstanding effects that have recently been released. They are: Blank Night By John Archer, a superb version of Bank Night that fooled Penn & Teller on their U.K. show, Penn & Teller: Fool Us, Siri-ously by Jimmy H Magic, a modernized version of the classic Banana Bandana using the iPhone’s Siri, and the Vortex of Refreshment by David Regal….a Chinese Egg Bag on steroids, featuring the brilliance of David’s ingenuity to resurrect an old concept making it fresh, new and relevant.

All three of these effects are nothing short of excellent!

Can’t Find Something You Want?

Santa knows where to shop for the BEST magic!

Santa knows where to shop for the BEST magic!

As is customary with the season, we’ve been busy getting orders out as fast as possible so our customers receive their magic before the much anticipated holidays. We know that many of you are working performers and require props for your show. As a rule, if you order an item before 3pm Pacific Standard Time, we get it out THAT SAME DAY. We do our utmost to ensure orders go out as quickly as humanly possible.

If you’re seeking a particular effect or prop and you don’t see it currently listed on our site, call or email us!  Over the years we’ve established many relationships with vendors and suppliers, so we’ll do everything in our power to find it for you. Just say the word.

This weekend Betty and I are being entrusted once again to look after my grandson, so I’m going to continue my vigorous campaign to spoil that kid as best I can.

Until next time,

Paul