Archive for May, 2013

A Unique Road Trip

Posted in Uncategorized on May 31, 2013 by hocuspoc

Hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend. I know we did since Betty and I took a much anticipated road trip to Orange County.

As many of you know, I am an avid gardener.  So, when I get an opportunity to visit a nursery (and with elongated growing seasons there are many here in California), I JUMP at the chance!

I'm so impressed with this place!

I’m so impressed with this place!

That’s why Betty and I jumped in the car and headed down to Newport Beach to see Rogers Gardens, which I’d been told about long ago. Well, let me tell you — it was nothing short of unbelievable!

No season gets left out.

No season gets left out.

I was so impressed and overwhelmed I meandered for over an hour in stunned silence.

Betty finally asked me why I wasn’t speaking, and I told her I was blown away and in sheer AWE by the vastness and incredible layout of this massive 8-acre site, that all I could do was stare in utter amazement.

Rogers Gardens does everything so well!

Rogers Gardens does everything so well!

Rogers Gardens includes a gift shop, home décor section, amphitheater for lectures, EIGHT full acres of multi-tiered gardens, floral design studio, a gourmet kitchen & patio, art gallery with local watercolor artists painting live on site, and a two-level parking garage to accommodate the crowds. I’m telling you, it was the Disneyland of gardening!

These are some wild pumpkins!

These wild pumpkins are just $500 each. I’ll pass for now!

According to veteran customers, during Halloween, Rogers Gardens does not disappoint with their extensive Halloween décor. It’s a fun place to visit, explore and get great ideas or a unique item that you’ve been looking for.

A Christmas tree made from vintage ladies' watches!

A Christmas tree made from vintage ladies’ watches!

During the Christmas season, Rogers Gardens does the place up to the nines with holiday decorations that will impress even the most discriminating shoppers. They have a dedicated room just for Christopher Radko ornaments, which each run about $70 bucks a pop!

I really liked this oddity made from vintage tins and a doll.

I really liked this oddity made from vintage tins and a doll.

Of course, I had to buy a few things for my garden and to commemorate our visit to Rogers Gardens. I know we’ll have a return visit in the near future. If visiting Southern California, you may want to stop by for your own visit. Check them out by going to www.rogersgardens.com

Tim’s Biggest Fan

As you can see by the photo, Tim definitely had some fun with a gigantic Chinese fan we found amongst the many props and paraphernalia from last week’s truckload of consignment items.

Tim's BIGGEST fan.

Tim’s BIGGEST fan.

In fact, this week we’ve been busily putting up some of the more choice items from the collection.

I have to say, that it feels good to know that we’re actually helping people by assisting them in getting top-dollar for their beloved magic equipment. It’s never easy for a performer to surrender his apparatus and many treasured collectibles from a life of magic and years in the proverbial spotlight.

The VERY best advertising a business can get!

The VERY best advertising a business can get!

We were referred to this gentleman from a colleague of his, who is also a past client of ours, as a trusted source for the prompt placement of his tricks and effects into the hands of other magicians. Our client let him know that he would be treated in a fair and honest manner. That kind of recommendation really makes me feel proud.

As always, word-of-mouth is always one of the strongest recommendations a business can receive, and it’s especially strong when it comes from a trusted friend or associate.  We’ve already seen much of this gentleman’s collection shipped out the door this week. Be sure to stay tuned to our Private Estate section for additional offerings.

NewMechGear_Searchbanner

Serious Gear for Coin & Card Mechanics @ 35% OFF!

Before I go I should mention that if you’re a committed coin or card mechanic, you may want to take advantage of this weekend’s sale. We’ve put several Mechanics Industries items on sale for 35%.  Click HERE to view them.

As always, please enjoy your weekend.

Until next time,

Paul

Egypt Comes to Hocus Pocus!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 24, 2013 by hocuspoc

Whew…what a week!

Betty, Tim and I traveled up to the Bay Area to pick up a collection of magic equipment & props and stayed overnight in order to be able to get everything loaded onto the truck.

Here we go again...closets full of magic equipment.

Here we go again…closets full of magic equipment.

Betty and I got the opportunity to meet with the gentleman, Bob, who was retiring from performing. He gave us some insight as to the particulars of his collection and some of his prized possessions.

Lots of goodies were found in his tables.

Lots of goodies were found in his tables.

Like so many of us, he had a lifelong love affair with magic and was still performing shows up to about a year ago.

We’ve been getting them up on the site all week, so keep watching over the next couple of weeks to see what goes live.

King Tut Makes An Appearance at Hocus Pocus

As a young man Bob studied Egyptology in college and had a lifelong fascination with Egyptian culture and all the mysteries it holds. In addition to his magic tricks, props and equipment, he possessed a substantial collection of Egyptian-themed curios, statuettes, furniture pieces and oddities.  And yes, we brought it all back with us as well!

Egypt comes to the showroom.

Egypt comes to the showroom.

As you can see from the photographs, he was fascinated with Tutankhamun, better known as King Tut.

The treasures of Egypt.

The treasures of Egypt.

It all sure looks great in the showroom. I can see why he was so captivated by this ancient culture.

We're starting to look like a gift shop.

We’re starting to look like a gift shop.

I have to admit I’m starting to like all this stuff.

What an amazing collection.

What an amazing collection.

Freebies and Brownies

I should mention that our own Tim Mannix has brought us a longstanding classic with the re-introduction of his version of Freebies (Free B’s) and Brownies (Brown E’s).

Want a freebie?

Want a freebie?

Tim had gotten a package of these years ago and decided to give them a tryout during one of his Magic Castle performances at the kids’ brunch. Tim says he was utterly astonished at the crowd’s reaction, when he offered a freebie and then a brownie to a couple of kids.

It seems the adults got the biggest laugh from them.

These brown E's are delicious!

These brown E’s are delicious!

After discovering that they were no longer commercially available, we teamed up with Tim to offer them to entertainers as our latest Hocus Pocus exclusive. Check them out by clicking HERE.

A First Visit

We’re all animal lovers here at Hocus Pocus and often bring our pets to work with us. Today Tim brought in his new 5-month-old pup, Chloe for her first visit. She immediately approached my Sam Naman “Animal Band” to examine the animals, so we snapped a quick shot of her.

One of the animals Is REAL. Can you guess which one?

One of the animals Is REAL. Can you guess which one?

Chloe learned the hard way that the Sam Naman pieces are off limits!

Fire Cage to Dog Illusion

Fire Cage to Dog Illusion

We had to send her into a time-out. Luckily, she was released EARLY for good behavior.

This Memorial Day I am mindful of all that have served, especially those who’ve given the ultimate sacrifice. When it comes to our servicemen and women, all give some, but some, have given all.

Please enjoy your holiday weekend.

Until next time,

Paul

Down the Garden Path

Posted in Uncategorized on May 17, 2013 by hocuspoc

Well, I have to admit, Tim was right.

He said “Nature abhors a vacuum. If you clear out this space and make more room, then more will come.” He was talking about our space in the back. Last year, we took on another 7,000 square feet of space to house some of the collectibles that continuously keep coming our way.

You-were-rightWe took in two MASSIVE collections in the last year-and-a-half that have cluttered up the space so badly, it’s sometimes overwhelming to go in there for more than a few minutes. After culling out and selling most of the more valuable pieces, there were plenty of mid- to  small-size props, tricks, and odd pieces left over.

Luckily for us, Max’s girlfriend, Lindsey has been coming in and working with Tim to sort things out to make the space more user-friendly. Lindsey’s done a brilliant job of sifting, sorting, boxing, packaging and then shrink-wrapping literally thousands of items that have been clogging the pipeline.  As of this week, the space is finally to a point where it’s nearly complete. And I have to say, it looks GREAT!

Well yesterday, as if by MAGIC, the phone rang. It was a collector who is interested in selling his lifelong collection of magic. And from what he told me, he has a boatload of tricks from several high-profile makers that will have many of our collectors VERY excited.

Next week, Betty and I will go up personally to meet with the gentleman and begin the process of boxing up all his treasured effects. Tim will follow the next morning with a truck — yes, there’s THAT much stuff we’ve rented a truck!

Be sure to keep watching our Private Estate section next week as we begin listing some of his collection.

Two RED Hot Items!

I should mention two items that are selling like hotcakes, Penciltration and Banner Magic.

Penciltration is Jesse Feinberg’s newest version of the popular effect, but it’s performed with a PENCIL…and to great effect. With Penciltration you actually see the moment the pencil pushes through to the other side of the bill.

Banner Magic! is the latest magic product created by Michael Mode. Designed for professional magicians, Banner Magic! is three time-tested routines, the Princess Card Trick, 52-on-1 and The Long Card, in a new banner format that opens and closes like magic.

It’s the perfect prop to have on hand when you need extra performance material. Packs small. Plays Big.

Selling like hot cakes!

Selling like hot cakes!

Down the Garden Path

My son-in-law, Jonathan has done it again with the construction of my new garden patch. Yesterday he finished putting the last touches on the brick pathway that goes to the furthest corner of my yard. It leads to the Fairy Garden where several water fountains and fairy gardens are displayed creating kind of a miniature wonderland.

Down the Garden Path

Down the Garden Path

I really like my new brick path. It looks great and Jonathan did such a great job.

Enjoy your weekend….I know I will.

Until next time,

Paul

And So It Goes…

Posted in Uncategorized on May 10, 2013 by hocuspoc

It is a sad fact that I must report the passing of one of our own, Dennis Loomis.

Dennis Loomis on the January cover of MUM.

Dennis was just featured on the cover of the SAM’s MUM magazine and had just recently visited us here at Hocus Pocus dropping off his own personal custom-made Doll House. The Dennis Loomis Doll House was largely acclaimed by consummate professionals throughout the magic community, as one of the finest designs ever created. Oddly, only days before his untimely passing that he was here with us.

Ironically, another one of Dennis’ illusions, a custom-built Sword Temple, which by the way is a magnificent piece of equipment, is being shipped back to us to resell and is due to arrive next week.

Dennis’ last visit with us at Hocus Pocus with his Sword Temple.

Dennis was a fine performer, a longtime customer, and a well respected member of the magic fraternity. Last year we carried his Any Card Called For , which was prominently featured by Fantastic Fig on America’s Got Talent.

Beginning in the 1970’s, Dennis tasted sweet success during a career spanning close to sixty years. He will be sorely missed.

Here’s a recent advert promoting one of Dennis’ May 2012 appearance in Sacramento:

Dennis Loomis is a giant in the world of magic and we are very excited to bring the opportunity to see his show to you and your family. Children of all ages will love his magical artistry, which springs from a deep understanding of the effect a well done trick has on people. He is known not only for his outstanding performances that include comedy, audience engagement, and other surprises, but also for being the creative design behind some of the most successful magic routines out there.

Dennis Loomis’ insight and design for magic have impressed the minds of, among others, Doug Henning, Charles Reynolds, and his close personal friend, world-renowned magician David Copperfield. In fact, Dennis has often helped David Copperfield with new illusions and mysteries for his live shows and television specials!

Together with us, Dennis shared something unique, enigmatic and special — the LOVE of magic. Thanks for sharing your unique brand of prestidigitation with the world, Dennis. Rest in Peace my friend.

Once again, it just goes to show that we just have to appreciate people while they’re here.

A Visit from a Good Friend

My good friend Troy Milligan visited the shop today, down from Sacramento. Troy is a full-time professional corporate and tradeshow magician. I’ve known Troy for over 35 years and it was good to see him, especially since he was bringing in some consignments items.

Enjoying my new "find", a Petrie-Lewis  Shooting Through a Woman!

Enjoying my new “find”, Petrie-Lewis Shooting Through a Woman/

Here we are unpacking an original Petrie-Lewis Lewis Shooting Through a Woman.

This is one of the MOST exciting collectible props I’ve gotten in a while. I seriously doubt that I’m going to EVER sell it. Boy, these are the kind of days when I love being in the magic business!

Downloadable DVDs

Click this image to visit our Magic Download section.

Click this image to visit our Magic Download section.

We’ve been a bit slow on getting up to speed on the downloadable side of magic. But, that’s all changed now as we have almost 400 downloadable DVDs in our inventory — and adding MORE daily. We have to change with the times and customers are requesting instant delivery, so we offer the option to get-it-now with downloads.

Enjoy your weekend….until next time,

Paul

Milestone to the Max!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 3, 2013 by hocuspoc

Well, it’s finally here — Max’s 21st birthday.

The Amazing Maxini

The Amazing Maxini

Seems like only yesterday I was helping him get his magic act together for a show he was going to perform for his kindergarten class.

The teachers were somewhat dumbfounded when this little kid showed up with a truckload of professional magic equipment. Little did they know his dad was a professional magician (at the time) and magic dealer.

Sadly, shortly thereafter, Max retired permanently from the stage. But, when you produce a live dove and feature an Abbott’s Super Botania in your act, it’s all down hill from there.

Max has always loved birthdays, and THIS one has been especially anticipated since he’s finally turning the big TWO-ONE. It’s a major milestone.

Without fail, Max has given us a daily reminders for the last several weeks counting down the days. Each day he’ll update us by saying, “Only 16 more days.” Sometimes I have to chide him by asking, “Sixteen more days until what?”

The next time we go to the Magic Castle, Max will finally be able to join us for dinner with Mark & Nani and the whole gang.

Happy birthday son — I love you.

Another MILESTONE

Lupe & Norm Nielsen are celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary this week. We wish them the very best as they are such fine people and a joy to do business with. Here’s to another fifteen years to them both!

15 great years!

The Nielsens – 15 great years!

I found this clip of Norm on YouTube and am including it just because I like it so much.  Norm, you’re a class act.

More Illusions

Los Angeles-based magician Taylor Hughes visited us today and brought several illusions to consign. I love the showroom when it’s packed to the gills. It makes me happy.

My mom says the showroom reminds her of my bedroom when I was a kid, only it’s on a much LARGER scale. She’s right!

Taylor Hughes & Max putting together the Crystal Casket Illusion.

Taylor Hughes & Max putting together the Crystal Casket Illusion.

We’ll be having a family celebration in the backyard this weekend for Max’s birthday, so I’ve been working feverishly to make sure everything looks great for the celebration.

After all, they only turn 21 once!

Until next time,

Paul