Archive for September, 2014

And the Winner is…

Posted in Uncategorized on September 26, 2014 by hocuspoc

11_itsaboyIt’s been “back in the saddle” after a whirlwind trip to the castle. We’re gearing up for the holidays and Cole is busy putting boxes of collectible books on the site each day.

By the way, Cole and Amanda recently revealed to us the sex of their first child. Soon, Betty and I will be enjoying a second grandson.

Where’s the Wizard T-Shirt Contest

As previously mentioned on this blog, we will be featuring a winner of our Where’s the Wizard T-Shirt Contest, which will from time-to-time feature various magicians wearing our Hocus Pocus t-shirts in fun, funny, exotic or unusual places.

As a winner, your photo will appear on this blog much like young Jacob’s shown below!

Jacob Baum sporting his new HP t-shirt at a sporting event!

Jacob Baum sporting his new HP t-shirt at a sporting event!

I recently met Jacob Baum, a very polite and exuberant young magician, and his dad at the recent Magic Castle swap meet. Jacob was quick to submit his photo taken at a recent L.A. Angels game proudly wearing his Hocus Pocus t-shirt.

We think Jacob look better than Angels rookie Mike Trout. Don’t you?

Jacob, your $25 gift certificate is on its way to you.

It’s easy to get involved. After purchasing your Hocus Pocus T-Shirt, send us a picture of you wearing it at conventions, magic shows, mountain tops, or any other great place for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate! The more creative and unusual the photo, the better the chance of winning the title of “Winner” of the Where’s the Wizard contest.

Send your photo submission via email to Cole@Hocus-Pocus.com.

Can You Guess Who They Are?

We found this vintage photograph amongst one of our consignments and thought it was very interesting. Pictured is a group of magicians, VERY famous magicians, from a former era. Can you name them? Of course, Houdini is the most recognizable, but who are the others? Can you guess?

Hopefully, you’ll find this as interesting as I did.

(Click on the photo to enlarge it)

Can you guess who these very famous magicians are?

Can you guess who these very famous magicians are?

The first person to email me at sales@hocus-pocus.com with all the correct names of the above pictured magicians will receive a $25 gift certificate.

Gagman’s Short-Lived Life @ Hocus Pocus

I often mention how quickly things come and go around here. Elliot Hitchcock’s Gagman hit the site and was sold in less than 2 hours. It’s essentially a snake basket with a very unique presentation.

Effect: The performer finds himself (or herself) center stage with a box containing an assortment of classic gags. Such as Spring Snakes in a Can, Chomping Teeth, Beanie Propeller Cap, Bag of Laughs, Grouch Nose and Glasses, Google Eyes,,, you get the idea.  An audience member is brought to the stage to assist.  The performer explains the difference between a joke, a gag, and a trick.

Elliot's Gagman went in less than 2 hours time on the website.

Elliot’s Gagman went in less than 2 hours time on the website.

First he tells a joke, then he displays a gag (removing one from the wooden box), and plays the gag on the audience member. Then he performs a trick.  In this case it’s a simple pick a card effect.  A card is freely chosen and signed (corner can be removed as well), and returned to the deck.  Magician attempts to locate card using different methods without any luck.  Somewhat frustrated the performer throws all of the cards as well as the gags back into the box and closes the lid.  A magical gesture over the box, and…

Now is when the magic starts! The stage lights dance and background music swells, the lid on the box slowly opens and a loud continuous laugh comes from within.  The beanie propeller cap emerges from within the box.  We now see that the gag items have formed into a character known as GagMan.  GagMan appears over the box he has a playing card in his chomping teeth.  Guess what? Wrong card!  The performer challenges GagMan to go back down into the box and locate the correct card.  He does so under his own power.  Twice cards fly out of the box and the GagMan reemerges with the correct card in his mouth.  The card is proven to be the same selected card!  Torn corner even matches…

GagMan then takes a bow and returns to the box. The performer wraps up the routine by looking into the box while talking to GagMan only to be sprayed with a fountain of cards.  It turns out the joke’s on him!

Romhany’s Dream Predication Elite

After much anticipation, finally, Dream Prediction Elite has arrived. Without exaggeration, Dream Prediction Elite is taking the mentalism world by storm! It’s the best one-man version of Confabulation that’s been created to date. It’s flying off the shelves.

Romhany's Dream Predication Elite is flying OFF the shelves!

Romhany’s Dream Predication Elite is flying OFF the shelves!

Find out why top mentalists like Banachek, Keith Barry & Neal Scryer never leave home without it!

FREE Shipping & FREE Download Ends Tuesday, September 30th

  • EASY TO DO!
  • NO STOOGES!
  • O PRE-SHOW!
  • NO FORCING!
  • 100% RELIABLE!
  • 100% ACCURACY!
  • CUSTOM MADE GIMMICKS!
  • CUSTOM MADE NOTE PAD!
  • INSTRUCTIUONAL DVD!
  • DVD – Includes: Handling, Routines, In-Depth Ideas & Live Performances!

Finally, A Much Anticipated Change in the Weather

Finally, it's beginning to cool down here in Fresno.

Finally, it’s beginning to cool down here in Fresno.

We’re finally beginning to feel some serious hints of Autumn in the air. And brother, are we ever ready for Fall to befall us. As summer 2014 departs, we gladly say good-bye.

At the time of this writing, the temperature here in Fresno is 69 degrees with a high of 80 for today. That’s a little bit of heaven compared to what we’ve been experiencing. It’s as if someone flipped a switch and it’s suddenly Autumn.

As always, have a great weekend my friends,

Paul

 

 

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Happy Hoard from Castle Swap Meet

Posted in Uncategorized on September 19, 2014 by hocuspoc

The Magic Castle swap meet was a sweet success.

As is our custom, we had dinner with Nani & Mark Wilson and Greg and his wife, which is always a pleasure. We got to catch up with all that is Wilson, and I am pleased to tell you that if you’re in the Los Angeles area on the weekend of October 4th, you’ll have an opportunity to own a piece of magic history.

We got a sneak peek at some of the great items that will be included in the “Awesome Cool Stuff Sale” occurring on Saturday, October 4, 2014 at the Wilson’s Southern California warehouse. Nani & Mark are thinning out some of their trinkets, treasures and belongings. I know I’ll be there, first in line if I can finagle it. Don’t miss out, get your tickets and information now clicking the image below, calling us directly (800-407-4040) or by sending an email to WilsonMagicShow@gmail.com.

The "Awesome Cool Stuff Sale" occurs on Saturday, October 4, 2014.

The “Awesome Cool Stuff Sale” occurs on Saturday, October 4, 2014.

This week we put up a “Witch” adaptation of the Disembodied Princess by Paul Osborne Illusions. As Tim was searching for video examples to include with the ad-copy, he came upon a foreign dubbed video of the trick, and although it’s pretty grainy, Tim said he could tell by her body language, that it was Nani Wilson.

Shot in 1973, this episode of THE MAGICIAN starring Bill Bixby featured our own Nani Darnell Wilson, playing the part of the Princess, doing exactly what she does so well.

Everybody’s Favorite Box-Jumper Plays Princess

 

At the swap meet, we generally always have a table, but this time we went as BUYERS only. I must have had 50 disappointed magicians asking why we didn’t have a table. The answer is simple, we just didn’t have as many things as we usually do, so we decided to forego selling and participate as buyers.

I am very happy to tell you that we found a colossal amount of really great things to bring back. In fact, more than EVER before!

We started putting it up online right way and 80% is already gone. Many of the items went within 15-30 minutes of their short life online. If only I had half a dozen of everything, I’d be in hog heaven.

Here are several pictures of some of the fantastic discoveries we uncovered at the swap meet last weekend.

Dell’s Apple Tubes by Dell O’Dell, RARE – (GONE)

A charming sucker effect developed and made famous by Dell O'Dell, one of America's first pioneers of magic on television!

A charming sucker effect developed and made famous by Dell O’Dell, one of America’s first pioneers of magic on television!

 Alcorn Floating Table, Circa 1960’s

Colonel Gene Alcorn's exquisitely handcrafted floating table.

Colonel Gene Alcorn’s exquisitely handcrafted floating table.

 Lights Thru Body Illusion, Out-of-Production – (GONE)

This Lights Thru Body Illusion is a truly penetrating illusion!

This Lights Thru Body Illusion is a truly penetrating illusion!

Antique German Spirit Bell by Haug – (GONE)

An antique Spirit Bell, featuring German-engineering. They don't make 'em like THIS anymore!

An antique Spirit Bell, featuring German-engineering. They don’t make ’em like THIS anymore!

Comedy Passe Passe Bottles by Magic Wand, Circa 1950’s

Not often seen, these circa 1950's Comedy Passe Passe Bottles by Eddy Golden's Magic Wand of Pasadena bring back so many memories.

Not often seen, these circa 1950’s Comedy Passe Passe Bottles by Eddy Golden’s Magic Wand of Pasadena bring back so many memories.

U.F. Grant Swami Card Reveal, RARE – (GONE)

U.F. Grant's Swami Card Reveal makes a charming collectible or a humorous card reveal.

U.F. Grant’s Swami Card Reveal makes a charming collectible or a humorous card reveal.

1960’s Fred Haenchen Doll House

Rare original Fred Haenchen Doll House is a spectacular production of a real GIRL that's completely angle-proof!

Rare original Fred Haenchen Doll House is a spectacular production of a real GIRL that’s completely angle-proof!

 David Charvet’s Hospitality, Yellow

Hospitality, the modern "Any Drink Called For" act, created by Jim Steinmeyer. Never seen it in YELLOW before!

Hospitality, the modern “Any Drink Called For” act, created by Jim Steinmeyer. Never seen it in YELLOW before!

Still Working On Huge Consignment

We still continue to list books and paraphernalia from the gigantic consignment we picked up several weeks ago. Stay tuned to the website for the latest offerings. We just have to keep chipping away at it as it so huge.

Hocus Pocus T-Shirts

We’re beginning to get photo submissions in of our customers wearing Hocus Pocus t-shirts. Next week we’ll feature one of the submissions who’ve won a $25 certificate.

Get a $25 gift certificate if your submission wins!

Get a $25 gift certificate if your submission wins!

The idea is to get a photo of yourself in some interesting place wearing our t-shirt. Get wild, get creative, get going getting your photo at a concert, at a National monument, in front of the Eiffel Tower, at the Pyramids at Giza or simply at home clowning around with a fun or funny pic doing something VERY comical, magical or creative.

Stay tuned….this could get REAL interesting!

 

Our new Magic Locator for assistance in finding collectible magic.

Our new Magic Locator for assistance in finding collectible magic.

And finally, be sure and take advantage of our Magic Locator (click image above) to find those elusive props and pieces of hard-to-locate magic. To date, we’ve got over 100 magicians on our list, many of which we’ve already been able to match with items they’ve been seeking.

As always, have a great weekend my friends,

Paul

P.S. We’ll see you in April with a boatload of goodies at the next Castle swap meet.

 

 

Gone Hunting….at the Castle!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 12, 2014 by hocuspoc

It’s that time again. The Magic Castle Swap Meet is upon us, so Betty and I are headed down south with the boys, Cole & Max, close behind.

My home away from home.

My home away from home.

I’ve talked with so many people and lined up lots of magic to bring back with me, so you want to watch the website beginning early next week.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for hard-to-find magic or collectibles, be sure and check out our Magic Locator by clicking on the image below.

Use our new Magic Locator for assistance in finding difficult-to-find collectible magic.

Use our new Magic Locator for assistance in finding difficult-to-find collectible magic.

Gotta go, but I’ll be back soon with lots to share.

Hope to see many of you this weekend!

Paul

 

Another Bird, Another Cage

Posted in Uncategorized on September 5, 2014 by hocuspoc

Busy, busy, busy. Whew!

Another week full of uncovering & discovering more amazing magic buried in boxes and filing cabinets. Initially, I thought this estate would take the better part of a year to process and get on the website. I’m now going to revise that assertion. I believe it’s going to take us well OVER a year! It’s THAT overwhelming and full of pieces.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I just had no idea just how EXTENSIVE this collection really was until I started delving into it.

Unearthing Buried Treasures

Combing though one of the filing cabinets I found a Harry Blackstone, Jr. Vanishing Birdcage nestled amongst the files. And luckily, it had a letter of provenance with it from the Blackstone Magic Collection that was auctioned off in November of 2003. It is one of several that Harry used in his shows through the years.

It was really cool to hold the cage because Junior was one of my all-time favorite magicians that I idolized. His stage presence and distinct style really appealed to me.

Harry Blackstone, Jr.'s Vanishing Birdcage that includes a letter of authenticity.

Harry Blackstone, Jr.’s Vanishing Birdcage that includes a letter of authenticity.

The Vanishing Bird Cage is one of the classic effects in magic made famous by both Blackstone Senior and Junior. It’s a simple fact that few magicians have performed it better than Blackstone, Junior or his father.

 

 

I’m going to enjoy having it here for a while until it vanishes into the collectible magic abyss.

A Useful Solution To Hard-To-Find Magic Items

Cole is working on adding a unique feature to our website. He wants to make it easier for magicians to find those hard-to-locate props or tricks by creating a comprehensive list.

A simple opt-in box will be added to the landing page of our site where magicians can add their name, contact info and the exact item they’re seeking.

We're committed to helping you locate those hard-to-find magic items.

We’re committed to helping you locate those hard-to-find magic items.

The list will allow us to easily match seekers to props with greater efficiency because we’re committed to helping you locate those hard-to-find magic items. Great idea Cole!

Want to get started right away? Use the Hocus Pocus Magic Locator to add your name to the list. Click HERE to get started.

The UNIQUE and WONDEROUS MAGIC and SENSELESS HUMOR SHOW!

Our own Tim Mannix and my good friend of thirty-plus years, comedy magician & hypnotist Mark Price will be presenting their UNIQUE and WONDEROUS MAGIC and SENSELESS HUMOR SHOW next Friday night in Bakersfield at the Stars Dinner Theater.

Also known as The Gus Flamingo Comedy Magic Show w/ Special Guest Performer Tim Mannix, here’s the blub:

“Former boy magician Tim Mannix and gruff old Gus Flamingo will be performing their UNIQUE and WONDEROUS MAGIC and SENSELESS HUMOR SHOW, Friday, September 12th at 7:30pm at the Stars Dinner Theater in beautiful downtown Bakersfield.

The show promises to be a seldom seen and regal effort of dexterity and manipulation.  Plus, the ANSWER to the age-old question, “Is it safe to yell THEATER in a crowded firehouse.” — will be revealed.

Don’t wait, the front row is filling up fast. Call (661) 325 – 6100 NOW for tickets and information.

Clean Comedy — Ridiculous Rhetoric — Baffling & Bamboozling Feats of The Unexplained — Commercial FREE — Better than TV ‘Cause It’s LIVE!”

If you’re in the area or passing through, go see the show. It’ll be funny.

Magical_Marvels

Clean Comedy — Ridiculous Rhetoric — Baffling & Bamboozling Feats of The Unexplained — Commercial FREE — Better than TV ‘Cause It’s LIVE!

Magic on TV this Summer

What a summer of magic on television it’s been. Magic aficionados have been served a bevy of programming this year including; The Carbonaro Effect, Pell & Teller Fool Us, Wizard Wars, Masters of Illusion and most recently, HOUDINI starring Adrien Brody on the History Channel.

As there has been so much discord already expressed about the History Channel’s largely fictional version of Houdini’s life story, I’ll just say that Houdini’s life was perfectly interesting without adding to it. However, as a point of fact, I will say that Adrien Brody did make a fine Houdini.

Everyone likes a good story, even if it's slathered with fiction.

Everyone likes a good story, even if it’s slathered with fiction.

We often forget that the television medium’s prime directive is to sell soap, not necessarily to present the truth. But, one would assume that The History Channel presents historically accurate portrayals of historical figures, right? Maybe next time.

You have to admit, it WAS a good story though. Just NOT the one so many of us came to know growing up in magic.

Thanks to all of you who sent well wishes to me on Facebook and via email for my 59th birthday. It is very much appreciated.

As always, have a great weekend my friends,

Paul