Friday, July 21, 2006

Where Has The Summer Gone?

Greetings from all of us here at Hank Lee's Magic Factory. It was hot, hot, hot and now it's not, not not. And, we are glad, glad glad. We had a heatwave going there for a little while with temperatures in the high 90s. And, it was not dry heat. It was wet heat. The kind of heat that feels like a wet blanket hit you in the head as you walked out the door. Yuckey. At least our Magician's Deodorant & Anti-Perspirant departments did well during the heatwave. Just joking. The heat has finally broken and we all feel a lot better.
I spent last weekend with the family on Martha's Vineyard, where I had the opportunity to buy gas by the ounce. No matter where you are, no matter how much you pay for gas, I guarantee that it's more expensive on Martha's Vineyard. That's because they bring it over a gallon at a time on the ferry. It's reached a point that gas is much more expensive than anything else you buy by the gallon. I'm thinking about pouring milk in the tank and see if it works. I'll let you know.

And, now let's take a look at this week's Hotlist!

Life Of The Party - If you are a Baby Boomer like me, this book is just calling your name. I already took a copy home to read. I can't wait to see how it ends. This all new book commemorates the 100th anniversary of the S.S. Adams company. Within its pages is a treasure trove of images that span the company's first century in business. Each page is loaded with product photos, original artwork, promotional material and rare ephemera, much of which has never been seen before. Hardbound. 200 pages. Full color. Foreward by Chris Ware.
"For those of us who believe the Adams catalog gave us a passport into social success for the coming adult world, The Life of the Party is a revelation. The slogan 'fool your friends' was especially inviting to those of us who didn't have friends. I still remember the pain of actually pulling these pranks (sorry about the rubber pencil, Grandma Frieda). A wonderfully obsessive compilation. This is as hypnotic as a book of broken promises." -Glen David Gold
author of Carter Beats the Devil $44.95

Twosome - Another pair of powerful presentations for your mental performances!
Lee Earle's "Loose Deuce" principle has found a pair of unique applications that provide new and exciting performance material. The Sherlock Holmes book is a reprise of Lee's classic Hypnobook with an extra subtle feature suggested by Marc Salem.
You encourage participants to read aloud from various pages (it's really Conan Doyle' stories) and then ‘hypnotize’ them so the task becomes very difficult; they stumble while reading what a moment ago was child's play. A snap of your fingers and now they can't read a single word aloud, try as they might. A quick pass of your hand over their eyes and presto! Their reading skills return!

Ever want to force a card without using a deck? Cardology does that for you, and so much more. Flip through the pages to show literally dozens of fortune telling ‘layouts each displaying up to a dozen different playing cards. No two pages are the same.
Your participant says, "stop" as you riffle the pages; he can even drop in a bookmark if he wishes. He thinks of one of the cards from that page and you can instantly tell him which one is on his mind! You can repeat with different cards chosen. No peeks or calculations.
More? Sure. Repeat with three people who look in different places in the book to get their cards. Again, you tell them exactly what three cards are in their thoughts!
Here is the clincher. Hand the book to another participant. That's right, your secret is safe. Tell him to open it to any page and to think of a card there. You reveal it. Tell him to turn the page and ask the persons seated on either side of him to peek inside as well. Each one picks out a different card from that page, and the book is closed. Even though you truly have no idea what page they viewed, you instantly reveal all three cards in their minds!
Twosome's books are high quality, perfect bound with full-color covers, measure approximately 6" x 9" and have just under 200 pages. The instructions are cleverly hidden in the back of each book. $99.50

Blink - Tom Burgoon is one funny guy. He is the creator of Crazy Eyes, one the funniest items we ever carried.
His new effect, Blink, is very magical and extremely timely.
Two of the popular rubber wrist bracelets are caused to link together while held by the spectator. Bands in their linked condition are completely clean. Easy to perform and always gets a great reaction!
Comes complete with 3 rubber wrist bracelets and photo-illustrated instruction sheet. $14.95

Professional Stage Pickpocket - Ricki Dunn - Ricki Dunn had an impressive career that spanned over 50 years. Also known as “America’s Funniest Pickpocket,” Ricki worked at all the major nightclubs, hotels, casinos and cruise ships around the world. He worked in cities like Miami, Chicago, New York, and Las Vegas. During his 20 minute act he would steal everything, including wallets, neckties, glasses, and belts, and have his audience roaring with laughter.
This book is the result of his 50 years of experience. In it Ricki reveals how to steal every kind of item. It includes routines that incorporate the different steals, how to develop a pickpocket act, and how to market it.
Even if you do not plan to become a pickpocket, the knowledge of timing and the selection of material are well worth your consideration. This book is the legacy of a full-time professional entertainer who was one of the best in his field.
A partial list of what this book contains:
Maintaining Audience Control
Organizing the Stolen Goods
Stealing from Different Pockets
Stealing Watches
Stealing Neckties and Belts
The Shirt Trick
20 Professional Pickpocket Routines
Creating a Pickpocket Act
Publicity for a Pickpocket Act
Thoughts on the Electric Chairs
Ricki Dunn was a fascinating person. This book also contains two appendices, with a biography and stories by some of his best friends.
Ricki is no longer with us, and for that reason we have included a DVD of his act (performance only), giving the viewer a glimpse of his personality onstage, as well as his masterful timing.
Hardbound. 208 pages plus a DVD of Ricki's performance) $39.95

Diamond Twist - Alan Wong’s Diamond Twist is the classic Twisting The Aces with a dazzling finish!
Four face-down Aces turn face up one at a time until just one Ace is left face-down. The performer asks a spectator which Ace is left. Of course, the spectator answers “the Ace of Diamonds,” the only Ace not showing.
Instantly a real diamond (crystal) apparently pops out from the card and onto the spectator's hands as a surprise finish! And there's more! The pip on the Ace of Diamonds has totally vanished!
Comes complete with diamond (crystal), velvet carrying pouch, special cards, and detailed instructions explaining how to delicately deliver this diamond-packed twist. $24.95
Mentalist Pad - Jerry O'Connell’s Mentalist Pad is a pocket notecase for the "Add-A-Number effect." The best you can get. Three or more people in your audience write a number on the Mentalist Pad (specify how many digits). Another person is asked to add up the numbers and call out the total. The total will be the same as your prediction, with 100% accuracy
The quality and the design of the Mentalist Pad will allow it to be freely handled and written on by your helpers.
Made from genuine leather.
Dimensions Approximately 6" x 3 1/4" (15.25cm x 8.25cm) $60.00

Appearing Cane - Stainless Steel - Colored - These new Appearing Canes are made from stainless steel and require no lubrication of any kind. Instant action with these precision-made canes. It will surprise your audience every time! Comes in red, white or blue. Please specify. $75.00

8th Sense - In 2004, 7th Sense redefined the silent coding systems and devastated audiences worldwide with its simplicity, directness and the sheer impossibility of the effects attainable with it. With the new 8th Sense, a remote application has been added..
Get ready to leave your audience’s beliefs in shreds. The 8th Sense is the next step in the evolution of this most versatile electronic tool.
The 8th Sense is a quantum leap forward in functionality. By adding remote capability you can now exploit two incredibly powerful principles instead of just one. You can even use 8th Sense without an accomplice or combine the two principles to create even more versatility from just one unit.
These two principles combined give access to an incredible range of effects and routines not possible with any other device. This makes 8th Sense the most versatile and powerful electronic device on the market today.
For those of you that requested (and there were many) a remote possibility, your time has come. And at a truly affordable investment compared to other "similar" devices that pale in comparison. Effects are limitless. We include just a few possibilities to get you salivating at the possibilities.
Five film canisters numbered 1 through 5 are placed on a table. A spectator places a ring or other object in one of the canisters yet the performer will know which one!
Five chips containing ESP symbols are placed on a table. A cloth or cardboard is placed over the chips so that no other person can see them, and the spectator takes a chip. The performer knows instantly which chip has been taken! From the other side of the room or even in another room. He does not have to come anywhere near the spectator. You could even perform this variation:
Five ESP chips are displayed on a table and are covered with a cloth. The performer is blindfolded legitimately and stands out of sight of the table. He instructs the spectator to take a chip and place it in his left hand trouser pocket. He then instructs him to take the remaining chips and place them in his right hand trouser pocket, left jacket pocket, right jacket pocket and breast pocket respectively yet the performer knows exactly which chips are in which pocket instantly without going anywhere near the spectator!
Four white chips and a black chip are displayed on a table and are covered. Five spectators each come up and select a chip yet the performer will instantly know who has the black chip! Alternatively, you could have five objects on a table and each spectator takes an object yet the performer will know instantly who has what object!
Extended sight -with an accomplice
The mentalist puts up five $20 bills as a challenge. All the spectator has to do is not give away the location of a personal object which she has hidden under one of five paper cups while the mentalist’s back is turned. Then five tests are carried out one-by-one. The mentalist wins back each $20 bill as he locates the object by reading body language, voice tonality and logical deduction.
The mentalist at the other side of the room reproduces (real-time) a drawing made by a member of the audience without even coming near the spectator or their drawing.
The mentalist holds up the correct number of fingers and on the same hand as a spectator standing at the back of the room and behind him. Not only that, but another member of the audience is covering the mentalist’s eyes with her hands.
Blindfolded mentalists can tell the difference between red and black playing cards held up behind his head. He then asks the spectator to deal cards face up and stop at card he feels drawn to. Then another spectator opens a sealed envelope. It says "you will be attracted to (whatever card)..." And matches the spectator's choice. The possibilities are endless...
8th Sense is small, portable and has a manufacturer’s guaranteed minimum range of 50ft with 100ft ranges possible depending on conditions. It can be installed in a couple of minutes on most tables. 8th Sense is a unique product. No other system offers this much functionality at this price!
8th Sense comes with 5 specially gaffed film canisters, 8th Sense sensor system, key fob remote control plus 10 pages full of instructions, routines and forum access. $1000.00

That's the hot stuff this week. And, there's plenty of it!
This weekend, I am off to camp to visit Lucas the Camping Son. A day in the wilderness will do me good, for sure. In the meantime, I hope you will come and visit us at You know how much we love your company.
Hank Lee