Friday, March 09, 2007

One Flu Over!

Greetings from all of us here at Hank Lee’s Magic Factory. Let me tell you, life is just chock-full of surprises. For instance, who would have guessed that I’d be writing this week’s Friday letter from a hospital bed at Boston’s Lahey Clinic? Not me, that’s for sure. Yet here I am. It all started early on Wednesday morning. About 4:30 AM I went to answer nature’s call, took care of business, and the next thing I knew I was lying on the floor. Bonnie came running to see what was the matter, tried to help me up, and down I went again. At that point she dialed 911 and I made the good choice of just staying put. The EMT’s came, checked my vitals (which were OK) and bustled me off to the nearby Lahey Clinic ER. The ER docs had a grand old time with me. Poking, prodding, sticking me with needles, taking blood, taking XRays and on and on. They decided that something was wrong and needed more time to figure it out, so they admitted me to the hospital, where I spent last night and now
today. Just a short time ago, one of the docs came by to tell me that I had passed all of the cardiac tests (phew!) and that I had tested positive for the flu. Seems that as a result of having the flu I became dehydrated and that one trip to the bathroom was all it took for my system to shut down. So, I am out today, with orders to drink plenty of fluids, advice which I pass on to you as well if you are feeling flu-ey.
Since I have been out of the office for the past two days, I want to take a moment to thank both Stephen Kradolfer and Bob Riordan for doing such an excellent job of being surrogate Hanks. They both do great work every day, but it especially shows when I am absent.
Now, to this week’s excitement (as if I needed any more!):

FREE SHIPPING: Until Thursday the 15th of March at midnight, we are offering free ground shipping to anywhere in the US, including Alaska and Hawaii! Just enter the special code SHIPMEFREE in the Discount Coupon Box at the bottom of the first page of the online checkout at We will happily pick up the ground shipping charges on your order. Of course, if you want your order sent Fedex Three Day (Express Saver), Second Day or Next Day, you will just have to pay the difference. Note: Your email confirmation from our online system will still list the shipping as free, but we will charge the difference when we ship your order. Overseas customers will save as well! We will pay one-half of the Air Post shipping charges on your orders until the 15th! Just remember to enter the special code SHIPMEFREE in the Discount Coupon Box, or let the person taking your phone order know when you place your order at 800 874 7400.

Now, let’s take a look at this week’s Hotlist.

Equinox V.2 – Christopher Taylor: What is Equinox?
Imagine Body Language or Max Maven's fantastic Kurotsuke effect.
Five balls are placed inside a black velvet bag (4 balls are white and one is black). Five spectators now reach into the bag and remove one ball each. Only one is holding the black ball and nobody apart from the person holding the ball knows who it is!
By using your mental powers, you eliminate each of the white balls one by one until you are left with the person holding the black ball!
So, what’s new here? Imagine doing this fantastic routine and never having to be near the bag. That's right, you can have your back turned and be standing at the other side of the room! You never have to go near your spectators or the bag! The above is just one of the basic routines developed using Equinox.
Comes complete with handmade gimmicked black velour drawstring bag, 5 stones (four white and one black), gimmick and eight page photo-illustrated instruction booklet. $420.00 (40.558)

Gravitate – Peter Loughran: The first portable, close-up, horizontal street suspension!
Invite a group of spectators to witness an experiment in anti-gravitation. Pass out a couple of cardboard or wooden support blocks that are free of gimmickry and are freely handed out for inspection.
Offer yourself up for inspection so the spectators are convinced that you will not be using any sort of gimmick or hardware to aid you in the experiment. The spectators are free to pat you down and to thoroughly check you out to make sure you are free of gimmickry, harnesses, etc.
Now, you introduce a bag which contains a long black mat. Take out the black mat and discard the bag. Show both sides of the mat to be free of any gimmickry and then pass it out for examination. Tell the spectators that the mat is going to be placed on the ground to protect you from getting dirty or lying directly on bits of broken glass, rocks, etc.
To keep everything fair after the mat has been examined, you instruct a spectator to lay down the black mat after thoroughly checking the ground to make sure the ground is also free of gimmickry.
They next place a support block at each end of the mat and you lie down overtop of the support blocks which now support you in the air about 6 inches above the ground.
You concentrate and then instruct one or two of the spectators to carefully remove the support blocks. Miraculously, you remain suspended and floating in mid-air, six inches above the ground, without any visible means of support.
The spectators can now walk all the way around you as they peek under to find that you indeed appear to be floating in the air.
The supports are replaced and you are helped to your feet, at which time the supports, the ground, the black mat and you are once again examined again. You have succeeded in the anti-gravitational experiment and accepts the thunderous applause.
Special Points:
• Do it in broad daylight
• No special clothing required
• No weight limit
• Suspension can be viewed 360 degrees while the performer remains in mid-air
• Portable and compact
• No stooges needed, this is a one man effect
• No AGA bars or counter weighted bases
• Everything including the magician may be examined before and after the illusion
• Spectators handle all of the props and set up the props for the performer
Peter Loughran’s Gravitate includes the black mat, instructions, and specially constructed suspension apparatus. Supply your own carrying bag and supports. $160.00 (60.1419)

Any Ring: From Richard Sanders, Any Ring, the revolutionary ring vanishing handkerchief!
Most ring vanishing handkerchiefs ? can only vanish a specific ring size. This is awkward for the practical performer as you have to search for someone with the correct ring. If you can’t find the correct ring then you have to skip the trick.
With Any Ring, you can vanish any size ring, from a thin Engagement Ring to the thickest Signet Band.
The spectator’s ring is placed under a handkerchief and?the spectator holds the ring through the cloth.?The spectator feels their ring until the last second;?when the spectator lets go, the ring is gone!
The borrowed ring can be made to appear anywhere you want.?This is the ultimate accessory item.?Bonus routine included!??Don’t leave home without Any Ring! $19.95 (60.1418)

Secrets Of Bill In Lemon DVD: World's Greatest Magic By The World's Greatest Magicians - This benchmark collection features just about all of magic’s most enduring and classic effects and routines. It’s a fabulous compendium with many of the top masters in the world of magic teaching their handlings and routines for some of magic’s classics. Each volume covers a specific subject and features new, old, and sometimes rare footage by some of the top video producers in magic.
Of all the various versions of the borrowed object in the impossible place plot, the Bill in Lemon and its variations remains one of the strongest tricks in all of magic. The fact that a borrowed and marked object ends up in an organically sealed item such as a lemon or orange is truly astonishing to audiences, no matter how many times they see it.
In this volume, you'll meet some of the world's foremost exponents of this extraordinary feat.
First off, Bill Malone explores all of the comedic possibilities of the trick in addition to offering a bullet-proof and truly mystifying method.
Doc Eason is up next with his take on Steve Spill's Bill in the Lemon, considered by many in the know to be the very best version extent, particularly for the bar venue.
Then, Fielding West shows you how to make this trick play for a stage-size audience while J. J. Sanvert turns the Card in the Lemon into a theatrical experience.
Finally, Ted Lesley performs and demonstrates an easy-to-do yet baffling Bill in Lemon with a method that will delight you and thoroughly entertain your audiences. $19.95 (DVD00658)

Video Treasure Trove-O-Trickery DVD – Mac King: Now kids can learn magic from Mac! On this DVD, Mac King gives personal lessons on how to perform some of his favorite magic. These mystifying tricks will have your friends and family laughing with amazement and guffawing in awe. You will learn: Hat-2-O, Money for Nuthin,’ Ghost Writer, Downhill Skier, Deal-O-The-Century, Soaker Joker, Balloon Buffoon, Mmm, Tastes Like Me, The Most Important Coin In The World, Dog Jaw and Pop-O-Matic. 49 minutes of magic and fun! $16.99 (DVD00662)

Birthday Cake: It was a great birthday party. All the kids were there, and they all brought presents for the birthday kid. The mom had baked a really fancy birthday cake. But, what’s this? Someone took a slice from the cake before it was time. Oh, no! What to do?
To show exactly what happened, you remove a slice from the really fancy birthday cake and make it vanish by magic!
Blow up a balloon and hook it to the place that the cake slice used to be.
Get the kids to sing “happy birthday” and in a wink the balloon pops and the missing slice has re-appeared!
Everyone had a happy birthday after all!
You are correct, sire. It is Forgetful Freddie designed to look like a really fancy birthday cake. There is no more perfect trick for your birthday party shows!
$89.95 (50.951)

Self Opening Soda: A borrowed soda can is caused to open by itself, while your hands are a foot or more away from the can! Real can, real soda, really amazing! Can even be done while the can is held by a spectator. Several versions, plus a bonus effect of a self opening beer bottle. This will work with almost any tab-top beverage can.
Show the spectators a real can of soda or other canned beverage. Place the can on the table or on a spectator’s palm, hold your hands a foot or more away from the can, and have everyone concentrate on the can. As they watch, the tab of the can visible and loudly cracks open and pulls upward! Pour the beverage out of the can and show the can to the audience for inspection!
This is a monograph of over 40 pages, and over a hundred photographs!
The gimmick required for this effect is something you either already have or will be able to obtain inexpensively, and there are several versions that do not require the gimmick at all. $35.00 (10.1373)

Secrets of Ambitious Card DVD: World's Greatest Magic By The World's Greatest Magicians - This benchmark collection features just about all of magic’s most enduring and classic effects and routines. It’s a fabulous compendium with many of the top masters in the world of magic teaching their handlings and routines for some of magic’s classics. Each volume covers a specific subject and features new, old, and sometimes rare footage by some of the top video producers in magic.
In this volume, you'll meet a variety of performers who have taken this very basic yet magical idea of a single playing card constantly rising to the top of the pack in some very clever and decidedly different directions.
For example, David Regal leads off with his routine which transmogrifies an ordinary playing card into a puppy that always responds to the voice of its master.
You'll see and learn Harry Lorayne's routine which first saw print in his classic Close-Up Card Magic performed and taught by the man himself.
Frank Garcia offers some clever moves that are ready to be implemented into your own routine while Michael Ammar demonstrates a routine that would compliment the repertoire of any card worker.
Doc Eason is up next with his take, a high point of his bar set, while Paul Wilson, Al Schneider and the inimitable Tommy Wonder perform and teach their routines which all end up with the card appearing in a totally unexpected and magical place.
Finally, Dai Vernon's reminiscence about the origins of his timeless routine from Stars of Magic is the perfect way to round out this Ambitious Card extravaganza. $19.95 (DVD00659)

Standing Room Only DVD Set – Steve Draun: Three DVD Set - Over the years, Steve Draun has gained a laudable reputation as one of the finest sleight-of-hand experts in the magic underground. By perfecting and re-perfecting his magic, magicians from around the world were invariably fooled, stunned and affected. Back in the day, Steve Draun's work was often discussed in hushed tones. However, as time went on, Draun's focus shifted from fooling the greatest minds in magic to performing for laymen. Now, his vast and varied audiences see only the best of the best of the best.
Though long acclaimed as a cardman, Steve Draun has approached dice, coins, linking rings and virtually all substrates of magic with equal passion and perseverance. It's for this great effort, and for his long-time experience, that such a high degree of bafflement permeates the magic of Steve Draun. This is also why his material is worthy of study and appreciation by anyone who seeks to better their own performance of magic. $99.95 (DVD00661)

Bertini Coin Magic DVD: The performances on this DVD demonstrate a never-before seen and original coin manipulation system. You won't believe your eyes!
Although not for beginners, a study of these moves will enhance your present arsenal of sleights in ways you never dreamed. You will find a collection of steals, fake transfers, switches, productions, and loads, designed to amaze even the closest observer. All of these have been applied to classic effects to give them a luster and dimension never before seen. We believe this material is destined to change the face of coin magic forever! The DVD contains Windows Media movies designed to be shown on computers. 39.95 (DVD00664)

The Unexpected DVD Set: The first DVDs from Marc Spelmann & Peter Nardi covering the genre of Impromptu Mentalism. With the impromptu weapons on these DVD you will always be ready when the unexpected happens!
Routines explained on this DVD include:
Disc One:
Fist Full Of Dollars - An incredible opener for any impromptu situation. Give your spectator a chance to win some cold hard cash. All they have to do is guess which hand holds the money!
Drinks On The Patio - A great little performance piece to do when you’re in a bar. A lovely lady is requested to help out and as a thank you will buy her a drink..
Take Note - Your spectator takes part in a little game of chance. 3 notes of different values are placed on the table. You write a prediction on a business card which remains on full view throughout. Using your powers of persuasion you manage to influence their choice of note!
Perfect ESP - A quick & simple ESP match up routine.
Single Handed Geller – Marc’s ultra slick one handed coin bend.
Underhand Thoughts - An unbelievable impromptu drawing duplication that will get you out of trouble!
Three For The Money - A three-phase performance piece which highlights your ability to predict your spectators actions.
Disc Two:
A Tribute To Mr Kane - This is an Impromptu version of Kane’s variant. A great gambling effect using only 5 business cards and some money.
Feel - A spectator holds an imaginary object in their cupped hands. You concentrate and tell them exactly what they are holding!
Serial Killer Lite - Your spectator removes a bill from their wallet and folds it up. They then place it under an upturned wine glass. You then call off the serial number.
Busch Brain Buster - No DVD on mentalism would be complete without a book, magazine or newspaper test. Reveal a freely chosen word from any newspaper, book or magazine & describe an item your spectator has locked in their mind!
Two’s Company - A discussion on using a friend, partner or family member to code you simple information.
This is a double DVD set full of killer material for that impromptu performance! $64.95 (DVD00660)

Decisions – Mozique: From the creative mind of Mozique comes Decisions. An incredibly organic-looking test of precognition. A simple yet unbelievable demonstration of predicting your spectator’s actions! Using two cards, one with the word NO and the other with the word YES hand written on the face, you set your spectator some simple challenges. No matter which way your spectator decides to go you are always able to correctly predict the outcome.
Includes routines by Mozique, Peter Nardi, Looch & Simon Grant.
Decisions is a self-working mental miracle taking you back to what mentalism should be: simple, direct & pure!
Each precision gimmick is beautifully hand made by the undisputed king of gaffed cards, Rob Bromley.
No sleight of hand required as the special gimmick does all the hard work for you, leaving you to concentrate on the presentation!
Decisions is a utility item designed for the discerning mentalist and is limited only by your imagination!
• Custom hand-made gimmick
• No sleight of hand
• No funny moves (only one card on the table)
• Totally examinable at the beginning and end of the effect
• No nail writing or dry wipe
• Instant reset
• No sticky cards, magnets or rough & smooth. No elastic or flaps
• Gimmick invisible even at close range
$39.00 (40.557)

Secrets Of Folding Coin DVD: World's Greatest Magic By The World's Greatest Magicians - This benchmark collection features just about all of magic's most enduring and classic effects and routines. It's a fabulous compendium with many of the top masters in the world of magic teaching their handlings and routines for some of magic's classics. Each volume covers a specific subject and features new, old, and sometimes rare footage by some of the top video producers in magic.
The Folding Coin was first introduced into the literature of magic by Professor Hoffmann in the late 1800s. Since that time, magicians have been coming up with diverse ways to perform the classic Coin in Bottle, the effect for which the gimmick was first invented, in addition to other novel ways in which this unusually gimmicked coin can be put to use.
The Folding Coin has been around for a long time and there's a good reason for that. If you've never experienced the sheer astonishment of an audience as they watch a coin apparently pass into and out of a solid glass bottle, you're missing out on what Michael Ammar called “one of the five strongest effects you can do with a coin.” And, on this DVD, you'll learn everything you need to know to put a folding coin effect right into your “A” list of material. $19.95 (DVD00663)

Hot Rod Teach-In DVD: Hot Rod Teach-In DVD - "I remember the first time I witnessed The Hot Rod in action. It appeared to me that the magician had to push some sort of special button in order to make the gems change color! I was confused when he handed me the rod to examine. To me, that was simply magic. Today, I still use The Hot Rod when I want to show someone something they will remember for years to come. The trick itself is easy to perform, yet can make a strong connection with your audience. When you pull out your Hot Rod they know they will witness something special!" -Ramon Medellin
Taking you through this journey is professional magician Ramon Medellin who has been performing and wowing audiences with The Hot Rod for many years. Ramon will teach you how to use the force in other applications. He will also explore concepts with the paddle move. No matter your skill level, you will find many gems within this Magic City Teach-In DVD. $11.95 (DVD00657)

And that’s all the new goodies for this week, and I have to tell you that from where I’m sitting right now, they look mighty good indeed!

I hope you will find some time to spend with us either online at or in person at our neater than neat retail shop at 112 South Street in downtown Boston. Either way, we love your company.
Don’t forget to drink that water!
Hank Lee