Friday, September 21, 2007

We're Picky, Very Picky

Greetings from all of us at Hank Lee’s Magic Factory. And, what a fine week this has been. The weather here in New England is starting to turn a little brisk. So, it is a mystery every morning whether to wear shorts or long pants. I have been leaning towards shorts, as I know it will be long pants weather soon enough.
I want to take a minute this week to talk about product selection. We are very proud of the fact that we do not carry every single item that comes down the pike. We try to be selective and carry those items that are new and interesting. The volume of new magic that crosses my desk on a daily basis is staggering. Some of it is really good, even great. Some of it is not. Some of the items that are released commercially really should be included in a book or lecture notes or submitted to one of the magazines. There’s a lot of re-inventing the wheel going on these days, and we try to shy away from the items that are clearly derivative. So, you may not see the Left Handed Widget Production in our Online Catalog. Chances are we either already have the Right Handed Widget Production and didn’t feel the world needed the left handed model, or the Widget Production was just kind of junky and we didn’t want to carry it at all.
On the home front, Lucas was selected for the role of Javert in the Lexington High School production of Les Miserables. The show will be amazing, as most LHS productions tend to be. So, if you want tickets to see Lucas, just let me know.
And now, let’s take a look at this week’s excitement!

DVD GIVEAWAY: This week it’s a plain old giveaway. You got it. A DVD Giveaway! For the next seven days, from right now until Thursday, September 27th, at midnight, you have the opportunity to get DVDs for free! But, you have to get them the old fashioned way. You have to earn them.
Here's the way it works. For every order of $100 or more, you get one free DVD (your choice of any single DVD that sells for $35.00 or less). If you spend $200 or more, you get two free DVDs (again, your choice). $300 or more gets you three free DVDs. And on it goes. The more you buy, the more you get for free! It's an incredible deal when you figure that the average price of a DVD is $35.00! In order to claim your free DVD, just put the name of the DVD in the Customer Notes Box at the bottom of the second page of the online checkout (after you fill in your name, address, etc.) at If you phone your order in to our toll free number at 800 874 7400, just let the order-person know what free DVD you want. If you FAX the order to us at 781 395 2034, same thing. Just let us know which ones you want. Remember, the giveaway ends on Thursday, September 27th, at midnight!

Now, let’s take a peek at this week’s Hotlist!

Topsy Turvey Chair: The Martinka Chairs is one of the most amazing illusions of all time. Master machinist and builder Joe Porper has created a mini version of the classic chair routine. The Topsy Turvey Chair.
The effect?
Bring out a normal-looking miniature dining room chair. The chair is just ten inches tall. Painted black with nice scroll work and a green fabric seat.
Also show a simple square tube, slightly larger than the chair. Show the tube empty (and it is!)
Cover the chair with the tube. Show that the chair just fits inside the tube. There is no room for the chair to move around inside.
Reach into the tube and remove the chair.
Turn the chair upside down and place it back in the tube.
When you uncover the chair, it is now rightside up! Wow!
Cover the chair once again, with the tube. Reach into the tube and remove the chair. It is once again upside down!
Back and forth. Always under your control. You can even have the audience shout out Up or Down. The chair will come out the way they wish!
At the end, you uncover the chair, show the tube empty once again and take your well deserved round of applause.
Joe Porper’s Topsy Turvey Chair is made to precision tolerances rarely seen in magic manufacturing. Comes with a beautiful wooden carrying box.
Routined by FLIP, this is the perfect effect for the discriminating performer that wants something different. Very limited production. $750.00 (10.1410)

Haunted Table: Perfect for Haunted Houses, Seances, or Spook Shows! Built by Rick Haslett, so you know the quality is excellent.
You have full control at all times. The table will move objects placed on the table in an eerie manner and even knock them off the table if you wish.
The table will glide across smooth surfaced floors (linoleum, wooden flooring, smooth cement floors, etc)
Turn on and off using a keychain remote control.
The spirits will show their presence at your next Seance. Also great for the mentalist. Spectators can place their hands on table to summon the dead and feel the spirits as well as see them. Your spectators can look the table over and will never find the mechanism.
The table is 12" x 16" x 34.5" and comes apart to pack flat.
Built of quality wood. $375.00 (40.593)

Royal Random Time Piece: Made to the highest quality specifications. Display this ordinary watch and ask your spectator to name any time in the future. When you show the watch again, it's set to the selected time!
Royal Random Time Piece stops in a different way than previous models. And now there is a whole range of different styles to choose from. There's always time for a good trick!
Easy to use. Fun to perform. A beautiful watch and an amazing magic trick all rolled into one!

Royal Random Majestic Time Piece: $114.95 (40.592M)
Royal Random Artist Time Piece Silver: $89.95 (40.592AS)
Royal Random Artist Time Piece Gold: $89.95 (40.592AG)
Royal Random Select Time Piece Black: $89.95 (40.592SBK)
Royal Random Select Time Piece Brown: $89.95 (40.592SBR)

Jack-O-Lantern Puppet: Brand new and just in time for Halloween, it’s Steve Axtell’s Jack-O-Lantern Puppet!
“You'll never guess what I brought to our Halloween show today. Did I hear ‘something from this bag?’ No, it must be my imagination. On Halloween we can get carried away with our imagination, can't we?
Let's take a look. Can you guess what it is now? Right, a pumpkin! Have you ever carved a pumpkin before? Great, well a few of you have. You have to be very careful and let a grown up help you with the knife, but let me show you how I do it.
First you hold the knife like this and think about the design, where will you make the eyes, the nose, the mouth.
Here would be a good place for one eye.”
“Ouch!” says the pumpkin!
“What was that? Let's do that again.”
“Did this pumpkin just say "Ouch?"
“I said Ouch! That hurts!”
Turn the pumpkin around revealing a face!
“I've already got a face!” says the pumpkin!
Have a fun dialog with the Jack-O-Lantern. He can even fly around like a ghost. It's a great addition to any magical Halloween show! $199.95 (60.1472)

Trick-N-Treat: Halloween is just around the corner!
Take Rick Haslett’s Trick-N-Treat to your next show or toss one in your bucket of candy and watch the kiddies jump!
Use over & over & over each year!
This treat has a flash of fire that will shock and amaze. Flaming candy. What could be better?
Trick-N-Treat was inspired by Doug Cuff and is made in the quality you have come to expect from Rick Haslett.
Requires Flash Cotton and AAA Battery. $33.00 (60.1003)

Levent Salt Pour Routine: The effect is classic. A magician pours a shaker full of salt into his left fist. Suddenly the salt disappears from his left hand and reappears in a long stream from the right hand.
Levent, the author of “Roy Benson By Starlight,” has taken Roy Benson’s original Salt Pour Gimmick and added many unique design features that make it by far the best gimmick ever produced.
Custom molded out of durable and corrosion resistant flesh-colored plastic, Levent’s Super Salt Pour Gimmick never requires painting or touching up.
The lightweight material is slightly translucent so that under proper stage lighting conditions the magician can see exactly how much salt remains in the gimmick as the salt is reproduced. This feature is crucial for magicians that wish to choreograph their salt pour routine to recorded music.
The following are among the advanced physical features:
* A very large flared opening which makes it effortless to fill with salt and allows it to be thumb palmed very securely;
* A high salt capacity egg-shape that ergonomically conforms to the shape of your closed fist, thus making it easier to palm;
* A concave base enabling the gimmick to sit upright and be ready to use in the prop case which also provides an indentation for your thumb making it easier to do the Benson “Turnover Move” as well as allow for better control during Vernon’s salt flow control technique.
The gimmick includes a DVD, in which Levent teaches the various Salt Pour techniques from the past masters of magic such as Dai Vernon, Roy Benson, Ross Bertram and Fred Kaps. Levent’s comprehensive lessons show the real secrets, such as how to covertly introduce the gimmick into your hands at the start of the routine, how to control the flow of salt when it is reproduced and how to secretly ditch the gimmick at the conclusion.
Additionally, Levent gives the Salt Pour historical context by explaining its progenitor, namely the legendary Tobacco Sleeving routine of the vaudeville headliner Emil Jarrow.
Levent also teaches the entire Salt Pour routine that he currently performs in his comedy magic act. Plus, he includes multiple variations such as the production of the salt from both fists. Finally as a bonus he reveals the secret of his earlier routine in which a borrowed wrist watch is transformed into an hourglass, the sand from the hourglass is used for the Salt Pour trick and at the finale the sand magically transforms back to the borrowed watch.
As amazing as all of this magic is the most astounding thing is that the price for the Gimmick and DVD is only $39.00 (60.1471)

Growing Spot Paddle: Just in time for the Fourth of July (joke), but really perfect any time and anywhere, it’s Joe Porper’s Growing Spot Paddle.
Show a black anodized aluminum paddle with small red, white and blue spots on both sides.
A wave of the paddle and the spots increase in size!
Wave it again and the spot grow even bigger!
Finally, the spots are shown to be the same on both sides and the paddle can be immediately handed out for examination!
Wow! So many changes! And examinable. What more could you ask for?
Joe Porper’s expert machining makes this one a breeze to perform. The paddle does 90% of the work for you. Comes complete with a genuine leather carry case. $64.00 (10.1411)

Incredible Dancing Paper Napkin - Scott Francis and David Allen:
This trick is absolutely diabolical. Have you ever wanted to make a paper napkin dance, without putting a little boogie in it? Well here is your chance to perform it on the spot anywhere, anytime.
Impress your friends at a fast food restaurant with the dancing paper napkin or perform it on stage in front of a large audience. You choose.
With a little showmanship, finesse and a small investment of about 2-1/2 cents per performance you can be a pro with the Dancing Paper Napkin.
This is so cool, not to mention fun to play with.
Easy To Do!
* No Strings
* No Mirrors
* No Wires
* No Kidding!
$24.95 (DVD00771)

Potassy-Wave Deck: Display a box of blue-backed poker-sized Bicycle cards. A spectator names any card and you instantly remove the cards from the box and spread out the deck. The named card is seen to be the only face up card in a face down deck. The cards are replaced into the box and the effect can be instantly repeated.
If this sounds like an Invisible Deck routine to you, then you are partially correct. If you have read The Magic of Paul Potassy or viewed the DVD The World-Renowned Magic of Paul Potassy you would know that this is not an Invisible Deck or an Ultra Mental Deck, nor is it a Brainwave Deck. It is the Potassy-Wave Deck, a single colored Brainwave style deck, especially developed for the stage and stand-up performer by the European Master of Magic Paul Potassy.
Due to the special card set-up, the Potassy-Wave deck provides much greater visibility than an ordinary Invisible Deck, thus allowing the stage performer to use a poker sized deck instead of having to resort to the use of the unnatural looking jumbo cards.
Additionally, unlike the standard Brainwave deck, the Potassy-Wave can be instantly repeated. In fact, the Potassy-Wave deck is even more mystifying when it is repeated.
The Potassy-Wave deck also includes a comprehensive instructional DVD in which Comedy Magician Levent explains the history of the effect and its many variations. $34.00 (30.1262)

TelekinetiCredit: Borrow a burning cigarette or stick of chewing gum from a spectator.
Show both sides of your credit card!
Lay the cigarette or chewing gum on the credit card.
Begin concentrating and moving your hand in a magical way. The cigarette stands up very slowly until it is standing straight up.
It moves under your command. Finally the cigarette lays back down on the card. You can do it anywhere, anytime. $27.50 (10.1409)

Weekend At The 4F DVD – Obie O’Brien: In this first volume, you will see and learn unbelievable magic while being part of magic's most prestigious convention!
Contents include:
* The Interview - Learn about the history of the legendary Fechter’s Convention!
* Jim Klayder - Sun and Moon
* Ali Bongo - Pen thru Pound
* Patrick Page - Stand-up Coins Thru Table
* Hayashi - The Matrix Trilogy
* Richard Kaufman -Triumph Handling
* David Regal - Royal Jazz Quartet
* Vanni Bossi - The U.T.N. Card Fold
* Tom Craven - The Zodiac Prediction
* Scott Robinson – Differences
$34.95 (DVD00770)

Mind Waves DVD Set - 3 DVDs - Andrew Gerard:
This 3 DVD set by Andrew Gerard is a complete look at everything you will need to know about performing mentalism on the radio, from gaining publicity locally in your area to promoting your show.
On these DVDs Andrew Gerard explains the effects thoroughly leaving no question unanswered. Audio clips of the effects taught (performed by Andrew Gerard on National Radio) are also provided giving you the inside look at the effects from both sides.
Also covered are the Who, When, Where, How and What you need to know about going on the radio. From entering the station to leaving like a pro, dealing with crazy callers, disclaimers, newspaper predictions, etc.
Listen in as the lines get flooded with callers all claiming they have been amazed at what is happening to them over the radio.
This DVD set was designed to give you the confidence to do a radio show of bulletproof real world material that works extremely well. $59.95 (DVD00769)

Hat Trick: Ron Bauer has just released #22 in his Private Studies Series, Jim Bergstrom's Hat Trick. It's an innovative, colorful comedy version of the Torn Tissue Papers to Hat that's a worthy feature effect for any close-up and stand-up adult audience. (It's not a kids' trick, but it is PG.)
Your audiences will be flummoxed in the best way by this action-packed frenzy of bits and pieces of colorful tissue flying in all directions leaving behind a lady's hat in a stunning five-color floral décor and set off with Bergstrom’s Bountiful Blossom. What woman wouldn't be proud to wear your crafty creation for the rest of the evening?
The Hat Trick is now available with detailed instructions and a complete, annotated performance script. You get all the gags and bits of business Jim has used in thousands of shows for first class audiences from Grosse Pointe to Chicago to Hollywood.
Use any of several brands of art tissue and glue sticks plus an inexpensive Seamstress' Tape Measure.
Over 30 pages! Over thirty line art illustrations in the text and 65 full color in the removable center section. $10.00 (60.1469)

White Tagger: James Biss has finally revealed his wild application of portable labeling technology and the results are incredible! Inside you'll find everything you'll need to present some of the strongest effects available in mentalism today – including your very own, almost extinct, White Tagger device.
It's the ideal assistant for the professional performer and the possibilities for mind blowing masterpieces with this particular approach are endless.
Included in the detailed 35 page illustrated manuscript, however, is a selection of powerful effects, fully routined for maximum entertainment value. These instructions are consistent with the standard established by other works by James Biss.
Here's some of the routines you'll be able to do at your next presentation with your White Tagger.
Taking Pictures: Duplicating drawings from people all around the room with astonishing clairvoyance, humor and accuracy – along with a killer ending that will leave magicians' mouths wide open! (Featuring the new opaque Mind Changer Bags, which are also included.)
Crystal Balls: Helping any spectator to divine the exact phone number dialed on a borrowed cell phone with an imaginary "crystal ball" – and then you knowing an audience member's own phone number instantly - even though they've never shared it with you before.
Chinese Oracle: The most completely routined and entertaining prediction effect ever shared in the world of mentalism! An appropriate enclosure sent days in advance of your performance contains: First, the week's winning lottery numbers. Next, personal choices made by the entire audience. Finally a freely chosen name with letters created by a team from the audience!
Slip Of A Reading: The world renowned Kenton Knepper's ingenious application of the White Tagger to create a close-up experience of fortune telling that they will never forget!
Cellular Thoughts: A wild new approach to George Schindler's "Watch Your Thoughts" that you'll carry with you for an impromptu miracle in a bar or restaurant.
Includes label device, permanent marker, mini-pencils and paper, and 33 page instruction manual. $149.00 (40.591)

Mastering Hypnotic Power - 2 DVD Set – Richard Nongard:
A comprehensive resource for those planning to master Stage, Street or Clinical Hypnosis! This two-DVD educational set teaches the skills necessary for you to present powerful demonstrations of hypnotic phenomena with both clients and casual observers, and includes clips of Richard explaining and performing these skills live, with real people. Richard Nongard is a master of street hypnosis.
* If you are a stage hypnotist, magician or mentalist looking for impressive ways to "WOW" your guests, this DVD is for you.
* If you are a clinical hypnotist seeking strategies to give your clients what they really want and improve efficacy, this DVD is for you. These DVDs will teach you:
* The exact wording necessary for deep hypnotic induction
* The famous "handshake" hypnosis induction for rapid trance
* How to construct a no-fail pre-talk for stage or individual hypnosis
* How to produce hypnotic phenomena that will "WOW" observers
* How to produce hypnotic amnesia, catalepsy and theta-deep trance
* How to master hypnotic language patters for amazing results
* How to do real magic, using people as props!
* A discussion of legal, ethical and training considerations
$89.00 (DVD00768)

Floating Glass Sphere: A large transparent 6.3" (16 cm) ball is seen resting on an elegant stand. The magician slowly pulls the stand to the side, and the ball remains suspended in space. Now a large ring is shown, it is held in front of the ball and turned around its own axis three times, even while the ball is floating inside.
Then the ball starts to float upwards, then several feet away to the side. You take a few steps back and forth, while the ball is levitating in midair at one side of the stage .The transparent sphere then floats to the other side of the stage, then comes back to the middle. For a grand finale the ball rises up again and levitates back into the waiting hands of the magician, who takes his bowl
The routine is constructed to avoid the usual repetitious choreography that one sees so often in such levitation effects. All phases are clear, precise and build up to a beautiful and graceful finale. Due to the special levitation technique, you will find other combinations of movement to suit your own personal act.
- A large and completely transparent ball floats in any direction!
- The handling of the ring is a very clever one, “proving” there is nothing attached to the ball.
- The floating ball can stand still or move into different directions while you move on stage.
The Floating Glass-Sphere utilizes a special type of thread management and is a most beautiful and mystifying floating routine. lt is suitable for small and large stages.
We supply you with the very special transparent ball, fully illustrated detailed manuscript and special gimmick.
You need to make an extra purchase at your local hardware store to complete the set-up.
$34.95 (60.1470)

Dial-Abolical DVD – Kockov:
Here is Jasper Blakeley performing in character as Monrokvia's greatest mindreader and magician - Kockov.
For the first time ever, the mullet-haired maestro reveals some of the mentalist routines that have helped make him a house-hold name in his former Eastern-block homeland.
Performing live for a real-world UK audience, Kockov gives a blistering 'adult' comedy performance.
This DVD features his incredible 'Dial-Abolical' routine, an unbelievable Phonebook mind-reading effect. As a special bonus he also performs and explains the full working of his sensational blindfolded 6-person book test using 6 ordinary books.
Not only will you be stunned by Jasper's fantastic performance as the outrageous Kockov, you will also be very pleased to know that these practical, professional routines will fit straight into any magic or mentalism show, regardless of your style of presentation. His brand of creativity features low-tech methods and high-impact effects, allowing the performer to do his job: entertain a paying audience.
WARNING: Not suitable for anyone under 18 years of age. $29.95 (DVD00767)

And that’s this week’s Hotlist. Honestly, have you ever seen so much new magic in just one short week? And, all of it is good, really good. So, take your time checking out this week’s offerings.
As always, I sincerely hope you will find some time to spend with us either online at or in person at our brand-new showroom at 102 North Street in Medford. Either way, consider yourself invited.
If you are still getting it in the Text Only format, just drop me an email and I will set you up for html. It is really worth changing over, trust me on this!
Hank Lee