Friday, January 11, 2008

Don't Forget To Vote

Greetings from all of us at Hank Lee’s Magic Factory. I wonder, are you as surprised as I am that there is a Presidential Election this year? Honestly, I had no idea, and then all of a sudden it was the New Hampshire Primary and everyone was all aflutter with excitement. There was Hillary and Barrack and Mitt and the Johns (McCain and Edwards) and so many more. Waving signs and making speeches. And there was me, oblivious to it all. But, the truth is, it’s not really my fault. For the past several years, I have been getting my news from one reliable source, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Since the writers’ strike, I have been relegated to watching Daily Show reruns. I know everything that happened in old news, but new news is another issue. I guess it’s time to start reading the newspaper. And, I need to figure out who to vote for in the Massachusetts Primary (there is one, right?)

I just read Steve Martin’s delightful biography, Born Standing Up. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I know we don’t sell it. You’ll have top get it from Barnes and Noble or Amazon or your local library. As you must know, Steve Martin started his showbiz career with a magic act. And, his stories about working in the magic shop at Disneyland (I especially liked his story about Aldini, one of the last of the old-school magic guys) were a treat. So, go get the book and read it. You will enjoy it, I promise.

I am home this afternoon writing this week’s email Newsletter. In the background I can hear Lucas, The Singing Son, practicing. His college auditions start in about ten days. He has a ton of auditions, and will be on the road for a big part of January and part of February. Keep practicing. Aron is back in Florida for second semester. He is having a great year at school. I think he’s finally gotten the hang of it! Keep studying.

I hate to mention this, as I don’t want to seem like a bore, but are you getting the weekly Newsletter in html format, or is it still coming to you in boring old text-only format? The html format is so much better. Just let me know and I will be happy to change you over. Then, I won’t have to mention this all the time.

And, now to this week’s excitement.

BUY MORE GET MORE: Starting right now and running through Wednesday, January 16th at midnight, we are having another Buy More Get More event. And, here is how it works. For each order you place during the event, you will get a coupon which you can use towards any future purchase here at Hank Lee’s. The value of the coupon depends entirely on the size of your order. Here is the breakdown:
• Order between $25.00 and $100.00: Coupon is for 10% of the merchandise total. (Orders less than $25.00 get our sincere thanks, but sadly no coupon)
• Order between $100.00 and $200.00: Coupon is for 15% of the merchandise total.
• Order over $200.00: Coupon is for 20% of the merchandise total.
When you place your order online at, please put the secret phrase BUY MORE GET MORE in the Customer Notes Box of the online checkout. If you place your order by email or FAX, just include the secret phrase with your order. And, if you place your order by phone, toll free at 800 874 7400, please mention the secret phrase to get your coupon. The coupon will be sent along with your order and can be used whenever you wish, no expiration date. You will get a coupon for every order you place during the event. Just don’t lose the coupons, please. Unlike other sales events where certain items are not included, the Buy More Get More event includes every item we carry! This is your chance to, really save for the future.

And now, this week’s Hotlist!

Extreme Possibilities DVD Set – R. Paul Wilson: A collection of killer material from one of magic’s most creative minds. These brand-new DVDs feature some of Paul’s favorite close-up effects and stand-up routines. R. Paul Wilson’s classical approach combines old and new methods to produce incredible magic for every situation and for every level of skill, from beginner to expert.
Volume 1
ConCam Rendezvous – A shuffled deck and a prediction is all you need to perform this baffling effect.
Julie’s Number – The spectator removes any four number cards. These are reversed in four different parts of the deck. With a snap of the fingers they transform into the four Queens!
Zulu Sandwich – Three selections appear, one at a time, between two cards. A baffling production.
Fl-Ash – Paul’s application of a wonderful Michael Sibbernson idea combined with one of the finest card tricks ever invented.
Less Is More – The performer causes the Queens to repeatedly come to the top of the deck before finally changing to Aces.
Challenge Aces – A simple method is transformed into a stunning effect thanks to Paul’s commercial presentation.
Gone Wishin’ – Three coins appear, vanish then reappear inside a previously empty coin purse.
ConCam Ring On Stick – Paul’s famous visual ring routine.
ConCam Monte – Paul’s brilliant underground version of the classic Dutch Looper. (Performance Only)
Volume 2
Tantalizer Too – A Royal Road classic is given a killer twist.
Justify Me – A Collectors routine with a difference.
Thinking It Over – A thoroughly baffling version of the Cards Across plot.
Thief Of Hearts – Paul’s Valentine card trick, perfect for couples.
Matching The Cards – Paul’s favorite card trick – a Dai Vernon classic.
Wilson’s Aces – Paul’s magician-fooling version of the classic Ace assembly.
Far Too Many Cards – A simple, entertaining effect for any occasion.
A New Wave – Three coins appear, vanish and reappear without the need for expensive gaffs.
Motel History – Paul’s unique approach to the “Hotel Mystery.”
Ricochet – Paul’s famous version of the Reset plot. (Performance Only)
Spectrum – Paul’s powerful color-changing deck routine. (Performance Only)
Volume 3
Confabulous – Paul’s simple, offbeat version of Confabulation.
Tipless – One of Paul’s favorite stand-up effects. A vanishing silk that even fools magicians!
3 Through – Three coins pass through the table one at a time.
Popper Bound – Part of Paul’s professional repertoire. A coin routine your audience will love.
Jazz Two Step – Paul’s excellent version of Peter Kane’s Jazz Aces.
Left Turn On Cactus – Four spectators locate the four Aces.
8 Card BW+2 – Paul’s method for a Nick Trost classic.
Wilson All Backs – A misprinted deck of cards is magically repaired. (Performance Only)
Devilish Princess – A powerful transposition effect with a mentally-selected card.
Predator – A prediction with a twist. (Performance Only)
Volume 4
1002.5 Aces – A four-Ace assembly for when the time is right.
Written Wrongs – A sealed prediction is completely wrong – or is it?
Wild With The Ladies – Paul’s impromptu Wild Card routine.
DDT Open Prediction – A simple, direct version of the Paul Curry masterpiece.
SVAR – A coin melts away then reappears at your fingertips.
The Mystery Of The Little Piece Of Cork – Paul’s wonderful version of Ramsay’s effect using props you can make yourself.
Bottoms Up – “Apparently” demonstrate the perfect Bottom Deal.
Ring On Silk – Quick, easy and effective. A simple stunner.
Paul Plays Poker – A demonstration of Paul’s remarkable cheating skills. (Performance Only)
Special price for all four DVDs. $120.00 (DVD00813A)

Bicycle Cards Faded Deck: They look like they’ve been kicking around for a hundred years, but they’re brand new! These faded rustic grey and powder blue-backed cards are officially printed by the U.S. Playing Card Company and can be used in any number of card routines.
Features a faded rustic grey and powder blue color scheme and unique style face cards. $5.00 (30.1297)

Loops DVD Set – Volumes 1 & 2 – Yigal Mesika & Finn Jon:
With Loops, you'll be able to perform countless effects, all seemingly impromptu!
You can make things float in mid-air. You can cause a fork to spin on the table by itself. Make a card reveal itself without touching the deck. And that's just the beginning.
With less than three seconds preparation, you are ready to go.
Your hands stay totally clean after all effects and you can repeat them as many times as you wish.
In this one of a kind DVD set, hosted by Luna Shimada, for the first time together, Master Magicians Finn Jon & Yigal Mesika, unveil the best kept inside secrets to using Loops. Learn first-hand, from the creator and innovator of this versatile and powerful apparatus how to easily perform impossible effects using normal, everyday objects. If you’ve ever wanted to create the illusion of having “supernatural powers” that will mesmerize the most discriminating audiences, here are the secrets.
Volume 1
Finn Jon, the Grand Master of Levitation is seen performing here with his groundbreaking invention, Loops. Finn is a virtuoso in the world of magic and an inspiration to many master magicians. Here you will see Finn performing in his unique, classic, style, wowing audiences with amazing effects using Loops. Finn’s grace, style and humor are as entertaining they are educational. He shares his philosophy; tips and many intimate secrets learned from decades of experience and takes you through the fundamentals of creating incredible magic. Don’t miss the chance to watch a legend at work.
Volume 2
Get inspired by Yigal Mesika to live the Loops! Mesika, who gave Finn’s creation phenomenal versatility, has performed in 40 different countries using the Loops and elevated it to an art form. He is seen here live and unstaged, warmly interacting with the audience, charming and confounding them with his signature effects. Even skeptics are dazzled! Learn from the leading master of animation and levitation the top secrets on how you can create an impossible reality! You will be able to perform a complete half hour show based on this one tool that will totally rock your audience!
Now the power of Loops can be yours. $75.00 (DVD00812)

Shhhh! - Larry Becker and Lee Earle:
Bold, easy and entertaining mentalism!
Four 3.5 x 5 inch plastic cards from a popular parlor game are handed to individuals in your audience. They verify that each one bears the identical four questions to be answered, regarding a person's horoscope sign, a phone number, a romantic experience, and a movie star. Each person is requested to fill in short but complete answers to all four questions and then to pass all cards, face down, to a fifth person who mixes and holds them.
You turn over the top card and show it to the audience, asking, "I wonder whose handwriting this is? This is certainly a person in a hurry. Of course that goes with the horoscope sign here, Libra." All four persons who answered questions are asked to stand, look at the card and think to themselves, "I am not a Libra!"
"Libras are lousy liars," you alliterate, "even when they are just thinking about fibbing." Pointing to one of the four you continue, "You have guilt written all over your face - you a re the Libra and your birthday is...October 23, correct?" The noted participant agrees and is asked to sit down.
You take another card from the face-down pile held by the fifth helper, look at the answers written there and remark, "This person's first kiss was in 1992. Would you please think of where you were at the time? I mean the city, not just 'the back seat'. In that year, you (pointing to one of the three still standing) were in ...Columbus Ohio. Am I right?" The amazed helper agrees and takes his seat. Two participants remain standing.
A third card is looked at, and then you say, "Both of you, close your eyes please. One of you wrote a friend's phone number, (reading it from the card) 488-0980, so imagine dialing your friend right now. Someone answers - a man." You point to one of the two participants and announce, "Think about the person you are's your friend, Phillip Mason! Is that true?" Of course it is.
"My awesome powers," you mention with tongue-in-cheek, "have already identified who wrote on that last card, but rather than reading the information, let's leave it unseen and work directly with his mind." As you draw with a felt marker on a large pad, he is requested to visualize the movie whose title he wrote down and to visualize meeting one of the stars in person for an autograph. "What is the celebrity name you entered on your card," you ask. "Tom Cruise," he replies. "Let's go further. Think of your favorite movie starring Tom it, please." He says it is 'Mission Impossible'. You turn the pad around to show the 'autograph' of Tom Cruise below the title, Mission Impossible!
Shhhh! requires nothing other than a group of people ready to be entertained. No sleights, no gimmicks, no special performing conditions, no stooges, and nothing to replace make Shhhh! outstanding mentalism. You get the cards, pens, detailed instructions, and tips for 'extra touches' to use with this entertaining routine. $99.95 (40.604)

Chain Reaction – Andrew Mayne: Rip the centers out of some spare cards, give them a flick and in a flash they’ve all linked together in a chain of cards nearly as tall as you!
Chain Reaction is a huge effect with visual impact. You can perform it up close or on stage anytime in your show.
You can even use Chain Reaction to produce a selected card.
Chain Reaction combines the visual impact of two of magic’s most enduring stage effects, the Linking Rings and the Newspaper Tear, into a card illusion that fits into your card case and is ready to go at anytime.
The card chain can be inspected! Resets quickly!
Includes three routines ranging from beginner to advanced skill level. Each routine includes easy to follow video instructions, on DVD.
Grab some spare cards and create a Chain Reaction today! 15.00 (30.1298)

Exploring Magic Presentation DVD - Eugene Burger: An intimate opportunity to learn from one of magic’s greatest teachers, this DVD will help you think about your performing style, and grow as a magical presenter.
We all know plenty of tricks, but how can we turn them into memorable magic? In this DVD session, Eugene Burger explores that topic, and provides specific examples—including fully developed routines that you can adapt for your own performances.
The Black Envelope Vairations:
A classic (and amazing) prediction of a playing card, explained in detail with discussions of eight different presentational approaches, including: A Dream Of You • The Death Card • The Gambler’s Fate and Eugene’s favorite, Inevitability
Fading Coin:
Imagination becomes reality! Invented by Tomoyuki Takahashi, and taught with his kind permission, this astonishing routine is nearly impromptu, and truly astonishing. Eugene has invested a great amount of thought into getting the most impact out of his presentation, and now he shares it with you.
Invisibility Powder:
Discover how a simple presentational premise can turn a good trick into great one.
Ob-Ser-Vo: Inspired by a Robert Neale effect, this was developed as a “message” routine for corporate performances. Over time it has evolved into one of the strongest audience participation routines in the Burger repertoire.
Out Of This World:
Years of exploring countless versions of this Paul Curry classic have led to this approach. Eugene explains that journey. Problems are solved and strengths are emphasized, and the results are both practical and impressive. $34.95 (DVD00811)

Bicycle Tragic Royalty Deck: A deck of Bicycle playing cards with Tragic Faces design on Royalty Face Cards. Cards glow under blacklight. Manufactured by US Playing Card. $5.00 (30.1296)

Whirlwind: It does it all! A spectator’s chosen card enlarges, shrinks, and finally ends up spinning like, well, a whirlwind, on your finger!
You stop the spinning, turn the card face up, and the printing has become all swirled. It looks weird! A magic pass, and you change the card back to normal again! $34.95 (30.1295)

Social Distortion – Andrew Mayne: Andrew Mayne presents a stunning mentalism effect that looks truly paranormal.
A totally random volunteer is selected and before your audience's eyes, you reveal a thought of word, a name and a two-digit number. No stooges. No pre-show work. They write nothing down.
Social Distortion has already taken the magic world by storm, fooling magicians and entertaining audiences in Las Vegas up close and on stage. Everything you need fits in your wallet, but the impact is so big you could close your show with it.
Along with everything you need, you also get a CD with a one-hour in-depth discussion with magician Christopher who has been using Social Distortion in his own show in Las Vegas. You'll get advanced performance tips and suggestions including turning Social Distortion into an entire 15 minute act.
Includes complete instructions, full performance script, gimmicks and special bonus CD. $30.00 (40.603)

"Andrew Mayne understands my principles better than most. This effect is strong, easy to do, and amazes everyone involved. It's a winner!"
- Kenton Knepper

Black Flash: During your close-up show, you notice some shmootz on one of your spectator’s shoulders. After close examination, you determine that the shmootz is “infected” with the cloning syndrome. The only way to get rid of this is with fire. Of course, the audience follows along in total belief.
Touch the shmootz with your lighter and, in a flash, the shmootz disappears, but there is now a second lighter! It's contagious! Your spectator witnesses the first case of lighter cloning!
This is just one possibility with this clever gimmick. Check out the video demo to see so much more!
Includes gimmicked lighter and illustrated instruction manual. $49.95 (10.1437) (shmootz = lint)

Flying Fifties: A beautifully re-designed version of the classic Robot Coins.
Place a card box on top of an empty glass.
Show a Half Dollar, which vanishes in a blink!
Toss the invisible coin towards the card box. The coin materializes and drops into the glass with an audible clink. Repeat the effect, for a total of four coins dropping into the glass.
The Robot Coins was first manufactured in the mid sixties by Ken Allen. John Blake has re-released this marvelous piece of magic in a simple to use form that is totally reliable. The basic unit allows you to place a deck of cards (in a box) on top of a clear glass. One by one four Half Dollars drop into the glass.
Comes with instructions to vanish coins from your hand and have them appear in the glass.
But imagine the other great uses for this utility device. For example if you own an Okito Box you can place four Half Dollars in the box. Place the box of coins on top of a deck of cards which is then placed on a drinking glass. One by one the coins leave the box, penetrate the deck and clink into the glass. This can actually be done without cover. It is totally automated.
No batteries. Simple to load the card box and sure fire in operation. Wind up watch mechanism does all the work. $139.95 (20.378)

And that’s this week’s Hotlist. If you like this week’s offerings, and you really should, just waiting until next week. I can see what’s in the wings, and there is some very cool stuff coming along!
As always, I hope you will find some time to spend with us either online at or in person at our fabulous retail store at 102 North Street in Medford.
Hank Lee