Friday, May 02, 2008

Spring Reading - Much Better Than Spring Cleaning!

Greetings from all of us at Hank Lee’s Magic Factory. Another beautiful week here in Boston, especially if you are a big fan of rain! I know. We needed the rain. But, it’s just so, well, wet.

Last weekend Bonnie, Lucas and I toddled off to Martha’s Vineyard to get the house in order for the upcoming Summer. It’s the first time we have gone to the island this early, and it worked out really well. The “honey-do” list that is usually presented to me sometime in late May or early June was shorter than usual (maybe because it was still April) and easily handled by the three of us. We cleaned the house, moved the outdoor items back outdoors and then cleaned our little pond. If you have never cleaned a pond, let me just say this. Yuck. We drained it and removed all the dead and decomposed leaves. Then, we scrubbed the liner and looked everywhere for last year’s fish. No fish to be found. Bummer. Apparently the fish did not “winter over” as advertised. It was a noble experiment that just didn’t work out. We said a little prayer for the fish, then refilled the pond, put the water plants back in (they did winter over) and it looks great. And clean.

I just want to take a second to congratulate our old friend Paul Ross for his Award Of Merit from Hollywood’s famous Magic Castle. Well deserved.

Aron comes homes on Saturday for a short break. Then, it’s back to school for some summer courses. He’s working like a house on fire, and we are really proud of him. Lucas is now into his last month of Senior year. He is so busy that we hardly see him. The good news is that he will be around all summer, so we’ll see him plenty then! To celebrate the family all being together, I bought some tickets for the Red Sox game on Sunday. If you watch the game on TV, we’ll be the ones wearing Red Sox caps. Look for us.

Important note: Are you still getting the weekly email Newsletter in Text Only format? Want to get our oh,so much nicer html version? Drop me a note and I will be happy to switch you over!

Now, for this week’s excitement.

Spring READING SALE: Spring is a great time for reading. What could be better than sitting in the hammock, curled up with a good magic book? Nothing, sez me! Starting right now and ending on Tuesday, the 6th of May at midnight, you can save 25% on every single book that we carry, except those published by Mike Caveney's Magic Words. All you need to do is enter the special code SAVEONBOOKS in the Discount Coupon Box of the online checkout at and we will automatically deduct the 25%. If you place your order by phone, toll free at 800 874 7400, just mention the special code, SAVEONBOOKS, and we will deduct the 25%. You can also place your order by FAX at 781 395 2034 or by email at No matter how you place your order, just mention the special code and save 25% on all the books!
Now, it’s time to check out this week’s Hotlist.
Dragon Mirror Box: Thanks to magic designer Angelo Carbone's creative thinking, you can now make your productions much more magical and deceptive. The mirror actually disappears, for an ultra-innocent production!
When the front door is opened you see a completely empty box. The door is then closed and when re-opened the box is filled with many silks or other items. What makes this Mirror Box so unique is that you can open the side doors and top door as well to pull out silks from each of the four openings. All that is left is an empty box and no mirror to be seen. This will certainly fool those who know the classic principle.
Dimensions of box: 9" x 9" x 9". Base: 11.25" x 13.25" x 2.5".
$199.95 (60.1518)

Branded - The Painless Card Blister - Tim Trono:
Show a painful looking blister on your thumb from your last attempt at this hazardous stunt. Someone selects a card and concentrates on it while gazing into the flame of your lighter. You pinch the flame and the bubbling blister magically morphs into the configuration of their card. In other words, the image of their thought appears fried into the flesh of your fingertips--seared into your sizzling skin - Branded!
This gimmick takes over where the other gimmicks left off. It’s now a very practical, easy, no-nonsense method that happens in the open, with nothing to hide! No more pocket management. No more public displays of affection. No more unwanted glances.
With Branded, you’ll leave the room in a blaze of glory!
Instructional DVD.
Precision-made Gimmick.
Downloadable Instructions in Japanese, French, and Spanish.
No pocket work. New design of realistic numbers and pips.
Includes gimmicks for both regular and mini Bic Lighters.
$49.95 (30.1331)

Hoppity Hip Rabbits – Joe Porper: Joe Porper, known the world around for his originality and unequalled craftsmanship, offers a new paddle for the close-up worker!
Show a beautifully-made black anodized paddle with a very cute picture of a bunny, on a red background.
First the bunny is on a red background on both sides of the paddle. In a wink, the bunny is on a yellow background on both sides of the paddle. Huh? Just when they think they have it figured out (could there be a bunny on a red background on one side and a bunny on a yellow background on the other side?) the bunnies change into a not-so-scary looking wolf!
Based on the classic Hippity Hop Rabbits, made in the quality you have come to expect from Joe Porper, and fully examinable at the end! A great trick to carry with you all the time. $64.00 (10.1451)

RISE – Dr. Schwartz: Way back in the 1950’s there was a very clever card trick called FLIP. It used a deck with two sets of holes drilled through, one set on the top and one set on the bottom of the deck. A pencil was thrust into one of the sets of holes and, as the pencil was rotated, the selected card flipped out of the deck!
Turn the clock ahead a mere 58 years, and Dr. Schwartz has dramatically improved the original effect, now using only one set of holes and a completely different method!
The deck of cards with a hole running top to bottom through one side is handed to a spectator to shuffle.
A card is freely selected. No force of any kind.
Remove a pencil from your pocket and show how the pencil freely passes thru the hole in the selected card. Replace the selected card in the deck and give the deck a bunch of cuts.
Now, push the pencil through all the holes. The deck remains suspended from the pencil.
Command the selected card to rise from the deck. A quick upward motion and card has risen from the deck!
The deck and pencil can be handed out for immediate examination. They will find nothing!
The method for RISE is absolutely diabolical. A method that has never been used before! Really easy to do. You will love it! $29.95 (30.1333)

The Modern Con Man - Todd Robbins:
How to Get Something For Nothing
For years, con men have gotten fat scamming unsuspecting marks for food, shelter, money and from time to time, even clothes, while the rest of us suffer our honest lives in the quiet desperation. Isn't it about time we got in on all the fun?
In The Modern Con Man, entertainer extraordinaire Todd Robbins, with a little help from his Modern Conman Collective, explains the valuable tricks of his venerable trade-from simple bar bets (the Hoboken Bottle Cap bet) to can't-lose card tricks (the Poseidon). Whether it's winning fifty bucks, scoring seats closer to the fifty-yard line, or finagling a free meal, this one-of-a-kind collection of cons, bar bets, card games, and general chicanery ensures aspiring scam artists everywhere will always come out on top.
Filled with humorous facts and tables, a glossary of con terms, illustrations, the history of the con, and easy-to-follow swindles, The Modern Con Man is a hilarious and endlessly entertaining collection of safe, fun, and mostly legal cons for the natural-born prankster in all of us.
Pages 227 - Hardcover with dust jacket. $16.95 (BK01579)

Dark Vision – Richard Osterlind: An advanced Eyeless Vision system for the working professional!
Imagine your head completely covered by a black cloth hood that has been verified by an audience member as being completely opaque. Then, imagine performing any number of sightless vision miracles, limited only by your imagination, including the Blindfold Drive, a legendary feat of paranormal ability and performed by the greatest mentalists in history.
This is what the Dark Vision system will enable you to accomplish. Designed from the ground up and fashioned to be used with the Osterlind Stainless Steel Blindfold or on its own, Dark Vision will convince your audiences that you have the ability to see using only the power of your mind. The Dark Vision system consists of the very special hood, each one hand-made by Sandra Sisti and made from the same quality materials and exacting specifications as the S.O.S. Bag, and a booklet written by Richard Osterlind that not only explains the minute details of handling Dark Vision with the Stainless Steel Blindfold and also by itself, but also invaluable tips on how to create and perform a large-scale publicity stunt such as a Blindfold Drive.
There have been many gimmicked blindfolds and hoods on the market over the years…but none of them have offered the versatility, craftsmanship, ease of use or sheer mental power of Dark Vision. $59.95 (40.632)

Jumbo Color Changing Chinese Coin: Show a Black Jumbo Chinese coin to the audience.
Cover it for an instant with a Jumbo playing card (Use your own Jumbo card).
When you remove the card, the coin has become Red.
Cover it again, the coin has turned Blue!
Everything can be examined immediately by the audience.
For the “Professional Routine,” show both sides of the Black Jumbo Chinese coin that you are holding in your hand. Rub the coin in your hand, and both sides turn Red. After rubbing it again, both sides of the coin become Blue!
Perfect for parlor or close-up. Extremely easy to do. Includes instructional DVD. $59.95 (20.385)

Linked - Richard James:
The spectator selects a card.
You tear out the center of the card. The spectator writes their initials on the center piece and keeps it.
Take any wine or champagne glass and slam the card at the glass. The card links onto the stem! You can see it spinning round.
The spectator holds the top and bottom of the glass. You pull the card off the glass, the center fits and they keep the card!
Visually stunning.
Richard James is revealing his secrets of the magic that has celebrities & audiences mesmerized!
Comes complete with gimmick and instructional DVD. $49.95 (30.1332)

Zero Gravity - Jay Sankey:
The ideal opening effect. Walk up to a group and suspend a deck of cards, borrowed wallet, borrowed cell phone, pretty much any small object on the very end of a folded dollar bill (the visual is insane) and then immediately hand everything out -and your hands are empty.
You can even borrow the bill! The same effect can also be done with a folded paper napkin, a take-out menu, whatever. Comes with gimmick and instructional DVD. $25.00 (10.1452)

Doves 101 Starter Kit - Andy Amyx:
Andy Amyx presents the Complete Beginner's Dove Magic Package. This comes with everything you will need to perform amazing dove magic! Make no mistake about it, the items in this package are the same that working professionals use and pay a lot of money for separately.
You will get:
* Doves 101 DVD
* 2 Pro Dove Pockets
* 1 Ultra Quick Release Dove Holder
* 1 Invisible Dove Harness
* 1 Spool of Pro Dove Wire $155.00 (60.1519)

Assumption Swindle - Jack Tillar:
Jack Kent Tillar, the creator of the classic Blister Effect, now presents an incredible new concept that every working mentalist will find a use for in their repertoire. This is one of the most ingenious and versatile principles in mentalism. It requires no stooges, no peeks, no electronics, and no gimmicks. It enables the performer to create unforgettable miracles.
Here are just a few examples:
* Six participants freely choose a lottery number and each writes it down on a slip of paper. A seventh participant holds the slips and serves as a judge. The performer proceeds to reveal each number that was written down and the judge verifies that each number called out is among the slips!
* The audience secretly writes down three unusual actions for the performer to do on stage. Using muscle reading while blindfolded, the performer is able to accomplish these tests!
* The performer is able to reveal the total of all the serial numbers of several bills held by audience members!
Part 1 of this book explains this effect and explores a variety of other effects using this principle as it can be applied to playing cards, serial numbers on bills, coupons, drawings, words, places, trading cards, and many, many other items that are limited only by one's imagination.
Part 2 explores ways to accomplish an essential technique in mentalism.
Part 3 will inspire and teach you to create mental and magical originalities that will fit your audience, your abilities and your own particular personality!
Pages 122 – Softbound $45.00 (BK01578)

Loaded - Kenny Roberts:
Introducing a game of "Russian Roulette," offer to demonstrate the talents and skills used by the security industry to assess risks and dangerous situations.
The spectator is shown six cards, numbered 1 – 6, and told that they represent the chambers in a six shot revolver. They are then asked to freely select any number and that will be the chamber in which the "live bullet" will be loaded.
With the cards in full view at all times you are able to produce a card from your wallet, which has also been in full view, that identifies the exact number chosen.
But wait, there's more. Turn over all the numbered cards to show they are blank. But, when you turn over the spectator’s chosen card it shows a picture of a smoking gun.
For the first time, Kenny reveals the workings behind his signature effect.
Including an extra variation of the routine with a hilarious punch that hits not once, not twice but three times. Leaving your spectators bewildered, astonished and a little frightened.
Loaded is a very strong mentalism effect that can be performed as close up, cabaret or even on stage.
Quick reset. Stunning mental effect. Easy to learn.
Comes complete with instructional DVD, high quality Z-fold wallet, 2 envelopes and 14 full color, laminated cards. $59.95 (40.631)

And, that’s every single amazing new item that graces our Hotlist this week. Some really cool items, for sure.
I hope that you will find some time to spend with us either online at or in person in our deliciously delightful showroom at 102 North Street in Medford. Either way, we love the company!
Hank Lee