Thursday, June 19, 2008

...And Havlicek Steals The Ball!

Greetings from all of us here at Hank Lee’s Magic Factory, where life could just not be better. Before I forget, and I am sure I will, I just want to thank everyone who has emailed us to say how much they agree with my last couple of “rants.” It seems that I am not the only one tired of the Fellini-esque demo videos and half-baked tricks coming to market at full-baked prices. You will be happy to know that we have rejected quite a few “new” tricks this week, including one that uses potentially dangerous chemicals, supplying you with only a little manuscript and instructions to pick up the chemicals at your favorite chemical supplier. What the…? I feel better about what we are carrying every day.

Did you notice that the Boston Celtics won the NBA Championship? No brag, just fact.

Text-Only Or html? Are you still getting the weekly email Newsletter in text-only format? Why? Drop me a quick note and I will be happy to hook you up with the far-superior html version.

The EXTRA On Demand experiment is working out really well. Lots of folks are downloading the new EXTRA and either printing them at home or just reading them on their computers. Don’t forget that you can always see the latest EXTRA by just clicking on the EXTRA Button on the front page at Here’s the link to get the June EXTRA (just paste the link in your browser):

With the kids both away, Aron at school in Florida and Lucas working his way across Europe (how does he do it on $5.00 a day?), Bonnie and I decided to take our four-legged son Bones for a weekend on Martha’s Vineyard. I’m sure there are some chores that are just waiting to be done, and no one makes a honey-do list like Bonnie!

The Reward Points Program is so popular; people are collecting their points and already using them to buy new magic. It’s such a good program, like having a sales event 365 days a year! Last week we offered Triple Points, which allowed you to collect an unbelievable number of points in a very short time, This week, we are doing something even better!
TRIPLE POINTS PLUS 10% DISCOUNT: As you know, for every retail dollar you spend with us at Hank Lee’s, you will get one Reward Point. Twenty Reward Points can be redeemed for one dollar in merchandise. Two hundred Reward Points gets you $10.00 in free merchandise. And on and on. The points are automatically added, and your point balance will appear on the invoice that comes with your order. There is no limit to the number of points you can collect. The points will not expire, so you can use them any time. All you need to do is tell us how many points you want to redeem when you place your next order (if you are ordering online, just put the number of points you would like to redeem in the Customer Notes Box and we will deduct the proper number of dollars from your order total). The perfect way to save for future orders! What could be better?
I’ll tell you what’s better. Triple Points Plus a 10% Discount! That’s right, for the next seven days, until June 26th at midnight, we are giving you Triple Points PLUS 10%! So, for every dollar you spend, you will get three points, and if you put the code word POINTME in the Discount Coupon Box, you will also get 10% off your entire order. All the usual rules apply, so check it out at (

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

That Reminds Me – Michael Close: Michael Close is an inveterate joke teller whose stories have brought gales of laughter from audiences around the world. For more than twenty years, Michael’s friends and colleagues have eagerly awaited a collection of jokes from his enormous repertoire. Here is that compilation – more than 250 of the best clean (and not so clean) jokes you’ve ever read. But this is much more than a joke book. Michael shares heartfelt reminiscences of the funny people who have enriched his life, stories of crazy personal experiences, and thoughts on the importance of “finding the funny” in your own life. This is the perfect book for anyone who needs a good laugh. Foreword by Penn Jillette $19.95 (BK01584)

Nestorizer DVD – Hato Nestor: Produced by David Stone and Jean-Luc Bertrand. A DVD filled with magic that you will love to watch just for the fun. And, want to learn just because it is so amazing!
Included are 11 Routines and 7 Flourishes: Card Rise, Controls, Houlette, Lapping Transposition, Color Change, Card Jump, Changes. Sandwich Visible Transformation, Spook Deck, Double From Middle and more!
Comes with the professionally produced DVD and a most advanced invisible gimmick.
Watch the Video Demo. It will really blow you away! $59.95 (DVD00881)

Ghostly Book: A brand new one from Rick Haslett. Take a book from the shelf. Show both sides of the book and place it flat on the table. At your command, fire shoots out of the book! Then, the book eerily opens itself.
This is exactly what the Ghostly Book does. Self contained and under your control at all times, by remote control
Extremely well made, and perfect for any Séance or Bizarre Magick show!
$310.00 (40.639)

Rigid Hank: Oh, please, if it were only so.
Remove a silk hanky from your pocket and pretend to make it stand up straight. You try this a couple of times until you realize you didn't say the magic words, "Stand up." The silk then stands up straight. Pretend to remove a single hair from your head and tie it around the silk; now you can “pull the silk back and forth.” You can also slap the silk down and it comes back to life.
The silk comes to life and moves around under your control. A great magic and mime effect that is ready anytime, anywhere to perform.
• No special rigging needed.
• Ready to perform out of your pocket!
• Easy to Learn! Great bit for Magicians, Clowns and MCs. Ideal for Walkaround and Stage!
• Included is a custom made Silk and gimmick.
$24.95 (60.1526)

Early T.V. Magic DVD Set: Pioneer magicians in rare broadcasts on three DVDs!
* Over five hours of footage
* Three DVDs for optimum viewing quality
* The best collection of Blackstone Sr. footage ever assembled with all his classic routines
* Vintage television magic shows including The Magic Lady, The Great Merlini, Mandrake, Mr. Magic, Fun with Felix, and more
This fun and informative collection presents rare footage of magic in television's early years, full of great illusions to study and vintage shows to enjoy. The set opens with extensive archival videos of Blackstone Sr. with his commanding showmanship and warm humor as he presents his top pieces, the ones that made him a star for forty years. You'll see him in television and live footage in both black-and-white and rare color footage.
Gerrie Larsen's The Magic Lady brought 1950s audiences her pioneering feminine magic in a surreal fairytale setting. Her delightful presence fills seven episodes here, including the elaborate pilot.
The third volume, The Magic Matinee, preserves an array of little-known shows from a time when television explored new variety possibilities. The two mystery crime programs opening the Matinee feature a number of magic effects: pilots for Mandrake the Magician starring magic performer Coe Norton and The Great Merlini, based on Clayton Rawson's detective novels. Then you'll have fun watching the lighthearted and old-style television of little-known shows: Mr. Magic with Norman Jensen and J.J., Fun with Felix, and You Can Do It, Too.
This three-DVD set has been created in collaboration with magic film historian William McIlhany, now with digital enhancement and optimized sound. $99.95 (DVD00887)

Mystic Craig's Camera DVD Set: A record of 20th Century magic on three DVDs!
* Over six hours of footage
* Three DVDs for optimum viewing quality
* Lectures and performances by Dai Vernon, Brother John Hamman, U. F. Grant, Jack Miller, Kalanag, Edward Victor, and Peter Warlock
From the early 1950s to mid-1960s, Mystic Craig (William Vagell) shot extensive film in the U.S. and Great Britain, footage that contains a unique historical record of mid-twentieth century magic. This three DVD set collects the best of Mystic Craig's films, now with digital enhancement and optimized sound.
You'll see Dai Vernon in 1960 performing his classics at Tannen's Jubilee; Brother Hamman presenting his card feats; U.F. Grant lecturing on his simple but ingenious creations; Jack Miller revealing his secrets of sleeving and the hold-out; footage of greats like Kalanag and Levante and more!
It's a collection that will share valuable material with the professional performer and delight the magic history buff as well.
This three-DVD set has been created in collaboration with magic film historian William McIlhany, now with digital enhancement and optimized sound. $99.95 (DVD00888)

Duct Tape Blindfold DVD - Kenton Knepper:
Kenton's own unique Duct Tape Blindfold Method fully revealed at last!
Plus, Kenton's incredible Blindfolded Three Card Discovery with three free selections, found while blindfolded!
Kenton's unique blindfold method uses legitimate duct tape. This tape is universally acknowledged as the strongest tape known to man.
The routines can be performed entirely impromptu. No preparation of the tape. The performer can act as if legitimately blindfolded because the performer actually cannot see, until desired. The performer can be blind or see in an instant, at any time, without touching the blindfold at all. This blindfold is as real as it gets!
The audience will wince as the performer slowly removes the duct tape blindfold from his eyes. There is no doubt in anyone's mind that it would be impossible to see.
* No Nose peeks.
* No Seeing through the tape.
The eyes, nose and even mouth may be taped (as long as there is enough of a hole to keep breathing easily!) and yet Kenton's Blindfold can still be used for:
*Drawing Duplications
*Determining audience members
*Naming number of fingers held up by a spectator
*Determining who is "Queen For The Day" or the "Guilty" party
It's all very simple and direct - the sort of devious solution you would expect from Kenton.
Note: While this special blindfold has endless applications it is not suggested for use in a blindfold drive.
As a bonus, Kenton's 3 Card Blindfold Location routine is tipped in its entirety for the first time ever.
Performers, amateurs, mentalists and magicians alike have been floored by these presentations. When they learn the inside work, they are even more impressed with the direct, simple and practical solutions Kenton has created.
$34.95 (DVD00889)

Sparks’ Psychic Power: The coolest card locator since the card stab, Sparks’ Psychic Power!
A card is freely selected then shuffled back into the deck. The deck is ribbon spread across the table.
Place a .357 Nickel Plated Brass Bullet on the spectator’s palm. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe. As the spectator passes his hand back and forth over the spread of cards, the bullet suddenly starts to shake, rattle and roll! Turn over the card where the shaking started. Of course it is the chosen card! It is spooky as spooky can be!
Comes with DVD, Two perfectly safe .357 Bullets, one to hand out, extra 1.5v battery and small black velvet bag. A Great Utility item. Just $45.00. (30.1346)
Sparks’ Psychic Power is a Hank Lee’s Magic Factory exclusive, which means you will find it here and nowhere else!

Tales From The Planet Of Bloom #1 - Gaetan Bloom:
Gaetan Bloom is one of the most creative magicians in the world. His magic it truly ingenious both in effect and in method. Volume One of this three-part series includes incredible magic with wristwatches, boxes, food, and cards. One of the many strengths of Gaetan's magic is that it is very easy to learn and perform. The most amazing thing about his magic is the you and your audiences will be fooled badly -- every single time.
Routines performed and explained:
* Top Chrono: Your wristwatch vanishes and appears knotted in the center of a rope.
* Rhodo Box Mystery: Packets of cards are shuffled by two spectators. A card is selected from one group and lost. You pretend to memorize the packet with the selection. The spectator names his card and you immediately announce the exact position of the card in the deck. As a kicker ending you now name every single card in the second spectators packet.
* McBloom: A brown paper bag is shown empty and an entire fast food meal is produced from it -- burgers, fries, napkins, soda, etc…
* Stringing You Along: An impossible routine where the spectator shuffles the deck, cuts it into three piles and eliminates one. The procedure is repeated until only one card is left. The card matches a prediction, which has been in full view throughout the routine.
* Blind Complicity: You write a prediction on a Post It note. A spectator touches any facedown card and the Post It note is stuck to the selection and lost in the deck. A second spectator touches the face of any card, which turns out to have the Post It note on it. When the Post It note is unfolded it contains the name of the free selection.
* Fakir Royale: A board with nine nails holding hidden prizes is displayed. Eight spectators each pull one nail out and keep the prize that falls. One nail is left for you and it is shown to be holding a stack of $100 bills. $34.95 (DVD00884)

Tales From The Planet Of Bloom #2 - Gaetan Bloom
Gaetan Bloom is known as one of the most creative magicians in the world. But his strength lies in his knack for inventing magic that not only fools laypeople but absolutely destroys magicians. If you enjoy being fooled and fooling others you must have this DVD. It is amazing how his simple methods never fail to fool. You will learn magic with cigarettes, boxes, paper plates and cards.
Routines performed and explained:
Kit Klop: Teaching how to quit smoking by eating cigarette paper and a chunk of tobacco. You wash it all down with a glass of water and produce a cigarette from your mouth.
Bonux (Bleached): A card is freely selected and signed. It is thrown into a box of bleach with the rest of the deck and the box is shaken. A second spectator comes up with a number. The cards are dumped out of the box and the signed selection is found at the number selected by the second spectator. As a kicker ending all the cards except the selection are now blank.
Fifty-Fifty: A guessing game where you keep betting money with a spectator on the locations of a big key and a small key. As a finale the spectator selects one of the keys -- the key he freely selects matches an empty suitcase while the suitcase he left for you is full of money and prizes.
Immortal: Using a deck of cards and an imaginative story about finding out when a man is going to die a spectator selects a card from one deck and it is found missing from a second deck.
The Plate Trick: A spectator shuffles a deck of cards, selects one and signs it. A second spectator shuffles some paper plates with numbers on them. A box of dice is also shaken. The plates are tossed into the audience. The dice read 2 and 6. The plate with 26 written on it is torn to show the signed selection imbedded within the paper. $34.95 (DVD00885)

Tales From The Planet Of Bloom #3 - Gaetan Bloom
Gaetan Bloom creates unique magic that fools and entertains but he also constructs routines that are very direct and play very big. The routines are basically for close-up performances but are also very visual and can be used for cabaret or even stage shows. On this DVD you will learn magic with newspapers, thread, Slinky, ropes and cards.
Routines performed and explained:
* Easy Samo Ramee: A spectator thinks of any card and you tell him what card he is thinking of after asking a few simple questions.
* The News: A shuffled deck of cards is scattered on a newspaper and the newspaper is shaken until cards turn face-up. The face-up cards are placed aside. You keep doing this until only one face-down card remains. That card matches a prediction that has been in full view since the beginning.
* Lasso: A freely selected card is signed and returned to the deck. The deck is placed in a hat. A rope is lowered into the hat and when it is removed the signed selection is knotted on the rope.
* Spring Diction: Sheets of newspaper are placed on the floor and a Slinky is used to eliminate some of the sheets. The Slinky is placed anywhere on the selected paper and the spectator thinks of a word located by the Slinky. The thought of word has been predicted in advance.
Quarte: A horse race themed routine is used to randomly select the winning horses. At the conclusion a slate is shown with the correct results written in advance. $34.95 (DVD00886)

And that’s this week’s best, and it really is good stuff! Please don’t forget that for the next 7 days you will get Triple Points plus a 10% discount (those of you who are mathematically inclined know what a really good deal this is!)
As always, I hope you will find some time to spend with us online at or in person at our delightfully cool showroom at 102 North Street in Medford. Either way, we love your company.