Friday, August 08, 2008

Home Again!

Greetings from all of us at Hank Lee’s Magic Factory. I am so glad to be back home, where the temperatures are normal, like 75 to 80 degrees, and not like an oven (96-100). And, let’s not even talk about the humidity.
Never being one to complain, I will of course tell you everything weird and awful that happened on our little trip, as well as all the cool and neat stuff . USAir canceled our 11:00 AM flight on Thursday and “accommodated” us by putting us on the 1:00 PM flight from Boston to Charlotte. We arrived in Charlotte at 3:15 PM and were further “accommodated” by spending 6 hours in the Charlotte airport. Our 5:45 flight to Gainesville left at 9:15PM. Oh, what fun.

We finally arrived in Gainesville at 10:30PM. Aron picked us up at the airport and we went for a very late dinner. It was so nice to see him and listen to him. It was like he wanted to catch up on everything that has happened in the past few months in one evening. It was a very entertaining meal.

Friday afternoon, after some appointments at University of Florida, we drove off to Amelia Island. Bonnie had booked us a room at the oldest inn in Florida. I won’t mention the name, but it starts with Florida and ends with Inn. The inn was built a very long time ago, and I am sure they painted the building when they built it. But, I am also sure that they have not painted it since. We were shown our room, which was not in the actual inn but across the street at the end of a driveway up a flight of concrete steps and behind a plastic table that had a giant bucket of cigarette butts in it. Bonnie walked in the room and decided that this was not the place we should stay. It was like a little apartment, but not a nice little apartment. A skuzzy little apartment.

While Bonnie dealt with the front desk in canceling the room, I walked over to the Hampton Inn and, using my extreme charm, was able to get us a room with two beds for two nights. I think it was the last room on the island. Every other place was booked. The Hampton Inn was delightful. A new-ish building with a spiral staircase in the lobby and a view of the ocean from our room. I was one happy fella.

The rest of the trip was smooth as silk. The three of us took an eco-excursion in a smallish boat with an expert guide. He took us all around the island, into some salt marshes and such. We saw Dolphins, Manatees and all kinds of sea life, right up close. It was really fun. We also took a trip to Fort Clinch, a civil War fort. Of course, Aron was very much into it, being a civil war buff. Then, it was off to the ocean for a quick swim, then back to the car and off to Gainesville.

Monday we took care of the rest of the UF business, got Aron registered for classes and totally hooked up. We stopped by his new apartment, which is in a brand new building just 3 short blocks from the University. It will work out very well for him.

And then it was Tuesday and we flew home. No flight delays. No bumps in the road. Just a fine day, to cap off a fine trip.
Now that you know everything we’ve done for the past week, let’s check out this week’s excitement.

EIGHTH OF AUGUST SALES EVENT: For the next seven days, from the very moment you receive this email until Thursday, August 14th at midnight, everything (well, almost everything) is on sale at 25% off the retail price. All you need to do is enter the special code AUGUSTEIGHTH in the Discount Coupon Box of the online checkout at and we will automatically deduct 25% from your order total. If you are calling your order in to the Toll Free Order Line at 800 874 7400, FAXing your order to us at 781 395 2034 or emailing us your order to make sure and mention the special code so you can save a huge 25%!
• The minimum order to use the 25% off discount is $25.00.
• The 25% is deducted from the retail price of the item. No intermediate discounts (such as HankoGram pricing) may be applied. In the case of sets, such as DVDs and Videos, the 25% is deducted from the retail price of each item and not from the set price.
• Certain items, due to contractual restrictions, are not included in this sale. All Joe Porper items, Viking/CW items, Kennedy Enterprises items, Colin Rose items, Mike Caveney Books, Johnson Products items, MagicSmith items, Mikame Craft items, Greater Magic Teach-In DVDs, One Of A Kind Collectors' Items and a few other items are not included in the sale.
• If you place an order for an item that is not on this list or not noted in our online catalog, but is excluded from the sale, we will let you know before processing your order.
• Coupons and Reward Points will be deducted from the order total before the discount is applied.
• As the discount is automatically generated, you must put the special code AUGUSTEIGHTH in the Discount Coupon Box. You may have to scroll to the bottom of the page to find the box, but it is there. If you are not sure how to do this, please phone your order in to our toll-free order line at 800 874 7400, and we will take care of you. We cannot offer discounts retroactively.
And that's it. It could not be easier. So, get your order together and save yourself some serious money! But, act quickly. The sale ends Thursday the 14th at midnight!

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

Coins Thru Deck: Show two coins, either two Half Dollars or two Quarters.
Place a playing card over a glass, then place the two coins on the card. In a blink, one of the coins penetrates the card and drops into the glass.
But, wait, there’s more. Much more. Take the other coin and drop it onto the card. This coin penetrates the card and falls into the glass as well!
Now, take the deck and place it on the glass. Drop both coins on the deck and they penetrate and fall into the glass!
It looks absolutely amazing. This is visual magic that will amaze you as much as your audience! This one has my personal recommendation!
Video instructions by Mr. Tango included.
Half Dollar version: $120.00 (20.396)
Quarter Version: 110.00 (20.397)

Doves To Rabbit – Mikame: Another beautifully produced, precision-crafted prop from Mikame Craft. Mr. Mikame has taken four years to perfect this work of art, one of the nicest Mikame pieces ever manufactured.
The Doves To Rabbit is an impressive visual change that happens in a blink. Doves are placed in the open-face cage and vanish instantly, only to be replaced by a large rabbit! Of course, you can use this fine prop to visibly change other items. This gorgeous piece of magic will be the focal point of your show!
Packs flat! Unique Japanese woodwork! Extremely lightweight! $495.00 (60.1539)

Comedy Five Card Repeat – Paul Romhany: Direct from his current comedy act, Paul Romhany has released his version of Five Card Repeat.
Explain to the audience that you will play a CD, and together you will learn the famous $100 Three Card Trick. You then follow along with the voice-over and that’s when the mayhem starts. Things get out of hand as you keep fooling the ‘voice-over’ with little ‘climaxes’ along the way until finally the trick works.
This is four minutes of solid entertainment from a working professional’s act. One of the most commercial routines on the market today; it packs small and plays big.
Paul has taken the basic principle of Five Card Repeat and re-designed the gimmicked cards making it really easy to perform. He has included a few surprises that you can only do with his gimmicked cards. If you can hold playing cards in your hands, you can perform this version of Five Card Repeat.
This is one of the those rare comedy magic routines that makes you look like you have incredible sleight of hand while at the same time making the audience laugh.
You receive:
A set of gimmicked poker size Bicycle playing cards – all ready to start performing. Instructional DVD with a bonus section on making your own gimmicked cards. You can even make them in Jumbo if you play large venues.
Audio CD with the voice over; two different tracks, one is as though you are tuning a radio station, the other track is a ‘teaching’ type version.
This is a highly commercial routine designed by one of the busiest professional magicians in the world today. $94.95 (60.1538)

Spontaneous Combustion DVD – Jay Sankey:
It's been thousands of years since humans first learned to make fire; yet there's still something about fire that's dramatic, exciting and even a little frightening.
When you combine fire with an unexpected appearance, revelation, transformation or vanish, you have the kind of wildly visual magic that really hits people on a gut level.
This DVD features all of Jay's most popular effects with flash paper including:
The Phoenix Effect - A spectator's own initials vanish in a burst of fire and reappear on the back of a thought of card!
Wholehearted - The perfect effect to perform for women! You tear a paper heart in half, vanish one half in a flash of fire and then have the heart appear, completely restored in the spectator’s hand!
Firefly – A crazy visual two coin transposition with a borrowed and marked coin!
Meltdown - A piece of tissue paper initialed by the spectator visibly melts down through the top of a coffee cup!
Signed, Sealed & Delivered - Two initialed pieces of paper change places under the fairest possible conditions! And when we say you 'end clean,' we mean squeaky clean! Featuring an inspired structure and stunning visuals!
Blaze of Glory - The signed card appears in a ball of fire. (Try beating that!) Jay also shares a brand new handling for this memorable routine!
On this groundbreaking DVD Jay also shares the secrets behind some super magical new effects including The Playing Card Revelation, Hole In One, T&R Napkin and more!
Add the magic of fire to your performances today!
Flashpaper is not included, but is available separately.
Since this DVD teaches effects with real fire, we cannot sell it to anyone under 18.
$25.00 (DVD00911)

Random Thoughts - Devin Knight:
Explain that prior to the show, you jotted down some Random Thoughts and placed them inside an envelope. Show the envelope to the audience and place it in full view, before the effect begins. Any spectator is invited to help. No stooges or pre-show work.
The spectator is shown an ungimmicked newspaper and asked to choose one of the sheets from it. You proceed to tear that newspaper sheet in half four times resulting in a stack of torn papers. This stack is placed on a table.
The spectator counts down into the packet, using a number that was arrived at by throwing a pair of ungimmicked dice. The number selection is fair and any number rolled can be used. The spectator removes the piece at the random number just thrown.
The spectator verifies that the random torn piece has words printed on both sides. Either side of the torn piece is freely chosen. The spectator looks over that side and calls off random words that would be unique to that article. Names of people, numbers, company names, etc.
As he calls out this information at random, you write the words called out on a large piece of cardboard so the audience can see and remember the words.
The envelope that has been in full view is opened and a single index card is dropped onto the table showing the envelope otherwise empty. You do not touch the prediction. Written on the index card in bold letters are the random words the participant just called out!
This is one of the strongest and most impossible-looking prediction effects you will find. Strong enough to close a show!
No duplicate pieces. No switches. No Swami Gimmicks. No secret writing at any time. No complex formulae. No specially printed newspapers.
Use any borrowed newspaper. No sleights. Dice are ungimmicked.
Comes complete with everything you need to do the effect including envelopes and dice. You provide the newspaper. Includes 27 pages of fully illustrated directions covering every detail and nuance of this effect. $19.95 (40.643)

Disappearing Deck – Ron Wilson:
You have just finished the card portion of your close up act and put the cards back into the card box. Immediately rip the card box into pieces! The cards have vanished! And, it all happens instantly!
* The box is seen from all angles, and is complete
* Comes in Red or Blue
* No Sleight of Hand
* Come with instructions to perform standing or sitting. If you are seated, you can instantly stand up!
* No Topit needed
* Ready to perform
* Includes bonus effect: Deck Thru Table by Tony Clark!
Comes with 12 Disappearing Decks and a brand new deck of cards! $24.95 (

Magic From the Overground - Paul Hallas:
Paul Hallas' new book is a compilation of his favorite effects from the past 25 years. Some have appeared in print in limited edition booklets and magazines (some obscure), some are previously unpublished and others were released as marketed effects. Of those that have appeared before, some have evolved over the years and additional thoughts are included.
You'll find a combination both close-up and mentalism routines, with over 50 routines in all. The close-up magic focuses primarily on cards with a few coin tricks thrown in. Includes an enlightening essay on strolling magic along with a comprehensive list of the best effects to use for strolling magic. $39.95 (BK01591)

Reel Magic Magazine - Episode 6 - Dean Dill:
Caught on Tape
Kozmo gets his hair cut by Dean Dill who shares what it was like to perform on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
Andrew Pinard - Continuum
Legendary performer Johnny Thompson and Andrew sit down for Part Two of an interview in which they discuss originality and magic on television
Jon Armstrong - Small Things, Big Difference
On the Double Lift
John Lovick - Off The Shelf
Reel Magic Magazine's own David Regal talks with John about David's new book Approaching Magic
Garrett Thomas - Try This At Home
Two-fisted magic: developing sleight ability in both hands
Simon Lovell - Simon Said It!
Why do people become magicians?
David Regal - Tricks of the Trade
Bonus Tricks:
Jamie Badman and Colin Miller - "Katch the Kopper"
from Welcome to the Firm.
Dean Dill - "The Tonight Show Matrix"
from Extreme Dean, Volume 2.
David Regal - "Exhibit 'A'"
from David Regal: Premise, Power & Participation, Volume 1.
$10.00 (DVD00912)

Matchician’s Miracle: A box of matches is emptied on a table and the box drawer is used to cover the striking tips of the matches.
One match is selected and separated from the rest.
The drawer is removed, showing that none of the remaining matches have their striking tips.
The match chosen by the spectator is the only match with its striking tip.
Very easy to perform.
Fits in your pocket.
Very visual!
$29.95 (10.1466)

And that’s this week’s Thank Goodness It’s Not So Hot here in Boston Hot List. Which is filled to the brim with the best of the new magic!
As always, I hope you will find some time to spend with us either online at or in person at our really cool and comfortable showroom at 102 North Street in Medford. Either way, we love the company!