Friday, December 05, 2008

Baffle On a Budget?

Greetings from all of us at Hank Lee’s Magic Factory. Suddenly, it was quiet. We took both boys to the airport on Sunday, and off they went to Florida and Ohio, respectively. Then, it was Bonnie, Bones and me. And the silence was deafening. Such is the life of the empty nester.

All kinds of stuff going on here at Hank Lee’s. For those of you who ordered Dice Matrix, the news is very good. The DVD is being replicated right now and the special cards and dice are on the way to us and will arrive sometime this week. So, we should be shipping in the next week or so. You are going to love this effect. It is such a wonderful piece of old-school magic. A powerful effect and a very sneaky method!

We have added a new service which is especially useful during the holiday season. We call it Baffle On A Budget. It’s easy as pie to use. Just click on the Advanced Search option on the front page of the Online Catalog at You can then enter your price range for tricks, books and DVDs. Search-O, the Search For Everything Elf will run around and gather up every single item in your price range and present it to you in a nice alphabetical list (which you can also sort by price!). My favorite price range is the $500 dollar and up. But, hey, that’s just me. Give it a try. It’s really neat.

Of course, I must mention next year’s Cape Cod Magic Conclave. I must. Everything is lining up really nicely talent-wise. It’s our 21st Anniversary event, and the last time we will be at the Sea Crest Hotel. The dates are April 17th-19th 2009. If you haven’t already registered, now is the perfect time. I cannot think of a nicer gift to give someone you love than a registration for next year’s Conclave. And, bring yourself as well. The more the merrier!

One more quick note. Are you still getting the weekly email Newsletter in text-only format? Why? The html version is so much better! Full color pictures and everything. Just drop me a note and I will be happy to hook you up for the html version!

Now, to this week’s excitement.

FREE SHIPPING CONTINUES: Until Wednesday, the 24th of December at midnight, we are offering free ground shipping on any order over $25.00 to anywhere in the US, including Alaska and Hawaii! Just enter the special code SHIPMEFREE in the Discount Coupon Box at the bottom of the first page of the online checkout at We will happily pick up the ground shipping charges on your order. Of course, if you want your order sent Fedex Three Day (Express Saver), Second Day or Next Day, you will just have to pay the difference.
Note: Your email confirmation from our online system will still list the shipping as free, but we will charge the difference when we ship your order.
Overseas customers will save as well! We will pay one-half of the Air Post shipping charges on your orders until the 24th! Just remember to enter the special code SHIPMEFREE in the Discount Coupon Box, or let the person taking your phone order know when you place your order at 800 874 7400.
Now, let’s take a look at this week’s Hotlist
Chocolate Chip Cookie Classic – Bob McAllister: One of the best kidshow items we ever carried. I am absolutely thrilled that it is available again!
Reach into your pocket and bring out a folded brown paper lunch bag. Open the bag and show it empty.
Ask the kids if they would like some Chocolate Chip Cookies. Of course they would! Reach into the air and produce a small cookie! Drop it into the bag. Reach up and produce another cookie. Then another, and another. Have one of the kids reach into the air and catch a cookie. Tell him to toss it into the bag. They’ll actually hear the cookie as it drops into the bag!
Reached up again to produce a cookie, but nothing happens! Ask the kids if they saw the cookie. They didn’t’?
Maybe it’s behind you! Turn around, and the cookie is stuck to the back of your pants. All kinds of shouting gags as the kids tell you it’s behind you. You never see it, they always see it.
Finally, you catch on and remove the cookie and drop it in the bag.
Produce a few more cookies and drop them in the bag.
Now, ask the kids how many cookies are in the bag? 1..3..4..7..The wise kids will shout two! Tip the bag over and pour out a full bag of cookies!
It’s the classic Miser’s Dream done with cookies. And, the full bag at the end is an absolute killer!
Comes complete with everything you need, even the paper bag! Plus Bob McAllister’s dynamite routine. $35.00 (50.961)

Mind Blowing - James Biss: In the first half of this decade, Canadian mentalist and writer James Biss released his controversial first book, Messing With Minds. Now out of print, his work has become one of the most coveted books of magic and mentalism, commanding hundreds of dollars at auction. Around the world, James now performs, lectures and consults on his sometimes radical rethinking of the classic plots of mentalism, turning them into fresh effects with astonishing entertainment value for today’s audiences.
Now as the decade draws to a close, James Biss has finally released his much anticipated sequel entitled Mind Blowing. Bound by hand with a luxurious black padded cloth cover and embossed with Platinum, the new work is a stunning companion to the original book. This Extremely Mental Edition is once again accompanied by a custom DVD with two live stage performances of material from the book. The disk also contains detailed explanation segments and audio commentaries. Only 666 copies of the book have been printed and this rare edition is expected to sell out quickly and become an incredible collectable as well.
Mind Blowing contains numerous essays on new approaches to performing, including the provocative “Practicing Zentalism” and “The Seven Secrets of Mind Blowing.” Each explores his on-stage alternatives to the bullying mentality so prevalent in our art. Incredibly, he has also included detailed instructions for assembling invaluable props for the professional arsenal, including his very magical magnetic markers, Mind Changer Bags, and the hottest mental assistant in a generation – the Remote Control Change Pack.
The main body of this impressive 380-page volume consists of the entertaining presentations and ingeniously simple methodology that James Biss has become associated with.
Each Limited Edition Copy is Hand-Numbered and the Introduction is hand signed by James Biss. DVD included with book. 380 pages. Hardbound $89.00 (BK01619)

The Thing Platinum - Upgrade Kit - Bill Abbott:
Over a decade and a half in the making, The Thing Platinum Upgrade Package quite literally takes the original to new heights. As described by Joe Turner of Genii Magazine, "The Thing is the most practical, portable, self-contained, angle proof levitation effect you can imagine, and I’ve used it often." Now you can experience everything else The Thing can do!
Here are The Thing Platinum Upgrade Features:
The Pocket Thing
Picture yourself performing the most practical, portable, self-contained, angle-proof levitation directly under the noses of your audiences. Bill Abbott has included a portable box and an all-new handling using the original gimmick you already have, so you’ll be armed with everything you need to perform The Pocket Thing.
Intensive Routine Training
Bill Abbott conducts an intensive training session unlike any other, to accomplish one goal - for you to perfect the routine! Whether you perform The Thing on stage or up close, the training sequences have been designed to straighten the learning curve so you can perform the world’s most practical levitation with confidence and to perfection.
The Wildbaum Sessions
So you think you know The Thing? Cirque Du Soleil artist Paul Wildbaum takes The Thing in new directions in studio sessions that cover the illusion of emptiness, body isolation, point fix, resistance, breathing, stage movement, character development and motivation. The Wildbaum Sessions will provide you with the tools you need to take your routine to the next level.
The Conversation
Sit down with the creator Bill Abbott and Paul Wildbaum for an in-depth examination of how The Thing came to be and the history of its development.
Also revealed are the reasons for the new Platinum Edition, why simple is not always easy, originality, personality, live performance, improvisation, imitation and repetition, natural acting, character, back story, inner monologue, emotional segues and the real secrets of how to connect with any audience.
Music Themes
The Thing Platinum Upgrade features a compact disc with 8 all-new music themes, in addition to the original 6 themes, so you can choose the right vibe for your show. Each theme has been carefully constructed and composed specifically for The Thing and is royalty-free so you can use it in any public or private space, on the web and on T.V.
The Poster
Included with The Platinum Upgrade is a double-sided poster with the original routine in photographic sequence on one side taking you step-by-step through the entire performance and on the flip-side is The Pocket Thing handling. Just adhere it to a wall or your practice mirror and begin.
The Workshop Notes
Included on the DVD are Bill Abbott’s Workshop Notes that were previously only available to those who attended Bill’s exclusive Thing Workshop.
The Thing Platinum Upgrade Kit contains: DVD, Music CD and The Pocket Thing prop box. $79.95 (60.1560)

ATTENTION: The Thing Platinum Upgrade is intended for owners of the original version of The Thing by Bill Abbott, or those who constructed their own based on the instructions given on the Bill Abbott Performs Magic For Kids DVD Set.

Thin Model Remote Control Candle: From Rick Haslett, this one is a beauty! It’s a Thin Model version of his Remote Control Candle! It will light at your command with just the push of a button on a keychain remote control. The audience actually sees the wick light before their eyes!
No matches. No lighters. You can be 30 feet away and light the candle. The candle looks and feels like the real thing, wax and all. You will not be able to tell it from an ordinary candle. All of the electronics are built into the candle so that everything is self-contained. Silent in working.
Great for mentalists, stage and parlor entertainers. Comes with everything needed (supply your own Flash Pad, available from us). You supply the batteries. $210.00 (60.1562)

Mirage Wallet: Mark Mason’s take on the Card To Wallet is absolutely incredible! The method is ingenious. The wallet contains a moving part, which creates the illusion of actually seeing the signed card being removed from the wallet.
There is no palming, no forcing and the card is actually fastened inside the wallet.
You can also use the wallet to perform other effects. The precision gimmick comes in red or blue. Hand crafted leather wallet, small jean pocket size.
Includes a step by step instructional DVD. $50.00 (30.1393)

Little Egypt Book of Ghosts – Steve Bryant:
Steve Bryant lurks on the dark side of magic.
Deep in Little Egypt, in the remote region of southern Illinois where the towns in the mist bear the ancient names of Thebes and Karnak and Cairo, Steve grew up on the drive-in horror movies of the 1950s, on the gothic cartoons of Charles Addams, and on the ghost stories he and his friends used to tell on dark bus rides to high school football games. If a boy such as that grew up to do card tricks, what would he do?
Here in 230 haunted pages lie the answers: part home spook shows developed for children and their parents, part ghoulish Halloween extravaganzas developed for adult performance in a seedy river town bar.
If you’ve ever wanted to host a séance, put on a midnight ghost show, or haunt a house, you need this macabre compendium of the world’s scariest magic tricks.
Be afraid, be very afraid. $45.00 (BK01620)

Lexicon Phenomena - Devin Knight and Al Mann:
Two participants secretly choose words from a "real vocabulary book" containing hundreds of words. There are no duplicate words in the book's word list. The two participants then look up their respective words in an ungimmicked dictionary. The performer, who can be 15 feet or more away, divines both words. He does this without touching either book or asking any questions. The performer really does not know what words or page the participants have chosen until he reveals the two chosen words. The participants need not write anything. The participants say nothing. Each person need only silently read the definition of his or her selected word and think.
This is not a first word on the page effect. The participants do not use any mathematics to arrive at their words. They simply open the vocabulary book to any page and freely choose two words from anywhere on the page. No forces of any kind are used. Both the 56-page vocabulary book and the dictionary may be read from cover to cover.
There are no stooges or instant stooges. No pre-show work of any kind is used. This is a one-man effect that can be repeated instantly using different words. Both books can be examined and nothing will be found amiss. $149.95 (40.659)

The Wand: New from Rick Haslett, The Wand is a great utility device, and a handsome looking prop!
With The Wand, all it takes is a tap to ignite flash paper, cotton or string. Use over and over again; no resets. Just change the battery when it gets low.
Its uses are endless. 15 inches long Silent in working. Includes instructional video CD.
Requires: flash paper, cotton, or string and two AAA alkaline batteries.
$104.50 (60.1563)

Tabarin Hat DVD (Chapeagraphy) - Patrice Curt:
From a simple ring of felt, you can create a myriad of characters.
On this DVD, all of the different hats and characters are presented and then fully explained. To make the learning as easy as possible, the creations are filmed from several angles allowing you to see every detail.
- Presentation of the Tabarin Hat
- Manufacturing and maintenance of the Hat
- Flat Figures: The baby, the matador and more.
- Dimensional Figures: The fisherman, he nun, the devil, Chinese, the pirate, the drunkard and more.
- Figures With Two Folds: The priest, lackeys, the rocker, the navy official, the harlequin and more.
- Figures With Pliers:Turkish, Pinocchio, the clown, the sorcerer, the farmer and more.
$40.00 (DVD00947)

Tabarin Hat Trick: The perfectly made ring for The Tabarin Hat Trick (Chapeaugraphy) by Patrice Curt.
Created around 1750 by the French actor Tabarin, this hat allows an infinite number of "portraits" and "characters" limited only by your imagination!
Dimension Approximately 17 1/4" Diameter (43.8cm) $50.00 (60.1561)

Emulsion Cards - Paul Gordon:
With minimal sleight-of-hand, eight ungimmicked antique-looking cards (four red/four black) are used in an Oil & Water routine.
Start by openly mixing (alternating) the reds and blacks. Then, show that the colors have magically separated. Finally, the cards seem to automatically and magically re-mix.
Can be performed strolling or at tables! Start and end clean. No fakes/extra cards or switches. Antique-effect cards (Heirloom Cards) supplied.
$24.95 (30.1392)

Magic Carving: Prepare to be amazed! An outstanding 3D effect is created when light passes through the back of these carvings. It's a real conversation piece and a great holiday gift!
Invite someone to hold the carving up to a strong light and watch as their eyes light up. The effect these Magic Carvings have is amazing. They work because light passes through the thinner parts of the material creating areas of light and contrast. These are not photographs or film but they work like magic.
The first time these carvings have been made available to the magic community. Comes with a low profile holder. Just place it in front of a light, or on your window sill.
A great gift for yourself or someone else. Once you see how it works, you will be amazed, as if you discovered magic, all over again. $42.50 (70.968)

And, that’s this week’s It’s Already December I Better Get Going Hotlist. All kinds of great items, all with you in mind!
As always, I hope you will find some time during this busy holiday season to spend with us either online at or in person at our fabulous showroom at 102 North Street in Medford. Either way, we love the company!
Hank Lee