Friday, March 05, 2010

Call Us Again!

Greetings from all of us here at Hank Lee’s Magic Factory. And a very fine week it has been. As you may recall, I told you that we went to New York City for a few days to see the sights. When we got to NYC, it began to snow. And it snowed and it snowed and it snowed. Nearly two feet of snow in Manhattan. I heard that it was the biggest snowfall in Manhattan in decades. I was thrilled to be there to enjoy it. I would like to take just a few minutes to give you some travel tips if you are ever planning to visit NYC in February.
• No matter what the weatherman says, bring boots, or at least winter shoes. Sneakers will just not cut it. Trust me on this.
• When you leave the theater and it’s snowing a blizzard outside and you are wearing sneakers (see above), do not agree to walk the eight “short blocks” back to the hotel. Get a cab. No matter what anyone tells you, get a cab. There is no such thing as eight “short blocks” in a blizzard.
• This final tip is for all trips taken with one’s spouse. When she says she wants to visit a handbag store that she has been “dying to check out” for over a year, and she suggests that you might want to go back to the hotel and take a nap because she knows how you are in handbag stores, do what she says. Go back to the hotel. Do not accompany her to the handbag store. It never ends well. Trust me on this.
And that’s all of my travel tips. I promise they will come in handy!

On to things more magical. This year’s Conclave is feeling, to me, like an E-Ticket ride at Disneyland. Up and down and back up again. You will recall that last week, we added Ed Alonzo to our talent lineup because Mark Kalin was forced to cancel. This week, a late night phone call from Chuck Fayne brought more bad news. It seems that Fayne is really Batman (who knew?) and April 9th is the day he has to clean up the Bat Cave. So, he will not be with us either. We have been very lucky in replacing Chuck, although I do know that he is really irreplaceable. Chris Mitchell is coming out from Los Angeles and will handle Chuck’s turn on the Friday night show. And Kozmo will take over Chuck’s lecture spot and spot on the Close-Up Show. I just need to fill in the Late Night Saturday Show and we are once again whole. Anyone who thinks that producing a magic convention is just a walk in the park, has another think coming! With all the replacements and changes, we have actually created an even better Conclave for this year! I hope that you have already registered, or will do so in the next few days, while good seats are still available. The dates are April 9th- 11th, and you can register here:

The new Spring EXTRA is up online just waiting for you. As you know, we no longer send our quarterly EXTRAS out by snail mail. But, the EXTRA is available to you in pdf form, so you can download it and print it out in full color! Of course, if you would prefer us to send you a copy, just let me know and we will take care of you!
You can download the Spring EXTRA here:

This week’s excitement was really great for us! The phones kept ringing and rings and we had a chance to talk with lots of folks we had not spoken with for some time!
So, we have decided to do it again this week.

Call Us And Get A Free Gift: We love getting your orders online. Our Online Catalog is super easy to use, and makes ordering a breeze. The only downside is that we don’t get to talk to you! Frankly, the elves, and me too, are missing that personal touch. We want to talk to you. We want to know how nice and warm it is in Florida while we are freezing up here. We want to here how much colder it is in Washington state than it is here in Boston. We want to know how the kids are. And, it’s hard to do that online. So, we want you to give us a call and place your order. And, we want to make it worth your while. So, from now until the 12th of March, everyone who calls in an order will get a really nice free gift. No matter how big or small your order is, you will get a gift. Just mention that you would like the free gift and you will get it. And, we are not talking about some little junkie item, we are talking about a gift with at least a $25.00 value, maybe more! Plus, the call is free! Use our toll-free Order Line at 800 874 7400 and we’ll pay for the call!
Now, I know what you are thinking. I live in Norway and I can’t call my order in. I work during the day and can’t call in. I get it. But, don’t sweat it. Place your order as always in the Online Catalog, and just put the Secret Phrase I Tried To Call in the Customer Notes Box, and we will still send you the free gift! Because, as we all know, it’s the thought that counts.
So, call us or try to call us, because Elves are standing by!

Now, to this week’s Hotlist.

(1) SharpKey Twister: You are really going to love the new SharpKey Twister.
The idea of bending or twisting solid metal keys with only your mind is extremely appealing. Performers have paid upwards of $500.00 for gimmicks and methods to create the effect. There is no question that these key and coin benders are well worth the price, as they are precision-made props designed for professional use.
But, let’s say that while your performance is at the professional level, your budget is not quite there. Still, you want a good, solid prop that will do the job, at a reasonable price.
Our new SharpKey Twister was made for you. The gimmick is built into a full functional Sharpie Marker. Just keep the marker in your pocket and you will always be ready to twist a key. Anytime. Anyplace.
The gimmick is really small, and is actually built right into the pen barrel. So, you can take the cap off the pen, and put it over the end when you hand it to the spectator. They will be handling the gimmicked pen and never suspect a thing!
Use the Sharpie to have the spectator sign the key. Take the Sharpie and key back from the spectator. Drop the key into the spectator’s hand and ask them to close their hand into a fist and concentrate.
When they open their hand, there is a big twist right in the middle of the key! It looks awesome.
No switches. Nothing added. Nothing taken away. Simple, direct and to the point.
And, the SharpKey Twister is built like a battleship. It will last forever!
The price is the best. Special introductory price. $40.00 (40.716)

SharpKey Twister is a Hank Lee’s Magic Factory Exclusive, which means you will find it here, only here and never there!

(2) Rice Papers DVD – Homer Liwag: In November of 2006, Homer Liwag released a DVD that would forever change the standard of magic videos. CoinONE set the bar, pushed the envelope and earned critical praise. MAGIC Magazine called it "magical... a work of art."

Today, we raise the bar with Homer's third release, The Rice Papers. Homer presents three of his favorite original creations on one DVD. Complete with clear performances, concise face to face teaching, and carefully directed camera work for an unparalleled learning experience.
Real world magic straight from one of the most creative minds in modern close-up magic.

• A giant contact lens materializes at your fingertips - followed by a pair of eye glasses from nowhere.
• A selected playing card slowly appears on a blank card.
• A marker is extracted from its own cap, a ball bearing drops from the tip, and the marker transforms into your cell phone!
Every prop needed to perform these tricks can be easily made or found.
For those who already own The Rice Papers lecture notes, new methods and extra ideas are taught on this DVD - along with bonus features containing behind the scenes footage and outtake reels. Knowledge of basic sleight-of-hand is recommended. $19.95 (DVD01110)

(3) The Davenport Story – Volume Two: The Lost Legends - Three previously unpublished works by eminent authors who were close personal friends of the family. These works were only recently discovered during research for this series.
The first by Robert Harbin, 'Magic Marches On,' was acquired by Davenports in 1946. Initially its non-publication was mainly due to manpower shortages in the immediate aftermath of the war then, with the sudden passing of Gilly, the manuscript was genuinely lost. It was not until 1996 whilst researching this series of books that it was discovered amongst Gilly's papers. This work includes 42 never-before-published tricks, illusions and escapes. Among the ingenious magical novelty effects are Glass and Cloth Eating, a Canon Ball Production and a completely new method for the classic Clock Dial trick. There are 14 new illusions, and one, 'The Middle Bit' ingeniously incorporates five different effects.
The second, Edward Victor's lost fourth book 'With Magic Hands,' adds to his famous trilogy and thus completes his series. Again ill luck conspired against its publication. At the time he sold it to Gilly Davenport, Gilly was an ill man and was to pass away shortly afterwards. The manuscript was then lost amongst the heap of papers in his private office at home. There are chapters on Sleights with Cards with a Straight Deck and with Prepared Cards together with new routines for the Cut & Restored Rope and Cups & Balls feature plus new effects with a paddle and other novelties.
Finally, the last work 'Mystia' or 'The World of Magic' is by the accomplished author and inventor G. W. Hunter. This was written at the end of the 1880's and in this work we are convinced that to have been able to describe how these superb effects were done Hunter must have had access back stage. It was probably because of this espionage that he resisted publishing or parting with this work until shortly before his passing in 1939. The author analyses and reveals the secrets of the tricks of 36 leading magical acts in an era where innovative presentation was of the highest order. Acts include those of de Kolta, (with actual drawings of his Chair Illusion set up), Maskelyne, Kellar, Bertram and Alexander Herrmann. The last chapter holds a number of surprises.
The front cover of the volume replicates a publicity photograph of Harbin which was inscribed 'To George and Family - Robert Harbin 1946.' George of course, was his friend Gilly Davenport. This photograph was taken at the same time as the manuscript was purchased by the Davenport family. $150.00 (BK01699)

(4) Killer Cut – John Kaplan: One handkerchief. One newspaper. One cut.
They saw it happen. Or did they?
Your spectators will be doubting their own senses after they witness this diabolically devastating double restoration.
Nearly self working and exceptionally clean in handling. You show the same handkerchief and newspaper openly and deliberately both before and after the effect.
The easiest, most direct, most convenient evolution of the classic “cut and restored” plot that you’ll ever perform.
What the spectators see:
You cleanly and openly show a silk handkerchief and a sheet of newspaper.
The silk is freely and fairly placed into the folded newspaper.
The newspaper and handkerchief are folded, then cut in half.
You show the separate halves of both the handkerchief and newspaper.
The halves are put together and you instantly restore both the handkerchief and the newspaper.
Once again, you cleanly and openly show both the handkerchief and the newspaper
No switches. No duplicates. Nothing added or taken away.
Completely self-contained and practically self-working.
A proven audience hit in hundreds of performances.
Re-use the same silk and newspaper over and over.
Resets in under 60 seconds.
Ideal for corporate entertainers, school and family performers, stage magicians and illusionists.
You Get:
Single shot performance demonstration.
John’s audience-proven commercial word-for-word patter and routine.
Handling & presentational pointers / tips.
Bonus live performance video.
$29.95 (60.1654)

(5) Solari’s Swami Secure: It has been many years since a quality band writer was available. Now, Bob Solari has created the best one we’ve seen.
This is a mentalist's secret weapon! It is a secret writing device that will fit on either your right or left thumb. Designed to stay securely in place while writing. It is slightly adjustable for most size thumbs. Each one hand cut, hand filed, hand assembled and hand painted (2 coats with artists brush). Comes with an extra supply of black writing wax.
A working knowledge of "Swami Gimmicks" is required. No routines are supplied. Made in the U.S. $19.95 (40.714)

(6) Inversion: Andrew Mayne, the creator of Ghost Bills and Ghost Vision, presents an incredible object illusion using a single balloon.
Show a round balloon and point out that all the balloons have one thing in common - a nozzle. Take the nozzle and pull it straight off the balloon and make it vanish. Then, rotate the balloon all around showing that it is seamless.
Next, point to a smooth part of the balloon, twist it and turn it into a new nozzle. For the climax, push the nozzle through the skin of the balloon creating an impossible object: a balloon tied from the inside! The balloon can then be handed out in its impossible state.
Want to create and give away an impossible object your audience will never forget?
Create an inside-out balloon right before their eyes in this 3-phase routine.
Phase 1: Rip the knot off a balloon and make it vanish
Phase 2: Create a new knot on the smooth balloon
Phase 3: Push the knot INSIDE the balloon and give it away
In this DVD Andrew teaches his method for tying a knot on the inside of the balloon and using it in an incredibly visual magic routine.
+ Uses regular balloons.
+ No special tools required.
+ Place a playing card or business card in the balloon as a giveaway
$15.00 (60.1555)

(7) ScreenBurn – Mark Elsdon: Four professional mentalism effects which ultimately end with the same effect: at anytime the performer chooses he can invisibly switch on or off any standard, plasma or LCD TV screen.
Here are details of the first effect: The mentalist is concluding his performance in a bar and offers to show one last 'extraordinary moment'. Several spectators look around the room and write down on napkins (or business cards, or whatever) the names of random objects they can see: drink, bottle, pool table, window, TV, fan, bartender, etc. One spectator is nominated and he chooses a napkin. He presses down on the napkin while the performer simply passes his hand above. The spectator exclaims that he can feel a 'Strange Tingling Sensation' in his hand. Immediately he says this, the TV screen switches straight off. Anybody who looks across at the performer at this point would see that his hands are empty. The spectator turns over the napkin and it bears a single word: Television.
Honed over hundreds of performances during the last 3 years, the four ScreenBurn presentations offer theatrical effects of great resonance which are as at home in a formal performance as they are in an (apparently) impromptu setting at a friend's house.
Every detail of the psychology and scripting of each effect is fully taught and the reasoning behind it is explained.
All the effects are completely practical, one-person, real-world performance pieces.
No stooges, rigged clothing or special conditions are required.
Mark Elsdon's ScreenBurn is available in a limited edition of 250. It comes complete with all necessary hardware (which carries a full 2-year warranty) and a signed, numbered booklet of instructions and effects. The hardware is very easy to use, has been extensively tested and works worldwide. It can turn on or off any standard, plasma or LCD TV screen as many times as you like. Minimal set-up time, no programming, codes or specialist knowledge required. $100.00 (40.715)

(8) The Forrest/Francis Project Vol. One – Dave Forrest and Cameron Francis join forces once again to bring you twenty brand new killer close-up effects over two exciting volumes! Each volume includes select effects performed live in front of real people in the real world.
The Forrest/Francis Project is quite literally filled with all new, high impact material to turbo-charge your repertoire! Crammed with visual eye-poppers, head scratching mind numbers, revamped classics, insane gaffs and crazy, off the wall plots.
Hadron Collider:
You attempt to find a selected card - the Six of Diamonds. You find instead the Eight of Diamonds - close but no cigar! Out comes your trusty 'Hadron Colllider' card - which looks suspiciously like a blank card with two holes in it! Using this incredible technological marvel you visually 'suck' two pips from the Eight - filling the holes of the 'Hadron Collider' card - changing it to the selected Six! Very, very weird science!
FF Collectors:
Three Kings magically trap two selections then they suddenly change into the mates of the third selection and also indicate its position in the deck!
The 3 Card Trick:
Attempting to perform the famous '3 Card Trick' you are continuously thwarted by the persistence of a fourth card! Every time you discard one of the four Aces, it somehow makes its way back to the packet! Killer commercial close up with a 'kick in the teeth' finale!
You make two predictions on business cards but they both turn out to be wrong! The chosen card is then magically produced from between the two business cards!
Invisible Poker
Larry Jennings classic 'Invisible Palm Aces' gets an overhaul! This easy but stunning version wraps the effect up in a presentation that really makes sense and has the type of kicker ending that audiences just can't get enough of!
Two cards are selected - a Two and Five, say. The three mates of the Two suddenly appear between the four Jacks. Then suddenly the Jacks transform into the mates of the Five!
Coin thru Hand
You borrow a coin and attempt to push it through your hand but something goes horribly wrong! On turning your hand over the coin is seen to be sticking half-way out of your palm! You grit your teeth, yank out the coin and hand it straight back!
5 Card Monte
A 'no palm' card to pocket built into an engaging 'street hustler' routine! Easy and entertaining - you'll definitely be using this one!
The cards take on a life of their own! One pops out of the deck and directs you to the location of a selection while some others make a suggestion for your next trick!
Impossible Sandwich
A spectator freely selects any card which is then lost back into the pack! The spectator then fairly cuts two red Kings into two separate halves of the deck and re-assembles the deck themselves. With no moves you spread the deck and the two red Kings have mysteriously come together in the deck with just one card in between them - the selection!
$30.00 (DVD01108)

(9) The Forrest/Francis Project Vol. Two – Cameron Francis & David Forrest: Dave Forrest and Cameron Francis join forces once again to bring you twenty brand new killer close-up effects over two exciting volumes! Each volume includes select effects performed live in front of real people in the real world.
The Forrest/Francis Project is quite literally filled with all new, high impact material to turbo-charge your repertoire! Crammed with visual eye-poppers, head scratching mind numbers, revamped classics, insane gaffs and crazy, off the wall plots.
Volume Two Contents:
A shuffled deck is spread and any card is freely named. The value of this card is used to select two more cards and all three cards are added together to form a random number. The named card is turned over and amazingly it is seen to be the only card bearing a message: TURN THE BOX OVER! The card box is turned and in huge black letters is the sum total of the three cards!
Pip My Ride
You visually move a pip from one card to another - then you eat the pip! Seriously!
A strange kind of sandwich effect where nothing is as it seems!
A progressive assembly with a backfire!
Trick Question
A spectator names a four of a kind and an 'observation test' takes place, the spectator being asked to follow the movements of one of the cards. Suddenly the cards all change to a completely different four of a kind and the named four is discovered in the center of the pack!
Void Voyage
You visibly remove a hole from a playing card and have it appear on a selection that is held tightly between the spectator’s hands!
New Addition
A mathematical card trick - but it's not boring!
Twist Again
Dai Vernon's classic 'Twisting the Aces' gets the Forrest/Francis treatment!
Ultimate Separation
An 'Oil and Water' routine on steroids...or should that be acid? Ends with an amazing separation of the cards while they're safely locked in the card case!
The Color of Money
How to play pool with playing cards! A routine that is literally bursting with magic and ends with the logical production of a full sized 8 Ball!
$30.00 (DVD01109)

And that’s this week’s Call Us And Get A Free Gift Hotlist. One of the best of the modern age, if I do say so myself. While I would love to hang around and chat, to be honest, I need to go and dry out my sneakers!
As always, I want to thank you all for taking time out to visit with us either online at or in person at 102 North Street in Medford. Either way we the company!