Thursday, March 24, 2005
Well, here we are at the ending of another week. I am actually going to take a day off tomorrow. Mike and Jason have a running bet. Mike thinks I'll take it, Jason doesn't. We'll see whose $50.00 richer. I'm betting on Mike. It will be nice to take a three day weekend and enjoy the upcoming Easter holiday. All my kids will be at the homestead, and I'm really looking forward to spending some quality time with them. We'll all be going to my mother in-law's for Easter dinner, or should I say Easter Feast???
I was very happy this week to speak once again to Nicholas Einhorn from the U.K. We were able to twist Nick's arm to produce a limited quantity (10 units) of his best-selling self-levitation, In-Flight! For those of you who have had the opportunity to see it in action, you know how powerful this looks. It's practical, lightweight, and it can be performed anywhere, and I mean anywhere! Due to Nick's hectic full-time performing schedule (he's one of the most sought-after performers in England), it is rare when he has the time and energy to assemble these for us, and I thank him! If you're interested, check it out on our website, including a demo video of In-Flight in action. We've already pre-sold 3 so there are only 7 left!
Last week, I mentioned the construction going on in the back lot, and I'm proud to announce that it is all finished. We now have some desperately-needed extra room, and we'll be putting it to good use! This extra space will help facilitate a faster, more efficient shipping and receiving area, which means, you'll be getting your orders faster!
Special thanks to Ron Allesi for securing an exclusive on what could very well be one of the most perfect mentalism effects: DreamCatcher! We're extremely excited about adding these to our exclusive line of products, and Ron has arranged for us to receive a total of 40 units. No more will ever be made again by the manufacturer. You can pre-order yours now if you wish for April 15th delivery. Read about DreamCatcher and check out the great graphics Mike did on the website!
I'm really happy with the way our little blog seems to be attracting more and more attention each week. I'm also very happy to read the nice letters and stories shared from you. It's been a great way to get to know some of you a little bit better. So keep those cards, letters, and emails coming, folks!
I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend, and remember -- place your bets on Mike! Ha ha!
Until next time,
Friday, March 18, 2005
Hope you all had a terrific St. Patrick's Day yesterday. Thanks for the tremendous response you've given us for our St. Patrick's Day Sale Event! We shipped 118 boxes yesterday all over the globe!
It seems like every 6 months or so, we find ourselves needing more room as new products continue to arrive daily. We've done many things like adding a second tier to the warehouse, and tearing down and moving a few walls here and there, and now we're adding more space to the back lot!
This week, our landlord is here from Gulf Shores, Alabama. Most people don't like to see their landlord, but I love it when Bob makes an appearance. He really cares about his tenants and does everything possible to make us feel completely comfortable. He's never closed-minded to ideas I may have regarding the business. He was the one who encouraged us last year to build up and out; whatever we wanted to in order to make the building work for US! This visit, he brought us great news: he is adding on an additional 900 square feet to the back lot. This means we'll have even more space to utilize and manage (which we welcome). As I type this, they are feverishly working in the back, sawing, hammering, etc. Construction should be completed by Monday! This will be a welcomed start to the new week!
Last week, I told you how cold it was here. Cold like BRAZIL! It was in the high 70s to low 80s as if we skipped Spring and jumped right into Summer. Today, it's cold, windy and overcast and Mr. Weatherman says we're in for more rain for the next 4-5 days. So it's back to warm clothes and umbrellas.
Al Radka was known as Mr. Fresno. Al came to Fresno over 60 years ago. Starting out as a radio personality, Al took his career in many different directions, including local TV personality. Al had a kids show every day on local television called "Al Radka's Fun Time." He would play old cartoons and my favorite "3 Stooges" episodes. He wrote, produced, and directed a lot of local television commercials which were corny, yet funny. He even wrote jingles, which believe it or not, I can still remember the words. Everywhere Al went, he had a smile on his face like in the above picture. He was a jokester and loved to make people laugh. He did so much to raise money for charitable causes and was always available to help whoever needed it. No matter where you went in town, people knew instantly who Al Radka was. Everyone. Al Radka passed away last week at the age of 89. His raspy voice and funny jokes, told in his straw hat and striped coat will stay with me forever.
Spoke to R. Paul Wilson a few days ago, and we're excited to be able to offer his new DVD, "Unreal Work," along with Jason England. People have been waiting for this for a long time. It was a huge hit at the WMS this year. We have a limited supply immediately available for shipping. If you are interested, definitely check out the web site.
We are also excited about a new product from Chance Wolf of Wolf's Magic. Several years ago, Chance told me about an effect involving a borrowed bill that ends up inside a solid cube of ice. He's been performing it for years prior and had been considering releasing it to the magic fraternity. The wait is over; Chance has granted us the exclusive selling and distribution rights for "Bill in Ice." Chance is putting the finishing touches on them now, and they'll be ready to ship April 1, and that's no joke. Again, check out all the details on our web site.
Ascanio Book Update:
After a major Customs foul-up, I am happy to say that the Ascanio books will be here this afternoon. If you've already ordered one, yours, of course, will be shipped immediately. If you haven't ordered this fantastic book yet, jump on the bandwagon as Hocus Pocus is the first and only place you'll be able to purchase this book from for months to come!
If it doesn't rain all weekend (keeping fingers crossed), I'll finish my yard work projects from last week! Betty and I plan on attending a huge annual Antique Street Fair. Who knows what we'll find?
Until next time,
Friday, March 11, 2005
The incredible John Rogers
Our web page has exploded since the beginning of the week. Since Monday, not only has Mike put on more than 50 new products, we have acquired the John Rogers line. This line of faux cigars and cigarettes is incredible, and John is quite the craftsman. Each and every one of his items is meticulously hand crafted from wood and from scratch. Need the perfect manipulation cigar? We've got it. Need the perfect cigar for the purse routine? We've got it. Need the perfect cigarettes for a manipulation act? We got it all. One of my personal favorites is the Diablo Cigar. Just watching the online video makes me laugh out loud. Watch John as he performs this, and you'll do the same.
You might remember, last week I mentioned that there were some hot new items previewed at the Blackpool Convention in the U.K. One of the most talked-about items was the Electronic Crasher. We received confirmation early in the week that we will have these to ship out on April 1st (no, it's not an April Fool's joke). There's also a cool online video of the Electronic Crasher in action, so head on over and take a gander.
Oh, I almost forgot (I don't know how) -- Banachek and Dela have released a brand new version of Banachek's best-selling Psychokinetic Pen called the PK Sharpie! Now, you can do everything the original did but with an item you most likely carry with you everywhere: a Sharpie brand marker! We were very lucky to obtain the first 50 released, and they're selling like hotcakes!
Talk about hotcakes, Cody Fisher's Signed Card to Any Wallet sold out completely of the first shipped 100 pieces in 3 days! Spoke with Cody yesterday, and the poor guy is whipping them up as fast as he can so you can have it in your hot little hands ASAP! Also, be sure to check out Cody's School Show Opener, which is a tried-and-tested, 5-minute routine involving an entire school show audience and a spoon! Every word of his patter is included, and we thank Cody for allowing us the exclusive on his fantastic products!
Thank you all for your tremendous response and support regarding the Fabrice Delaure line of electronic magic. The orders have been pouring in, and Fabrice is elated with our new working relationship. So am I. Jason spoke with Fabrice a few days ago, and there will be three new products that will be released shortly. Keep your eye on the web site for updates...
Finally, the weather has been beautiful these past few days. We expect a high today of 78 degrees and a high of 84 degrees tomorrow. The air conditioning unit for the warehouse has already started its pre-summer warm-up! Sounds like a terrific weekend to work in the yard! Maybe I'll pick up building bird houses again.
What a year this is going to be, so fasten your seatbelts and keep your hands and feet in the vehicle at all times.
Until next time,
Friday, March 04, 2005
Although you can't tell around here because it's a bit overcast and rainy, Spring is officially here. In fact, as I'm writing this, it's just about to start pouring again. Don't get me wrong -- we need the rain as the major source of income for this city is agriculture, but it would be nice to see the sun once in a while...
You may remember that I posted the coming of a major announcement on the last blog entry, and in case you haven't seen the site yet, Hocus Pocus is proud to be the exclusive official dealer of the Fabrice Delaure line of magic here in the USA!
The high quality and integrity of this line of magic is something I've been wanting to represent for a long time now, and a dream has come true. Everything that Fabrice puts out is of the utmost quality and it's backed up 100% by both Fabrice and Hocus Pocus. I've had Mike work feverishly to put these products online and they've been appearing in vast numbers every day, and there's still more to come!
Gerardo Para, magician and friend
We're always happy when we are visited by our customers. Recently, Gerardo Para, from Chile, who always visits us twice a year, just paid us a visit. He's quite well-known in his country and puts on one heck of a show. You could not meet a finer gentleman than Gerardo!
For those of you who purchased the Paul Kozak Salt Pour, you may have noticed a tidbit of his routine on the DVD that didn't make it on our web site (for good reason). It's his Bottle Production from Silks, and I'm happy to say that we will also be carrying this fantastic product to complement the salt pour routine.
One of the things that Kozak mentions on the DVD is that you are free to use his routine for your shows (this is one of the reasons we didn't put his entire routine on the web site). It's very rare that a professional performer is willing to sell not only a product, but the routine that accompanies the product as well! What you are receiving is, in fact, years of refining, study, redesigning, and all the nuts and bolts that would otherwise take you years to acquire on your own! Kozak is that kinda' guy, and what class! I personally have tremendous respect for performers like Kozak who do their homework, love what they do, and have no problem sharing that part of themselves with others. There's a huge difference between a performer who offers a product that he himself never uses and continuously produces "new" products as the flavor of the month, and a performer who decides to share with you what he personally has used for years (and still does). Thanks again, Koz!
I've had a lot of comments about new products that were introduced at the Blackpool Convention last week. I understand that there were several that really stood out. Not to worry; Jason's already made contact with some of the originators and you'll start seeing these items pop up on the web site soon! I always appreciate any input or information like this from you as we are constantly searching the globe for new and original products.
Hope you all have a safe and restful weekend. I can't believe it -- Fed-Ex just showed up at our door with a ton of packages, and if it's what I think it is, you'll be pleased! Stay tuned.
Until next time,