Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year!



First of all, I hope all of you had a great Christmas. Hard to believe it's already been a week since the celebration. We all had a great time with friends and family. On Christmas Eve, we spent part of the day at my mother in-law's house and then later in the evening, we headed over to my cousin Karen's house to cap off the evening. Christmas morning, Betty and I prepared for our celebration. This year, we spent Christmas day at home with all our kids. We had a great Christmas dinner, watched old movies, and reminisced about past Christmases. Before you knew it, the day was gone and it was time to go to bed to get up early for all those after-Christmas sales.

I arrived here the day after Christmas promptly at 5:00 AM, and it was like the day after Thanksgiving all over again. The phones were ringing off the hook, orders were coming in online, and we have all of you to thank! So, as I sit here today, on the eve of New Year's Eve, and I reminisce about all that's happened here this year, I think it's been pretty amazing. So much has happened this year: so much good and a few not-so-good, but that's OK. I feel pretty fortunate to be able to do what I truly enjoy every single day. So many of you have been with us since the first days of Hocus Pocus, and some of you have just climbed aboard the Hocus Pocus Express. The bottom line is: you are responsible for the continued success and growth of our business. Your support, suggestions, and viewpoints mean everything to us. We have never lost focus of that, especially in today's society of the rapidly-diminishing notion of customer service. So, for that, I sincerely thank you.

For the first time, I'm going to actually take tomorrow off and not return until next Monday. I say this every year but never do it. I'll sleep in a little bit, catch up on some movies that Betty and I want to see, and spend our New Year's quietly at home. So, all in all, I'm a pretty happy guy; my life is great and I can't wait to see what 2009 brings. On behalf of myself and everyone here at Hocus Pocus, I wish you a safe, healthy and happy New Year.

Until next time,

Paul

Friday, December 26, 2008

Hope You Had A Great Christmas

Hope you had a great Christmas. I’ll be back next week.

Until then,

Paul

Friday, December 19, 2008

Light The Lights; It's Christmas (Almost)

We're only a few days away from the big day now. Last year, I posted pictures of the lights display of the Gross family household, and it's gotten even bigger and better since. So bright are the lights from our house now you can immediately see them as soon as you turn the corner on our street. Many of our neighbors, like us, have added more and more lights and displays as well since last year. Our street is turning into a miniature Christmas Lane. It's great to watch all the cars slow down at night to look at all the block's lights and decorations. We even had a surprise group of 25 Christmas carolers who showed up the other night to entertain us and to share in the holiday spirit. So below are a couple of photos of our home:




The only thing missing is real snow

Today, we are going to have our annual Christmas party/luncheon with all the employees of Hocus Pocus. Gifts were exchanged early this morning, and everyone is getting ready for a great catered lunch, which should be delivered shortly. My stomach is already grumbling in anticipation.

It has been so busy here that we barely have time to breathe. We cannot thank you enough for your support in making this one of the most successful years in the history of Hocus Pocus. Hopefully by now, you've done all of your Christmas shopping, but if not, and you are still looking for that one special gift for the magician in your life or yourself, I suggest the following:



One of the most beautiful and intriguing (not to mention fun) items we have received this year. Produced by Will Tsai and SM Productionz in collaboration with Hocus Pocus, this is an incredible visual effect suitable for any performer! Both Mike and I are having a great time showing it to everyone who comes into Hocus Pocus. Poor Betty, however, I've forced her to watch me perform this close to 100 times! But in true Betty style, she just smiles and says, "It's a great trick." This is a limited production item and a Hocus Pocus Exclusive. Check it out HERE!

Don't forget, the Sorcerer's Apprentice and the Allakazam Egg from our good friends, Mark and Nani Wilson, are still available and the perfect gift for both the magician and the beginner looking to start their "career" in magic. What better way than to learn from the best in the biz: Mark and Nani! Many of you are buying multiple units of the Sorcerer's Apprentice as they make the perfect stocking stuffers for those looking to get into magic.



And finally, we are excited to announce that the True Astonishment Box Set by Paul Harris is available now for pre-order with free shipping! This is the most anticipated project this year and has been in the works for years and years. There's so much in this Box Set that you'll just have to go and see it for yourself HERE!

So the next time we get together, Christmas will have passed, so on behalf of myself, Betty, Mike Jan, Karen, Ken, and the entire staff at Hocus Pocus, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Until next time,

Paul

Friday, December 12, 2008

Oh, There's No Place Like Home For The Holidays

So the other night, Betty, Cole and I are out having dinner. Afterward, we decided to walk down the various shops and stores near the restaurant and do a little holiday window shopping. You'll never guess what I saw: an 8-foot tall animated nutcracker. The look on my face as I saw it moving and lighting up must have been obvious, because Betty knew I had to have it! I looked at her, she looked at me, and she said, "Where would we put it?" I immediately replied, "In our dining room, of course." "Of course," she replied, and so we purchased it on the spot and took it home. Now getting it home was another story. It wouldn't fit in my Jeep, so a quick trip home to get the pickup and back we went.

At this point, Max was waiting for us and wanted to know why we were going back to where we just came from. When Cole and I explained why, he had to join us. So off the three of us went back to the store. After about a 1/2 hour of examining our purchase and a phone call to the owner of the store, we figured out how to disassemble it and get it into the truck, because it was still too big! Arriving home, Betty now doubts that we'll actually fit it in the dining room due to its height. Fear not, I tell her. But Cole and I have doubts ourselves at this point, not letting on, however.

So in we carry the legs, then the body, then the arms, and keeping our fingers crossed, we put on the head. With 1/2 inch to clear, we bolted him together, plugged in the wires, and started him up. What a magnificent display! Now, we just have to figure out where to store him once Christmas is over...


The 8-foot tall Nutcracker in all of his glory

Last weekend was Max's first Christmas Formal. He looked pretty sharp in his tux, and from what we heard, had a great time. A group of 50 of his friends rented a party bus which picked them up and took them to the Formal and restaurant, and then home again. First time I've ever seen a party bus -- it's really a good way to travel in style with a large screen TV, deluxe stereo system, and all the other bells and whistles that go along with it.


Max ready for his first Christmas Formal

There are only 13 days left, believe it or not, until Christmas. We've been busier than ever this holiday season, and we cannot thank you enough! There is still time to do your last-minute holiday shopping, and we'll do everything in our power to make sure it arrives in time for you and your shows. Speaking of last-minute Christmas gifts, many of you took us up on our offer on the new Sorcerer's Apprentice Magic Kit by Mark and Nani Wilson. We even had a grandmother who purchased 10 of them for her grandchildren! Don't forget to check it out HERE!

My son, Cole, comes home today from college to spend the holidays with us. He'll be here next week helping us at Hocus Pocus on the phones and in the warehouse. I'm really looking forward to the holidays this year more than ever, and I am hoping you are feeling the holiday spirit like I am.

Until next time,

Paul

Thursday, December 04, 2008

It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas

Well, Thanksgiving is officially over, and I hope you all had a great holiday. If Friday, the day after Thanksgiving is any indication of what's to come for the holidays, watch out! I got here at 5:00 AM Friday morning, and the phones were already ringing. We were incredibly busy all day, and it hasn't stopped yet. Many of you took our advice and printed your wish lists for your family and friends, which has made their shopping for you here much easier for them.

Make it an Allakazam Christmas



Here's a perfect holiday gift or stocking stuffer idea! How many of us owe the very fact that we got started in magic to Mark Wilson and Nani Darnell? I'm sure that you can remember as well as I can watching them each week on the Magic Land of Allakazam. Being involved in magic as long as I have, I cannot express the joy and fun magic has both given me and to those for whom I've performed. If you are looking to share that same joy and fun, look no further than the Sorcerer's Apprentice.

This top-secret project by Mark and Nani has been in the works since the beginning of 2008. What was once a dream is now a reality. Now you can relive and share the same memories you had of watching Mark and Nani the first time by giving the gift of magic to your children, friends, family, co-workers, no matter how young or old; the Sorcerer's Apprentice is for everyone!

Magic is a great hobby and Mark and Nani have made learning how to perform magic a breeze! Not just a magic kit; a perfect package of easy-to-do magic for all ages each effect is personally taught by master magician, Mark Wilson, making it easy for anyone of any age age to understand. You'll instantly become a magician in a matter of minutes. Mark has put countless hours and months of work to bring you the Sorcerer's Apprentice. What a great way do get someone you know started in the art of magic!

Imagine the thrill of sitting with your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or anyone for that matter, on Christmas day and watching master magician, Mark Wilson, perform and then teach in detail each and every trick provided in the Sorcerer's Apprentice. I personally can't imagine a better gift! If I got your attention, do yourself a favor and read more about the Sorcerer's Apprentice and get it for half off the original retail price HERE! You'll be glad you did. Thanks, Mark and Nani, for another great product and allowing Hocus Pocus to be a part of it.

While you're checking out the Sorcerer's Apprentice, make sure you check out all the other new and hot items being added to the web site, almost at an hourly basis. No kidding! Pretty soon, we'll have to put splints on Mike's fingers.

The Three Wise Men?



Hardly. Mike snapped this picture of me, Tim Wisseman, and Matt Sconce in deep discussion over their latest collaboration, The Mage Touch! Tim and Matt have come up with one of the most convincing demonstrations of psychokinetic energy I've ever seen. Stealthy. Silent. Deadly. And oh, so smart! As many of you know, Tim Wisseman is our resident wonder boy genius. There is no project that he has tackled yet that he has not been able to not only accomplish, but exceed any expectations! Matt Sconce's Power Word: Fall! was his first offering to the magic community, and it took the world by storm, garnering rave reviews everywhere! These two guys together will become a force to be reckoned with! I'm extremely proud to say that Hocus Pocus is the exclusive dealer for these products. Check out the Tim Wisseman product category on our web site while you're there.

"Dad, can we go look at this car after dinner?" That was the question my son, Max, asked me last night. Let me start by saying that yesterday was an extremely long day for me, and the thought of going to a car lot was not particularly appealing in any way, shape, or form. However, my son is a good kid, and I thought, "What harm could there be?" After 3 different car lots, and on our way home, we saw the truck he was looking for. Before we even got out of the car to look at the truck, I made it abundantly clear to Max that no matter what, we were not buying a car tonight; we were just looking. Long story short, at 9:00 PM last night, my son is now the proud owner of a 2007 Chevy Silverado pickup. Oh, when will I learn?

So there you have it: my week in a nutshell.

Until next time,

Paul.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving



So here I sit on Thanksgiving Eve, reflecting on all that I have to be thankful for in my life. First and most importantly, my incredible wife, Betty, who supports my every endeavor and project with the utmost enthusiasm and who loves me unconditionally. I can truly say that I could not have done all I have without her. For my four children: Rene, Aimee, Cole, and Max -- I am blessed that they are not only good kids, but good people. I'm thankful for good health, both my family's and mine. I'm thankful for my good friends, those I have been blessed to meet and will continue to meet in the coming years. I'm also thankful for another successful year doing what I love to do the most in life. And, of course, I'm thankful for all of you, who take time to read this blog week after week and support Hocus Pocus as much as you have.

Tomorrow, as every year, I'll be with my family at my mother in-law's house for our traditional family Thanksgiving celebration. There will be plenty of food, as always, lots of leftovers for those great next day turkey sandwiches. Friday will be the official shopping kickoff, and you can bet we'll be here. Personally, I'll begin the day at about 5:30 AM based on last year's post-Thanksgiving orders that were placed over the holiday and the day after.

So, as I wrap this up, it's a perfect winter day here in Fresno, California. It's 47 degrees outside and pouring rain, and we're all nice and comfortable here inside the offices and warehouse. As I reflect back on all that I'm thankful for, I'm reminded that I shouldn't just do it one day per year; but it's much more important to recognize it every single day. I have a pretty good life and wouldn't change a thing.

So between that second helping of turkey and gravy and any ballgames you may be watching, from all of us here at Hocus Pocus: Betty, Mike, Jan, Karen, Ken, and the rest of the gang, we wish you the very best of Thanksgivings!

Until next time,

Paul

Friday, November 21, 2008

Are You Ready?

Can you feel it? Are you ready for the holidays? We're just a few days away from Thanksgiving, and then the official Christmas Season kicks off in high gear! Many of you have already begun your early Christmas gift giving/shopping. The Post Office has already started two package pickups per day to insure the fastest possible delivery of your orders. Everyone here is ready for the big push. The warehouse is packed with inventory, and Mike is putting up new products at his usual lightening speed! Now would be a good time to print your wish list and subtly leave it in places for loved ones to "accidentally" find it. Hint, hint.


My very first magic set (which I still have to this day, complete in perfect condition)

In my young years, one Christmas, I received a Martian Magic Set. This was the only gift that I really cared about. I studied it and perfected all its tricks and showed every single relative, neighbor, or anyone else I could get to watch. We carry many magic sets here at Hocus Pocus, but one in particular that stands out is the Extreme Magic Set from Fantasma.



Priced at $59.95, we believe this to be the best magic set value we have to offer. Here's our Christmas offer: mention the blog when you place your order for an Extreme Magic Set. If you buy one for $59.95, you can get a second one for half off -- $29.95! Not only is this a great Christmas gift and oversized stocking stuffer, it's the perfect gift for anyone, young or old, any time of year.



Recently acquired a fairly large sized private collection which included several very rare Jack Hughes items. Mike listed some of them on the site yesterday, and all of them sold in less than 24 hours. One of the rarest items listed today is the Jack Hughes Snake Basket. Much sought-after but rarely offered, this one is complete with all the parts, accessories and instructions. Although I've had these in the past, this is the second one I've ever had that was complete. Whether you're a performing magician or a collector, you will cherish this very rare and unique collectible. Some lucky someone will grab this very soon. Do yourself a favor and check it out HERE while it's still visible online. We're always looking for quality used magic to purchase or to trade. If you have something you are interested in selling or trading, please contact me at sales@hocus-pocus.com or call me toll-free 800-407-4040.

Exciting News

Spoke to Bob Kohler early in the week, and two brand new products will be available within the next 7-10 days, and they are DOOZIES! Bob has asked me not to release the names of the products yet, but I can tell you that one in particular has been in the works for at least 2 years! It's a signature routine from a very well-known comedy magician that I'm sure most of you have seen. Bob was generous enough to share one of the early prototypes with us last year, and we've been chomping at the bit for its release ever since! The wait is almost over, and I'm sure that you will be as excited about them as we are! Both items should appear on our web site in the upcoming days and will be available for shipping in plenty of time for the holidays, so stay tuned.

School's Out

Today is the last day of school before the Thanksgiving break for my youngest son, Max, and my oldest son, Cole. Cole will be coming home early next week to celebrate Thanksgiving with us. Last weekend, we spent Saturday and Sunday decorating the entire inside of our home for Christmas, and this week, Cole, Max, and my future son in-law, Jonathan, will be setting up all the outside decorations. It's been like a high-tech, highly engineered project. Between Max and Cole, they continue to draw out plans as to where everything will go. I'll post photos when all is completed.

So until next time,

Paul

Friday, November 14, 2008

Jingle Bells?

So I get in my car Monday to come to work, I turn on the radio, and lo and behold: "Jingle Bells" is playing. I think to myself, "This must be a commercial for something, because it's only November 10th." Next song is "Holly Jolly Christmas." Wait a minute. It's only November 10th! The announcer comes on and gleefully exclaims that it's Christmas music 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until December 26th. How can this be? It's only November 10th!! As I write the blog today, and only a few days have passed since then, I realize we're only two weeks away from Thanksgiving! Where has this year gone?

We called, and you came!

Last week's blog called on creators of magic effects to contact us about the possibility of marketing/manufacturing new products. I must say, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of responses I got. In fact, you'll notice several new exclusives listed this week as a result! Here are a few:



Tim Wisseman never ceases to amaze us! Several years ago, Tim created Dead Rap for a well-known psychic entertainer. So clever was this device and so powerful, he was asked to keep it under wraps. Only magic's and mentalism's underground were the elite few who even knew this existed, and it was they who also asked Tim to create Dead Rap exclusively for them. We were very fortunate to be able to convince Tim to release Dead Rap to the magic and mentalism community at large. Now, for a limited time, you'll be able to own and use this highly coveted item! We urge you to check it out HERE!





Two new exclusive manuscripts: Telepathy in Action by Orville Meyer and Intelligent Design by Jason Messina are just a few of the latest exclusives we've just added. Stay tuned over the next few days for more exclusives hitting the web site. Thanks to all of you who have responded so far. Please keep us in mind when you have a new product to share with the magic community.

Calling All Allakazamers!



Allakazam Egg Update: Great news! If you pre-ordered your Allakazam Egg, it's on its way to you now! The DVDs arrived on Wednesday, and they look fantastic! We're super excited about this particular project and invite your comments and suggestions on it. I can't even tell you how much care and attention to detail went into this project from start to finish to bring it to fruition. Mark, Nani, and I all believe this to be a high-quality investment for your act. We look forward to our next Allakazam offering with Mark and Nani Wilson. There is so much more for them to share with you, and I couldn't be happier to team-up with such a generous and gracious magic couple! If you have not yet placed your order, fear not; we have them in stock and ready to ship immediately. Check it out in more detail HERE!

So, as I finish up here, Mel Torme is on the radio singing "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire." I guess we all have to face the fact that the holidays are officially here. Personally, it's my favorite time of year and while most people may complain about the Christmas songs playing on the radio too soon, "I like it. I like it a lot." No humbug here.

Until next time,

Paul (celebrating the holidays early) Gross

Friday, November 07, 2008

Calling All Creators!


We know you're out there. You have an effect that you wish to market or an idea that you wish to bring to fruition, but you just don't know how. We want you! It's official: we're calling on all creators, manufacturers, and distributors of magic effects. Recently, we've acquired more exclusive magic effects than ever in our history at Hocus Pocus, and we're looking for more. If you have an effect that you wish to release to the magic community, I urge you to contact me for a possible future partnership with Hocus Pocus! We have the ability to manufacture effects from scratch, design, and fabricate if necessary. Or, if your product is ready to distribute, we have the means to advertise, expose, and promote your product to thousands of magicians worldwide with immediate results through our massive online membership. Hocus Pocus has a proven track record with over 35 years in the magic business and has had great success with those who have partnered with us. Some of those we've partnered with over the years and continue to do so to this day are: Mark and Nani Wilson, Paul Romhany, Tim Wisseman, Mike Giusti, Max Krause, Sean-Paul, Jay Leslie, Jay Mattioli, and many, many others.

As an example of one of our most successful exclusives, Tim Wisseman's Dead Ringer continues to be one of the biggest selling items we've had! What started as an idea in my office one afternoon has transformed into a full-fledged bonafide best-seller, garnering rave reviews from purchasers and performers all over the world. If you've not yet seen it, check out the brand new video trailer below:

video

So really, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain! So give us a shot and let's get that great idea of yours marketed.

Again, please feel free to contact me anytime:

Paul Gross
1492 N. Clark #104
Fresno, CA. 93703
800-407-4040
559-266-5150
559-266-4517 FAX
sales@hocus-pocus.com

Until next time,

Paul

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!



It's been an exciting week here, including a visit from Mark and Nani Wilson the past 2 days. Due to storms in our area today, the ghosts and goblins have already wreaked their havok here at Hocus Pocus. This morning, we were without power in a portion of our building but all is up and running fine now.

Allakazam Comes to Fresno


Me, Nani and Mark Wilson with the Allakazam Hat

What a great thrill it was to have Mark and Nani Wilson here for the last two days! They arrived Wednesday afternoon, spent time together at my house, we had a nice dinner, and talked and reminisced about magic, business, and everything else until almost midnight. To my surprise, they gave me a package of several vintage Genii magazines that they appeared on the covers and featured articles written about them and their magical career. I've had a great time pouring through the magazines the past few days. What memories they've brought back... Thursday, Mark and Nani spent the entire day here at Hocus Pocus, working with Mike on a special upcoming project and overseeing the packaging of the Allakazam Egg. Their visit was undoubtedly the high point of the entire week!


Mark and Nani with the classic Allakazam Egg


Allakazam Eggs ready for shipping for all pre-orders

If you pre-ordered the Allakazam Egg, yours should be on its way to you very shortly. Again, thank you all for your support on this fantastic project.

Hot New Exclusives



There have been some pretty cool exclusive items in stock this week, and a couple we're especially excited about. I'm really pleased that we were able to work out an exclusive arrangement with Todd Karr of the Miracle Factory for the Shakespeare Experiment. Perhaps the finest mind reading book effect ever printed, it's the ultimate luxury in mentalism. If you ever wanted to perform a book test, this is a must-have! Absolutely gorgeous to behold and limited to only 1000 copies and not to be reprinted, it has garnered rave reviews from such esteemed performers as Max Maven, Peter Morrison, Michael Weber, Lee Asher, and Andy Nyman! Do yourself a huge favor and check it out HERE!

Other products of interest that just arrived this week are Lit, which was featured on the last David Blaine special. Quite a bit of buzz about this one, gang, but it's in stock finally and ready to ship. We're also excited to receive this week the new Methods in Magic DVD by Joshua Jay, which features his live lecture filmed in the UK. Hocus Pocus is one of the first dealers in the USA to have it in stock for immediate delivery. Two other exclusives we have are Angelux and Cigarette Miracle. Both are guaranteed to shock your audience as well as a group of magicians! Make sure you check them out as well on the web site.

Get Out & Vote

Only four days left until Election Day Tuesday, November 4. Make sure you do your civic duty and vote. Remember, no one can tell you the right or wrong way to do it, as long as you do it. It's more important than ever to make your voice heard. And remember, every vote does make a difference! OK, I'm off the political soapbox. Now on to other things:

Passings


Ted Lesley

It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of one of mentalism's greatest contributors and a good friend, Ted Lesley, this week. Ted was one of the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. A true gentleman with a huge heart and a real passion for his craft. A wonderful sense of humor kept our conversations exciting and lively, and I will never forget the opportunity we had to bring him with us to the second MAGIC Live Convention in Las Vegas. What a great time we all had, and especially the laughs we shared in Robert Baxt's car on the way to the World's Greatest Magic Show as they one-upped each other with one-liners. I laughed so hard, my sides were cramping. The last few years, Ted fought very hard against many different illnesses, but for him, the long battle is now over, and he can rest in peace. We'll miss you, Ted. You left not only an indelible mark on the world of magic and mentalism, but on my heart as well.

So now we're back to Halloween. The weather here is perfect: dark, rainy, and gloomy. It won't be long now until those trick or treaters will be knocking on our door. So Happy Halloween to you and yours.

Until next time,

Paul

Thursday, October 23, 2008

One Last Weekend

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This marks my last weekend off before the official beginning of the holiday season at Hocus Pocus. It was Betty's birthday on Wednesday, so we're going to celebrate by going to San Francisco. While we're there, we'll visit with our son, Cole, who will undoubtedly join us for dinner Saturday night at our favorite San Francisco restaurant, Scoma's. We're both looking forward to this final weekend of rest and relaxation before the big holiday push.

Speaking of the big holiday push, it seems like since last Thursday, it's evident by the amount of orders coming through that you are all ahead of the curve regarding your holiday shows and events. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, then New Year's. Oh, my! Soon it will be 2009. The older I get, the faster time flies!

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Phillip Huber

Last week, Betty and I attended the Magic Castle Swap Meet and had a great time. I picked up quite a few bargains and a couple of collectibles, which I'm sure you will see me list here soon on the web site. Friday evening, we had dinner at the Magic Castle with Mark and Nani Wilson along with Chuck Kirchner, owner of Magic City. After our dinner, we all watched the show in the Palace of Mystery. The most outstanding act on the bill that night were the Huber Marionettes. I haven't seen a marionette artist like this since the late Barclay Shaw! These marionettes were almost alive. Here's a video link from their web site so you can see what I mean. Even though Mr. Huber was not a magician, it truly was magical to see him animate his cast of characters! Truly an art form rarely seen today. What a treat it was to witness this great performer!

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Speaking of Mark and Nani, your response to our latest project with the Wilsons, The Allakazam Egg, has been overwhelming to say the least! Mark and I discussed the in-depth DVD instructions that will be supplied along with all the props necessary, and he's very excited about the quality and thoroughness of the final cut. Final edit and DVD duplication should be completed shortly, and all pre-orders shipped within 2 weeks. If you are an online member, you should have already received a special announcement and offer in your inbox. Make sure you check it out, because you may regret it if you don't. Much effort and thought went into this project, and we truly believe that it's the best version ever released of this now classic effect. If you haven't already checked it out, click here!

While you're checking out the Allakazam Egg, why not check out all the other new items Mike has put up this week, including those in the new Mikame Product Category? It's been several years since we've offered the famous Mikame line of products, and we're happy to be able to do so again! There are several new offerings as well as the tried-and-true products that Mikame is known for, so check them out.

I'll have to check out now; we're getting ready to do our photo shoot for Genii and MAGIC Magazine's December ads. Thanks for the positive comments and great suggestions regarding the economic commentary I made a few weeks back. Sometimes, when we're faced with adverse situations, it makes us all the stronger, wiser, and more creative when we stand together. Once again, don't be afraid to use your talents to inspire, uplift, and entertain. No better lesson can be learned.

I hear Mike calling. It's time for my close-ups, Mr. Demille. Private joke.

Until next time,

Paul

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What Came First, The Chicken Or The Allakazam Egg?



Well, we hinted, we teased, we kept you on the ropes for a while, but no more; as many of you have noticed, our latest project with Mark and Nani Wilson, The Allakazam Egg, is now available! After our last successful venture in the production of the limited edition Allakazam Hat (now completely sold out), I wanted to release another Allakazam gem. From personal experience, I always wanted to perform the classic Silk to Egg effect, and had for many, many years. It was actually Mark Wilson's version that I performed on stage, and it got many rave reviews, even from other magicians. Mark's handling and presentation just makes sense. No awkward handling or moves to concern yourself with; everything makes perfect sense from start to finish! So, it only made sense to approach Mark and Nani again with the idea of putting this on the market. Both agreed, and the venture began.

Starting in February of this year, we began to search out the perfect egg to use for this effect. Unfortunately, after viewing many samples sent to us, we were just not satisfied with what was offered. It quickly became clear to all of us that in order to offer the Rolls Royce of this effect, it needed to be started from scratch, and so we had the egg custom made to Mark's exacting specifications. I am thrilled to say that we found a manufacturer to do just that, and the result is amazing -- we believe this is the best looking Silk to Egg gimmick ever offered! Couple that with the included accessory package and personal performance and instructional DVD featuring highlights in handling and routining by the master himself, this is the definitive work on this classic effect. Period. Back that up with our unconditional money-back guarantee, this is an offer that cannot be beat. I urge you to take a look HERE!

Mark and Nani have given so much to the world of magic, and this latest offering is just a small sample of their wealth of magic knowledge. I am extremely proud and honored to be able to offer this second in what I hope to be a long series of Allakazam classics.

While on the subject of Mark and Nani Wilson, I'd like to congratulate Mark on winning the well-deserved and prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award presented to him last week at the World Magic Awards in Los Angeles. This entire show will be broadcast in the next few weeks, so check your local listings for more information.


Paul Romhany

Other exciting news at Hocus Pocus: our good friend, Paul Romhany and I have embarked on a new endeavor. If you are a bonafide magic dealer reading this blog, we will be offering a selection of Paul's effects at wholesale prices! Paul's line has been exclusive to Hocus Pocus for the last 4 years, and all of his effects are commercial, audience-tested, and have a proven sales track record. Both Paul and I are excited to offer his magic to the mainstream, and if you are interested in carrying his products, please contact me toll-free 800-407-4040 or email sales@hocus-pocus.com.

Other exclusives we've obtained this week and are very excited about are 3 new Max Krause items, B.T.I.L., Supreme Serial Killer, and The Necklace. All are excellent and highly unique effects that stand out from all the rest. This is the kind of stuff we really like at Hocus Pocus, and they will set you apart from every other magician out there. We appreciate Max Krause for choosing Hocus Pocus to be the exclusive dealer for his fine items. Check them out on our web site.


Sandz

Speaking of effects that make you stand out, our good friend, Jay Mattioli has released his version of the classic effect, Sands of the Desert he calls "Sandz." This is one classy outfit that will be the centerpiece of any performer's act. Jay has put his spin and handling on this effect and has updated it to today's performers' standards. Mike listed it yesterday, and in less than 24 hours, 6 units have been purchased already. I predict this will be one of Jay's most popular effects released to date. Check it out HERE!

Ground Control To Major Tom


Richard Garriott

Congratulations to our friend, Richard Garriott, who became the first second generation American in space, and also the sixth private astronaut client of Space Adventures, as well as the first magician in space! Richard is an avid collector of magic apparatus and automatons. You can read up on Richard's adventures in space HERE!



Tomorrow, Betty and I will be heading south again to Hollywood for the bi-annual Magic Castle Swap Meet Saturday morning. It's always fun to attend because you never know who and what you'll see. As always, I'll have my eyes peeled for any rare, unique, and one-of-a-kind bargains. I hope to see you there, and if you see me rushing past, stop me and say hello.

Last week at the end of my last blog, I made mention of the current economic situation, and I must say that I appreciated all the email and phone messages expressing your views and appreciation, candid and otherwise. It really is important for us not to forget the true power we have as performers and entertainers. In difficult times like these, entertainers are very often called upon to make people laugh and forget about their problems. Remember, no problem is too big to overshadow the most important things in life. As I said before: family, health, and friends -- these are the things that truly matter. Now is the time to use your talents to uplift, excite, and inspire. The results will be amazing.

Until next time,

Paul

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Brick Wall In A Bag


No, it's not a category on the game show, Jeopardy. Every once in a while, a product comes along that, quite honestly, is so incredible, it deserves the highest praise. Brick Wall in a Bag by Sean-Paul is exactly one of those products, and not even a magic trick! What it is is a utility backdrop that any performer in any situation would be able to utilize. The set up and breakdown time is mere seconds, and the ease of transport make this a must-have. When Sean-Paul offered Hocus Pocus the opportunity to be the exclusive retailer for this item, we jumped at the chance!

Judging by the satisfied comments received from many of our customers who have already purchased Brick Wall in a Bag, we can see our enthusiasm is shared as well. With the holidays right around the corner, this would be a perfect addition for the performer looking to enhance the look and ambiance of his/her shows. Check it out right HERE!

Thanks for the emails and comments about last week's Blue Crate entry, especially Michael Grandinetti's inside info and history on that Doug Henning illusion. It was extremely informative and much appreciated. If any of you have a Blue Crate story, I'd love to hear about it.

It's hard to believe we're already midway through October with Halloween rearing its "ugly" head right around the corner... From the orders being placed, I can see that many of you are well ahead of the curve by ordering effects suitable for Halloween shows, and I've even seen many orders for Christmas effects coming across my desk. You should be commended for keeping your clientele in mind. Remember, just by adding one or two items like this will set you apart from your competition and keep you in demand for next year as well.



Speaking of Halloween effects, Tim Wisseman's Dead Ringer Spirit Bell has been one of our biggest selling items so far! Every Thursday afternoon, like clockwork, Tim brings in 10 to 14 Dead Ringers, and as fast as he brings them in, they are out the door with none left over! Amazing! We've been able to keep up with the demand so far, due to Tim's incredible work ethic and attention to detail, however, if you are looking to purchase one, you had better do it soon to have it in time for Halloween. Tim is feverishly working on his next project, which he has already shown to us, and as soon as he is caught up on Spirit Bells, we'll be releasing it as well, so keep tabs on the web site.

Speaking of new releases, we're just days away now from announcing our latest collaboration with Mark and Nani Wilson. We've been teasing you for a while now, and I promise, the wait is almost over. Everything is ready to go; we're just awaiting the final DVD edit, and the final product will be complete. As with anything the Wilsons are involved in, everything must be perfect before the release. Months of preparation have gone into this project, including custom-made gimmick that I had made to Mark's specifications. I can't tell you how happy and thrilled I am to be working with Mark and Nani again; they are exceptional people and a delight to speak with and be around. Their knowledge of magic and magic's history is incomparable, and this new product is an example of their committment and dedication to the art of magic. I promise you that this effect will be for everyone and will appeal to any and all audiences.

On a personal note, although the current economic situation may have our spirits a bit lower than usual, I'm reminded of what the Reverend Robert Schueller once said, "Tough times don't last, tough people do." We are lucky enough to be in the entertainment industry, and we have the ability as performers to transport our audiences to positive, mystical, and happy places. Now is the time to work even harder than before to create those positive experiences for them. Remember the most important things in life are our family, health, and friends. We must all hang in there and do our best, work together, and persevere through what will be a very temporary situation.

Until next time,

Paul

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Mystery of the Blue Crate

The title to this week's blog sounds like an upcoming adventure of Indiana Jones' next movie, but it's even better. Last week I got an email from a longtime customer and good friend who wishes to remain anonymous. In the email I was told that a blue crate would be arriving soon to Hocus Pocus, and it would contain a special gift for me. Now I can't tell you how excited I was to get this information. Not only a gift, but it was in a crate! So every day, when UPS arrived, like a little kid on Christmas morning, I'd run out to the warehouse to see if the mysterious blue crate had arrived. Now before I go any further, I am assuming that this blue crate wouldn't be a big object. Boy was I wrong:


The arrival of the mysterious blue crate

I circled the blue crate when it arrived like a turkey vulture, trying to guess as to its contents inside. Mike and I tried to figure out how to open it since we didn't have the necessary tools. The lid was closed tight by a multitude of screws. "Get the toolbox!" I exclaimed. Frantically, I searched the hodgepodge of tools: hammers? We have many of those. Pliers? Those as well. Extension cords, soldering iron, glue gun, the old rod that came from my broken desk chair 3 years ago (why it's still here, I have no idea; the chair went to the dump a long time ago). Ah, finally a screwdriver. But not a Phillips; a flat head screwdriver!

So off Mike goes to the local Harbor Freight store and returns with Phillips head screwdriver in hand. The suspense killing me, I think of getting an axe and busting open the mysterious blue crate. Instead, as fast as I can, I remove the screws from the top of the crate like a madman. I am now reminded of Darrin McGavin in A Christmas Story with the mysterious crate containing the infamous "Leg Lamp." After removing over a dozen screws, the top of the crate will still not come undone! Why, you ask? Because it's held down by over a dozen finishing nails. Back to the toolbox. With pliers and hammer in hand, I frantically remove the nails and the excitement builds as I remove the lid of the crate!

The first thing I see is lots and lots of foam. And soon, something very colorful appears. A note inside explains what is contained inside this glorious crate: It's an original illusion owned and performed by the late Doug Henning on his World of Magic television special! To say that I was overwhelmed by this gracious gift is a complete understatement! As many of you already know, I have a large collection of Doug Henning memorabilia, including costumes, posters, and illusions. This will definitely be one of my most prized and cherished possessions! The graphics and paint work on the cabinet are flawless, and the illusion itself was that a cabinet was shown empty. A tiny tuxedo placed on a hangar is placed inside the cabinet. Cabinet was then spun around, its door opened, and a live monkey wearing that tiny tuxedo was produced! I even have the monkey's tuxedo!




Exquisite and beautiful artwork adorn this illusion!

So now along with Harry Blackstone Jr.'s tuxedo, parts of his Garden of Flowers act, one of his Vanishing Birdcages, Mark and Nani Wilson's illusions and memorabilia, a cast of Billy McComb's hands, this piece of magic history will be proudly showcased in our growing mini-museum here at Hocus Pocus!

Blue crates don't come around all that often, but boy when they do... So special thanks to the anonymous donor; you know who you are! I hope my story was amusing because we certainly had a great and interesting time the moment the mysterious blue crate appeared. Hope your mysterious blue crate arrives for you someday soon.

Now all I need is a monkey.

Anyone?

Until next time,

Paul

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What Did You Think?



Last night was the David Blaine Dive of Death TV special. What I found interesting was that there was very little advertising and publicity (at least in our area) for the show. It wasn't until last week that I even became aware that it was on! You would think that a 2-hour special on a major network would have garnered a little more attention. But with that said, here are my thoughts:

Each David Blaine special I've watched I go back and compare it to the very first one. The first episode was full of close-up magic, although standard effects, it truly did bring a renewed interest to a new generation of budding magicians. Whether his style appealed to you or not, you have to admit that it was a boon to magic in general. Maybe I'm an old fuddy-duddy, but my personal preferences were specials like the World's Greatest Magic specials that aired for 5 years on Thanksgiving Eve and even David Copperfield and the Doug Henning specials. There was something for everyone in those specials, and there was a great cross section of magic being exhibited. But remember, this is just my opinion. I think that last night's Blaine special was the closest offering to his first endeavor: more street magic, more reactions, more focus on spectators than performer, and out of it came several great effects like Lit and Compression, both of which are now available on our web site.

Unfortunately, however, there is still some question about stooges and confederates and staged performances. Is this really magic? Is it really necessary? When you think of all the money spent and technology available in this day and age, I feel that it is unnecessary. Think of all the pioneers of magic on television, Mark and Nani Wilson, for example: did they have a need for stooges and camera trickery and set up shots? Absolutely not; what you saw was what you got, all in real time, and the best part: they could actually perform these effects again and again if necessary. In other words, none of the effects they performed were a "miracle" that could only be performed on television and not in a live setting. Take, for example, a certain performer with a weekly A&E television special (no need to mention names): in my estimation, he has not pushed forward the advancement of our art, rather he has set it back. Quite a bit, in fact. When non-magicians walk up to me and ask me if I watch that particular show on A&E, I reply "Not any longer." I also think the public is smart enough to discern what is "real magic" and what is camera trickery/stooged/set-up. Performing in this manner is taking the easy way out; ANYONE could do it.

But back to Blaine. On a scale from 1 to 10, I would rate last night's show a strong 7. I would like to see him get back to basics as he did in his first show (and I know the public agrees with me). It's unfortunate that his final stunt did not come off as planned for live TV, but that's the risk you take. All in all, I believe the real focus of the show should be everything but the finale.

So, now that you know how I feel, let me know how YOU feel. You can email your comments and responses to sales@hocus-pocus.com -- I am truly interested in your thoughts.

On another topic, I am proud to announce that Autumn is officially upon us, and I can't wait for those Summer temperatures to magically disappear! Start thinking about your upcoming holiday shows because now is the time to start planning and preparing. Before you know it, the songs of the Winter holidays will arrive, and the New Year will be upon us!

So there you have it. Lots to think about and lots to discuss. Have a great weekend.

Until next time,

Paul

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Full Schedule

Wow. We've had a pretty full schedule and a busy week here at Hocus Pocus. In fact, so much so, we've now had our local UPS delivery person schedule 2 pickups per day instead of the usual 1. And we have you to thank for keeping us so busy, so thank you very much. We had scheduled to take pictures of the packing and shipping department working hard to get your packages out as soon as possible, but we were just too busy to do so...



Last week, I spoke about the fact that we here at Hocus Pocus were very excited to reach the century mark in exclusives. I am very proud to say that the number continues to increase as we add more exclusives, most notably, the latest creation by Anthony Miller: The Modifier! Anthony Miller's modifier actually allows you to transform your every day wallet into a signed card to wallet! You can read more about it HERE.



Another product that I'm excited about is "Stand-Up: A Professional Guide to Comedy Magic by Ian Keable," perhaps the first book ever written on the theory and performance of Stand-Up Comedy Magic! No one is more excited about this book, however, than our very own Mike Giusti. You can rest assured that this book will be reviewed on his Trick Talk MagiCast in the near future. Check out Stand-Up: A Professional Guide to Comedy Magic HERE.

And do yourself a favor and stay tuned to the web site in general and keep tabs on the EXCLUSIVES category as more and more products will be added.


Diamond Jim Tyler

This Monday, Hocus Pocus will be hosting a lecture by Diamond Jim Tyler. If you've never seen this man work, do yourself a favor and reserve your seat today; it promises to be one of the best ever! His lecture has been seen in half of the states in the US plus five other countries. His magic has been featured in every mainstream magic magazine of the day. He has performed at the Magic Castle in Hollywood on numerous occasions. He has worked his magic in restaurants, for private clients, and for Corporate America for over 20 years. He is the author of the best-selling magic book Pockets Full of Miracles and the new book called Bamboozlers. He just returned from a fifteen city lecture tour of the UK and stopped at the Magic Circle in London where he was well received. Recently he was a consultant for the new thriller called Mirrors starring Kiefer Sutherland and was hired to help produce a featurette for the movie. In his lecture he promises to teach one of those “mirror routines”, plus other reputation makers and effects that have won him awards from his peers at the Texas Association of Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Be there to discover why his magic shines!

When: Monday, September 22 2008 at 7:00 PM
Where: Hocus Pocus Magic Shop
1492 N. Clark, STE. #104, Fresno, CA. 93703
Admission is $15.00 in advance / $20.00 at the door.
To reserve your seats, call 559-266-5150

You can find out more about Jim and the lecture by clicking HERE.

Also, if you haven't already heard, be sure to check out or set your DVRs for David Blaine's Dive of Death television special this Wednesday, September 24th from 9:00 PM-11:00 PM. Then, after the special, check back here at Hocus Pocus for a very, very special surprise. 'Nuff said.

As for me, it's been a while since I took a Friday off, so I will do so tomorrow and spend time with my wife, Betty and my son, Max and work outdoors some more on my backyard landscape. However you choose to enjoy and celebrate the weekend, I hope you have a great a safe one.

Until next time,

Paul

Friday, September 12, 2008

Exclusivity

It was just brought to my attention by Mike Giusti that Hocus Pocus has just reached the century mark in the number of exclusives. 101 exclusive items, to be precise. Wow. I cannot express enough what an honor it is when a creator/manufacturer/vendor approaches us with the opportunity to be the exclusive dealer for their product. These are products that we stand behind and believe in 100%. That is why we offer a new policy on our exclusives: a 100% money-back guarantee on any Hocus Pocus Exclusive product. That's a deal you just can't beat.

And, although we are offered many exclusives, we are very selective in those we choose. The supplier/creator must be able to deliver a quality product in a timely manner at a fair price.



Two of our favorite exclusive vendors are Paul Romhany and Tim Wisseman. First, I'll start off by telling you about Paul: Here is a guy who's brain never rests. Not only is he a full-time working professional with more work under his belt than most, he still has time to create and manufacture so many unique and time/audience-tested routines. What I really like about Paul is that everything of his we carry has come from his live stand-up act. No flavor of the month, no "I have to put out a trick because I need the money," just honed and perfected real-world workers stuff. This is stuff that doesn't lay around in some drawer unused. Our relationship with Paul is now over 3 years old, and I look forward with promise to the future and what it will bring.



Next is Tim Wisseman. I couldn't ask for a better supplier than Tim. He's absolutely incredible and spot-on. Many of you know of his effects we have sold like the Remote Vision Color Cube, Butcher's Blade, Remote Vision Die, and he also manufactures Mike Giusti's Ringamajig and currently is building our newest item The Drills of Death. No challenge is to great for Tim. Example: For several years I've had an idea for a Spirit Bell. My own design and unlike any other on the market. I've since spoken to many manufacturers about what I wanted, and every one of them turned me down, explaining that it was impossible. Enter Tim Wisseman. 2 months ago, sitting in my office, I discussed the Spirit Bell with him, and his immediate reply was, "Yeah, I can do that!" And so, now we can offer you our latest Tim Wisseman product, Dead Ringer. Not only is it what I had envisioned, it's even better than I could have hoped for! And judging by the amount of orders for Dead Ringer over the past few days, you all agree. Like Paul Romhany, the future looks very promising and bright for Tim Wisseman here at Hocus Pocus.

My point for bringing this up today is that we strive to look for different and unique effects instead of the normal sitting-on-the-shelves stock items that every magic shop carries. We work hard every day looking out for those unique products, and if we can't find them, we try to create them. If you are a creator or a manufacturer and have an effect you would like to bring to the magic community, we would very much like to hear from you. We have the ability, if necessary, to manufacture, distribute, and advertise to our email database of thousands of online members instantly. Our proven track record of success and satisfied clients speaks for itself and creates a win/win situation for all.

Please feel free to contact me directly via phone at 800-407-4040 or 559-266-5150 or via email at sales@hocus-pocus.com to discuss your project. I look forward to hearing from you and discussing the possibility of an exclusive partnership with Hocus Pocus. It is our continued goal to bring the best possible magic products to the marketplace.

So why not do yourself a favor and check out the Exclusives category on the web site? In fact, it is due to be updated again today, making the grand total 102! And with a 100% Money-Back Guarantee, how on Earth can you go wrong?

Until next time,

Paul

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Party May Be Over, But...

The party may be over but the fun hasn't stopped. My birthday was Monday, September 1, and there's never been a better one! Starting with my time off last Friday, I got to work in my yard, go to the movies, spend some time with my family, and receive some pretty nice gifts -- it was like an early Christmas. I must thank so many of you who sent emails, phone calls, and even some birthday cards for your thoughtfulness. It was very much appreciated.


Drills of Death

So, this week we're very excited to announce a brand new Hocus Pocus Exclusive, the Drills of Death. Occasionally, a great effect is brought to our attention. Drills of Death is definitely one of those effects; it has everything that makes for great magical theater: Audience participation, drama, built-in comedy potential, and most importantly, the element of danger. So impressed were we by this effect, we purchased the rights to manufacture and distribute it. If you want edgy, in-your-face, hardcore mentalism, this is definitely worth checking out. The method is so clever and 150% safe, that all your efforts can be put into the most important part: the entertainment. For more information, Check it out HERE!

Allakazam Update


Coming soon.

Lots of response to my teaser last week about the upcoming Mark & Nani Wilson project. Now in its final stages, Mark will be filming the instructional DVD this weekend, and then it goes off to the editors and duplicators. The official launch of this project will follow. It won't be long now, I promise. More importantly, congratulations to Mark and Nani for celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary!

Magician/Rock Star?


The multi-talented Mike Giusti

Earlier this week, our very own Mike Giusti was asked to audition for Midnight Run, a Journey tribute band, and only after a few songs, they asked him to join. Soon, they will be touring all over the United States, Canada, and even overseas. Give them a listen HERE and tell me they don't sound just like Journey! Between magic gigs, working here at Hocus Pocus, and at least one music practice and gig per week with his other band, I don't understand how Mike will be able to fit this new endeavor into his schedule. Regardless, congratulations, Mike and enjoy the little amount of sleep you must now be getting.

Until next time,

Paul

Thursday, August 28, 2008

53 And Counting



It seems like only a few months ago, I was dreading my 52nd birthday. Well, all that's passed and here we are at 53. I still have a few days, though as September 1st is the official day. Rather than dreading it as I did so last year, I'm actually looking forward to it. In all honesty, I've never felt better in my life than I do right now, so what's to dread? After all; it's all in your head, they say, and I feel like I'm in my 30s, so that's how old I am. My hair may be grayer, and there may be less of it, but I still refuse to wear bifocals (1 pair to see and 1 pair to read, and I plan on keeping it that way for as long as I can).

My sons, Cole and Max, surprised me with a couple of early birthday presents this year: a pair of gargoyle garden sconces, which we promptly hung up in our garden outside, and a brand new tool/garden shed, complete with electricity. I can't tell you how much I will use this to save trips from walking back and forth to the garage to the garden. Now everything will be in one place just steps away. They did an outstanding job right down to the ornate door knocker.


My new tool shed, thanks to Cole and Max

As many of you know, my yard is my hobby, and it helps me keep my sanity. I spend hours each weekend and every evening working on it to make it my little piece of paradise. The photos below are just some of the areas you might like to see:


One view next to the pool


A wider view


By the patio


The patio


Hammock Hut



Bird Houses and a miniature well fountain


A tribute to Alice in Wonderland


Topiary and fountains by the bird aviary


Betty's potting shed


Koi Pond


Another view of Betty's potting shed


Bird aviary and more topiary


Fountain and flowers


The Secret Garden


Fountain & entrance to the Secret Garden


Lion's head fountain that Cole and I built

Just a small sampling of some of the photos taken of my back yard. I can't wait to visit again this evening.

Other cool birthday gifts included a special machine-engraved photo plaque from Jay Leslie. I'll try to explain how cool this thing is: This is a flat piece of Plexiglas with my image carved into it. Looking at it, it looks like a plain piece of Plexi with a negative image of my face, however, when backlit, it becomes an actual photograph, complete with the shadows, darks, lights, and all details. It looks like a black and white photograph -- truly magical! It is based on a centuries-old principle of carving into marble, and it was very thoughtful of Jay to send this to me on my birthday. If you are interested in this and other things Jay works on, I urge you to visit his new web site at:

http://www.artcarvedphotos.com

There, you will see many stock images available as well as custom work that can be done. This is the perfect gift or a great addition to your desk or magic room. Check it out.

Who's the new guy?



This is the question we seem to get a lot here lately. If you've called over the last couple of weeks, you've no doubt spoken to our good friend, Tim Mannix. Tim is a very well-known and successful full-time magician currently living in North Hollywood. The last few times we have been dealers at the Magic Castle Dealer's Day, Tim has always graciously volunteered to help us. Tim has been such an asset that he's come here to give us a test drive and possibly make a change. We've definitely enjoyed our time with Tim while he's been here, and we hope that our working relationship prospers further. Tim would be a fantastic addition to Hocus Pocus and its customers due to his vast knowlege of magic and his enthusiastic approach to learning and sharing. His years of performing enable him to give seasoned advice for all those looking for an honest-to-goodness opinion. So, like us, keep your fingers crossed that Tim decides to make the move. We'll keep you posted.

Back to the Magic Land of Allakazam



As many of you know, the first project with Mark & Nani Wilson was the Allakazam Hat. This beautiful limited edition reproduction of the original Allakazam Hat, built by Jay Leslie and fully authorized by Mark and Nani was only limited to 50 ever made. These sold out completely, and are now resting comfortably in their new homes to all the lucky magicians who obtained them. So successful was this project, that Mark and Nani graciously granted Hocus Pocus the permission of releasing the next Allakazam exclusive. In its final production stages, all I can tell you is this is a classic of magic that Mark has honed to perfection. Originally performed on the Magic Land of Allakazam and then on the Magic Circus, and on various appearances on the Johnny Carson Show, Merv Griffin Show, etc., I promise that this is something for every type of performer, complete with everything you'll need to perform, including a DVD that not only highlights performances and explanations, but Mark's very career. Here is your opportunity to purchase a time-tested, audience-approved routine from magic's greatest performer. Stay tuned to the web site for the final reveal. It won't be long now.

So as we wind down, the big Labor Day Weekend starts for me this afternoon. I'm going to leave a little early and not come back until next Tuesday. Time to work in the yard, rest a little, and who knows what else. All I know is, I'm looking forward to the next 4 days and hope that you and your family have a safe and relaxing Labor Day Holiday as well.

Until next time,

Paul