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Topic: Ever order from House of Fakini? They don't make it easy
Message: Posted by: MeetMagicMike (Apr 5, 2017 02:19PM)
[url=http://www.houseoffakini.com/]House of Fakini[/url]

Ordered their multiplying golf balls online. Tried to pay by Paypal but an error occurred. Wanted to pay by credit card but apparently they don't take those. Followed directions and printed out invoice and called number. Phone number on invoice is incorrect (419-392-3768). Went to website and found correct number (419-308-6179) but got answering machine. Filled out contact form online and waiting to hear back.

Today it is so easy to buy from most online companies. I don't understand why they would be so behind the times.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Apr 5, 2017 02:35PM)
Mike: My good friend, Frank Radtke died several years ago. His son has been running the biz, but, sad to say, he has run it right into the ground. I don't know all the details, but there has been a thread that WAS fairly active for about a year (maybe longer).There were people waiting for a year or more for their order. Some had sent checks or credit cards etc., and, couldn't get response from the "company".

I think the thread was in one of the sleight of hand fora. I hope you didn't send a check or credit card #.

John Sterlini (Colon, Michigan dealer) is selling a ball which is the next best. I think it's a silly millimeter smaller. Ask Bill Hegbli for details.
Message: Posted by: MeetMagicMike (Apr 5, 2017 08:22PM)
Dick you are quite right. I went back to the site and noticed this odd notice at the top of the page. I didn't see it before because I just went directly to the multiplying balls and ordered them. Rather than re-doing their site properly they just put this notice at the top:

[quote]We invite you to browse through our retail store and shop with confidence.

Ordering details:




All items are hand made and do take time to make, we appreciate your patience.

In the online store the drop down color options are as follows:
Magenta is called Purple.
Bubble Gum Pink is not a drop down option.
Due to pigment pricing, Prestige Red is double the listed price.
Please contact us for orders of Bubble Gum Pink and Prestige Red.

For colors not listed or special orders email contact@houseoffakini.com
or call us at 419-308-6179.

At the present time we are not accepting new wholesale dealers.

We appreciate your understanding.[/quote]

I'm sympathetic if they are overwhelmed but really this is not the way to handle things.
Message: Posted by: MeetMagicMike (Apr 5, 2017 10:11PM)
I PM'd Pop Haydn and as usual he was very helpful:

Pop Haydn: "I like these, and am using them now:"

[url=http://www.sterlinimagic.com/bond-lee-s-professional-manipulation-balls-1-7.html]Sterlini Magic Multiplying Balls[/url]
Message: Posted by: ROBERT BLAKE (Apr 6, 2017 06:03AM)

I have the BONDLEE multiplying balls and Fakini and for me Bondlee is as good as Fakini.
better priced. and if you buy from Sterlini you have great service too.

with Bondlee you get 4 solids and 2 sh***S

Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Apr 6, 2017 08:56AM)
Right Bob!

Laurie Ireland, in the old days, sold multiplying balls in sets of 3+1 shl, and, sets of 3 + 2 shls. I agree! (4 and 2 make sense.)
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Apr 6, 2017 11:08AM)
Fakini have always been hard to get, even when he was alive. It is usually easier to find used ones than new ones.

Message: Posted by: Kyoki_Sanitys_Eclipse (Apr 6, 2017 12:08PM)
I agree with JoeJoe. You can buy a used pair if Fakini here on the Café quicker and cheaper
Message: Posted by: kennyka (Apr 7, 2017 12:58AM)
My opinion is just mine, but...when I could get Fakini ball sets, which wasn't that long a ago (a couple years), I had good rapport with Kim and the orders did take a while but wasn't that long. I've heard rumors (and don't know without really knowing) that there have been some problems so I don't want to point a finger yet. I'll be the first to call it out and be sincerely unemotionally unkind to be mild about it. I love the Fakini product, but it sounds like everyone is also as disappointed as I am. Nobody can kick a mule in the ass and make it do a ***ed thing if it doesn't want to. That's the shame of it. I have bought Bond Lee ball sets from Sterlini Mfg. since and I am impressed. Are they exactly the same? No. Are they good? Yep. Can you get manip balls and various sizes? No. But, the price is better and the gimmicks envelope, if that makes sense. If I could buy out Fakini, I would. This may be the end of an era, like a lot of things. What's really sad is that there's customers that want the product. I wrote an email a few months ago about products and other stuff and still no reply. I agree with everything everybody has posted.
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Apr 7, 2017 09:15AM)
[quote]On Apr 7, 2017, kennyka wrote:
If I could buy out Fakini, I would. This may be the end of an era, like a lot of things. What's really sad is that there's customers that want the product.[/quote]

Magic used to be an "art", not a "business" ... but now we live in a generation where people think their food should be ready in two minutes flat and nobody has the patience to put into their craft.

In the "Star Wars" universe, lots of customers want a light saber ... but Jedi are required to make their own. Hint: the balls are hard to obtain for a reason.

I started off with a set-up of cheap rubber golf balls, and after I don't know how long of practice a set of used Fakini golf balls finally showed up in the showcase at Denny and Lee Studios and I knew that set was truly mine. I used them for years before my hands became big enough for billiard balls.

I truly hope Fakini never gets bought out and starts using machines to mass produce balls, it would be the death of the entire art of billiard ball manipulation. In some respects, the silicone balls have already killed the art, anyone that has witnessed Ron Conley manipulate wooden balls will understand what I'm saying.

Message: Posted by: kennyka (Apr 8, 2017 02:18AM)
I agree JoeJoe, but I'd rather have them bought out than be gone forever because I truly believe in their products. I also really hope that the rumors I've heard are simply rumors, but sometimes the passion is just gone and things unfortunately change. That's the one thing that remains constant. The word on the street may simply not be true and I honestly don't know. I only know I can't get an email reply anymore and a lot of times with family endeavors, the heirs just don't have the same passion. Sometimes there are no heirs or they don't want any part of it and the name/product dies. From what I understand, the time and effort to produce a set of Fakini balls isn't super profitable. I also hope they do whatever it takes to keep it going.

I'll somewhat disagree that the art has been killed by silicone. It's just a better material. I have dented wooden balls. You're right because the masters of billiards in the past certainly deserve credit and it sounds like Ron Conley is in the list.

For me, I think real magic is still an art. And anyone younger interested in billiards or cups or rings are still keeping it alive. But, if there's no source to buy or obtain them, that's pretty much a moot point.

Glad to hear your thoughts and hopefully I clarified more where I'm coming from in what I meant. I also hope what I'm saying has some value.

I hope Fakini, while not making it easy, still offers their excellent and best balls sets for years to come!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Apr 8, 2017 06:30AM)
@Kennyka & JoeJoe & Anyone else who may be interested:

As a teenager, in the late '40s, I wanted very much to do the multiplying balls. There were cheap wooden sets, but, the sh*lls were usually too thick. THAYER'S were beautiful, but, quite expensive.

Then, Laurie Ireland found some rubber golf balls (in the "dime" store?). He had some thin metal sh*lls made, and, revolutionized the"xxxing" balls!

With John Booth's simplified routine (no droppers) in "Marvels Of Mystery", I was "in business"! Like everyone else, I performed them in PROFILE! Eventually, I realized that they could be presented while facing the audience, and, thus could be done surrounded! (I wrote up my "experience" with the "xxxing balls" in my book including the technique of doing them facing the audience.)

In the early '70s, I met the late Frank Radtke, in Ted Carrother's shop, in Toledo. Frank had developed his FAKINI GOLF BALLS! I was one of his first customers!

A few years later, Frank started making "billiard balls". IIRC, they were either 2" or 2 1/2". Frank had a set in a nice wooden box at the Abbott' Get Together in Colon. Old pro'. Bill Baird was there. Bill featured the 'xxxing" balls! Frank showed them to Bill. Bill picked up the sh*ll and a ball. He did the standard "xxxing" move. INSTANTLY, HE GRABBED THE BOX FROM FRANK'S HANDS, AND SAID, "HOW MUCH?"! Frank knew that if Bill was that excited, he had a "winner"!

Soon, everyone who "did" balls, juggler or magician, was using "FAKINIS".

So! The old wooden handmade wagon wheels of my grandpa's day were replaced by rubber tires. Why shouldn't magicians take advantage of modern science?
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Apr 8, 2017 07:02AM)
[quote]On Apr 8, 2017, Dick Oslund wrote:
So! The old wooden handmade wagon wheels of my grandpa's day were replaced by rubber tires. Why shouldn't magicians take advantage of modern science? [/quote]

You could say I'm just old school ... I prefer to walk. :)

Thanks for the back story on the balls, awesome insight there ... the Irland balls are the ones I started on, the metal shell got dirty but the balls didn't, at some point I had to start painting the shell with Wite-Out, which just got dirty even faster so it became a constant thing. lol

I think if I were to go back to ball manipulation, I would just use straight rubber balls with no gimmick. Then you can replace balls at any dime store and not have to hunt down specialized props - in fact, if I started my career over I would attempt to go about it without any special props. Gimmicks tend to be a lot like crutches.

Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Apr 8, 2017 09:43AM)
Hi Joe Joe!

Yeah! I'm old school, too! I guess I'm just lazy! (Walking is getting difficult at my age.)

I just remembered! Bill Baird was a stage name. His surname was Kretchmer. I knew him, but, we were not "close" friends). He is buried in the Colon,MI cemetery.

My Ireland balls got dirty, too. We "usta" repaint them with "whitewall" tire paint. My sh*lls stayed OK. Perhaps it was the old "cottage industry" thing. (Different paint)

When I quit trying to be suave and debonair (At 20, I wasn't!!!) I realized that the Percy Abbott's "Perpetual Balls", and, the Bill Williston "visible penetration of a ball thru a silk" were playing much stronger than the "xxxing" balls. I dropped the xxxing ball routine, and added a few flourishes to the "Perpetuals and Williston's penetration. I got almost five minutes of laughs from that + nice applause at the end. In the early '80s, I was playing a shopping mall in Detroit, and was staying in Karrell Fox's guest room. Karrell showed me his Ball o Matic production, and I added that for a "second finish". He had published it in "Phoenix", but, somehow, I had missed it.

About 10 years later, Jay Marshall gave me a Willman ball. That gave me a "reprise" and a "third" finish. But, the Willman finally "died". Now, when one can be found, it's about a yard!

Except for the Williston bit, and, Ball o matic, I could just use two matching balls!

I somewhat agree about gimmicks. The school show needed only 3 gimmicks. A dye tube, a TT, and a couple reels. They helped provide some STRONG VISUAL EFFECTS! (Color Change Silk, Elusive Silk Vanish, Serpentine Silk, and Silk Thru Mike Stand.)

Yeah! Joe Ovette's Repeat Knots, Professor's Nightmare, my YOYO rope juggling bit, what the young guys call "Slydini Knots", Perpetual Balls, all the fancy card shuffles, and, the Misers Dream, would easily give me 20+ minutes.
Message: Posted by: jakeg (Apr 8, 2017 05:36PM)
I have a set of wooden mult. balls for at least 45 years. They are brand spanking new, but I don't know who made them. They came in a plain old nmarked cardboard box with tissue between them, and are smooth as glass. I got them as part of a collection, so I have no idea how old they are. I can't even spread my fingers wide enough to hold ping pong balls. Do you think that multiplying marbles would play from the stage?
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Apr 9, 2017 05:04PM)
For the younger guys out there, I want to elaborate on my thoughts on gimmicked balls and why I wouldn't use them if I had to start over again: because I've never used them!!

Okay, there were a few years at Coconuts Comedy Club I used the gimmicked balls; but when I started hitting other clubs there would be people on the sides of the stage so I couldn't use them. And I tried them a few times on the Boardwalk in Ocean City, but the crowd would get tight and I couldn't use them.

So basically I haven't used them since I went "pro" ... don't get me wrong, they were a lot of fun and I had a blast playing with them and love the routine I created ... but I think it would have been wiser to learn how to steal and load and produce real balls properly than to just rely on gimmicks.

Heck, sitting here thinking about this and this thread I just might start re-working my routine and come up with one I can use ... I'm semi-retired, so I should be able to find time to go back to just having fun with magic again. :)

Message: Posted by: kennyka (Apr 9, 2017 08:09PM)
Thanks for the great info Dick Oslund as I love magic history, both recent and past. And JoeJoe, I think we are on the same page completely, though we just saw it at a different angle.

I am, and will forever be, in awe of Cardini and Roy Benson for their ball skills you can still find on video. There's others like Maurice Rooklyn and Geoffrey Buckingham I only have the books for their ideas using "old school" ball sets. I admire anyone who can handle an "old school" set because I can't.

I really hope that I will be able to get a few more Fakini sets in the future because the composition is not exactly same as the competitors. I've reluctantly had to try other sources and there's a few pros on the gimmicks, but I am crossing my fingers that Fakini will live long and prosper! I'm thankful that I have other options, but it's limited on sizes. They are still good, however, but not the same.

Jake...I don't know who could handle them though it's historically great you have them!

And for all those in this thread, including the future, please let anyone know if you've gotten your Fakini order. They are HOPEFULLY just behind and filling them as time permits, and I'm still optimistic despite what I have heard and know. I can't help it.

Message: Posted by: Kyoki_Sanitys_Eclipse (Apr 9, 2017 10:33PM)
Hey JoeJoe. Pop Hayden talks about using a sh*** set on the streets and how he used angles to achieve it.

I wonder how much it would be for someone to buy their buisness. If they sold it with the buyer promising to fill all previously paid for orders
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Apr 10, 2017 01:03AM)
Hey Chance!

When you "settle down", and have the opportunity to READ my book (!!!) you will find my notes on the "xxxing" balls. I explain how I worked them with spectators on the sides.

Pop and I have never met, and I've not seen him do the balls, but, I'm fairly sure that 'we" both realized how to do it.

My ball "notes" are on pages 302-305. Also, you will see the routine that I've done for 50 years (+/- one or two!) on my DVD. Contact me then, and, I'll fill you in on the Perpetual Ball segment, Bill Williston's "ball penetration", and Karrell Fox's Ball o matic. AND, the Willman ball!

Keep the shiny side UP!
Message: Posted by: Kyoki_Sanitys_Eclipse (Apr 10, 2017 03:10AM)
Thanks Mr. Oslund. I'm actually going to be off for about 28 days at the end of April. The wife and I have been saving them up so we can have a long time from the truck. I promise I'll read your book while I'm home. I've already watched the dvd and loved it