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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Did you hear the latest? » » Magiczone is coming to a mall near you (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Payne
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Be afraid, be very, very afraid. Magiczone, a kiosk-based magic shop is coming to a mall near you in the not too distant future.

Here in the Seattle area we already have a couple, with more promised to be on the way. They are selling D'Lites, Invisible Thread, UFO Card, Thought Transmitter and various other "Easy To Do" effects to the general public. They also offer the services of cut-rate magicians to perform at your next function with a money back guarantee in case you're not satisfied.

Go to http://www.magiczone.com to see for yourselves, or to contact them in case you want to invest in this latest opportunity to knock magic down another notch in the eyes of the public.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Peter Marucci
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Now, it will be VERY interesting to see just how many of those who constantly pat themselves on the back for their high ethical standards will fall over themselves in a rush to sign on with this outfit!

A fair number, I suspect.

When it comes to the Almighty Dollar, principles go out the window!

Smile
KingStardog
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I would think that unless your whole act is D'lites (no offence Rocco) there is nothing to worry about.

It takes a significant investment of time, money and practice, as well as a genuine interest in entertaining to perform well. Buying 1, 2 or a dozen effects isn't going to help, the purchasers will soon get bored when they realize they must practice.

If anything I think selling the public "junk" magic will make them appreciate the professional performer even more. IMO
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
Bascomb Grecian
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KingStardog:

You are right, but I still cringe at memories of the Disneyland Magic Shop showing a cig-thru-quarter gimmick in the counter years ago. I told them this effect is too good to sell on a mass quantity like that, much less expose it. Then I asked them to display it without exposing the gimmick. I went back a year later and it was still exposed. Some things will never change.
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DarkKnight
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My own experience is that the general public are really interested in simple things that are quick and easy to do. Unless they have a serious interest in magic they just can't be bothered with anything that will take much practice or skill.
KingStardog
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"The Worlds Largest Magic Retailer!" I knew there was a mega retailer out there, I just couldn't find them. Smile
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
Peter Marucci
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DarkKnight has this dark thought: The public "just can't be bothered with anything that will take much practice or skill."

Oh, great!
There goes my whole act!


Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
Steve Friedberg
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Here with a differing opinion...

What if, with these kiosks and storefronts, we are able to attract people who come for the Svengali decks but stay for the true skill that we all profess to love?

Heck, I started with a Svengali (which I still use for a knife stab), but I've rapidly metamorphosed into...well, into a stripper! Smile

Hardly.

Look at it this way...if lots of people end up buying D'Lites and Svengalis, great. Stardog's comments above are right on target.

The challenge is to be able to perform true magical effects that don't require the gimmicks...moreover, the real beauty of the art is what attracts the majority of us here on this board. And you're not going to be able to buy that at MagicShop...or Magic Masters, or any "touristy" magic shop.

However, the initial exposure may be all that's required to get someone interested and turn them into a true student.

FWIW, I don't have a problem with the shops...I think in the long run, they benefit us.
Cheers,
Steve

"A trick does not fool the eyes, but fools the brain." -- John Mulholland
Payne
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It is unfortunately a two edged sword. These shops will increase the publics awareness of magic and introduce new people to the hobby. It will also perpetuate the belief held by many in the general public that magic is easy to do and that all that is required to perform it is owning the right props.

I question their choice in merchandise as well. I myself am not overly upset to see D'lites going away but selling invisible thread to novices as something easy to perform? To make an object look like it's floating instead of dangling on a piece of string takes more work than your average instant gratification magician is willing to put into it. Selling Svengali decks and Ball Vases are one thing but Thought Transmitter?

I don't own one but I am sad to see this gem fall into the hands of the uninitiated.
Oh well that which can not be changed must be endured. I just wish that those who would use magic to turn a quick buck would give it a little bit more respect.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
KingStardog
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As for the cut rate services...I hate to hear kids cry, most of all at their birthday party. I would hope the parent company would have blanket insurance, since most of the "cut rates" love to burn flash paper.

Same old thing, you get what you pay for.
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
Derek P. Moore
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Hurray! McDonalds meets magic! Hey, it was bound to happen. "Would you like a rabbit trick with that kids show?"
All my posts are anti-copyright 2002 by myself. No rights reserved. Plagiarism is encouraged. Intellectual property is an oxymoron.
Bascomb Grecian
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Payne said,

"Be afraid, be very, very afraid."

Yes, you are right. Not because of the exposure of tricks issues. Rather, it is how these types of sell, sell, sell, booths reduce the legitmacy of magic and magicians in general.

So, with that in mind, when you perform magic in public, make your performances rise above the little mall kiosk. Anyone can buy a stripper deck, who cares, you are an artist. Elevate the craft to a higher standard!
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Steve Friedberg
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Bascomb:
I agree with most of what you said...just because McDonald's sells hamburgers (to employ Derek's analogy), I dare say we appreciate those sold by places like Fuddruckers; they're of higher quality, and they are simply better.

If we call ourselves magicians, we must, as you said, "elevate the craft to a higher standard."

And if someone wants to go to these kiosks, and buy an effect, and perform it badly...that only opens the door for us, who have learned to study and appreciate the art, to step in and show others how it can be done properly. Just because there are lounge singers at your local Holiday Inn doesn't mean you don't appreciate Tony Bennett.

(Okay, I think I've exceeded my per-message quota of cheesy analogies...it's like saying...oh, never mind.) Smile
Cheers,
Steve

"A trick does not fool the eyes, but fools the brain." -- John Mulholland
aby9plp
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That is where flourishes and sleight of hand get interesting! When people will know that some magic tricks you're using are with a gimmick, they won't be impressed anymore! But if everytime you do a trick, you just hand your deck to your audience to examine it, and they see it's OK, then you do a nice trick with some sleight of hand and a nice flourish, they will be EXTREMELY IMPRESSED, because they would have thought that it was impossible to make it with a normal deck!

That is why it's important to practice sleight of hand and card manipulation even if you have a gimmick that can do the same thing without it!
-aka-
Phoenix
AllThumbs
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Ugh. The "Instant Magician" packages make me cringe. As does their "downloadable tutorial" section security (4-digit pin number found on the back of the package). I doubt though, they won't be giving away any big secrets, although it's a shame they are selling the TT and IT. Their product range is sufficiently limiting to avoid mass exposure... and repeat customers...

Looking at the kiosk in the 'open your own store' actually makes me laugh. They should have called themselves D'Lite Fantasia or something.

Their statement "largest chain of magic stores in the WORLD" is hardly a great claim, how many dealers do you know that have more than one or two stores???

My worry would be the perception, amongst those who have not watched a professional work, of: Why hire a magician, all they are is a bunch of ten dollar tricks that "anyone can do".

Regards,

Kris Sheglova
The above is all rubbish, except that which you chose to believe
FuriousGeorge
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Bah, there is nothing to worry about. Retail magic chains have been around for at least 20 years. I still don't have any trouble doing the Invisible Deck or waving a thumb tip around. Smile
mattneufeld
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Everyone calm down! Jeesh. Magic sets have been in Toys-R-Us, KayBee Toys and other mass-marketed, big-box toy department stores for decades. Magic sets have been advertised in comic books and other books for decades. Today, anyone can go into a Border's or Barnes and Nobles or Waldenbooks and find several magic books.

You can find other mass-produced tricks in small neighborhood toy stores and magic books in some small, mom-and-pop bookstores. And nearly every major city has a magic store—all of which are open to the general public.

And who knows how many Internet magic sites there are! So magic is readily available already, and I don't think these kiosk stores will be too much of a danger. But you know the real reason why they won't be a danger? Because the existence of all of the above and the competition from real quality magic stores run by quality magicians will squash these kiosks right into the ground.
In other words, the kiosks won't last.

Magic is still, despite all the numbers, a niche hobby and vocation that appeals to a certain audience—us—and we will out last and out shine any dumb kiosks. In the meantime, let's have a factual reminder that many of the pros, who several of us have seen, do indeed use Svengalis (yes), stripper decks (yes), D'lites (yes), thumb tips and flash paper (yes), and there is nothing wrong with that.

In fact, I just came from a convention where pros confessed that they use all of the above. As we know, it's all in the presentation. The pros use the basics in such a quality way that it shines— and that touch of class, folks, will overpower cheap kiosk magic any day, any time.
Steve Friedberg
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Bravo, Matt. Bravo. You said it far better than I could have.

Geez...with that way of writing, you could be a journalist or editor or something! Smile
Cheers,
Steve

"A trick does not fool the eyes, but fools the brain." -- John Mulholland
JohnCollier
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John Collier
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I started about 3 years ago with an Ammar Easy to Master Card Miracles video purchased at a kiosk at Point Orlando. Best purchase I could have made. I learned several good tricks and re-sparked my interest. So kiosks are not all bad.
Missing_Link
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Take a lesson from juggling— there are scores of 3-ball sets available now that weren't 15 years ago. Does this diminish the appeal of juggling 3 balls to an audience? No chance. Plenty of people are AMAZED by a bog-standard 3 ball cascade, despite the availability of instructions and props on any high street (admitedly, most of the props are guff.)

Think about it— would I pick up a magazine on magic if I wasn't interested? I doubt it. Perhaps curiosity would lead me to read a page or two. But nothing more. If it did arouse my interest, well, I'd take it a step further and maybe visit a magic shop. (Which are situated in most cities in very public areas and are open to all. Any member of the public could go in, buy a book and learn secrets. If exposure was such a risk, then magic shops would be shut down!) Or go on-line (oh-oh!). But it wouldn't mean that magic will hold little appeal for me simply because some secrets had been exposed— I'd probably be more interested in magic.

Cheers

ML
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