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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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Peter Marucci
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All the posts above are valid. After all, department stores and such have been selling magic kits and tricks to the public for decades. And Matt is right on: Many pros use strippers, Svengalis, TTs, etc.

Remember, as the old song says:

It ain't watcha do, it's the way watcha do it!

Smile
MOTO42
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Whitehouse Texas
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Eh, I think that at most, it's a minor annoyance to the magical community. What irks me is the offer to buy tricks.

Why do I have the distinct feeling that 20 feet of IT for $35.00 is a ripoff?
"One man's miracle is another man's warm-up"
KingStardog
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I don't know about the IT, but I got a set of 7-11 dice, a set of real dice, a marked deck and an invisible deck, as well as a CD, a book with 50 tricks, and two killer packet tricks at the Rite-Aid Pharmacy by my house.

Grand total...9 bucks. Saved me a couple clicks on my mouse, shipping, and the thirty five dollar kiosk fee. 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.
longbeach
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If this McMagic revolution lasts, I still think that there will be a place for the hardcore magician. Magicians will just have to stay "one-ahead" of the general Blaine-wannabes. It would be sad to see certain gaffs become too widely know to the public to use blantantly, but perhaps it will motivate new uses and routines for old props. And as someone said, it would be nice to see a wave of people who are interested and STAY interested in the craft long after they buy an invisible deck. I see pros and cons to the situation.
MOTO42
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I'm still uncomfortable with the offer to buy tricks. It's like trying to keep the public informed of the latest developments, thus tripping up the hardcore magi's "one step ahead."
"One man's miracle is another man's warm-up"
Jay Sane
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I think it is wonderful! I got my start in magic by visiting a small magic shop on a boardwalk in Wild Wood, NJ owned by Mark Shuschman (sp). He also performed his own professional show in the back.

He of course was selling all of the plastic **** which you usually find in bad magic sets, but at the time I absolutely loved it!

As for these kiosks, the more they sell the better. Let them make tons of money, and perhaps force some magicians to stop performing the old basics. Maybe just maybe it will inspire some magicians to move towards more recent and cutting edge "tricks".

Better yet, inspire us all to come up with our own material that can't be found in any book, video, or store!

I think the art of magic thrives on creativity, so it should only follow that we say "out with the old and in with the new".

Personally I REFUSE to perform any effect, routine, trick, etc. that someone else came up with. If/when I ever perform it will be my own original material. Not that there is anything wrong with performing something you buy or learn from a book or video.

Though I must admit I will buy the newest tricks, books, and videos. I do this to learn, to inspire myself, and to extend my technical abilities. But back to the issue at hand...

I don't think these kiosks will be bad for magic at all. Karaoke is not hurting singers! Rather it has inspired many to become singers.

In fact I think we are all very lucky, this is a beautiful time for magic. The general public has never had more inspiration to get involved than now! The more the better!!! It can only serve to further our art! I hope to see one of these kiosks at my local mall soon!!! (Though I won't bother stopping by. Smile )
Justin Sane
Scott Ocheltree
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I live about an hour and a half north of Seattle and the local mall here has one of these MagicZone kiosks in it. My wife told me one day she had stopped in the mall and saw there was a "little magic shop". I was thrilled when I heard this and stopped by to check it out the first chance I got. I was disappointed to find that it was a simple kiosk stocked almost entirely with D'Lites.

The clerk rotated between a D'Lite demo and a Helicopter Card demo. The other items I saw stocked in a small display case were Pen thru Bill, Thought Transmitter and some trick decks. I was bummed because there was really nothing there I was interested in buying.

I don't really mind them being there though. I agree with those who put forth that outfits like this help in that they get more people thinking about magic.

I will probably not use my D'Lites anymore because of them though. But I think that the stuff these guys are pushing are the same things being pushed in any of the tourist shops in Vegas and other resorts. That they are pushing IT effects is a drag but I don't think that anyone can really watch the Helicopter Card and think anything other than, "Wow, there is thread so fine that I can't see it!"

I didn't have time to really discuss anything with the guy there, but I did see they had a little sign saying you could hire a magician through them.

These guys are doing far less damage than Fox TV. And the more people interested in magic at the hobbyist level means more work for the serious professionals.

Every one of us had to start somewhere.
Alan Munro
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When people who are interested in getting started in magic ask me where I get most of my props, I tell them I get them at Office Depot. That's the truth!

I prefer to invite them to a magic club meeting, first, before giving them the names of magic dealers. Few are serious enough to come to a meeting. But those who do get a little guidance in the art.

Kiosk clerks are usually mediocre in level of service and product knowledge, thus causing the demise of the business.
Jay Sane
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I forgot to mention that there were rumors in my area that a "Geno Menari" (sp) type magic shop was going to be put in a local mall. The mall is a VERY, VERY busy mall, much like a Las Vegas hotel. The mall is in NY and called the "Palisades mall", also been called the "pyramid mall" (no idea why).

For those not familiar with what kind of magic store I mean, think BIG Las Vegas tourist magic shop.
Justin Sane
Scott Ocheltree
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The issue of magic shops and exposure is a tough little nut. I grew up in the early seventies in a very rural part of Washington state— over 300 miles away from Seattle and the nearest magic shop.

A couple times a year my parents would indulge me in a pilgrimage to this little place of wonders. It was Micky Hades' place. Hidden on the 5th floor of an old office building, if you didn't know it was there you would never find it. There was (and still is) a little touristy shop down in the Pike Street Market building that has a beautiful collection to look at but they sell mostly the sponge bunnies and Svengali decks.

I still yearn for a real magic shop close by that carries the latest stuff— I know I should be home plodding through the Tarbell course, but new shiny stuff is fun to look at!

While I now live closer to Seattle and Vancouver B.C., it still is difficult for me to attend magic club meetings on a regular basis. Consequently the Internet is a godsend to me. Having all the dealers on-line and discussion forums like this one make it much easier to learn new things.

That D'lites and the Hover Card get over-exposed in the shopping malls is kind of a bummer, but I don't think it hurts the art.
The secrets of magic are not meant to be kept unaccessable— Penn Jillette likes to tell people who ask "how is it done?" to go to the library and find out— most of the answers are there. And that is very true. The casually curious ones will never go check out the books. Sure a few more of them may do a Google search, but unless they are truly interested in it, they probably won't.
Dark illusionist
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When I was younger (and dumber) I paid 15 bucks for a piece of paper and some ropes after watching some loser perform the Professor's Nightmare at a store called Magicmax. Boy was I ripped off. Well I had the pleasure of watching Magicmax close hahaha.

Jonathan
Smile
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Khopri
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I was kind of sad to see the Magic Masters store in Caesar's Forum close and be replaced by a Houdini Magic store. You would think that with the name, they would offer a more up-scale type of magic, but when I went back to Casear's over Thanksgiving weekend, the store had replaced the cool wall of old books, famous photos and mid-level tricks with novelties: Black soap, squirting nickles, and rubber chickens.

The guy behind the counter was wowing 'em all with his UFO trick. One that he was very good at and clearly had been doing for a LONG, LONG time. They were selling dozens of gaffs, gimmicks, etc. to the throngs of tourists all eager to be magicians.

It's sad to see a magic dealer stoop to sell to the lowest common demoninator. It cheapens the art behind the science. But then again, the magician's code doesn't pay the bills.

Who's at fault: The dealer for selling the stuff, the network for showing how a secret is done, or the thousands of hands waving dollar bills at the magic dealer wanting secretly to be like Copperfield or Blaine or Burton?
Bill Fienning
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Of course, I, too, am appalled by these no-skill-required, ubiquitous magic stores.

If you want to do magic that nobody else is doing, investigate the bizarrist magic movement. This is where, after many decades in magic, I found new inspiration.
Bill Fienning

"It's More than Tricks"
SethHoward
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It's interesting to see the response everybody has had to a magic kiosk in a mall. To be honest, I started doing magic three years ago because I saw Jim Pace spinning his light up card. I bought that and then went back and bought more stuff. I do not see what the problem is.

How many of you make a living doing magic? Jim does, he does private shows and he owns his own magic shop. There are many people that I know who would have never gotten into magic if Jim's shop wasn't there. I've sold thousands of the UFO-Yo's, I still use IT in my shows. I've sold hundreds of TT's and D'Lites and I still use them.

People complain about these being sold to the mass market because they do not take the time to practice and make it look like magic. They are upset because the 8 year old who bought a set of Jr. D'Lites does it better than they do.

I'm all for supporting local magic shops, even if they just sell UFO cards and D'Lites. Which by the way, Jim sells a lot more than just those. These are the two items that were brought up.
Just my two cents.
danielhunley
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I have a weird feeling towards these shops. Without them, I wouldn't have gotten into magic. I went to New Orleans with a bunch of people and went to one of these kiosks. Every one was amazed by one trick, the Light Flight. I was the only one stupid enough to pay $40.00 dollars for 3 feet of IT and a ping pong ball with a LED light in it. (I still kick myself.) But hey... If they sell over-priced magic tricks go ahead. $11.00 for a REALLY cheaply made TT, $15.00 for a stripper, and $40.00 for 3 feet for IT... Oh well.
Jack Of Hearts!
Scott Ocheltree
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Hey Daniel,
Don't kick yourself. I bought Lite Flite in the Magic Masters Shop at the Forum shops in Ceasar's Palace; a much classier outlet than the kiosks but still the same idea. I knew it was I.T. and a ping pong ball with a LED. I was buying the rigging method. I have performed it many times and love it. But now that the kiosks are in my back yard, I probably won't use I.T. for that kind of a levitation in a show. I don't resent this though.

Many professional effects are based on the same methods used in children's magic sets. It's okay for lay people to be exposed to methods. We were all "lay people" once. I think you and seth pegged it! Smile

Well, the Magic Zone kiosk in our mall is gone already— less than 4 months! Maybe the original plan was to only be there through Christmas. Just wondering how they're holding up elsewhere?
Slide
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The one near me is still there.
Brett Cantrell
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I realize that I’m probably flinging my body in front of the stoning mob, and surely I must have sold my soul to the devil... But I’m opening a Magic Zone in my local mall. So how could I possibly betray my brothers in the craft?

Let me explain... I started learning magic with an Adam’s catalog in my greedy little hands. I poured over it night and day, anxiously awaited the next little cheap plastic marvel with which to fool my friends. No magic shop nearby, just the dog-eared pages of the two magic books in the little Ohioan town library.

Fast forward— my first journey to a magic store was watching in amazement as a silver ball sunk into a tube too small for it. Had to have it. Bought it.

Fast forward— I don’t perform the ball tube anymore, can’t find it. Nor my Adam’s genie jug (or whatever it was called.) Nor countless others. I’m too busy practicing double lifts, false shuffles, misdirection for a pocket switch, is my angle right, is my intonation right, did I pause long enough in the patter.

So here I am. I’m going to sell D’Lites, and IT, and TT’s. Videos and tricks. Follow the steps of a long line of illustrious and brilliant Svengali Pitchmen, working the sidewalks. But let me tell you what really caught my attention. Any kid, anyone for that matter, that buys a trick can come back, to my Magic Zone or any other, and get free unlimited lessons. That’s right. Don’t think you’re handling your TT right? Come back, I’ll be more than happy to sit down and work with you. I’d have given my left eye to have that kind of attention as a kid. Some of you did. Some of you had great experiences with some of the finest magicians at your local magic shop. Others of us didn’t.

So... Maybe I can reach out, spark the interest in kids, and adults, and show them what fun magic is. Maybe one or two of those kids will remember me someday, when they’re swapping stories, and I hope they’ll talk kindly about that old coot magician who fanned their interest to a flame... and helped them take their first steps in magic.
Steve Friedberg
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Brett:
I wish you tremendous success. I'd only ask a couple of things:

- Stock some books as well. So that when the kids (or adults) ask, "how'd you do that?", you can also point them toward the books that may get them going toward an even deeper appreciation of magic, one that extends past doing a trick here and there.

- Think about teaching a beginners' class through a local Y or adult learning group. Heck, you could sell a couple of extra TTs that way! You'll also spread the word that magic is fun, and available, and attract more toward our art.

- Remember that Harry Lorayne celebrates his time as a Svengali pitchman.

- Have more fun at what you're doing than legally allowed in 14 states! I dare say many of us, if we could make a good buck at it, would do what you're doing in one form or another.
Cheers,
Steve

"A trick does not fool the eyes, but fools the brain." -- John Mulholland
Scott Ocheltree
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Brett:
I wish you success as well. And I also will second Steve's suggestion to try carrying some books too! Especially good beginner books like Mark Wilson's course, Royal Road to Card Magic, etc.

When I heard that a little magic shop had opened in our mall I was thrilled, but I was disappointed when I found that it was stocked with a whole wall of D'Lites and just a couple small display cases with less than a dozen other effects. To be fair, the types of things I would be interested in are not going to be the things you can pitch like D'Lites or Svengali decks. But I know that Jim Pace has a successful (I think?) small mall shop in Portland, OR. I would love to be able to visit a place like that on a regular basis.
Again, Best of Luck!
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