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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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Tripwire
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Are these little carts actually catching on? Or do they pop up and then go out of business soon after?
Payne
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Well at least around here they popped up, stayed open for a couple of months and then promptly shut down right after Xmas owing several of their employees several weeks back wages.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
brianmayo
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I've seen a lot of comments about how people 'just don't get it' because they could go and by TT and IT in bulk and sell it. You are right, and it would be no problem. The reason this doesn't look appealing is because you are not the target audience. I found out a bit about MagicZone, and the target market is not magicians, but people wanting to start a new business. This appeals to people who are interested in opening 'some kind' of store, but don't know what. What is 'nice' (if that's what you call it) is they take care of everything, and basically you as the 'owner' of the store have to invest time.

They don't have any franchise fees or royalties, what they do require however is you have to purchase everything from them. Of course, this can be very profitable when you sell IT for $10 to the merchant who then retails it for their recommended $29.95. (They sell all the 'tricks' for 1/3 the 'retail' price they suggest you sell it for.)

I think it’s probably a pretty compelling offer for entrepreneurs, but definitely not the wisest course of action for anybody who is at all familiar with the magic industry.
KYTerry
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Just went by one this past weekend in Lexington.

For $15 you get a bicycle deck and 2 booklets with card tricks.

Svengali's and Invisible decks are $15 each.

There are various package tricks that remind me of the Adams stuff.

For a "special" price of $90, you get 1 of each item they sell.

The "salesmen" are not very people oriented; just push the over-priced stuff.
WolfgangWollet
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Do they have any locations in Las Vegas?
Brian Proctor
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Hey everyone,
I read the posts and saw the general opinion of MagicZone. I work full time at Taco Bell as a manager, however, I hardly get enough time to just perform magic and get paid for it. So I decided that on days off, I could work for the MagicZone a couple hours a day.

Good spending money to support the real magic shops of my area. Smile

Today I was contacted to work at a brand new Magic Zone opening up at our local mall. The guy only wants to hire skilled close up people (he himself a professional magician), so that's why he asked me. Im pretty interested and just want you to know I will do us a good name.
Scott Cram
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Quote:
On 2003-09-28 19:32, WolfgangWollet wrote:
Do they have any locations in Las Vegas?



MagicZone? Yes, they do. There are two in the Excalibur (one upstairs near the Jester's stage, and one downstairs near the main entrance. There's also one near Sharper Image (oh, the irony!) in the Fasion Show Mall.

I find it amusing to see people express concern over 2 or 3 magic shops in town. Here in Vegas, within the same 4 miles, you can find 16 magic shops - well, more like 15 magic shops for tourists, and 1 for the professional (Thank goodness for Denny & Lee's!).

The newest monstrosity to grace Vegas magic is Houdini's Magic Vending Machine. I kid you not. It's a vending machine with a video screen demoing tricks, and a selection of various effects (hold on to your hats - you can buy the invisible deck in this vending machine!), and many tricks come with your choice of either a book alone, or a magic DVD and book to help you learn the trick. According to Houdini's employee Chris Randall (whose new DVD "Sweet" was recently released through Danny Archer), "This'll put MagicZone out of business!"

As you can imagine, this has many magicians in Vegas shaking their heads.
tpdmagic
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Is Houdinis planning on going into malls with this? I think it would be easy for some one to buy from a real live pitch but from a video? It might be hard in a mall. The fact is that magic has always had its pitch items...REMEMBER THE MOUSE...so its not that we shouldn't make money on this stuff but I think if we put it in a vending machine it kinda cheapens our art...Just my two cents... Smile
Peter Marucci
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I don't think legitimate magic shops or anyone else has anything to really worry about, concerning either Magic Zone or Houdini vending machines.

After all, there are far more fine-dining establishments around today than there were 10 years ago; McDonald's hasn't put any of them out of business!

cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
Lee Darrow
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I'm sorry, but this is a particular hobby horse of mine. So <rant mode: ON>

Pitching professional level magic effects in a push sales mode, to tourists who really just want something cool to take home is nothing short of exposure.

And to go to a vending machine with the Invisible Deck as one of the items should cause the MDA to take swift and immediate action.

I am getting heartily sick and tired of having really commercial material pushed to the public and having that public shove it in my face while I am performing. And I know that I am not alone.

It's happened to me with the Leslie Deck, IT, the Invisible Deck, Copper/Silver/Brass, Scotch & Soda, Haunted Deck, Chinese Sticks, Raven and the Lippincott Coin Box.

These are NOT slum magic items- nowhere near equivalent to the Mouse, TT, Ball & Vase or the Penny Block, but expensive and professional level material.

When you are working at a large theme event and a group of twenty kids come up and start shouting the method and pull out the ONE deck that they bought with the express idea of dissing the next pro magician they were going to see, well, that's damaging exposure!

Frankly, enough is enough. The MDA is a sham and always has been. They have not, to the best of my knowledge, EVER taken disciplinary action against any member, whatsoever.

It's up to the magicians of the world to do something about them. Unfortunately, I haven't the foggiest idea as to what we could do about them.

But I sure hope someone comes up with a legal and viable plan to deal with this, because it's costing many of us money - and will start costing more and more of us in the near future.

<rant mode: OFF>

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
Brian Proctor
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I called and said that I won't be working at the Magic Zone as a side job. I decided that it would put a strain on myself and my relationship with my lady.
I also did not like the way they were telling us that we had to memorize 5 page sales pitch scripts.

It was a sad way to sell magic. It was not natural at all. So, good luck to the new shop. I won't be working there anytime soon. I will just continue to support my real local shops. Hey, maybe someday I will be working behind the counters at one of them instead.

Brian
Magic Clown
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In case no one who has been to a Magic Zone has figured it out, it's nothing but a corporate store for D'lite products.

With what they're charging for their magic, I'm surprised that they're still around. Then again Magic Masters is still around and look what they're charging. Smile

Magic has always been sold at discount stores for many years. You can even buy a Svengali or stripper deck at Wal-Mart.

Why are people all of a sudden upset now that they've taken it out of the toy department and put it into its own store? I think it was more degrading having it in the toy department.

There's always going to be good and bad in the magic industry. Like it was said earlier in this post, we have to rise above it and start perfecting our art.

How about going back to the basics and actually learning slight of hand? Yes, using a specialty deck can be easier and provide a great effect, but why not combine slight of hand and a specialty deck and really blow their socks off?

I think that this whole mess of worrying about these fly by night magic shops has really gotten out of hand.
Donald Carpenter
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Show Them the Magic and Watch Them Smile
ellisd
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When I first saw the ad in a magic magazine the only thing I thought of was that it would be a cool way to make money in my own business. Its something I'm interested in and would maybe be enjoyable rather then having to work for someone else. Thanks for opening my eyes to some of the downsides. I however wouldnt worry too much about the d'lites. With all the special effect lights and glow sticks the kids use at raves nowadays they are going to know its some sort of light your holding. I personally don't think of my dlites as a magic effect so much as something that's really cool to watch and that you and your audience can have fun with. I have to admit I am kind of disturbed by selling of invisible decks and tts in this way. Too bad you cant have the freedom to control what you sell. One final thought-When someone tells me they know how some trick is done I always ask them "yeah,but can you perform it? I explain the difference between knowing how something is done and being able to do that thing personally. I can watch Martha bake an awesome cake but if I have no cooking skills it's gonna make someone sick! Kind of like the endless news stories about her. Just kidding. Or I can say I know how to type and you all kind see how bad my typing skills are!!!!!!!!!!
Anyway thanks for bringing some of these issues to my attention.
http://www.erictheballoondude.com

Balloon Twisting for all of Sacramento!
JEFFC
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We had one here just before Christmas, and like an above post, it's closed now.
daffydoug
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All this talk about these kiosks has helped me to formulate a plan for myself.

Here's what I'll do. If one of these opens up in my area, I'll load my pockets with a few effects by Jay Sankey and Paul Harris, then I'll pay a visut to the place, casually look around for a while, then start a conversation with the salesperson, which will lead into my asking "Want to see something really wierd?"

Then I'll hit em between the eyes with Paul Harris's "Stapled", or perhaps Jay Sankeys "Killer Key", or his "Graffeti", or "In a flash", or.... well the list goes on and on. You get the idea.

Leave em panting in amazement and possible shock, and for sure astonishment.


Then walk away, having turned their world upside down.

Revenge is SOOOO sweet.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
giochi
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The problem I have with these stores opening up is the exposure that comes from poor performance. As someone said before that the lighting is awful for IT. I've heard people walk by a performance of UFO or worse a floating bill and say "look you can see the string." It's exposure plain and simple. And the fact that they hire people with no experience in magic to sell these effects is ignorant. I don't mind if a person that cares about magic and keeping its secrets safe sells an effect to a someone with genuine interest in the art. Unfortunatley, I've seen curious onlookers approach the table for a closer look or a "free show" and walk away satisfied knowing how a bill floats or a TT works. Nothing is worse then performing a floating bill only to hear an abnoxious 12 year old say "Oh!! I know that one. Theres a string on it." or "My brother has one of those decks. It has the cards on the otherside right? Lets see the other side! Awww you cant fool me" These aren't the only effects I perform I do have a large arsenal of material, but these are GREAT EFFECTS!! Its unfortunate to see these effects get butchered and exposed to the public through poor performance. So please, if anyone insists on cashing in and opening one of these kiosks at least make sure your staff has knowledge of angels for TTs and lighting for IT.
daffydoug
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Let's just hope they get EXACTLY what they deserve.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Brian Proctor
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Finally,
The one in Portland is gone! I was getting tired of people coming into my work raving about how they now know how things are done at that mall magic store. In turn, I would give them directions to a "real" magic shop across town where they had class and quality. I made some friends with the employees of Magic Zone and some of them I teach magic and presentation to now. I am amazed at how much far they have come in their own magic in a years amount of time. Hope they can keep it up. Now they can all get real jobs elsewhere. Smile
okito25
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I have only heard of the magic Zone .. kiosks latley .. But By Golly You can be sure I will steer clear of that concept and the malls in a retailer relationship .. is bunk ... they charge way too Much to rent that spot .. and treat their "clients" like crap , I ran the Santa Booth at one of the two major malls here in town .. and even after your High priced weekly rent .. they demanded 10% of your daily sales and regulated your every move ... I say Boooo to the uncaring Franchise who hoodwink folks into buying in to their concept .. and I say Boo even louder to greedy mall managment Schmucks .. who make it even more difficult to grind out a decent wage , My original thoughts was a magician would be a great drawing card to a mall.
Now that's my rant
Keet
bsears
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Payne - thanks for starting the discussion.

Seems to me there is no love in the MagicZone. Its all about money for the owner and franchise and instant gratification for the buyer. No skill (or appreciation) necessary! Magic deserves much better.
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