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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magical Accessories » » Squirmles! The Ultimate Pitch/Give away (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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MagicSanta
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When I was a youngster in Georgia I went to the fair and saw a fellow working a fuzzy worm that crawled around his hand and pencils and in and out of cups. I was facinated by it and my mom bought me one (actually two for a special price!) and I loved it. I learned the secret to making it work, got my dad to rig it, and I was on my way with my own pencil and cup. This was many years ago but I always remembered that wonderful fuzzy worm. Years later I found out this was a not as common as it use to be item called a Squirmle. It is a great pitch item and makes for a wonderful component to a magic kit give away add on for magic shows. Toss a Squirmle and a two card monte into a bag with a sheet of magic tricks and you are set up to charge $5 per kit as an add on and your cost is well less than $2.00. I'm not talking about the too short too stiff Chinese Squirmles found in Walmart, I'm talking high quality product.

This Squirmle has been packaged and designed by two greats in the world of pitching and you can tell. The packaging is beautiful with professional graphics and the squirmle in a round snap close blister pack and for display purposes there is half moon cut into the package for a beautiful display set up. The closing plastic older is great as the kids have a place to keep their squirmle and rigging safe. The worm itself is great, just like the good ones always have been (just almost impossible to find). Ready for the best part? You ready? Those of you with it will understand how great this is....the worm is already rigged! That is right, you get the same instructions as before but this time it is rigged and ready to go.

I will tell you this based on my years working the pitches, the packaging and the fact it is rigged will reduce your beefs to almost nil as the not being able to put the thing away and having some kid want to have you do the rigging was the big problem. Give me a joint with some Svengalis and these Squirmles and I will be turning and burning. I wouldn't hesitate to add these to my magic kit add on either, great stuff.

There is only one place you can find these guys and that is by emailing Don Driver (he of pitch fame) at pitchmandondriver@hotmail.com and ask him about the whole sale price. If you want to see one Don will sell you one for $6.00 and that covers pulling apart a case and packaging and mailing it to you. Pretty fair if you ask me (and fair it is cuz that is what I did in order to see how it was packaged and how it looked). If you are not into pitching or looking for an add on these won't interest you, unless you want to get your kids something cool, but if you are looking to pitch worms and do want to upsell this is primo and I ain't talkin' slum.
DonDriver
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Thanks Santa...
MagicSanta
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I want to be clear since I was asked about this. If you want to buy just one it is six bucks, Don sales them whole sale in quantity for much less and at a price that makes pitching them well worth it.
sethb
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I agree, the Squirmles/Magic Fuzzles/Magic Worms are a great pitch item. Not only do they sell like hotcakes, but just demonstrating them always draws a nice crowd. The kids love them because they like the idea of having a magic pet, and the adults want them because they can't figure out how it works. And if they don't buy a Fuzzle, maybe they'll stick around and buy a Svengali Deck!!

I also agree that decent Fuzzles are tough to find. I almost gave up on them after getting some cheap Chinese ones -- they looked more like carpet scraps than anything else. Knowing Don, I'm sure he sells the real deal and they will look good and perform right.

It does take some practice to handle one of these well, especially if you're not used to thread work. But with some practice you will soon get the hang of it (no pun intended). When I demo these, I replace the usual rigging with a piece of IT; I'm able to handle the Fuzzle right under everyone's nose, and nobody can see a thing.

The Fuzzle and the Svengali Deck are a really strong combination, and Don is to be commended for making it available. SETH

P.S. Don, shouldn't this thread really be moved to the "Step Right Up" section in the "Carnival of Fun" part of the Café', which deals with pitching and pitch items?
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
DonDriver
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They'll find it here.Santa put a post there,but thanks Seth.

Remember this is NOT called a fuzzle.The name Squirmle is on the package. We now own that name.These are a much higher quality product,but wholesale for the same price.

Don
sethb
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Sorry, Don, force of habit! I'm used to talking about Freddy the Fuzzle or Matilda the Magic Worm. If it's a Squirmle, that's OK, too.

Incidentally, I've always assumed that this item is a variation of, or an improvement upon, the Magic Mouse, another neat pitch item.

Don, do you happen to know which came first, the mouse or the worm? SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
DonDriver
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The mouse was first.A German named Amle (spelling)brought the mouse over and the plastic mold to make them about 1950.Jimmy Dixon stills owns that mold.

The worm didn't show up till the 70s.It was on TV close to the same time Marshall Brodine was doing the TV magic cards (svengali) pitch on TV.Here is a yahoo club with a photo of the first ones here.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/squirmles/

I would love to get a hold of one of these from the 70s.If anybody has one they want to part with,please email me.

The mouse has been around for many years.Whit Haydn has a 1890 French magazine showing the mouse.It's also in,I believe,Greater Magic.

Don
MagicSanta
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The ones I had in the seventies look exactly like the ones today do only with paper eyes. Seth, these come pre tied...and that is way too cool.
KV Magic
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Just wanted to add a point to Magic Santa's post. The new Squirmles come with with "googly eyes", the kind that move when you shake them. That is why Magic Santa mentioned the paper eyes on the older ones.

Keith
mr1998
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One advantage of the fuzzle over the squirmle is that the name on the fuzzle package is generic "magic worm". Any pitchman who plans to sell the squirmle will quickly give away his/her source for the squirmle since the name is right on the package. There is a website for the squirmle so any wholesale or retail sales will go right down the drain as people will look at the squirmle package and think to themselves "I'll just buy this online later".

Just my $0.02
sethb
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Quote:
On 2007-03-09 14:53, mr1998 wrote: One advantage of the fuzzle over the squirmle is that the name on the fuzzle package is generic "magic worm". There is a website for the squirmle so any wholesale or retail sales will go right down the drain as people will look at the squirmle package and think to themselves "I'll just buy this online later".


Even if this is so, I'm not sure it makes a difference. The worm is strictly an impulse buy, something that the kids want because they see it demonstrated. I believe very few people would pass up buying at the point of sale because they think or know they could get it online later. If it's pitched properly, the kids want it NOW, not next week. Besides, the fuzzle is available online as well, and there is a website for it, too; I've never had anyone tell me they're buying it online instead.

I think it boils down to whether the product looks good, does what it's supposed to do, and is attractively packaged. Also, whether you get prompt and efficient service from the distributor, and a fair price. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
mr1998
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Quote:
On 2007-03-09 19:49, sethb wrote:

Even if this is so, I'm not sure it makes a difference. The worm is strictly an impulse buy, something that the kids want because they see it demonstrated. I believe very few people would pass up buying at the point of sale because they think or know they could get it online later. If it's pitched properly, the kids want it NOW, not next week. Besides, the fuzzle is available online as well, and there is a website for it, too; I've never had anyone tell me they're buying it online instead.

I think it boils down to whether the product looks good, does what it's supposed to do, and is attractively packaged. Also, whether you get prompt and efficient service from the distributor, and a fair price. SETH


Good point. You're probably right on the impulse buying as it relates to kids. I guess I'm looking at a pitchman's point of view as it relates to keeping one's sources difficult to find or at least not as easy as adding a .com or .net to the end of the name of the product. It's not fun to setup at a regular market only to have a competing booth within a few weeks. But that's the joy/frustration of the internet--nothing stays a secret for long!
sethb
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Mr1998 -- looks like I may have misunderstood your original post, which I thought was concerned with retail customers passing up the product, in order to buy it on the Internet instead.

I see now that your main point was the possibility of someone else picking up on the wholesale source and making a "copycat" business. I guess that's always a possibility, since almost no wholesaler will give you an "exclusive" on their items. But I haven't encountered this particular problem (at least not yet!) and wouldn't be too worried about it. I have been doing craft shows and street festivals for several years now, and have always been the only "magic store" at any of them.

I suspect that part of the reason is that even if someone could obtain these pitch items, there is a lot more to selling these items than buying a few dozen and setting them out on a table. Almost nobody is going to purchase a Svengali Deck, Ball & Vase or Magic Worm without a demo, and it takes a fair amount of practice and skill to demo them effectively. Most copycats are lazy (otherwise they wouldn't be copycats), and probably would not want to invest the time and effort needed to pitch these things properly.

Also, there aren't that many wholesale sources for these types of pitch items, and many of them advertise regularly in the magic magazines, so it's not a big secret who they are. However, anyone who buys wholesale usually needs to buy a gross or so of the item at once, due to minimum order requirements, so there is somewhat of an entrance barrier there. You also need to go through certain legal channels to get a Resale Certificate, so that you can buy wholesale in the first place. That's a lot of work for a lazy knockoff artist!

Still, your caution is a good one to keep in mind, and another reason to stay one step ahead of the competition. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
jorndoff
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Mr. 1998 I've been a pitchman for years and have never had any problem even if the joint is sold on the store shelf or on the internet. It just doesn't matter. In fact I've pitched knives that were offered on an infomercial at a cheaper price and still turned the tip. I've pitched choppers that were offered free of charge on a 2 minute commercial (you pay shipping)and charged $25 and turned mooches like no tommorrow. Very few marks are going to go to the internet for something they want NOW.
mtpascoe
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Quote:
On 2007-02-27 10:45, DonDriver wrote:
The mouse was first.A German named Amle (spelling)brought the mouse over and the plastic mold to make them about 1950.Jimmy Dixon stills owns that mold.

The mouse has been around for many years.Whit Haydn has a 1890 French magazine showing the mouse.It's also in,I believe,Greater Magic.

Don


It was also in Magic: Stage Illusions and Scientific Diversions, Including Trick Photography by Albert Hopkins.
Neznarf
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I saw the late great Tommy Wonder perform the Squirmle and he did a fine job of it.

The Squimle looked real.
"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...it's about learning how to dance in the rain."
teedpop
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Wow, I didn't think Tommy Wonder would use a squirmle. BTW I love them!

-Teed
Marc DeSouza
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Tommy and Dick Koornwinder used to sell them at flea markets together. They used to have a contest to see who cold do it with the shortest thread. BTW, they came up with a great set up where nothing is attached to the pitchman and they could still do it. Really deceptive.

Marc DeSouza
sleightly
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Was at the Boston Museum of Science during Massachusetts Vacation (a momentary lapse of judgment) and they had a worm stand in their gift shop. It had a demo video loop, a loose worm, and stacks of boxes. None of the kids took any interest in it.

I picked up the loose worm, started working it and--ta da--instant crowd. Several kids started the plaintive call pitchmen love to hear...
sethb
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Quote:
On 2010-03-08, Marc DeSouza wrote: BTW, they came up with a great set up where nothing is attached to the pitchman and they could still do it. Really deceptive. Marc DeSouza

Mark, I have played around with a few different hookups for the gimmick, and I did try attaching it to the table or a tabled deck of cards instead of me. That does give you a little more freedom, but I found that it also limits some of the things that you can do (no jumping through a hoop, no hands-free "kiss" move with a tabled glass).

In the end I went back to the classic hookup, and I use the center portion of my 3-pocket change apron to hold the worm when he's not working. That gives me the freedom to move around, but also lets me use the hookup that works the best for me. If you use a good IT, have an extra inch or two of slack and handle the worm well, I have found that very few people ever suspect the actual gimmick or the connection. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
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