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Extended POP!

Pop Is A Hit!

The Pick One Promotion has been SO successful that we have decided to extend it for one more week!

That means you have more time to take advantage of this incredible deal and save up to $50 off your next order. Customers have already saved thousands of dollars over the last few days! What are you waiting for?

Get the full details here!

POP In And Save

It never fails, we wait and wait for a certain batch of new items to roll in and then BAMMO – they all arrive at the same time!

Why it happens I’ll never know but it sure does make it hard to give each new item its due attention. This week has delivered amazing new products like David Regal’s Clarity Box, Joshua Jay’s Inferno, and Alexis De La Fuente’s Flik – not to mention magic from Mark Elsdon, Luca Volpe, Devin Knight and more. A seriously busy week to say the least…

So what are we to do when so many winners arrive at once? We make it easier for you to choose them all! That’s why from now until midnight ET on Sunday October 6th, we’re running a special promotion that allows you to save up to $50 on your next online order. You can get all the details on this special offer by clicking here.

So POP in now and save!

ORC – Optimum Rising Card, Paul’s Picks

Optimum Rising Card by Taiwan Ben

In the past, I’ve mentioned I generally try to avoid electronic magic. My issue with the field is that often times it’s unnecessary – or worse – unreliable. But occasionally I come across an electronic item that makes me reconsider that position…

I’ve had a lot of fun with Taiwan Ben’s Optimum Rising Card. I’ve found the mechanism to be very reliable, silent, and practical. It’s not overly complex in construction, so there’s less room for breakdown or malfunction. I’ve personally found it to be very useable and well made. The DVD covers all aspects of the product and covers several different presentations – a card rise, a haunted deck , and an animation in which the deck reveals a selected card. My inclination is towards the card rise but the other routines play great as well.

The deck operates via remote which has two ways of being activated -  a primary switch and a “discrete” one. I found the primary one to be just as deceptive and frankly easier to use. The range is not HUGE but the remote has a small antenna that can be raised to get more distance. I also found that putting in new, fresh batteries helps in all aspects.

The gimmick deck is about the thickness of a normal deck, so the device comes with a special box that allows you add more cards than normal to the deck. Some people have had an issue with this but I don’t feel it’s a deal breaker. I don’t think many people would notice the difference – unless they happen to be a magician. I also really liked that the cards that make up the gimmick are NOT a solid block. They are attached to each other individually – this gives the deck a very natural appearance. This must make manufacturing it a bit of a bear but I’m very pleased they went to the trouble to do it.

If you like the looks of the ORC, I think you’ll be pleased with the purchase. I know I’ve enjoyed it a great deal.

Get the full details on ORC – Optimum Rising Card here.

For Our Local Readers…

Howard Hamburg

A quick post of interest to our local WNY readers…

Howard Hamburg will be lecturing for IBM Ring 12 on Monday September 9th. Howard is a past Academy of Magical Arts Lecturer of the Year and a true close-up legend. Aside from teaching nearly a dozen of his pet secrets he’ll be sharing stories of his experiences and relationships that spans 60 years of magic. These includes his time with such greats as Dai Vernon, Charlie Miller, Michael Skinner, Larry Jennings, J.C. Wagner, Bruce Cervon, Tony Giorgio, Jerry Andrus, Jimmy Grippo, Francis Carlyle, and more! Should be a great night of magic – and it’s ONLY $10 for non-members.

You can get the full details here.

Rope Nut & Knot, Paul’s Picks

Rope Nut and Nut Pauls Pick

I first saw Giovanni perform this routine back in the early 90’s at the Cape Cod Conclave. It was great then – but years of tweaking, testing, and finessing have polished this into something truly spectacular.

The routine is beautifully structured and layered with countless magical moments – each punctuated with Gio’s well thought out presentation. It’s not terribly difficult to learn; in fact the well versed close up magician may already know many of the moves. Gio uses a one handed knot that will probably pose the biggest obstacle to learning the routine – but in truth, this moment is not crucial to the routine. It could be replaced, or left off all together, without serious damaged to the routine.

The DVD is well produced and easy to learn from. You’ll learn every aspect of the routine including what rope works best, multiple approaches for different environments, ideas on being more original with ring on rope, and much more. You’ll even learn how to create the amusing “rewind” sound that Gio uses in the routine – you’ll need to hear it to appreciate it! This was produced by the same people who gave us Giovanni’s Salt & Silver routine. I wrote about that back in February and all of the production values I praised then have returned again. You also get the rope and nut, so you’ll have no excuse to not get started right away.

Finally, Giovanni exudes an enthusiasm for his magic that is infectious. His performances are a lesson in what we should all strive to give our audiences. Beyond the routine itself, the observant viewer will learn much about audience management, routine structure, and getting the most from each moment of your magic.

Go buy this now.

Get the full details on Rope, Nut & Knot here.

Vegas Caravan

Magic Live Luggage

I mentioned this in our weekly email but I wanted to share it here as well…

I’ve been busy preparing product for MAGIC Live – as well as a few surprises for the booth. If you’re heading to Vegas this weekend for the convention, then make sure you stop by and say hello. The buzz on this year’s convention is big and I can’t wait for those doors to open on Sunday night – hope to see you there! As always, I’ll be posting updates via Twitter and Facebook so connect with us and join in the fun!

I hope I packed enough.

Rule of Three, Paul’s Picks

Rule of Three by Jon Allen Pauls Picks

I’m a fan of Jon Allen, I even bought the rights to one of his effects.

I’ve always been impressed with his well thought out routines, the clarity of his effects, and his novel approach to both methods and presentations. The Rule of Three is an amalgam of all those things – and the resulting combination is one hell of an effect!

Jon starts with Dean Dill’s Blizzard as his inspiration but goes in a VERY different direction presentationally, as well as methodologically. The handling is very simple and within the range of almost any level magician. In truth, it has only one real “move” which occurs on the offbeat and will easily be invisible to even the most observant audience. You will need to be thoughtful of angles and lighting, but nothing too difficult to overcome. The instructions are clear and well written and include insights and ideas that you may wish to add to your performance.

I was surprised that the cards did not come with the number printed on the back – especially for the price. But this is a one time task and adds a homemade feel to the deck that I think makes it a tad less suspicious. I don’t see this as a HUGE issue – but one I felt consumers should be aware of.

Get the full details on Rule of Three here.

It’s Alive

It's Alive

After months of hard work the new site and order system is finally live! Change is always a little hard and requires some adjustment, but change must come. I tried hard to give the site a fresher more contemporary look without losing who we are, I hope you like the results.

As we’ve announced previously you will need to create a new account on this system but it’s super fast and can easily be done at checkout as well.

Here are just a handful of improvements that you’ll discover:

  • Improved Design and Layout: The new design is bigger, easier to read, and faster to navigate.
  • Easier Video Access: No need to go to a separate place to view product videos.
  • A Robust Wishlist System: You can now create multiple lists on different subjects for better organization. You can even create public lists that you can share with other users on the site!
  • Tags A Plenty: You’ll notice each product now has a series of tags attached to it. These tags allow you to search for more products that share these tagged aspects. That means you’ll easily by able to connect with manufacturers, creators, topics, and much more!
  • The Return of The Rewards: Our Elmwood Magic Reward Program is now back in place and it’s much easier to use. You’ll see exactly how much you’ll earn on each product, you can now easily add earned rewards to your order at checkout, PLUS – the one feature everyone asked for – there is NO EXPIRATION on Reward Dollars!
  • Predictive and Expanded Search: This is one of my favorite additions! Search for an item and the site now anticipates what you’re searching for! It even has the product images. You can get a complete search by clicking the little magnifying glass. You’ll see the predictive search also offers suggestions to additional tags, blog posts, and reviews! It’s very cool and exceedingly helpful!

There’s even more stuff on the way and I’m so pleased to finally get this baby in the water! If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to drop me a line. As always thanks for your loyalty and support throughout the years. I truly hope this step forward is one that you’ll gladly take with us…

Naked, Paul’s Picks

Naked by Pablo Amira

What’s the most amazing part of this trick? Those are my legs on the cover of Naked.

Just kidding – there’s plenty about Naked that’s more amazing than those legs.

First, the spectator’s selection is 100% fair and free. No force of any kind is employed; they can simply name ANY card in the deck.

Second, the selected card always appears in the middle of the deck. Unlike classic effects like Brainwave or Invisible Deck, where the card might appear at the top or bottom of the deck. Naked has the lovely aesthetic moment of revealing the selected card smack dab in the middle of the deck – every time.

Third, there’s absolutely no rough and smooth. I know it seems like it must use it –  I assure you it does not. Those are single, individual cards you’re spreading through and not roughed pairs.

Fourth, no sleight of hand is necessary. Watch the video demo. There was not one sleight used in that presentation. The DVD instructions cover a couple different approaches – some of which use basic moves – but none are really necessary for the routine.

Fifth, and finally – the reset takes about 3 seconds. Which makes it great for restaurant and strolling work.

I should also mention that some people prefer to NOT have the card appear in the deck. You simply spread the deck and show one card face down in the center. You square the deck and ask them to name any card and then reveal that the face down card is theirs! Pretty sweet – and clean as a whistle.

Naked has fast become one of the best selling effects at our convention and live events. I can’t tell you how many magicians came back again and again to see it performed. They all expected to figure it out and I can assure you that most scratched their heads and walked away with one in their bag. Naked comes with the special deck and a detailed instructional DVD, along with gaffs in both red and blue back – so you can decide which color you want to set for your performances.

Get the full details on Naked by clicking here.

Heartstrings, Paul’s Picks

Heartstrings

Google says that the word “magic” means the power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces. That’s some pretty powerful stuff – it’s a shame that we often use it to simply find a card. Don’t get me wrong, I love great card magic but it would be nice to occasionally connect a bit deeper with our audiences.

I know it’s possible, I’ve seen it done.

One such moment was watching Peter Samelson perform. Peter’s style and soft spoken approach comes from the heart. When I watch Peter perform I’m inspired by his obvious love of the craft and his desire to elevate magic to something beyond mere tricks. Which is why I was so excited to discover he had teamed up with Bill Abbott to release one of his signature routines…

Peter’s Heartstrings routine is not just another handling of Gypsy Thread. It’s pure magical theater with the rarely seen power to make magic matter. It’s beautiful, magical, and meaningful. Frankly I’m amazed that he parted with it – but I’m so glad that he did.

The DVD teaches every possible aspect of the routine – from thread selection and sources to blocking and musical selections. You even get a beautiful royalty-free music theme written and performed on the piano by composer Scott Turk specifically for the Heartstrings routine. This is the same piece that Peter himself has used for several decades.

There’s no doubt that not everyone will be up to the theatrical challenge of presenting Heartstrings. But if you’re looking for a one man effect that that takes up virtually no space and yet could easily play on some of the world’s largest stages – and still fit comfortably in you next parlor show –  then this is well worth your attention.

Get the full details on Heartstrings by clicking here.

Token, Paul Picks

Token By Paul Richards

I had kicked the idea for Token around for a good year before I was finally able to work out all the kinks. I was fortunate enough to have the very talented craftsman Roy Kueppers work with me on several prototypes until I was finally able to get the perfect prop to make Token a reality.

The effect is simple, the spectator chooses any standard ESP symbol and that symbol is on a metal token which has been in view since the beginning of the effect. There is only one token and it is never switched. The spectator can choose ANY symbol and you may display the token BEFORE the spectator ever reveals their selected symbol. No marks are necessary, although the included cards are marked. I personally NEVER use the marks as you’ll see from the video demo.

The DVD includes a number of different approaches. The two I use the most are the one you see in the video demo and another that never uses ESP cards at all. In the second approach, I simply write the symbols on the back of a single business card and have the spectator circle one. I then slip the token out of the sleeve and reveal the EXACT symbol they circled. This leaves the spectator with a physical reminder of the prediction –which just happens to contain my contact information.

This works perfectly as a stand alone effect but I often include it any routine that uses ESP cards. For example, it makes a very strong addition to Hen Fetsch’s Symbologic routine. I personally like using it with Symbologic, since I often present Token as an effect in which the SPECTATOR is somehow diving the correct symbol. This blends perfectly with the “spectator as mind-reader” vibe of the Fetsch routine.

Reset takes only a few moments and no difficult moves are required. If you like the premise of Token, I think you’ll be very pleased with the quality, value, and cleanness of the product.

Get the full details on Token by clicking here.

Elmwood Magic 2.0

John F. Kennedy said, “Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” The status quo is always easier than change but it’s seldom a wise long term approach. Which is why I have some important news to share…

I have always worked hard to integrate the latest and most efficient technologies to make our website – and business – work better. In an effort to improve and update our current system, we are now working on a complete overhaul of our website and order fulfillment system! This is an exciting process – and frankly a bit scary too. But it’s one that needs to be done to continue to serve you better now and in the coming years. I had originally planned to keep this as a surprise but several key aspects of our site will need to shut down and undergo a fresh “reboot”. That means you need to be in the loop sooner rather than later.

These changes will affect you. So stay tuned for updates and postings on the site.

Tiny Plunger, Paul’s Picks

Tiny Plunger, Paul's Picks

The Tiny Plunger sucks – and that’s going to make you very happy.

It sucks one card, two cards, twenty cards, and more – it sucks them all and leaves the audience amazed and entertained in the process. This clever little prop allows for a seemingly endless number of astonishing and charming routines…

The enclosed DVD includes presentations and approaches from Jon Armstrong, Mathieu Bich, and Garret Thomas. It also features Mathieu’s ingenious approach using an ordinary pen – both the pen and the deck can even be borrowed! In fact, no special deck or gaffed cards are necessary at all. It includes two versions of the plunger – one has a nifty little feature that allows for even more possibilities with the premise.

I love fun little props that add more dimension to your magic – and bring along some laughs in the process. I’m having a ball with this little wonder and I think you will too!

Get the full details on Tiny Plunger by clicking here.

The Magic of Moms

The Magic of Moms

The Magic of Moms

I must have been about eleven years old when it occurred to me to open a phone book and look for a magic shop. I remember asking my mom to take me and I remember it being a long drive. I don’t remember her complaining.

Not in all the times she did it.

She drove me to magic shops and libraries to visit section 793.8. See took me to the Buffalo Zoo to see Rob and Carol Allen perform the Milk for Health Magic Show. She drove me to see David Copperfield, Harry Blackstone, and Doug Henning.

That first magic shop is gone – so are most phone books for that matter - but the result remains. I’m a magician and that’s due in no small part to the efforts my mom made.

In the many years I ran a retail shop, displayed at conventions, and now produce the Real Magic Roadshows – I’ve seen many a mom bringing their sons and daughters through the doors. It’s a different time – but moms are still making sure their kids connect with what’s important to them. Magic shops, little league, scouts, music lessons – whatever calls out to a child – there’s a mom making sure their child is there.

This weekend is Mother’s Day. Thank your mom in whatever way you can. I know that’s what I’ll be doing on Sunday. In truth, she deserves a lot more than a single day.

But somehow I know she won’t complain…

May 1st, 2013

Twenty years is a pretty long time. By magic shop standards it’s even longer. I was just 22 years old when I opened the doors – a kid really – and I never could have imagined what we’ve grown into. We live in a time when dealers seem to crop up everyday and are often gone in the blink of an eye. The last two decades have seen the loss of many reputable (and some not so reputable) dealers. It’s not an easy road and making it twenty years doesn’t guarantee that the next twenty will be any easier.

But it does mean this…

We’ve been fortunate enough to have customers who value what we offer – and see the difference between us and the latest fad dealer. Customers who appreciate that above all you need a dealer you can trust and rely on. We aren’t perfect – but for twenty years we’ve tried to improve and grow sensibly. Not growth at any cost for the sake of being the biggest – but growth that is a result of reaching to being better.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m a lucky guy – and I promise to do my best to keep earning your business and loyalty.

Thanks for an amazing twenty years!

The (W)Hole Deck, Paul’s Picks

The (W)Hole Deck, Paul's Picks

It’s an inarguable fact: magicians love moving holes.

Magicians have moved thousands of holes on to, off of, and across playing cards. I’ve always been a fan of two versions of the plot from Jay Sankey – Hole Hop (for its speed and directness) and Target Practice (for its sheer cleverness). But I’m having a ball with this new approach from Marc Arthur and Kozmo Magic.

The primary routine is filled with lovely visual magic. I think the open way in which the “card dot” transforms into a real hole is powerful stuff. You can see it for yourself here. The hole jumping on to the entire deck is pretty shocking and it’s sure to generate some strong audience reaction. The selected card can change in each performance and Arthur covers several alternate handlings so you’ll have plenty of room to make this effect your own. If you do strolling or restaurant work the reset is fast and you can easily leave off the production of the holes from the box. Frankly, while it may be a fun finale – I feel it’s a little anti-climatic. There are some minor angle issues but they are easily managed.

You’ll also learn two bonus effects…

Hollow (W)Hole is a showy card in balloon using the hole punched deck. It’s a great take on a classic premise with plenty of room for presentation. It plays very big and could easily be part of a platform show – yet it’s compact enough to be used in any close up performance.

Up last is (CH)Angel a weird moment of magic in which a “hole” from one card transposes with a part of a selected card. This requires some prep work and a somewhat gentle handling. It’s not the strongest thing on the disc – but still pretty darn cool and well worth checking out.

If you like the plot and the demo video, I suspect you’ll be very happy with this item. It’s a practical and magical effect. Not to mention it’s a real worker – no pipe dreams here – The (W)Hole Deck is clearly the creation of someone performing magic in the real world.

Get the full details on The (W)Hole Deck by clicking here.

Quiet? Hardly.

Quiet? Hardly.

Quiet? Hardly.

I know it’s been a bit quiet on the blog – but it’s been the exact opposite on this side of the screen. I’ve been on the road so much lately for the Real Magic Roadshow that I must admit it’s left little time for regular posts. Between travel, product production, managing the events, general Elmwood Magic business, and real life – my time has certainly been spread a bit thin lately.

But it’s the good kind of thin – productive and fun.

The response thus far to Real Magic Roadshow has been absolutely stellar, with crowds growing larger at each event. I’ve been posting updates, photos, and videos on the Real Magic Roadshow website – so I won’t duplicate that information here. If you want to know more, just click here and we hope you’ll join us on the road!

Aside from our regular best sellers, there’s no doubt that the hottest items at the shows have been our three “secret” new releases. I say “secret” because since we’ve released our latest Elmwood items at Blackpool in February, we have ONLY made them available at conventions and the Real Magic Roadshow events. They are not on the site and won’t be until May. I’ve been contacted by many people asking why we’re doing this and the answer is twofold and simple…

One, we wanted to have some special items that could ONLY be found by attending the events. A little extra “thank you” for coming out to support us. The second reason? Time. We can barely keep up with the demand for the items at the live events – so trying to satisfy both the real world and the online one would be a little rough. Not to worry, they will be on the site soon.

For now, just remember these names:

Naked, Token, and iBalance

You’ll be hearing a lot about them in the next couple months!

Your Move

It’s the morning of March 15th – tomorrow is our first Real Magic Roadshow.

The excitement level is high and I’ve done all I can do to make it a successful event.

The rest is up to you.

People have asked me why I’ve decided to do these events. I could give many answers – but the primary motivation was a response to issues I heard from many customers about attending conventions. They wanted to see all the great new magic available but…

  • The event was too expensive. The Roadshow is only $10 and if you pre-register we pay YOU to be there.
  • The event was too long. The Roadshow is an intense one day experience. You’ll get to see the latest and greatest from some of the industries leading dealers and creators – and you’ll still have most of your day to attend to family, work, or other responsibilities.
  • The travel costs were prohibitive. No need to travel a great distance to places like Las Vegas, we’re coming to you! Even if you need to drive a few hours, the day ends early enough that you’ll be home and sleeping in your own bed. That means no hotel or costly travel expenses.

I believe strongly in the live magic experience. Not a YouTube video – but a real, hands-on, face to face experience. Those opportunities seem to be dwindling for magicians. If you’ve ever lamented that fact – then the Roadshow is for you. I’ve worked hard to make these events a success, but it’s up to you to finish the job.

The Road is calling. Will you answer?

Traveler Time

Traveler Time

Traveler Time

From the beginning of the year until mid may, I’ll have visited over a dozen different cities. In fact, in just a few days I’ll be winging my way to Blackpool, England for the world’s largest magic convention. It’s an amazing time and I always look forward to the trip.

However, you might be surprised to hear I’m even more excited about heading to Detroit next month…

March 16th marks the beginning of the Real Magic Roadshow and our first stop is Detroit, Michigan. I announced the details of this new project last month and the response has been in a word – amazing.

If you love magic, want to see some of the greatest new magic available, and want to be “paid” for the opportunity – then this is well worth your attention. Seriously – this is exciting stuff and if you live anywhere near our first six test cities, we hope you’ll come out an join us.

You can also keep up with the latest new and updates about the Real Magic Roadshow by clicking here.

Hope to see YOU on the road!

Salt & Silver, Paul’s Picks

Salt & Silver, Paul's Picks

If you watch Giovanni’s performance of this routine, you will be fooled.

Probably multiple times - and it will be wonderful.

This is one of the best routines I’ve seen in years. A fully fleshed out ballet of magic that will have your audience shaking their heads in disbelief.

This is not a coin trick. It’s a theatrical performance with deep magical impact. It takes place in virtual silence, with only a few well placed sounds to accent the magic and enhance the drama. You’ll fool yourself into thinking that in each phase it will be easier to catch the loads but – in all likelihood – you’ll be nailed again and again.

Giovanni’s routine was born of Goshman’s seminal Salt Shaker Routine, but Gio has taken this to an entirely new level – no easy task. The DVD covers every aspect of the routine in painstaking detail. What shakers work best, the type of coins to use, what wand Gio prefers, napkin types – nothing is left out. There’s even a nice nod to Harrison Carroll and Victor Trabucco for my WNY readers.

Best of all it’s self working.

Ok, I’m joking about that. But it’s not nearly as difficult as you might believe. I would say the techniques are well within the range of any moderately skilled coin worker. I would add that if ever there was a reason to polish your skills, this routine is it.

The folks over at Magic Estate have really done a great job in shooting this. It’s clean, easy to follow, and filled with valuable close-ups. Since Gio is a lefty, there’s even a great little feature that allows you to flip the screen for the instruction sequence. One final note, Gio teaches this effect standing in front of a mirror. I watched the video for some time before I realized that I never saw the camera man! I mention this only because it created a magical moment by itself – apparently Magic Estate hired a vampire to shoot this video!

Buy this, you will not be disappointed.

Get the full details on Salt and Silver by clicking here.