Big Box of Magic Still a Thing to Cherish

impcard__13544_zoomIn the early part of the previous decade, a trick hit the market that quickly became a best seller and a consistent source of inspiration for magic creators.

Impossible Card in Bottle by Gerald Kirchner “And Friend”—later revealed as Aaron Smith—was an amazing value; a shoebox-size package filled with magic. It appeared interesting on the web with its old paper label and struck a monumental pose on the shelf of magic shops around the globe. Still to this day, the big box adorned with the familiar cover on the front gets attention even without a demonstration.

When Impossible Card in Bottle was first released, it was an era in the magic industry when it was still desirable to pack as much value as possible into a magic product. Creators who invented a gimmick would create multiple tricks made possible by the device. Even if only one trick was advertised, the item might arrive with a big book of extra ideas for the magician.

This value-packed rule applied to the tricks themselves too. In those days, almost every new trick had at least three phases. As Aaron said in a subsequent writing about magic in general, “One phase is a stunt. Two a puzzle. Three phases is magic.”

Today, tricks are released with just a single phase—stunts in magic packaging. The days of long-form, detailed instructions have been replaced with short overview video clips. Tricks like Impossible Card in Bottle pool into a collection of recent classics—“super tricks” that represent and transport the magician to an era not-at-all obsolete. A chunk of our history that stands proud.

Over the last fourteen years, there have been many tricks that use the concepts from Impossible Card in Bottle and pretend they are new ideas. And to new magicians and magic creators, they are new ideas. There has been and always will be overlap of this nature in the magic community. The problem is—or ought to be—many of those new products focus on a single section of a much larger picture.

In the past, if a magic inventor approached a jobber and demonstrated a single-phase routine, the jobber would decline the trick: “Come back when it’s finished.” Now days, the response is, “We can’t put full retail on this, but we can offer it as an instant download.”

Over time, Impossible Card in Bottle became a family of products, including Impossible Cap in Bottle and Impossible Bill in Bottle, also by Gerald Kirchner “And Friend.” They released another popular bottle trick, Behold the Scarabaeus—a borrowed cellphone magically enters a borrowed water bottle—featuring Fort Knox Coins to Bottle and the bonus, Dracola, a healing soda can effect that starts with a new can instead of a supposedly discarded one.

If you are looking for magic—a big box of magic that has inspired magicians and creators since its release—be sure to stock Impossible Card in Bottle and pitch it to your customers. Better to buy all this magic in one place, than to accidentally get the same trick sold separately.

Shattered Hearts Blows Minds

Shattered HeartsThose of you who read my article, Card Tricks Make a Comeback, know that I really like card magic. I get excited whenever a new card trick comes along. Seeing the trick for the first time is part of the appeal, especially when it fools me or surprises me–catches me off guard.

In the late ’90’s, my friend Chris Brent created a trick called Shattered Hearts. It fits the description above perfectly. We were hanging out at a magic convention in Dallas, Texas and he says, “Do you want to see a new card trick I’ve been working on?”

Of course, I was intrigued. Chris is super-talented. But I really didn’t expect much when he started off with the standard, “Pick a card.” I did as he asked. I returned the card to the deck and he lost it in the pack. It seemed so simple. Even up to the moment when he revealed my card and asked, “Is this your card.”

“Nope,” I said with a wink and a smile.

What came next was totally unexpected. I have seen my share of pick a card tricks, but this, this was special. “Hold your hands out like a cup,” Chris said. And then he snaps the card and hearts flutter down from the face like snowflakes on a bloody-cold winter’s day. Six hearts to be exact. “Was your card the Six of Hearts?” he asked.

“Yes! Yes, it was,” I said.

I was so impressed. The trick was amazing and I had to have it for myself. Chris and I chatted a bit, and as we turned to go back into the dealer’s room, the one and only Phil Goldstein–Max Mavin–was standing right in front of us. Chris had Max do the same pick a card bit, ending with that incredible “raining hearts” finish. In good Max fashion, stroking his chin, he says, “interesting!”

Max liked the trick just as I had. Magic City inked a deal with Chris that night. Today, every magic shop across the globe has the opportunity to carry Shattered Hearts, a signature trick by my friend, the talented Chris Brent.

Want to get in on the action, too? Amaze your customers and ink a sale every time you demo this killer trick. Buy twelve Shattered Hearts, GET TWO FREE! I’ll call it my “Jobber’s Dozen.” Add a dozen to your cart on Wholesale Magic and the site will automatically give you two Shattered Hearts 100% FREE!

Order today and put “double order” in the comments box and I will send you four Shattered Hearts FREE!

Cornering the Market on Best Sellers

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Instead of gambling your investment on a new product that hasn’t proven it’s worth, take an item that was a best seller and re-release it. Image by 2bgr8

Competition for new items with best seller potential is so fierce that it can be near impossible for small shops to compete. Size isn’t the only factor, even the largest retail entities cannot capture the exclusive every time, which is why they often re-release an old item. If done properly, you can corner the market and take a huge volume of sales.

Hindsight is 20/20. Instead of gambling your investment on a new product that hasn’t proven it’s worth, take an item that was a best seller—it can be two years old or absolute vintage—and announce it like a new product. If your competitors have this item on their website, but do not genuinely stock it, then they may be coming to you to buy it.

Here is a quick guide on how to corner the market and make your product re-release campaign a huge success:

NEVER…

  • Change the Title: You don’t want people who already have the item to buy it twice or for people to accuse you of ripping off the original
  • Call it New: If it is an old product, don’t advertise it using the word “new.” It isn’t necessary or productive.
  • Remove the Creator’s Name: Give credit where credit is due, it’s the magician’s code.
  • Re-Release a Crappy Product: Once was enough for that item. If it isn’t good, it shouldn’t have been out there in the first place, let alone re-released with your effort and market force behind it.
  • Wait to the Last Minute to Promote: Start the build up in advance. As soon as you have an item make a vague announcement on Twitter and then keep it going.
  • Use this Technique Only Once: Find what works, and replicate your success throughout the year. Corner the market on twelve products, and you’re now a pretty tough competitor.

ALWAYS…

  • Do Your Research: Record items you are being asked about that are no longer available, and stock them. Track the popular searches on your own website. Talk to a jobber about items that used to be popular and are available in quantity.
  • Re-Write the Product Description: Refreshing the ad copy is an excellent way to breathe new life into a magic product. Add information that makes it current and ties it to today.
  • Spruce up the Picture(s): Especially on vintage product. Give the sales graphic a new coat of paint—or redesign it completely—to fit the current trends. Grunge was the thing, but might be over the top today. Many young magicians are growing out of their entry-point shops and moving on to pro outfits.
  • Shoot a Demo Video: Include some sort of video in the description, even if it is just you talking about and pitching the item—show the item on screen in your hands. People like to see something—the trick if possible, the packaging if nothing else.
  • Include Bonus Item(s): If you cannot get a bulk price, offer a bonus item or kit to go with it and raise the price. If it is a DVD, include the props your customers need to get the most use out of the product.
  • Offer an Introductory Price: When you announce the product, give a discount for customers who buy it within the first three days.
  • Contact the Creator: Ask the creator of the trick to mention your renewed interest on their social media or to their list. Maybe interview them and post an article you can both promote—a magic magazine might publish it too. If the trick does well, offer to buy the rights to the item.
  • Buy Them All: Call your vendors. If one outfit has a dozen units, another has three dozen, and so on, buy them all. Make sure nobody else has them in stock. When you talk to the creator, buy their stock too, or ask them to give you a ninety-day exclusive. If there is no demand on the items anymore, an exclusive is pretty easy to get from independents.
  • Buy at a Bulk Price: When you are buying up all these units, get a good price. Buying is half the battle. Negotiations are easy with jobbers. Just ask for the best price. That first number they give you is probably it. Remember, they work on the smallest margins in the industry.
  • Offer Wholesale: Once you have everything ready to go, consider putting a paragraph at the bottom of your product description offering wholesale pricing on 3-6 unit minimums. Your competitors may need to pick up a few of your exclusive.
  • Promote EVERYWHERE! Announce your new product on all of your social media, blast your email list, call people, send personal emails, and even contact customers who have placed orders but didn’t buy that one item. Post on forums. Build demand!

Click HERE to get started!

Card Tricks Make a Comeback in Show Stopper Style

Show StoppersLike any other type of magic, card tricks have gone in and out of popular favor. I love card tricks, but as a distributor of magic, I am constantly pitched new products. By 2002, I had seen enough card tricks and was looking for just about anything else.

It wasn’t that I was burned out on card tricks already published, it was that card magicians really weren’t making epic strides like they were in the nineties. Plus, the market wasn’t buying card tricks. I would get calls at the office, “What’s new? And isn’t a card trick?”

Today, however, cards are starting to make a comeback. Card magicians have taken advantage of new technology and reduced modern printing costs, cranking up the gears of innovation once again, producing top-quality card magic. And the best part of all, card tricks are selling!

Still, with all the leaps and bounds forward, one of my favorite card tricks is an oldie – the “Dunbury Delusion by Charlie Miller.”

Few magicians are familiar with the plot, and those who have seen it, probably have no idea where Charlie published it originally. I learned it from a remarkable little booklet called “Show Stoppers by Hugard and Braue.

The book is very good – filled with so many amazing card tricks – I just had to have a copy for myself. It was long out of print though, so I purchased the rights and brought it back to life for the next generation of card magicians. You can own it now in hard copy or digital format.

The reason I like the “Dunbury Delusion” is both because of Charlie Miller’s streamlined handling (easy for beginners, but strong enough for pros), and the impact of the final revelation. It’s one of those tricks that makes a wonderful performance piece at parties, high-class shows, or even a money-making bar bet. In other words, you can perform for your friend, your date, or the president!

Another thing I like about “Show Stoppers” is it has Frederick Braue’s original handling of his infamous “Homing Card.” Fred Kaps performed Braue’s “Homing Card” so often, he is often credited for inventing it. In fact, Kaps performed it on black and white TV, making it one of the first card tricks ever performed on television.

If you would like to add a couple Show Stoppers to your act, get the book!

Click Here…

The Smart Phone Card Trick

Whether you are a pitchman or full-scale magic shop, this is a fantastic deal packed with profit! Buy six SmartPhone Card Trick GET ONE FREE! Great for demos! Easy to do. Fun to perform. Baffling even to technocrats! Plus, the SmartPhone Card Trick, featured in our two-page MAGIC Magazine spread, is one of 2013’s BEST SELLERS!

Click Here to find out more!

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