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Author Archives: chris ballinger

  • Discount Update

    Posted on October 3, 2008 by chris ballinger

    If you haven't started carving your pumpkin yet, now's the time to do it! If you send us a picture of your magic themed pumpkin, we will give you 10% off all of your purchases in the month of October. This is where you can keep up-to-date with all the goings-on of the give-away.

    Keep checking back on this thread as we post pictures and comments on the incoming jack-o-lanterns. And please feel free to leave your comments and thoughts on the pumpkins.

    ------------------- 10/09/08 -------------------

    David sent us a pumpkin "carving" that needs to be mentioned. Since he wasn't allowed to use a knife he got a little creative and came up with this prize-winning pumpkin.

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    Congratulations David, we give you points for creativity and effort. We love the hat and magic wand. Thanks for participating in our festive giveaway.

    ------------------- 10/03/08 -------------------

    Oh boy! The entries are already starting to pour in! Just check out this pumpkin sent to us by Jordan:

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    That is definitely a prize winner. I like the inverse moon/hand thing going on, on the right. Good work Jordan, you've set very high standards for the rest of us.


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  • Want a Discount?

    Posted on October 3, 2008 by chris ballinger

    We had so much fun carving our pumpkin that we want to see what you do with yours. If you send us a picture of a pumpkin carved with a magical theme, we will give you 10% off all of your purchases in the month of October!

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    Pumpkin images will be featured in this blog and the carvers will receive a coupon code good for the whole month of October. But you should act now because the sooner you get your masterpiece to us, the longer your discount will last.

    The Rules
    1) The pumpkin carvings must, in some way, have to do with magic.
    2) One discount per customer. You can send us a bunch of pictures if you want, but it's just the 10% off per customer.
    3) Image files must be sent by e-mail attachment to chris@magicgeek.com.
    4) The "Pumpkin Panel" has final say on all carvings, if they deem an image as not magical enough no discount will be given.
    5) I am allowed to write whatever I want about the pumpkin image. If you send it, I'm going to say something about it and you should be okay with that.

    Be sure to check back here for updates. I'll be posting the images as they get delivered. So go out there and get some pumpkins! Whoo-hoo!

    Also, if you want to carve a really cool pumpkin, but have no idea what to do, we've posted the template to the pumpkin that we carved up. Just go to www.magicgeek.com/pumpkin.pdf for the exact image used in our video. If you end up going with this design, send us a picture of it and you'll get the discount. No creativity required!


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  • Pumpkin Carving

    Posted on October 1, 2008 by chris ballinger

    Happy October everybody! Check out the Magic Geek Pumpkin!

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    I know you're all dying to know how this pumpkin was made so we video taped the entire process and sped up the footage with easy-to-follow steps:

    Magic Geek is your Halloween tricks and treats store and we plan on posting a bunch of videos to help you find the scariest, most practical, and down-right fun magic for your Hallow's Eve festivities.

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  • David Blaine's Dive of Death Exposed

    Posted on September 25, 2008 by chris ballinger

    David Blaine did a bunch of magic on his latest special and we wanted to break the whole show down for you trick by trick. This video explains what gimmicks Blaine used in the special and we've posted links to all of them below. Enjoy...

    PK Ring
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    Twisted

    Kronosnull

    Strange Travelers
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    Card Fictions
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    Spun
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    Silver Impression
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    Heiny 500
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    The tricks Lit and Compression will be available on Magic Geek in about two weeks and we are very excited about them.


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  • Disneyland Magic Shop

    Posted on September 24, 2008 by chris ballinger

    In my never-ending attempt to turn family vacations into business trips I dragged my family to the magic shop on Main Street in Disneyland. Magic Geek's roots are in the brick and mortar magic shops and they still serve as our inspiration. Also, they're just so darn fun to go into.

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    Since I was a little kid, I've insisted that we stop at the magic shop on Main Street. In a place that is so reliant on tourists buying souvenirs, it's fascinating that the old shop is still there and still stocking classic and advanced magic. They could have just filled it with the easy plastic stuff and called it a day, but they still maintain the integrity of old school magic.

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    The store has a long history in Disneyland. I talked with the lady behind the counter for a while about how Steve Martin used to work there back in the 70s. I also find it cool that Disney seeks out clerks that can actually demo every trick in the store.

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    Anyway, the Main Street Magic Shop gets two very geeky thumbs up from me. They may not have a ton of magic, but they make what they do have count. And they also gave my daughter a "First Visit" pin, so that was cool.


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  • Don't Forget

    Posted on September 23, 2008 by chris ballinger

    Tomorrow night (Wednesday, September 24th) David Blaine will be on network television performing magic in his Dive of Death Special. Yesterday Blaine began a unique physical challenge by hanging himself upside-down on a wire five stories in the air. He will remain hanging upside-down over Central Park's Wollman Rink for three days until the end of his special. Blaine will perform this stunt by using electromagnetic boots, only lifting himself back up to regain circulation his blood and drink water. As for how he gets down... that's a closely guarded secret. He plans on surprising fans with some crazy finish to this very dangerous stunt.

    Throughout the special they will show footage of Blaine's recent road trip across the United States. Every town he stopped in he performed for people in unexpected places. I have been told that this special will include a ton of new magic.

    So don't forget to tune in. It's not very often that magic gets this kind of exposure on network television so it's important that we tune in. Since Blaine's first television special a new wave of urban magic has taken hold of the country and it's always fun to see what he's doing next. Check your local listings for channel and time.


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  • What's the Difference? Part 1

    Posted on September 22, 2008 by chris ballinger

    "What's the difference?" We get asked that a lot. So I've decided to start a series of blogs explaining the differences between tricks with similar effects. Today's topic is Torn and Restored Newspaper routines.

    The effect usually goes something like this: Magician has a newspaper, for some reason the innocent little paper gets torn to bits and then POOF! it's all back to normal. So let's go one by one and figure out "What's the difference?"

    But first, a little history... the most well known torn and restored newspaper today is probably somehow related to the work of Gene Anderson. His method of folding is still used in some of the newer methods of today. But several new advances have been made in paper tearing technology making the set-up easier and the waste minimal.

    Torn and Restored Newspaper by Joel Bower
    This version has been polished by a trade show performer so you can expect two things, quick reset and flexibility. That's exactly what you get with Bower's rendition of the trick.

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    Strengths: You can use a client's brochure, magazine or newspaper. It's a one-time set up and fairly quick re-set.
    Weaknesses: The video quality is somewhat lacking. I believe this is a transfer from VHS to DVD and it shows. Also Joel Bower is a tradeshow worker so he's used to yelling at people, I just wish he wouldn't yell at me when I watch this DVD.

    Tear Down by Andrew Mayne
    Andrew Mayne has come out with several gimmicks and instructional DVDs in the past few years, this one is one of my favorites. Mayne takes you through an impromptu Torn and Restored that is well thought out and very convincing in the right hands.

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    Strengths: The method is impromptu and will work with most magazines and newspapers. The newspaper is signed by a spectator before the tearing begins and given as a gift at the end of the routine.
    Weaknesses: This one is not self-working. It's going to take practice and I usually only recommend it to magicians with experience in misdirection.

    No Tear by Tony Stephens and JB Magic
    This is the one I always recommend for beginners, but it has its place in professional routines as well.

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    Strengths: Super easy to do. The gimmick is included. There is no waste, that means no buying duplicate papers, no stack of ripped papers to deal with at the end of the day, and no building a new gimmick every time you do the trick. You just keep re-using the original.
    Weaknesses: You have to use the paper provided. (You can rebuild the gimmick with a paper of your choice, but it might not be worth your time.) Also, you start off with the papers in their ripped state which takes away from some of the dramatic buildup.

    As you can see, each method has their different strengths and weaknesses. But so does every performer and it's important to find the right routines to fit the performer's needs. Hopefully this breakdown will help you make the choice that's right for you.


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  • Mark Mason

    Posted on September 18, 2008 by chris ballinger

    We were recently invited to meet with JB Magic's Mark Mason of England. The meeting was up in Sacramento, so I got to meet up with Daniel the manager of our Northern Warehouse. I hadn't seen Daniel or the new warehouse since he moved up there in June; so that was a real treat.

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    We walked into the conference room to see a sign welcoming us with this awesome picture of the Magic Geek Super Hero. Mark Mason came in and talked to us for a while about the new products that he is planning on releasing later this year. He also demonstrated a bunch of his old stuff.

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    Mason is brilliant at searching out methods that are impressive yet simple for the performer (even when they are super complicated for him to build.) With so much hand-made magic it's surprising to find that JB Magic also takes the time to stand behind all of their products. We stand behind all of our products, but it's rare to find a manufacturer who's cool enough to back you up with that.

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    We are so critical with what we pick up here in the store and I haven't found a JB product that I haven't loved. All their products are well thought out and visually stunning. We took a big box of their stuff back with us and it's taking some time to review each one and put it into inventory. Keep checking our New Arrivals Section for JB Magic Products in the coming months.

    Notable JB Products:

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  • Gift Certificate Now Available!!!

    Posted on September 8, 2008 by chris ballinger

    Getting the gift of magic can sometimes be a disappointing event. Let's say Auntie Deloris' definition of a cool trick is Oddball, but you're more interested in the instant download Permanent. Suddenly an act of good intent has turned brutally awkward.

    Or, situation two: you very specifically asked for the Ring-Scape trick. The name of the trick was reiterated over and over--you even described the effect to no end. But, much to you chagrin you open up your birthday package to find a Brass Ring Escape. Not a bad trick, but you went through all the trouble explaining exactly what you wanted and you ended up with something else.

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    So the question is this: How do you get the exact gift that you want when talking to lay-people? The answer: Magic Geek Gift Certificates. That's right! Magic Geek now has gift certificates that look great and are super easy to use. Whether you're looking for a gift for that magical someone or putting together the ultimate wish list, this handsome gift certificate is definitely the way to go.


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  • Three Stores, One Site

    Posted on September 3, 2008 by chris ballinger

    Magic Geek has taken on the inventory of its affiliate sites. Now you can get all of the juggling supplies from jugglingstore.com and all of the yoyos from yoyocrazy.com all in one place.

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    And we aren't talking about little sites here. Jugglingstore is one of the biggest suppliers of juggling supplies in the world.

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    You can still go to jugglingstore and yoyocrazy to check out the awesome graphics and amazing selection. But it's nice to know that you don't have to.


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