Thoughts on products, performance, and doublethink in the magic community.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Den of Evil

I've got into magic almost 7 years ago. Since then, I've been to many magic stores. None of them were perfect. One store was cramped, another had a tiny inventory, and one was reluctant to 'demo' tricks for me. But I have never been in a magic store that I despised.

Until today, that is.

I was in Chicago, visiting Navy Pier. The Pier is an all-purpose tourist attraction with food, shopping, rides, mini-golf, and live entertainment. They also have a magic store, which is called "Magic Masters."

I walked in and asked the guy behind the counter if any of the old books on the shelves were for sale.

"No," he said gruffly.

After some brief conversation, I asked if I could show him a trick.

"No. The only tricks that can be performed in this store are the ones we sell."

I set my hands down on the close up mat, and leaned against the counter. Without saying anything, he yanked the close-up mat out from under my hands.

I left. I don't think I've ever been more disgusted with a magician or magic store in my entire life.

If you don't allow magicians to perform in your magic store, then you, and your company, are morons. It's like barring carpenters from Home Depot. Why the hell do you think customers come in? Not all of them are there to buy shit. They want to learn, talk with other people, and get advice. That's what magic stores are for.

I frequently have people decline to my tricks. I think they're missing out, but I don't really care. What angered me this time was that company policy forbids performing in the store. I never get this angry when someone at a party (or elsewhere) declines to see a trick. So please don't think I'm some obsessive magic nut who's complaining about the store to soothe my fragile ego. That's not the situation.

Magic Masters' entire pricing system is also ridiculous. Everything is twice as expensive as it would be from any other magic store, and about three times as much as any online store. $15 for Nickles to Dimes. $25 for a folding quarter. $20 for a mental photography deck and $15 for sponge bunnies.

It's extortion. And most of the people who come into the store don't know how badly they're being ripped off.

The quality of their products is non-existent. A friend of mine bought me a gimmicked quarter as a present a while ago. It's fallen apart more times than I can count.

Magic Masters is offensive to everything magic and magicians are about. They deserve neither your time or your money. Spread the word.


Blogger Glenn Bishop "Bish The Magish" said...

There are some magic shops that are just tourist traps for people. They do not want other magicians hanging around taking up space or showing off.

The shop exists with a sales person selling high priced brass and other things to tourists and other people that know nothing about magic.

I suggest you go to a real magic shop in Chicago like Magic Inc or Mr. Ash.

Happy Birthday a day late!

5:26 PM


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