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

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Someone Jumps Ship, Another Gets Onboard

Penguin has had a bad reputation for a while. Still, it took years until someone with Sankey's clout started making accusations.

I can understand why customers would ignore Sankey and keep sending Penguin their money. Illiterate 12-13 year olds (the vast majority of Penguin customers) will always choose saving their allowance money over doing ethical business.

But it's an entirely different level of stupidity when professional magicians, the ones who create and market new tricks, maintain a relationship with Penguin. It should be in their interest to stay far away from the "lying thieving whores," as MagicianX eloquently put it. Sankey left no doubts about how badly Penguin screws its partners (and customers) over. And any association with Penguin damages a creator's reputation in the magic community.

Which is why I'm absolutely puzzled at Gazzo's major partnership with Penguin. He's got his own store on the site. Five of his products are already for sale, with nine DVDs and a CD set planned for release. (How did we ever live without a DVD on the overhand shuffle?) He also reccomends a bunch of old books (all for sale) and has a message to prospective suckers, er, customers. This does not look like a casual partnership. He is in big.

What the hell is Gazzo thinking? He is not a Penguin-manufactured magician, like Oz or Jay Noblezada. He is an experienced, sucessful and well-respected professional. In short, the absolutely last person I'd expect to go into business with Penguin Magic.

How long will this last? Does this mean that Penguin is becoming legit? What is Gazzo smoking?