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Topic: Svengali Quality
Message: Posted by: Matthew W (Aug 17, 2008 09:22AM)
Has anyone here pitched these decks from robbins?


How is the quality, and does the box actually say short 'n long cards?
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Aug 17, 2008 10:07AM)
Hi Matt,
I have and I'll only tell you this once...

They are like made out of paper.I had to use a S.S.Adams deck for the demo and sell the kids the Robbins deck as the Robbins deck was so bad I couldn't do the pitch with them.This was the first time I felt bad pitching the Svengali deck,but I couldn't just throw a gross of cards away.

"does the box actually say short 'n long cards?" Yes it does.
Look at the box.It looks so phony.You want the box to look like a regular deck of cards.

So there you have it.Now do what you will but I did warn you.

Go to S.S.Adams.com and give Dave a call.He has the BEST Svengali pitch deck out there,even better than the Loftus deck.

S.S.Adams is just down the road from you in Neptune N.J.

Message: Posted by: Matthew W (Aug 17, 2008 10:28AM)
Then I will definitely not be selling them. Thanks for warning me.

I have read someone here post about 1847 decks? what are those?
Message: Posted by: jlibby (Aug 17, 2008 08:11PM)
Don: you're the man! Thanks for the info.

Joe Libby
San Antonio, TX
Message: Posted by: Michael K (Aug 17, 2008 08:57PM)
Just a little edit. Use http://www.ssadams.com/

Thanks again for the info. And just in case anyone is reading this who is interested in pitching, you really do need to buy Don's DVD. It is wonderful that he shares so much knowledge.

Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Aug 17, 2008 09:15PM)
You can email S.S.Adams and tell Dave I sent you to get pricing on Svengali decks.
You don't need a tax number like Loftus ask for.

Message: Posted by: sethb (Aug 18, 2008 08:30AM)
Matthew -- I have not seen or used the "Long-Short" decks that Robbins sells, but based on the packaging and the price, I'd guess that they are a very cheesy import and not worth your time.

However, Robbins also sells another grade of Svengali deck, made by FUN, Inc. (Royal Magic), click [url=http://www.funinc.com/xcart/product.php?productid=17036&cat=0&page=1]HERE[/url] to view. This is a very good quality deck that has standard thickness cards and already has the key cards collated. The instructions are good (which prevents you from having to give lessons) and are packed with the deck (one less thing to carry around and remember). Each deck is packed in a flashy sleeve that help sell the deck, and the decks are packed a dozen to a box that also serves as a countertop display. Although they are a little pricey, I like the quality and think they are worth it. I work many of the same spots every year and get repeat customers, so they must be satisfied, too.

You can also get these same decks directly from FUN, Inc. FUN also sells a bulk-pack pitch deck, click [url=http://www.funinc.com/xcart/product.php?productid=18287&cat=0&page=2]HERE[/url] to view. If you get a gross you will come fairly close to the price for the cheap "Long-Short" decks, but I think you will get MUCH better quality. The FUN, Inc. pitch decks have OK quality cards, slightly thinner than the ones described above, and they are not collated -- all the short cards are in front, so you or your customers have a little work to do before the deck can be used. But at least the instructions are good and they are packed with the deck.

What I like about either FUN deck is that the key cards are all cut consistently and accurately. I have not seen or used the Loftus or S.S. Adams decks and so can't compare them with the Royal decks.

The "1847" deck is a Chinese-made Svengali deck, with very thin cards. The decks are not collated, the instructions are lousy, and they are printed (poorly) on a separate piece of paper. Don't bother, especially when there are better alternatives available. SETH
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Aug 18, 2008 12:49PM)
The S.S.Adams deck are the same deck as Fun Inc.
I can't quote a price for S.S.Adams but Dave dosen't have a minimum order as does Fun Inc and Robbins.
But if you order enough decks from S.S.Adams you can get free shipping.

Message: Posted by: Matthew W (Aug 18, 2008 01:57PM)
I only plan on getting about three dozen.

How are the empire cards? Are those good?
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Aug 18, 2008 02:48PM)
Empire are OK but you'll have to pay shipping from Utah where as with SS Adams its shipping from N.J.

( the last I looked at a map of the U.S.,N.J is much closer to N.Y. than Utah is...but they could have moved Utah east)

Message: Posted by: Matthew W (Aug 18, 2008 03:21PM)
Adams wrote me back but I emailed again about ordering by the dozen, I have not heard back.

Do they have minimums? Do you know what I would pay for four dozen?

Thanks for the help, Don
Message: Posted by: Bill Beach (Aug 18, 2008 07:44PM)
I ordered a few dozen decks from here to get started with since I didn't have a tax number yet. Free shipping on orders over $20.


Turned out they are the Loftus deck. May have cost a bit more but worked ok to get me started with. I am also waiting for Adams pricing, just e-mailed them today.
Message: Posted by: nucinud (Aug 18, 2008 09:59PM)
The best decks to pitch have Bicycle Backs, hands down.
Message: Posted by: Matthew W (Aug 18, 2008 10:20PM)
On 2008-08-18 22:59, nucinud wrote:
The best decks to pitch have Bicycle Backs, hands down.

Isn't that expensive? I would have to charge $10 a deck, rather than the $5 I plan on.
Message: Posted by: Vandy Grift (Aug 19, 2008 10:12AM)
On 2008-08-18 22:59, nucinud wrote:
The best decks to pitch have Bicycle Backs, hands down.

Hands down huh? Well I guess that ends that discussion. Why are Bicycle Backs the best hands down? I don't think I've ever seen anyone doing the pitch with Bicycle Backs. I've never heard anyone who has made thier living selling decks say they sold Bike Backs. Why are they the "best", "hands down"?
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Aug 19, 2008 10:21AM)
Bicycle decks to pitch with...thats about as crazy a thing that I ever heard.

We aren't talking magicians...we are talking MARKS !

Message: Posted by: sethb (Aug 19, 2008 06:39PM)
No question that Svengali Bikes are the best deck there is -- but not for pitching!

In the first place, they are way too expensive; I'd have to sell each deck for $15 to make a go of it, and at that price, it's not an impulse buy anymore. Secondly, the Bikes are really too good for pitch work -- sort of like selling somebody a box of Godiva chocolates when all they really wanted was a Hershey bar. In my opinion, the Bikes are really for amateur or pro magicians who need to ring in a Svengali deck for a straight Bike deck. SETH
Message: Posted by: Matthew W (Aug 19, 2008 10:52PM)
Personally, I hate bicycle Svengali decks. They are too stiff for me.
Message: Posted by: silverking (Aug 20, 2008 08:06PM)
Some just [i]don't[/i] get it.

Bicycle decks don't even enter into [i]this[/i] conversation, not for any reason.......ever.

Get with it.
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Aug 20, 2008 08:20PM)
Thanks Silverking...at least you GET IT !

Message: Posted by: Vandy Grift (Aug 22, 2008 02:57PM)
Anyone who knows anything knows these are the only Svengali decks that should be pitched. They are the best for pitch purposes. Hands down!

You should easily be able to get 5 bucks for this deck.

Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Aug 22, 2008 03:24PM)
Lets see...if you buy them for $8.95 and sell them for $5.00 your need a BIGGER truck to haul stock....hands down!

(very funny Vandy)
Message: Posted by: Vandy Grift (Aug 22, 2008 03:40PM)
On 2008-08-22 16:24, DonDriver wrote:
Lets see...if you buy them for $8.95 and sell them for $5.00 [/quote]

Oh yeah, that's probably not such a good deal?

It's probably not a good deal if you want to make money. But you always told me a good pitchman doesn't care if he makes money. If he puts a smile on one childs face, it's all worth it. Isn't that what you always say?
Message: Posted by: sethb (Aug 22, 2008 06:51PM)
But if you want to put a smile on a kid's face, you gotta sell him/her a deck first! SETH
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Dec 10, 2008 10:13PM)
I want to put a smile on "MY" kids face when I cover his college tuition :)
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Dec 12, 2008 07:49PM)
Well, you can say anything you want about the cards but if I'm doing it "hands down", unless they come behind my table, no one can see the pitch, so it doesn't matter which cards I use, right? :)

I think I'll just stick with Loftus. I just wish SOMEONE over in China would get off the "9 of hearts" kick they are on. I'd like a few ACE key cards. Wouldn't cost any more to print 'em. Wonder how we can get Loftus to do something about THAT?

Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Dec 15, 2008 05:55AM)
I am back pitching, I have been pitching Chinese Svengal on and off for years. The qwualty is not great but they work well. You can not beat the price they are so cheap. Hands down the cheap crappy cards are best.
Message: Posted by: Matthew W (Dec 15, 2008 06:45AM)
The empire ones are great.

Has anyone used the wizard stripper decks that come in the orange box? I want to put them in a magic set and they are very inexpensive.
Message: Posted by: Jon-O the Great (Jan 19, 2009 11:59AM)
As I was closing up yesterday, one of the kids who had bought a deck came back with his Mom.

“Can you show me something about these cards?”

I had little else to do and there was NO ONE else in the aisle so I said, “Sure. Did you read the instructions?”


And put the cards together like they say?”


“OK, what do you want to know?”

“Well, when you stab the cards, how does that work?”

Oops....never DID read the instructions. Tho I'd seen mention of stabbing them in magic books.

“Well, (pulling the answer out of the air) you can use a pencil or a knife or anything, just riffle the cards and stick it in. You'll always have the 'key' card under the knife or pencil.”

“OK and how did you make that ace change to an 8 of spades under that box (1st trick)”

“OK, kid, I'm gonna show you something I NEVER SHOW ANYONE! Now I want you to notice when I'm doing this, that my fingers never leave my hands.” (How many times have you heard THAT one?)

So I actually SHOWED him the DL. I know, I know...magician's code and all that. But this was a kid who had ACTUALLY put the cards together AND had read the instructions (more than I can say for ME!)

“So when I SAID I put the ace under the box, what did I actually put there?”

“Oh wow—the 8 of spades!”

“That's called mis-direction, kid. Some folks call it LYING!”

His Mom even laughed at that one!

“So once you get that DL so you can do it without looking at it, you'll be a REAL magician.”

“WOW! I think I can do it.”

His Mom said, “He's read lots of books on magic and when he saw you do it, he decided he just HAD to have the cards. He's been playing with 'em every since he bought them. He can already do the 2-card thing but he was just stumped over the deck. Thanx SO MUCH for helping him.”

Now---was I wrong? Will he become another Houdini or Blackstone? Quien Sabe? But it made me feel good to get the look of excitement when I showed him the DL.

Hey, I may even READ the instructions!

Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Jan 19, 2009 12:23PM)
Once they pay for a deck they have the right to know the D.L. so its ok.Good job.

This magician's code thing with a Svengali deck is all B.S. Only wannabe magician's have a problem with it,just something else for them to cry about.

Message: Posted by: sethb (Jan 19, 2009 12:25PM)
Hey Jon, we are going to start calling you "Johnny Appleseed," because you are planting little "magic seeds" here and there!

I have done the same thing on occasion, and it has always worked out well, in my experience. Any child who has the genuine interest to ask a question deserves a little help if you aren't busy and have the time. Remember, if the kid does master the deck, he will show his friends, and then he becomes a free walking advertisement for you. I also agree with Don that once they pay for the deck, it is OK to show them the DL.

When you do this, the kids love it, the parents appreciate it, and I guarantee that other people, including the show sponsors, are also watching sometimes. Although they won't know what you are saying, they do see it and will understand that you're not just out for the big buck, and word does get around. (In the end, you will make bigger bucks anyway.)

BTW, don't forget to tell the kids to use a BLUNT knife for the card stab. It's much easier on the cards, and much safer for the magician and his/her audience! SETH