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DonDriver
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A real pitchman would have been ready with a case of umbrella's.(snicker)

Don
iugefu
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Youre right there Don!
Anybody had success with the bird whistle? I met a guy in Amsterdam once who claimed he was making an excellent living pitching them. I watched him for a few hours and sales were certainly very brisk. He had a shirt with a birdie on it, ditto umbrella. Inevitably, as he was trading illegally, the law arrived and he got yet another fine which he claims took his fines to $20 000 for the past year. Most of the bird whistles were hidden in the lining of the neck of his jacket to limit the damage resulting from stock confiscation, with a few loose once in his display case. I myself cant get a dam'n sound ( OK a wheeze) out of them.
DonDriver
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I have heard of him.He goes by the name of Birdy,and makes a good living pitching them.

I'm not sure about europe but here in the U.S. they are sue crazy. I would be afraid that some kid would choak on one and the pitchman would get sued big time.
(of course hoping nothing bad happens to the kid)

Later,Don
iugefu
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His name is Ronald and his site is http://www.birdy.nl
DonDriver
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I have a few of his birdy's.

Years ago in the U.S. a guy named Harry Flack (not sure of the spelling of his last name) pitched the "Hum-A-Zoo" he was a one man show and could get tips of 300 people.There is a plaque at the spot where he set up at Delmar fair in southern Ca.At the Texas state fair they let him set up under Big Tex as you came in the fair.
Here is a story on Hary and the Hum-A-Zoo

http://blogs.keloland.com/blog/index.cfm?CommentID=1092

I never got to meet Harry or watch his pitch but he was a legend among pitchman and fair people.

You can googoe hum-a-zoo they are still being made.

Later,Don
iugefu
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His pitch is simple but effective.......... he does a mean bird whistle ( sounds like an orchestra).with said T shirt, umbrella and open suitcase.
People get drawn by the sound, he momentarily stops and points to the whistles in the case, shows the whistle in his mouth and says "birdwhistle".........the prices are displayed, if I remember right ( it was 5 yrs ago) as Euro 2,50 per whisle, Euro 6 for 3 ( add about 20% to get $ price)
I was actually inspired to become a bird whistle pitchman after watching him but couldn't get a decent sound out of it no matter how I tried...so I let go of the idea. My little nephew however straight away got a decent whistle going. I think Loftus also wholesales bird whistles.
iugefu
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Correction, his price was E3,50 for one, E7,50 for three.
mota
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The lawsuit point is a very valid concern. I was talking to a balloon game worker this morning. He told me he stopped giving balloons to kids who asked, even if the parent was there.

He said two times they popped by the kid's face and the parent threatened to sue. This despite both times the parent bothering him for the free balloon and the kid sticking the balloon by his own face and mangling it until it popped.

Once doing stage hypnotism I had a guy who didn't want to come out of trance right away so I worked with him after dismissing the rest. While working with him I had a kid say, "My dad's a lawyer, you can sue!" right in front of everyone. It was the last time I worked that school and a big reason I no longer do stage hypnosis.

Too many people in the US ready to cash in no matter what and too many unemployed lawyers are a bad combination.

It's a pity this removes otherwise good pitch products from the US marker.

As an aside, the balloon store guy also pitches a food chopper. He told me about another line a friend uses. When asked if the chopper would cut her fingers if she put them in there he said, "Yes, but why would you want to do that?".

She would probably sue too.

"The first thing we do," said the character in Shakespeare's Henry VI, is "kill all the lawyers."

Can that really be a crime ;-)
sethb
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Quote:
On 2008-11-30 21:37, DonDriver wrote: Years ago in the U.S. a guy named Harry Flack (not sure of the spelling of his last name) pitched the "Hum-A-Zoo" he was a one man show and could get tips of 300 people.

For many years there was a Hum-A-Zoo concession in front of the Woolworth's store on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. The pitchman wore a derby and a loud plaid vest. He played a pair of drumsticks as he hummed, and didn't miss a beat as he sold the darn things (by the truckload, I might add). I wonder if that was him. SETH

P.S. At least a Hum-A-Zoo is big enough that you can't swallow it, because you can't fit it in your mouth!

BTW, is the Swiss Warbler the same thing as a "Punch Whistle"? A Punch Whistle was a little reed gimmick used by "Punch & Judy" workers to accompany the puppet show. It was kept in the mouth, so both hands could be free to work the puppets. Just wondering. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Rod Pringle
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Hello Seth:

Hope all is going well for you in this Christmas pitch season. The Swiss warbler is a tiny little piece of leather with a piece of thin plastic sheet in the center, all stamped together with a metal clinch. It was sold for many years as the Ventrillo, and was used as a vent device for "Throwing " your voice into a box or trunk, etc. And as a bird calling device "THE SWISS WARBLER"

The Punch & Judy Professors use a more powerful device to make Punch talk. It is called the SWAZZLE. They are made with a peice of Silver or Pewter, and other items. Most quality puppet makers of Punch and Judy Characters can be found on the internet, mostly from the UK and other Europeon countries, where Punch is very popular to this day . Most puppet makers will make you a swazzle if you buy their puppets.

However, one could make their own SWAZZLE following the plans in a nice old book entitled HOW TO DO PUNCH & JUDY by Sidney De Hempsey. This book can still be purchased on the web, just search it out. As Punch would say " that's THE WAY TO DO IT"

Happy Holidays!

ROD
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iugefu
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Interesting Rod.
Regarding the bird whistle and the risk of being sued..........I wouldnt worry too much about that one, its not the type of object that could easily slip down one's throat, but if you can't get a decent sound out of it like myself, its a non starter.
Regarding ROGUE trading like said Birdy in Amsterdam, I must say that he is hard core. I overheard him tell the law that he was going to move along and trade up the road which he then did!( although he is registered for sales/income tax, therefore staying on the right side of the law here) He has been pitching in Amsterdam for 30 years, so even though he gets a ridiculous amount of fines annually it would still seem to be worth his while..........location, location,location
Fitz
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Color Vision was the "trick of the year" in 1954...

If you want to learn a real good routine for color vision you should find Arcade Dreams by Ed Marlo. He has a four phase routine for the color vision. He also has some routines for props like the ball and vase, that he would pitch in a magic shop.

I worked for a friend of mine at a magic shop in a mall and Color Vision was one of my favorite items to "demo". But I mainly sold, can you guess it???? Svengalii decks. What a surprise.

Another routine I LOVED to "demo" was pen through bill. I did sell a ton of them but this routine served 2 purposes for me. (1) I have a solid routine I love to perform. (2) I found out if they had money (and were worth "working" for) and how much money they had. This little routine showed me who was there to buy and who just wanted a show.

Fitz

P.S. Don is the man!
I have a daily web show all about magic at http://FitzMagic.info
deadcatbounce
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Couple of points here. There's a guy in Camden Lock, London, every weekend, stands there, whistling away, selling Bird Whistles. He never SEEMS to do a lot of business, but .. I guess he has his busy times.
I use the Bird Whistle (Birdy) in a few of my kids routines - mainly the Misers Dream. It's used to give the sound of the coins whistling through the air - adds a LOT to the effect.
Regards,

DCB
"With every mistake - we must surely be learning..." George Harrison.
sethb
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Hey Rod, thanks for the information on the Punch whistle, that's a real piece of history there! BTW, the Xmas bazaars are working out well, people are still spending money, just not quite as much, but I'm doing OK with them -- there are going to be lots of Svengali Decks and Magic Worms under the Christmas trees this year! It's also nice to be working inside for a change, where I don't have to worry about the weather or the wind, and I don't have to pitch a tent.

And Iugefu, if you're still looking for alternative pitch items, you might want to look at these (in order of personal preference): Magic Worms, Money Paddles, Money Makers, Buddha Papers and Multiplying Rabbits [if you work outside, forget the rabbits, they will just blow off the table]. And just pick one or two, don't open a magic shop! Smile

The worms are killers, and it seems that any trick involving money always creates interest and causes lots of impulse purchases. The Cups & Balls is a good trick for drawing a big tip, but not a great pitch item; it's too expensive (as a set with a wand and a good instruction book) and it's also too hard for people to do if it includes anything beyond the basic inertia move. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Rod Pringle
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Hi Seth:

Its always good to hear from you! You always have new creative ideas for pitching. Keep up the great work at the Christmas bazaars and shows.

ROD
Matthew W
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Here are some of my big sellers.

Box of Magic - includes cups, dice bomb, color block escape, jumping gems, flying coins, instructional dvd.

Svengali Deck with or without dvd.

Fantastik/Pick a Color Stick

Ball Vase

The other stuff I have does sell, just not as often. Things like, dream queen, oddball, coin slide, knickels to dimes.

I had a person that I sold stuff to at THREE events. Each one was at a different location. Dream queen is great for adults and has a good markup. I sell them for $3 and make 5 times what I payed.

Has anyone thought of doing d'lites at fireworks displays? They sell glowsticks for around $4 or $5, and they only last a few hours, think of selling something that will last YEARS. I think people would buy.
-Matt
iugefu
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On the novelty side, anyone had any luck with rattlesnake eggs?
sethb
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If you mean the little oblong magnets that clack together, I have seen other vendors selling them at fleas. I don't think they were setting the world on fire with them, though.

But if you pitch these, don't forget your Whoopee Cushions, fake vomit, plate lifters and Joy Buzzers! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
DonDriver
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Seth,
I think iugefu means these:

http://www.zymetrical.com/product.asp?3=......odNybSzw

You can't pitch them but you can sell them.(I have no idea why anyone would want to...but you can)

Don
Cholly, by golly!
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My experience with rattlesnake eggs...

You're gonna go through a lot of demos just to sell a few. People like to pick them up, scare their friends, and then put them back on the table. The demo gets thrown to the ground a lot and the gimmick quickly wears out the envelope. Worn envelopes don't sell.

IMO... these are not a pitch item and just a so-so novelty seller.
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