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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » TA: True Astonishment by Paul Harris: Box Set: 9 DVDs + Props (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of kissdadookie
The defective discs have been dealt with swiftly and they are even shipped 2 day express UPS with no cost on the customer. How do I know? I'm one of those customers. You are talking out of your you know what sirbrad. Also, did you DVD player break yet? Do you have any idea how much abuse your DVD player can actually take? Do you have any idea that a lot of the discs that you probably already own is a big work out for that DVD player that you care oh so much about. Did you realize that initially you were basically complaining about not getting a discount on TA which is strictly a choice made by whichever shop you shop at and in no way has anything to actually do with Paul Harris or Murphy's? It's Paul's product and Murphy's is the distributor, they suggest a retail price, in the end, the retail store decides what they want to charge. Now you go off on tangents about your DVD player and blah blah blah. All things based off of assumption that you came up with in your head from reading posts on the Café, yet you point the finger at fellow magicians saying that they have no life? You're the one who's being delusional here sirbrad.

Posted: Feb 19, 2009 12:41am
You want a discount? Go to Penguin and get 10% off using the discount code (go find it yourself on google, it's not hard, or maybe you can hallucinate one up and then blame it on Penguin when it doesn't work). Jeeze, you don't think do you sirbrad? Retailers say certain things so that they will not look bad to the customer, it's called business strategy, I thought you were financial adept, guess not.
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Profile of bugjack
Just to clarify, and Tim has posted this over on the Latest and Greatest thread, but Murphy's required retailers to maintain the manufacturer's suggested retail price on TA as a condition of selling the set. This is similar to what Apple, video game companies and others do with their products. So, actually, TA is not discounted anywhere. Certain dealers have promos, like a coupon off a future purchase or free bonus items, and others have standard but unadvertised discounts (like Penguin). But everyone has it listed for $300.
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Profile of kissdadookie
It's not discounted, thus I suggested Penguin with their storewide 10% discount.

Posted: Feb 19, 2009 1:26am
I'm sensing that you bought the VHS tapes because they were on sale and you're more or less a very young person. I'm also willing to take a chance and say that you don't actually perform for a living. Read again, you're trying to cover up your foolishness by saying that you are talking about other issues. All of those issues have more than commendable solutions (I got 5 of my DVDs replaced, 2 day UPS, charged on Murphy's dime). It's not one being a impulse buyer or not, you, like many others, are just trying to justify NOT picking up TA but unfortunately, that is a hard feat to accomplish because TA really is a labour of love that is prominent throughout.

Your fanboy comment, it's ridiculous. The biggest fanboy is Paul Harris himself and all those who were with him throughout for TA. The DVD authoring is unmatchable where magic DVDs are concerned. The video quality is equally as good as watching a David Blaine special, in other words, this beats the snot of out practically all other magic DVDs in quality of sound and video alone. There's nothing to compare this with in the technical aspect. Let's not even ponder on the QUALITY of the actual material. Let's just say this, this took a LOT more effort in video and audio than any other magic DVDs on the market up to this date. This alone brings the overhead higher than other magic DVDs, no way around that. $300 for 9 MAGIC DVDs of this technical caliber, it's a bleeding steal.
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Profile of slyhand
My set works just fine. No vibrating, no muss no fuss.
In my experience, when things work like they are supposed to, nobody says anything. When something does not, all hell breaks loose.

I know in my business 99.9% of my customers are pleased with my service. But I receive more formal complaints than formal praises. The complaints are always louder too.

It appears that only a few out of many are defective.

If you want the material, go for it. You will probably get a good set. If not they will fix it.
I am getting so tired of slitting the throats of people who say that I am a violent psychopath.

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Profile of Acecardician
On 2009-02-19 01:13, sirbrad wrote:
On 2009-02-19 00:24, Acecardician wrote:
Brad: I have read every post in this thread from the start. And from all of your questions and anxieties about this, I would recommend that you do not get it.
I am being serious here. You will not like it. I am basing this on what you have had to say so far. Yes, all of your complaints are TRUE. I think the Paul Harris Fanboys can overlook anything wrong with this set. I did.
But from what you posted I don't think you can overlook any problems. And I am not being sarcastic. I really don't think you will like this and will just complain more if you do get it. I think you will be one of the guys who want to sell it.
So do yourself a favor and just don't get it.
I'm giving you a true honest opinion and no hype. Save your money or buy something else.


Really? Seems that your assumptions are really off. I have all of the AOA books, Stars of magic, and some old VHS tapes from the 80's from Paul Harris, and others, and like them all. Read again. I am not talking about "the material" or the quality of it, I am talking about other issues entirely. So again, stop trying to twist my words around assuming that I will not like the material. I don't sell anything I buy magic related, namely because I do a lot of research before buying, and make smart choices. I am not an "impulse buyer" like most.

I am not talking about the material either, but issues you listed and keep arguing about. And I am not ass-u-me-ing anything. I am stating facts from posts of your complaints.

ACE Smile
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Profile of doodah
My my...controversy!!! lol And a little mean-spirited at times I fear. Let's all be kind to one another. We can always agree to disagree.

I have to take sirbrad's remarks at face value. They are the product of his viewpoint which, in turn, has been formed by his particular experiences. I feel no need to change that view, nor can I be offended by it. It is just an opinion like any other...including my own.
Maybe I can answer some of the actual questions...

"So if I order now from a dealer what is the chance I will get faulty disks? Or have they been replaced already?"

I am not associated in any way with the distribution process of this set...but obviously all dealers will know by now of the vibration issue, and as Tim said earlier, the replicator will replace ALL defective sets. So should you order a set and it vibrates, the issue is best taken up with the dealer who is not responding to the recall in order to make a sale more quickly. Better still, ask the dealer up front if their stock has been replaced. Returning a set and waiting for replacements is a nuisance, sure...but imagine that individual inconvenience compared to the nuisance the distributor and replicator must deal with. Both have been apologetic and very forthcoming in their willingness to make things right. The world is imperfect, we all need to cut each other some slack.

"The only thing that turns me off is that this product was pushed down everyone's throat at the most expensive price from the beginning, and then all of the sudden all these issues arise. Now everyone must "act fast" yet again before the price goes up again. Sorry but that is fishy in my honest opinion. Also there are many other great products out there, even some by Paul Harris, that are discounted."

I am not sure what is meant by "pushed down everyone's throat". It was moderately advertised and got a lot of buzz...buying the buzz...or the set... is, of course, your option. It is natural for anyone selling any product to tout that product. That is how marketing and advertising work. This set has beev very honestly represented by the creators..."hype" created by others,in anticipation, is certainly beyond the creator's control, and even something of a concern. Being over-hyped only hurts you in the long run.

Regarding the complaint about "discounts"...the concept of discounting is a product of the market place...a way to beat the competition...and all you have to do as a dealer, is be willing to take a smaller profit...right? Let's think about how that plays out in the real world.
Suppose you are a guy like my friend Paul Gross of Hocus Pocus are in the shop at first-light everyday, hunting down deals for customers, taking care of business, maintaining a spectacular facility and a staff and a fortune in inventory, on the phone constantly fielding are a legit magic dealer offering a lot of options and service and in it for the long haul. Now the phone rings and a customer wants to know about some trick he saw in Magic Magazine and "can you get it?" and "what kind of deal can you make me?" So, since you have OVERHEAD that is unforgiving, and since the jobber is not able to give you a better deal than anyone else, you slice off what you can...only to be told by the guy (who has usually just wasted a half-hour of your time with inane questions) that he can get it from so & so Magic Co, for less...thanks for the info. Well...the thing is, so & So Magic Co. is likely to be a guy on a computer who is selling items out of his closet. He has no overhead by comparison...he also has no service staff, no shipping dept.,no long-range plans to be around for you later...and often no business ethics. Patronize him at the expense of the established dealer and shoot yourself in the foot. The "discount" game can become the slow but steady demise of the magic business. THAT is why retail prices get create an even playing field...and if dealers want to ADD value to a product with extras...fine. An established dealer is in a better position to do that. So before you jump on the idea that a discount is always a "smart business decision", you might want to consider what you really get for your money.

Aside from that..this particualr product started out that is is being sold at a bare bones price. $300 is NOTHING for what this set contains...IF a person is a working close-up magician. ie. a PAID performer. Depending on your fees it might take 2-3 shows to cover your cost...and after that it is all return on your investment. If a piece of equipment or an educational set costs me $300 but returns $3000 over a reasonable time...I call that good business. Especially if I can write it off on taxes, since it is my profession.

"Whether it is worth $300 or not is a matter of personal opinion, to me I am sure it will be."

Sorry sirbrad...but this confused me..if, as you say, it IS worth it...why worry so over a discount? Simply pay what it is worth and be glad to support those who produce quality products. And if you can find a better produced DVD set on the market at this time...please show it to me. The actually "worth" of something is, of course, a personal matter I am sure, but a project like this requires immense expenditures. As I mentioned in another post, compensations to contributors, videography, editing, phone conferencing, package design, music, advertising, distribution..on and on...all require money and incur costs before you sell a single unit. After you have gone through the considerable effort of creating something like this. You hope to at least break even, or hopefull, since it is 4-5 years of work, make a profit. Remember that you sell it to a jobber at 62% less than that retail price you see...and a tiny slice of that may turn out to be profit, after you pay cost. Oh, and that profit is divided among investors in some cases.

"I am not sold 100% that Paul lives in the woods in a cabin either, probably just more of his humor."

Paul is a former roommate of mine, and a friend for most of my adult life. He has always lived a rather nomadic lifestyle. He can carry all his possessions in his car (which is currently in a shop somewhere). He is extremely creative, extremely informed, a speed reader, he is as gentle a spirit as you will encounter, without guile. He is not one to accumulate material goods, not avaricious. In fact, he is incredibly generous in all regards.His home is whereever he is in the world at the moment, his friend is whoever he is with. He has been living in a cabin in the woods of B.C. Canada for awhile. Like all of Paul's abodes, it is a place to be for the moment.

"But there is no guarantee he will be on or if it is really him. We simply have to take their word for it."

No way around it, that remark is just cynical and a bit insulting to several GOOD people.

"Paul's material is great, but I don't understand why this set cannot be discounted just like anythng else. It is all just hype to get more money."

I suppose some can not understand why you are so MONEY say Paul's material is "great" on one hand, but do not care to pay a FAIR price. It is Jack Benny-esque. Would you take a 60% discount knowing that your bargain meant that the creators of the product would then get NOTHING for their efforts? Do you TIP your waitress for good service...or ask her for a discount? If you are concerned about defective disks...why? Satisfaction with that has been guaranteed by all concerned. People ought to be sending TIPS to Paul and his production Jason and Tim and the stand-up dealers who have added value to an already great deal.

After years in magic, one might be expected to have accumulated a body of original thought. Perhaps one could organize this thought into a tangible work, presented with excellent videography, editing, art, music, comentary, packagiong and service. Absorb all costs while you do this. When you are done, sell it to a jobber, who will have to add their percentage, and will sell it to a dealer, who will have to add theirs. Then sit back and enjoy the show while the buying public dismantles your efforts, disparages your reputation, complains about what you did or did NOT do for them, and wants to know why it is not discounted. Usually this will be done by those who have never moved the craft forward by an inch, who have sucked dry the creative efforts of others while enjoying the accolades of audiences as if they were displaying their own ideas. Who have never shifted a paradigm in their lives. Welcome to the magic BUSINESS.

I found your views to be different sirbrad, but I enjoy the banter and appreciate your view.

(My apologies for the length of this everybody get along!)
My doctor says that I am losing my short-term memory, and he also says that I am losing my short-term memory.
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Profile of Acecardician
Doodah: Spoken like a true gentleman. You are indeed well informed. Thank YOU for your contributions to this project and your post. Give Paul a pat on the back for us, or a friendly hello next time you talk to him.

all the best...

ACE Smile
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Profile of Whiskey_Trigger
I was playing some of my TA disks back the other day and I noticed that some of them vibrate but they still play. Does anyone know what the verdict is on disks like that? Should I contact Jason and send them back if they vibrate even if they still play or should I just hold on to them?

To you techies out there, is there anyway that these disks will stop working in the future if they vibrate somewhat now?
Review King
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Profile of Review King
On 2009-02-19 08:52, doodah wrote:

My apologies for the length of this post....

It was one of the best prices of writing on the magic retail business I've ever read. It should be placed in all the forums and magic magazines.

Patrick, THANK YOU for taking the time to do that for us all!

"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
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Profile of matt.magicman
Well finally my arrived today direct from the astonishment project to me in the Uk!
only its missing the supplied extra gimmicks needed, ie: the pen etc?
just got the wooden box with dvds all tightly wrapped
do the extras come seperatly ? or are they missing?
please help jason? / anyone?!
matt wanwright
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Profile of mamutrance
I didn't own the AOA books, bought the box set (without getting caught up in the hype), and have been performing about 6 or 7 of the effects of it constantly over the last two weeks for people, and frying them with each one.

Bottom line, I've found TA a really interesting mix of original thinking, with some great concepts, solid production, and jam packed with extras throughout, not to mention supplying all the gimmicks you need in a really nice presentation box. In my opinion worth every penny.
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Profile of AznSAmagic
For me... The best thing about this TA DVD set was being able to sneak the $300 purchase past my wife! Had to check the mail daily to avoid her finding the pickup slip. LOL

The other great part was seeing the PHoote Notes. Just seeing how the tricks/effects evolved was great. I mean, instead of putting the button at the top of the girls blouse, they changed it to the bottom and it worked better... That's hilarious.
Cerca Trova
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Profile of mamutrance
Well I got 8 out of 9 shakey discs, and I could enjoy the material just fine. To be honest my discs we not half as intrusive as I expected after reading about the shakes on here.

Either way if it's something that's keeping you awake at night, just wait a couple of months to make sure a new run of un-dodgy discs are in circulation and order then, problem solved Smile
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Profile of stewman
Boy I sure hope I never counter the main opinions of this forum, the hostility, the lack of tolerance for another viewpoint, the meanness, is this what we have become? Can't we keep a civil tongue anymore? Can't be respect others legit opinions? "...listen to others, even the dull and ignorant do have their story" Desiderata. Emotionally challenged are we?
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Profile of kissdadookie
I highly doubt he's as old as he claims to be as well. Tisk tisk. My silly assumptions.
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Profile of matt.magicman
So anyway
was anyone else missing the extra gimmicks that should be included, like the pen etc...??????
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Profile of Whiskey_Trigger
Matt, I was missing my gimmick for Pack of Lies and e-mailed Jason but I have not received one in the mail yet.
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Profile of jordanjohnson
Includes all Easter Eggs and Effects

These prices are taken from retail value of these effects:

Twilight Angels: $15
Reality Twister a.k.a. Lubor’s Lens: $13.95
P.H. Breakthrough Book: $5.58
Conjunction: $24.95
Napkin Rose: $9.99

These prices are based off of single download effects like T11 or Penguin or if they require gimmicks a PDF or single trick DVD with gimmicks

Cheng’s Change: $10-$15
Cheng’s Riser: $10-$15
Growing Card: $10-$15
Casanova Inc: $10-$15
Gerard’s Warp: $10-$15
Tensegrity: $30-$40
Weirdling: $15-$20
Ripped & Fryed: $20-$25
Invisible Palm: $7-$12
Truly Screwed: $12-$15
Belly Button: $10-$15
Unstable Label: $25-$30
TA Pen: $50-$60 (Price based on what it will be available for in the future)
Son of Cellophane Surprise: $6-$10
Card Mucking: $10-$12
Shuffling Lesson: $7-$12
Fizzmaster: $6-$12

26 Effects in todays standards ( and some could even be single trick DVDs but that’s another story) So probably a 3 DVD set with 9 effects on two disks and 8 on the other. So 3 disk sets go for around $60-$80 bucks

Backlash 2
New Leaf
PH’s Big Tiny
New Las Vegas Leaper
Half Moon Trading Company
Half Moon Voodoo
Pack of Lies
Solid with Happy Ending
Dr. Fun
Name Dropper
Naked Strange
Transendental Bar Bet
Extraordinary Proof
Smoking I
Dunn’s Deal
Muscle Bend
Angel Cake
Butchered Bunny Bill
Jeff’s Jump
Paper Propeller

Each volume of Stars of Magic set has around 10 to 11 effects taught and you get three volumes per DVD for $18.55. So divide that by three and you have $6.18 per Stars of Magic Volume (not per DVD per volume on DVD) A DVD volume under $7 that is unheard of!

Stars of Magic Tricks
Unshuffling Rebecca
Bizarre Twist
Tap Dancing Aces
Bizarre Shrink
Immaculate Connection
Flap Jacks
Zen and the art of Boomerang
Ultimate Ripoff
The Shape of Astonishment

These interviews could go on one DVD for easily around $40-$50

Paul Harris Interview#1
David Blaine Interview #1
Chuck Martinez Interview
Looy’s N.I.T.E. Story
Eric Mead Interview #1
Eric Mead Interview #2
Paul Harris Interview #2
Burger/McBride Interview
Gerard Interview
Blaine Interview #2
Jachques Olet and Kylie Layton Interview
Ammar Interview #1
Eric Mead Interview #3
Mac King Interview
Ammar Interview #2
PH Reel Magic Interview
Ammar Interview #3
Paul Harris Interview #3
Blaine Interview #3
Closing PH Interview

So the minimum price for the set if the effects were sold as stated above would be $423.65 and the maximum price would be $543.65

And this is just for the effects and gimmicks not the box and packaging so I hope this can speak for itself for those who think this is too expensive. Go ahead and plug your own prices in to here and see that you will still come out over $300, these are just educated estimations on what is already out there.

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Profile of dalmvis
Hi Everyone,

Just today arrived this DVD set, (to the Netherlands) and it's really BEAUTIFUL made!! And also are the supplied gimmicks. Now I have to sit down and watch..... mmmmm, a delicious meal Smile , and a lot of fun.
Jay Buchanan
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Profile of Jay Buchanan
On 2009-02-19 13:54, dalmvis wrote:
Hi Everyone,

Just today arrived this DVD set, (to the Netherlands) and it's really BEAUTIFUL made!! And also are the supplied gimmicks. Now I have to sit down and watch..... mmmmm, a delicious meal Smile , and a lot of fun.

Enjoy the journey, it really is wonderful!
Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt. ~ Shakespeare
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