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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Step right up! » » Svengali prices (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Jon-O the Great
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Ordered my usual gross from MM today. Their cards are going from .70 (in gross quantities) to 1.25. Good thing I raised my retail to $7. And they do have the blue ones (with the ace key) again in stock. Dunno about Loftus price.

Jon
sethb
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What kind of wholesaler suddenly raises their price by 75% in one shot? That's just ridiculous. Did the Chinese Svengali Deck assemblers go on strike or something?

BTW, I have found I can easily get $8 for the deck. That price also reduces the change from a ten-spot to just two one-dollar bills, so you will need to carry less "ones" around with you. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Jon-O the Great
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Aaron said the price increase was caused by higher gas price and labor costs in China. For some reason, I thot the govenment of China controlled both. Or could it be that MM just decided to raise the price? Looks like $8 is my next price.

John
WillRoya
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When I went to Honk Kong I found good quality Svengali decks for around .43 each with roughing spray on them, so you could fan them. I would have to order 10,000 at a time and pay for shipping. Would rather get from loftus for .54 each at a couple gross at a time.
DonDriver
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Roughing spray on svengli decks it the dumbest thing anybody ever did with the deck.Its called a "miracle deck" and it would take a miracle to work them.Trust me I've tried.

Don
sethb
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I agree that the Svengali Deck gimmick is good all by itself; adding roughing spray is gilding the lily, in my humble opinion.

It's just like the Cups & Balls combo sets. The dealers took a fine trick and "improved" it by adding a Chop Cup feature. Now the Chop Cup is a fine trick on its own. So is the Cups & Balls. But the combination of the two gimmicks is totally unnecessary, and actually makes the trick harder to perform, in my view.

If magicians would spend more time on their patter and presentation instead of worrying about trying to come up with the perfect method, it would be time well spent. OK, end of rant, back to the subject matter. Sounds like Loftus still offers the best quality cards and a fair price to boot. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Jon-O the Great
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Who do I have to kill to get 'em for .54? Last time I got 2 gross from Loftus, they were .69 plus shipping.

Jon
WillRoya
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Jon, ask for the bulk decks. They are sorted and the key card is the king of clubs. The only difference is that they don't have the pink slip over the deck and it doesn't have the extra instruction sheet but still has the instructions on two cards inside.

I have also had some success selling the crazy cube available from Loftus for around .50.
Jon-O the Great
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Speaking of increasing prices, since MM is gonna raise prices on the next order, yesterday I raised my price to $8 as Seth suggested a few months ago. Didn't seem to make much diff. If the kids are gonna get $7 from Dad, they can get $8. Dunno about $9 or $10 but $8 is OK.

There was a 7YO vendor's kid who had bought a red deck a few shows ago. When he saw the new blue ones, he said his fave color was blue and bought another one. I always sell vendor's kids for $5, as David Walker does. He'd come over when no one was there and ask very intelligent questions, so I didn't give him the "$5 for the cards, $10 for instruction" bit. He was REALLY trying to do the tricks but frankly, his hands just weren't big enough to do 'em very well. But he DID try, so I discussed the DL, which he really knew pretty well from the red deck. And he actually had the demo down pretty well, too. If he'd been a little older, I think I would have had him pitching. Oh well...another couple of shows...then who knows?

Speaking of the new blue cards from MM, they are certainly different this time from last. First, the key cards are truly almost the same size as the other ones, so VERRRRY hard (for ME!) to do the DL. Then, they changed from the previous AH (which is why I got them in the first place) to QC, so I had to learn it, difficult after the JS of the reds. And the cards seem MUCH stiffer than previously. All in all, it seems like I had to learn the whole pitch again. I had to THINK of the QC, while attempting the DL without getting 3 cards. Maybe I'm just getting old...Smile

I'm thinking of going back to Loftus next time. I just hate to buy 2 gross at one time. But if MM goes to $1.25, I think I must.

Jon
sethb
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Sounds like the price went up and the quality went down -- now there's a real recipe for success!

While I agree that the key cards shouldn't be shaved too much, there has to be enough of a gimmick to enable folks to handle the deck properly. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Jon-O the Great
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I went to MM website today. If it's correct, there are 4 possible key cards in each color of deck. Dunno if they are all 4 actually available at all times. That's what I get for assuming the AH is always the key in the blue decks.

And on the site, it says the price is $1 in case (gross) lots. Now I'm REALLY confused. Gonna call them today to get the straight scoop.

Jon
Jon-O the Great
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OK, here's the deal. The available decks with blue key cards are not the same as available in the red. There are 4 different key cards availabe for each color. Go to MM site to see what is available. The cards ARE stiffer because of a different coating. And the $1.25 price is for the deck, envelope and hard card, which is what I've been paying $0.70 for. Decks alone, case lots are $1. So I could get along without the envelope and hard card and go back to the way Don does the TCM, which in one way is better than having both in the same envelope.

I'd still have to print the deck and TCM instructions. I print them anyway, but now I put them both in the plastic envelope instead of separate. No biggie! I have not checked Loftus price but I will.

Jon
sethb
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Jon -- As an aside, it seems that you are most comfortable using the same key card for all of your demos. I guess that does make it easier to remember what the card is.

My Royal Magic decks from FUN, Inc. all have different key cards, and I will use two or three decks in rotation during a pitch day, just in case somebody stays for a second pitch or comes back. I also try to set up the deck so that the "spec's" card and "my" card are very different (red vs. black, face card vs. number, high vs. low, etc.) for the greatest contrast.

But I find that my biggest problem is remembering the specs's card (the one on the bottom of the DL). Usually I will get it right, but sometimes the patter becomes "your" card will magically change places with "my" card, instead of saying "your Queen" and "my Five," because I can't remember the darn names of the cards. Early Alzheimers' maybe? I hope not! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Jon-O the Great
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Yep, getting old is tough, ain't it? As for the "trading places" bit...

I always say, "OK, we're gonna make this (key card) trade places with that—“ (point to the card under the box) “--what's under the box?” (Sometimes they remember, some times not) “--card on the table. In other words, that...what is it?” (I'm like you; usually don't remember because I trade 'em off.) “--doesn't matter. THAT card's gonna jump back in the deck and this (key card) will go THRU the box and land on the table."

And I use someone else's (got blocked out the 1st time) Smile trick to do the intial "reveal" of the key...I let the cards fall on the table, backs up, and tell 'em to tell me when to stop dropping them-then take the top card. “OK, now look at that card. You know what it is, right? You’ve got it memorized, correct? You’re gonna remember that (key card), right?” That REALLY gets ‘em.

Then when I reveal ALL key cards, I drop ‘em on the table (instead of letting them fall into my left hand) and make a row of keys. THAT really get’s ‘em, too! Only prob with that…if lots of people…the ones in back can’t see it. AND on very rare occasions, one of the "ordinary" cards may peek out from the row. I just say “Almost all them are (key card).” Still a pretty good reveal.

“OK, now you know ALL my secrets! Any questions? Good! Happy Magic!”

Jon
sethb
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For the final reveal, I first riffle the cards from my left hand into my right hand. Since the cards are off the table, up in the air and held vertically, most everyone can see them, even in the back rows. Then I spread 'em on the table like you do, and let them sit there for a few seconds so it sinks in. Don't leave them there for too long, because otherwise someone will take it as an invitation to grab. Then I scoop them up, saying "And after your friends put their teeth back in their mouth, all you have to do is tap the deck again, and look, now ALL the cards are different, not a (key) card in the bunch!" That's usually when the wallets start opening up.

I find that if you just let the key pairs fall naturally, there are usually no exposures of the indifferent cards. It's when you try to make a fan and apply pressure, the pairs are more likely to "smear" and expose the indifferent cards. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Jon-O the Great
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I'm ordering cards again from Loftus. Their 2-gross price is still "only" $8.25 per doz plus shipping. MM is now $12 per doz for the uncollated decks alone or $15 including the clear plastic envlope and hard card. I'll just have to re-learn that 9H.

The MM clear plastic envelopes are nice BUT you have to stuff 'em, which takes time AND, of course, the deck is not collated. At least I won't have to put all those things into that clear plastic envelope. Tho it does look neat when packaged, it is a pain to put everything (deck, deck instructions, TCM cards, TCM instructions, hard card) together.

One more reason for getting Loftus--the old "Magic Cards" box from them, that I use with my MM cards, has seen MUCH better days! It has been taped so many times in so many places, it's looking like it's plastic coated, just like the deck!

By the way, I did try using different decks with different key cards. I have several 'dirty' decks, as you might imagine. I just put them out and when a kid brings his father, mother, friend...I switch decks so the key is not the same one they saw. The problem is, of course, us older guys have a hard time remembering which key is with which deck. And switching them regularly REALLY makes me have to think. And since I gave up thinking for Lent....Smile!

Jon
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