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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Magic Products From UK (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Soumyajit
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Hello Conjurers,

One of my colleagues is visiting UK and he will be back next month. My question is, are there any good magic related stuff that is found the cheapest in UK? I understand that most standard stuff are found everywhere and the prices differ. But is there anything homegrown that is best and cheapest if bought in UK?

I know this is a long shot but since most magic products found in India are quite costly(as they are imported), my best bet is to get them little by little through people travelling to various parts of the world. That's how I got my Bicycle deck.

Sadly I currently stay in a huge city that is a commercial hub but has only 1 magic shop. So they pretty much charge whatever amount they want Smile

End of rant...

Soumyajit
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Wizard of Oz
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Hi Soumyajit!
I'm in the USA, but I'll try to help.

Where will your colleague be traveling in the UK? And, is he planning on visiting shops in person, or having items mailed to him while he is visiting?

There are a couple of good shops in London ( Davenports: http://www.davenportsmagic.co.uk and International Magic: http://www.internationalmagic.com ), but if he could, he should look up Alakazam in Ashford ( http://www.alakazam.co.uk/Contact-Us.shtml ). They are one of best manufacturers of unique magic effects, and almost everything they produce is high quality. If there are savings to be had, it will be there, as I would imagine their props are hard to come by internationally and when available, probably marked up considerably.

Good luck and welcome to the Café!
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Soumyajit
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Quote:
On Aug 24, 2016, Wizard of Oz wrote:
Hi Soumyajit!
I'm in the USA, but I'll try to help.

Where will your colleague be traveling in the UK? And, is he planning on visiting shops in person, or having items mailed to him while he is visiting?

There are a couple of good shops in London ( Davenports: http://www.davenportsmagic.co.uk and International Magic: http://www.internationalmagic.com ), but if he could, he should look up Alakazam in Ashford ( http://www.alakazam.co.uk/Contact-Us.shtml ). They are one of best manufacturers of unique magic effects, and almost everything they produce is high quality. If there are savings to be had, it will be there, as I would imagine their props are hard to come by internationally and when available, probably marked up considerably.

Good luck and welcome to the Café!


Thank you so much for the info. My colleague will be in London. He is a good friend so I will try to coax him into visiting the shops in person. Regarding Alakazam in Ashford, I am not sure if he will be able to pay a visit in person. I am going through the site and if anything interesting, I will order it to his address.

Thanks again for the help Smile
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Mrg1974
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Hello,

I'm based just outside London I'd agree with everything the previous poster said:

If you want cheap versions of good quality magical bits and bobs and you know what you are looking for then Amazon or other online stockists will always be your best bet.

However there are some truly brilliant stockists in the UK -

Davenports have shops in London and Norfolk http://www.davenportsmagic.co.uk/ and has been going since the turn of the 20th century.

If you're in Norfolk, they have a museum which is good, and has a live show which is also quite good fun.

I've heard good things about the International Magic Shop in Clerkenwell and there is also the magic cave - a stall on Covent Garden Market.
Soumyajit
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Quote:
On Aug 25, 2016, Mrg1974 wrote:
Hello,

I'm based just outside London I'd agree with everything the previous poster said:

If you want cheap versions of good quality magical bits and bobs and you know what you are looking for then Amazon or other online stockists will always be your best bet.

However there are some truly brilliant stockists in the UK -

Davenports have shops in London and Norfolk http://www.davenportsmagic.co.uk/ and has been going since the turn of the 20th century.

If you're in Norfolk, they have a museum which is good, and has a live show which is also quite good fun.

I've heard good things about the International Magic Shop in Clerkenwell and there is also the magic cave - a stall on Covent Garden Market.


Thanks a lot again. My colleague is in Central London and he said he can make it to international magic and davenports but not Ashford Smile As I browse through the respective sites, however, some stuff seem pretty pricey. I am not experienced enough to know which are the stuff actually worth the price based on their makers and which are not Smile I might order a couple of things from davenports though Smile
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Wizard of Oz
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Unfortunately Soumyajit, you've chosen a costly hobby. But, for the most part you will get what you pay for if you study up before buying. Try to research props and effects prior to purchasing. There are plenty of reviews right here on the Café.

Your best bet for cards are buying a trusted brand like Bicycle, but in bulk. You will pay more up front but less per deck.

Your best value for the dollar in magic will always be books and sometimes DVDs. One book can give you a lifetime of effects to master.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
MGordonB
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Wiz is correct, you've chosen an expensive hobby.

That said, the prices at your hometown shop are probably not as high as you might think. With all the online options that are out there a shopkeeper won't stay in business too long if there are cheaper options online.

Even if you think his prices are high, you might find that they are OK after you take into account currency exchange rates, duties, shipping costs, etc. when you purchase magic from outside your home country..

Just a thought.
Doug Trouten
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MGordonB is right about the prices in your hometown shop. Prices are high everywhere, because most of what you're buying is produced for a very specialized market and that means certain economies of scale don't apply. If you're lucky enough to have a brick-and-mortar magic shop in your area, you should really patronize it if you're able. Lots of folks on the Café would love to have such a resource in their community.
It's still magic even if you know how it's done.
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Blaine G
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<That's how I got my Bicycle deck>
Perhaps it may be best to have your friend pick up a dozen bicycle decks rather than just the overpriced trick of the week. Maybe a book or two, sticking with the classics.
Soumyajit
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Thanks to all for your valuable insights. And yes it is a costly hobby it seems Smile

However, my dilemma is as I said, I still am not savvy enough to know which prices are justified. All of you are experienced and as soon as you walk into a shop or log on to a website, you would know whether they are selling stuff above the range or at the correct range. At the moment I am mostly into cards, coins, sponge balls and ropes. I switch from time to time so as not to let boredom set in. I do not mind paying the amount if I am sure it is the justified price for it but most of the time, I have no idea Smile

I have been extremely lucky in terms of books and DVDs as I found a guy in the neighborhood who was a magician and has a good library of books and DVDs. Unfortunately he is not into the business anymore and has sold all of his magic stuff but he lends his books and DVDs to me. I am using his stuff for the time being to learn the basis and plan to buy the resources I like one by one to keep them for myself.

As for Bicycle bricks, if I am not wrong they are the cheapest at Costco. I am waiting for someone from my office to travel to US again so I can order a brick.

And yes I do plan to create an extensive library and magic collection for myself in due time. But for the time being, taking it a bit slow.

All of this being said, I would like to thank all of you for your wonderful suggestions and guidance. This is what I like the best about Magic Café.
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Wizard of Oz
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You're actually going about this in the right way. Most "newbies" dive in without thinking, buy everything in sight, and then suffer from buyer's remorse after the dust has settled. Try to see first if you have an area of preference...close up, stage, cards, sponge balls, ropes, performing for adults or children etc. The options are immense. But once you have narrowed down your interests you can search in an informed way.

Google is a great tool in this area. And so is Amazon and Ebay. On Ebay you may be lucky enough to find a collection of books, props, or both, at an affordable price and boom! You are on your way.

Keep the faith Soumyajit. Remember, magic is ancient. It started with nothing more than what people found around them.
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Dick Oslund
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Friend Soumyagit!

It appears to me that you have the "right attitude", and, are "knowing, and using your resources"! (e.g.: using your friend's "loaner library", etc!

I note however, some well meaning magicians using terms like "effect", "trick", "magic" much too loosely, and, THAT can cause confusion, and COST YOU, MONEY!

Perhaps, I may define a few terms, it may help, and keep you from making costly errors!

So! You cannot buy or own, "magic", a "trick", or an "effect".

"Magic" exists ONLY in the mind(s) of the spectator(s).

You cannot buy or own, a "trick" either. A "trick", like music, only exists while it is being performed. (Stop dragging the rosined horsehair over the taut catgut, and, the music ceases!)

You CAN buy or own, a "prop", or a "secret". A "prop" is the physical equipment that you use to perform a trick. A "secret" is "esoteric knowledge" that you find in a book, dvd, or get verbally, or written from another magician.

If you perform a "trick" well, with a good "presentation" (it's not WHAT you do, it's HOW you do it!") the spectator(s) MAY perceive a "magical effect"!

Finally, "magic" is NOT INHERENTLY ENTERTAINING. Your performance, and "presentation", may cause the spectator(s) to perceive a "magical effect", but, in addition to fooling them, your "presentation" must ENTERTAIN them!!! To put it plainly, you must fool them, WITHOUT MAKING FOOLS OF THEM!

You mention "generic" props (cards, coins, rope, etc.) GOOD! Generics are relatively inexpensive, and, can be found "anywhere". Classic "dedicated" props, like egg bags for example, will cost as much as a hundred dollars, if you want a good one. Cheap egg bags don't last! So! save up, and INVEST in a good one! I have a 50 dollar BUSBY egg bag, that has seen thousands of audiences, and, will, if I live long enough, see a few thousand, more! My Rice silks, purchased when Harold Rice was still living, still look great.

I recommend that you "check out" Ken Weber's fairly recent book, "MAXIMUM ENTERTAINMENT" It's about $40 (U.S. $)and is an excellent INVESTMENT!

Remember the old Latin proverb: "FESTINA LENTE"! ("make haste slowly"!)
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Doug Trouten
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"Maximum Entertainment" was published in 2003. That may or may not count as "fairly recent" in today's frantic six-new-packet-tricks-a-day marketplace, but it's certainly more recent than similarly valuable books of magic theory, like the Fitzkee Trilogy (1943), or "Strong Magic" (1994). Come to think of it, 2003 does seem "recent" to me. Guess I'm getting old.

Speaking of oldies but goodies, let me say what a treat it is to have magic legends like Dick Oslund contributing their knowledge and experience to the Café. One of my favorite things about this community is the wealth of practical experience shared by experienced magicians like Dick. Thanks!
It's still magic even if you know how it's done.
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SamChak
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Quote:
On Aug 24, 2016, Soumyajit wrote:
That's how I got my Bicycle deck.


Get a Bicycle Variety Gaff Deck too.

Many card magic effects are invaluably aided by this prop.

Image
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science."

~ Albert Einstein ~
US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)
Soumyajit
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On Aug 26, 2016, Doug Trouten wrote:
Speaking of oldies but goodies, let me say what a treat it is to have magic legends like Dick Oslund contributing their knowledge and experience to the Café. One of my favorite things about this community is the wealth of practical experience shared by experienced magicians like Dick. Thanks!


This is what I love about the Café too. And I can guess why Dick would say it is a recent publication. He has seen so many books over so many years hehe Smile

Sam I was thinking about getting a gaff deck as well since I can now do some of the basic requisite moves with confidence.

Once again thanks to everyone for all the help and guidance. Really appreciate it Smile
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Stu Montgomery
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Http://www.saturnmagic.co.uk and http://www.propdog.co.uk are both excellent British dealers also. And both VERY helpful whenever advice is required.
"Round about what is, lies a whole mysterious world of might be" Longfellow.
Soumyajit
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On Aug 28, 2016, Stu Montgomery wrote:
Http://www.saturnmagic.co.uk and http://www.propdog.co.uk are both excellent British dealers also. And both VERY helpful whenever advice is required.


Thank you so much Stuart. I will definitely check these out. Thanks for all the help Smile
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dooblehorn
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Yes, I know, old post but meaning to give a shout out to International Magic. When I was in London last May, the two gents in there were extremely kind, and when I asked about their exclusive items, they must have spent an hour showing me a variety of cool stuff. One of the best experiences I've had in a retail store, two nicer guys you won't find!
Stop by their shop, when in London, I highly recommend them.
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