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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Everything old is new again » » What happened to Reiss Magic? (7 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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cosermann
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I remember when I was a kid I got my start in magic with a lot of the kits and things put out by Reiss Magic. What ever happened to them?

Regards,
Eric
Regards,
Eric
Hushai
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Good question! They were the ones who put out the tricks in individual boxes, such as "The Magician's Secret" (a T**** T**), and the Stamp Album, and the "Wonder Wallet" (a Z-fold or Himber wallet, I guess it was). They also published Garcia & Schindler's "Magic with Cards" and sold it packaged along with an ordinary deck. All the boxes were printed with the words "Purchaser Agrees Not to Disclose Secrets Contained Within." It was all mass-marketed in bookstores, department stores, etc., but it was better-quality stuff than you usually see in places like that. I'm sure a lot of magicians got their start with Reiss Magic. Some of their things are still around but sold by other companies, I guess, like the Garcia & Schindler book.
cosermann
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That's exactly what I'm talking about! I would have to credit Reiss and Marshall Brodein with getting me started in magic; mostly Reiss.

They also did magic sets (composed largely, in some instances of the stuff they sold in individual boxes). I had the Hat Full of Magic (came with a heavy plastic top hat which I still have somewhere), the Great Magicians Magic Show, and the Advanced Magic Set. I also picked up Garcia & Schindlers "Magic with Cards" last week at a used bookstore for $3.50. The quality was better than much of the stuff one sees today. I still have 3 or 4 of the TT's.

They were actually called Reiss Games and sold games too, BTW.

What ever happened to the company?
Regards,
Eric
PaulGreen
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I am looking at the following items in sealed boxes:

2 sets: Mini Magic Kit--Close-Up Magic 2
Includes Magic Picture Frame; Coin Pierce; Bamboozle (TT); Enchanted Coin Bank; and 4 or five other items
2 Sets: Liquid Magic
Includes The Money Dissolve; Mystic Vase; Vanishing Milk Trick; Water Wizard; Disappearing Water; and 4 or 5 other items
1 Set: Money Magic
Includes Disappearing Coins (coin rack); Making Money Paddle; Flash Cash; The IOU; 4 or 5 other items

Anyone interested? Contact me directly at paulgreen@earthlink.net
Canvey Card Sharp
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God this name takes me back!

I had one of their sets in the mid 1970's - the quality of the props was excellent with the TT the most realistic I had ever seen at that time (and there were 2 sizes). The Milk Glass & Gypsy Beads were also really well made. I think I also brought a rising card effect (houlette and wand) from Reiss seperately - and they used to sell paddles as well from memory.

The Magic sets contained a regular deck (probably my first ever Poker size cards)and 10 effects form Magic With Cards by Garcia & Schindler.
Barry Allen



A Trick....A Smile....Applause
Kevin Connolly
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George Schindler got me a demonstrators job for Reiss games in the 1970's. I forget the guy's name who owned it, I think it was Bob though. Reiss had nice offices in NYC. When I went in for the job all the tricks where in his office. He told me to take them and they would set up locations for me to work, usually on Saturdays. They had me working in better stores like Macy's, Bloomingdale's etc.

George would be the guy to ask what happened. As I remember it, the owner was a guy in his 50's, but had a bad heart.
Please visit my website.
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Always looking buy or trade for original Houdini, Hardeen and escape artist items. I'm interested in books, pitchbooks and ephemera. Email [email]hhoudini@optonline.net[/email]
Bill Palmer
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They are listed in some areas as a subsidiary of National Paragon, Inc., whatever that is.

Posted: Jan 19, 2005 1:03am
I was speaking to Paul Gross at Hocus Pocus this afternoon. He said that Reiss was bought by a company in New York which is now issuing the same items. I believe the name of the company is Forum.
Bill Palmer MIMC
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Bob Sanders
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Quote:
On 2004-08-19 15:32, cosermann wrote:
I also picked up Garcia & Schindlers "Magic with Cards" last week at a used bookstore for $3.50. The quality was better than much of the stuff one sees today. I still have 3 or 4 of the TT's.

They were actually called Reiss Games and sold games too, BTW.

What ever happened to the company?


George was very helpful in starting Assembly 203 in Fayetteville, Arkansas with two of the Reiss books: Magic With Cards and Magic with Everyday Objects. The club bought the two books at wholesale and the members bought them from the club at retail. They are all autographed! The profit from the books funded the club its first year (4/1981). In my book he has always been quite a gentleman of magic. SAM has taken its time in giving him recognition.

I wonder what the value of those autographed books is today. There must be two dozen sets out there. They are fine books.

Bob Sanders
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Levent
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For the record, George Schindler put together all of the magic and wrote all of the instruction sheets for the Reiss Games magic sets and tricks.

Best regards,
Levent

P.S. One of those Reiss sets, got me started it magic. Thanks George!!
Bob Sanders
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This week I was doing some studio work up at Muscle Shoals and did an old trick I learned from one of the old Reiss books.

Of course it still works like a charm!

Thanks again George!

Bob Sanders
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Rennie
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I just listed the Wonder Wallet Magic Act # 11 by Reiss Games on E-Bay
Rennie
The effect is the important thing, how you achieve it is not.......
omk
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Yes those sets were great - They were bought for both my sons as christmas presents back in the 70's trying to get them interested in magic. Had forgotten about them until this posting!

What memories........
ReissMagic
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I collected some of the Reiss magic sets when I was a kid in the mid to late seventies. I wondered what happened to Reiss and about two years ago began collecting the sets again by finding them on eBay. I began to search the web for information and found it to be rather sparse because Reiss Games, Inc. is not in business any longer and was only in existence for a few years. The following is what I've been able to ascertain thus far in my research and my collection of Reiss magic tricks.

Reiss magic tricks were a product of Reiss Games, Inc. which sold primarily games for adults and executives in the late sixties and seventies. The company was founded by Robert Reiss and was a subsidiary of National Paragon Corporation. In the early seventies during a period of increased interest in magic Bob Reiss decided to capitalize on this interest and developed a line of magic tricks sets to be sold in stores along side of his executive games. The magic sets were found in stationary departments of stores like JC Penney and Sears (as well as in their catalogs). They were initially marketed in 1975 (with 23 individual magic trick sets - such as The Rising Card, Spirit Photography, The Money Dissolve) and followed in 1976 and 1977 with additional sets that combined some of the initial 23 tricks (Hat Full of Magic/The Great Magic Show/Deluxe Magic).

Toward the end of the 1970's or early 1980's Bob Reiss sold his company to National Paragon Corporation. In 1981 some of the combination sets (Great Magic Show for example) were marketed again in places like Woolworth's and Walgreens under the brand Paragon-Reiss.

National Paragon Corporation was a needlepoint business that had been started in the early 1920's. By the 1980's with the decline of needlepoint business, Paragon declared bankruptcy and as part of their reorganization they sold off portions of their business (including Paragon-Reiss) and purchased a company called Media Arts (an infomercial business). In 1986, Paragon changed their name to National Media Corporation and became a leader in the infomercial industry.

Meantime, the company that purchased the Paragon-Reiss magic business was AMAV (founded in Canada in 1976). In 1987 they marketed and sold the original Reiss magic sets under the brand The Great Houdini Magic. The magic tricks were identical to the original Reiss tricks - AMAV tricks even had the Reiss name and logo on the plastic props. However, the packaging was changed to reflect the Great Houdini brand and the tricks were combined into different sets - instead of 23 indidivdual sets, there were six small sets (Close-up Magic 1/Close-up Magic 2/Money Magic/Card Magic/Liquid Magic/Rope Magic). They repackaged the combination sets under the same Reiss names (Hat Full of Magic/The Great Magic Show/Deluxe Magic Show). They even kept the instructions the same as the original Reiss instructions - AMAV only changed the name, copyright date and cover of the instruction booklets.

In the late 1990's (1997 or so), AMAV went out of business and sold its toy company. Diamant toys (an Israeli toy manufacturer) bought the intellectual rights to AMAV and resurrected the name AMAV as part of Diamant's marketing. Diamant markets and sells magic sets as part of their toy business. One of the sets they sell is titled "Hat Full of Magic" and is most similar to the original Reiss Hat Full of Magic of 1976. The instructions are no longer identical (though still similar) and the there are more tricks than the original. However, while the product packaging is distinctly Diamant's design, it incorporates the photos of the props and the little boy from the original 1976 product packaging.

There is no evidence that Diamant Toys manufactures or markets any of the other tricks or sets (such as The Rising Card, Spirit Photography, The Money Dissolve, etc.) It is presumed that they hold the rights to all of those tricks (in terms of design, manufacturing, packaging & marketing) and have decided to no longer produce them.

In conclusion, Bob Reiss developed and marketed the Reiss magic sets. The history and evolution of the sets are as follows:

1975 23 individual magic sets marketed
1976 Combo magic sets marketed (Hat Full of Magic, etc.)
1981 Reiss Games, Inc. becomes Paragon-Reiss (The Great Magic Show, etc.)
1987 Paragon-Reiss becomes AMAV's The Great Houdini Magic (Hat Full of Magic, etc.
1997 AMAV becomes Diamant Toys (Hat Full of Magic only)

Of course, there is much more detail to this story than is shown here. This is what I've been able to piece together in my research on the web and my collection of Reiss magic sets and Great Houdini Magic sets.

Robert Manning
Kevin Connolly
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I was going through some magic a while back and ran across the poster they used when I demonstrated for them. I looked at it and said 30+ years was enough to carry it around. I put it in the recycle box. Sorry.
Please visit my website.
www.houdinihimself.com

Always looking buy or trade for original Houdini, Hardeen and escape artist items. I'm interested in books, pitchbooks and ephemera. Email [email]hhoudini@optonline.net[/email]
ReissMagic
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Oh, that's too bad! I would have loved to have obtained that poster.

Robert Manning

Posted: Apr 24, 2008 11:41pm
Here's a list of the individual magic sets sold by Reiss Games, Inc.

Magic Act 1 The Impossible Ropes. 5 Unbelievable Acts of Illusion.
Magic Act 2 The Psychic Stamps. A Very Weird Act of Illusion.
Magic Act 3 Coin & Glass Vanish. Illusion with a Double Mystery.
Magic Act 4 Magician's Secret. 10 Astounding Acts of Illusion.
Magic Act 5 Paddlemania. Enough to Baffle the Logical Mind.
Magic Act 6 The Phantom Folder. 9 Amazing Acts of Illusion.
Magic Act 7 The Vanishing Milk. 5 Super Illusions with this Classic.
Magic Act 8 The Rising Card. Plus 10 Best Card Tricks. Deck Included.
Magic Act 9 Spirit Photography. 5 Very Strange Illusions.
Magic Act 10 The Flying Ace. An Outlandish Act of Illusion.
Magic Act 11 The Wonder Wallet. A Pocket Magic Show. 36 Tricks.
Magic Act 12 The Coin Pierce. A Mind Over Matter Illusion.
Magic Act 13 The Mystic Vase. An Empty Vase Full of Water.
Magic Act 14 The Box Paradox. 10 Acts of Illusion.
Magic Act 15 The Disappearing Coins. Where did all the Money Go?
Magic Act 16 The Money Dissolve. An Outrageous Act of Illusion.
Magic Act 17 The Gypsy Necklace. Enchanted Beads of Mystery.
Magic Act 18 Bags of Mystery. The Great 'Lost and Found' Illusion.
Magic Act 19 Devil's Handkerchief. The Secret to Devilish Trickery.
Magic Act 20 Magic with Cards. A Magic Book and Deck of Cards.
Magic Act 21 10 Best Card Tricks. The best of the book and cards too.
Magic Act 22 The Magic Candle. An Illuminating Act of Illusion.
Magic Act 23 Unpopable Balloons. (sic) A Cute Puncture Trick.

Magic Acts 1 through 21 were manufactured and marketed in 1975
Magic Acts 22 and 23 were manufactured and marketed in 1976

Posted: Jul 2, 2008 9:06am
Here's a list of the combo magic sets sold by Reiss Games, Inc.

THE GREAT MAGIC SHOW Style No. 951 (1976) 50 Astounding Acts of Illusion
Features Magic Acts 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 16, 17, 18 and 20

HAT FULL OF MAGIC Style No. 952 (1976) 45 Terrific Tricks
Features Magic Acts 1, 12, 20, and 23 plus a number of tricks unique to this set.

35 TRICK MAGIC SHOW Style No. 953 (1976) A Super Collection of Mystifying Tricks
Features Magic Act 23, several card tricks and props found in Hat Full of Magic plus a number of tricks unique to this set (The Bamboozler, The Prophecy Box, etc.)

DELUXE MAGIC SHOW Style No. 954 (1976) 98 Astounding Acts of Illusion
Features Magic Acts 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 15, 16, 17 and 20

ADVANCED MAGIC Style No. 957 (1977) Easy-to-Perform Professional Illusions
Features Multiplying Balls, Linking Rings, Can & Glass Transpo plus a number of other tricks geared toward the more accomplished magician.

In 1987 when AMAV obtained the rights to the Reiss magic sets, AMAV marketed the following sets under the brand The Great Houdini Magic:

THE GREAT MAGIC SHOW
HAT FULL OF MAGIC
DELUXE MAGIC SHOW

With the exception of the packaging and the copyright date (1987), the sets were identical to the original Reiss Games, Inc. sets. They used the same name and incorporated the same photographs, instructions and style numbers as well.
Kevin Connolly
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Without getting up, didn't AMAV produce a line of Houdini magic sets? I'm pretty sure they were from the era too.
Please visit my website.
www.houdinihimself.com

Always looking buy or trade for original Houdini, Hardeen and escape artist items. I'm interested in books, pitchbooks and ephemera. Email [email]hhoudini@optonline.net[/email]
ReissMagic
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I believe you're referring to what AMAV marketed as THE GREAT HOUDINI MAGIC in the late 1980's. From what I've found, a number of those sets were the original Reiss magic sets repackaged. I have seen on eBay a couple of other THE GREAT HOUDINI MAGIC sets that appear not to be of Reiss origin; however, I don't possess any of those so I can't confirm what tricks/illusions they contain.
Bill Palmer
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AMAV holds the record for the least expensive commercial set of cups that I have found.

They were part of the Great Houdini Magic Set, and were cardboard cups, black with white rabbits.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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ReissMagic
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You described those cups perfectly! They also had the name AMAV printed on the cup. Prior to 1987, they were produced by Reiss Games, Inc. and had the name Reiss printed on the cup - otherwise, identical to the AMAV cups.
Mark R. Williams
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OK, I know this is an OLD thread but, I have a Magic set called some thing like ( my apologies as I have it paced away in storage for the moment)"75 worlds greatest magic tricks" that I believe is dated 1973 and is by Reiss games. It bears no resemblance to the later "magic act" series and contains none of the same effects.

The box is largely black and drk orange with a illustration of a mustached magician in a top hat and cape. The effects follow an around the world theme with each purportedly being from a different country.

I cannot seem to find out much about it, and have never seen another. I cannot say whether it had a large production or not. It was purchased in the games section from a high end retailer.

Any further information would be useful.

Thanks,

Mark
"One more step on the pathway of Knowledge, that is if we don't break our leg crossing the street"
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