Archive for the ‘The Dealer’s Desk’ Category

postheadericon Goodbye 2009!


2009 has by far been one of the more interesting years in this business! Recession and ever changing magic industry aside, we’ve seen well known magicians arrested, good friends leave us, old magic sites vanish, new ones appear, a plethora of horrid tricks marketed and a handful of exceptional magic effects made available.


Creativity and revision are often spawned by negative happenings. I have my hand in many aspects of what we call the magic industry. Retailing, wholesaling, manufacturing and of course performing. My friends in magic come from all areas mentioned. Quite a few performing friends of mine have revised their rates or shows to work better with the current economic conditions of this country. I’ve watched the dealers offer every kind of promotional concept in order to stimulate sales.  The distributors even discounted their items, offered free shipping on select items. Some have even pulled damages from 10 years ago in an effort to raise cash. Manufacturers do smaller runs and items become phased out if they do not meet the criteria needed to make a profit.


Carrying forth as we planned more than a year ago, our line is evolving into a more selective, higher quality product line for discerning magicians. The concept has worked well for us and will enable us to bring to market many innovative effects and recreations from a time forgotten.


We very much look forward to 2010 and serving your magical wants and needs. Wishing you all health, happiness and prosperity for the new year!


Always my best,
The Trickery

postheadericon Press Release: For Immediate Release

Howard A. Baltus
The Trickery
9 Raven Ct
West Milford, NJ 07480
Phone: 973-657-0446
Email: CustomerCare


Imagine a full blown custom web site for your magic that’s easier than a Word Doc to maintain!


November 23 rd, 2009 – West Milford, NJ  The Trickery Magic Shop is offering free customized web sites to magicians who are in need of a professionally designed site to showcase their magic.


In a partnership with WebAuthorings, a web site development and design company, The Trickery, LLC, one of the Internet’s first magic shops, is offering their joint services to magicians who contract for one year of web hosting with WebAuthorings. The Trickery is known for their exclusive higher end selection of magic tricks and illusions as well bringing a quality experience to the consumer through all of their web ventures.


WebAuthorings, whose primary focus is not geared toward the magic industry, will design a customized quality web site for up to 15 magicians under the direction of Howard Baltus, owner of both The Trickery and WebAuthorings companies.


“Most people simply cannot afford the standard industry pricing of developing a custom web site in today’s tough economic times”, says Baltus. “We’ve had our share of financial struggles over the last 2 years, but have maintained a balance of stability and learned quite a bit of how to make things work on multiple levels without spending a great deal of money. Hosting at $0.67 per day for a free professional web site is a no-brainer! Once the skeleton framework is in place, a user can then update all of their content including video, images and pages through a backend administrative system that is easier to manage than a Word Document.” Baltus continues by adding, “We’ve combined the additional element of The Trickery’s Affiliate Program that allows the user to have a virtual magic shop and earn 10% on all products sold through the user’s site. It’s a win-win situation for all parties!”


To learn more about the free custom web site for magicians, click here. Magicians interested in this limited service should call Howard at 973.657.0446.


The Trickery was established in 1994. To learn more about The Trickery visit them at


WebAuthorings was established in 1998. To learn more about WebAuthorings visit their site at


 # # #

postheadericon Metro-Magic 2009

Some visual highlights from Metro-Magic 2009.

postheadericon Metro-Magic Convention



It’s that time again! Metro-Magic is the close-up convention that rocks the east coast! A partnership between Bob Solari, Bill Wisch and Carl Bajor, that brings to you some wonderful talent for the 5th year running this Sunday, October 4th.


Performers and lecturers include:












Rose and I are participating behind the scenes this year, so The Trickery will not be represented. Not to fear… a wonderful array of east coast dealers will be there! Looking for a specific item from us? Please let us know what it is and we’ll make arrangements to have it with us.


This year the Metro-Magic V.I.P. honoree is George Schindler –
Performer-Creator-Comedian-Author-Actor-Dealer…. and of course, Dean of The Society Of American Magicians!


VIP seating has sold out, but general admission tickets are still available. Please contact Bob Solari at 973-546-6110 for further information.


We’re looking forward to seeing you!



Intensive Workshop with Tony Clark
Tony Clark is offering an intensive night-before workshop on Saturday October 3rd at The Quality Inn.
If you are interested in attending, please contact Tony directly for details. Registration is very limited. This is a privately held event and not part of Metro-Magic.


Contact Tony.


Click here for


Howard & Rose Baltus
The Trickery

postheadericon Goodbye Old Friend

One of the hardest things to do is say goodbye to an old friend. I had to do that this morning to Nick DePalma. When I started The Trickery Bob Solari introduced me to Nick. Nick used to build magic props for Tannen’s in the late 60’s and early 70’s. He grew up with Bob’s father and was a close friend of Bob’s family. Nick could build some pretty amazing props all by hand. He was the first wood worker we employed to fabricate some of our exclusive pieces.Nick was a big guy with a very loud gruff voice who had a great sense of humor. He was always there for personal things as well, like helping me install a sink in a newly remodeled bathroom in our West Milford house.



Nick was one of the cheapest bastards that you could ever meet! I say that with love and deep respect! Bob took me to Nick’s house to meet Nick for the first time. He had a bunch of very cool props laid out on his dining room table, most of which I’ve never seen before. He told me what they did and then told me the price for each trick. I was very impressed and purchased several of each. I was very excited. It was a cash sale that totaled about $700.00. We loaded the car and talked for a while outside. Nick told me he forgot to show me a piece he had. He put in my hand a collectible Nickel to Penny to Dime box made from walnut woods. I needed to borrow a real dime to try out the piece. Nick gave me a dime and I performed the trick. I asked how much he wanted and he told me $18.00. “Fine! I’ll take 3 of them to start!” Another $54.00 in cash and I was on my way back to the car. In case you weren’t following, that was $754.00 in cash the first time I met Nick! As I reached the car Nick called out to me. “Howie! Hey, Howie! You’ve got my dime!”



Nick used to build a neat piece called Wizard of Od. He would come by the studio with merchandise that I would almost always purchase with cash. These were expensive pieces that retail close to $300! After purchasing them, Nick removed the batteries from each unit. I asked him, “Nick! What the hell are you doing!” He replied, “Batteries not included!”  HE WAS SERIOUS!



I wanted to share just a couple of stories about Nick. With all the silliness, there was a father-like quality about Nick that you couldn’t help but love. As I write this last sentence the phone is ringing. It’s Bob on the other end. Nick died a few minutes ago.



Journey well old friend…journey well.

postheadericon Cup & Balls – 50 Questions

Cups & Balls -50 Questions!

Cups & Balls -50 Questions!

 Over the years, we’ve been asked every conceivable question regarding the Cups & Balls. I’ve put together the standard questions, mixed with some of my favorites. Enjoy!


1. Size? Mouth-Top-Height?
2. Will they hold a tennis ball?
3. Will they accommodate a baseball?
4. What color are the insides?
5. Do they resonate when tapped?
6. How long do they resonate when tapped?
7. Can you fit 3 balls on top of one cup?
8. Can you embed 3 balls inside one cup?
9. Will they dent or ding when tapped with a wand?
10. Do they tarnish?
11. How much do they weigh?
12. What is the spacing between them when they nest?
13. Who is the manufacturer?
14. What kind of drawstring bag do they come with?
15. What are the dimensions of the balls?
16. How many balls do you get?
17. Is a Chop Cup available for this set?
18. Are there 1, 2, or 3 beads for the border?
19. How far apart are the beads spaced?
20. Are the cups, spun, turned, or lathed?
21. Do they come in wood?
22. What kind of wood?
23. In what country are they manufactured?
24. Do the cups rock or sway when stacked?
25. Can they hold an apple, orange, or grapefruit?
26. Can they be seen from a distance on a stage?
27. How far is the distance they can be seen on a stage?
28. What’s better? Aluminum, Copper or Brass?
29. How good are the cheap plastic cups?
30. Even though Mike Rogers is gone, can you still get the mini baseballs?
31. How does Paul Gertner do the Steel Cups and Balls?
32. Did you see Penn and Teller’s See-Through Cups & Balls?
33. Can the cups hold a baby chick?
34. Where can I buy baby chicks?
35. How long before the baby chic grows too big for the cup?
36. Are Johnson’s really the best?
37. What’s the difference between all of the different versions?
38. Are the Sisti Cups still around?
39. Can you get the Paul Fox Cups?
40. Why are the Paul Fox Cups so special?
42. Do I need Ammar’s Volume 2 of Complete Cups & Balls to learn everything?
43. What kind of finish do the cups have?
44. Who is Bill Palmer?
45. What note will they resonate on?
46. What is the difference between brushed and chromed?
47. Over $300.00? Are you mad?
48. Are the balls crochet or knitted?
49. Why aren’t there instructions for this set?
50.  Why did Penn & Teller expose this?

postheadericon Magic: A New Low


I have just discovered that the persona of the magician has now reached an all-time low; magic with  Always Maxi Pads. This commercial involves two females and one of them is a magician.

She makes the blue liquid vanish from the pad. I couldn’t make this up if I tried. If I tried, it would be much funnier. This is simply sad. The only things sadder would be a magician proposing a boycott of P&G.

“And have a happy period, Always!”

postheadericon Stimulating the Stimulus in You!

Rev Share

Rev Share


We are all in the midst of the economy’s financial pitfalls. Even if it hasn’t affected you personally, I am certain there’s a shop or restaurant that you enjoyed that is no longer there. We’ve changed some of our strategies and restructured our daily living in order to survive the long rebuilding process.


We have two wonderful ideas that will help put money back into your hands. What I’m about to describe to you works. It works well with a little effort on your part. I have offered this concept to very close friends and have also expanded this offer to their friends. These concepts are old and proven to work time and time again. I am talking about Networking and Revenue Sharing.


Networking is the art of building alliances. It’s not contacting everyone you know when you are looking for a new job and asking if they know of any job openings. Networking starts long before a job search, and you probably don’t even realize you are doing it. Meeting neighbors and friends at a party, talking to other parents at your child’s school, instant messaging or Internet sites like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn are amazing opportunities to develop sources of information that can be used to better your life and the lives of others.


Revenue sharing is also known as cost per sale, and accounts for about 80% of affiliate compensation programs.  E-commerce web site operators using revenue sharing pay affiliates a certain percentage of sales revenues (usually excluding tax, shipping and other 3rd party cost that the customer pays) generated by customers whom the affiliate refer via various advertising methods. Another form of online revenue sharing consists in people working together and registering online in a way similar to that of a corporation, and sharing the proceeds.


Many of you are aware that I offer an affiliate program through The Trickery. Most of you do not know I also own another company called WebAuthoriongs. It’s a web design and development company that was established many years ago that was started when I was the Internet Director for one of the largest catalogers in America. Both of my rev share programs are similar in that we offer a 10% commission on referrels and leads that turn into sales. Rather than taking up time and space here explaining The Trickery’s  Affiliate program, simply click here for all the details. I do have Trickery affiliates that earn more than $500 per month! It does require you to have a well designed site and of course qualified traffic. It does take time and devotion to run a successful on-line affiliate campaign.


WebAuthorings Revenue Sharing Program is quite a bit easier and will return quite a bit more money to you in a shorter amount of time. YOU  WILL  EARN 10% of our project price for each referral that turns into a sale! Fully developed, custom web sites with a proprietary administrative back end management system start at $2500.00. Right off the bat, $250.00 is yours as a referral fee! If the client selects additional custom work for the project, your revenue share also increases! Most businesses, most services, most entertainers require a web site as a part of their business. You know family and friends as well as co-workers who require these services! If you are interested in becoming a Rev Share Partner though WebAuthorings, please fill out our partner form located here. Anytime you refer a potential client to us, they will be able to reference your name as a referral. At this point, our system takes over and you will be notified that a contract has been signed by the person you referred to WebAuthorings. The day the site goes live, your commission will be sent.


If you have any questions about these two programs, please feel free to call me at 973.657.0446. I would be more than happy to take the time to speak with you.

Best regards,

Howard A. Baltus

postheadericon Through the Years

postheadericon Magic Unexplained

Magic Unexplained


A couple months before my father died, my mother found him rumaging through his night table drawer. She asked what he was searching for so frantically. It was his wedding ring. It had gone missing a fourth time! He had lost weight and the ring slipped from his finger on 3 other occasions. My parents once found the lost ring in the street next to his car. Another time they found it a shoe under his night table. A third time the ring was found under the table in a corner of the bedroom. This time the search went on for his ring, but it was never found.


Off and on after my father died, we continued to look for the ring. I had been through my dad’s night table and jewelry box a couple times. My mother had done the same multiple times as well as my brother and my wife. Six months after his funeral we scheduled an unveiling. This is a ceremony when the gravestone is covered with a cloth and after some prayers and an informal service is held, the stone is unveiled thus marking a closure to the final transition.


The day before the unveiling my wife, Rose and I were at my mother’s house. Rose was helping to sort out and give away my father’s clothing and other posessions. I was sitting in his rocking chair as my mother went through his jewelry box yet again to see if I wanted to keep anything. As she removed two small lolly pops from the box she let out a loud scream. It was reminiscent of the scream you might make when you walk through the kitchen at 3am to get something to drink and you see a large black roach scurry across your bare feet! Yea! That’s pretty much what it sounded like.  


As I looked in her hand I saw it. It was Dad’s wedding ring!

Chat with Howard