Archive for October, 2009

Asher headed to Japan for lecture tour

Friday, October 30th, 2009

The only Thunderbird better than the one created by Lee Asher rolled off the line in ’57.

Part of the thrill of releasing the Arcane deck was to offer an Arcane version of one of the greatest, power-packed four-ace productions. If you haven’t seen his sweet performance clip in the Artist Gallery, stop what you’re doing right now, and check it out. It’s OK, we’ll wait. Go ahead.

But if you live in Japan, you can see Asher do it in real life. Lucky.

During the month of November, the creator of the Asher Twist and the Diving Board Double will be lecturing across Japan, talking about technique and presentation. Asher is one of the best in the business, and has a prolific library of solid sleights used by countless professionals. His plan for the Japan tour is simple: He will supply powerful information that will encourage you, inspire you and help take your magic to the next dimension.

Here’s where Asher will be when:

Nov. 11-17: Tokyo
Nov. 14: Yokohama and Tokyo
Nov. 18: Shizuoka
Nov. 19: Hamamatsu
Nov. 20: Kanazawa
Nov. 21: Nagoya and Osaka
Nov. 22: Okayama and Hiroshima
Nov. 23: Yamaguchi and Fukuoka

If you want to see him in one (or all) of the cities above, put in your request to Lee directly. He will send you the proper information on how to attend. He tells us that he WILL bring some Arcane decks from his personal collection to give away as prizes while in Japan. But the cards are the cake. From participants of Sorcerer’s Safari to professionals who have worked with him, Asher is one of the most inspirational and insightful lecturers and creators in the field.

Bring us back some sushi, Lee. Click after the jump for a map: (more…)

Arcane contest winners announced

Friday, October 30th, 2009

The Joker has been busy indeed over the last few days, but she has finally decided to heap some niceties on those of you who braved the largest, biggest release of a custom deck yet. These winners were randomly chosen from customers who ordered Arcane decks during the first two days of availability. Congratulations to our Arcane contest winners, and to everyone who contributed to a record-breaking day.

Lane C. Thompson won the uncut sheet, the lucky dog.

Winners of the free Arcane stainless steel clip are:

  • Jack Champagne
  • TJ Bourne
  • Ian J. Throckmorton
  • Mitchell D. Berger
  • Anthony Nowak

And the winners of free black Arcane decks are:

  • Philip E. McDonough
  • Mathew J. Kenward
  • Ronald Phifer
  • Frank Spies
  • Kevin Spohr
  • Stephen Meli
  • Nathan J. Parsons
  • Aaron Kupferman
  • Barton Snell
  • Rick Gatt

Arcane sales break Ellusionist records

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

A little perspective is in order:

  • When Ellusionist first released the Black Tiger, the first edition of it sold out in four days. That print run was about 5,000.
  • When Ellusionist released the Shadow Masters deck, we sold about 3,000 in a 12-hour period.

So, given everything that happened on release day, including enduring a DoS attack just minutes after the sales page went live, we were blown away when we saw that more than 6,000 decks of Arcane playing cards sold in a 12 hour period — roughly 2 a.m. to to 2 p.m. Central. This reaffirms everything we said about how awesome you are. Thanks for making this release a success!

Just because the decks are out doesn’t mean Arcane goodness stops. Keep checking the Arcane page for new performance videos from some top-notch card sharps. And check in tomorrow for the announcement of contest winners.

Servers restored, Arcanes now available

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

What a humbling day for us at Ellusionist.

We poured five years of work into the Arcane deck. We teased it like crazy over the last few months across the Internet. We inspected it PERSONALLY as it came out of the presses at the U.S. Playing Card Co. We sent out decks to some of the best in the business for reviews and videos. We prepped our servers and secured enough bandwidth for 20 times our normal traffic (based on our last record-selling item) in anticipation for the demand.

And still, we got swamped. Definitely the Joker’s day today.

When the Arcane sales pages went live, we got hit with almost 50 times our normal traffic. Nine hours later, we were still hovering around 30 to 35 times. Some of our buds have joked with us and said, “Well, that sounds like a GOOD problem to have, right?” Ha ha, but not even close. It’s not like we made any money while the servers were down. We drummed up interest and demand to make sales, not create an unquenchable demand. We developed this deck to get it into your hands, so that you can drop some jaws.

We are humbled beyond belief that you gave us that kind of demand. And we’re ticked off that our site crashed on you. Our server techs worked like crazed beavers to get things back up and running. JBone and Dave never slept, they spent so much time working on this. And as of 3 a.m. Central time, we were back up, going at an average of 100 orders an hour. At 3 a.m.

Your loyalty and patience has humbled us more than anything. Like we said earlier, we invested a lot of time and money into making the Arcane deck the way it is, because we believed it was what you wanted. It humbles us all to know that this deck of cards created this unprecedented demand.

You could have bellyached, and raised cain on magic forums. You could have said “Eh, eff it. I’m going to bed.” You could have said, “Never mind, I’m buying something else with my money.” But you didn’t. You hung with us and kept pounding that “Add to Cart” button. We have the best customers in the magic business. We are thankful for you each day, but especially on days like today.

As indicated before, most of the server problems have been worked out, so you shouldn’t have any problems ordering Arcanes now. Knock on wood.

Mitchell gives in-depth look into Arcane

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

David Mitchell, E’s Web master extraordinaire and head curator of one of the greatest magic libraries in Canada (which happens to be his ultra-secret bunker), has posted a video featuring the Arcane playing cards. He goes WAY in-depth, showing many features of the white and black decks:

What, you want more reviews? We got ’em. George posted this advance review over at The Magic Cafe. And our friends at .thecuso featured the below video, complete with stern, wagging fingers, card close-ups, sweet flourishes and awesome sound effects. And two middle thumbs, whatever that means:

In less than two days you’ll get your chance to get your very own Arcane decks. You’ll also get a chance to win several cool prizes, including a free deck, a stainless-steel card clip or an ultra-rare uncut sheet of the black Arcane deck. While you wait, you can pimp the desktop of your computer, notebook, netbook or smartphone with the Joker… she won’t mind.