New U.S. Division Opens Showroom at International Toy Center in NYC.
Roger Dreyer named CEO.
Marvin’s Magic, manufacturers and marketers of a well known line of packaged conjuring tricks have opened a U.S. division and showroom at the International Toy Center in New York City. MagicTimes recently spoke with Marvin Berglas, creator of Marvin’s Magic and Roger Dreyer, new CEO of the stateside unit.
“Marvin’s Magic is aimed at hobbyists, wizards, wannabee wizards and apprentice sorcerers, not professional magicians. It is beautifully designed and packaged to appeal to the consumer,” explained Marvin. An adept performer himself, Marvin was raised surrounded by magic and magicians. He is the son of renowned British mentalist/magician David Berglas. “I began the line in 1995 with a small area at Hamley’s Toy Store in London.” For many years, Hamley’s had a legendary conjuring department; issued magnificent catalogs and was one of the worlds premier magic dealerships. This department was phased out long before Marvin appeared on the scene and reintroduced, albeit in modern vogue, the sale of magic at Hamley’s. From it’s modest beginning, Marvin’s Magic has grown to be one of the worlds largest marketers of legerdemain.
“We’ve now achieved excellent brand exposure here through our association with F.A.O. Schwartz and visibility on the cable shopping networks,” states Marvin. “The time had come to increase our presence in the U.S. and the world, especially the U.S. where there are multiple channels of mass distribution. We are delighted to have Roger Dreyer join us as his business experience and love of magic provide a true synergy for our brand. It is exciting to plan with Roger the implementation of our joint vision of global marketing strategy and product placement.”
Roger Dreyer was founder and president of Fantasma, a leading timepiece manufacturer of licensed branded lines including Walt Disney, Warner Brothers and Sesame Street. Roger has been involved with magic since the age of 11 and is a noted collector of Houdiniana, antique magic and conjuring ephemera. “I’m the luckiest guy in the Toy Building!,” exclaimed Roger to MagicTimes. “I get to come to work and combine my love of consumer products and my love of the art of magic.”
“Our focus,” explains Marvin, “is how to present the art to appeal to the consumer. The Marvin’s Magic range is professional magic made easy, but also dynamically designed and packaged. Instructions are published in four languages and are easy to follow. “Can You Keep a Secret?” is a concept repeatedly emphasized in our instructions, labeling and advertising. We seek to encourage a love and appreciation for magic. That’s why it is so important to us to fine tune a product to make it an all around happy experience for the consumer; to take them to a level where they can grow and enjoy the presentation of magic more fully. Magic is hurt when a company sells a magic set or consumer trick that is a disappointment. Roger added, “Not only has Marvin the vision to encourage the public in the enjoyment of magic but also the vision to maintain the integrity of the art.”
As their American efforts progress, modifications of content and packaging are required here and there. “Pub Tricks will be repackaged as Bar Tricks,” Roger offers as an example, “Different lines may be emphasized.” At present the ranges consist of Executive Magic, Classic Magic, Collectible Card Tricks, Magic Made Easy and The Magic Circle Magic Sets. (Incidentally, the Magic Circle tie-in raised substantial funds for the construction of that club’s new Center for Magic Arts facility in London).
“Quality of presentation is what makes Marvin’s magic outstanding. We hear sincerely enthusiastic responses like, “Amazing” and “Unique” used all the time regarding our products and their packaging,” says Marvin.
“Soon, we will be bringing out new items. We are working with top magical designers on the creation of new wares. We are contemplating staging a major competition to scout new tricks for our line. We find the best tricks for Marvin’s Magic are those which have a beginning, a middle and an end; not much sleight of hand and a gimmick. We then wrap it in infectious packaging to elevate the consumers entire experience to an even higher level of fun and enjoyment.”
Marvin adds, “The Harry Potter phenomena is having a big impact right now and will boost magic interest. Many companies are jumping on the bandwagon, but with products that disappoint. Our aim is to exceed the consumers expectations and encourage them in the pursuit of magic. I can tell you this, Marvin’s Magic will still be around after the Potter buzz subsides. Our best years are still ahead.”Will Marvin’s be the “Mysto” of the new Millennium? Time will tell, and then MagicTimes will tell you. Stay tuned.
For more information you may visit their website at: www.marvinsmagic.com
—Richard Steven Cohn
Richard Steven Cohn has written for Genii, Magicol, M.U.M., The Yankee Collector, MAGIC, as well as magic themed articles for Brooklyn Bridge Magazine and Stagebill. He is a magical consultant for television and theater and performs both as a single and with his wife Alexandra.