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Tags boycotts , Jay Sankey , Penguin Magic

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Old 26th April 2007, 10:23 AM   #1
thaiboxerken
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Jay Sankey calls for boycott of Penguinmagic.com

So, I was at a local magic shop looking around and the guy at the counter asks me where I got my other material from. I told him "Penguinmagic.com" and "ellusionist.com" He then informed me that Jay Sankey has called for a boycott of Penguinmagic because they are stealing his stuff. Jay was with Penguin for quite a while and they sold lots of his material, then Jay claims that his royalty checks kept getting smaller and smaller while the sales of his stuff remained rather high. To make a long story short, over the course of 16 months, Penguin has allegedly stolen tricks from Sankey, re-labelled them and cut Sankey out.

The open letter was sent out in Nov 2005.

Anyone else get the letter?
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Old 26th April 2007, 10:46 AM   #2
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I got it.

I used to be on Sankey's mailing list. I haven't received anything from him for quite a while, though.

I started paying less attention to him when he was releasing all that junk.
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Old 26th April 2007, 01:09 PM   #3
thaiboxerken
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You think his boycott is junk?
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Old 26th April 2007, 02:53 PM   #4
Dinsdale Piranha
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
You think his boycott is junk?
No, just some of his tricks.
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Old 26th April 2007, 03:16 PM   #5
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I think he has some good ones, some of them are probably better suited towards kids though.
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Old 26th April 2007, 05:06 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
I think he has some good ones, some of them are probably better suited towards kids though.
He definitely does. I have a couple of his tricks along with his Revolutionary Coin Magic DVD.

When he made the deal with Penguin he was contracted to put out "X" amount of new material over a specified time. Therefore much of what he put out wasn't the highest quality stuff.

In general I like Sankey. I just think he made a bad deal with Penguin. His reputation took a little bit of a hit.
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Old 26th April 2007, 05:23 PM   #7
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His contract with them should have prohibited this. If it didn't then there's not much he can do. Calling for a boycott will have pretty much zero effect (no pun intended).
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Old 26th April 2007, 05:50 PM   #8
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I've heard through the grapevine that penguinmagic has actually suffered a severe drop in sales due to the boycott. Of course, rumor is just rumor.
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Old 26th April 2007, 10:09 PM   #9
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I wasn't disapointed with Jay's stuff that I've bought as such - just surprised that most of it wasn't new tricks, but simply old stuff and well-known principles tarted up a bit...

Having said that - I'm planing on using some of the ideas in my mentalism routine - there are some nice twists and some interesting presentation ideas...
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Old 27th April 2007, 09:45 AM   #10
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I recall actively posting about this when it the Magic Cafe. It's an empty accusation that was never fully supported. In the same open-letter Sankey makes the clumsy observation that his items remain in "Penguin's top 10" in spite of him not receiving the same steady royalties. The trouble with that claim is that Penguin hardly ever updated their top ten, as anyone who paid passing attention quickly realized. After a response from one of "The Penguin Boys" (Sankey's description), he withdrew the accusation they stole from him and he apologized.

Here is what *I* don't get about their current relationship. First some background which might shed light on the infamous newsletter mentioned in the parent post. Sankey's tantrum came not long after his exclusive one year deal with Penguin ended. In a newsletter Sankey says he decided not to extend the contract, but the break up with Penguin was amicable and he wished them well. Later Penguin became one of many "authorized" dealers of Sankey Magic. The problem was other dealers complained because Penguin (P) undercuts their prices; P usually discounts a few dollars off the suggested retail price, plus a 10% discount for all returning customers on nearly all items (and free shipping). Apparently one of the conditions for being an authorized dealer is that you abide by certain price floors, so when Penguin refused the s*** hit the fan, that newsletter came out, and then the magic boards lit up.

Here's what I don't currently understand. Penguin still sells Sankey's products. They contract with another supplier or something -- I'm not sure how it works. Recently I got one of P's promotion e-mails saying I could get a free Sankey trick with a 30 dollar purchase. I'm just not sure why Sankey doesn't cut off whoever they get his products from. Isn't this why you put product codes on your things? (Though I don't see any codes on my copy of "Revolutionary Coin Magic.")

Also, in the response e-mail to Sankey, "The Penguin Boys" criticized him (basically) for putting out too much crap. They said he should take a break on releasing material if he wants his stuff to sell briskly. I'm not aware of any agreement to release X number of items. Sankey has always been prolific -- even if he keeps reinventing and repackaging his own material -- and he surely didn't slow down after ending his exclusive contract. So the idea he was forced to release all that stuff strikes me as B.S. I don't doubt they would stipulate "X number of items," but I doubt X was above his normal pace. He did have a good release for Penguin in "Front Row Sankey," which I bought. He also came out with some dating thing ("Heartbreakers?"), and I felt embarrassed after watching the demo. The "Gemini Pouch" was also a huge bomb. A lot of people have a wait and see approach with his stuff because it seems he'll put anything out there. Based only on vague public perception, I'd guess the prospects for Sankey's brand name isn't as good as Penguin's.

I hate, hate, hate Ellusionist and their CEO Brad Christian. That sucks donkey knob. But Penguin might be more evil. I do recall reading the seed money for their business came from Rob Stiff, CEO of Magic Makers Inc. (aka Magic Fakers). They are also supposedly under contract with him to sell MM items, though months ago I do recall an announcement (hell it might've been a year ago, I haven't been in the scene lately) where they said they would stop selling knockoffs... after selling off their current stock.

If Penguin is suffering, I'm sure their not alone. The online piracy has become extensive and extremely well-organized. Large purchasing circles generate high quality rips and the stuff multiplies nearly instantaneously. Hundreds of people are downloading DVDs days after they're released.
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Old 27th April 2007, 10:37 AM   #11
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Always some kind of politics in any multi-business venture, I guess. I have to wonder if Sankey sent out a retraction letter to those he sent the original boycott pleas to.
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Old 27th April 2007, 04:39 PM   #12
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Ellusionist isn't so bad; I like their card decks.
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Old 28th April 2007, 04:28 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
I've heard through the grapevine that penguinmagic has actually suffered a severe drop in sales due to the boycott. Of course, rumor is just rumor.
I wonder who started that rumour...
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Old 28th April 2007, 06:12 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
Always some kind of politics in any multi-business venture, I guess. I have to wonder if Sankey sent out a retraction letter to those he sent the original boycott pleas to.
I searched The Magic Cafe looking for the thread I mentioned previously. I found another post which reminded me why the original discussion was deleted. Here's a mod's answer:

Quote:
Stuart, the deletion of this topic was in no way a boycott of Jay Sankey. It was posted in several forums within the Café and was exact copy of a message sent out by Jay to members of his newletter.

As happens with almost all posts concerning dealers, it turned to flaming, bashing and hearsay comments. For that reason, we do not allow such posts to be made on the Café. The Sweet and Sour forum, which was a dealer discussion area was removed from the Café for this reason.
Emphasis added. I'm not sure if Sankey sent his apology out in another mass e-mail because I only read a copy/paste version of his remarks in another thread (the same place where I read Sankey's first newsletter).

Also, I hate Ellusionist's over-priced novelty decks.
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Old 28th April 2007, 03:57 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Cain View Post

Also, I hate Ellusionist's over-priced novelty decks.



As opposed to the over-priced novelty decks sold by others?
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Old 29th April 2007, 06:53 AM   #16
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I don't know of many other Magic suppliers making their own novelty decks (except for Magic Makers, which copied E). Anyway, it's also E's aggressive marketing that is just so unseemly. Kids are actually tempted to buy their stupid crap. I learned of their latest ploy this morning:

http://www.ellusionist.com/order/Uncut-Sheet/index.php

Now they're selling uncut decks for 250 dollars. This probably costs them less than a buck! And they're not even framed. It's disgusting.
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Old 29th April 2007, 06:57 AM   #17
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I love this corking bit of lousy copywriting:

Quote:
These sheets aren't available anywhere. We're offering a piece of history from our own limited supply.
If they're not available anywhere, how do they have some?

PS It's not a ploy, it's called business. If you think the markup is disproportionate to the wholesale price, report them.
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Old 30th April 2007, 10:51 AM   #18
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I'd rather just complain.
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Old 1st May 2007, 05:18 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by tkingdoll View Post
PS It's not a ploy, it's called business. If you think the markup is disproportionate to the wholesale price, report them.

Who would you report them to? And what exactly would you report- is there some law being violated if their markup is excessive?
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Old 2nd May 2007, 07:03 AM   #20
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Don't like it, don't buy it. The sames goes for psycic readings and whatever else gets blabbed about around here.
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Old 2nd May 2007, 07:55 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by T'ai Chi View Post
Don't like it, don't buy it. The sames goes for psycic readings and whatever else gets blabbed about around here.
So you'd have no problem with someone selling people boxes that are weighted with bricks while telling them that they are buying a brand new stereo system?
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Old 2nd May 2007, 08:13 AM   #22
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I wouldn't like it so I wouldn't buy it. Additionally, if there were any fraud involved, I'd report them to the proper authorities.

What would you do?
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Old 2nd May 2007, 12:43 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by T'ai Chi View Post
I wouldn't like it so I wouldn't buy it. Additionally, if there were any fraud involved, I'd report them to the proper authorities.

What would you do?
I don't think your comparison is appropriate. I think "psychic" readings are fraudulent, whereas with these cards you do know what you're getting. It's the difference between exaggeration ("uncut, super RARE") and lying ("Your dead mother says...").
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