Regular readers may remember this periodic focus on magic dealers who have a real physical presence where you can go and handle the goods in person. Call me a traditionalist, but I continue to be a great fan of physical magic shops. There is something abut stepping inside one of these magical places, and the sense of anticipation as you get closer, which provides an altogether more enjoaybe experience than clicking online.
In Mike Danata, I have found another true believer. To say that he is a magic obsessive is an understatement! Since we were holidaying on the South Coast this yeara – and Bournemouth was almost closer than you can throw a Bicycle Card, I decided to pop in and have another visit…
Mike always says that his shop is the kind of place he dreamed about when he was a boy – where all things magical were available to see and touch. He has certainly done a great job of realising that. Indeed he seems to make it a personal mission to compare every version of an effect (where there are several) so that he knows which is the best. We were looking at one little close up effect of which he had 3 versions and his advice was very helpful.
Advice there is in abundance. Mike is always up for a natter (in fact, like my daughter, it is making him stop which is the challenge!) and has years of experience to bring to bear. Lots of the online shops are trying to emulate this with live chat etc. but it is just not the same. There is also a refreshing absence of ‘hard sell’. If he thinks a trick is rubbish he will tell you so.
Back to the shop. This is like a magical retail version of a sliding block puzzle. There is far too much stuff in too small a place – so it is wonderful. He does seem to know where most things are, and you just occasionally have to hold one pile so that another can be moved to access a third!
His opening hours are a little quirky – but do mean that whether you are holidaying or wokring in the area you should be able to find a time to pop in. And of course, he does operate an online and telephone service if you really can’t pop in.
Well worth a visit if you are in the area. But do set aside enough time to browse and natter…