What happened to Black Fox Magic and Trading Company?

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erdnasephile
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What happened to Black Fox Magic and Trading Company?

Postby erdnasephile » April 28th, 2016, 9:12 pm

All:

Just wondering if anyone knows what happened to Black Fox Trading & Magic Company? I was researching their shells and discovered their site is no longer active (and some of their shells getting a little bit harder to find, although S4S currently has a good selection).

Thanks!

I.M. Magician
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Re: What happened to Black Fox Magic and Trading Company?

Postby I.M. Magician » April 28th, 2016, 9:57 pm

Maybe they got tired making people 'shell out' all that money for a set. :lol:

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Re: What happened to Black Fox Magic and Trading Company?

Postby I.M. Magician » April 29th, 2016, 3:33 pm

Kidding (and bad jokes) aside, I think that they are still very much in business and may be releasing some new sets in the near future. I will attempt to find out what is going on with them and post what I discover, if anything, here.

Perhaps their website being down is a temporary thing.

Speaking of the Three Shell Game, I used to enjoy performing it and just recently was practicing to get the rust out. I learned whatever I know about them from the Ralph W. Read book which I think is terrific and probably the best book ever written on the subject. By the way, if anyone wants a copy at a reasonable price, please let me know. I have several copies and can post them here on the forum as a new thread.

Black Fox sets are quite nice! I never liked those shinny gold shells. I have two sets. One is the old SS Adams plastic shells which work just fine actually. The other is a handmade set of genuine walnut shells which were lacquered on the outside and filled in with an unknown substance on the inside. I don't remember who made them but they were considered really good in the early seventies. For me, the pea is everything. You need a really good pea! Nowadays, good ones are available.

It would be interesting to hear what others have to say about the Three Shell Game. Which set you use, how you use them, and anything else you want to mention.

Thank you erdnasephile for waking up this classic apparatus!

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Brad Jeffers
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Re: What happened to Black Fox Magic and Trading Company?

Postby Brad Jeffers » April 29th, 2016, 4:01 pm

The phone number for their brick & mortar site is 909-866-0676. I called and got a recording giving the store hours. They should have been open as it was noon (Big Bear time).
All comments on their facebook page, Yelp, and tripadvisor, date back to 2015.

It's an interesting looking place, especially the magic shop, which includes a stage ...

Image

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erdnasephile
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Re: What happened to Black Fox Magic and Trading Company?

Postby erdnasephile » May 3rd, 2016, 2:47 pm

So, I just received in the mail: 1. The BF Superior Shells and 2. The BF Master Shells.

From the pictures on the websites, I expected that these shells would be different in shape. Specifically, in all the pix I have seen of the superior shells, they have the "divot" in the rear of the shell. The master shells do not.

However, as far as I can tell, the 2 sets I received are completely identical, except the Master shells have a fancier paint job. The shape, size, and markings are the same. The colors of the shells are very nice, but differ from that seen on the web. I bought both sets new from reputable US dealers.

I can't email BF for obvious reasons, so if you own these two sets, is the difference in the two sets just one of appearance? (I was able to find JC Sum's website with the two sets, but the sets I own don't look like his--I assume BF took liberties with his designs over the years.)

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erdnasephile
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Re: What happened to Black Fox Magic and Trading Company?

Postby erdnasephile » May 6th, 2016, 12:06 pm

Looks like his ebay store is still up and running: http://stores.ebay.com/blackfoxandco?_t ... 7675.l2563

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Re: What happened to Black Fox Magic and Trading Company?

Postby I.M. Magician » May 6th, 2016, 3:15 pm

His eBay store is still up but not running technically.

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Re: What happened to Black Fox Magic and Trading Company?

Postby John LeBlanc » May 6th, 2016, 3:54 pm

After seeing some shells on eBay I wanted I thought I'd try the retail store number (909-866-0676) and ended up speaking to Hedi Popovich. She saw this thread a couple of days ago. (Yes, Erdnasefile, one set should have the divot.)

For anyone wanting Frank's shells, the website is down for now, but the retail store is open (closed on Tuesdays until after Labor Day.) Hedi's son runs the magic store.

There are shells available. Just give her a call and do some business with her.

John

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Re: What happened to Black Fox Magic and Trading Company?

Postby I.M. Magician » May 6th, 2016, 4:06 pm

I ordered and received some Black Fox shells this week and they are beautiful!

If you desire some shells, I suggest that you strongly consider Black Fox shells. For one thing, his shells come in varieties such as Scarabs. Walnuts are great but I like the idea of the shells being something more interesting than that and Scarabs fit the bill perfectly!

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erdnasephile
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Re: What happened to Black Fox Magic and Trading Company?

Postby erdnasephile » May 6th, 2016, 5:22 pm

John LeBlanc wrote:After seeing some shells on eBay I wanted I thought I'd try the retail store number (909-866-0676) and ended up speaking to Hedi Popovich. She saw this thread a couple of days ago. (Yes, Erdnasefile, one set should have the divot.)


Thanks, Mr. LeBlanc and IM Magician: appreciate the information. Looks like I got shipped two master sets by mistake. May have to return a set even though both are painted differently.

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Re: What happened to Black Fox Magic and Trading Company?

Postby Dr_J_Ayala » November 20th, 2016, 12:26 pm

I have handled various shells from Frank and they are all superb products, and the few times I have spoken with him were all very informative and wonderful conversations.

However, this seems to be why people had not heard from him in a while: http://rotwnews.com/2016/04/18/man-shot ... club-dies/

The update says the next court date is December 2016 and I can only wish the best for Frank and that the truth, whatever it is, prevails.

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Re: What happened to Black Fox Magic and Trading Company?

Postby Dr_J_Ayala » December 2nd, 2017, 1:38 pm

Fast forward a year later: Black Fox was convicted of First Degree murder by a jury on November 2nd, 2017. He is due to be sentenced this month (December 2017) and is facing 50 years to life.

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erdnasephile
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Re: What happened to Black Fox Magic and Trading Company?

Postby erdnasephile » December 2nd, 2017, 5:17 pm

Thanks for the update:

Here are a couple a news stories on this:
http://www.sbsun.com/2017/11/03/big-bea ... -shooting/

http://rotwnews.com/2017/11/03/frank-po ... of-murder/

Sounds like they caught much of what happened on tape.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: What happened to Black Fox Magic and Trading Company?

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 3rd, 2017, 5:31 pm

The owner Frank Popovich is a really bad guy, convicted of the murder of a friend (who may have consorted with his wife) which was clearly caught on videotape.

A small exceprt from The Sun:

"A Big Bear Lake magician is facing 50 years in state prison after a jury found him guilty of first-degree murder Monday for fatally shooting a friend in a parking lot, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.
Video footage captured the fatal shooting early on the morning of April 12, 2016, when 55-year-old Frank Popovich Jr. — a magician who owns the Black Fox Trading Co. in Big Bear Lake — killed 42-year-old James Clark in the back parking lot of a nightclub in the mountain community, officials said. Prosecutors noted the footage also captured Popovich’s actions after he shot Clark.
“In a scene that was captured on surveillance video, the defendant then walked over to the victim’s head area and slapped the victim in the head,” Deputy District Attorney Larissa Ruescher, who prosecuted the case, said in a statement. “The defendant then walked to the feet of the victim, took the cigarette from his left hand, and continued to smoke it for a full 30 seconds while standing over the victim’s body.”
Popovich and Clark were friends, prosecutors said in a statement, and Clark had worked for Popovich in the past.
During the trial, prosecutors said Popovich was upset his wife and Clark were spending time together, something Popovich denied in court, according to Chris Lee, spokesman for the DA’s office."
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