Originally posted by Steve Hook:
I don't care if it's economically viable.
Steve -- Fantasma is not a company geared toward advanced magicians. It is a company geared toward the general public. So if they have included "joke" or "novelty" items, cut them some slack.
Many magic stores, included Hank Lee and Al's Magic Shop (at least when Al ran it) had big novelty sections in the front with the dog poop and whoopie cusions.
It's called trying to stay in business. It's easy to sit on the sidelines and say you're not interested in whether something is economically viable. I'm more interested in the quality of the magic than in the other items they sell.
[Long aside: I'm a fan of so-called "underground comix." One of the best publishers, Fantagraphics, who put out books from some of my favorite artists, like Chris Ware and Jim Woodring, also has a line of "naughty" comics. In my opinion, these other books are on the edge of being misogynistic. So I don't read those. I understand that readership of the stuff I like is small, and I'm grateful they are able to continue to publish what I consider quality. Likewise with Fantasma.)
Forget the novelty crap and hope they can make enough dough to put out the next Mark Setteducati or Angelo Carbone miracle.