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Magic trade show brings major marketing spectacles

September 1, 2009 |  8:00 am

 Picture

Picture 001 If you managed to push your way past the Picture 003crowd gathered at the gates of Christian Audigier’s mini-city built within a hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center, all you saw in the shadows of Ed Hardy flags and Crystal Rocks sparkles were more and more marketing spectacles by brands showing lines at the Magic trade show.

There was someone posing for pictures dressed in a Sponge Bob Square Pants costume, and then a handful of guys with no pants on--just striped skivvies, standing in front of a men’s underwear booth.

But the biggest show of the day was in the lobby of the Grand Hall, where actors and dancers played out a “Mad Tea Party” to promote a line of jewelry Tom Binns is designing timed to the Tim Burton-directed "Alice in Wonderland" movie, which comes out in March. The dancers were dressed as the various characters from the book, but with a “street” edge. The white rabbit was more blue and looked more like a break dancer than a bunny. There was a random contortionist and a guy on stilts throwing cookies into the audience. A lot of people jumped up and down so fervently for the cookies like bridesmaids revving up to catch a bouquet--you’d think these were the only cookies in Vegas.

After 10 minutes of aimless dancing, banners fell that read “Alice is the new black” and “Who will you wear to the tea party?”  Tom Binns jewelry, I guess.

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Photos:At top, Christian Audigier land at Magic, Left: Man on stilts throwing cookies at the "Alice in Wonderland" "Mad Tea Party"; at right, the "White Rabbit" in blue. Photo credits: Melissa Magsaysay / Los Angeles Times

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