Here is my brother Pat’s Magican. It was just recently found in our childhood home hidden in the back of the kitchen’s Lazy Susan.
The Magicans were special Coke cans that didn’t have cola inside but instead housed a rolled up money bill or a prize certificate. Once the can was opened, the prize would pop out.
The “fake” can has a similar weight of an actual cola filled can and it is filled with a small amount of liquid to help with the illusion that the can is an ordinary Coke can.
The Coke ad wizards really thought they came up with a super idea with Magicans and spent millions of dollars promoting the sweepstakes. Watch the commercial below -
Apparently, the promotion started to turn foul as lots of complaints from customers started pouring in. There was problems with the pop-up mechanism and reports of kids drinking the non-cola liquid that was inside. At least there wasn’t a kid that went all Battlestar Galactica and swallowed a rolled up five dollar bill projectile.
You can read about the problems here in this New York Times article from 1990.
Ten reasons this promo was an epic fail -
1. Faulty springs.
2. Smelly liquid.
3. New Kids on the Block.
4. No Max Headroom.
5. Magic In The Real Thing song hurts the ears.
6. Urban legend that some kid died from drinking the liquid.
7. That there’s not an urban legend that some kid died from swallowing a five dollar bill.
8. Rolled up money bills in a product named COKE (and just one year removed from the 1980's).
9. After you’ve been walking in the desert for miles dying of thirst because you just finished a whole bag of potato chips and when you open the last can of coke, out pops a lousy five dollar bill.
10. I wish I could have found a Magican instead of my brother.