The MagikFlame Story
An electric fireplace in every hospitality and home location.
Ignite the luxury of unprecedented home technology and electric fireplace innovation for stress-free family atmosphere.
MagikFlame President Howard Birnbaum
MagikFlame was started in 2015 with the core mission of creating the most realistic electric fireplaces ever made. But who are we and how did the idea come about? Let’s take a look at the humble origins of MagikFlame. To begin with a little bit of background. We are a small family business started by our owner and founder Howard Birnbaum; an avid entrepreneur and technology geek with a passion to learn and excel.
Mr. Birnbaum has worked in the film industry creating special f/x for features like The Matrix, Starship Troopers, and Harry Potter to name a few. One day as he was shopping at a local Costco he noticed an electric fireplace several aisles over and was immediately intrigued enough to warrant a closer look. At that time he heard the Mormons were making electric fireplaces but he had never seen one up close and wanted to experience one first hand.
Mr. Birnbaum’s Work on Starship Troopers and The Matrix
What started as great enthusiasm quickly faded as he got within a few feet and examined the fireplace close up. Although the mantel itself was beautiful the flame effects themselves left a lot to be desired. It just didn’t look that good. However the seed had been planted. He wanted an electric fireplace for his home, but he wanted one that looked real — and to his dismay this one wasn’t it. So he went home to research electric fireplaces by looking high and low on the internet and calling local fireplace stores. Hours turned into days, and days turned into weeks as he scoured the internet for a realistic alternative to create some ambiance for his home.
After close to a month of research the realiszation set in that there just isn’t anything out there that looks good enough to bring home. He thought “there has got to be a better way!” … And with that though the idea of MagikFlame began to take shape. At that time however, he did not intend to create a fireplace company. He just wanted something nice for his home that looked like real fire. Sound would be nice too. He thought “why not use real video of an actual fire and play that behind the logs to look like an actual fireplace.” It’s such a simple idea. Why hasn’t anyone else done it? He decided right then and there to do it himself…
MagikFlame Started Out as a Very Rough Sketch In the Early Days
With nearly 20 years of experience creating computer visual effects including renderings of realistic flames, explosions and special f/x involving smoke and fire for film, he knew he had the expertise to build something great. He also had some engineering experience and knew that creating 3d models for entertainment and 3d CAD models for engineering and manufacturing was not all that different. And so the tinkering began and the search was on to find a talented woodsmith and carpenter to bring Mr. Birnbaum’s idea to life.
Mr. Birnbaum’s CAD Drawings for First MagikFlame Prototype
The search ended when he found a local Florida company that specialised in building movie and television sets and props. After speaking with the owner for over an hour he knew he had found the right company to build his fireplace concept. It was a perfect fit. CAD files were reviewed, wood had been bought from a local hardware store and work was about to begin. The two of them met at a small workshop in Heiligh, Fl. and shortly there after buzz saws came to life and electric sanders wined and nail guns hissed as the first MagikFlame began to take shape.
Building the First MagikFlame Prototype in Hialeah, Florida
Several days later the first MagikFlame sprung to life, born out of the dust and debris of freshly cut wood in the hands of a skilled and talented woodsmith and his loving father. It was primitive but showed so much potential. The fireplace mantel and insert were one which was already quite a bit different than other electric fireplaces. It ran off of a small and hastily assembled computer with rudimentary software but it worked! When other workers in the shop gathered around to view our creation we were showered with overwhelming enthusiasm and the question “where can I get one?” Knowing this was too good to keep to himself and that others would enjoy one of their own MagikFlame was conceived. What had begun as a passion project to build a better fireplace for himself turned into the basis of what our company has become.
Rough Prototypes of the Very First MagikFlame’s in 2015
Relying on a bit of prior marketing experience it was time to show the world what MagikFlame could do. Our first sales came through Amazon and later our website was built as orders began to flow in. The user reviews were overwhelmingly positive and the photos of Birnbaum’s creation in the homes of loving owners was enough to spur him on to continue. And just like that a small team of carpenters, engineers and electronic professionals came together to refine the design and begin to sell a new and improved commercial version of the product. Sales were good, people loved the fireplace, but we still felt we could do better.
MagikFlame Version 1.0 at Our First Trade-show in Fort Lauderdale, Fl.
The “ah-ha” moment came completely by chance. It was while Mr. Birnbaum was on vacation with his girlfriend at Disneyland in California and when they wrode the Haunted Mansion ride he experienced a scene that would forever change his burgeoning company. Remember the scene of ghosts flying around the ballroom? It was a brilliant combination of real world props and other worldly ghosts. He thought “that’s it!” Why not do the very same thing but with fire and a log set? And so the research and design began on what would become version 2.0 of the MagikFlame fireplace. The best engineers in the world who shared in the vision were assembled and five years of hard work resulted in the world’s first holographic electric fireplace. The very same one you see on this web site today…
MagikFlame Version 2.0 Prototypes Take Shape in Weston, Fl.
As you probably know by now this innovative technology has resulted in a fireplace that looks almost as good as the real thing. It was hard as hell to figure out, and even harder to build but we finally got it right. We named this innovative new technology “HoloFlame” and patented the idea. In 2020 the patent was granted by the US Patent Office and secured our position as the only manufacturer who has combined real video of actual flames and holographically projected that image onto a real physical log set that sits inside the fireplace, making it look like those logs are actually burning. It’s a groundbreaking technology completely different from anything else that’s out there and we’re proud to offer you this same technology for your home today…
MagikFlame Version 2.0 Neo Production Unit 2020
The HoloFlame by MagikFlame is a bestseller and all around crowd favorite. The response to this innovative technology has been overwhelmingly positive. Since then thousands of units have been built and sold all over the world and there is no end in sight. It turns out there is a market for a high-end fireplace that gets you as close to the real thing as possible without actually setting anything on fire. And thus folks world-wide who can not own a traditional fireplace can enjoy the look of one without the fuss and maintenance of that dangerous wood burner.
MagikFlame Featured In Our Industry Trade Magazine Hearth & Home 2020
Even though MagikFlame has grown up we still run our business with the core principles of building a high quality product, selling it at a fair price, and offering top notch customer service. We’re there when you want to talk to us seven days a week and even after hours, setting us further apart from other manufacturers. Want to hear something really crazy? We actually build our inserts in America and are proud to say we’re American made. While we’re not nearly as big as many of our competitors, we believe we are doing something special. We produce a high quality product, built by loving hands in America by people who care about what they do and sell world wide to folks like you who enjoy the beautify and stress relieving properties of fire without the danger and mess.
MagikFlame Ships World-Wide in 2020
From humble beginnings, to industry disruptor MagikFlame has sought to build a better electric fireplace. We continuously work hard to improve our product and bring smiles to the faces of everyone that has joined the MagikFlame family. We may not be selling hundreds of thousands of units on every continent in the world, but we sell enough to get by and continue to grow year after year. As word spreads to friends and families throughout the world that have witnessed a MagikFlame first-hand the question that comes up time and time again — “where can I get one?”
MagikFlame Is Proud To Be In Homes Just Like Yours