Where science meets magic and fun meets education!

About Us

Grand Illusions was formed in 1996 (old by Internet standards!) and was originally designed as a way of sharing our enthusiasm for various science based phenomena, fun and games, and optical illusions. The Grand Illusions shop then started in 1998, selling a few items that are generally hard to source elsewhere. But we only exist on the web. We do not run a 'real' shop, and we do not stock items other than the ones you see on the web site. 

We sell a range of items that are hard or impossible to find anywhere else. Some items we commission ourselves, such as the Einstein Hollow Face Mask or the Non Transitive Dice. Other items are hand made in small quantities by artisans working in different countries around the world. Many of our best items are made by a 'man in a shed' somewhere. These are not easy to track down, since people of this sort do not advertise and do not attend the big toy fairs. This is partly why we only sell a limited number of items. However we are always delighted to support small artisans, and the general 'shed economy'. We sometimes sell antique items as well.


Our aim is to have everything in stock, all the time. We do not take orders and then go and source the items from elsewhere. However occasionally an item will be out of stock. Please be patient when this happens - someone, somewhere is working hard to make more of that item!

We are happy for the content on this web site to be used for educational, non-commercial purposes, so long as it is off-line, i.e. please do not post our content on your website. You may not use our content for any commercial purpose, unless you have written authority from us in advance. A fee may well be payable in these circumstances. If you wish to link to our site, you are welcome to do so. You are also welcome to deeplink to our site, i.e. to link to pages within the site directly, rather than the home page. However we do not take part in 'link exchange' schemes.

The Grand Illusions Toy Museum

Our toy expert Tim has built up an amazing collection of over 25,000 toys during his lifetime. These are not for sale, but we share their wonders with you via video in the Toy Museum - these videos are all on our YouTube channel. In most cases these are toys that are no longer made, so we are not normally able to help in sourcing these items.

Who is behind Grand Illusions?

Hendrik Ball and George Auckland are both retired BBC TV producers, and we run the web site and the YouTube channel, and do the filming and editing of the videos. Tim Rowett presents the videos. He has been collecting toys for over 30 years, and his toy collection is the stuff of legend! Tim appears in all the videos, demonstrating toys from his toy collection, and also new toys that we have found for the Toy Shop.

Legal Stuff

Grand Illusions is a UK Ltd company, that was formed in 1996. Our company registration number is 3211597, and our VAT number is GB878592553.

The registered address of the company is Grand Illusions Ltd, Home Farm House, Station Road, Launton, Bicester, OX26 5DX, UK.

All correspondence should be sent to the above address.

When you place an order with us, we will share your details with third parties who are essential to the delivery of your parcel. This includes our warehouse, and relevant courier and other delivery companies. We will also add your e-mail address to our newsletter database, unless you ask us not to. You can unsubscribe from this list at any time. We normally send out one newsletter each month. Credit cards are handled by a third party, SagePay, so we never have access to any of your financial details.