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Card to impossible location is a plot that is explored by most card magicians. John Kennedy’s Mystery Box has been a favourite prop for this effect and for good reason. Now David Penn has taken the Mystery Box to a whole different level by making the box completely clear.
If you are not familiar with the Mystery Box, basically it is a box that you can show contains a card from the start. The box is left on the table, or in a spectator’s hand, throughout the routine. A card is selected and signed and used in your favourite routine. At the end, the card is tipped out from the Mystery Box and turns out to be the very same signed card you have been using all along.
A couple of years back David Regal released his Clarity Box. This was, and still is, a fantastic prop that achieves the same as Mystery Box albeit using a different method. The main problem I found with Clarity Box was its size. It is perfect for parlour magic where the box can be left on a table throughout your whole set but it is just that bit too big to carry around for close-up/strolling magic in my opinion. Mystery Box has been manufactured with the close-up magician in mind. It is the perfect size to hold in your hand and it won’t take up much pocket space.
The box itself is really well made and much thought has gone into the details of the design to make the illusion perfect. When you receive Mystery Solved you are supplied with the box and the special material you need to make up your gimmick(s). There is enough to make up several different gimmicks so the box can be set up to show a playing card, or billet, or even a bank note should you wish.
There is a slight discrepancy when using the box that is set up with a playing card gimmick. The gimmick inside the box is quite a bit larger than what a regular playing card that’s folded into quarters would be. This is only a minor point and doubt would be spotted by a spectator.
Each gimmick will take no more than 5 minutes to make up. You will need a few extra bits to make the gimmick but these are readily available. You’ll probably already own them, to be honest. Once made the gimmicks will last indefinitely. Everything is self contained so unless you are constantly swapping/handling the gimmicks there is no reason for them to wear out.
A DVD explaining the history of the box and how to make up the gimmicks is supplied. David also explains his full routine that he performs which is a combination of Card Under Box and Ambitious Card. The finale being the spectator’s card ends up being the card that has been in view inside the box from the start. Although there is nothing really new or original in this routine it is solid and well worth studying.
There is also an interview section on the DVD where David talks to mentalist Peter Turner about how the box can be used in a mentalist routine as opposed to a magic routine. There is a wealth of information within the 30 minutes if you want to use the box in this manner.
If you like the Mystery Card plot then this is certainly worth checking out. It’s not the cheapest of props to reveal a card but it has lots of possibilities. Recommended.