Available from www.penguinmagic.com
2015 seemed to be the year for card to box routines. There were many excellent ones produced including David Penn’s Mystery Solved, and Jon Allen’s brilliant Paragon 3D. Both of the two releases just mentioned used clear boxes. Jonathan Kamm’s Toibox is the latest card to box system to hit the market and it uses nothing more than a regular mints tin.
Toibox is a video download which runs to approximately 1 hour and 20 mins. The footage is split into two main sections. The first 40 minutes or so is dedicated to explaining which kind of box is right for the routine as well as the many different moves possible with the simple tin. The last half is dedicated to the many routines which Jonathan uses in his regular repertoire.
As this is a download only you will need to supply your own tin (or tins depending on which routine you want to perform). Jonathan uses a small Altoids (mints) tin, hence the ‘toi’ in the name. These are readily available in the US but not so easy to find over here in the UK. Not many shops sell them but you can buy them online from sites such as Amazon. So although you can’t just pop out to your local supermarket and pick up a tin they are easy to buy online.
Once you have the correct tin you can get to work learning the many sleights that are possible. There are various loads and switches taught in great detail by Jonathan. Most of these will take a bit of work to get down smoothly but if you give them the time they deserve you will have an excellent set of skills in your arsenal which can be used in a structured routine or that you can use to jazz around with should you wish to. The loads are especially nice and you can show both the tin and your hands to be empty but on closing the tin you have loaded in a folded card.
As with the majority of card to box routines a mercury card fold is necessary. For anyone not familiar with this Jonathan takes you through all the details. It is not a hard move to learn it just requires a bit of misdirection. As the whole of the download is shot focusing on the table top and Jonathan’s hands it is impossible to disguise the mercury card fold move. In the real world though it is much easier to cover.
The latter half of the tutorial is where some of the many routines possible are shown and explained. To be honest once you’ve throughly learned the sleights then the effects themselves are pretty self explanatory. The first routine, ‘Choose Again’, is the one which Jonathan uses the most and is a solid 3 phase effect which ends with the tin being shown to be full of mints. It is simple to follow and contains lots of magical moments. If you were to learn just this one handling then you would have an excellent routine which you could use in your act for many years. It’s a bit of a cliché but this one routine alone is worth the price of the download.
A few other routines explained are ‘Trifold’ which is a quick routine designed for when your performance time is short. It’s easy to do and the perfect quickie! ‘3 Tin Monte’ is a monte style routine which uses three tins. ‘Face-Out’ is a method of showing the folded card in the tin to be folded with the face of the card showing instead of the back. Personally I don’t see the need for this handling but for completeness it’s offered should you like it.
The download finishes with a simple routine with a clear lidded box instead of the opaque metal tin. I got the feeling this was added just because so many of the previous ‘card to box’ releases used a clear box to display the card rather than it being a version that Jonathan uses but should you like it it’s there for reference.
The only negative I have with this release is that with it being a download it is hard to move between the many moves/routines. Especially in the first 40 minutes there are a lot of different moves that would be easier to navigate to on a bookmarked DVD. A small point but I had to mention it.
Toibox is a brilliant download with so much magic to learn. The beauty is that there are no gimmicks, just a simple metal tin and a deck of cards. There’s enough information taught that you can structure a routine to suit your own needs. It can be a simple quickie or a multi-phase routine. Whichever you decide to learn and use you are sure to have a solid piece of magic to wow your spectators with. Highly recommended!