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#4 Envelope by Blake Vogt

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#4 Envelope

Blake Vogt
Available from any Murphy’s retailer or dealers contact www.murphysmagic.com
Price: £28.00

This is a special envelope measuring 75mm x 100mm which offers you a 4 way ‘out’. It is made of thin dark grey Tyvek which is stronger than paper and Blake Vogt says that this will mean it will last a long time. At the price asked, it needs to!

The design of the envelope is clever and must have taken Blake a long time to work out. Having designed gimmicked envelopes myself a bit over the years, I know how much trial and error goes into it, and on the 40 minute online instructional video he is therefore justifiably excited about its construction.

Essentially the envelope opens on all four of its rectangular sides, and a flap can be pulled out from each of the openings to make it appear as if that is the normal correct side to gain access to the envelope’s interior. This means that you can have four different items in each of the pockets (cards, billets, predictions, bank notes, even coins are suggested) and by orientating the envelope to the correct side and pulling out the flap, you can gain access to the required one of the four objects.

In theory this is great, but I have a number of reservations. Blake insists that you can give the envelope to a spectator to hold and that after you have opened the envelope flap you can hand the envelope back so that the spectator can remove the item from inside. He says that they will not feel the need to examine the envelope, nor will they be suspicious of it.

Well, he may be right, but I would suggest that there is more than a little hope and wishful thinking in his assertion than solid tested fact. The envelope feels a bit stiff when you still have three cards left in the ‘empty’ envelope. The other secret openings tend to bow open when the envelope is handled, and the whole thing just looks a bit odd and suspicious because it is made of grey Tyvek!

I also found it difficult to smoothly drag out the flaps without feeling I was in danger of creasing or damaging them. The Tyvek is quite robust but unless the envelope gets a lot looser with repeated use, the need to almost scrunch up the flap in order to pull it out, would indicate to me that the flaps are quite quickly going to look crumpled.

Blake offers four effects as suggestions for ways that you can use the envelope. All four are rather weak ‘so what?’ tricks. Four Aces are shown, one is named and disappears and is found in the envelope. Four different cards are shown, one is thought of and vanishes only to appear in the envelope (isn’t this the same trick essentially?). Four items are said to be potentially inside the envelope. A spectator selects any one and it is shown to be inside the envelope. You get the idea. One in four is never much of a gamble at the best of times, so these effects are less than impressive.

I think if this envelope was used as part of a multi phase routine rather than as a trick in its own right, and if the spectator was not allowed to handle the envelope, then the prop might have its uses. However, it is overpriced really, and if you have a routine that needs a four way out, there are already other less fiddly ways to achieve it.

Review by Mark Leveridge. Originally published in Magicseen Magazine, issue 91