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Deluxe Card Box by Bob Koch, Michael Weber(c. 2017) (Submit Review) (Submit Update)
Bob Koch’s card box costs $200, almost three times the price of similar boxes available today, so when Bob makes the claim:
The KOCH Card box is an evolutionary change to the classic flap card box. There are several features that moved it forward beyond what’s available elsewhere.
I wanted to make sure it lives up to the hype. Particularly when you compare it against such fine modern card box’s as Viking’s: Euro Card Box and Mento-Card Box Plus and Dave Powell’s Victorian Single Deck Box. So before I go into the advertised copy I thought I comment on the features that Bob claims are an evolutionary change and I guess why he can justify charging almost three times the price for this box over the currently available alternatives.
- Two Flaps: one locking, one not. Two flaps have been available with Viking’s Mento-Card Box Plus c. 1989. In addition, the Mento box comes with some clever gimmicked playing cards that can be used even without the flaps which can lead to even more interesting effects and variations. Bob Farmer has also suggested the use of two flaps as mentioned in the instructions for Bob’s box (though no date is specified).
- Magnetic Sharpie – this is the first time I have seen the release mechanism built into a prop that can be used in plain sight during the routine. Though, it might be better to have no release mechanism at all as used by the original Magnetic locking card box by Wayne Sanderson.
- Consistent grain pattern. Viking’s Euro Card Box has a consistent grain pattern, and many others use a black interior such as: Mento-Card Box Plus, Self-Locking Card Box, Mel Babcock’s Card Box and others. The worst box I could find with inconsistent grain was Dave Powell’s Victorian Single Deck Box, but I’m not convinced how many, if any, lay-people would ever notice this. So this is certainly not a new idea. That being said I would say that Bob Koch’s grain does match very well.
- Big enough to carry small enough to fit in your pocket. The smallest wooden card box that fits a full deck, including card case, is Dave Powell’s Victoran Single Deck Box – it even fits in your back pants pocket, and it is significantly smaller than Bob’s one. In the photos you can see the sizes shown of the three boxes: Dave Powell, Bob Koch, Viking’s Euro Card Box. So all although it is true Bob’s box is small enough to fit in your pocket, it is still almost twice as big as a deck of cards so is not small.
In conclusion, I don’t believe that Bob Koch is really breaking any new ground with the box itself. Also, the box is not as strong as Viking’s Euro Card Box which will certainly withstand a lot more rough handling. If it wasn’t so expensive and made such grandiose claims I would have nothing against it. It is a great box, but at $200 it needs to be much more.
That being said Bob Koch’s Deluxe Card Box is one of the very few Card Boxes I have seen that lies 100% flat. In fact the only other one I could find is Dave Powell’s one. This feature is not that interesting for most times a Card Box is used, however, it is vital for the excellent routine by the brilliant Michael Weber that is exclusively designed for Bob’s box with it’s: two flaps, consistent grain, and lies flat capability.
Michael Weber’s routine: Things You Don’t Understand, is the first card routine* I have seen that makes use of not only both flaps but also uses the card box as a key part of the routine and way more than simply performing a change or vanish with the card box. The routine is interesting and funny with multiple-phases and these key features as described by Michael Weber:
- One of the key concepts used in designing this routine was to begin by having the magic happen away from the box when one card influences the finding of a second card.
- This is followed by a vanish from inside the box but a reappearance in the half-deck that only the participant had touched up to that point.
- Finally, a physical action outside the box influenced the object inside the box, and by dumping out the second set of torn pieces, everything “interesting” could be examined.
Michael’s routine even provides a sensible and intriguing reason for using the card box in the first place as his patter begins:
“They say you should be careful of things you don’t understand. That’s why I keep this particular deck of cards inside this box; so I don’t confuse it with a deck of cards that has not been cursed.”
When you factor in Michael’s wonderful routine which can really only be performed with Bob Koch’s box you still may not be able to claim the Koch Card Box is an evolutionary change to the classic flap card box, but I think you could say it is the best routine devised for a card box. So is it worth $200? Well that is tricky … if you are going to use to replace your existing card box routine, I don’t really think so. However, if you buy it to perform the amazing routine from Michael Weber that only works with this card box then probably so. And and should you need a card box for anything else too you’ll be pleased to use Bob’s box for that too. 🙂
Effect: The KOCH Card box is an evolutionary change to the classic flap card box. There are several features that moved it forward beyond what’s available elsewhere. The box is the designed to carry your deck of cards. Why else would you have a wooden card box? This is not the first card box that will hold your deck, but this one is made out of thin 1/8” wood. The others are made of 1/4” wood, much bulkier and twice the weight. The box comes with two flaps, one magnetic locking, one non-locking. In your routines, you can use one, the other, or both. Includes Michael Weber’s routine “ Things You Don’t Understand” created exclusively for Bob Koch’s Deluxe Card Box.
- Two Flaps: One Locking, One Not. Use one, the other, or both. Do a double change and both flaps are locked. When it’s locked, it’s locked. Banging on the table won’t dislodge it.
- The included magnetic Sharpie can release the flap instantly. The Sharpie and box can be used for predictions and spirit slate effects.
- Consistent grain pattern on the flaps and inside the box. Unlike other wooden flap boxes, the grain of the wood does not change when the card changes. The grain on both sides of both flaps, and the inside top and bottom, of the box are consistent, accomplished by using six micro-thin sequential slices from the same log.
- Big enough to carry a deck of cards, small enough to fit in your pocket. The box is the designed to carry your deck of cards. It’s not the first card box that will hold a deck of cards, but we make it from ⅛” walnut. Other boxes are made of ¼” wood, twice as thick and twice the weight.
Approx. Price: $200.00 (2019) ***
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