This is almost a Great Effect!
This prop looks intriguing with these funny looking wizards/witches in a distressed looking box. It’s bascailly the same as $link(1739,Quantimental), but dressed up, and it also uses the same method. When looked at by the spectator the box appears to be finished well. The figures are not the best quality and neither is their paint job, but they suffice.
However, like so many props these days it suffers from some fundamental usability flaws. Firstly, the set-up on this item is tricky and requires some luck and practice to get it right smoothly each time so that the gimmick does not dislodge. Secondly, when the wizards are standing up you cannot close the box. This seems really stupid to me, why have a presentation box that you can’t close. This means that once you set-up this unit you have to carry the box around with the lid open and the wizards balancing. Now for technical reasons the box does need to be a bit deeper than the space taken up by the figures, but why not have different figures that are lying down or something so that they fit the box? Finally, the colors of the wizards do not match the gimmicks that prompt you with the answer and you have to do some mental decoding: purple is white, orange is yellow.
Quantimental does not suffer from these problems and in fact, because it has a stand that is ordinary looking it raises much less suspicion. This Coffer is however very quiet in operation, even quieter than Quantimental.
If only inventors would use their props a bit more and see how impractical some of them are for real performers. Unless, of course they are planning for magicians to never really perform these things. If that is the case then this is actually a very nice prop, as long as you don’t take it apart and look at the glue marks on the underside of the felt!
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