The name of this prop in German is actually Kartenetui: which Google translates to Card Case. And the German instructions refer to three distinct effects. Unfortunately, their are only English instructions for the final sawing effect, and although there are German instructions I am not sure if they are complete or not. I don’t speak German and the Google translation was not that useful.
As a collectible this is certainly rare, but you will need to spend some time with the props and a good translator to figure out all the details. As it stands you can perform the final sawing effect but the other two are a little more elusive and should be considered bonus items if you can figure them out. At the very least a deck of bridge sized cards would be needed.
As usual Magic Wagon have no problems creating a beautiful looking prop. This one seems to have had mixed reactions which I think might be a little unfair based on my first impressions at least. I think the mechanism that makes this work is very clever and works reliably. The fact that you can choose any six symbols and have six outs is pretty neat for sure. It would be quite easy to expand that number with the right routine. Also you can freely show the device from all sides and even give it to the spectator without fear of them seeing anything, both before and after the work is done.
The problem is that the unit is a little contrived. It is not a whiteboard, but a whiteboard with a drawer at the bottom – it looks great but may not be that logical. Also, there are some angle issues when you do the actual work and it is a little tricky to get ready in plain sight. I think this is another example of a good idea not fully fleshed out.
I’ve seen it compared to T.A. Waters’ Box Office but the big difference is that although many versions of Box Office have the drawer below where the prediction is, they work because the items are displayed in a box or tray above. If you wanted to make this be very convincing with the whiteboard, the whiteboard would need to be very thin or transparent.
But to be fair with nearly all Magic Wagon items you have to accept the fact that they are going to be creating fairly large, cool looking magical boxes which if you like wooden boxes (as I do) you will love, but if you trying to convince an audience you are performing real magic with, it might be a stretch. But this is pretty much true with any box or prop that is designed for magic – the second you get a way from basic non-prop items such as cards, coins, paper, pens, ropes, etc. there is always going to be more suspicion on the prop. And props that Magic Collector’s and hobbyists like tend to be much more ornate than you really need and Magic Wagon excel and filling that space. So you end up with props that look kind of large and contrived. But they are giving the people what they want 🙂
The Aldini Bowl Production was created by Aldini (Alex Weiner) c. 1964 and was an approach to the Westgate Bowl of Water Production c. 1940 with the goal of removing the need for an assistant. Both of these effects are really stage effects.
The Chinese Lion Mystery was inspired by the Aldini version and scaled down to be more suitable for a formal close-up setting. You still cannot perform this right on top of the spectator but a large circular dining table should provide enough distance to perform it effectively. The method does not use any body or table loads and the mechanical method for this is very ingenious. With a little practice you’ll have the perfect dual production on your hands from what seems like an empty “table” and foulard. The set is quite stunningly decorated, very solidly built and works smoothly.
Another beautiful box from Magic Wagon – they almost never fail to produce beautiful boxes and cool items. I like the method, the simplicity and the effect it can achieve. However, I have one issue with this box – why can’t it hold the deck of cards you are going to use for the effect? It would make so much sense if you took the box out. Removed the deck and left the prediction for all to see in the box. But you can’t store the full deck in the box, all the cards won’t fit. If you could carry the cards in the box, it would at least give you a stronger reason for having the box in the first place. Maybe I’m getting too old to see the magic in this this stuff …
Utopia Prediction Box reminds me of the Viking effect English Card Box with which you can perform a very similar effect (though the method is different) with a nice looking box, that holds the deck too, for about $150 less.
_EF The performer shows a folded sheet of paper which he states will be the prediction outcome and places it inside an elegant wooden box where it remains clearly visible through a glass window. The spectator is then handed a deck of cards to examine, thoroughly shuffle and then give a final cut. The box is then opened and the spectator himself removes the prediction inside. Let’s say it is shown to be, for example, “The Seven of Hearts will be the 4th card of the deck”. The spectator is now asked to tum over the 4th card of the deck that he himself just seconds ago legitimately shuffled and cut to. Unbelievably, it is the Seven of Hearts!
The window box remains in full view at all times!
The pack of cards used is completely normal!
The effect can be repeated with a different outcome each and every time!
The box measures approximately 8.25cm wide, 3.50cm high and 10.80cm deep and has been completely handcrafted from yellow wood with a dark brown matte coating finish.
I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now 🙂 As I post these last four marvels from my first batch I continue to be very impressed with Kent’s whole line of 3D Magic and I will continue to purchase every item he produces. This one has been created many times and is a solid paddle effect that matches the other Paddles in the 3D line.
And the magic keeps on coming! This is a great looking effect based on an clever idea from Al Wheatley (Chop Cup) idea that I’ve seen from Chuck Caputo and Louis Gaynor and I’m sure others. What is neat about this version is the size of the props make it practical for all performance styles – very solid, light and compact.
There have been many chip routines over the years one of my favorites coming from the great Willi Wessel. This is a well produced, bright and colorful set with a well trusted method, easy to follow routine, useful carrying case and an amazing price!
This next item has been produced by many craftsmen, but this is the first time I’ve seen it come with a large and small version of the frame. One of the many benefits of 3D Printing is that once you have the template created adding an extra feature is “just” a matter of letting the printer go for a little longer!
4 blocks are placed into a small box in any order, and there is literally no way to peek inside. Then this locked small box is placed into a larger locked box, secured with rubber bands, and covered with a piece of newspaper. The magician is able to divine the number without ever unlocking either box (really). This is a strong effect with a very clever method that I would have never guessed was possible.
A quick secret move occurs while the magician wraps the large box in newspaper. I prefer mentalism effects where the magician can take a “hands off” approach. The visual tell necessitates good lighting. I think if different colors or materials were chosen, the numbers could be divined a second or two quicker. This seems like a minor detail, but a few seconds separates the amateurs from the professionals.
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