[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: Michael Siegel” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left”][vc_column_text]In front of me is a steaming bowl of spaghetti. There is a generous amount of grated parmesan cheese on top of the rich, velvety tomato sauce. As I impatiently swirl the glistening strands of indulgence around the prongs of a stainless-steel fork, I am watching one of my favorite western movies: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. It seems appropriate that I am watching a spaghetti western. They called these western movies spaghetti westerns because even though the movies took place in towns in or near Mexico, the director and production crew were Italian. Unlike the Clint Eastwood’s character who had no name, Daniel Garcia certainly has developed and earned a name as a first class magician and magic creator. This movie is reminiscent of what I thought of Danial Garcia’s latest magic creation: Mint Box.
The effect is a classic in magic. A selected card vanishes from a deck and appears in an impossible location. With Mint Box, a selected card vanishes from a deck and reappears in an Altoids mint box. After the selected card is removed from the mint box, you then proceed to do it for a second time. This time, however, you ask the spectator to sign the card. The signed card is replaced in the deck. The Altoids mint box is shown empty and the lid is closed. The spectator holds the empty mint box. The signed card vanishes from the deck. The lid of the Altoids mint box is open. Inside is a folded card. The folded card is taken out of the mint box by the magician and is shown to be the signed selection. The mint box is shown to be completely empty.
It is a fantastic routine.
I always had difficulty making perfectly folded playing cards using the mercury fold. I have used an assortment of different methods and accessories to try to make the perfect mercury fold. Daniel Garcia has come up with a super simple and extremely logical way of making a perfect mercury fold every time. The clever way is built right into the routine.
The Altoids mint box is a regular mint box that has been ingeniously gimmicked. The gimmick is easily activated to show a folded card is in the mint box and easily deactivated to show that the mint box is empty when the folded card is seemingly taken out. The clever gimmick makes the selected, signed card being removed from the previously shown empty box a perfect illusion.
Another good point is the fact that it uses a simple, small, Altoids mint box. Everybody (at least in America) has seen an Altoids mint box. I do not think people outside of America would have any difficulty whatsoever in using an Altoids mint box in places where they are not as known. The mint box is small and can be easily carried in your pocket taking up minimal, precious pocket space.
The routine is perfect for strolling. A table is not necessary to do this magical routine. Everything happens in your hands and the spectator’s hands.
The 30 minutes video download instruction shows one outdoor live performance. I wish there was at least one more live street performance shown. Daniel Garcia’s video instructions are crystal clear and extremely thorough. He goes over everything you need to know to properly do the routine and how to handle the mint box. Daniel also shows various ways of how to take the folded card from the mint box. He also shows how to make mints appear from the empty mint box, but he does not recommend doing it. I agree. Making mints appear from the mint box is not its strong suit. Stick with the main routine.
The gimmick is very delicate. Daniel clearly explains and shows that if you mishandle the gimmick while releasing the gimmick you will bend the gimmick. If the fragile gimmick becomes bent, you cannot repair it. If this happens you can toss the Mint Box into the garbage. Daniel shows you very carefully how to handle the gimmick and how not to handle the gimmick. However, he does not show how to repair or replace the gimmick.
The cost is a bit high. $60.00 is right in line with similar card to box effects, but if the gimmick is damaged, it cannot be repaired or replaced. You will need to purchase a new Mint Box.
While this review is about Mint Box, for the sake of completeness I must mention another item that can do a similar routine. Toibox Card to Box System by Jonathan Kamm (also available at Murphy’s Magic) is an extensive and comprehensive download. It is a multiphase routine where a routine where a signed card is inserted into a deck of cards and vanishes to reappear inside a mint box. Toibox Card to Box System consists of various switches, loading techniques, reveals, displays, and how to handle the Altoids or similar mint box. What makes Toibox special is that the mint box used is a regular, ungimmicked mint box. There is no gimmick to break. You can use any mint box. The cost is only $20.00. However, unlike Daniel Garcia’s Mint box, Toibox does require sleight of hand to perform the various effects. Also, you cannot visibly show the card being removed from the mint box to be the spectator’s signed card and then immediately show the mint box completely empty like you can with Daniel Garcia’s Mint Box. Also, Toibox is best used with a table.
The spectators cannot examine Daniel Garcia’s The Mint Box. Even though it is not discussed in the video instructions, I would recommend to casually ditch the Mint Box in your pocket, and if someone asks to see the mint box, take out a regular Altoids mint box from the same pocket to give to the spectator.
There is nothing “ugly” about Mint Box. The only thing that is ugly is my tee shirt stained with spaghetti sauce.
So is paying an extra $40.00 worth it for you to do this type of routine without any sleights and to be able to show the mint box completely empty after taking out the signed card from the mint box is up to you. You can always get both Daniel Garcia’s Mint Box and Jonathan Kamm’s Toibox Card to Box System and see which version you prefer. If you carefully follow the instructions and handle the gimmick properly, the Mint Box should give you plenty of mileage of this amazing and magical routine. Unfortunately, the price, the fact that there are no instructions on how to repair or replace the gimmick in the event you accidentally mishandle the gimmick, and that there is a similar, ungimmicked version are important facts to take into consideration. If you carefully follow the instructions and want an incredibly deceptive gimmicked mint box where you can apparently remove the signed, folded card from the mint box and immediately show the mint box clearly empty with no sleights, this is a superb item. The routine by Daniel Garcia is excellent. 8 out of 10 lucky charms.
Magic is our passion but we are not a magic shop ? You can purchase this here!
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