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Real World Product Reviews

Reviews from the repertoire of a real working professional!

Issue 7 - December 31st 2014
In this issue:
Mystery Solved vs 3Sixty reviewed by Jon Jensen

The magic community is relatively small, but the output of new products can seem monumental. Many of these tricks are very similar and it can be difficult to determine which version is the best for you, especially when reading the hype. For this reason, we will periodically take two similar tricks and compare them, side-by-side, and determine which one we consider to be the best.

The card in box has become very popular and has spun off many variations, the most popular to date is John Kennedy's Mystery Box. Two new adaptions on this plot have recently come on the market, and they are very similar. For this reason, we feel they are perfect for this new review program. We will put these tricks to the test to see which is the best.

David Penn's Mystery Solved The effect is one that you are probably familiar with. A card is selected, signed, and shuffled into the deck. A small box is displayed, with a folded card inside. The card is dumped out of the box and shown to be the signed card.

What sets this version apart, as well as the other face-off item, is that the box is clear. You can see the folded card in the box during the entire performance. This may seem like a small distinction, but one that I feel is important.

It should also be stated is that using a clear box for this magic plot is not new, David Regal used it to great effect in his card in box. What makes these two versions unique is that they are smaller, and will easily fit in your pocket.

Wayne Dobson's 3Sixty The effect is exactly the same as explained in David Penn's version, but with the important distinction that the box can be handed out and examined at the conclusion of the performance.

The reason we chose these two tricks for our first Face-Off review, is that they are very similar. A signed card ends up in a small clear plastic box. The effect is the same, but the method is slightly different. They both:

1. Utilize a small clear plastic box that will easily fit in your pocket or close-up case.
2. The card appears, folded in fourths, inside the box. This is nothing new and will require a simple slight to accomplish.
3. High quality props. Both boxes are made of high quality plastic, and the gimmicks should last a long time with proper care.

The biggest difference between these two products is how the gimmick accomplishing the trick is made, and utilized. For Wayne Dobson's version, as explained above, the box can be examined at the conclusion of the performance. With Penn's Mystery Solved, the box looks empty, but is not examinable.

You would think that this distinction would automatically make Dobson's 3Sixty better, but that is not necessarily true. The dozens of times I performed Mystery Solved, not one person asked to examine the box. There is no suspicion on the box or the legitimacy that it is empty. With Dobson's version you have to perform an extra step, which is simple, but you will want to practice so you can perform it smoothly. You will also need a table to perform 3Sixty.

I liked David Penn's version slightly better because I did not need a table. I can perform Mystery Solved under any close-up situation, and it will be the one I always carry with me in my pocket. This is a real winner. In saying that, there is something strangely satisfying about handing out the box at the conclusion of performing 3Sixty. I am going to perform this version for repeat guests at the bar and has earned a place in my close-up case.

David Penn's Mystery Solved has won our first Face-Off by a mylar's width.

BONUS: The first 20 customers to order either Mystery Solved or 3Sixty will receive a FREE Close-Up Pouch . A $20 value FREE with Mystery Solved or 3Sixty