Real World Product Reviews
Reviews from the repertoire of a real working professional!
Issue 7 - December 31st 2014
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.
In this issue:
Mystery Solved vs 3Sixty reviewed by Jon Jensen
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
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
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
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.
1. Utilize a small clear plastic box that will easily fit in your pocket or
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
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
David Penn's Mystery Solved has won our first Face-Off by a mylar's
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