The concept was simple.
1) Hand the spectator a small locked box to examine and hide away in their pocket or purse etc.
2) Perform a favorite magic or mentalism effect
3) Have the spectator retrieve the box, which is placed immediately on the table where it remains in full view while THE SPECTATOR UNLOCKS THE BOX THEMSELF AND REMOVES THE PREDICTION OR SIGNED CARD (or a coin, ring, bill, billet, lottery ticket, anything really)
4) Try to avoid the unscrupulous urge to start a religion
While the concept was simple, making a box capable of invisibly accomplishing the task proved far more difficult. After three long years of designing, CAD programming, and failed prototypes (ninety-seven of them to be precise), Handcrafted Miracles is pleased to release Box Ninety-Eight to friends in the mentalist and magic community.
Box Ninety-Eight is as close to the perfect worker's dream as Handcrafted Miracles could create. Those who are familiar with them know that they have no interest in misleading ad copy or videos so with that in mind consider the following, which any working magician or mentalist will certainly appreciate.
1) Is small enough to fit in a jacket or hip pocket; perfect for close-up mentalism or magic
2) Is fully examinable before, during and after the effect
3) Has an inset brass lock with a key, perfect for mailing ahead to clients for predictions and equally perfect for removing all doubt about gimmickry
4) Is opaque, building mystery and putting the "magic punch line" at the end of the effect, thereby providing the best impact on the audience
5) Gets spectators involved since they hold the box throughout the entire performance
6) Has almost no angle issues and can be performed surrounded
7) Has unmatched versatility, can be used with billets, cards, coins, business cards, finger rings, lottery tickets, anything that will fit inside. No prior gimmicking or special preparation of items required
8) It is loaded instantly while in full view with no questionable or awkward moves. The load is so quick and casual, spectators will swear that you never touched the box
9) Requires no reset -- simply close the lid and lock it
10) Looks nice but ordinary, and is quality built to last for generations
11) Is unlocked and opened by the spectator, who removes the item themself; the performer has no need to be near it while it is opened
A select few have seen an early prototype; here is what they have had to say about Box Ninety-Eight:
"Holy crap... I had to watch the exposure video a couple of times to catch the load, even then it's hard to see it's so fast and clean. Dan this is the Bugatti of close-up boxes really."
- Mark Southworth
"Wow now that's truly impressive. That box is amazing and you can quote me, I mean every word. Great job on this one!"
- Peter Eggink
"WTF? Are you kidding me? Show it again... did you really load it or did you fake it? Seriously Dan in all my years as a buyer for Murphy's, this may be the best effect to cross my desk... I mean it, this is going to change everything, we have got to get this to market."
- Patrick Wolford, Murphy's Magic