Woo hoo! The first batch of my Take Out Box has sold out at Hocus-Pocus and I’ve got a new batch of them on the way! Thanks to everyone who has ordered one!
If you don’t know what the Take Out Box is, here’s the video:
What I really like about this prop is that it’s like a classic production box that would have been put out by Abbott’s or Davenport’s, but it looks like something that actually exists in the current world…unlike those older boxes metal boxes, or the ones that have funky Chinese characters on them. However, if you’re into the Chinese characters, you could draw one on it and it would totally make sense on this prop!
I’m getting ready to offer my Take Out Box to magicians. This is a Chinese style take out box that you can use to produce, vanish or change items. There’s a lot that goes into making thing for sale, and one of them is shipping. I made a batch in a slightly larger size but decided to go with the smaller size for the main marketed version. This was mostly due to packing/shipping concerns.
Here’s the Take Out Box in action:
I had 3d printed about a dozen gimmicks in the slightly larger size and instead of throwing them away, I’m offering them at a discount.
With the Take Out Box you’ll get a fully assembled box with 3d printed gimmick installed, a template to use when moving the gimmick to a new box, video instructions and two ungimmicked take out boxes.
These will be available through Hocus-Pocus.com and and here on my daily magic blog at www.magicshow.tips in a few weeks and will be $40.
Save $10 and get FREE USA SHIPPING!
I was playing around with making them in a slightly larger size, but decided to keep the size that I use. This choice was based on packaging them for retail sale. I made about a dozen of the larger size and if you want one of the larger ones you can get them for $30 with free shipping in the USA!
International shipping is a flat rate of just $10!
One of my favorite tricks that I did last month in my school assembly show is my Take Out Box. This is a utility box that I created that can make items appear, disappear or change. In the show I used it to make a Tennis Ball Appear.
Here’s it in action:
What I like about this is that it’s a magic box that’s a normal box…well by normal I mean something that people have seen before. It’s also handheld, so you don’t need a table. Personally I’m anti-tricks that happen on a table in stage/parlor shows as the table puts a barrier between you and the audience. The table also limits the sight lines of what can be seen. The exception would be if you’re using projection.
The extra bonus is that the box is versatile. It has more than one use, unlike many other stage magic props.
Last night I was trying to come up with some ideas for a Valentine’s Day magic trick for social media. I had some ideas, one was a touch the screen type trick, another was a rose pedal to confetti as well as a couple of other pretty generic ideas.
The one idea that I liked enough to actually record was this:
There’s not much to it, it’s my Take Out Production Box made from a box of Valentine’s Day candy. The shape of the candy box had a couple of challenges to covert to a production box, but it was fun little challenge!
I frequently say that holidays or national days are great days to be creative and try to come up with new tricks around that theme. Some days you’ll simply put new clothes on something old, and other times you’ll come up with something completely new!
Magic has a long history of appropriating Asian culture, from people performing in yellow face to props having random Chinese characters put on them to make them look exotic.
I have a prop that has Chinese on it that actually makes sense. A couple of years ago I made a production box out of a take out box from a Chinese restaurant. This idea had been in a notebook years earlier, but I finally got around to it in 2020.
This box is the first trick in the school assembly show and gets a huge reaction! In the show I use it to produce a tennis ball, while saying producing a tennis ball from a take out box doesn’t really make sense, in the routine it does make sense.
During that jam session on the take out production box a well known magician said I should release it soon “before it gets out there and someone else does“. While I agree with why I should release it soon, honestly I don’t like the idea of putting out things before they are ready. It’s a sad state of magic where someone would hear about the idea and rush to beat me to market, however that’s the nature of the business world. I’ve always said magicians need to play business like it’s a real business, that means protecting things with patents, copyright, etc. So it’s really my fault if someone gets ahead of me on putting the Take Out Box Production on the market.
One of the cool things about virtual performing is that if you have something you want to try, there are a ton of opportunities to do it…and you don’t need to leave you house! Yesterday I popped into Kevin Peel’s Open Mic Magic Show on Zoom. The nice thing about this show is that it’s UK based, so showtime is noon in Seattle!
I was looking to try out the Take Out Production Box for an audience, here’s the first attempt at doing the trick:
I think it works, I do need to do some writing to come up with something to say, or some jokes. For a video I like the “travel hack” premise, however for a live show, I think it may need some more meat. I could be wrong…
The idea of using a take out box from a Chinese restaurant for a production box is starting to make some progress…and hitting a wall. The progress that I’ve made is that the box now has a Asian looking logo on the outside. This makes it instantly identifiable from a distance as a Chinese take out box, not just a random box. It also helps make the clear when the box is opened up, that you are showing the inside of it.
Adding the graphic seems like a small thing and it may not have totally been necessary. I think that it makes the trick a little bit more deceptive and play a little bit bigger. It’s that small step further that makes me happy. In one of SH Sharpe’s books he wrote that when you perform with props you made, “the pride you have in making them comes through in your performance” and I do agree. I think using props that I made, I have a sense of pride performing with that I don’t have when using something that I simply bought. Internally, I know all of the work that went into it!
I frequently say that creating magic is just problem solving. Lately I’ve been writing about using a chinese take out box as a production box. Logistically, I have the hiding of the load and the showing of the box empty figured out.
The challenge is when is “good enough” good enough?
Right now the production from the box works with a box that’s plain white on both sides. I want to have a box that’s plain white on the inside and on the outside it will have the a red Asian looking logo of some sort. That’s the thing that really establishes it as a Chinese Take Out Box from a distance.
I just ordered a bunch of take out boxes and I’m going to play with a couple ideas for being able to show one side plain and the other side with a logo. We’ll see how it goes…