Artist: Wayne Dobson
Retail Price: $59.95
Learning Difficulty: Easy
Notes: Includes online video instructions.
- Clear box with lid
- Velvet carrying pouch
- Online Video Instructions
I’ve been playing around with the idea of having a mystery prediction box for a while. I had the original wooden box version which was a very beautiful prop, and I remember how much of a reaction I got out of my co-workers the first time I pulled their folded up signed card out of that box right in front of them. You’d think I parted the Red sea or something.
We’ve come quite a long way from that original wooden box. On the market now are several prediction style boxes that you can purchase and they are all pretty good. You’ve got “The Box” by Mark Southworth, David Regal’s “The Clarity Box”, you have David Penn’s solution to the Mystery Box problem with “Mystery Solved” and then like the fat kid running behind everyone else in gym class you’ve got Wayne Dobson’s “3sixty” wheezing and trotting well behind the pack brining up the rear.
As far as props are concerned Dobson’s 3Sixty is quite elegant. You get a clear acrylic box, and lid, card gaff, and a beautiful black velvet carrying pouch. I love it when magic creators go that extra mile to give you something nice to keep your props in. It keeps them in good condition, and if you choose to incorporate the storage device into the act it adds an element of prestige. It’s like you’re telling the audience that whatever is inside this bag is so fricking valuable I don’t just throw it into my case like I do my cards and other props. No. This thing is special. What I don’t like is when magic creators make the entire trick dependant on the use of said storage device because while I like having the option of using it, I don’t want to need to depend on it. And this is what separates Dobson’s 3Sixty from everything else.
Really when it comes down to it, I’ve not yet seen a poorly made Mystery Box. They all have their selling points, although admittedly I’ve not had the chance to purchase or review Regal’s, and Penn’s. What I have seen is different boxes attempting to solve the same problem and coming up with different solutions. The classic wooden Mystery Box, while made of nice wood, is suspicious because it looks like a prop. The Box is very unassuming because it’s made from a cheap plastic jewelry box, but that’s all its charm too. That it’s very unassuming. It almost doesn’t look like a prop at all. 3Sixty handles smoothly, and looks good, but is completely dependent on that stupid carrying pouch. So really I think it just comes down to finding one that fits your preferences.
One of the more frustrating things about 3Sixty is the inability to adapt it to your personalized performance needs. Other Mystery Boxes on the market allow you to change the loads. You have the classic folded card sure, but you can load in billets, or bank notes as well with other ones. The Box, The Clarity Box, and Mystery Solved all allow for this customization so not including that as an option for 3Sixty just seems like a dunderheaded move by Dobson. Why?
Forget about learning from a DVD. This trick comes with video links to a unlisted Youtube channel. So you’ll need to go online after you get home to see a couple short videos on how this device works. I’m really not that impressed with the Youtube video approach. Sooner or later those links are going to be all over the net, and the secret is going to be exposed. Just telling someone not to share these links publically is only inviting some idiot with no respect for magic to try it. As far as handling the Mystery Box it handles pretty well. The method for which the trick is accomplished works, and it is deceptive so that’s good at least. You’ll need to know how to do a Mercury Fold to perform this trick. If you don’t know how to do a Mercury Fold there is a section in the videos that teach it.
The Mystery Box is a beautiful close up illusion that has been proven to be effective on audiences time and time again. Dobson’s addition to the Mystery Box lineup certainly isn’t a bad one. But consumers are going to need to figure out what their needs are when it comes to a Mystery Box prop, and go with the one that best suits those needs. For my own personal needs Dobson’s 3Sixty is a failure. I don’t want to be limited to being required to use that pouch, nor do I only want to do card loads with it. I’d love to do other kinds of loads too. Sure I could probably build a custom gimmick to work for other load types, but for the price you pay to get this thing you’d think they’d at least include those other gimmicks with it. So I’m at a loss on this one. The magic works, and it’s a good illusion, but the method isn’t something that I’d personally use. Others out there may be okay with it. So if it works for you, and you’re okay with only doing card reveals, then you’ve got yourself a nice little trick. If you’re looking for more versatility and less extra necessary items, then you’re probably better off with something else.
When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.
Product Quality: 7
The props are beautiful, and the trick is a great illusion. I hated the required pouch.
Teaching Quality: 7
The tutorial videos were about as good as you’d expect from something on Youtube.
Video & Sound Quality: 8
No issues for it being Youtube quality.
Overall Quality: 7
For some people this maybe a great trick. This isn’t what I’d want to use personally though. So take this review with a grain of salt and keep an open mind.
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