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David Penn's Mystery Solved Review

Official Review

January 5th, 2015 2:32am
Reviewed by Stuart Philip
David Penn’s Mystery Solved is and superb product and a notable step in the evolution of the signed card-to-box routine. The product’s name, Mystery Solved, pays homage to John Kennedy’s Mystery Box, a small wooden box that for years was the card-to-box standard. The mystery that was solved was how to transform the opaque box into a completely transparent one. This is indeed one of the answers to that question.

Penn credits several magicians, including the card-to-box routine creator, Bruno Henning and more recently, David Regal, for his amazing contribution, the also mostly see-through, Clarity Box, which uses a different gimmick.

With Mystery Solved you get a clear box, a few pieces of material which allow you to create different customized gimmicks necessary to perform the illusion and an excellently produced one hour and twenty minute DVD. The box itself, which is completely see through, measures 2¼ inches wide, 1 1/3 inches tall and 1½ inches deep. The gimmick requires some simple art-and-crafts work which may take up to 20 minutes to create and install. It is possible to create and affix the gimmick within 5-10 minutes, but I was not satisfied with my first attempt and worked on it until it was perfect. You will need a scissor (or razor) and double stick tape and you will be ready to go. You can customize your gimmick to be red card, a blue card, a billet, a dollar bill, etc. The DVD is very detailed and contains a studio performance, a live performance and most importantly, a clear step-by-step real-time demonstration on how to create and install the gimmick. The packaging is an attractive black box with form fitting foam that you can use as protection during transport.

Penn shot the DVD in London’s Shard, the tallest building in the EU. The Shard is a glass skyscraper which is symbolic of the see-through nature of Mystery Solved. Penn presents the product very well and in addition to the construction and history of the illusion, he displayed his hand made prototype, the method in which it is currently manufactured (sonic welding --- don’t ask me?!), and he explains how to handle and display the box with the correct orientation in relation to your audience so that the method is not revealed.

It is important to note that this illusion not only has angle considerations, but when the card is poured out of the box, the box must be held in a certain way to avoid detection. The box cannot, absolutely cannot, be handed out to spectators after the card is removed from the box. After the card is produced, within a few seconds, the box is put away in a pocket, to avoid exposure of the gimmick. Although this may weigh on your mind before trying out this trick, the heat is focused on the Mercury folded signed card and not the box. Of course it would be great to be keep the box in plain sight after the illusion is performed, but the method is so convincing that this concern is almost completely irrelevant. In fact, I watched Penn’s demonstration of the production of the card from the box so many times and I swear that the card in Penn’s hand was the same card that was in the box. It is so fair looking that it should not be questioned.

Penn teaches various slights and moves, among them, the essential Mercury Fold, and also a few routines to perform with Mystery Solved. Penn cleverly demonstrates how to do the Mercury Fold with an Omni Deck, which makes it very easy to follow, for beginners. He suggested that a spectator may hold the box during the trick, before the card is removed from the box, but many performers may not feel comfortable allowing spectator hands on the box due to the angles issues and the unpredictability of even the most obedient and seemingly compliant spectators.

The DVD contains a lengthy interview with Mentalist, Peter Turner, who presents some great ideas for using Mystery Solved in a mentalism routine, although the suggested routines are not performed by Turner.

This product is great for any close-up or walk-around set because it can be repeated over and over and has a split-second reset. The price is very fair and the promotional video shows what you get. The numerous endorsements I believe accurately reflect several magician’s reaction to the product, but calling it the Holy Grail is a bit over the top. This is a wonderful product that will astonish and fool.

Suggestions from the Reviewer

Although not suggested on the DVD, consider using the Mystery Solved box to perform a visual vanish of the object in the box, only to produce it in another impossible location. i.e. A playing card is poured into the performer's hand, which is then slowly opened only to reveal that the card is gone. It then re-appears in a spectator's jacket pocket.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for David Penn's Mystery Solved

Author: Penn, David
Publisher: World Magic Shop
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $72.50
Buy Now
Manufacturer's Description:

"The next big thing is HERE!" - Eric Jones

The World's leading magicians, creators and historians have heralded David Penn's Mystery Solved as "The Holy Grail".
In any lighting conditions, close-up, walk around, parlour or stage you will be able to perform the cleanest and clearest switch ever!!!!!
A killer ending for card to impossible location The perfect solution to the dream card plot The most direct and fair Confabulation routine you have ever seen.Mystery Solved has been perfectly engineered and custom made from the ground up, to provide you with a method that you will enjoy using again and again and yet your spectators will never see a thing!

As Marc Oberon Said - "When I saw Mystery Solved I couldn't believe a switch was occurring".

Utilise Mystery Solved as your finale, in the cleanest and clearest card to box ever, or to reveal a prediction.

A signed card vanishes from the deck only to be discovered in the clear box that has been isolated under a wine glass the entire time!

In a mentalism routine your audience can see you place the prediction inside an empty box. After asking for random information from your audience members, the prediction can be tipped out at fingertips, before being read out loud by a spectator. The card is tipped out at fingertips making the retention of vision incredibly strong and deceptive. The box is only half the size of a deck of cards! The box is instantly empty and clear! The contents can be changed/customized in three minutes! You can place objects in the box and clearly tip them out! As well as the thinking behind Mystery Solved, the accompanying DVD which was shot on location within London's Shard, provides a wealth of information including David's card routine guest star - Peter Turner describes devious ways to use Mystery Solved in mentalism routines.

Here is what some of the world leading performers, creators and Magical thinkers are saying about David Penn's Mystery Solved:

"The next big thing is HERE!"
- Eric Jones

"That is ***king Incredible! One of the best things I have seen in ten years! I'll use this"
- Peter Turner - The Perceptionist

"David Penn has created the HOLY GRAIL of Card To BOX"
- @PeterEggink

"What The **CK!"
- @trollcarl (Tom Stone)

"Holy Moly! That has to be real magic. There is no other explanation"
- Jonathan Levit

"That is Beautiful"
- @benhanlin

"I can't believe I just spent two grand on a prediction chest and this is so much better!"
- @ali_cook

"This is an incredible invention and the perfect tool for working magicians"
- Sabastien Calbry

"CLEARLY the best device for an impossible location effect!"
- @jeffprace

"That is an absolute miracle!"
- Brian Kennedy

"David has created a box of such transparent scrupulous veracity, so honest yet so brazenly pathological. This box should not be able to switch anything for anything else, yet it does so without a shadow of guilt!"
- @MaxSomerset

"I need that now!"
- Wayne Fox

"That is just perfect"
- @MathewYoungs

"Mystery Solved is so ****ING sweet!"
- Bobby Motta

"When I saw Mystery Solved I couldn't believe a switch was occurring"
- Marc Oberon

"No more wooden boxes, mint boxes, jewelry boxes or candy boxes. The Holy Grail has been found!"
- Chris Kavanagh

"That is just GENIUS!"
- Rus Andrews

"This is the best effect I have every created, Including Coinvexed. I am proud to introduce it to the magic community"
- @DavidPennMagic

******** TV Rights and all Video For Profit Rights are reserved by David Penn. Please contact the creator if you wish to use this effect for such a purpose *********

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