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The Opongo Box (DVD and Gimmick) Review

Official Review

September 25th, 2015 2:06pm
Reviewed by Dr. J. M. Ayala de Cedoz
As a coin magic specialist who really enjoys Okito Box magic and though I may sound slightly biased as a fellow Spaniard, really enjoy the work of Juanlu Rubiales, I like this disc...

However, it just felt like there was something missing and I cannot quite put my finger on it.

I was actually shocked when I saw the props that came with the disc when comparing it to the price - what a deal! You not only get a very nice Oktio Box made of brass, but also the two necessary gimmicks PLUS 5 half dollars - yes, you actually get 5 new half dollars. They are clad Kennedy halves, but I have yet to see an Okito Box from any maker that comes with the normal coins for you to use or at least get started with. Whatever their reason for including them, I applaud them for that!

The box itself is not much different in looks compared to other 'standard' Okito boxes on the market. The edges of the box and the lid are quite square and not rounded over. The concept is not completely new either, but this box incorporates three different types of Okito boxes into one, though you do need the two 'extra little somethings' to make it appear normal from time to time.

The box is not infinitely examinable, but it will withstand a brief once-over from a spectator. There is still a chance they might see 'something' that does not quite look right, but if they do, it will not really give away any secrets - it would just look like a sloppy job, if that makes sense. If you get this and have a play around with it, you will know what I mean. This does NOT mean that the quality is not good - because the box IS very well made. They do not say who makes these boxes, but as a collector and user of many, I would be interested in finding out.

The effects are a mish-mash of old ideas and some unique and original ideas from Juan Luis. The teaching is very clear and they use a combination of panned shots as well as close-up shots to clarify certain moves.

One of the principles used for some of the effects is very old and is also found used in a popular card gimmick from many years ago. I had independently thought of using that principle with coins and came up with a bunch of things to do with it before I found out that someone else had marketed essentially the same gimmick many years before. In the case of the Opongo Box, the principle is used but the gimmick is not the same, though it does achieve essentially the same and/or similar effects.

Personally I did not find it hard to listen to Juan throughout the video, but there will be some people out there who find it difficult to get through the video. He is speaking English, which is a secondary language for him and although he does do quite well, his pace is very slow. Slow, but sure. Personally, I wish they had included a Spanish language option on the disc, but I can understand why they did not.

EMC is known for the quality videos that they produce and usually the production quality is top-notch. In this case, the video was very good but the audio was a bit low. There were times where the audio volume dipped very low. I had to rewind at a couple of spots to make sure I heard what he was saying. The teaching was still very good.

There is not a whole lot on this video so the menu was easy to navigate with the option to Play All or watch chapter by chapter, including the introduction, the 'what you get' section and the effects themselves, split up into performance and explanations. Something I found quite strange in the Credits: Paulino Gil was credited as a 'guest spectator' but at not time did I see anyone else on screen with Juan Luis. In fact, the whole video is him by himself in the studio, performing each effect and then explaining it.

Despite the lack of live audience (or apparent lack thereof), these effects can be done in the real world, though not all of them are practical for every venue and situation, but they can all be used. I can say this because I have been doing Okito box magic for years and have used other effects similar to these in all different types of situations. I point this out because normally, when you do not see a live performance of an effect/routine/product, it usually means it is not able to be used deceptively for a live audience. That is NOT the case here.

None of the material is technically difficult, but there are a few where good timing is necessary, and Juan Luis points out each of those moments in teaching.

Overall, you are getting a good video and a great product for the comparatively $70/USD. While the effects provided give you a great starting point, there are many more things you can do with the included props. It would have been nice to see some more ideas because one of the five effects was not much of an effect, rather more of a utility technique.

If you like Okito box work you will enjoy this and the possibilities that come with it. If you have never done any studying/performing of Oktio box magic, do not start with this - get a basic box or a set of boxes and work your way up to this.

Highly recommended!

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for The Opongo Box (DVD and Gimmick)

Author: Rubiales, Juan Luis
Publisher: Essential Magic Collection
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $70.00
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Manufacturer's Description:


Juan Luis Rubiales has created the ultimate coin box. It's an Okito, Boston and Slot Box all in one. It's an ingenious combination that enables you to create routines that baffle even the experts. Rubiales performs and explains five different effects including: Come and Go - an instantaneous appearance and disappearance of a coin from the box. What Came First - a routine in which 3 coins appear in the box one at a time, and Escapologist - where 4 coins penetrate through a glass tumbler and appear in the covered box.






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