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Topic: Mentalist Dream Box by Max Krause
Message: Posted by: kenwebster (Feb 15, 2010 05:59AM)
Well where do I start, product, customer service, routines that are possible ???

First of all customer service...Absolutely fantastic Max, has always answered my emails straight away, he has always been available on the phone. No matter how many questions were thrown at him he answered ! Max goes into the same bracket as Craig Filicetti from Pro Mystic (if anyone has had dealings with Craig you will know exactly where I am coming from ) Its a shame not everyone had the same customer service as these two guys !!!

The Mentalist Drean Box is a dream. The workmanship is superb, crafted with true skill. The mechanics are faultless. The mentalist DOES NOT TOUCH THE BOX ! This is completely clean, you can concentrate on your performance and not IF the box will work because it will !

It honestly is a work of art. I cannot rave on enough about this prop, excellent.

As for routines, well they are endless ! Forget other billet collection devices you can`t beat The Mentalist Dream Box.

Thanks Max you are a gentleman and a true genius.
Ken
Message: Posted by: magicFreak2 (Feb 15, 2010 06:33AM)
It does look good, but the difference between an envelope and a box is that when you have a fancy box, everyone wants to look at it, and it screams "trapdoor" or something of the kind. When you empty an envelope you can crumple it. :)
Message: Posted by: aligator (Feb 15, 2010 10:29AM)
Sorry magicFreak2, I have to disagree with you on this one.
Message: Posted by: kenwebster (Feb 15, 2010 10:31AM)
Hi Magicfreak

Let them look at the box they will see nothing !
Message: Posted by: kozmic kettle (Feb 15, 2010 12:34PM)
If you could duplicate the same conditions so that the performer never touches the envelope - I think you would have a point.

The strength of Max's Dream Box is that the spectator collects the billets, opens the box himself and then just tips everything out without the performer ever touching a thing. It's the performer never handling any of the props that makes it so strong. As far as I know, nobody has ever come up with a method that can duplicate those conditions using an envelope.

I'd say, a box that you never handle is less suspicious (and much more powerful) than an envelope that you do. If you don't agree, though, Karrell Fox's "Another Book" has a method where the billets are collected in a big envelope instead of a box. You do have to handle the envelope - but the book costs slightly less than $650!
Message: Posted by: magicFreak2 (Feb 15, 2010 12:37PM)
I apologize everyone, I was thinking of a totally different box (with a significantly higher price tag). For some reason I think that the name had something along the lines of "Dream ... for mentalists" or something like that, I got them both mixed up. The other box was much flatter and shinier. Sorry for the confusion.
Message: Posted by: eSamuels (Feb 15, 2010 02:17PM)
Place the box on the front of the stage. Never touch it again. Have audience members write 'whatever' on pieces of paper and walk up and place their own paper inside the box. Finally, have a randomly selected audience member open the box and remove one of the pieces of paper.

Yes, there are myriad bag/envelope billet s********g devices available, but none can provide these hands-off conditions.
Message: Posted by: Greg Arce (Feb 15, 2010 03:46PM)
[quote]
On 2010-02-15 15:17, Eric Samuels wrote:
Place the box on the front of the stage. Never touch it again. Have audience members write 'whatever' on pieces of paper and walk up and place their own paper inside the box. Finally, have a randomly selected audience member open the box and remove one of the pieces of paper.

Yes, there are myriad bag/envelope billet s********g devices available, but none can provide these hands-off conditions.
[/quote]

Actually Francis Carlyle has a clear change bag that approximates this pretty close.

Greg
Message: Posted by: kenwebster (Feb 15, 2010 04:47PM)
Hi Greg

I have that bag and it is no way the same. Totally different.
Message: Posted by: Tony Razzano (Feb 15, 2010 04:55PM)
[quote]
On 2010-02-15 16:46, Greg Arce wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-02-15 15:17, Eric Samuels wrote:
Place the box on the front of the stage. Never touch it again. Have audience members write 'whatever' on pieces of paper and walk up and place their own paper inside the box. Finally, have a randomly selected audience member open the box and remove one of the pieces of paper.

Yes, there are myriad bag/envelope billet s********g devices available, but none can provide these hands-off conditions.
[/quote]
Actually Francis Carlyle has a clear change bag that approximates this pretty close.

Greg
[/quote]
Greg,
Do you mean E. Raymond Carlyle?
Message: Posted by: Steven Conner (Feb 15, 2010 05:45PM)
[quote]
On 2010-02-15 16:46, Greg Arce wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-02-15 15:17, Eric Samuels wrote:
Place the box on the front of the stage. Never touch it again. Have audience members write 'whatever' on pieces of paper and walk up and place their own paper inside the box. Finally, have a randomly selected audience member open the box and remove one of the pieces of paper.

Yes, there are myriad bag/envelope billet s********g devices available, but none can provide these hands-off conditions.
[/quote]
Actually Francis Carlyle has a clear change bag that approximates this pretty close.

Greg
[/quote]
I do believe it is E. Carlyle and I have the bag and I must say, comparing Max's Mentalists Box to anything is like comparing a Lightning Bolt to a Lightning Bug.

Steve
Message: Posted by: John C (Feb 15, 2010 06:21PM)
[quote]
On 2010-02-15 07:33, magicFreak2 wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-02-15 06:59, kenwebster wrote:
Well where do I start, product, customer service, routines that are possible ???

First of all customer service...Absolutely fantastic Max, has always answered my emails straight away, he has always been available on the phone. No matter how many questions were thrown at him he answered ! Max goes into the same bracket as Craig Filicetti from Pro Mystic (if anyone has had dealings with Craig you will know exactly where I am coming from ) Its a shame not everyone had the same customer service as these two guys !!!

The Mentalist Drean Box is a dream. The workmanship is superb, crafted with true skill. The mechanics are faultless. The mentalist DOES NOT TOUCH THE BOX ! This is completely clean, you can concentrate on your performance and not IF the box will work because it will !

It honestly is a work of art. I cannot rave on enough about this prop, excellent.

As for routines, well they are endless ! Forget other billet collection devices you can`t beat The Mentalist Dream Box.

Thanks Max you are a gentleman and a true genius.
Ken
[/quote]

It does look good, but the difference between an envelope and a box is that when you have a fancy box, everyone wants to look at it, and it screams "trapdoor" or something of the kind. When you empty an envelope you can crumple it. :)
[/quote]

Mr. Freak, Once you begin performing regularly and for large audiences (more than 20 or 30!) you will learn to handle these situations and learn to USE a prop NOT as a prop but as an incidental item in the show.

Why do you suppose so many WORKING PROS own and use this box when they could simply do it with a piece of paper?

J
Message: Posted by: Greg Arce (Feb 15, 2010 06:41PM)
What I'm saying is what the audience will perceive... not magicians or mentalists.

I said it once before, there was a story about a mentalist sitting in an audience with his wife. They were watching another mentalist perform. The performer did some sort of contrived book test... one that has a lot of steps to get to the page, line and word. His wife turned to him and said, "Hey, he's doing that trick you do."

The mentalist fumed. He does the MOAB, but yet his wife perceived it as the same thing.

I'm assuming this box is great. It sounds great. But don't let magician thinking make you think that an audience will see the difference between that and any other OM box. If you asked a regular group from two shows that saw this box and an OM box what they saw... well, they'll practically say the same thing: "We wrote stuff down and then someone picked one of our slips at random and the guy knew what that guy was thinking." More than likely, in both cases, they would probably not mention the box. To them it's just a container to hold the slips.

But if it makes you happy to fool other magicians then go for it. Like I said, I'm sure it's an excellent product.

greg
Message: Posted by: KBLV (Feb 15, 2010 09:00PM)
Although I don't have one of Max's boxes, I have seen one and examined it thoroughly.

Bottom line is, this is a GREAT prop that will repay you many times over for it's initial cost. It's built to last, and is absolutely gorgeous. The method is ingenious, and will not wear out.

I give this one Five Billets Up, on a scale of 1-5
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Feb 15, 2010 09:28PM)
I am partial to the Cassidy Cigar Box OM box ;) - but one day I'll have to collect this one too
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Feb 16, 2010 06:39AM)
Sorry to kinda hijack, but saying about using everyday objects and the difference in perceptions..i've been getting away with murder with a billet pencil I'd been road testing...i bought the full on kit last week, and it came today...a quick mini-review here:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=352260&forum=109&0
Message: Posted by: gphrenol (Jun 7, 2010 08:52PM)
Yes E. Raymond Carlyle does sell the New Working Mentalist Forcing Bag It is great and pack small.
Max's box does give a much higher level of technical purity.
Message: Posted by: Jerry (Jun 7, 2010 11:10PM)
Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe I could accomplished the same outcome with my Larry Becker box.

Walk out, set ou the table, never touch again.
Have several spectators insert their billets into the box, have the last or different audience member open the box and take out a random billet.

Sound right?

JerryB
Message: Posted by: Oyama (Jun 8, 2010 01:50AM)
I agree with Greg!

No doubt about it...he is correct.

Aaron
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Jun 8, 2010 05:51AM)
Jerry - Becker blessed Max's box as the next evolution - I own Becker's and you have to be holding it when things are inserted....MBD - you never touch it at all except to set it down for test conditions :)
Message: Posted by: Jerry (Jun 8, 2010 01:02PM)
I am not saying that Becker's box is better, just that similar results can be obtained.

I had no problem with inserting billets or pay envelopes. Granted, what I am suggesting is risky, but possible. Yes if the spectator knocks over the box, you will of course have problems.

Nevertheless I will look into this product (Dream Box).

JerryB
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Jun 8, 2010 01:07PM)
If the spectator knocks over any box unplanned - it isn't great :)
Message: Posted by: RenzIII (Dec 15, 2010 11:49AM)
Mentalist Dream Box

Just wanted to put up a quick post on Max Krause's Mentalist Dream Box

I used this item last week for a corporate event. I must say it left a very powerful impression
on a very large group of people. I mixed a presentation, a CEO Vote and lottery prediction.

The box was left in full view under a spotlight while I was hanging out in my dressing room, the audience was asked to put the billets in the box themselves within a half hour period. that's a total of 80 billets.

When it came time to do the routine, the box was opened by an audience member and billets removed at random, I never had to go near the box for anything. The numbers and votes were marked on a large board.

The sealed prediction which, was sent a week before, was hanging up high in full view the entire time.
When it came time to reveal the prediction, the crowd was stunned.

All I can say is what an amazing prop, well thought out, totally hands off. And as far as billets imagine 80 billets and no hangs ups.

Going in, I suspected it would be killer but I was worried about how many billets would fit, even I tested it. I had done the effect a couple weeks before but for a smaller group with about 30 billets, so I was worried. In the end the prop came through in flying colors.

My hat is off to Max for making such a versatile prop that actually works, lol. Afterward people kept coming up to me to ask how it was possible that I could predict what would happen? And they took note that I never touched anything. Amazing, lol.

So powerful was this on my audience, its currently my closer. Go get one of these!!!!!!!!!!

Just wanted to put up a quick post on Max Krause's Mentalist Dream Box

I used this item last week for a corporate event. I must say it left a very powerful impression
on a very large group of people. I mixed a presentation, a CEO Vote and lottery prediction.

The box was left in full view under a spotlight while I was hanging out in my dressing room, the audience was asked to put the billets in the box themselves within a half hour period. that's a total of 80 billets.

When it came time to do the routine, the box was opened by an audience member and billets removed at random, I never had to go near the box for anything. The numbers and votes were marked on a large board.

The sealed prediction which, was sent a week before, was hanging up high in full view the entire time.
When it came time to reveal the prediction, the crowd was stunned.

All I can say is what an amazing prop, well thought out, totally hands off. And as far as billets imagine 80 billets and no hangs ups.

Going in, I suspected it would be killer but I was worried about how many billets would fit, even I tested it. I had done the effect a couple weeks before but for a smaller group with about 30 billets, so I was worried. In the end the prop came through in flying colors.

My hat is off to Max for making such a versatile prop that actually works, lol. Afterward people kept coming up to me to ask how it was possible that I could predict what would happen? And they took note that I never touched anything. Amazing, lol.

So powerful was this on my audience, its currently my closer. Go get one of these!!!!!!!!!!
Message: Posted by: eric50 (Oct 21, 2011 03:31PM)
I recently purchased the Mentalist's Dream Box from Max, then had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with at the recent Mindvention in Las Vegas. I would put Max's products right up there next to Promystic( I guess that's why they are friends) the quality and customer service is suburb and Max is just a nice guy. Is it expensive, it is if you leave it sitting in your den or office, but for a worker it's worth it and much more. As with Promystic stuff I wish that I was in the minority of people who own their products because they are that good. Highly, Highly, recommended.
Message: Posted by: Illusionist of the Mind (Oct 21, 2011 04:21PM)
Wow... How can it possibly cost so much?

I do not know the workings; but unless its electronic (which I don't imagine it is) I am amazed at the price tag. I don't want a highly expensive-looking bit of wood to put billets into, I want something which looks and feels like a shoe box.
Message: Posted by: shpf100 (Oct 21, 2011 04:24PM)
Yeah wowsers-I'm sure it's nice but I think it originally cost under 400 please correct me if I'm wrong-I know I thought about it for awhile-guess I should have jumped on it considering the price quantum leap
Message: Posted by: brehaut (Oct 21, 2011 04:25PM)
[quote]
On 2011-10-21 17:21, Illusionist of the Mind wrote:
Wow... How can it possibly cost so much?

I do not know the workings; but unless its electronic (which I don't imagine it is) I am amazed at the price tag. I don't want a highly expensive-looking bit of wood to put billets into, I want something which looks and feels like a shoe box.
[/quote]
I really don't know what the point of your post is. Max's product are first rate as is his reputation.
Message: Posted by: Illusionist of the Mind (Oct 21, 2011 04:27PM)
Ohh I know, I'm sure its amazing. People are comparing him to Craig, and that's the highest compliment ever. But seriously, I want a shoe box.
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Oct 22, 2011 10:40AM)
Heck, I own of of these and I wouldn't want to take the time to have figured the specs and build the thing to high quality - that is why I bought it.

If you don't want a hands off method - go build an OM box. However, then it has its limits.

Its not the cost that counts - its the VALUE to the purchaser.... that has been the true issue with all these discussions. Its the VALUUEEEEEEEEEEE which is totally context driven.
Message: Posted by: eric50 (Nov 3, 2011 02:40PM)
I agree that it is the value to the purchaser. When I bought this from Max, yes the price seemed high at first, but then when I received it I understand why and when I used it in my shows I didn't care one bit about the cost, because the results were fantastic.
Message: Posted by: Steven Conner (Nov 3, 2011 03:47PM)
100% HANDS OFF!! Box looks natural. HANDS OFF!! Big stage illusions are nice and cost a lot of money, but they're not HANDS OFF!! This thing is killer, HANDS OFF!!
Message: Posted by: goatears (Nov 24, 2011 09:24PM)
I saw Max demo this at his lecture. It was great! He totally killed with it. I was called up for the reveal and I have know idea how he did it. It was great!
Message: Posted by: Domino Magic (Nov 25, 2011 06:30AM)
[quote]
On 2011-11-03 16:47, Steven Conner wrote:
100% HANDS OFF!! Box looks natural. HANDS OFF!! Big stage illusions are nice and cost a lot of money, but they're not HANDS OFF!! This thing is killer, HANDS OFF!!
[/quote]
I don't understand why HANDS OFF! is what makes it or breaks it. The props we use in our show are just that, our props and the audience expects that we touch them, move them, handle them, etc. I was watching Derren Brown's Enigma show and he has a wicker basket that audience members drop billets into before the show and then during the presentation, Derren picks up the basket and brings it forward for someone to choose one of the papers. How is that suspicious? Would the whole routine have been stronger if Derren never touched the basket?

Nothing negative about this prop. I'm sure it's a nice box and does what it says it does. But I think sometimes we get caught up in details that only matter to other mentalists.
Message: Posted by: theinternetguru (Nov 29, 2011 10:38AM)
There are spectators who watch carefully and work back through everything you have done. What you get with Max's box is a device that will provide a logical disconnect for those kinds of spectators. Your point is valid, though, for many people who experience mentalism and are not so analytical. Unless they see you blatantly reaching into the billets, they cannot discern the method. There is something to be said for a device that cleanly handles both types of spectators.
Message: Posted by: Domino Magic (Nov 29, 2011 12:36PM)
I understand your point, but I'll ask the same question regarding Derren Brown. Did picking up his basket (hamper) in Enigma to have someone in the audience reach in and pull out a slip of paper lessen the effect? And I'm not 100% sure Derren did anything to activate a switch. It may have been an assistant who picked it up off the stage and placed it on a table. In that case he never did have to touch the basket and could have had someone come up and take the slip that way - over-proving what didn't need to be proved.

Taking the position of "hands off" as the ultimate way to do mentalism then really ruins a lot of mentalism routines. 4DT, you have to handle the envelopes. Sneak Thief, you have to handle the boards/pads in which the spectator's drew on and many classic methods for doing Q&A (Dunninger/Kreskin/Osterlind) all have the mentalist handling the slips of paper and envelopes. Are these routines less mysterious/deceptive? I don't think so. Again I see this as overkill. A toy that wouldn't impact the presentation. Seems like it's great to fool a bunch of mentalists who are looking for another method!
Message: Posted by: theinternetguru (Nov 29, 2011 04:10PM)
I didn't mean to imply that being completely hands off is essential for a clean effect. This is simply one possible logical disconnect. 4DT has other strong logical disconnects built into it (and in fact, at no point should the spectator see you handling a billet after they write on it, so in one sense, it is "hands off"). As for Sneak Thief, I am not sure that Becker's original is sneaky enough. I do Spellman's Thief in the Dark, which allows the spectators to shuffle the drawing boards and randomly put them into opaque envelopes before I handle them. I find this adds an important disconnect to the routine.

I didn't see Derren's performance, so I cannot comment on whether it involved other logical disconnects. I would not disdain a method that fooled a mentalist, though; there is no downside in a very clean effect that no one can figure out.

As an example, I just returned from a cruise with my (very beautiful) wife. We saw a magician perform in cabaret while on board. My wife was called as a volunteer, and the magician vanished her ring, then caused it to appear in a locked box that was (from the beginning) held in the hands of someone in the front row. (It was also inside a can, and she had to use a can opener to get at it, lol.) How precisely it got into the box (and the can) was a mystery to my wife, but it was clear to her that it had to happen sometime between when he retrieved the box from the spectator and when he set it on a pedestal toward the back of the stage. It was a good trick (for her) but no miracle. Max's box provides a chance to perform a miracle, even to someone who is highly analytical.
Message: Posted by: Domino Magic (Nov 29, 2011 05:09PM)
Here ya go:

[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V18glwztPes[/url]

It's right there at the beginning. Curious to know your reaction after you've had a chance to watch it.

Enjoy!
Message: Posted by: theinternetguru (Nov 29, 2011 06:30PM)
This guy is good, isn't he? I think the logical disconnect is that, as he picks up the basket, he immediately angles it toward the audience, carries it lightly in one hand, and hands it off quickly. When a container is essentially open and in view, physical proximity isn't as important. So this isn't really a valid comparison, it's not apples to apples. If (like the magician in my example) this was a closed, wooden box that he carried slowly (with his hands basically out of sight) to the man in the front row, I don't think this would be as interesting an effect, would it? Max's box is intended to provide a logical disconnect in those kinds of plots, not ones involving the kind of portable utility device that Derren is employing.
Message: Posted by: Domino Magic (Nov 29, 2011 06:45PM)
There's a number of disconnects. The first one being the basket was on the stage right in front of everyone and they got to drop the paper in. I would imagine that the basket isn't examinable, but it doesn't need to be. Another is that it's just a simple basket. There's no suspicion on it. I like that it's open, because again there's nothing to conceal.

I don't agree that you can't compare the two. Well actually on one point I do. Derren's prop isn't for sale, so short of making one yourself, you can't find one. So you can't compare something that doesn't exist to something that does.

Not to copy Derren's routine, I created a similar open-concept simple switch box for less than $20. It's a common box you would find in an organizational store. Took less than 5 minutes to construct and I can duplicate probably any effect you can do with the $650 box with the same impact. It can be handed out and people can drop in their papers without fear of detection. It's not something I'm selling, so I'm not trying to promote anything. It was really to find a better solution to the Otis Manning Box in Annemann.

Basically I'm agreeing with what Greg Arce posted on the first page of this thread:

[quote]I'm assuming this box is great. It sounds great. But don't let magician thinking make you think that an audience will see the difference between that and any other OM box. If you asked a regular group from two shows that saw this box and an OM box what they saw... well, they'll practically say the same thing: "We wrote stuff down and then someone picked one of our slips at random and the guy knew what that guy was thinking." More than likely, in both cases, they would probably not mention the box. To them it's just a container to hold the slips.

But if it makes you happy to fool other magicians then go for it. Like I said, I'm sure it's an excellent product. [/quote]
Message: Posted by: theinternetguru (Nov 30, 2011 03:48PM)
Whether this is a better or cleaner solution is the question. Again, I'd have to see it. Whether your gimmick or Derren's can reproduce all the effects that Max's box can is unknown. Does the ability to do a switch without being in the vicinity make Max's box a cleaner and more puzzling effect? I think so. Does it validate the price tag? That's relative to the one buying it. The point is settled by this -- if Derren could do the same effect without approaching the basket, would he touch it? No way. There is, therefore, value in this method. Not for you, apparently, but for those who can afford it, possibly.
Message: Posted by: Domino Magic (Nov 30, 2011 04:24PM)
The point isn't settled on that point because the exact method of Derren's is unknown and I'm sure if anyone could afford to do it that way, Derren could. Both you and I spelled out the disconnect points and perhaps he and his team didn't see that as an important issue. It's magician's thinking. Mine could work without me touching it, not a problem and a very easy to accomplish. Bottom line is the "no touch" feature is just a selling point to magicians who think that addition improves the effect and is something that the audience wouldn't think twice about.