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Topic: Dean's Box
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Oct 30, 2015 08:49AM)
I'm just curious as to whether any of you own and perform Dean's Box and, if so, the reactions you get from it?

Luckily, a few years back I bought one from Dean as well as extra sets of curtains and ropes and rings..

THANK YOU to the late great Stewart James for being "The Father" of this effect and to the late Dean Dill for releasing this GREAT prop and routine to the Magic Community!
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Oct 31, 2015 07:34AM)
Reports on the Cafť several years ago, was that a good number of people perform this effect. Many say the audience really responded to it. Some do it on a table, some seem to like sitting on a chair and holding it in their lap, while doing it. I do not think anyone has offered a video performing it. There also have been many inquires for additional ideal to extend the routine. Some suggested the Invisible deck.

There has never been a forum discussion on the presentation and possibilities of this expensive prop, to my knowledge.

I guess, they are being used, as there was an influx of people looking for additional curtains to repair their worn and tattered out drapes.

That is the thing with assisting people, they get their answer and few return to report if the solution was useful. Most that did return, usually do what they originally wanted to do, and so did not take the advice.

I guess you are with those that believe this trick is related to Stewart James's "SEFALALJIA" as published in the December 2, 1939, number 69, The Jinx magazine.

The jury is still out as far as I am concerned, I don't see how this could entertaining and believable in a show as it. It might play with good music, great patter and presentation on the performer's part. The only video is of Dean Dill casually doing some of the ideas provided with it, and one Chinese magician who did it on China television.

It is to large for close-up, but maybe it is great for an in home house party. Not many house parties that I know of with the rich and famous, but I am sure they are still going on some places.

With all the new smoke devices on the market, maybe a little added smoke would liven it up a little.
Message: Posted by: john wills (Oct 31, 2015 01:07PM)
Rainboguy and Hegbli,

Look also for The Legacybox of David Regal / Owen's and even Norm Nielsen

Sincerely,
John
Message: Posted by: drmagico (Nov 5, 2015 08:24AM)
I have been using Dean's box for long time and it does get a very good reaction. Check out Marc DeSouzas routine on one of his DVDs from the 4 DVD set. He has a great routine for it.
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Nov 5, 2015 05:45PM)
I like using my Dean's Box in a Close-Up environment using two audience assistants, seated left and right of the box as per the DVD that came with the prop. The close-up audience "feeds" on the reactions of the two audience assistants, and that helps the prop "play bigger".

I've added a 4th phase to the routine using Joe Porper's AmazeRing prop, and the 4 phases seem "just about right" timewise.

This always plays well..getting a STRONG audience reaction. For those who own this prop, you might consider looking at purchasing a Dean's Box bag from the Ambitious Card...it's exceptionally well made and protects the prop in transport and in storage. Like most good Magic.....the smarter they are....the more badly they are fooled with this prop!

Highly recommended! Although I am not sure if they are still available.
Message: Posted by: DaveGripenwaldt (Nov 12, 2015 05:35PM)
As to being made anymore, unfortunately, there are poorley made Chinese knock offs available. However, Hocus Pocus is making them again with permission from Dean's estate - I think at around the same price as when Dean sold it.
Message: Posted by: mtgoldstein (Dec 2, 2015 08:42AM)
Kudos to Hocus Pocus for continuing to support the Dill legacy. He brought so much to the community and will be sorely missed.
Message: Posted by: Peckham (Dec 4, 2015 08:03PM)
Great effect and gets amazing reactions. Several pros have developed their own routines to include Marc DeSouza, Scott Alexander and Eric DeCamps.
Message: Posted by: scottjenkins (May 1, 2016 07:50PM)
Paul Daniels used it as a final effect on stage.
That's all you need to know about how effective it is.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (May 2, 2016 04:42AM)
We recently used it on a magic series in the middle east. It's interesting to me in that the more intelligent the spectators are, the more amazed they are. It requires some knowledge of topology to appreciate. Kids could care less but engineers and scientists go crazy for it!
Message: Posted by: Jafo (Jul 21, 2016 11:08PM)
I've recently been performing it in my parlor show. My script includes a backstory that explains the existence of the box and why it does what it does. As a result, my audience stands outside of the venue after the show and discusses with each other how in the heck that was possible. It's one of the strongest things in my show.

So yeah, give it due diligence and you'll have a showpiece. So if it's not playing to your liking, think about reworking the presentation. The challenge is worth it!
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Jul 22, 2016 10:22AM)
Interesting......I did not know that Scott Alexander has his own routine. I'll be hanging out at Abbott's Get-Together and Scott is on the bill there.......I will talk with him about the routine, and heck, maybe I will bring my Dean's Box to have him show it to me since I plan on buying his Shattered trick and having him walk through his handling of it with me...
Message: Posted by: John Long (Jul 23, 2016 10:06PM)
Scott Alexander teaches his additional/new phases (ring onto rope effects and a gag) to Dean's Box in his Midnight Show dvd.
Message: Posted by: Killertweety (Oct 20, 2016 04:18AM)
Can anyone tell me how I can recognise a genuine Dean's Box, so not one of the widely spread knock offs? I can buy one (not very cheap but doable) but am doubting it's the real deal here ... .

Here's a picture: https://static.wixstatic.com/media/0a733d_437ad30d61364e8289ac9a6cf52d41cb~mv2.jpg/v1/fill/w_879,h_659,al_c,q_90,usm_0.66_1.00_0.01/0a733d_437ad30d61364e8289ac9a6cf52d41cb~mv2.jpg

Thanks for the input :)

David
Message: Posted by: gimpy2 (Oct 20, 2016 07:29AM)
Looks real to me. The knock offs I have seen are not made of walnut. The joints in the corners are as they should be. The fabric on the sides looks right. Cant see the hinges but they should be a small strap type hinge not square like on the fakes. What makes you think its a knock off? If its fake somebody went to a lot of trouble here.
Message: Posted by: Killertweety (Oct 20, 2016 08:51AM)
Thank you very much Gimpy2.
What made me doubt is the pictures I saw on the internet of other genuine Dean's Boxes all have some 'gloss' on the box and this one doesn't (or so it seems, but that could be just the photo of course).
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Oct 20, 2016 04:48PM)
People don't take care of their props properly, so it is most likely very dirty and needs a polishing. Fine wood needs to be cared for, and cleaned with the proper cloths and products.

Make sure you get the instructions, or you will have a hard time figuring out the working.
Message: Posted by: Killertweety (Oct 21, 2016 02:58AM)
Will do so Bill, thanks!
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Oct 21, 2016 06:21PM)
Bill Hegbli is right when it comes to people not taking proper care of their props, and I can tell you with certainty that this particular prop we're discussing: DEAN"S BOX, is a prop that will absolutely be totally unforgiving to those who don't properly care for it.

Here's the link for the bag that Frank has made for DEAN'S BOX and sells at THE AMBITIOUS CARD........

http://www.theambitiouscard.com/aitem.cfm?itemid=6

This bag is, in my opininion, perfect to store, transport, and protect this very nice prop. I highly recommend it to those who own DEAN'S BOX.
Message: Posted by: Killertweety (Oct 24, 2016 03:56AM)
Thanks for the info Rainboguy.
I just got a reply from the seller and he too sais it is the original one, comes with DVD and all the props. He is offering it at 200 USD which I think is a fair price, but I will probably need to 'clean' it a bit, or polish it.
Does anyone know a good quality product I could use for that?
Message: Posted by: amazing mike (Feb 13, 2019 05:02PM)
I purchased Deanís box years ago and the instructions came with a video tape format. Does anybody know if there is a dvd or digital version of the instructions and where I can get it?
Message: Posted by: Cleverpaws (Feb 13, 2019 08:07PM)
[quote]On Oct 24, 2016, Killertweety wrote:
I will probably need to 'clean' it a bit, or polish it.
Does anyone know a good quality product I could use for that? [/quote]

I would suggest a conservators wax such as http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=75652&cat=,42950&ap=1
"Liberon" is another brand that is based in Europe and also renaissance wax are similar waxes.
They key with wax is to use a 0000 (thats 4 aught) steel wool and use a very minimal amount, then buff off with soft cloth before it dries. If it does dry, just apply a bit more.
don't rub too hard or you can remove the finish. The conservators wax will help clean off any grime that is on there too.
You can also use the "white scrubbies" which are pretty fine, but don't work as well.
It really depends on how involved you want to get with it but this is a good first step and can make a big difference.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Feb 14, 2019 02:58AM)
[quote]On Feb 13, 2019, amazing mike wrote:
I purchased Deanís box years ago and the instructions came with a video tape format. Does anybody know if there is a dvd or digital version of the instructions and where I can get it? [/quote]


There are many places that will transfer your VHS tape to DVD, Just search using Google. I noticed some offering digital, and you get it by downloading or cloud storage.
Message: Posted by: rosariorose9 (Jan 26, 2021 11:50AM)
After years of use, the ropes for my box are pretty thread bare. Can anyone suggest a good source for replacing them? Thanks very much.
Message: Posted by: rosariorose9 (Jan 26, 2021 04:27PM)
By the way, my local magic shop here in Los Angeles does have 'magicians' rope', but it is too thick to be used with Dean's Box. I would even be willing to dye half of the white rope red if I could find the right rope. Thanks again for any help.
Message: Posted by: Jafo (Jan 26, 2021 07:08PM)
[quote]On Jan 26, 2021, rosariorose9 wrote:
After years of use, the ropes for my box are pretty thread bare. Can anyone suggest a good source for replacing them? Thanks very much. [/quote]

Back when AmazeKids still had their own website, I bought some Super Rope from them. They had all kinds of colors and they were the perfect diameter for Dean Box. I just checked and I can't find any on their site. I just sent a message to Danny Orleans to see if they still sell it.
Message: Posted by: Jafo (Jan 26, 2021 07:18PM)
I just heard back that Vanishing and Amaze Kids stopped carrying Super Rope. Danny Orleans says you could try reaching out to the manufacturer: super.rope@yahoo.com
Message: Posted by: rosariorose9 (Jan 26, 2021 08:00PM)
That's very kind of you, Jafo. I'll give that a try. Thanks!
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Jan 26, 2021 09:19PM)
Itís not a ďMagicianís RopeĒ as that has a softer structure and will wear out with repeated use. It is a 1/4Ē nylon rope. This is the closest I could find that is already dyed. Nylon/polypro would be very hard to dye yourself. They also have a white you can order as well. Good luck!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FT1KH1F/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_mWneGb00XJDYE?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
Message: Posted by: rosariorose9 (Jan 27, 2021 12:39AM)
Thanks a MILLION, Ray. And you're a fellow Angelino! Just placed an order, thanks to your link. Should arrive in a little over a week, and I'll report back when I receive it. Again, thanks so much. My box still looks great, and new ropes should spruce up the whole thing!
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Jan 29, 2021 01:19AM)
Hope they work out! Yes, I spent years working at Hollywood Magic, Dean brought it in when he first came up with it. What an amazing guy and such an honor to have this wonderful piece of magic from him.
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Jan 29, 2021 10:33AM)
Ray Pierce:

I LOVED going to Hollywood Magic!!!

In a way, it was like going to The Magic Castle..............you never knew who you would see there!
Message: Posted by: rosariorose9 (Jan 29, 2021 11:34AM)
[quote]On Jan 29, 2021, Ray Pierce wrote:
Hope they work out! Yes, I spent years working at Hollywood Magic, Dean brought it in when he first came up with it. What an amazing guy and such an honor to have this wonderful piece of magic from him. [/quote]

My gosh, that brings back great memories! When I was a teenager, my buddy and I would ride our bikes from his home in Venice to Hollywood Magic, and watch them demonstrate effects for the customers who actually had money :) Was a full day 'trek', but it was worth it. The high point was seeing Harry Blackstone demonstrating a gaffed deck from behind that counter, I even remember my first purchase, a book (and we're talking over fifty years ago) - 'The Colostro Code.' We mastered that, and actually fried a vaudeville magician that my parents knew. What years did you work there, Ray? I remember a guy named 'Kelly' who worked there.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Jan 31, 2021 05:24PM)
I started in Ď77 while Earl was still there. I was there full time for several years then went on the road but would still go back in to work anytime I was in town!
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Jan 31, 2021 09:49PM)
Kelly (whose name I used to know) worked there before Ray made his appearance.
(I came in some time after Ray on Oct 31, 1977)... and the place was never the same!!
Earl had gone to Magic Corner (at Hollywood and Vine) by the time I arrived... and he came back after Magic Corner closed.
Message: Posted by: rosariorose9 (Feb 1, 2021 01:47PM)
Hey Ray and JNeal,

Ray, I actually was there as early as around 1961 (yes, I AM old!!). By 1977 I had already been working (as a lawyer) for a few years, and had little time for my magic - which, by the way, was responsible for my becoming a partner in the law firm more quickly than any associate in the history of the firm...but that's another story.
:)

JNeal, Kelly was quite a character. We were discussing blindfold acts on one occasion, and I told him that I did Eddie Joseph's version, which did not allow the 'range of motion' of Kuda Bux's approach. Kelly told me that he had assisted Kuda Bux, and that he would sell me his 'secret' for $10!! After more than a little ruminating (that was a lot of money to a kid) I gave him the $10...and ***ed if he wasn't right! I'm not sure whether he actually had ever worked for Kuda Bux (I tend to doubt it), but he sure did know how to do the act!

Thanks again to you both.
Message: Posted by: rosariorose9 (Feb 1, 2021 02:53PM)
By the way, do either of you remember the little shop that Joe Berg had? I recall that it was up some stairs in a nondescript building in Hollywood, but I may be mistaken.
Message: Posted by: rosariorose9 (Feb 3, 2021 06:38PM)
Ray,

The ropes arrived today, and they are perfect. Thanks again for the link. I used fabric glue on the ends to keep them from unraveling. The box itself is in great shape, but I'm thinking of replacing the curtains, which have stretched out a bit with age. On the other hand, I'm reluctant to alter the original appearance.
Message: Posted by: Wizard of Oz (Feb 5, 2021 06:21AM)
These links may help you regarding replacement curtains:

https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=654411

https://forums.geniimagazine.com/viewtopic.php?t=48394
Message: Posted by: rosariorose9 (Feb 5, 2021 10:50AM)
[quote]On Feb 5, 2021, Wizard of Oz wrote:
These links may help you regarding replacement curtains:

https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=654411

https://forums.geniimagazine.com/viewtopic.php?t=48394 [/quote]

Thanks so much for those links. Very, very helpful. I had previously removed the original curtains, and had purchased some spandex cloth to replace them, but haven't done so yet. However, if new original cloth is available, I will try that email address you kindly provided to see if I can get it.

Thank you again.
Message: Posted by: rosariorose9 (Feb 11, 2021 03:57PM)
Well, the person 'linked' for replacement curtains did not respond to my email, so I went ahead and used the spandex fabric I had purchased on Amazon. Since I had somewhat compromised the wooden slats that hold the curtains in place, when removing them, I substituted over sized tongue depressors which I cut to size and painted black. Rather than using the original 'pins' to secure the slats to the box, I used small pan head wooden screws, which will make any future curtain replacement much easier. Hope this helps anyone who may decide to tackle this job.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Feb 12, 2021 01:53AM)
[quote]On Feb 3, 2021, rosariorose9 wrote:

The ropes arrived today, and they are perfect. Thanks again for the link. [/quote]

Iím so glad!! Itís far to wonderful a trick to let go.
Message: Posted by: rosariorose9 (Feb 12, 2021 12:57PM)
Thanks, Ray! I've also ordered some additional fabric (https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0725X8PDX/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) which I may substitute for the plain black fabric that I have on there now. Disappointed, though, that I could not find anything similar to the original fabric (red with raised silver dots) in my box.
Message: Posted by: rosariorose9 (Feb 19, 2021 06:25PM)
I had the opportunity to speak with Dean Dill's widow, who was kind enough to put me in touch with Norm Nielsen's widow, Lupe. She confirmed that Nielsen Magic (which owns the rights to Dean's Box) will be producing more of the boxes, along with selling replacement curtains, later this year. I discussed with her my issues with the construction of the original box, along with my desire to purchase replacement curtains. She is a skilled woodworker, and filled me in on the very impressive improvements she'll be implementing in the box. She also advised that she has engaged an expert in fabrics, to make sure that the curtains do not stretch out as easily as they did on the original box. I'll probably purchase one of the boxes she produces in order to support her efforts to preserve this classic in magic.
Message: Posted by: Wizard of Oz (Feb 19, 2021 07:47PM)
That's outstanding news rosariorose9. Thank you for the update.
Message: Posted by: aechecop (Feb 21, 2021 04:50PM)
I would be very interested in the new non-stretching fabric replacement curtains, thanks for sharing!.
Message: Posted by: rosariorose9 (Feb 28, 2021 11:52AM)
[quote]On Feb 21, 2021, aechecop wrote:
I would be very interested in the new non-stretching fabric replacement curtains, thanks for sharing!. [/quote]

This gentleman can provide you with the original curtains (black spandex fabric with silver dots): Mike <mbarry@socal.rr.com>. I bought two pair from him. Shipped them quickly, and included new 'pins'.