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Topic: What's the best Die Box?
Message: Posted by: dking66 (Nov 3, 2004 02:53PM)
Just started collecting Die Boxes! I have several... Owen Sliding Clock Box; Milson Worth Die Box; Owen Oriental Die Box; Abbott's Cig Box; Brema Coin Box; Davenport Die Box; Babcock Die Box; etc. Was wondering what many of you think is the best made Die Box? The most collectible Die Box? The prettiest Die Box?
Message: Posted by: GeorgeG (Nov 3, 2004 04:33PM)
The prettiest Die Box? That would be Milson-Worth's new version of the [url=http://www.martinsmagic.com/?html=full&nav1=gallery&key=1819&keywords=oriental.*die.*box]Deluxe Oriental Die Box[/url].

The most collectible Die Box? That is open to varying opinions? I have Owen's 100th Anniversary Die Box made in gorgeous Vermillion. At Owen's, I was told only a dozen were made.
Message: Posted by: Julie (Nov 4, 2004 06:21PM)
Abbott's/Arturo's/Supreme's Twin Die Box with the sliding doors and the big yellow die and palm trees on the back of the boxes is very pretty (this is the one that separates into two parts and sits on a custom tray, Owens made one,too, in natural wood finish.)
Message: Posted by: dking66 (Nov 7, 2004 01:50PM)
Just picked up the new Babcock Rainbow Die Box! Wow... what a beauty!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 7, 2004 07:03PM)
The original Delben double door die boxes are very hard to beat. The die is HUGE. The shell is made of hardwood plywood, and the other gimmicks are very dependable. The woodwork is beyond compare.
Message: Posted by: Larry Barnowsky (Dec 8, 2004 02:19PM)
I like the Gunther-Mendoza Die Box where two dies are used. It is more deceptive than any die box around.
Message: Posted by: JL608 (Feb 1, 2005 09:15PM)
I have to agree that the G-M Die Box is outstanding! I know they're very tough to find now.

Mel Babcock's Rainbow Die Box is also beautiful.

Joe
Message: Posted by: Julie (May 27, 2005 10:25PM)
For anyone with the Joe Stevens' Die Box DVD--what is your "favorite" routine/box shown there?
Message: Posted by: Chance Wolf (May 28, 2005 07:18PM)
I have to throw in my vote for Mel Babcock's Rainbow Die Box. I just purchased this beautiful piece and can't stop looking at it or playing with it! I am sure there may be a "Best" out there but this is certainly the BEST in my collection :)
Chance
Message: Posted by: bcookmagic (May 29, 2005 12:26AM)
I have to agree with you Chance with Mels diebox being one of the best...but of course you know I am partial to another but the magic world will have to wait just a bit longer before they see it. But you must not say anything Chance...not yet! Brian
Message: Posted by: Julie (May 29, 2005 12:27AM)
Chance
Did Mel send you the routine using a Jap Hank Box in conjunction with the Rainbow Die Box?
Message: Posted by: Bryan Gilles (May 29, 2005 05:28PM)
One of the Café users... Harbin Jr. probably has the coolest die box I have ever seen. It is a huge die... the coolest part is that there isn't a shell at all. It is really a treat to watch... I would say more; however, I promised him I wouldn't... You'll have to PM him to check it out.
By the way... I think Brian Cook is making reference to a pretty well known builder on the Café with a wacky die box idea (I am hoping this is were he was going with that). If so... I can't wait to see the outcome!
Bryan
Message: Posted by: Chance Wolf (May 29, 2005 05:40PM)
Julie,
You bet! Mel sent me the routine which was written by Larry Wilfong. It is a great routine, well thought out and I happen to have an old Thayer Jap Box which works perfect for the routine. Now I just have to find some time to practice :)
Bryan,
Actually, Brian Cook is refering to another Die Box but I can assure you the Wacky Wolf will be giving the Classic Die Box a serious face-lift....just not for awhile however it IS in the sketch/blueprint phase!
Take care
Chance
Message: Posted by: Bryan Gilles (Jun 1, 2005 01:35PM)
I am excited to see both... I've always enjoyed the Die Box...
Message: Posted by: Terry Harris (Jul 26, 2005 06:49PM)
Mel made me a die box with the letter "B" dice. I use this in conjunction with the a,b,c, Blocks in my kids shows. It is just that they are soooo beautiful I hate to take them out on the road with me

Wow what a mechanic Mel Babcock is
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Jul 26, 2005 10:12PM)
I am still partial to my old Horace Marshall inlaid mahogony die box with a double door. It has not projections on the base but is square box which helps it from getting dinged up. The die is about 4" Simple but it works.

Richard
Message: Posted by: islandguy (Aug 18, 2005 06:44PM)
I still think that one of the most deceptive Die Boxes is the Mikame 'fall apart' style, made so elegantly by Mel Babcock. Adults even gasp when all sides are opened and the block is clearly gone. Keith
Message: Posted by: Mehtas (Aug 23, 2005 04:15PM)
Does anybody have Arthur Culpin Vanishing Die Box ?
Message: Posted by: Dutch illusionist (Sep 20, 2005 10:50AM)
Can someone tell me how you can present this trick with a lot of comedy?

Greetings
Dutch illusionist
Message: Posted by: Leppy (Sep 21, 2005 09:57PM)
I am wanting to get another die box and was looking to see what most people use and why. Thanks. A question that I have is about the Mikame box I have. It doesn't seem to have the slide and is very quiet. Is this normal, did I get a defective one, or is it possible it's one of a few?

Thanks for any info

Patrick
Message: Posted by: Mike McErlain (Aug 27, 2007 02:43PM)
My favorite are any Owen or Mel Babcock Box.
The best I've ever seen is the Milson Worth Deluxe Oriental Die Box; very pricey however!
Message: Posted by: wunceaponatime (Nov 12, 2007 11:51AM)
The Owen Magic Supreme Die Box

David
Message: Posted by: disneywld (Nov 25, 2007 10:46AM)
I too have a die box collection. I perform with the Abbott's Deluxe box. I like the size, handling and the double door. The most unusual one is from my grandfather and it is made of ironwood. The slide is quite loud and solid.
Message: Posted by: daver (Jan 29, 2008 07:50PM)
Daytona Magic has several die-boxes, but they have one that is supremely well-crafted and is just so solid and made of high quality wood... Look them up on their web site and call; I'm not sure which one it is by looking at the web site....
Message: Posted by: DLF (Feb 13, 2008 09:34PM)
I would have to agree that the Milson-Worth Oriental Die Box is gorgeous but the standard Milson-Worth Die Box is fantastic too and sleek as can be. Other than that, I'd agree with you all that Mel's Die Box is fantastic as well.

I've almost never met a die box didn't like.
Message: Posted by: dannsirs (Apr 27, 2009 06:15AM)
It looks like that

Totally overwhelmed by the choices
What would be a good die box for Theater in the round
and/or stage work
$50 - $200
Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Apr 27, 2009 09:51AM)
If I could only have one Die Box, from what I have seen, it would have to be the Babcock Rainbow Die Box. It seems to look enough like something that most people are familiar with (a Rubik's Cube) that I think it would appeal to them more than a giant die. I would think that there wouldbe more presentational possibilities, also.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Apr 27, 2009 11:58AM)
[quote]
On 2009-04-27 07:15, dannsirs wrote:
It looks like that

Totally overwhelmed by the choices
What would be a good die box for Theater in the round
and/or stage work
$50 - $200
[/quote]

The Babcock See Thru Block Box has a gimmick that is virtually angle proof. It looks like an all yellow Rubik's Cube, although it could be painted. http://www.nwi.net/~magicmel/seethru.html

There is a cheaper version out there, but Mel Babcock's is far superior.

The Shenanigan Die Box (Abbott's) can be performed without exposing bad sides of the gimmick. I make an oriental version of these, but the price is a little higher than your range.
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (May 8, 2009 07:56PM)
There is the blue box, works the same way as the see through. pretty good too (thinner frame).
There was a Jimmy King version where the die goes in, similar to the above but on "top"

I have some 30 die boxes from Chesterfield Cigarettes to the Bone Box. Along the same lines I love the Mephisto Sucker Sliding Jumbo Card Frame with moving slats, made early 70s

Jim Swoger made Ball Boxes for Grant and Jim also made a die box with space in the back so the die turned into a silk.
Message: Posted by: WmsonProd3104 (Jun 11, 2009 01:55AM)
While I've been around magic for some 30+ years, I've never owned a die box! Which is better, the double door method or "single flap"?
Message: Posted by: TC Ryder (Jul 15, 2009 07:16PM)
My grandfather gave me an old Thayer die box but it also has another spin on it that allows you to make a ball vanish from it. It is the size of a ping pong ball. Has anyone ever seen one of these and know more about it.

TC
Message: Posted by: magiquarian (Jul 29, 2009 06:50PM)
You are very fortunate! This little beauty is very rare. If you want a copy of the original instructions I have them. Pls send a SASE. Check and make sure bottom is stamped THAYER
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Aug 23, 2009 09:30PM)
My Mel Babcock Rainbow Die Box is pretty hard to beat, especially with Larry Wilfong's performance routine!

But.....if only I could find an original Delben Die Box......wow are they ever special!

Anybody out there have one?
Message: Posted by: magicbyswh (Sep 12, 2009 07:02PM)
I just bought an Abbotts Shenanigan Die Box and there were no instructions. Any one out there have the instructions so I could get a copy. Please pm me
Steve
Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (Sep 20, 2009 02:44PM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-23 22:30, Rainboguy wrote:
My Mel Babcock Rainbow Die Box is pretty hard to beat, especially with Larry Wilfong's performance routine!
[/quote]

PHOTO:

http://www.nwi.net/~magicmel/rainbowdiebox.html
Message: Posted by: Wizard of Oz (Oct 27, 2009 08:14PM)
Mel's Rainbow Die Box is da bomb. I had to join a health club just to gain the strength to lift the thing. I love that man. In a manly collector type of way.
Message: Posted by: sthielman (Nov 20, 2009 06:22PM)
I have to concur with the opinions about the greatness of the Rainbow Die Box. But all of Mel's Die Boxes are great, they just serve different purposes. For your real work, his regular die boxes are very, very good.
Message: Posted by: Julie (Nov 21, 2009 02:22PM)
[quote]
On 2009-10-27 21:14, Wizard of Oz wrote:
Mel's Rainbow Die Box is da bomb. I had to join a health club just to gain the strength to lift the thing. I love that man. In a manly collector type of way.
[/quote]
_______________________________________________________

Mel also makes the Rainbow Die Box in a smaller size which is very easy to handle.

Julie
Message: Posted by: magicgettogether (Jan 30, 2010 12:38PM)
My vote is for the Twin Di, its so versatile that any routine you do with it would probably be original

magicbyswh, Abbotts should have instructions for your Shenanigan Die Box (which is my second favorite die box) or I can send them to you. Let me know if you still need them.
Message: Posted by: Julie (Feb 22, 2010 07:27PM)
How is Abbott's quality these days? Any recent purchasers of their classic apparatus have an opinion?

Julie
Message: Posted by: magicgettogether (Feb 23, 2010 08:13AM)
I bought mine (the one you saw in the demo) over a year ago and the quality was great, the last one that went out the gentleman commented he was very pleased with the quality.

The only complaint I have ever heard on these was a biggy, Abbotts made up a special black one for someone and accidently sent a black die with a green box (which was a shipping dept error). That gentleman also complimented the quality (Abbott's sent him out the correct colored die).

They are sold out for the moment but they are in the process of making 3 more, hopefully by the end of the week. If you like I can post some pics on the quality of this lot.

I am not sure if Bud West makes this product or not, I will check it out as I know he makes the Shenanigan and a few others for Abbotts.
Message: Posted by: M-Illusion (Feb 23, 2010 01:59PM)
I have both a Twin Di (about 3-4 years old) and a Shenanigan, which I bought about a year ago. Both are of good quality and serve me well! The Twin Di is the finale for my platform shows and the Shenanigan is occasionally used as an in-one piece for my larger show.
Message: Posted by: magicgettogether (Feb 23, 2010 05:39PM)
Originally made by Arturo, Twin Di has been made by the Bud West family the last couple decades, the die ***** is made by one of Abbott's machinist (which explains how they mixed up the wrong die with the wrong box once).

There is a testimonial on the product page along with a demo

http://www.abbottmagic.com/Abbotts-Twin-Di-ABBtwindi.htm
Message: Posted by: Julie (Feb 25, 2010 11:00PM)
Bud West must be about a zillion years "young" by now. Does he still really produce magic props?

Julie
Message: Posted by: Regan (Apr 1, 2010 03:56PM)
I wanted to modify a die box for a certain routine, so I bought a cheap model. I guess it came from India. I did the modifications and I use it mostly for Christmas related shows.

Anyway, I have always planned on getting a good one someday. Well, today is the day! (Almost) I called Mel Babcock and I ordered a See-Thru Block Box with a matching Block Production Box. Now I won't be able to sleep until it arrives! :)

I really like the concept of the See-Thru Block Box. The Rubik's Cube-type block appeals to me more than a die. I always thought the re-appearance of the die in a hat (or whatever) seemed kind of hokey, since you have to go there before the die is placed in the box. The method used by the See-Thru Block Box eliminates the need for that, and having the Block Production Box to reappear the block will be icing on the cake!

I am excited!

Regan
Message: Posted by: brangwinj (May 4, 2010 08:00PM)
I have several of Mel's die boxs great boxs great guy . I will add one story I left my see through box in a cool inside room several months and then did a show without checking box --side openings would not pull out swelled tight --check your props .
Message: Posted by: MaxfieldsMagic (May 16, 2010 09:19PM)
[quote]
On 2010-05-04 21:00, brangwinj wrote:
I have several of Mel's die boxs great boxs great guy . I will add one story I left my see through box in a cool inside room several months and then did a show without checking box --side openings would not pull out swelled tight --check your props .
[/quote]

I had that happen with a drawer box, but fortunately it corrected itself when the weather changed. Acoustic guitars also tend to need TLC with the seasons if you live in a climate where the temperature and humidity vary quite a bit.
Message: Posted by: Regan (May 17, 2010 11:43AM)
Thanks for the headsup on the sliding end panels. I'll second that Mel is a great guy, and that he makes great die boxes! I love my Babcock set!

I'll secnd the acoustic guitar humidity theory also. I own 6 guitars, and my daughter has 2, so that makes a total of 8 in our house. Three of them are acoustic. I am very careful with my best acoustic that I use at my live gigs. I have not had any problems, but I know what can happen.

I have wanted a Taylor acoustic guitar for a long time. The humidity factor is one thing that has scared me away forom buying one. The neck is so true on Taylos guitars, and the action can be kept lower than it can on most acoustics. They play fantastic, which is one of the appealing things about Taylors. However, humidity has to be controlled or real problems can occur.

Regan
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Jun 12, 2010 08:07AM)
Here's a link to a photo showing what I think is, arguably, the best die box ever made....the Delben Die Box

http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/6593762
Message: Posted by: epoptika (Jun 14, 2010 09:36PM)
Wandering off topic here but speaking of Taylor guitars, Regan, have you seen the video on YouTube called "United Breaks Guitars"? Very entertaining.
Message: Posted by: GeorgeG (Jun 15, 2010 10:58AM)
Owning a huge Alan Warner collection (oil rubbed teak wood), humidity and temperature is a pain. I keep a humidity gauge and thermometer in the room I store my collection and have had for a few years now a console humidifier that can handle the whole house (gets very dry during the winter months in Southern California). Fight with the wife about running the A/C when no one is home during the summers.

BTW, also have 3 guitars (one is a Martin acoustic, the other two solid bodies electrics)
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Jun 15, 2010 04:11PM)
Come to the South if you need more humidity. Other end of the spectrum, trust me.

Steve
Message: Posted by: Nat (Jul 10, 2010 07:34AM)
I am lucky to own a Cassini Die Box - beautiful.

Any references to get a Gunther-Mendoza or Harbin, Jr.Die Box?

Thanks.
Nathan

[quote]
On 2010-06-12 09:07, Rainboguy wrote:
Here's a link to a photo showing what I think is, arguably, the best die box ever made....the Delben Die Box

http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/6593762
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: gimpy2 (Jul 16, 2010 08:45AM)
I spent a lot of time sweeping floors at Delben back in the 70's. Several have mentioned the Delben jumbo die box. I only remember one size of die box being built. Did they do other sizes or just the jumbo?

Gimpy
Message: Posted by: MagicLaw (Sep 6, 2010 09:14PM)
I have a good collection of die boxes ranging over 80+ yrs. Mel Babcock's Die Boxes are phenomenal and probably my favorite, but my most collectible is a miniture 1930s Thayer die box (hallmarked). It is about 3" long with a 3/4" die. Incredibly rare and I've only seen one or two others on the market. I also have a regular-sized Thayer die box, 2 Milson Worth die boxes (Joe Berg style), and several others.
Message: Posted by: Wizard of Oz (Sep 22, 2010 08:34PM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-12 09:07, Rainboguy wrote:
Here's a link to a photo showing what I think is, arguably, the best die box ever made....the Delben Die Box

http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/6593762
[/quote]

You're dead on. This is a beautiful box.

Then again, it seems like anything with "Delben" on it is beautiful.
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Jan 14, 2011 11:53AM)
Wizard of Oz........and to think I could have bought one from Ben Stone for about a hundred bucks and passed........so I bought a set of his linking coathangers instead.....BOY....are they ever beautiful!! And his "Coathanger Capers" routine is awesome~! GREAT MOVES!
Message: Posted by: Wizard of Oz (Jan 14, 2011 07:15PM)
Doesn't sound like a bad situation to be in Rainboguy!






shhhh. speak quietly and type in lower case so no one hears us... do you think he still has this box available for $100? I'll take it! but shhhhh. it's our secret.
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Feb 6, 2011 05:56PM)
The Babcock boxes are highly recommended. Superb craftsmanship.

Fortasse
Message: Posted by: bmehagan (Apr 30, 2012 09:55PM)
May 2012
Where can I get a decent Die Box for around $100-$121?
Message: Posted by: flimflams (May 3, 2012 04:34PM)
[quote]
On 2004-11-03 15:53, dking66 wrote:
Just started collecting Die Boxes! I have several... Owen Sliding Clock Box; Milson Worth Die Box; Owen Oriental Die Box; Abbott's Cig Box; Brema Coin Box; Davenport Die Box; Babcock Die Box; etc. Was wondering what many of you think is the best made Die Box? The most collectible Die Box? The prettiest Die Box?
[/quote]

I have several die boxes however the one that I use is the Mel Babcock die box. It gets the best reactions.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (May 3, 2012 06:10PM)
[quote]
On 2012-05-03 17:34, flimflams wrote:


I have several die boxes however the one that I use is the Mel Babcock die box. It gets the best reactions.
[/quote]

Interesting. You obviously have yours trained well. I have seen many that just sit on the shelf and don't do anything. ;)
Message: Posted by: John Macmillan (Sep 8, 2013 09:59PM)
[quote]
On 2012-05-03 17:34, flimflams wrote:

I have several die boxes however the one that I use is the Mel Babcock die box. It gets the best reactions.
[/quote]

Anyone care to comment on optimal size i.e. Mel Babcock's are 4", 3", and 2 1/4" Dies? 4" seems to be a bit big but I suppose it really depends on the venue it will be used in.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Sep 8, 2013 10:51PM)
The venue will somewhat determine the size used, but you must also be comfortable performing with the prop. As example, I own a Jumbo Shenanigan Die Box that has a 5" die. It is simply too unwieldy for me to handle gracefully in the context I'd prefer to use it.

Regarding your question of Mel Babcock's boxes, see if you can construct a few boxes of the same sizes in cardboard, and see which feels right to you. Consider also that the real thing will weigh a lot more than the cardboard mock up. ;)
Message: Posted by: Julie (Sep 17, 2013 10:44AM)
I have both the 3" and 2 1/4" size of a couple of versions of Mel's Die Boxes. I honestly think I prefer the smaller of the two. This size is very easy to handle can be comfortably used in most situations, including semi close-up.

Julie
Message: Posted by: john magic wright (Jan 2, 2019 11:28AM)
Owens Magic supreme
Message: Posted by: Wizard of Oz (Jan 2, 2019 07:42PM)
I'm not sure this is the "best" die box, as that term can refer to a lot of features and functionality. But out of the dozen or so boxes I own, this one is handw-down the most beautiful:
https://www.martinsmagic.com/allmagic/stage/oriental-twin-die-boxes-by-michael-baker
Message: Posted by: bobmag56 (Jan 3, 2019 03:45PM)
The Gerlitz Die Box (the older model with the dragon graphics is very nice, but his later model with new oriental graphics is fabulous). I also have a Mel Babcock Die box in Jumbo size. I think he made only 12 and it has a 5" white die (looks and works great).
Message: Posted by: Magical Moments (Apr 27, 2019 02:37PM)
I would say Mel Babcock makes the best Die Boxes. Not only does he make them in the size you want, he also gives you choices of die and box color or type of wood with or without inlay strips if you prefer unpainted wood boxes.

He is very accommodating to suit your needs. In addition, his prices are quite reasonable for what you are getting which is a hand crafted prop made to suit your taste. You cannot beat that!

And by the way, he is a great and very knowledgable guy!!
Message: Posted by: Wizard of Oz (Apr 27, 2019 03:13PM)
[quote]On Apr 27, 2019, Magical Moments wrote:
I would say Mel Babcock makes the best Die Boxes. Not only does he make them in the size you want, he also gives you choices of die and box color or type of wood with or without inlay strips if you prefer unpainted wood boxes.

He is very accommodating to suit your needs. In addition, his prices are quite reasonable for what you are getting which is a hand crafted prop made to suit your taste. You cannot beat that!

And by the way, he is a great and very knowledgable guy!! [/quote]

I would agree. I own probably a half a dozen of Mel's boxes, and they are stellar. The craftsmanship is topnotch, and these are props made for workers. They will last.

Many have said that Mel could charge much more than what he does, and I agree. But that fairness makes him even more likable.