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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Latest and Greatest? » » Mental Block by Dan Harlan (39 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Magic KL
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Looks like a nice update to a classic trick.

https://www.penguinmagic.com/p/16792

Dan Harlan is arguably one of the most creative magicians on the planet. When he sets his mind to a time-tested effect, the result is nothing short of jaw-dropping. Forget everything you know about the color vision box because you are about to experience a revolution in remote viewing. Now in a handsome wooden finish, the Color Vision Box becomes one of the most beautiful props in your collection. This is Mental Block by Dan Harlan.

Here’s what happens:

The magician introduces a small wooden box and block to the audience. Both objects are completely examinable. The magician has the audience place the block inside the box while remembering which color is face-up in the box. The magician is instantly able to tell exactly which color is face up. As a kicker, the block completely vanishes. In an encore, the magician is able to divine the identity of any object the audience chooses to place in the box. It’s an astonishing multiphase effect.

The Color Vision Box has earned a spot in nearly every magic kit because it’s easy to do and baffling for laypeople. Dan Harlan’s routine, based around the senses, not only brings an engaging presentation to the effect but also a gorgeous prop that you are going to want to perform with over and over again. The kickers that Dan has added ramp this effect up to be a true closer. The vanish of the block stuns audiences. Being able to use the box to identify other objects makes this a true worker. Plus you’ll learn some amazing techniques that make Mental Block a real fooler. The block has been designed specifically by Dan Harlan to give you number, color, letter, shape, and object revelations. The box and the block are a beautiful wood finish that makes it both a fascinating prop to perform with, as well as the perfect display piece. This is a modern classic that was born to perform. This is Mental Block by Dan Harlan.
equivoque
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Reviews anyone?
453rob
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This looks gorgeous and Dan Harlan has finally updated his look. He looks great. Brent Braun recently brought out 4K Colorvision Box with a really great routine that has received rave reviews. 4K actually added a really cool extra phase. Harlan's box doesn't seem to add anything new to the original plastic Color Vision. Just making the cube disappear seems a bit underwhelming. Granted, the wooden box looks much nicer. It would have been great if Dan had added that little extra that made 4K so interesting.
DanHarlan
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I hope everyone has already purchased 4K Color Vision Box and enjoyed fooling their magic friends with it. Yes, it has a nice extra bit that will fool people who are familiar with how Color Vision traditionally works. No offense to Brent. It's a clever idea designed to fool magicians. I like it, I own it, and if I needed to insure a particular color was chosen, I might use it. The standard method already fools everybody else. Especially with my routine.

The plans to produce Mental Block have been in the works long before 4K ever came out, and when I heard 4K was to be released, I intentionally delayed the release of Mental Block. I believe in giving every creator breathing room to express their creations. That said, Mental Block solves the real issues with Color Vision... What is it? Why are you doing it? How many times will you repeat it? When do we know when it's done? Mental Block is designed to increase the interest level of your participants, engage them, and take them on a fun journey to an unexpected destination.

My routine (using the five senses to identify the chosen colors) is time-tested... developed early in my career and honed over thousands of performances. It's solid, coherent, interesting. If that's all you were purchasing, you'd get more than your money's worth. It has served me well, and will do the same for you. It's a complete routine that can be used in professional performances, not just a trick. Even if you don't perform professionally, it still gives your demonstration motivation.

Over the years, I've often wished the block could be an alphabet block. I knew that would elevate the routine even further by adding a charming element to the mix. I've tried many times to find one "just right," but with no success. Never the right size, and even if they were close, the images on all six sides weren't "perfect." I'm very particular... so, when Penguin Magic gave me the chance to make my ideal version, I was thrilled. The artwork I created (although simple in concept and design) is exactly what I've always wanted. It's clear, colorful, and symbolic. There are three related elements on each side... color, shape, and symbol... bringing extra depth to the revelation. The block and box are beautiful. Even if you were only getting the props (without my routine), you'd still be getting more than your money's worth.

I set out to offer you a piece of magic you'll be proud to own and perform for many years to come, and I've succeeded. The plastic trick is great... I've had fun with it... but Mental Block is my Vision.

--Harlan
Visit My Site @

www.themystictower.com
magicmind
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Dan,
I like your item. I like that it is well designed and the routine is evolved and tested.
Bozman
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I can see room for both 4k color vision and mental block to coexist. I definitely like the extra choices of color, shape, letter/number and the 5 senses routine is interesting.
-Bozzy
NeverMind
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Oh boy, that's one fantastic routine. Dan never disappoints. Tempted to check it out. And yes, Dan's updated look is great.
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Greg Arce
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Look, I don't have this and, honestly, I might not get it.... BUT having watched the video now I can see Dan's genius at work. I've hung out with him and even worked on a TV show with him, he is without a doubt a creative genius. Everything he touches becomes gold.

Anyway, loved his presentation for this very old effect and, as usual, he put the diabolic Dan spin on it. Smile

Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
warren
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I really like it but the box is really big in my opinion....i would love it if something like this was available in a smaller more practical size perhaps similar to the size to the box used for Badlands Bob.
MeetMagicMike
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I just ordered this. I don't know Dan's routine so I don't know if this is an original idea but seeing the prop I came up with this presentation:

When I was a kid I had a huge toy box full of toys. As I got older I threw away a lot of toys and put them in a smaller box. When I went to college the box got even smaller. But now after many years my toy box is only this big and only one toy remains inside. And this is it...
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psylocke
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Quote:
On Jan 13, 2022, DanHarlan wrote:
I hope everyone has already purchased 4K Color Vision Box and enjoyed fooling their magic friends with it. Yes, it has a nice extra bit that will fool people who are familiar with how Color Vision traditionally works. No offense to Brent. It's a clever idea designed to fool magicians. I like it, I own it, and if I needed to insure a particular color was chosen, I might use it. The standard method already fools everybody else. Especially with my routine.

The plans to produce Mental Block have been in the works long before 4K ever came out, and when I heard 4K was to be released, I intentionally delayed the release of Mental Block. I believe in giving every creator breathing room to express their creations. That said, Mental Block solves the real issues with Color Vision... What is it? Why are you doing it? How many times will you repeat it? When do we know when it's done? Mental Block is designed to increase the interest level of your participants, engage them, and take them on a fun journey to an unexpected destination.

My routine (using the five senses to identify the chosen colors) is time-tested... developed early in my career and honed over thousands of performances. It's solid, coherent, interesting. If that's all you were purchasing, you'd get more than your money's worth. It has served me well, and will do the same for you. It's a complete routine that can be used in professional performances, not just a trick. Even if you don't perform professionally, it still gives your demonstration motivation.

Over the years, I've often wished the block could be an alphabet block. I knew that would elevate the routine even further by adding a charming element to the mix. I've tried many times to find one "just right," but with no success. Never the right size, and even if they were close, the images on all six sides weren't "perfect." I'm very particular... so, when Penguin Magic gave me the chance to make my ideal version, I was thrilled. The artwork I created (although simple in concept and design) is exactly what I've always wanted. It's clear, colorful, and symbolic. There are three related elements on each side... color, shape, and symbol... bringing extra depth to the revelation. The block and box are beautiful. Even if you were only getting the props (without my routine), you'd still be getting more than your money's worth.

I set out to offer you a piece of magic you'll be proud to own and perform for many years to come, and I've succeeded. The plastic trick is great... I've had fun with it... but Mental Block is my Vision.

--Harlan




I like the alphabet block idea a lot! If I'm not mistaken you can find a very good peek method in Diego Voltini's "The dark side of the cube - revelations" (both in print and video) which goes along the lines of the senses too.


.
videoman
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On Jan 14, 2022, warren wrote:
I really like it but the box is really big in my opinion....i would love it if something like this was available in a smaller more practical size perhaps similar to the size to the box used for Badlands Bob.


It’s the size it is because that’s the size of a standard children’s alphabet block. To make it smaller would mean it would not be realistic or believable as a genuine block. I like that it looks like something everyone is familiar with and that actually exists in the world, as well as providing many opportunities for presentations. I would imagine the vanish is made stronger too.
warren
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Quote:
On Jan 14, 2022, videoman wrote:
Quote:
On Jan 14, 2022, warren wrote:
I really like it but the box is really big in my opinion....i would love it if something like this was available in a smaller more practical size perhaps similar to the size to the box used for Badlands Bob.


It’s the size it is because that’s the size of a standard children’s alphabet block. To make it smaller would mean it would not be realistic or believable as a genuine block. I like that it looks like something everyone is familiar with and that actually exists in the world, as well as providing many opportunities for presentations. I would imagine the vanish is made stronger too.


That makes sense, fair enough. It's still to big for me but if anyone could point me in the direction to something the size of Badlands Bob's box it would be appreciated 😊
DanHarlan
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Quote:
On Jan 14, 2022, MeetMagicMike wrote:
I just ordered this. I don't know Dan's routine so I don't know if this is an original idea but seeing the prop I came up with this presentation:

When I was a kid I had a huge toy box full of toys. As I got older I threw away a lot of toys and put them in a smaller box. When I went to college the box got even smaller. But now after many years my toy box is only this big and only one toy remains inside. And this is it...

That's great! Definitely different from my justification, and (I think) much more universal in appeal. I like it.
In my routine, I say my family's means were so modest I only had one toy, but I found ways to entertain myself with it.
In either case (yours or mine), I don't think the intention is to convince the observers of the veracity of your assertion, but (instead) to engage them with a charming fantasy that supports the rest of the performance. Well done!
--Harlan
Visit My Site @

www.themystictower.com
MeetMagicMike
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Thanks Dan! Your comments mean a lot to me because I really respect your magic offerings. Always creative and well thought out.

Mike
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lumberjohn
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Man, this is frustrating. I think Dan has come out with the definitive version of the basic Color Vision effect. The box and block look beautiful and his routine provides a wonderful context and motivation to perform this lovely piece of magic. Brent Braun, though, with 4K has introduced a final phase of the basic routine that really floors people, especially those familiar with the main effect which is a lot of people since it shows up in even beginner magic sets. Sooo many people have told me "I know that one" as soon as I bring out the blue box. Even those who aren't familiar with the effect may suspect its method, which Brent's final phase completely negates. So I feel that this phase is necessary for the ultimate Color Vision routine, and since performing Brent's routine I can't see going back to a routine that leaves it out. I sure wish these two could be combined but of course they can't. Maybe one day . . .
Ray Pierce
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I’m sure I’ll end up getting this one. I love his handling to show just what you can get out of a classic effect. He always seems to seT a new standard for excellence. I will admit to this little effect being an all time favorite to demo back in the late ‘70’s at Hollywood Magic. We came up with SO much that fooled those who thought they knew. Lol… I’ll admit that my favorite was one I never did anywhere else but there but it slayed magicians. Keep in mind this was LONG before electronics. I would explain the premise, turn my back an have them place the cube inside the box and cover it. I would simply turn around without ever touching the box, look then in the eye and name the color. Yes, we repeated it time after time and magicians were floored! The method sort of revolved around Max Maven who oat the time had his Mentalism books in different colors (Red, Blue, Green, etc.) Just opposite our demo area was the racks of magic pamphlets. One of the other guys would pretend to be sorting and stocking the books while we went into the routine. They would glimpse the color, then find. Book of that color and hold it up a if trying to find out where it went on the rack. We would just turn around and glimpse the book and call out the color. There’s a perfect method that couldn’t really be done as elegantly anywhere else!
Ray Pierce
Greg Arce
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Quote:
On Jan 14, 2022, Ray Pierce wrote:
I’m sure I’ll end up getting this one. I love his handling to show just what you can get out of a classic effect. He always seems to seT a new standard for excellence. I will admit to this little effect being an all time favorite to demo back in the late ‘70’s at Hollywood Magic. We came up with SO much that fooled those who thought they knew. Lol… I’ll admit that my favorite was one I never did anywhere else but there but it slayed magicians. Keep in mind this was LONG before electronics. I would explain the premise, turn my back an have them place the cube inside the box and cover it. I would simply turn around without ever touching the box, look then in the eye and name the color. Yes, we repeated it time after time and magicians were floored! The method sort of revolved around Max Maven who oat the time had his Mentalism books in different colors (Red, Blue, Green, etc.) Just opposite our demo area was the racks of magic pamphlets. One of the other guys would pretend to be sorting and stocking the books while we went into the routine. They would glimpse the color, then find. Book of that color and hold it up a if trying to find out where it went on the rack. We would just turn around and glimpse the book and call out the color. There’s a perfect method that couldn’t really be done as elegantly anywhere else!


Nice!
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
dirtyfoucault
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This looks nicer than 4K Colour Vision but there's no going back since Brent added that killer last phase. I think with 4K you can script your way around most of the issues Dan raises with justifications etc. Conversely you can't add that final phase to Dan's, so it will feel to some like it's missing something.

I feel for Dan, it must be a bit annoying being beaten to the punch like this when you've worked hard on a trick. Still, seems to be selling well at Penguin regardless.
Fire Starter
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I really must get this, I had a little show last weekend and I got one out taken from a Magic set, I asked does anyone first of all recognise/remember these from Beginner Magic set's? I was so surprised out of the 8 I had,none had, well I thought right perform it, just the simple routine, 5 senses cube and got a good reaction,so I like this release a lot, looks more Organic.
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