Mint is a fresh (!) new approach to the card in box plot. Is it just me, or have there been a glut of these recently? But the brilliant feature about this one is that the prop doesn’t look at all like a prop. Let’s look in a little more detail.
The routine demonstrated on the DVD starts off as a ‘coincidence’ effect – where your ‘lucky card’, which you have secured in a mint box, matches one chosen and drawn on by the spectator. In fact, it is the spectator’s card which ‘ends up’ in the box which has been in full view all the time.
Like many of the recent variations (Clarity Box, Mystery Solved, 3Sixty) this utilises a clear box which makes the switch look impossibly fair and clean. The killer element here is that there is no heat on the box at all – since it doesn’t look like a magic prop but like an ordinary mint box. It’s that ‘organic’ word again – but rightly so in this case.
You are supplied with a special mint box, gimmicks in red and blue bicycle back, and a spare sticker if you need to refresh your box (or make a new one – and instructions for this are included). And some mints!
The DVD contains a live performance and then all the explanation you need. Liam Montier and Steve Rowe explain every detail of the handling in detail and include a number of little wrinkles which make it even more convincing. It is clear that this is an idea which has been honed in the real world which should be endorsement enough. The DVD includes a section on the Mercury Card fold – which you will probably be unsurprised to realise you will need to do! This is a slightly tricky move and there are some tips on ways to make this easier (including using Jon Allen’s clever idea – Perfect Score).
Other ideas for the gimmick are included – Liam has a ‘nest of boxes’ routine, and a moment’s thought will show that it has numerous applications in mentalism etc. On the subject of mentalism there is a ‘barcode reveal’ on the mint box which seems to me to go somewhat against the philosophy of the trick. The whole idea is that the box should have no attention drawn to it at all – it is, to all intents and purposes, an ordinary box – but to me, having a playing card printed on the label makes it seem more like a gimmick again.
All in all I think this is a fabulous idea. I am a great lover of boxes – and so there is part of me that doesn’t mind the more ‘proppy’ approaches to this routine – however there is something completely disarming about using a mint box – and it would fit so well into almost any strolling or restaurant type setting.