Okito Box

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Postby Guest » 08/12/01 02:29 PM

I've just obtained a copy of Expert Coin Magic by David Roth and around a half the book deals with the Okito Box.

I know there are different types of these boxes around, including a Boston Box and a Slot Box. I am not sure of the differences but what I am looking for here is a recomendation. What is the the best type of box to buy? And where would I get it?

Best wishes
Philip
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Postby Guest » 08/12/01 03:04 PM

David Roth was just here in San Francisco delivering another stellar laecture hosted by Misdirections Magic Shop. We were treated a lot more theory than I have ever heard Roth cover. It was awesome!

We were even treated to a pet finesse that Roth had uses yet kept secret for years.

He really covered the bredth from material for the two ten year olds in the front row (they could palm already) to the jadded veterans of lectures. There was great energy in the room from every level.

Roth sells the trio of boxes as a set. I bought them years ago at a World Magic Summit in Wash. D.C.. I have never needed another box since.

Ask your local dealer for the Roth set. If that doesn't get you the goods contact me directly.

Tom Cutts
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/12/01 03:19 PM

Actually, I divided Roth's book Expert Coin Technique into thirds, so the Okito box material is about a third of the total content. I didn't want people who aren't interested in coin box tricks to feel cheated!
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Postby Eric DeCamps » 08/12/01 04:11 PM

Philip:

For my money the best coin boxes I have found are made by Jim Zee and they can be located on the web at:

Coin Boxes

Hope this helps.

Eric DeCamps
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Postby Michael Edwards » 08/13/01 08:23 AM

While some magicians shy away from the Okito and other coin boxes because they appear to be magic apparatus, the fact is that the Okito Coin box was developed from a very common, everyday item.

For many, many years pharmacists dispensed pills and ointment in little round, metal or cardboard canisters (pill boxes). Joe Klein, Theo Bamberg's partner in a magic shop at Broadway and 28th Street in New York City, kept such a cardboard box on his desk in the shop. Containing pills to combat indigestion, the box never attracted any attention. One afternoon (the year according to Okito was 1909; according to J.B. Bobo's
version of the story it was 1911), Bamberg -- who we know as the marvellous Okito -- picked up the box and began to toy with it. The box had two white tablets in it, but when shaken it rattled as if it were full. Okito inadvertently placed the lid on the wrong side of the box, yet the box looked the same as though the lid were placed on it correctly. Klein noticed Okito playing with the box and asked him what he was doing. Okito then came up with an impromptu trick, where the pills appeared to vanish from the sealed canister only to appear in his other hand. Klein thought there must have been a hole in the box, so when Okito handed him the lid and the rest of the canister and they were ungimmicked, he was totally fooled.

Always the businessman, Klein suggested they should find a way to sell the trick. But Okito dismissed the idea at first, thinking the trick to be just a silly one. However, on the way back to Brooklyn that evening, Okito rethought the idea and came up with the notion of crafting a metal box the size of a half dollar and developing a trick using a marked coin. He then developed some very nice moves to incorporate into the handling. Okito made the first box by hand in his own workshop. Klein was so impressed
they then had a gross of them manufactured by machine...all of which sold out almost immediately. More were ordered yet demand was so great for the Okito Coin Box (which sold for fifty cents back then) that they were barely able to keep up with their orders. It has remained a part of the coin workers repetoire for almost nine decades!

Okito's original handling can be found in Okito on Magic, written by Bamberg and Robert Parrish and published in 1952. Bobo's Modern Coin Magic contains a very solid chapter on coin boxes and -- as has been mentioned -- David Roth's Expert Coin Magic is an excellent resource. As I recall Richard's CoinMagic has some very good material as well.

[ August 13, 2001: Message edited by: Michael Edwards ]
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Postby Guest » 02/15/05 08:36 AM

Mr. Cutts

I just purchased what I assumed was the David Roth set. Since you own this set, I wonder if you can tell from the following description if mine are the real thing.
The walls of the set I purchased are between (1/32inch or 0.031250inch or 0.79375 millimeters) and (3/64inch or 0.046875inch or 1.19063 millimeters) thick. They are about 1/2 the thickness of a US Half Dollar or a UK Penney.

Everything I've read about Mr. Roth's sets imply they are much thicker. Also the manual on page 1 states the okito box is a little thicker, but this doesn't appear true of the set I just bought.
Any insight you can provide would be much appreciated.
Sincerely
Chalmers
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Postby Dale Shrimpton » 02/17/05 05:40 AM

I have 3 okito boxes, and each one is different. You cant realisticaly say that one persons is thicker than all the rest, because without trying all the okito boxes out there , how are you going to know?
Of the ones i have, there is one i particualy like, because of the weight, butits old, and made by hand and eye.
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Postby Guest » 03/05/05 07:23 PM

I finally did the right thing and talked to the store where I bought my set.

Turns out the set I have are indeed Mr. Roth's, as they were purchased directly from Mr. Roth at a convention.
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Postby ChastainCriswell » 03/14/05 06:45 AM

I use the johnson for one reason it is easy for me to classic palm the box and lid together .... However i would love ot see the Jim Zee one .... hwo would they compare in thickness to Jim's? I need it for my published routine. I make the box appear and the coins vanish into the box.

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Postby Guest » 03/14/05 09:46 AM

A box is a box is a box - thank you, Ms. Stien! I've used a beatup old brass/silverplated quarter size box that Paul Diamond sold me 35 years ago, and I've used custom made stainless steel boxes for half dollars and silver dollars, some hold four coins, some six. Wieght varies, depth and diameter varies. What never changes is the need for a good routine, a strong presentation, and the ability to handle the box without looking like you're doing "something". That has nothing to do with the box...

Best, PSC

P.S. I searched for a cardboard box like the "pillbox" that inspired Okito, and finally found one that would work ok. It got as good a response as the beautiful boxes that were custom made for me - in fact, maybe better. It looked so off-the-cuff when I picked up an antique box that was on display with other old stuff in the house, and did "magic" with it, that it never occurred to the spectators that it might have been designed to do a coin trick with...
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Postby Guest » 07/27/06 07:08 AM

Hey,

Paul what do you consider a routine that presents the Okito Box in a proper fashion? What would be your cirteria for such a routine?
Curious

Chastain

pchosse wrote: "What never changes is the need for a good routine, a strong presentation, and the ability to handle the box without looking like you're doing "something". That has nothing to do with the box..."
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Postby Guest » 07/27/06 07:38 AM

Originally posted by Chastain Criswell:
... what do you consider a routine that presents the Okito Box in a proper fashion? ...
Got me wondering here too as ordinarily the props are incidental, not the featured attraction.
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Postby Guest » 07/27/06 07:52 AM

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend...
Got me wondering here too as ordinarily the props are incidental, not the featured attraction.
Jonathan,
Are you sure you don't mean "ideally" the props are incidental? It seems to me part of the problem with many magic performances is that the props ARE the featured attraction. This box does this, that bag does that, etc.

That's part of the reason I only use Okito boxes to play with for personal amusement now (despite having a dozen or more). It can be beautiful to see but what the heck is that thing anyway?
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 07/27/06 07:57 AM

Originally posted by Dave_Dorsett:
It can be beautiful to see but what the heck is that thing anyway?
It's a box. What more do you want to know?

-Jim
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Postby Guest » 07/27/06 08:03 AM

Originally posted by Dave_Dorsett:
...Are you sure you don't mean "ideally" the props are incidental? It seems to me part of the problem with many magic performances is that the props ARE the featured attraction. This box does this, that bag does that, etc. ...
No idea about the "ideal" for me it appears around the coins at the beginning and at the end it is lifted off the coins and evaporates in close contact with direct light.

It seems more a representation of a box, almost a tangible metaphor.

Anyway it seems a challenge to get folks excited about what's inside the box when there is so much outside the box to enjoy.
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Postby Guest » 07/28/06 02:51 PM

Probably to a magician it IS a box. I doubt somehow that would be a layperson's initial interpretation.
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Postby Guest » 07/28/06 03:57 PM

Originally posted by Dave_Dorsett:
Probably to a magician it IS a box. I doubt somehow that would be a layperson's initial interpretation.
When folks are ready to take that step, they can take one out and ask a non-magican what they think it is. And then put a few coins inside.

I wish there were more routines using misc sized coins in the box, to my eye half dollars are just too cozy in there.
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