Yes, Bob has given his blessing on this box and I’m very grateful for this. Here is a paragraph that is included in the instructions about how this item came to be, and it explains how Bob gave his blessing (I swapped out text for asterisks for the purpose of not over-exposing the box’s methodology):
“BACKGROUND… When I first read Paul’s Gertner’s marvelous book, STEEL AND SILVER, in the mid-1990s, it was a changing point in my magic journey. The book was filled with at least a dozen effects and concepts that strongly resonated with me, and throughout the years I’ve often referred to it to find inspiration for new magic effects of my own. I sat down one night to re-read portions of it and discovered a routine that always intrigued me yet I never performed called THE CARD IN THE CANDY BOX. As I pondered the method of getting the spectator’s signed and folded card into the box in Paul’s routine, I had an inspired idea that hit me like a ton of bricks: why not integrate a (****************methodology explained***************)? After working for months with a talented woodworker to bring this vision to life, and right before The Boldly Go Box was ready to be marketed, I discovered a rather untimely coincidence: that magician Bob Kohler had recently released a product that integrated essentially the same methodology. I immediately contacted Bob to tell him about my creation and to find a way where we could work together to release my box while respecting his involvement as the original inventor of the “*************” idea. Even though our boxes have entirely different aesthetics, and my box includes the additional feature of the ***************, I explained that I wanted to give to Bob partial credit for my box since he released his version to the magic community first. Proper crediting was of paramount importance to me. To my delight, Bob was very supportive and I am grateful to have ultimately received his blessing on The Boldly Go Box, otherwise it would have never seen the light of day. Thank you, Bob!”
Regarding the trailer… being blatant about the method was intentional because my belief is that when a conjurer knows the method, they will immediately start thinking of ways to use the box. Believe me, no one notices the turning of the box in actual performance. Bob can attest to this, too. In real performance, the “heat” is on whatever is being dumped out of the box, and by the time they look back at the box, they just see an “empty” box sitting on the table. Additionally, if your hand is covering the entire bottom of the box (which is explained in the instructions), this provides all the cover you need to momentarily distract your spectator.
Regarding the “wood swelling”… I worked with a highly experienced and sought-after wood worker and this issue was addressed at length during the development process and there is absolutely nothing to worry about. The wood panels for the box have been cut with the grain going in the proper direction so as to avoid any swelling issues, and the wood is properly treated as well, and therefore will last a lifetime. If the box did “swell” at all, it would be vertically, making the box only microscopically taller and not affecting the methodology in any way whatsoever.
In addition to my box being made of entirely different material than Bob’s (his is plastic, mine is wood/copper/metal/felt/velour), my box does something quite significant that the Lightning Box can’t, and this is due to an additional feature built inside my box which opens up a world of possibilities.
The box is a Hocus Pocus exclusive and I’ve been told it’s getting a full-page ad soon so I see it finding its way into the hands of magicians that really see its usefulness to create some memorable magic.
I’m happy to answer any other questions!
– Anthony Masi