I really wanted to give this effect 4 stars - I really did.
First I am not really sure why this product is not listed under the others from Anton Corradin as he is the one sourcing and marketing them.
The effect sounds like a fantastic piece of theater and it really would be if presented in the right way to a theatrical or parlor audience. The way it works is quite ingenious and there is more than one way to figure out what the spectator has chosen.
The instructions are a little bit 'iffy' in clarity, but you will be able to decipher the basic handling from them.
The props look very nice, but to me they feel like some sort of composite wood. By that I mean that it seems that someone took fine wood pulp and combined it with some sort of binder/adhesive and poured it into a mold (similar to the way hand-made paper is made) and after it was set, it was removed and cut/shaped. I may be wrong, but that is what it feels like.
The sand that comes with it was scented, but I could not tell what it is. This may be a bad thing for some people who are allergic to certain scenting agents, but I can appreciate the thought behind it.
As for the gimmick, I would bet that most people would be familiar with it, as would most young children, who either have or have had a toy at some point that has this same kind of device on it.
Now there is where I have the biggest problem with this: When I got my unit, the gimmick was completely useless and I could not use it at all because it was not functional. I even read the instructions a couple dozen times and followed them to the letter, which did not help.
So what to do? Contact the creator of course, which I did and was told that I would get a replacement gimmick in the mail shortly. After two months I contacted him again because I had not received it and was told that one was sent some time previous to that and that another would go out shortly. That was two years ago and I am still waiting...
I realize my experience with this may be unique, but for $60 there should be no problems.
There was an extra piece of something (I cannot identify exactly what it is) that came with this product that was not mentioned in the instructions, so I have no idea what it is for or how to use it.
Since then this nice-looking $60 ($70 if you count the shipping cost) set of props has sat on my shelf as nothing more than a curio-paperweight. I would love to use it someday and if I ever get it fixed and have that opportunity, I will attach an addendum to this review to reflect those experiences accordingly.
The legend tells that in the year 141 A.D. Antoninus Plus, the Roman Empire Emperor, had to go on a journey due to problems in the borders, while his beloved had to remain in the city. It is said that during the time, the Emperor communicated with his beloved in a very special and unique way: both had decided that, on a certain time of the day, she would write a message on the sand and Antoninus would randomly take some stones with different words engraved on them. He would turn the stones around and the message that appeared was the same as the one written on the sand (by his beloved). The following day Antoninus was the one who would write on the sand his beloved would choose the stones. In that way, at the end of that long journey, they were able to feel closer than ever before.
After telling the legend, the magician shows his audience six engraved wooden pieces which he will make face down a table. he also shows them a beautiful box with sand in its inside.
The magician explains that, in the way of Antoninus, he has drawn a picture on the sand inside the box, which is now hermetically sealed and he asks someone from the audience to hold the box with their hands and to choose one of the six wooden pieces. The magician explains that there has been only one part of the experience and that now the participant (as Antoninus's beloved) will draw something on the sand and the magician (as the Emperor) will choose a piece and the prediction matches.
At that point, the magician asks his audience: "Do you still believe this story is only a legend?"