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Paragon 3D (DVD and Gimmick) Review

Official Review

November 24th, 2015 5:53pm
Reviewed by Dr. J. M. Ayala de Cedoz
There are many different versions of clear boxes out on the market and this is yet another one. How does it stack up? We will explore that together:

First of all, I hear a lot of people talking/asking about which is better, clear boxes or opaque boxes. First of all, that is impossible to answer because the effect is very different. With the opaque boxes (i.e. the John Kennedy Mystery Box), the effect is that a card or other object vanishes and ends up in a box that has either been previously shown empty or was at least suggested to be empty. With the clear boxes, it is a paradoxical effect (such as the Brother John Hamman effect, The Signed Card). The object that is in full view from the beginning somehow becomes the object that was selected, signed and vanished just a moment ago.

In this case, the effect is the latter. You begin with a folded card (or a bank note or a billet) inside of a clear box before the effect begins (we will assume it is a folded playing card for now). A spectator selects a card and signs it and places it back into the deck. The card is then shown to have vanished from the pack, and when the box is opened and the card inside is dumped out, it is then revealed to be the signed selection.

This is a great effect to begin with and the box can both enhance or weaken the effect, depending on how well you motivate it.

The box itself is very well made and consists of a bottom and a lid. It is exactly the same design as the Wayne Dobson '360' box and the first Paragon box, only it is exactly 1 mm larger than those. This was done so that you do not have to trim the gimmick to get it into the box.

The DVD does not have the best video quality, but everything is taught in great detail and the sound quality is good. The menu is nicely laid out and easy to navigate with the option to watch chapter-by-chapter or all at once with the Play All button.

The ad copy is 100% accurate, but I do believe it may require a slight bit of clarification. There is the claim that the box can be viewed at all angles (360 degrees) and is examinable. Both are absolutely true, but the box is only examinable after the card is dumped out. When the gimmick is inside the box, it looks exactly like a folded card because that is exactly what it is. The same will hold true if you use this for bank notes or billets - it will look real because it is, but it is slightly modified.

You will very likely have to play around with getting the gimmick just right so that it does come out cleanly. Also, it is my own opinion after testing this endless times that the angles are not as good as the claims. You have to combat the fact that the box is clear and people can see through it - though they may not see clearly, a flash of the non-gimmicked card is possible. You have to play around with how you dump the gimmick out of the box and how to position the hand with the real card so that you do not flash prematurely from various angles. I cannot really say much more but you will know what I mean if you have the product. Rest assured that this is not necessarily a negative thing, just something you may have to watch out for.

That being said, you get enough gimmick stuff to make two different gimmicks, which means you can make two card gimmicks if you want, one with a red back and another with a blue back, you can use one set to make a card gimmick and the other for a bank note gimmick and so on. The choice is yours, but making the gimmick so that it fits into the box and comes out cleanly without any issues will likely take a bit of adjusting and fine tuning.

I did not find it necessary after adjusting the gimmick a bunch of times to trim it, but Jon does bring that up in the explanations. If you do it just right, it will not be necessary however if you do choose to trim it just a little, there is very little leeway as far as how much you can trim it off before it will be too small. I cannot really say much more without giving anything away.

Because of the way this effect works, if you want to change the object inside the box from a playing card to a billet or bank note or whatever, you can do so without any issues in almost no time at all. It simply requires puting one gimmick in your pocket, opening the other one and putting it inside the box - less than 10 seconds.

Because of the way this version works, you are left dirty at the end but this is not really a concern because of the routining. Jon also teaches you a way to ditch the gimmick if you want to do something like that.

Jon plugs another item of his called the Perfect Score as a way to pre-score cards to make a certain planetary folding easier and more accurate. I assure you that this is not a necessary item to make the gimmicks, but it may make it easier for some people and it is not overly expensive.

Overall I believe this is a great addition to the Paradox-plot-with-a-clear-box genre. The major advantages are that various items can be used (playing cards, billets, banknotes, etc.), it is very easy to change the items you use, the object in the box can be viewed from every angle and will look 100% genuine because they are, spetators can hold the box throughout the effect/routine and everything at the end can be examined.
Really the only negative thing I have to say about this box is the potential finicky nature of the gimmick in getting it to fit in the box and with dumping it out cleanly. Once I adjusted it (quite a few times) I got it just perfect without trimming and it works smoothly.

Here is a hot tip: Instead of using glue, I used a strong double stick tape to make the gimmick. It works just as well as glue but has the advantage of being able to adjust the pieces if necessary without potentially ruining the gimmick each time, or without having to tear it apart and start over.

If you are in the market for a clear box, this one will do the job The price is on par with the other clear boxes on the market and is really worth the cost.

Highly recommended!

Suggestions from the Reviewer

The card scoring gimmick that Jon sells (which is called Perfect Score) is not the only gadget of its kind.

There is another one on the market called "The Bullet" by Todd Lamanske. The Bullet is different from Perfect Score but it accomplishes the same thing.

Jay Sankey also teaches you a way to do this without any special gadgets on his Paperclipped Special Edition DVD.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Paragon 3D (DVD and Gimmick)

Author: Allen, Jon
Publisher: Jon Allen
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $70.00
Buy Now
Manufacturer's Description:

A small clear box is placed on someone's hand, or table. Viewable from any angle, a folded card is seen inside. After performing your favourite signed card routine, the card in the box is tipped out onto your hand. The box is clearly empty and you cleanly unfold the card in your hand to reveal the signed card.

When Jon Allen released Paragon, many said it was the ultimate solution to the 'Card To Clear Box' effect. However, Jon has now taken it to a new level of performance and deception. With an actual folded card visible inside the box visible from ANY angle he has created the absolute cleanest and most natural Card to Clear Box ever! Perfect for strolling, restaurant, formal close up and even parlour magicians.

Paragon 3D has fooled and amazed some of the most renowned close up magicians on the planet. The illusion is so perfect you will fool yourself... and everyone who sees it will be blown away!

Some important points for you to consider:

The box can be viewed from any angle - on top, underneath, the sides and even behind
The card inside the box is an actual folded card, not a semi-replica or a picture
Every action from tipping out to the reveal is perfectly natural
You can safely hand the box to someone or place it on a table before and after the reveal
The box is 100% examinable
Everything ends clean
No performing limitations
Resets easily and quickly
You can easily change the object in the box i.e. playing card, paper money, prediction
Perfect for magic effects or mentalism

Here are what some very experienced and knowledgable magicians have said:

"I don't usually give quotes for magic tricks... but I absolutely love this!" - Garrett Thomas

"Jon has created a Card to Clear Box so streamlined and so devoid of clutter as to make it virtually perfect!" - Dan Harlan

"Paragon is clean, examinable and extremely memorable. Clearly a perfect addition to any magician's repertoire." - Karl Hein

"After seeing Paragon I thought it was a dummy run through! There is nothing to find even after the card reveal. Good job Jon!" - Angelo Carbone

"If that was a switch, it's the cleanest I've never seen!" - Chris Hannibal

"That is un-f***ing-believable!" - Joe Monti

"Paragon is a wonderful solution for the card to clear box. It fooled me with a very clever secret. It is so devious! I will be adding Paragon to my own performing repertoire." - Paul Green

"Wow! Wow! Wow! I'm completely fooled! This is only way people should do this trick!" -Nicholas Einhorn

"You bastard!" - Wayne Dobson

"Awesome! I *really* like it!" - Michael Weber

"Paragon is finally it. Job done. Now everyone can stop thinking of new methods for the card in clear box. Jon Allen won." - Mark Elsdon

"It's a joke! Is it really that clean?" - Luca Volpe

"The f***ing thing got me twice!" - Alan Rorrison

"No words needed apart from... Just get it!" - Marc Spelmann

"That's what it *should* look like!" - Tom Crosbie

"Looks exactly - EXACTLY - as it should. It's a perfect solution for a killer effect!" - R Paul Wilson

"Wow! This will be my 'go to' card in box!" - Dynamo

"Okay, I'm a convert. That really is the cleanest thing ever!" - Shaun McCree

"The very best card to box I have ever witnessed!" - Pat Fallon

"Amazing, amazing! Just the best!" - David Meade

"This is THE card in clear box. Everyone else can take the day off." - Ian Kendall

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