Holiday Die Box
by Chris Dunn

Chris Dunn is an old friend and customer of The Magic Nook but a new contributor. We welcome his creative effects to The Wizards' Journals and hope you enjoy both building them and performing them.

The Holiday Die Box is a children's show prop for platform or stage that can be built from hardboard, "masonite," Balsa or Basswood. Its main feature is that it can be quickly re-decorated for Halloween or Christmas shows, and with a little creative thinking, you can easily add more themes following Chris' example.

In the photo above, you can see a little of the Christmas Holiday theme for the box on the left and a little of the Halloween Haunted Castle look on the right.

Typical effect:

This is pretty much the standard Die Box effect with a flat plaque instead of a die.

My die box can be performed with the castle behind it the entire time, or you can separate the die box from the castle if you wish to perform it that way.

Let’s say you have it decorated for Halloween. You show the spooky haunted castle, and open a door on the Die Box to discover a ghost plaque inside. You replace the ghost plaque in the box and tell the boys and girls you will try to make the ghost invisible. With that, you begin sliding the plaque from side to side in the die box, but the kids can see the slide passing between the doors (much like “Run Rabbit Run”), so they shout out that you haven’t made the ghost disappear at all.

After you have the kids all riled up, you open both doors of the die box and show that the ghost has really disappeared (or become invisible). But now the ghost begins popping up from behind the box, or from behind the castle.

Spellbinder’s ending: Finally you take the plaque and put it beneath a cloth (no, it’s NOT a Devil’s hank!). You hand the plaque to a helper from the audience to hold and ask him to keep the ghost from vanishing. Too late! The ghost begins popping up from the magician’s pocket or from behind the die box once again.

You ask the helper what he is holding onto and when the cloth is removed he has a plaque that says “Happy Halloween!” or something appropriate on it, with something clever on the other side like “Trick or Treat!” As the helper turns around to look for the missing ghost all the kids in the audience suddenly spot it hanging from the helper’s back.

Complete construction plans for building all the props are included.



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