Posted on Friday, February 28th, 2014 by Peter Sciretta
Remember JJ Abrams‘ Mystery Box? I’m not talking about the metaphorical construct of the filmmaker’s movies and television shows, but the box that sits on a shelf in JJ’s office. Abrams famously told the story of the mystery box during his TED Talk (embedded after the jump if somehow you’ve never seen it). When Abrams was a kid, his grandfather would often bring him to a magic store in Manhattan and buy him tricks. One visit, Harry Kelvin bought little JJ a “mystery magic box” which was supposed to contain $50 of magic for only $15, a magical grab bag. JJ loved the idea of the mystery box and ended up never opening it. It has gone on to become a metaphor for what he loves about movies and the stories he tells.
Tannen’s Magic was the store to go to back in the day, but now Theory 11 is the new cool place to go to for magic and playing cards. So today Theory 11 and JJ Abrams have announced a collaboration on a mystery box of Bad Robot playing cards. Not only that, but a limited edition wooden mystery box with the same question mark logo that graces the box sitting on JJ’s office shelf. Find out more information on the cards and this incredible box, after the jump.
In addition to being a film geek, I’m also a magic fanatic. Have been since I was a little kid. Even those of you who never bought or performed a magic trick will know the feeling of wonder that I feel watching or demonstrating magic tricks. Its the same sense of wonder that you get from watching a great movie. I also collect decks of playing cards, I have a couple drawers full of various different kinds of decks. So for me, this is a must have item.
‘Empire Magazine profiled Abrams a year or so ago, and in the piece one of the photos was of Abrams’ own playing card collection (sorry for the low res snapshot), in a drawer in his office. Turns out, we have many of the same decks, some from Theory11. JJ doesn’t throw the Bad Robot logo on many things, so when he does get involved in a project like this, its important to him.
The following are photos and information from Theory11.com, where you can buy the cards and or the awesome wooden box:
JJ ABRAMS MYSTERY BOX
Includes 12 Mystery Box Playing Cards wrapped in letterpressed kraft paper. The decks are housed in a handcrafted wood box made of 100 year old reclaimed wood. Each lockbox is iron-branded and locked with an alpha-numeric combination lock. The lock box includes a letterpressed note from J.J. Abrams enclosed in a kraft paper envelope stamped with a black wax seal. Each lockbox is handcrafted. Please allow one week for shipping.
Buy the mystery box now while supplies last on Theory11.com
THE PLAYING CARDS
Design of the Details Each deck of Mystery Box Playing Cards is sealed with a kraft paper, letterpress wrap that inspires intrigue and endless wonder. Keep it closed, tear it open, or share the experience with a friend. The choice is yours. Art direction by J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Bayme. Bad Robot will donate $1 per deck purchased to 826 National, a non-profit dedicated to promoting creative writing in schools and workshops around the USA.
Buy the playing cards now on Theory11.com
JJ’s real mystery box:
JJ Abrams talks his mystery box during his TED Talk: