These haven’t been made in over thirty years. They were extremely limited in production at the time and only available in a special “briefcase of magic” set sold by Eckhard Boettcher. I only ever found one and it was the finest Mini Cube A Libre I’d ever seen.
The stack of blocks and tube are only a little over 7″ tall. The blocks are only about 1 & 1/8″. Despite the small size, the precision work is so well done it operates exactly like the best made large models, which is very difficult to pull off in micro size. The shells are so close in tolerance to the blocks that any difference in the size of the stacks of blocks is never noticed (unlike the Magic Wagon version for example). The shells also have the duplicate numbers on the back of three of them so you can perform the full Conradi routine (which isn’t possible with the Magic Wagon set.) That routine allows you to have the blocks match in an impossible manner, with one even placed seemingly by mistake sideways.
The original release from thirty years ago was a beautiful piece of magic … but the 2016 version is even better!
Thomas has made a number of improvements:
- the cubes are now weighted with sand so they can be handled much easier without fear of tipping
- the shells are even more deceptive/ it only takes a slight squeeze to handle both the shell and block together
- the cover is vastly improved….as it may be shown all around and inside / it looks completely innocent yet is cleverly gaffed so that a squeeze at the right spot picks up the shells when needed
- there are now no external levers to conceal / the cover looks absolutely empty inside
- the cover now has a lip around the top edge so it may be tipped toward the audience without fear of the shells falling out
- the best gold foil finish (used for auto detailing) has been used on the cubes which is state of the art and not available when the first edition of cubes was made back in the ‘80s
It’s an exceptional piece of micro magic. Collectors will appreciate the sheer amount of precision work that went into each set.