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Tip over trunk
In effect a trunk (chest) is rolled onto the stage and tipped forward with the lip then opened to show it empty. The lid is then secured, the trunk sat back into position and out pops a special guests of an assistant. In some versions of the effect the magician is able to produce several assistant's either one at a time or as one group of two or three.
The original design of the effect came with some serious technical headaches, especially as times changed and more and more demand for magic to be presented in amusement parks came on the rise. For this reason a simple modification was done to the trunk by the folks at Owen's Magic Supreme in California -- the addition of a second trunk and so you would have one trunk nested within the other making the feat seem that much more impossible.
The trunk has no bottom and a false floor that is kept in the upright position. This allows a load to stay in place as the trunk is tipped over. The false floor covers the hole in the bottom of the trunk so when it is opened, it appears to be empty. In actuality, the load is right behind the false floor. The trunk is closed and tipped back over the load. The load can now be produced.
Types of loads
The load can be almost anything that can fit within the trunk.