Japanese Tenyo Packaging

Tenyo Japanese Packages

Tenyo did not use a T-Number system to identify the tricks sold in Japan but for the most part the Japanese packages paralleled the English packages. In Japan, Tenyo used the same boxes and Vintage Blister on Card packages like with the English packaged tricks (see Figure 1 and Figure 2), but of course used Japanese language and characters. An interesting note is that the Japanese versions of tricks in many cases have a different name than the English version. For instance T-148 Mira Metal is call Money Drip in Japan (Figure 3). In general, the Japanese names seem to be more literal where the English names are more “colorful.” You can compare the Japanese trick names to the English trick names by navigating to the Tenyo Magic Trick Translation Page.

While the packaging styles ran parallel for many years a major difference came in 1994. For the English packaged T-Number tricks, Tenyo used for English Packages the Cello Bag w. Aqua Card and later on Plastic Box w. Colored Card. Meanwhile in Japan Tenyo used a new type of cardboard box packaging (see Figures 4 & 5). The new packaging was a vividly colored box with dramatic Japanese characters and an ethereal color illustration. Inside the box was a vacuum formed, black plastic tray which held the props. All of the boxes have “マジック” written across the top in large, stylized Japanese characters. “マジック” translates to “Magic.” There is a blue ribbon to the left with the characters “テイメント” which translates to “tainment” which I am guessing means Entertainment. On the top flap of the box there is “ポケットにスる不思議エンターテインメント” which translates to “Pocket Wonder Entertainment” (Figure 6). It is my belief that Tenyo got the idea for this type of packaging from a U.S. toy company called Milton Bradley which licensed tricks from Tenyo to sell in the U.S. under the brand name Magic Works. If you compare the boxes you can’t but help to see the similarities. If it was not Tenyo borrowing from Milton Bradley then it was for sure Milton Bradley borrowing from Tenyo. The are too many similarities for it to be considered a coincidence (Figure 7). While the current J-numbered boxes are smaller than the Magic Works boxes, there was a version of the Japanese Box released before the current version that looked the same but were not numbered. Those boxes are almost exactly the same size as the Milton Bradley Magic Works boxes.

Besides using the new box for their yearly releases from 1994 to 2000, Tenyo used these boxes to sell some of the older classic tricks (Flash Dice, Eclipse, Fantasica, etc.) as well as some Japanese only tricks such as (Trump Cards, Zig Zag Skeleton, Brass Bill Tube, etc). An interesting aspect about the tricks that came/come in these boxes is that they are sequentially numbered starting with 1 and ending with 46. There were also 4 special tricks released in these boxes numbered s1 through s4. These specially numbered boxes had a prismatic type effect on the “マジック” type on the box. I refer to these 50 sequentially numbered boxed tricks as J-Numbered tricks. Making a collection of these would be fun, but at the same time it would be a hard collection to make. Since 2000, the tricks have been parallel as far as packaging and for the most part the names have been the same or similar. In my collection I have some of the Japanese packages which you can see under the Additional Pictures section for the English trick.

Tenyo J-Numbered Japanese Boxed Tricks with Japanese Trick Names

No. 1 • Dynamic Coin

No. 2 • Trump Cards

No. 3 • ESP Dice

No. 4 • The Tobacco

No. 5 • China Ring

No. 6 • Coin Vision

No. 7 • Resurrection of Pharoah

No. 8 • Ring Mystery

No. 9 • Pandora Box

No. 10 • Coin Panic

No. 11 • HDTV Card

No. 12 • Money Game

No. 13 • The Rope

No. 14 • Crop Circle

No. 15 • Illusion Box

No. 16 • Flash Frame

No. 17 • Virtual Coin

No. 18 • Pyramid Mystery

No. 19 • Bio Illusion

No. 20 • Psycho Clock

No. 21 • Master Key of Magic

No. 22 • Invisible Zone

No. 23 • Ring Escape

No. 24 • Twin Stick

No. 25 • Mystery of Moai

No. 26 • Mr. Rabbit

No. 27 • Squeeze Play

No. 28 • Brass Bill Tube

No. 29 • Telepathy Box

No. 30 • Han Key Panic

No. 31 • The Profiler

No. 32 • The Key to Physics

No. 33 • Ghost House

No. 34 • Bill Illusion

No. 35 • String Trick

No. 36 • Magical Bird Watcher

No. 37 • Small Coin

No. 38 • Trump Jump Out

No. 39 • Magical Queen

No. 40 • Magic Bunny

No. 41 • Bill Shredder

No. 42 • Bio Shock

No. 43 • Magical Sword

No. 44 • Money Cutter

No. 45 • X-Ray File

No. 46 • Super Magic Tube

No. s1 • The Impossible

No. s2 • Stone Floating in the Air

No. s3 • The Illusion

No. s4 • Blue Crystal

Tenyo J-Numbered Japanese Boxed Tricks

J-# Japanese Name English Name T-# Year English Package Type
1 Dynamic Coin Dynamic Coins T-69 1975 Vintage Blister on Card
2 Trump Cards
3 ESP Dice Flash Dice T-72 1976 Vintage Blister on Card
4 The Tobacco Zig Zag Cig T-110 1981 Vintage Blister on Card
5 China Ring Chinese Linking Rings T-70
6 Coin Vision Eclipse T-112 1982 Vintage Blister on Card
7 Resurrection of the Pharoah
8 Ring Mystery Crystal Cleaver T-155 1992 Vintage Blister on Card
9 Pandora Box Parabox T-161 1993 Vintage Blister on Card
10 Coin Panic Soft Coins T-108 1981 Vintage Blister on Card
11 HDTV Card Illusionairium T-157 1992 Vintage Blister on Card
12 Money Game Vault Vision T-134 1988 Vintage Blister on Card
13 The Rope Clean Cut T-146 1990 Vintage Blister on Card
14 Crop Circle Twister T-159 1993 Vintage Blister on Card
15 Illusion Box Dragon's Altar T-149 1991 Vintage Blister on Card
16 Flash Frame Fantastica T-160 1993 Vintage Blister on Card
17 Virtual Coin Metal Matrimony T-164 1994 Cello Bag w. Aqua Card
18 Pyramid Mystery Crystal Pyramid T-165 1994 Cello Bag w. Aqua Card
19 Bio Illusion Oh No! T-166 1994 Cello Bag w. Aqua Card
20 Psycho Clock Future Clock T-167 1994 Cello Bag w. Aqua Card
21 Master Key of Magic Zone infinity T-169 1994 Cello Bag w. Aqua Card
22 Invisible Zone Invisible Zone T-172 1995 Cello Bag w. Aqua Card
23 Ring Escape Merlin's Coffer T-171 1995 Cello Bag w. Aqua Card
24 Twin Stick Pillars of Thor T-170 1995 Cello Bag w. Aqua Card
25 Mystery of Moai Eye of the Idol T-173 1995 Blue Box
26 Mr. Rabbit Mr. Rabbit T-95 1978 Box
27 Squeeze Play Squeeze Play T-87 1977 Box
28 Brass Bill Tube
29 Telepathy Box Card Case T-40 Box
30 Han Key Panic Hanky Penetration T-176 1996 Plastic Box w. Colored Card
31 The Profiler Unusual Suspects T-175 1996 Plastic Box w. Colored Card
32 The Key to Psychics Krazy Keys T-178 1996 Plastic Box w. Colored Card
33 Ghost House Phantoma T-177 1996 Plastic Box w. Colored Card
34 Bill Illusion Trisector T-179 1996 Plastic Box w. Colored Card
35 String Trick Enchanted Strings T-180 1997 Plastic Box w. Colored Card
36 Magical Bird Watching Bird Watcher T-181 1997 Plastic Box w. Colored Card
37 Small Coin Funnel Vision T-182 1997 Plastic Box w. Colored Card
38 Trump Jump Out Pop-Up Card T-184 1998 Plastic Box w. Colored Card
39 Magical Queen Puzzling Queen T-185 1998 Plastic Box w. Colored Card
40 Magical Bunny Lucky Rabbit T-188 1999 Plastic Box w. Colored Card
41 Bill Shredder Money Shredder T-189 1999 Plastic Box w. Colored Card
42 Bioshock Bioshock T-190 1999 Plastic Box w. Colored Card
43 Magical Sword Cutting Edge T-191 1999 Plastic Box w. Colored Card
44 Money Cutter Money Cutter T-196 2000 Box
45 X-Ray File X-Ray File T-197 2000 Box
46 Super Magic Tube Dynamite Tube T-199 2000 Box
s1 The Impossible Impossible Pen T-183 1997 Plastic Box w. Colored Card
s2 Stone Floating in the Air Antigravity Rock T-186 1998 Plastic Box w. Colored Card
s3 The Illusion Mini Morphosis T-187 1998 Plastic Box w. Colored Card
s4 Blue Crystal Blue Crystal T-198 2000 Box

Tenyo Professional Magic Come in a Wide Variety of Boxes

For many years Tenyo has brought to the Japanese magic marketplace tricks for the professional magician. Sometimes the tricks were Tenyo creations, sometimes they were tricks invented by others. In fact selling these types of tricks was the foundation of the products sold when Tenyo Shokyokusai started selling magic tricks at the Mitsukoshi Department Store in 1931. The tradition continues to this day. These specialty boxed tricks can often be made of materials not common with the typical Tenyo tricks such as wood, metal and cloth. They can be expensive when they are first sold and when they are sold on the secondary market they can go for much more. Many high end Tenyo collectors seek out these tricks because they have many of the regular Tenyo tricks and like to continue to collect. Many of the tricks are very good but for the most part you can get a similar trick that is not from Tenyo for a lot less money. These tricks come in a variety of boxes that are plain in design and usually have a Tenyo logo and a label with the name of the trick in Japanese. Some of the boxes were used in the T-Number line of tricks. The brown reptile print box was used for T-82 Spinning Plate on Rope and T-81 Space Walking Coins. The brown reptile print was also used in Japan to package some of the standard tricks (see figure 8). Another boxed used primarily for the professional line is blue box. The blue box was used for T-168 Floral Fantasy and T-173 Eye of the Idol. There is an earlier version of the blue box that had fancy type characters printed on the box in a golden tone. There was also an aqua colored reptile box (not shown).