By Ariana Bacle
Updated March 05, 2014 at 04:33 PM EST

Anyone who watched Lost knows that creator J.J. Abrams is into mystery. And now he’s using his love of mystery for charity — kind of.

In 2007, Abrams gave a TED talk in which he spoke about a box his grandfather gave him. Abrams never cracked open the lid. Why? On principle: “The thing is that it represents infinite possibility,” Abrams explained. “It represents hope. It represents potential. And what I love about this box, and what I realize I sort of do in whatever it is that I do, is I find myself drawn to infinite possibility, that sense of potential. And I realize that mystery is the catalyst for imagination.” Ahh, so that’s why he’s so into creating mysteries that we never find out the answers to.

Bitterness aside, Abrams’ entire TED talk is worth watching for anyone interested in why his work is the way it is. And it serves as a fitting setup to his latest project: the Mystery Box.

Abrams and his production company, Bad Robot, worked with magic-makers theory11 to create a box full of surprises for anyone who dares to open it. Bonus: Some of the proceeds from the box go toward 826 National, an organization that promotes creative writing in schools.

Made of 100-year-old wood and locked with an alphanumeric combination, the box comes with a note from Abrams himself as well as a dozen playing cards designed by Abrams. What else lies within the box is, well, a mystery. Maybe it’s like the Hatch and a harried Desmond will pop out? We can dream.

If you have $149.95 to drop, head on over to theory11 to get your very own mystery box. Maybe it will inspire you like Abrams’ grandfather’s box inspired him, and you’ll go on to create an award-winning show that frustrates millions of people. Maybe.

Episode Recaps


  • TV Show
  • In Season
stream service