J.J. Abrams helped create mystery boxes to benefit charity

By Marc Snetiker
Updated March 14, 2014 at 04:00 AM EDT

J.J. Abrams has another tantalizing mystery for fans. In 2007, the Lost co-creator and future Star Wars director gave a TED talk centered on a toy box his grandfather once gave him that Abrams never opened, he said, because “it represents infinite possibility.” Inspired by that origin story, Abrams recently partnered with magic company theory11 to craft and sell $150 wooden lockboxes to benefit 826 National, a nonprofit that promotes creative writing. “Everyone in the world has an appreciation for mystery,” says theory11’s Jonathan Bayme, who spent almost a year with Abrams designing the box’s contents, including playing cards and a letterpressed note from Abrams. The rest of the items will remain, well, a mystery, and you’ll have to lift the lid to find out what they are. “The goal is to get people to imagine or experience what might be inside of it,” says Bayme. “So it’s a choice. Do you open it or do you not?” That depends: Does it contain any hints about Star Wars casting?