Twilight Zone Mystic Seer - BUILD YOUR OWN TODAY'S FEATURES : Mystic Seer Kit
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Updated - 05/29/2013

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Mystic Seer - Construction
A replica of the Mystic Seer seen on the Twilight Zone Episode "Nick of Time"

I have started building Mystic Seer machines for fellow Twilight Zone fans.  If you are interested in having one built for you, please contact me at  Also, if you need any help with your own construction or need additional information, I'd like to hear from you, so feel free to contact me.  For the full story of my Mystic Seer replica, you need to go back one page.

I am now making Mystic Seer Kits.  Build your own, but with my parts.  Send me an email for details.

I've had many requests from TZ fans to help them build their own Mystic Seer.  Below, I've provide some detailed drawings and in progress construction pictures.  I will try to add additional information as I have time.  Send me a note if you have any particular questions.

First, I need to say that my MS is not really operational.  That is, it does not dispense the fortune slips.  It does however have a working/spring loaded lever and will collect all the pennies you put into it.  Also, the napkin holders are spring loaded and hold the napkins rather nicely.

 I still make the Devil Heads so send me a note if you are interested.

MS-Front.jpg (206682 bytes) 1:1: scale front drawing with dimensions.   These are hand drawn drawings based on measurements I made using a few different sources.  Knowing that the original Mystic Seer was built over the guts of the popular Swami machine,  gave me some idea of the overall size.  But, knowing the size of the napkin was the biggest clue to all the dimensions.

I used PVC sheet material for construction.  Partly because I used it for constructing many parts of my robot but also because it is so easy to work with.  My Mystic Seer will not fit over a Swami Machine.  If you attempt that, you may have to use sheet metal and/or  adjust some of the dimensions.

I noticed that my drawing does not have the center point for the key lock.  I'll have to update it at some point.

MS-Side.jpg (200764 bytes) 1:1: scale side drawing with dimensions.

Here's where you can see how the napkin helped determine the rest of the dimensions. 

ms-1.jpg (69515 bytes) This picture shows an early construction stage of the MS.  I have a base and two sides attached.  The vertical piece of plastic is just placed between the two sides to hold them while they are being glued to the base.
ms-2.jpg (44142 bytes) Here's another shot from a different angle.  notice the corner brackets "triangles".  They give the sides support in the rear of the machine.  They are also set in from the rear the machine by the thickness of the real panel.
ms-2a.jpg (70382 bytes)

Here you can see the top and front pieces were glued in place before the skin was put on.  I then glued on a piece of Styrene sheet material over the top and front.  This was the outer skin that provided the curved top/front surface.  Then I inverted the box and filled the curved corner with a plastic resin from the inside.  This gave quite a bit of strength to the corner.

ms-3.jpg (50085 bytes) I then glued on a piece of styrene plastic sheet material over the top and front.  This was the outer skin that provided the curved top/front surface.  Then I inverted the box and filled the curved corner with a plastic resin from the inside.  This gave quite a bit of strength to the corner.
ms-4.jpg (65741 bytes) I cut the holes and slots after the skin was put on because I was going through two materials and needed them to line up.  I used my Dremel tool.  The top coin slot is just big enough for a penny, but dimes also work.  Since my MS was more of a napkin holder/bank, I was tempted to enlarge it big enough for quarters, but wanted to keep it as original as possible, so I didn't. 
ms-5.jpg (66059 bytes) The green blobs are spot putty used on plastic models.  It is made to work with styrene.  You could use an automotive "Bondo" type spot putty but it may soften the plastic and not work as well.
ms-6.jpg (58963 bytes) First coat of primer paint.  Starting to look like the real thing.
ms-7.jpg (50930 bytes) Second coat after some wet sanding with 800 grit sandpaper.
ms-8.jpg (70020 bytes) Final coat of primer, lightly wet sanded again.
ms-9.jpg (54311 bytes) Here's an internal picture of the MS before I put in most of the guts.  I had placed a single half-wall to hold the lever but decided to go with a full wall in the end.
ms-10.jpg (33406 bytes) This is the left internal wall (as seen from the back of the MS).  It is the one where the lever mounts.  You can see the simple spring I have attached to the end of the lever.  The two holes in the wall are where the bolts will go through that hold the Napkin "pusher".  The square notch cut out of the one corner is where I will put a small coin chute.  It is needed because the coin slot does not line up with the center section of the MS where I want the coins to go.  For the lever I used an old hack saw blade which I filed off the teeth.
ms-11.jpg (63506 bytes) I also added a coin-op type lock I had laying around.  You really need to find an older style lock that shows some age.  I happen to have some kicking around from an old gumball machine.  You want the type with a threaded center so that you can thread a rod to the back cover.

You can see the white plastic coin chute on the upper left side of the grey plastic wall.  This directs the coins into the middle.

There seemed to be two kinds of levers on the original Swami machines.  One with a rounded knob and one with a square knob.  The rounded one was used in the TZ episode.  I made a replica of the rounded version and made a mold of it.  This allowed me to cast the knob directly onto the metal lever.

4/3/04 - I decided to take the Mystic Seer to Fright Vision 2004 in Cleveland, Ohio.  That motivated me to finally make the back cover.  Here's a picture of it on display with some of the other models in the contest.  Looks a little out of place, but what the heck.  Oh, and I made a penny during the show.  When I went to pack it back up for the trip home, I found that someone had dropped a penny in the slot.  I hope there fortune comes true.  I wonder if they know what they were getting themselves into?
Well, here it is in full color.   I added the graphics and hand painted on some light yellow stars.  I placed a spring through the hole in the top and added my Devil Head
I captured the label from a scene on the TZ episode DVD.  I sucked it into Photoshop and cleaned it up.  The lettering has a slight "smoky" appearance to it that I like. 


This is the instruction label I made in MS Word.  

I have also recreated the Mystic Seer fortune slips as seen in the TZ episode, complete with all the fortunes that were read.  I include a set with each Devil Head I sell. 
I now have available several items with pictures of the Mystic Seer logo and the Mystic Seer machine.  Check out these great gifts available from CafePress.  Clicking on an item takes you to my store.

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