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Low-cost box models (BMs) are a valuable tool alternative to virtual-reality simulators. We aim to provide surgical trainees with a description of most common BMs and to present their validity to achieve basic and advanced laparoscopic skills.A literature search was undertaken for all studies focusing on BMs, excluded were those presenting data on virtual-reality simulators only. Databases were screened up to December 2011.Numerous studies focused on various BMs to improve generic tasks (ie, instrument navigation, coordination, and cutting). Only fewer articles described models specific for peculiar operations. All studies showed a significant improvement of basic laparoscopic skills after training with BMs. Furthermore, their low costs make them easily available to most surgical trainees.BMs should be developed by all surgical trainees during their training. Fields for future improvement regard endoscopy and complex laparoscopic operations for which ad hoc BMs are not available.