Since the “Google Sandbox” is an imaginary construct that only exists within our own thoughts, if you believe you are in the “Google Sandbox” then you in fact are. I wouldn’t deny you the freedom to view your predicament as such, but it ‘s not really constructive to envision yourself in some sort of penalty box. Your website has not suffered a penalty, the only penalty Google issues websites is a de-indexing. Since your website hasn’t been de-indexed you have not been penalized.
The real problem you are facing is simply competition from other web pages.
You haven’t yet earned the rankings you had hoped, so if you focus on solid promotional efforts you will be on the right track.