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eLit (DVD and Gimmick) Review

May 26th, 2015 6:09pm
Reviewed by Stuart Philip
Peter Eggink’s elit allows you to “watermark” a piece of paper with the value of a selected playing card.

Basically, the spectator picks a card and loses it in the deck. The performer borrows a paper bill from the spectator and holds a lighter under the bill and after heating it up, a “watermark” appears on the paper with the value of the card. As demonstrated on the DVD, the “watermark” revelations appear on Euro notes. This is important to note because making the marks appear on American money is not as easy as it seems on the DVD.

The trick comes with a well packaged DVD, a gimmick, and a substance that makes the gimmick work. You need to supply your own lighter. Although the trick does not need to use a lighter, it is recommended to help expedite the reveal and because using a flame adds to the mystical appearance of the effect.

The DVD quality is fair at best. Eggink demonstrates a live performance using a spectator’s 50 Euro note, but the video is not sharply in focus and the lighting is very dark. The set-up portion of the instructional video is not as clear as it could be because the teaching, as is the majority of the DVD, is done in pantomime with English subtitles. This is not optimal for this effect and there should have been spoken instruction.

For some reason, even though the packaging graphics shows the watermark on a U.S. One Dollar bill, the entire video is demonstrated with a Euro notes. The ability to make the mark appear clearly on american money depends on making sure that the mark is in the “right” place, which is difficult. Also, if you don’t use the right amount of the elit substance in conjunction with the gimmick, the mark may be incomplete or fuzzy. Because there was not any teaching on this issue, I had trouble finding the “right” place on a variety of different U.S. bills (ones, fives and twentys). In fact, I don’t think that U.S. bills are the best paper surface to demonstrate this very cool effect on because there is too much writing on the bills which makes the card value mark hard to see. And, the mark location for U.S. bills should have been taught on the DVD. Also, the newer and crisper the bills, the easier it is to make a mark. Also, you may not be able to hand out the bill as quickly as is demonstrated since it may cause some issues to the mark.

The trick is easy to do, subject to the above caveats. I think Euros are better currency to use since there is a larger space with no writing on it. Although the DVD claims there is enough of the substance for 1000 performances, I doubt it. The refill is about $10 U.S. and has a different reveal, which would be a nice thing to have if you want to repeat the trick with a different outcome. Which means, that when you buy elit, you can only reveal one card, each time.

The ad copy claims that there is “no sleight of hand” which is not 100% accurate, but the sleight needed is very minimal. The mark is actually not a watermark, however, and it is more like a mark that resembles an oil stain on a piece of paper.

I like this trick very much, but I just don’t think that it is practical for American money. If I lived in Europe, I would give the 4.5 to 5 stars. Because it doesn’t easily adapt to American money, and the packaging shows a beautifully clear mark on an American bill, the rating here is two and a half stars. I won’t use this on American money, but may use it on other paper goods. I still think it is clever, I am just disappointed with its lack of adaptability to American money.

Product info for eLit (DVD and Gimmick)

Author: Eggink, Peter
Publisher: Empty Hand Productions
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $34.95
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Manufacturer's Description:


A spectator is asked to select a card and to memorize it. Next, you borrow a bill from your spectator and with a lighter you start to heat up their bill...slowly a watermark seems to materialize in the fibers of the actual watermark of the suite and number from their chosen card is slowly and magically revealed...only to be locked in THEIR bill forever!

Key Points:

Peter Eggink's "eLit" comes complete with a full training DVD and a custom engineered gimmick that you can carry inside your pocket all day long and is always ready to go!

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