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400 Lux Review

Official Review

May 26th, 2016 9:55pm
Reviewed by James Sanden
“Flash Cash,” or as it’s more popularly known, “Hundy 500,” is a wildly popular and powerful effect found in the repertoire of countless professional magicians. And why wouldn’t it be? After all, what audience wouldn’t be impressed seeing someone instantly change five one dollar bills into five one hundred dollar bills? The popularity of the effect has lead to the creation of a number of approaches, each of which has used the same basic method, but attacked the handling from a different angle. That is, until now. Instead of changing the handling, Kyle Littleton got rid of the gimmick. His approach, “400 Lux,” is a way of performing “Flash Cash” with ungimmicked bills. His various handlings allow the performer to mimic not only the original version, but they can be used to emulate many of the most popular versions to date.

The method and handling explained on the DVD are quite clever and convincing. While the method is what one would guess (“He’s switching the bills and hiding the switched out ones”), the handling makes it appear impossible for the bills to be hidden. The visible bills are cleanly and fairly shown on both sides multiple times, so the idea of hidden bills seems to be impossible. Interestingly, this is the same principle at play with “Flash Cash,” except with the original method the bills remain hidden inside the gimmick as opposed to being hidden by a clever handling of the bills.

The instruction on the DVD is clear and well thought out. The camera work is simple and done entirely in studio. No live performances are shown, but anyone who has been into magic for any amount of time knows the effect plays extremely well. Several handlings are taught, all of which use the same opening and ending displays to cleanly show just ones at the beginning and just hundreds at the end. The changes taught include an instant change of the bills while fully opened, one where it occurs as the folded packet of ones is rotated around, and a slow change that occurs as the hand slowly waves over the opened bills. He teaches an additional option using an extra bill, which uses camouflage somewhat like the original gimmick, and looks like the change seen in Karl Hein’s “Heiny 500.” He also teaches a very organic way to transport the set up, which also allows for a well-motivated cover to ditch the extra bills at the end of the effect.

The strange thing about this DVD is that at no point does Mr. Littleton actually demonstrate the effect, start to finish. He jumps right into the assembly of the gimmick and then explains the method. To be clear, the instruction is thorough and complete, and it will be easy for the viewer to learn the effect from the DVD. However, one of the primary advantages of video as a medium for learning is to see what an effect looks like in performance, at speed, with no pauses. While it’s clear what the effect should look like, it’s a glaring error that the producers didn’t include at least one full performance, as well as performances of the various changes as they should appear.

The question to ask isn’t if a gimmickless handling is better than the traditional method. The question is, is it better for the individual performer? The advantage of “400 Lux” is that all the bills can be examined and no part of any of the visible bills need be hidden. But it does require holding out, which can be difficult to do casually, without guilt and without arousing suspicion. If you’re comfortable holding out, then “400 Lux” offers a way to emulate most, if not all, of the popular changes, while allowing for a squeaky clean display and to have all the bills examined at the end. Recommended.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for 400 Lux

Author: Littleton, Kyle
Publisher: Vanishing Inc.
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $25.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

Causing your money to multiply is, perhaps, the most iconic trick in magic. In the past you needed a gimmick, glue, and lots of preparation to make this trick happen. "400 Lux" is COMPLETELY impromptu and uses no gimmicks of any kind. You change four EXAMINABLE one-dollar bills into four EXAMINABLE hundred dollar bills.

Creator Kyle Littleton takes you through every step of the process. The routine is easy to learn, easy to perform, and imminently practical, since it uses just eight normal bills. It's possibly even stronger than gimmicked versions as the bills can be examined before and after, and the change looks just as magical! Use any bills - no gimmicks Includes multiple handlings 25 minutes of high-quality explanation"It's a beautiful thing when sleights can flawlessly replace a gimmick! Kyle Littleton's 400 Lux is a great alternative to all the "Easy Money" variations. 400 Lux is pure magic done with pure sleight of hand!"
- Karl Hein

Running time: 25 minutes

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