Review: 400 Lux by Kyle Littleton

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: Matthew Lee”][vc_column_text]400 Lux is essentially an ungimmicked version of Patrick Page’s ‘Easy Money’. While it is normally a great intellectual exercise to reinvent tricks with new gimmick free methods, the resulting output is usually far inferior to the original. As an example, take 3-Fly. The gimmicked method is far superior to the gimmick free method, for obvious reasons. Essentially in cases such as these, something is sacrificed from the effect in order to eliminate the gimmick.

This is true as well with 400 Lux. However, Kyle’s handling is so good – if you are familiar with the other methods to the trick, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference in the changes themselves. He teaches 2 changes on the DVD – a change that is similar to the Fred Kaps version, where the hand is waved over and the bills change, and a change that looks like Extreme Burn, when the bills visually change. The 2nd one in particular, looks very good and I almost cannot believe it was done with the requisite gimmick. The handling of the bills before and after the change is smooth, and you can tell that Kyle is a card guy. The way he is showing the bills is similar to that of a packet trick with a hidden card – most magicians can manage that type of display, and thus this effect is also in the reach of the average competent magician.

 

Other advantages come with the elimination of the gimmick – the construction of the traditional trick normally is quite expensive – here it is avoided. Some magicians will no doubt be convinced by that fact alone.

Now the not so good – firstly in the Singaporean context, all the things which applied to ‘Easy Money’ also apply here – plastic money is possible, but problematic. Money with plastic windows also present handling challenges. The bills before and after need to be the same size – we are still stuck transforming magazine clippings to $50 notes, which is a good effect in itself, but you’d be hard pressed to explain why you have random magazine clippings in your wallet.

The handling of the ditch is also another thing which I need to bring up – in my opinion, it is not as clean as I would like – this is where the price of the miracle is. As one commenter on the Magic Café put it “you end dirtier than a porn magazine at the bottom of a septic tank”. Let me be clear however – I don’t think this is not a problem for a competent magician, but it must be mentioned.

We could of course avoid that by not handing the bills out after the effect for examination, but then if that is the case, why even eliminate the gimmick in the first place?

The other negative is that at the time of writing, there is no instant download available. I cannot understand why – selling a gimmickless trick only on DVD seems unnecessarily archaic.

Ultimately I think that magicians who already have their own gimmick for Extreme Burn/Hundy 500/Easy Money will probably not need this DVD – however I can recommend it for those looking to perform these type of effects and are finding a good presentation before committing to crafting the gimmick.

Magic is our passion but we are not a magic shop ? You can purchase this here!

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ning
Ning Cai is a Singapore Literature Prize nominated author, who was also long listed for the Epigram Books Fiction Prize in 2016. A bestselling writer, she is also recognised for her illusionist/ escapologist stage character Magic Babe Ning, and recognised by Channel News Asia as South East Asia's first professional female magician.

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