Lit // Departure // Quantum Bender 2.0

Nov 8, 2007
These are three of my favorite effects I've comes across over the past year+, but that I have not seen a whole lot of talk about, especially in comparison with how strong and practical they are. All three I have performed for real audiences and have now worked their way into my regular performing repertoire.

I haven't written a review in a long time. But I really wanted to write one for each of these three effects as a way of thanking the creators who put them out. All three of these effects are well constructed--in both the routine and the gimmicks and props. With all the crap magic dealers put up for sale these days, it's a great thing to find a truly solid, real world worker. And that's just what each of these three effects are--practical, solid, and strong pieces of magic. On with the reviews...

Dan White & Dan Hauss

I'm a hard sell on card effects these days (especially ones that require additional props or gimmicks)--both in terms of buying them, as well as actually putting them into my performing repertoire. I have learned and played with countless card effects over the years, but I have a solid 19 that are favorites and that I regularly perform for people.

Now I have 20.

Lit uses basic sleights and is angleproof. And for the amount of work you put into accomplishing the effect, you're getting a huge payoff. I've heard Dan White has said this is the strongest effect he performs, and I believe it. The routine is solid.

You first take out a book of matches and tear one out. The spectator can clearly see all the remaining matches in the matchbook. You close it back up, light the match, and hand the spectator the matchbook. You then swallow the lit match and blow at the matchbook. When the spectator looks inside there is one burned match, attached to the matchbook. Simple effect, but it played really strong. (If you own it Warning by DG works well with this phase also.) You then take out a deck of cards and let a spectator select a card. You then vanish it (multiple ways to do this, multiple ways taught on the DVD as well). Their card is gone. You ask them to light a match, but when they go to open the matchbook, they find the matchbook transformed into their card. To the spectator it seems like the transformation is happening in their own hands as they are opening the matchbook. This really just knocks people for a loop and, in my experience, has consistently gotten a reaction of real astonishment. They just don't see it coming.

Two bonus effects are also included, and both are very good. Neither one is a throw-away effect. The first is a floating match that (as Dan says) can also be used to float leaves and other small things. It uses a gimmick quite a few magicians are working with already. The second is a self-lighting matchpack by Andrew Gerard. Very easy and the gimmick isn't cumbersome in the least. Just a clever application of science. You light a match, eat it, blow at the matchbook in the spectator's hand and the entire thing ignites. Very cool.

Again, this is a killer card effect that is a step-off from the beaten path, so for those looking for something along these lines and that plays strong on a consistent basis, Lit is definitely something you want to look into. Lit is a real worker that spectators just go nuts over. I'm having a ton of fun with it, and so are my spectators. Just absolutely fantastic magic.

Lit (DVD and Cards)
Price: $34.95

Derek Roberts​

I love ring magic. I perform Ring Thing (Garrett Thomas) and Floating Ring (Yigal Mesika) regularly, so Departure was right up my alley. I've tried a few ring flights over the years, but the only one I've ever been happy with has been Northbound by Sean Fields. Honestly, I'm very wary about buying gimmmicks for ring flights because most of them are cheap and noisy and not as practical as they claim to be. But after reading several positive reviews on Departure, I decided to give it a chance. And I'm so glad I did. This thing goes everywhere with me now. And it lives up to its claims.

Departure has very good angles, is well built, and doesn't have any funny moves involved. In the demo Derek performs the shirt vanish for vanishing the ring. On the DVD he teaches this, however, he also teaches an alternate vanish that, I think, looks much better and is much more direct. It's a simple retention vanish. If you've ever seen David Copperfield perform his ring flight with the baby shoe, this is the same vanish. The ring is on your index finger, you slide it off, squeeze it, and it's gone. With both hands empty you then reach into your back pocket and pull out your keychain. Attached is the spectator's ring. I've performed this a few times now, and it's rock solid.

It's an easy-intermediate effect that most people who can do a little coin or ring magic already will have down in no time. I've tried out a few ring flights over the years, but this is my favorite. Good angles, not very difficult, and the gimmick is well made and very quiet. Best ring flight out there--especially for a walk-around performer that is looking for something practical they can carry every day. Works with any ring.

Easily one of the best effects (if not the best effect) to be released in 2008.

Departure (Gimmick and Video Instruction CD)
Price: $50

Quantum Bender 2.0
John T. Sheets

OK, I contemplated buying this effect for a long time. Why? Because it's $500.

Before buying the QB2, I tried every coin bend on the market--Superman, the Closer, etc., as well as several standard methods. I also came up with three unique handlings myself. I love coin bends.

Despite all the methods I've tried over the years, though, I've never been completely satisfied with any of them. If there was a gimmick involved I found it to always be impractical. If it was sleight-based I found that sometimes, no matter how deceptive the sleights were, that some spectators would fall back on "he must have switched it at some point." Even if they didn't see a thing and were completely amazed on seeing the coin bend, sometimes--in order to put their mind at ease--the spectator would assume a switch was made at some point. And, of course, they were correct. I fought against this hard for several years, until I finally came to conclusion that in order for the effect to be 100% solid, that coin had to be signed. For the effect to be real astonishment, the spectator couldn't have any outs.

So after seeing Blaine perform the QB2 on his Dive of Death special, and spending a few weeks doing some research, I decided to finally lay down the half-a-grand and invest in the QB2.

And the verdict?

Best gimmick I've ever bought. This thing goes with me everywhere. I can't count how many times I've performed this now. And every time the reaction is the same--people are absolutely astonished. They take a coin out, sign it, and it bends in their hand. Absolutely no funny moves at any time. It's angleproof too. I did this surrounded over the holidays for about twenty people. Twice. Every single person was blown away.

The gimmick is made to last a life time, and is very easy to carry. You won't ever even know you have it until you need it. It's one piece and it ends up in the same place after the effect is over.

Honestly, when you first see the handling you're going to think it's a bit gutsy. But after you've done it a few times you'll realize that it really is a pretty simple to handle effect.

John goes over the effect in extreme detail and gives several different handlings. There are also several full street performances where you get to see everything John does--no cut-aways or hiding the moves. Why? Because there really isn't anything to see. This effect is solid.

This is my absolute hands-down favorite non-card effect I own. I perform it all the time now, and every time it plays strong. I can't recommend this enough. Yes, it's $500, but if you can invest in it I think you'll realize why so many pros (David Blaine, Nate Kranzo, Greg Wilson, Danny Archer, etc.) are using it and raving about it. For me it was worth every penny and more because I know I'll be performing this the rest of my life and that I'll always have it in my pocket, ready and waiting to astonish the pants off anyone with a coin in their purse or pocket.

Definitely my favorite non-card effect, and by far the best coin bend on the market. It's not even close.

Quantum Bender 2.0 (Gimmick and DVD)
Price: $500
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May 19, 2008
nice reviews
but i wanna ask you a question... for the floating match in lit do you need invisible thread? pm me the answer (because of exposure or whatever)
Nov 29, 2007
Atlanta, GA
Not sure if this has been asked before but...

Does lit come with everything you need?
Like the page says "Lit DVD" and i add that to cart but than there are the matchbooks and "card refills" to add to the cart...If i just order the DVD does it still come with some matchbooks and some refills? If so, how many, and do you recommend go ahead and buying more refills?
Nov 8, 2007
Not sure if this has been asked before but...

Does lit come with everything you need?
Like the page says "Lit DVD" and i add that to cart but than there are the matchbooks and "card refills" to add to the cart...If i just order the DVD does it still come with some matchbooks and some refills? If so, how many, and do you recommend go ahead and buying more refills?

Lit comes with the DVD and 14 cards. The matchbooks aren't included, so if you think you might have some trouble finding them I'd go ahead and order some now so you'll have them when your package arrives. I've been picking up some matchbooks at a local bar every weekend, but I've been performing Lit like crazy so I already ordered some extra cards and matchbooks just so I'm stocked for a while. Just 14 cards and 5 matchbooks will last you quite a while though. Papercrane delivers quick too--just a couple days delivery time.


theory11 moderator
I did a full month of gigs last month with about 10 of the cards and about 15-20 matchbooks - They'll last you for a while, but you won't want to stop performing it so I suggest picking up more!!:)

LIT is truly awesome.

Was looking at departure too, thanks for the review Matt as it's really helped in deciding to pick it up :)

nice reviews
but i wanna ask you a question... for the floating match in lit do you need invisible thread? pm me the answer (because of exposure or whatever)

No, it's a gimmicked negatively charged electromagnetic match that hovers over a fake magnet hand. Unfortunately, you have to buy all the supplies but the DVD doesn't even tell you where. However, there's a secret easter egg on the DVD that teaches an alternate method where you actually use sheer meditation to make the match levitate, but it usually doesn't go as high. ...Really.

In all seriousness, it uses the same principles as Ben Harris' Cosmosis Floating Match effect. Yes, it uses invisible elastic, but it incorporates a very unique, practical method. I use it everyday with other objects like sugar packets, dollar bills, etc.

Awesome reviews. Can't agree more.


Nov 8, 2007
Just thought I'd bump this as T11 just released LIT and it might help some people deciding on the effect or not.

Honestly, I've been using this for months now and it's one of those rare effects I know I want to perform for the rest of my life. The reaction it gets is not something I would expected from this. It's very simple but that's part of what makes it come across so magical. It seems like nothing's happening--it's just magic. People really go nuts over this.

I have a performance of Lit up in the media section too (at the 1:42 mark). The first part, where the matchbook is brought into play, isn't there. Due to some awkward camera work the first part didn't come out too well, so it was left out, but the effect itself is still there. If you listen one of the guys off camera says, "He's a witch." Fun effect.

Again, A+ effect. Love it.
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