THE NUTSHELL: It is truly a revolutionary trick that I think every closeup magician should have.
THE REVIEW: Get excited, because this is the first “perfect” trick in this season of the Daily Review. It is truly a revolutionary trick that I think every closeup magician should have. I consider it to be the best non-card trick on the market today. Everything about it is appealing, and I have yet to find something wrong with it that at all hinders the effect. Let me go over why this trick, the Hundy 500, is in the top three of my absolute absolute arsenal.
First, the method is clean, and the effect is as visual as it is impossible. You take five one dollar bills. You hand one out to each of your spectators to examine and then have them returned. You go through the bills one at a time showing the fronts and the backs. As slowly as possible, you square up the five bills and fold them in half. You’re sleeves are rolled up, your hands are shown empty. You revolve the packet of bills once or twice between your fingers, and when after you do, they all become twenties, or hundreds, or any other denomination. You can then go through the bills one at a time. They withstand the same brutal scrutiny as the original bills and there is no trace of the singles. They are simply gone. This drives spectators crazy.
When you are twisting the bills, they see them change into twenties in motion, but they cannot pinpoint a moment when and where the change took place. There are a number of variations in effect, utilizing the same gimmick. The second most popular is probably Slow Burn. This is similar however it is angly, where all angles are covered in Hundy. You can be surrounded by spectators: short children, tall people, people looking over your shoulder, people that are unaffected by any form of misdirection, people inches away from the gimmick itself, people in front, behind and at your sides. All of them will account for the same incredible effect. Many will say that Slow Burn is more visual, because you’re just waving your hand over the bills as they change. However, whenever anything is magically changed, doesn’t it seem like the thing is covered. The cool part about Hundy 500, the part that makes it more visual in my opinion, is that the bills never leave sight. Not even for an instant is the packet covered.
The gimmick is a magician’s best friend. It is so easy to carry around: I have the bills in my wallet and I can perform this anytime. It takes a one-time setup and you are done. The construction does take a little while, but how can I complain about that? If the gimmick should ever wear out, it can be disassembled (no bills wasted) and recreated with fresh bills. The gimmick is self contained in the bills. That means you don’t need anything extra (like a TT) to carry around with you. It is essentially self-working. I don’t think there is anything to this trick that I could call “sleight of hand.” In that sense, I think it is a worthwhile trick for beginners. The gimmick can be made with any currency or no currency. You can use any denomination of bills, foreign bills, slips of paper, coupons, lottery tickets, you name it. This will also give you some room for creativity. Possibly the best part about it is that it uses such an ordinary object: money. This is something that I can pull out anytime, anywhere that will make complete sense to people.
Please read on after I make the following earth-shattering statement: part of the gimmick is not examinable. If you know my reviews, you also know that I rarely recommend gimmicks that cannot be examined, and at the very least nick a couple of points off the score. Hundy 500 is a rare exception. Because the presentation is so well worked, enough of the bills are handed out and examined so thoroughly, and because you really do show the fronts and backs of all the bills, the fact that the gimmick is not completely examinable does not damage the effect at all. Four of the five bills are handed out, and Greg’s presentation prevents that last bill from looking too obvious.
Another potential complaint that I’m also going to disregard is the fact that the bills cannot be borrowed. Even if the presentation did not cover this possible flaw up with a great out, you’d have to be pretty picky to complain about this. But even the pickiest of people (myself included) cannot argue that Gregory Wilson’s out doesn’t do the job.
Getting to the Hundy 500 DVD itself. First of all, twenty-six dollars can be a little intimidating. You think about the price of most other DVD’s (about thirty dollars) and how many more tricks they offer, as opposed to this one (about twenty-six dollars) and how it only provides a single trick. Let me assure you that I use the Hundy 500 bill switch more than I use any of the other tricks taught on most other DVD’s combined. Wilson said that he was originally going to teach it with a bunch of other effects on a general magic video, but later decided that he’d devote a single video to completely cover the trick. It was a good move. Secondly, if you break down the DVD, you’ll find that the price is more than justified.
You get a performance section, with many different performances of Hundy 500 done for real people in various situations and environments. Don’t overlook this section as it is one of the most valuable on the tape. First, you get to see the trick performed for people rather than a camera. You get to see how Greg relates to his various spectators, which holds lessons that go beyond this trick alone. You’d be surprised how much you can learn from this section alone. In Santa Monica, three women are caught completely off guard. In Orange County, Greg is surrounded by five or six people and shocks every single one of them. Then he astonishes to Hollywood girls. Surrounded by a bunch of football players in Manhatten Beach, this one gets screams from everybody. Los Angeles, he gets two tough cookies and still knocks their socks off. In East L.A., he’s under the pressure of a group that looks like they are going to mug him. In Newport Beach, Greg gets a kiss (no luck with this yet). Probably the best reactions on the video happen at Venice Beach, and then in Huntington Beach they’re almost just as good. Finally, he impressed a few cops grilling him from all sides in Los Angeles.
Then you learn the trick with Gregory Wilson’s precise teaching and multiple angles to follow. You can change the angles as you watch without ever skipping a beat. He breaks everything down very slowly and thoroughly. I was never left behind, as I have been in the teaching of other DVD’s. There is more detail within this video than ninety percent of the other magic videos that I own. After teaching the construction, he teaches the count (nothing fancy, don’t worry), the angles, and the change itself, he’ll teach you the presentation, which is absolutely key to the trick. His performance has the amusing and fun flavor that makes Greg unique. He also gives you some one-liners and outs that really seal the deal. If you own any of his other videos, you know that you can trust Gregory Wilson to provide. For the revolutionary secret, the thorough explanations, the presentation, the outs, the one-liners, the incredible format, and the great quality, Hundy 500 is sold for an incredibly reasonable price.
Some may say you’re actually paying hundreds when you include the making of the gimmick, but that is ridiculous. 1) You don’t even have to use money (coupons to money, singles to fives, to twenties, to hundreds, whatever), and more importantly 2) you’re not losing money – you can break up the gimmick anytime you want. Like Gregory Wilson says, “Don’t think of it as an expense, think of it as an investment.”
I hope that I have conveyed the message to you. This can make your reputation as a magician. I give it my highest recommendation, and the very rare score of 10.
(Tomorrow’s Review: Double Barrel)