Invisibill exemplifies one of those things I’ve noticed in commercially available magic over the years. Things go in trends. So some years ago – I don’t remember how many – there was a fantastic and creative climax for the Ambitious Card routine in the form of the Omni-Deck – a clear acrylic block that looked like a block of cards. Hot on the heals of the omin-deck came other omni-ideas. The Omni-Pen springs to mind (you guessed it – a see through pen) and I’m pretty sure I’ve also seen the idea applied to iphones. And now Joshua Janousky has taken the same idea to the realm of banknotes. I’m so glad he didn’t call in the omni-bill…

What’s in the box

Well the box is more of a cardboard envelope, which includes a number of ‘invisible bills’ in a variety of currencies (5 Euro, 100,1000 Yuan, 1, 5 Dollar, 5 Canadian Dollar, 5 British Pounds). There’s also a link to about 46 minutes of online teaching.

The teaching covers three variant effects.

In the hand change – as the name suggests the note changes (to a see through one) in the spectator’s hands. I can see strong reactions with this very simple effect in the real world. It is clearly explained with some helpful details. It was good to see a live performance as well as a studio one.

Visibility – an “invisible banknote” slowly appears – first as a see-through banknote, finally turning into a real note. It all happens visually at the fingertips. I like the incremental and visual nature of this one – and it is not at all difficult to do.

Remove Color – again as the name suggests here you ‘pull’ the colour out of a banknote – leaving a see-through note and a piece of bank-note coloured paper. For me, this is the least compelling routine of the three.

josh janousky - invisibill - reviewThe video also covers some tips on misdirection and performance technique. I’m not entirely sure about his idea of borrowing a bill and keeping it as a tip after performing!

When is a bonus not a bonus?

There is also a bonus routine called Credit2Cash. This is a nice visual transformation of a credit card into a bundle of paper currency with an appropriate hook – when a restaurant doesn’t accept credit cards. This involves a significant craft project and is a bit angle-sensitive, though he does discuss this.

Since the teaching for this one item takes almost 20 minutes out of the total of 46 – it makes it almost the major item not the bonus! And I actually like it almost as much, if not slightly more than the headline item! Each to their own.

Minor grumbles

It wouldn’t have taken much effort to supply everything in larger packaging so that the largest bills supplied didn’t need to be folded. This is a very minor grumble since most of the effects require the bill to be folded.

More significant, to UK users at least, is that the UK currency is not up to date – since we have recently introduced new £5 notes. However, to be honest you could probably make your own by photocopying onto acetate. Indeed there’s a section on the teaching about making your own gimmicks.

If I was being really picky, I would also say that some moves not explored in enormous detail. However there are no really difficult moves and he does reference other resources to follow up.

If I’m honest (and I always try to be in these reviews), the idea of a see-through bank note just doesn’t do it for me. As I’ve tried to analyse this, I wonder if it’s because of the simplicity of making a gimmick like this. There’s something much more shocking/surprising about a 3d object like a deck of cards or a pen changing which therefore seems more magical?

On the other hand, people always like magic with money – so I can see this having some value. But for me, it’s unlikely to make its way into my set.

You can buy Invisibill from for £26.99 (at the time of writing)

Review copy kindly provided by Murphys Magic to whom dealer enquiries should be directed.

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