Yes, ZAVIADELITA, I agree that the link to Bio Bender by Eric Jones is a good one. umstot, I have not tried the OX Bender as it is a bit pricey for a shot in the dark. Although OX is one handed, I can't say how much better that would be. Manny seems to do it while describing the squeezing method/action he wants the spectator to do/use when the coin is placed into their hand. He gets away with it, but in the mental "reconstruction", will it fly by most people? Since you have used the OX Bender I would love to hear your opinion, umstot, as to the ease, versatility of coin selection, not only the bend but the act of disengaging the coin from the bender, and ease of the ditch, timing, and anything else you could share that might help me know if I should try one or be satisfied with what I have that already works for me. How much better is it; or is it just different and not really “better”?
I have used pre-bent coins with good results for a few years, but I wanted also to be able to A) do it with a signed coin B) do it with a borrowed coin, and C) not have to have a bunch of pre-bent coins to match to give away (in USA Quarters, same state picture and mint with date, even nickels and one-cent coins now have several pronounced mint variations). With the new age of on the spot benders, their coin always "matches" because it is the same coin. Marking small coins is harder to justify as something other than an over-proof of being the same one. Larger coins, quarters most conveniently, provide enough space to justify getting more info on them and for using two hands to hold them to see what has been written or drawn on them (IMO). At this point the audience does not yet know that the coin will be bent. The more information focusing on the importance of the marks, not as identification, but as points of personal connection, takes the heat off the time where the bend secretly happens. It is done long before the “transfer of power or ability” or any bending is even inferred, conferred, or seems to take place.
I have tried one of the Sharpie benders, others that are on an elastic pull, and the Bio Bender. So far the Bio is my preferred one. Can you PLEASE tell us a bit more about the way you approach Ox, umstot?
Concerning my approach to Jones's bender, I had wanted to talk to him first, but here goes: you here in the Forum get these thoughts first. In my opinion two improvements can easily be made to the props and handling. Eric has made these with the idea that the user will show their hands empty in one of the worst possible thumb-tip display positions (palms open, fingers spread, with the thumbs to the sky). If not over proving and in more regular use, the gimmick (protruding from the regular open end of the TT, should not be on the back (thumbnail side), but rather on the side under the thumb when the hands are in a naturally relaxed position. Fortunately, Eric's construction allows this change to be made on the supplied or other TT of your choice. He even gives instructions for doing this (except do not do it on the nail side as he does and suggests; rotate the TT around to the thumbprint underside and affix the gimmick inside and protruding out from that side.)
With the bender part relocated there, two things happen: 1) when you flip it over, end for end along the length, and off of the thumb, it is in the perfect position; which again, is 180 degrees on the other axis, and different from Eric's handling, but it can be done with no fidgeting. Eric says to press the bender part hard against the curled fingers by collapsing the open end of the tip down onto the metal gimmick. This is contrary to the actual physics of a downward bend toward the finger knuckles as demonstrated by Eric (and mutually preferred, but I want the gimmick in another placement). The pressure of the bend pivots the far ends of the two gimmicks toward the thumbs (which are ideally already there in position [in my handling] for a smooth easy bend without squeezing, or even much effort, since the thumbs work with the pressure directly against them). If the gimmick is thus rotated 180 degrees, it is now lying against the thumbs already, this makes the bend easier to do, and does not distort the TTs. Finally, the shuttle of the two tips into one hand for clean-up is clumsy and prone to dropping one before they get into the pocket, supposedly to ditch the marker.
However, conveniently, the Bio Bender box comes with two thin magnets embedded in the closing clasp mechanism of the box. (You only need one and perhaps you already have (as I did) another suitable strong thin magnet so you can keep the box in pristine condition and use yours instesd).
Put one magnet between the gimmick and the tip between the two screws, by removing the back screw and sliding the magnet between the two screws; put back and tighten the rear screw and the placement, pressure, and screws will hold the magnet securely in place. If your magnet is strong, this installation needs to be done on only one of the TTs in the set. The metal of the gimmick alone in the other TT will be enough to bond the two into one more easily managed unit, quickly and without any telltale fidget or fumble (or worse, dropping one). The rubbery material of the TTs dampen the sound of their magnetic connection making it unnoticeable.
I performed it this way as a rehearsal level act, for my local magic club. I aso had them had them video it. Their comments plus the video showed me that I needed more lag time between the questions and the bend so all attention would be on the spectator’s answers. With more practice, I did this two weeks later for a lay audience of about 25 adults. I know it worked because of the questions I heard from those in the back who were wanting to know from the one whose coin was bent if it was really his coin, the same one he had marked. I used to get similar responses from the pre-bent version, but now the answer came back with assured conviction, "Yes, it is the same one!" A much nicer, awe inspiring response than I thinks so, or it looks like it.
In my presentation, I used full initials on one side and asked about their middle name. I also have them put an emoji on the other showing how they feel. I respond to their feelings. But while commenting on and dialoging on these, and waiting for and hearing the responses, the two handed bend is a very natural one that, when properly timed in the off-beat, works unnoticed.
As for Bmat's fear of having the bend take pace in the spectator's hand, I do this for people in a setting where I have bent other things and now will give one of them some of this power on a temporary basis while I am with them suggesting that they might, with practice, be able to do this on their own. I've never had an issue with this approach. I do not do the finger rub on their open palm like Eric Jones does, but I go more with a death grip fist like Manny Litchfield uses. For me that seems to work best. getting better and more impressive reactions at the point of discovery. It is different from Strebbler’s bend where they think they watch it happening, which is great too (especially with the kind of bend put into play by the kind of pre-bending used in that handling.
I would love to hear from any of you as to your thoughts on any of these elements and approaches you are using along with any other methods or gimmicks.