Bendix Bombshell (1975) by Dave Bendix, R.A.R. Magic(c. 1975) (Submit Review) (Submit Update)
“The Bendix Bombshell is the BEST card in wallet ever and will fool everyone. Even magicians won’t see it coming” – John Mendoza
I don’t always agree with John Mendoza, but when it comes to the Best Card in Wallet, which is an incredibly crowded field, I have to admit I am right on board with John’s sentiment. He acquired the wallet he still uses today directly from Roy Roth in April 1982 (over 37 years ago) and you can see John with Roy in one of the photos (kindly supplied by John for this description). Since we sadly lost Dave Bendix in 2013 I’m not sure there are many people left alive today who have performed the Bendix for as long or as many times as John, so when it comes to the Bendix Bombshell John knows what he is talking about.
John’s routine that he performs and explains on My Best #2 is stunning – here is a very brief description which doesn’t really do it justice:
Effect: Two signed cards magically appear within the zippered compartment of the performer’s wallet which has been in plain sight the entire time. This no-palm routine is perfect for strolling performers.
Even though I have owned two other Bendix Bombshell wallets in the past (a 1985 Roy Roth one here and a 2010 Martin Breese one here) until this week I have never really spent anytime with it. For some years I have really liked the Horwitz Wallet and also the Jerry O’Connell Original No-Palm Wallet, but after playing with the Bombshell this past week I am certainly on board with John now. It is just a beautiful wallet with some amazing routines – if you follow my Christmas Videos you should expect to be seeing it featured more in the upcoming months and years 🙂
There have been at least four authorized versions of the wallet produced that I have seen (and probably plenty more unauthorized ones):
- Original c. 1975 – (3 7/8″ x 7 3/4″) – R.A.R. Magic.
- Version 2 c. 1982 – (4″ x 8″) – R.A.R. Magic – this is the one John Mendoza had.
- Version 3 c. 1985 -(4 3/8″ x 7 1/4″) – R.A.R. Magic – first release of Bendix Bombshell routine book, this set the mold for future wallets.
- Version 4 c. 2010 – (4 3/8″ x 7 1/4″) – Martin Breese and Tony Curtis – updated release of Bendix Bombshell routine book.
This is Version 1 c. 1975.
The main one shown on this page is almost certainly from the earliest runs of the wallet. The leather being used is the same as Roy Roth uses for his Rainbow Wallet which I purchased directly from Roy c. 1979 (the Rainbow is also advertised in the same Abra ad as the first Bendix Bombshell c. 1975 also on this page) so I’m guessing this wallet is from some when between 1976-1979. At 3 7/8″ x 7 3/4″ the size is narrower and longer than later ones. If you know the wallet you’ll know that the width and flexibility of the leather is directly responsible for how easy it is to work. John’s wallet c. 1982 is 4″ x 8″ which is close enough to this one to be the same. But the later ones c. 1985 shoot up to 4 3/8″ x 7 1/4″. Based on how precise Roy Roth’s excellent leather work is, this is a deliberate change. The later one created by Martin Breese and Tony Curtis (which in my opinion is the worst of the four I have handled and the thickest and heaviest too) is also this size. I really like the narrower one from the earliest runs and that is the one I would recommend. All of them still allow you to do the same effect, but the 4″ or below width look the most natural in my opinion.
Here are a few details that I have been able to piece together (mainly from Roy Roth’s account here but also elsewhere) of the early days of development of the Bendix Bombshell:
The Window Wallet was the inspiration for a number of great card men including, Ed Marlo, Dave Solomon (using Ed Brown’s own wallet), Jon Rachenbaumer (Talismanic Card in Wallet – Lecture Notes 1, 1976) , and Dave Bendix to create some wonderful Card to Wallet routines. The second you see the the diagram on page 1 of the Kabbala article you will recognize the familiar set-up for the special Himber wallet that we recognize today as the Bendix Bombshell.
In August 1975, Dave Bendix having seen Ed Brown’s wallet (even before it was published in Kabbala) wrote to Roy Roth of R.A.R. Magic asking to have a special wallet created and by December 1975 Roy had delivered three wallets as promised to Dave, who gave his spares to Ed Marlo and Dave Solomon.
Dave Bendix gave exclusive rights to Roy Roth to create and market the wallet and the first ads for, the Roth named, Bendix Bombshell appeared in Abracadabra December 27, 1975 – the early versions even included routines by Ed Marlo and Dave Solomon.
As far as I can tell the big change to the Window Wallet that Dave Bendix came up with was the addition of the zipper and the layout of the slots such that it could facilitate the easy retrieval of the chosen card from inside the zippered compartment. These beautiful changes in combination with the other ideas of the original Window Wallet – in particular the amazingly clean switch – make for such a satisfying effect which is probably why all of these great performers (and more) have been drawn to the Bendix Bombshell which have been compiled by Martin Breese in the book Routines for the Bendix Bombshell Wallet:
- Card to Wallet by David Bendix
- A Roy Roth Alternative
- Marlo Variation of Bendix Presentation
- Two Selections and a Wallet by David Solomon
- The Wallet Game by David Solomon
- The Roy Roth Bombshell Routine
- The Enigma Bombshell Routine by Bob Driebeek
- Marlo’s Wallet Combination by Edward Marlo
- Marlo’s Alternative Ending
- Bendix Bombshell for Cabaret by Larry Becker
- A Better Bendix by Karrell Fox
- Currency Exchange by Phil Goldstein
- Blushing Jumper by Roberto Giobbi
- Seeing with the Heart by Borodin
- C.B.S. Transpo by Peter Isaacs
And also why John Mendoza has said many times it really is the Best Card to Wallet ever 🙂
Approx. Price: $175.00 (2019) ***Notice: I am not a dealer and this item is not for sale on this site. It maybe available in the links below or at our sister site: qualitymagic.com, but not from here so please do not ask.
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