In the world of IT reels, Yigal Mesika's Spider Pen offers an innovation that brings new options to experienced thread workers and functions as a good general reel for novices. Its a brilliant design concept that works well.
Unlike other reels, the Spider Pen resembles a pen. So instead of attaching with safety pins and trying to hide the reel, you can simply clip the Spider Pen into your shirt pocket, just as you would a real pen. The pen has a slightly bulky look that prevents it from looking entirely like an ordinary pentheres simply something different about it--but it can innocently sit in your pocket and perform its function. The pen actually writes, but you probably wont want to draw this much attention to the pen. Theres simply no reason to.
Instead of springs or rubber bands, the Spider Pen is powered by a silent electric motor that maintains a constant tension on the IT. The result is that you can float a dollar bill, and, with a little technique, cause the bill to drop and rise again, with no perceptible movement on your part. In use, the Spider Pen should only be used with light objects: dollar bills, napkins, etc... With the pens electric motor, you can work from long range, even some twenty feet away to levitate objects. The motor itself is silent. You can only hear its gentle whine when you hold the pen next to your ear.
Another plus, its fast and easy to refill spools. For those inevitable and often breaks, the pen has a compartment to store an extra spool. And Yigal Mesika sells replacement spools.
The downside of an electric motor is that the device requires tiny watch/camera style batteries that have to be fresh. I used up a battery in a single evening when working a multi-hour prom gig. One good thing, you know when the battery is getting low because the motor loses its strength. At least theres a way to tell. Mesika sells six replacement batteries for $6.00, which is reasonable.
Since you activate the pen by clicking the top, much as you would to retract a ball point on a real pen, its easy to leave the Spider Pen on and drain its battery. To prevent you from accidently turning on the motor, the instructions show how to loosen the battery case so the pen wont inadvertently activate.
I found the instructions adequate, but would have liked a bit more information on basic threadwork. Experienced workers will be able to jump in and explore and experiment with the various possibilities. Novices, on the other hand, will probably want more information.
Theres little doubt that Yigal Mesika has created an innovation in IT reels. His Spider Pen offers new possibilities and clever packaging that disguises the wonders found within. Before you purchase a Spider Pen, however, just be sure that its particular strengths will support the effect that you are want to create.
-Wayne N. Kawamoto
Spider Pen - $49.99