Briefly, the “Spider Pen Pro” is the next iteration in a new generation of thread reels that relies on a tiny electric motor. The original “Spider Pen” (click here to read my review) had a blocky look to it and it was constructed out an unattractive, cheap-looking plastic material. Yes, it was downright ugly. This new “Pro” version offers a sleek design that far more modern in appearance. With this iteration, Yigal Mesika, the product’s creator, has improved the look of the prop. Of course, looks aren’t everything and there’s lots to like under the hood.
I found the switching mechanism to be a definite improvement as I encountered problems with leaving the original Spider Pen on and draining its batteries. And another plus, the pen no longer requires watch-style (disc) batteries - you can now use a standard AAA battery, which save lots of money and the batteries are far more convenient to find and purchase.
One other feature that is being touted is that the pen actually writes. This is of little use to me as I’m fine with dedicating a prop to magical purposes and carrying other pens at my gigs. But looking at this aspect, installing ink and retracting the pen point aren’t like of a real pen. It’s hardly worth the inconvenience as you don’t have to prove that the pen is a real one.
The DVD features first rate instruction as well an insightful, informative introduction to reels - complete with rendered and animated diagrams. Throughout, Mesika offers lots of close-ups and detailed steps.
With the “Floating Straw,” you can levitate any drinking straw. Mesika also teaches Terry Lunceford's “Floating Finger Ring.” For this, the Spider Pen has a feature that allows you to lock everything - a feature that may have application in other effects.
Magicians love new magical devices and Spider Pen Pro has all of the makings for a device that will be popular. Is it worth it? It’s pricey but for your basic application of floating a bill, it’s convenient to carry around and use, and works well. And if you’re a fan of the prior Spider Pen and its capabilities, I’m sure that you’ll find that the newer version offers improvements that will make it worth the upgrade. I’ve somewhat given up on levitations in my close-up work because of breakage and just the persnickety work involved with threads in real world situations. But the Spider Pen Pro may encourage me to think again.