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Review of Spider Pen Pro by Yigal Mesika

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Review of Spider Pen Pro by Yigal Mesika

Spider Pen Pro by Yigal Mesika

Murphy's Magic
Editor’s Note: To minimize any inadvertent exposure as a result of writing about this product, I’ll assume that you already know how this product generally works and what it’s for.

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.

Definite Improvements

The pen holds up to 35 feet of thread and features something called “Soul Technology.” While this sounds like a new feature for a smartphone, it’s a fancy name for a brilliant switching mechanism that allows you to quickly and easily activate the pen. Simply pull out the thread away from the pen and this action activates the pen’s electronic motor.

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.

The Bill

Perhaps the effect that most will perform, is the “Zero Gravity Bill.” Here, the crumpled bill dances around your arm and suspends in mid-air without any apparent means of support. The Spider Pen’s advantage is that you can step back a bit without tightening the tension in the line, as occurs when using conventional reels. And furthermore, the internal motor can bring the bill back to your hands. Most notably, Mesika’s version not only allows you to perform the effect with a crumpled bill, but with an unfolded, flat dollar bill. It’s all in the hook up and one can perform the effect with another reel, but you won’t be able to bring the dollar back to you. (The “Walking Bill” allows you to cause the bill to drop to the floor and come back to your hand.)

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.

Persnickety?

When the pen was working, I found it that performed its designated tasks well and mostly lived up to its promises. While I liked the switch mechanism, the one on my pen failed, at times, to work. My email to the company wasn’t answered so I don’t know what the problem is. I have spoken with others who said that they have not encountered similar problems so I’ll have to assume that it’s simply a problem with my unit.

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.

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