Draven Reviews: Spinnerets by Stexen

approvedTitle: Spinnerets
Artist:  Stexen
Producers: Stexen Productions
Retail Price: $39.95 USD
Learning Difficulty: Easy to Medium (depending on your familiarity with thread work)
Length of DVD: 40 min
Notes: You will need to buy refills.


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Spin webs like a spider anytime, anywhere you want and then levitate a variety of objects with the webs.  Spinnerets is the world’s smallest IT reels.

The following review is of a product called Spinnerets by Stexen.  Spinnerets are an ITR, and use IT.  While I will do my best to use vague terms, and acronyms to protect the magician’s secrets in this review there must be an understood level of transparency that is required in order to do a fair review.  Due to the nature of the product there maybe some elements in this review that could be regarded as exposure and for that I offer my apologies up front.  Please understand that I will do my best to minimize that as much as possible.  If you are easily offended by even the slightest possibility of exposure then I encourage you to stop reading this review now.

Spinnerets is a DVD packaged with the unique gimmicks that are the reels themselves.  On the back of the DVD it advertises you’ll be able to float heavy objects like cake, meat, and ice cream among other traditional objects like bills, cigarettes, and paper.  The idea of being able to carry up to 213 reels in my pocket for instant use really appealed to me, where they got that exact number I’m not sure.  Sadly after I got the product home and in the DVD player I wasn’t as impressed with it as I was when I saw it in the store.

Spinnerets are a onetime use ITR.  So on one hand getting a dozen or so of them in the DVD is nice, but you’ll need to restock your supply if you use it frequently enough.  Because of the properties of the ITR you won’t be able to repair or reuse it.  The construction of the reel is pretty ingenious.  I loved the concept, but I question the practicality.   They are small enough to be finger palmed until you can pop them into position to be used.  You could carry them lose in your pocket but I put mine in an Altoids tin, as suggested in the DVD.  The problem I have with the construction of Spinnerets as a gimmick is that they have a limited amount of time that you can get the thread out of it once they are in place since the gimmick will break down.  I wish I could elaborate more on that but it would expose the gimmick.  While performing with Spinnerets you won’t be able to talk.  That’s an important point to understand if you rely heavily on patter for your presentations.  Other than those limitations the only other real problem I have with this product is that they rely on the need for glasses (sun or reading) to make it all work.

The DVD itself is packed with a lot of really cool levitation and animation ideas that you can use Spinnerets to accomplish.  You can do the classical UFO card, as well as the floating cigarette.  I’m not sure what brand of IT Spinnerets uses, but it’s strong enough to hold the weight of small fruits as well.  Some of the levitations you’ll see on the DVD, such as the strawberry levitation, aren’t practical for walk around situations, which seems to be a large selling point of this product- the fact that you can do most of this stuff impromptu.  But I can say that the thread seems to hold up well enough and not break too easily during use.  If you’re never done any work with ITR before, and you’re looking to get into it, this maybe a good starting point for you.  I’m not sure magicians who have a lot of experience working with ITR’s are going to find this a better option.  I don’t do a lot of IT work myself, but between this ITR and my usual one I use, I would probably stick with my other one.  Stexen’s approach to teaching is pretty minimal.  The DVD sacrifices long winded explanations in favor of giving you as many options for use as it can.

Overall when it comes to IT work there’s a lot of products on the market to do what Spinnerets does.  You have a range of IT itself, all with different tensile strengths, as well as ITR’s to dispense it.  Spinnerets are the smallest ITR’s I’ve ever seen, but I’m not sold on the idea of making an ITR disposable.  The one time use of this makes it a difficult sell for me because I’ll have to keep stock on this if I want to use it a lot.  You can buy the refills at $9.95 for a pack of 12 at just about any magic store that would sell the DVD or online.  The different tricks you see done on the DVD aren’t anything that can only be done with Spinnerets.  Just about any ITR setup will accomplish the same things.  Spinnerets only have one place they were really designed to work from.  Since I don’t wear glasses or perform using sunglasses the “usual” place you’d hook up the ITR isn’t practical for me.  This is going to be a product you’ll have to evaluate for yourself to figure out if it’s going to be something you can use or not.  As a product the IT in Spinnerets is dependable.   It holds up well under use, doesn’t break easily (from my experiments with it) and can hold a good amount of weight on it.  Using Spinnerets over another ITR system is going to be a personal choice.  Kind of like why some people use Bicycle playing cards while others prefer custom designs.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality:  7
Personally I feel that this is more of 6 out of 10 for me but I know there are those out there that this is perfect for, so I’ll bump the score up by one.  The price for what you get isn’t bad, and it stacks up there pretty well against other ITR systems.  I’m not a fan of the disposable one shot use nature of this item.

Teaching Quality: 7
Stexen has a strait forward delivery for his explanations.  No long winded talk.  Also there is no thread theory.  Never worked with IT before?  That could be a problem for you.

Video & Sound Quality: 7
Sound and video is both good.  The back ground music gets a bit repetitive.

Overall Quality: 7
Not the product for me, but not a bad product either.  Purchase at your own discretion.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!

About William Draven

William Draven is a professional magician and sideshow performer living in Los Angeles, California. Follow him on Twitter at WilliamDraven or on facebook at www.facebook.com/thewilliamdraven
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