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Review of The Informer

Official Review

October 23rd, 2019 8:12am
Reviewed by James Sanden
There are dozens and dozens of impression pads on the market, large and small, electronic and otherwise, using varying methods to obtain the written information. “The Informer” by Lloyd Mobley uses a particular type of technology to capture information written by the spectator. There are other devices on the market using the same method, but there are a few things that set “The Informer” apart.

One of the biggest advantages of “The Informer” is its flexibility. Most impression devices are tied to the pad or item they come with, but “The Informer” is not. The standard version can be used in either a deck of cards or a memo pad, depending on the performer’s needs. This also means that expensive refills are not necessary, as replacement memo pads can be bought at any office supply store. A larger version, suitable for 3” by 5” memo pads, is available, though that will not, of course, work with a deck of cards. The advantage to the larger version is greater surface area and a larger image, giving more freedom to the spectator as to where to write and increasing the legibility of the image captured from their writing.

“The Informer” comes with a gimmicked pen, as well as an extra something should the performer wish to make their own gimmicked pen. The instructional DVD also teaches how to move the gimmick from the included pen to a new pen, once it has dried out. Not only does this provide the performer with flexibility in choice of writing utensil, but it also makes expensive pen refills unnecessary as it gives you the instruction and items needed to make your own.

The gimmick itself allows an impression to be taken through 7 to 10 playing cards and 20 to 25 pages in a memo pad. I tested this and can confirm it to be true, with the resolution of the image being clear and easy to read. Ways to glimpse the captured information are taught, with multiple methods taught for both a deck of cards and a memo pad. The glimpses are motivated and well constructed, allowing the performer to glean the information in fairly subtle ways. Reset only takes a few seconds and the method for doing so is integrated nicely into the pen. However, it would be difficult to reset in front of the spectators, should that be important to you. Also, the reset is designed to be done through the cards/pages of the pad, meaning the performer won’t see if the gimmick is reset properly if done as taught. This will require practice, as there is some finesse involved, although if you don’t need to reset the gimmick on the fly you could confirm the gimmick is ready before using it again.

If you are in the market for a reliable, practical impression device, “The Informer” is an excellent choice. Apparently it uses similar technology to other devices in the market, but the ad copy claims it has a higher resolution and more sensitivity than other devices. I can’t verify this claim, though I can testify that it does work through 7 cards and 20 pages with excellent resolution, as advertised. Also, from a value comparison, all else being equal, “The Informer” is more flexible and provides extra gimmicks that other devices do not, while also being less expensive. It’s not clear if this is a case of independent invention or repackaging existing technology, and determining if this is the case is beyond the scope of this review. That aside, if you are looking for a reliable, practical impression device, “The Informer” is an excellent choice and a good value for the investment. Recommended.

Suggestions from the Reviewer

In one of the discussions on glimpses, Mr. Mobley talks about using the deck of cards approach for obtaining information unrelated to cards. This is a terrible idea as the justification he gives for the glimpse is specifically related to whether the spectator picked a specific card. While an alternative handling is certainly possible, I recommend against using the one he teaches for non-card information. If a spectator is going to think of something non-card related, just use the memo pad approach.

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