Reviews

ARRCO Playing Cards (Blue) review by BGG reviewer EndersGame
ARRCO Playing Cards (Blue)
Skill Level
Customer Rating

A blue classic - The 2018 reprint of the iconic ARRCO Playing Cards

This is a set of playing cards with a long history, and has many enthusiastic devotees due to the admiration and popularity it has enjoyed, especially from many magicians. The ARRCO Playing Card Company started operations in 1927, under the name Arrow Playing Card Company, which became Arrco in 1934. Arrco soon gained a loyal following, largely due to its high quality card stock and elegant graphics, which it made available in a signature red and blue, just like the 2018 reprint. After USPCC took over the brand in 1987, the decks were eventually discontinued, but the Arrco playing cards were loved by many card handlers, and highly regarded for their looks and their performance. Will Roya from PlayingCardDecks was able to secure an arrangement with USPCC to produce a limited edition reprint in 2018, in order to bring this very practical worker's deck back into print, with 2,500 copies of both the red and blue versions of the deck being produced.

For the most part the tuck case of the 2018 limited edition reprint is the same as the original deck, but some modifications have been made to fit USPCC's requirements. For instance, as far as I could tell, the original Arrco decks said "US Regulation" on the front of the box, but this isn't on the 2018 reprint. But besides small differences, the tuck box does otherwise features the classic ARRCO look in red and blue, with the back of the box featuring the design of the card backs, either in red or blue. For additional looks as a pair, the red box has a blue seal, while the blue box has a red seal. Identifying the 2018 reprint is a simple matter - the bottom of the tuck box has the PlayingCardDecks.com logo and brand information, while the flaps inside the tuck box have a card reveal: a Jack of Clubs on the red deck and an Ace of Hearts on the blue deck.

The card backs have a generous white border, and feature the classic and intricate design for which the Arrco brand is famous. It's far more detailed and complex than most back designs, and this is exactly why many people love it. Yet it retains the mirrored symmetry that most people prefer to see on a card back. Apparently when Arrco was a separate company, this is the back design used on their Club Casino and Duratone Club Reno brands of playing cards. It is still revered by many magicians and professional card handlers around the world.

The card faces have a traditional and standard look, although the court cards are not the same as what you'll see on a standard Bicycle rider-back deck. The colours are the same but the patterns are not, with a slightly more intricate design that seems more sophisticated and less garish. It also cleverly incorporates tiny suit pips on the clothing of the characters. Quite frankly, personally I prefer these court cards over the standard Bicycle rider-back courts!

The number cards are standard, and complement the court cards well. The observant will notice that the shape of the pips is slightly different than those of a typical Bicycle rider-back deck. The Ace of Spades features an over-sized pip which incorporates the four pips. Maybe it's a coincidence, but the arrangement of the spade and the club pip reminds me of an arrow - perhaps a faint vestige of the company's original Arrow name?

The two Jokers feature a smiling Jester face. The "Plastic Coated" reference is somewhat of an anachronism, since these are very definitely ordinary playing cards with USPCC's usual embossing and Magic Finish for smooth and consistent handling. But it is a remnant of an iconic design, so it has been preserved as part of the artwork, even though the cards today are no longer plastic coated. Each deck also includes two extra gaffs not present in the original Arrco decks - the red deck has a double facer and red double backer, while the blue deck has a blank facer and a red/blue double backer. This makes it a good idea for magicians to get both decks, because then you get a full set of gaffs: a double faced card, blank faced card (blue back), plus two double backers (one in red, the other red/blue), which enables you to perform a range of different effects with these decks if you are into card magic.

For good handling, these decks have an embossing air cushion finish, with a traditional cut, and the usual smooth performance you'd expect from a USPCC produced deck. Some will be surprised by that, since the original Arrco decks had a slick finish. The plastic coating and smooth finish was part of the appeal of the original Arrco playing cards for some people, although personally I much prefer the embossed air cushion finish, as do many others. Some people insist that the original Arrco decks lasted a lot longer than the Bicycle riderbacks, and that is possible, given the use of a plastic coating and a smooth finish. But these are no longer plastic coated, and are made in exactly the same way as all the other decks produced by USPCC, so their durability and performance can be expected to match modern decks, not the original Arrco decks.

Magicians have long loved these decks, and collectors will also appreciate the opportunity to seize a piece of history. While their performance won't be identical to the original Arrco decks, like other USPCC produced decks they will perform very well. And of course they feature the artwork and design that many magicians and collectors feel strongly connected with, so that will give them an immediate appeal for many people, and in this fine new reprint, they're still an excellent choice today. - BGG reviewer EndersGame

(Posted on 28/08/2018)

Card Magic Essentials - DVD review by BGG reviewer EndersGame
Card Magic Essentials - DVD
Skill Level
Customer Rating

Good for reviewing, not for learning

This is a very ambitious video. Undertaking to explain all the fundamentals of card magic plus five routines in around 60 minutes? There's only one way to do that, and that is: very quickly. As a result, this video covers a LOT of material in a short time.

That makes it great for review purposes, but not so good if you are starting from scratch and relying on this to learn all the sleights. In such a short time frame it's simply not possible to do justice to all the details in order to teach them properly. But if you're already familiar with many of the basics, it's still helpful, and I picked up some good tips along the way.

One disadvantage is that magician Tomas Medina is left-handed, so right handers like me need to switch everything you see, which can be quite a pain if you're trying to copy what you're seeing.

There are better resources available which people genuinely new to card magic should opt for rather than this one. But if you already know the basics, and just want a quick refresher course, then this video is perfect. - BGG reviewer EndersGame

(Posted on 28/08/2018)

David Roth Expert Coin Magic Made Easy (3 Vol. set) - VIDEO DOWNLOAD OR STREAM review by Hugh
David Roth Expert Coin Magic Made Easy (3 Vol. set) - VIDEO DOWNLOAD OR STREAM
Skill Level
Customer Rating

A must buy for learning coin magic

This should be a must buy into coin magic from beginner to advanced in a good progressive pace. It does not bombard you with hundreds of sleights rather David selects those that he feels are necessary to accomplish more difficult routines.

(Posted on 27/08/2018)

SvenAgain Reusable Svengali Pad Set (2) by Sven Lee review by Sharon
SvenAgain Reusable Svengali Pad Set (2) by Sven Lee
Skill Level
Customer Rating

So simple but very affective

Another trick I bought for my son who is a close up street magician. He can put this into a pocket so makes it ideal to carry on the streets and in pubs etc. It's so easy to set up and it works every time. The 2nd pad is ideal as a back up or it could be used to do another trick. Great items. Worth the money.

(Posted on 27/08/2018)

Vanishing Sharpie - by SansMinds review by Sharon
Vanishing Sharpie - by SansMinds
Skill Level
Customer Rating

Amazing trick, Easy to reset....

Bought this for my son and he is a close up street magician. This trick is perfect for him. It's so easy to use and the effect is amazing as the sharpie just seems to completely disappear right in front of you and reappear in a back pocket. It is also instant to set up again. It's one of his best tricks.

(Posted on 27/08/2018)

Mnemonica by Juan Tamariz - Book review by Finlay
Mnemonica by Juan Tamariz - Book
Skill Level
Customer Rating

Amazing

This book is amazing! With 8 and 1/2 pages of just the contents you know you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. This will teach you over 100 tricks that all have one thing in common-the Mnemonica stack. This means once you learn it the bulk of the tricks will come easier. It also has a section devoted to useful sleights such as the Hofzinser’s Spread Cull. I go more into detail about the book on my YouTube Channel. This is an advanced book so you will need to practice but if you haven’t stepped outside your comfort zone and want to take your magic to the next level pick up the masterpiece known as Mnemonica by Juan Tamariz.

(Posted on 26/08/2018)

Z.A.P. Wallet (BROWN) by Diamond Jim Tyler review by Sabini
Z.A.P. Wallet (BROWN) by Diamond Jim Tyler
Skill Level
Customer Rating

Good effect

The wallet is practical and very normal looking, arousing no suspicion, very easy to use, and the routine included answers some possible questions, like why you need to put a thought of word into your wallet. A nice little wallet, and you will soon think of a few other possibilities that you can use this for.

(Posted on 25/08/2018)

Pen-nomenon by Steven X review by Sy
Pen-nomenon by Steven X
Skill Level
Customer Rating

Difficult

I wont go into detail about how you do this, but I will say it was difficult to set up/prepare the use of this.

You seem to spend alot of time setting it up and I'm not sure you would have to do this each and every time when performing, meaning you might have to prepare and go to the length of creating it all again to get it to work (due to using other items to get it to work). I don't mean each time you perform say in a given day, but I would say each day for sure. You will need other items to do perform the different methods, as it doesn't come included.

Personally I felt let down by it and after watching the DVD (40+ mins) how to do the methods and how to work everything I felt it wasn't worth it. It's not the type of magic I would have purchased had I known how long it takes to prepare everything and buy other items and the time it takes to create it.

(Posted on 25/08/2018)

Limited Edition Summer NOC (Blue) Playing Cards review by Docx2
Limited Edition Summer NOC (Blue) Playing Cards
Skill Level
Customer Rating

Amazing cards that are great for maguc

These are a very cheap deck that handles amazing and is great for magic, as it’s simple design means no one expects it to have a marking system, and it’s not a confusing back design. These also last very long and therefore are great for starting out :)

(Posted on 24/08/2018)

Merchant of Magic Customer Service Feedback review by Shikapwasha SOKOTELA
Merchant of Magic Customer Service Feedback
Skill Level
Customer Rating

Thank you Dominic Reyes

I learn a lot from you.... There is no magic school, no magic shop and not even one magician I've met in Zambia here...Apparently am the only magic man they look up to here and i Iook up to you as well... Your work truly means a lot to me

(Posted on 23/08/2018)

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