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Topic: The Phoenix Deck - the successor of the Bicycle Deck
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 3, 2009 03:32PM)
[img]http://www.card-shark.de/bilder/Phoenix-Deck-Cardcase.jpg[/img]

For all of you who have not heared any rumors about the upcoming Phoenix Deck or did not read about it in other threads so far...

At this particular moment USPCC is approving the designs and will soon print the new magicianīs deck, called the Phoenix Deck. The printing sheets are set and they look great.

Why did I came up with the idea of the Phoenix Deck? Easy. Over the last few years I dealt with uncountable gaff orders and printed several decks in all variations, in old style like th Gypsy Deck or the Medieval Tarot, but also in very modern style like the Jill Deck.

For years I planned to release a thin deck (like the blank Phil Deck) that would have the same look as your standard deck of cards. But this task was impossible as your favourite deck design (Bicycyle) is owned by USPCC. There are so many great card printing companies out there who can do great stuff for us, but as long as a design is owned by a single printing company, every idea of mixtures will come to an end. The solution? Please read further.

My idea was to establish a new brand and design especially made for us magicians. I am NOT talking about the 531st deck of fancy looking cards that hits the magic community on a monthly basis and that ends up on a collectorīs shelf. I am talking about a working horse for all of us magicians around the globe. A deck that should look nice and modern, but not at all fancy and suspicious. A deck that has secret weapons built in that can be used but donīt have to be used. Well hidden and secret that no layman would ever find them. And if he would find them would not think about it as a weapon!

Bringing it to an easy statement:
The Bicycle Deck is for Poker players, but magicians can use it.
The Phoenix Deck is for us magicians, but Poker players can use it without ANY problems.

What is similar to a Bicycle Deck, what are the differences?

Similarities:
- the card stock will be the same, also the air-cushion finish
- the card case will look familiar and will use the back design on the back of the card case as it WAS USED TO BE. USPCC changed that recently and a lot of magicians are concerned.
- the faces will be the same like your favourite Bicycle deck (with a few exceptions)

Differences:
- the decks come sorted in the bricks and not mixed. If you only want red decks, buy only red decks! No problems to get rid of the blue decks then.
[img]http://www.card-shark.de/bilder/Phoenix%20Deck%20Joker.png[/img]
- The Joker has a new design, as the deck is called Phoenix Deck, it shows a Phoenix rising from Fire. Having a mythology bird as a Joker perhaps give you new ideas for torn and restore effects, burning cards etc. (BTW, there is only one Joker in the deck, do you really need two? Buy two decks...)
- The Ace of Spades is different, but somehow still feels familiar...
- all the other regular aces are still included but only as a backup if you do have problems with the new ones. There are new aces that have a larger middle pip, they look great in closeup but also perfect on stage! No more difficult-to-see ace routines!!!
- The back design is changed to the Phoenix theme. Can you spot the hidden oneway information on the back?...
- The deck setup will be different to the one you are used to. Joker, Ace-King of Clubs, Ace-King of Diamonds, King-Ace of Hearts, King-Ace of Clubs, the old three aces of Diamonds, Hearts and Clubs. For all afficionados of the Tamariz stack... do I have to say more? ;)

Perhaps you all heared of the bad news how USPCC has changed the politics about our gaffed cards. No more changed back designs, Ace of Spades or Joker on any Bicycle Deck. As this is my design: Welcome magic fellows, contact me with your ideas of gaffs, I CAN AND WILL PRINT EVERYTHING FOR YOU!

So just from the beginning I will realize a lot of standard gaffed decks.
There will be a marked deck available that will put a smile on your face as soon as you find the marking! PROMISED! Everybody did that when I showed them the prototypes. It is so well placed, easy to read, well hidden. As if you would have had one wish come true.

Together with Martin Lewis I will also release the S.U.M. deck (meaning Setup Marked Deck). This is even an improvement of a regular marked deck and will find its connaisseurs.

All standard gaffs like double backers and blank cards will also be available, Invisible Deck, Brainwave Deck, Stripper Deck, Force Decks etc.

The pricing is also interesting I guess:
I will do everything to get the price down to 3 US$ / 3 Euro per deck. It will get really interesting if you buy more than 60 decks. Because then you will get your own business card printed on blank faced Phoenix Decks FREE OF CHARGE! 60 Phoenix Decks will give you 60 free Business cards printed, 100 Decks 100 free cards with your logo on. Just imagine doing an Ambitious card trick and ending with your own business card. Leave the deck with the spectator as a souvenir and your next gig is nearly booked.
Message: Posted by: Rpascual (Sep 3, 2009 03:40PM)
Hi this sounds great I remember hearing about this a long time ago. Glad to see it finally going along. What about shipping? Where will you be shipping this from?
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 3, 2009 03:46PM)
I wanted to add the other images but you were too fast, as soon as a new posting is sent, I cannot edit anymore.

[img]http://www.card-shark.de/bilder/PhoenixDeckAceofSpades.png[/img][img]http://www.card-shark.de/bilder/PhoenixDeckAceofClubs.png[/img]
[img]http://www.card-shark.de/bilder/PhoenixDeckAceofHearts.png[/img][img]http://www.card-shark.de/bilder/PhoenixDeckAceofDiamonds.png[/img]
[img]http://www.card-shark.de/bilder/Phoenix%20Deck%20back.png[/img]
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 3, 2009 03:51PM)
The cards will be shipped out from the USA and Germany. Whatever is better. The only item still to be solved are the trick decks. They will probably be produced / sorted in Germany and have to be shipped from there. But I will find a solution for that, promised... ;)
Message: Posted by: tabman (Sep 3, 2009 05:04PM)
Very nice deck. I'll buy a few decks and try them out. Gonna create a lot of work for the card splitters if it goes over. Thanks for the pictures.

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: JIMclubber64 (Sep 3, 2009 05:06PM)
Will this be available to dealers, as well? Or will you sell it exclusively on your website?
Also, will a Pheonix Version of Twilight Angels be available (with Paul Harris' permission, of course)?
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 3, 2009 05:09PM)
You CAN split cards, but you do not have to. I am thinking of starting a new price structure for custom printed gaffed cards on Phoenix card stock. This will make it easy and affordable to get your favourite Bicycle gaffs in a Phoenix Deck version.
Message: Posted by: tabman (Sep 3, 2009 05:24PM)
The three cards for McDonald's Aces for sure, please.

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: Darrin Cook (Sep 3, 2009 05:45PM)
I like having two jokers. I have been using an idea I got from Doug Brewer of having two identical jokers. This allows for a duplicate card in an examinable deck, and makes certain effects a little cleaner (there is no discrepancy between jokers).
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 3, 2009 06:19PM)
I can fully understand you, Darrin. Even in a Bicycle deck you only get one regular Joker, the other one is a Guarantee Joker with a lot of text on.

For me I had to decide how to fill the 56 positions. And giving three extra aces was a better idea (hopefully) than giving a second Joker. So after opening the second deck you should not have the problem any longer ;)
Message: Posted by: dduane (Sep 3, 2009 06:31PM)
Very exciting!!!
"Can you spot the hidden oneway information on the back?... "

It's the 'lazy eight' pattern at the top center. It is reversed. Very invisible!!! (I cheated.... flipped it in Word...sorry)

Congrats! Can't wait!

Duane
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 3, 2009 06:35PM)
...and this is not the real secret for the one way marking.

I thought it would be much more important if it would be visible even in a spread. So I moved the info to the side of the back. See it?
Message: Posted by: Christopher Williams (Sep 3, 2009 06:36PM)
My only concerns if I switched to this deck...why two jokers? They are used in many sandwich effects and are also great as duplicates. Don't want to use two decks just for one card each time a joker is required. Especially if you lose the deck with jokers in, as then you would have another open deck..with no jokers, and have to open another two just to get jokers for that deck.

The size of the pips on the Aces...will this now stop the Magician showing the same Ace twice when doing the Elmsley count as it will be more noticable...

Just a couple of points I have...
Message: Posted by: edh (Sep 3, 2009 06:43PM)
Will the extra aces be regular sized pips. With the size of these pips doing an Elmsley count could be problematic.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 3, 2009 06:47PM)
[img]http://www.card-shark.de/bilder/PhoenixDeckfaces.png[/img]
Here you see the layout. Christopher, this is exactly the dilemma, you cannot get both and I had to make a decision.

I think the bigger Aces will be much more visual than before. If you perform up close the thin detailed lines will make the center pips light weighted. Only a few steps away from the spectator these thin lines blur away and the center pips get solid. And from distance a spectator will not even have the feeling that the centers are bigger than usual. But if you want to stay with the old aces, you see that they are included. It is not my fault that USPCC only prints 56 cards per deck ;)

I will see how the reactions are regarding the larger aces. Perhaps in the next run I can switch over completely. Another idea: I can make an assortment deck with double backers in all variations and blank faced cards also. In this set I can also add perhaps a few spare Jokers. Just an idea. The gaffed deck is not ready yet as I am still open for suggestions. For instance I think a good idea would be to print Skinner Monte cards with the Phoenix back design as this is nearly in every performerīs repertoire.
Message: Posted by: dduane (Sep 3, 2009 06:57PM)
OK,Card Shark.... I see the mark for the spread! The spectator will NEVER see that! (I cheated again....)

Thx, Duane
Message: Posted by: allen_m (Sep 3, 2009 07:15PM)
I found the one-way mark too! Easy to spot; but, only once you know where it is!
Message: Posted by: bugjack (Sep 3, 2009 07:20PM)
This is a smart idea and after hearing about the USPCC printing issues I've been waiting for someone to do it. Congrats on being the first.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Sep 3, 2009 07:24PM)
Fox Lake decks were doing exactly (to my perception at least) the same as your Phoenix deck. There is nothing wrong with what you are doing. H

owever using Bicycle cards was a way to avoid having to underline that these are normal cards because every one (at least in the States) is using them on a regular basis or has been using them at some stage.

Being categorized as "magician cards" by the public destroyed the distribution of Fox Lake. How do you intend to go around this problem? Is it just with a nice looking background and elegant pips?
Message: Posted by: bodybyfood (Sep 3, 2009 09:05PM)
I do like the new look aces. And in response to Lawrence O's question, with the advent of all the new decks recently, is this even really a problem anymore (being "trick" cards)? I think the bigger problem with people not trusting certain decks has to do with whether or not they look professional (don't know the Fox Lake ones, so can't compare). If a deck looks professional I think people will trust it.
Message: Posted by: Llynus (Sep 3, 2009 09:42PM)
I'll definately be getting some to test out.

Nice work =)
Message: Posted by: Dizzidiz (Sep 3, 2009 10:14PM)
Nice! can;t wait! I'll definitely have to pick these up! :D I LOVE the business card idea. do you have a mailing list? I'd love to find out about updates
Message: Posted by: KingJeux (Sep 3, 2009 10:25PM)
I am impressed, really nice design. I'll pick up a few for sure!
Message: Posted by: tdowell (Sep 4, 2009 12:13AM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-03 19:24, Lawrence O wrote:
Fox Lake decks were doing exactly (to my perception at least) the same as your Phoenix deck. There is nothing wrong with what you are doing. H

owever using Bicycle cards was a way to avoid having to underline that these are normal cards because every one (at least in the States) is using them on a regular basis or has been using them at some stage.

Being categorized as "magician cards" by the public destroyed the distribution of Fox Lake. How do you intend to go around this problem? Is it just with a nice looking background and elegant pips?
[/quote]

I have to agree with this. While I like the design, the deck is going to be unrecognizable by lay people, many of whom will be skeptical and suspicious of a "special" deck. While the old Bicycle design is drab and boring, it is also the most recognizable deck of cards. This kind of looks like a foreign knockoff.
Message: Posted by: Seeker (Sep 4, 2009 12:41AM)
I too remember hearing something about this a while back.

I will definitely be looking into this some more. Watching for when the hit the market so I can write up some reviews and make a few split gaffs.

I spotted the one way feature. Its nice and invisible. Not to close to the edge though...

Good Luck and Keep Us Updated.
-Jacob
Message: Posted by: The great Gumbini (Sep 4, 2009 12:43AM)
I use a wide selection of cards. I've never had anyone assume it was a trick deck. I like to show the faces of the cards to assure everyone the deck is well mixed up. I then go right into my effect. I never say things like "This is a regular deck of cards". I simply imply (by showing the cards) that the cards are simply cards. So for me this will be great. I also see lots of ways of "marking" the backs of these cards. I like the number of lines on the back design.


Good magic to all,


Eric
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 4, 2009 03:17AM)
Since last yearīs November I am discussing this "problem" from time to time with magicians who can remember of Fox Lake cards. I heard different stories about them and I cannot give you my five cents to it as I am too young into magic to know about them.

All I can say: life changes all the time. The ability of writing down these lines and talk to you all around the world is still astounding. That you can order things from Germany and get it shipped to USA, Japan, South Africa, Iceland, Norway, Chile and all other places on mother earth is just possible due to the Internet and the time we are living in.

Our experiences in Europe, or even here in Germany when doing card magic for real people is always the same. All laymen here usually have no problems about the Bicycle cards, even if they do NOT look familiar for them. We use completely different faces and other card sizes (like Bridge). Also the regular decks here have only 32 cards. But still every magician uses them without any problems. No, you cannot buy a Bicycle deck in a regular shop here. If someone asks, the answer is just: "This is the most common used deck in the USA." "Ah, OK." No more questions.

You could say: "This is the most common used deck in Europe. I found this deck when I was / performed in Paris, London (whatever) and I just love the artwork." No more questions, but this time they are even impressed, if the story is believable. And if you leave the deck as a souvenir at the table after your gig you give away a much more valuable deck compared to a Bicycle deck as this one is "priceless" for them.

Not everybody is buying his Poker decks at Walmart, if you go to Walgreens, you would get Studs, if you go somewhere else, you get other designs and brands. China is coming closer... So who really cares? The old rule still is valid: Why run when you are not chased?

Believe me that I will open up new doors in magic in the next few years that have never been opened so far. All you have to do is give me a chance with this deck.

BTW, the thin cards will be produced simultaneously, so expect great effects with these also. Oh, the cards are even thinner than the Phil Deck, as two!!! complete decks will fit into a card case. I get a shiver if I imagine the new possibilities.
Message: Posted by: Peo Olsson (Sep 4, 2009 03:27AM)
I want one! When will the deck be released?
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 4, 2009 03:31AM)
Before Christmas ;)

No serious: It can be that the decks are ready for me in about 4-6 weeks. The main order will go to a friendīs depot and from there a part of the decks has to be shipped to Germany. To keep the price down I have to ship them by ship and I have no idea how long this will take. Perhaps I will ship one or two boxes to Germany using UPS to speed up things.
Message: Posted by: Peo Olsson (Sep 4, 2009 09:41AM)
Will they be in red only, or in blue also? And will they be in boxes of 12 decks or sold separatly?
Message: Posted by: Jonathan P. (Sep 4, 2009 09:41AM)
Nice work. If our imputs are still welcome for, maybe, the next runs in the production, I'd find two jokers and, maybe, a blank-faced card more appreciable than the 3 new ace designs.

I'd say a doube-backer as well, but I understand that this deck could be purchased by laypeople as well... That's why I suggest a blank-faced card instead.

Cheers!
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 4, 2009 10:11AM)
Your inputs are ALWAYS welcome and can end up in extra gaffs.

The extra cards you would like to get like a double backer, blank card etc. will be available also, but not with the regular deck. It should be as innocent as possible.
Message: Posted by: Rpascual (Sep 4, 2009 10:36AM)
You should also send this out to murphys so it can be distributed to magic dealers also!
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 4, 2009 10:41AM)
I will sell it to other dealers also if necessary. The problem is: I cannot tell you the discount Murphy usually gets from inventors and producers of effects. For not LOOSING money while selling the decks to Murphys I would have to raise the retail prices. And this is something I want to avoid.

If dealers get the decks directly from me, I can still keep the retail price. But I am not sure as there is not real money to earn with the decks. Best would be to make special deals with the Magic Circles around the globe so that you can order in groups. Would that be an idea?
Message: Posted by: michaelmystic2003 (Sep 4, 2009 11:00AM)
Am I the only one not diggin' this?
Message: Posted by: Xpilot (Sep 4, 2009 11:06AM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-03 19:24, Lawrence O wrote:
using Bicycle cards was a way to avoid having to underline that these are normal cards because every one (at least in the States) is using them on a regular basis or has been using them at some stage.

Being categorized as "magician cards" by the public destroyed the distribution of Fox Lake. How do you intend to go around this problem? Is it just with a nice looking background and elegant pips?[/quote]

Fox Lake cards looked normal 40-50 years ago. They were the same as Aviator cards, and Aviators were in widespread use outside of magic.

Most Fox Lake gimmicks & decks were bridge size and factory printed Bicycle gimmicks were not made. When most of 'magicdom' started moving to poker size cards and Bicycle poker size gimmicks came on the market- that's what destroyed the distribution of Fox Lake.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 4, 2009 11:18AM)
So with Fox Lake the old German saying is true:

If you donīt go with the time, you will go with the time.
Message: Posted by: The great Gumbini (Sep 4, 2009 11:30AM)
I've worked with Card-Shark before and I know he tries to keep costs down. His products are very nice. His aged looking cards are second to none. These cards will be fun to work with.


Good magic to all,


Eric
Message: Posted by: JIMclubber64 (Sep 4, 2009 12:33PM)
I'm starting to become somewhat divided about this. The reason I do like the idea is because I've been accused of using a Svengali deck before simply because I had a Bicycle deck, and I don't want to have that happen again, plus I do like the idea
of built-in "secrets."
But the reason I don't like it is because I want to get some packet tricks from my magic shop sometime relatively soon, but they rquire gaffed cards, and I don't want to have to buy a bicycle packet trick just to learn the secret, and then figure out how to modify it for a pheonix, and then finally place an order for the necessary gaffed cards. That ends up being a lot of time and money.
Also, if Murphy's doesn't distibute these, then my magic shop probably won't carry it, either, and I always prefer to buy from them when possible.
Message: Posted by: Mind_Magic (Sep 4, 2009 02:46PM)
Nice Deck Card-Shark!

Have a question: Do you plan to build Lefty Decks?

Regards!
Message: Posted by: Rpascual (Sep 4, 2009 03:03PM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-04 11:00, Michaelmystic2003 wrote:
Am I the only one not diggin' this?
[/quote]

What do you mean by not diggin this?
Message: Posted by: wise owl (Sep 4, 2009 04:00PM)
Can see phoenix deck at your website?
Message: Posted by: mayniac (Sep 4, 2009 04:24PM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-04 11:00, Michaelmystic2003 wrote:
Am I the only one not diggin' this?
[/quote]
Nope, I'm with you.
Message: Posted by: edh (Sep 4, 2009 04:59PM)
After taking a second look at these I too don't care for them. The phonix bird design just doesn't do it for me. To cartoonish maybe? Something more elegant would be nice.
Message: Posted by: EventEntertainer (Sep 4, 2009 05:12PM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-04 11:18, Card-Shark wrote:
So with Fox Lake the old German saying is true:

If you donīt go with the time, you will go with the time.
[/quote]

Isn't the correct saying:

"If you don't go with the time, you will go WITH time"?

Any free samples :)
Message: Posted by: Wilber (Sep 4, 2009 05:13PM)
Its unfortunate that local brick and mortar magic shops won't be able to stock these. I also think the big pip aces look very cartoonie.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 4, 2009 07:27PM)
Let's try to give some answers:

About the saying: perhaps you noticed already that english is not my mother language. Regarding that I always got a "D" grade in school I am doing hopefully fine with my writing. ;) Thank you for correcting me, really.

I produced the lefty deck before it was released on Bicycle stock, but more as a joke. I like the idea, but see my possibilities in other areas. If you need one printed, I can easily do that for you on Phoenix stock.

About elegance. Taste is always personal, I am not saying that everyone has to like it. The same with the larger aces. Pro magicians liked them imediately when they saw the prototype, but you also get the old one if you do not share their opinion. The Bicycle deck isn't elegant at all and the angels are really looking strange and fat, but we are used to it. With all the changes at USPCC a lot of magicians open(ed) up their mind and see that there are other options and designs out there.

About gaffs: Over the next few months and years you will see that there will also be more and more effects available with the Phoenix back. These will be cooperations with other magicians like Martin Lewis, Tommy Wonder (RIP), Trevor Lewis, David Solomon and others.

Some effects will not even be able any longer on Bicycle cards due to the new USPCC politics. I am open to anybody who wants his effect being released on Phoenix stock.

About dealers and the availability: I never said that dealers will not stock them. Just ask your local dealer and he will contact me as he can buy them directly from me with wholesale conditions. The tight price structure will make it difficult to give profit to three parties (dealer, Murphys and me), but it should be OK for two parties.

Did I forget anyone? Hopefully not. Oh, preorders can be placed soon on my website. I am working on that.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Rinaldi (Sep 4, 2009 10:54PM)
I think this deck looks good and I look forward to making the transition to these cards, so many possibilities.
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Sep 5, 2009 12:21AM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-04 16:24, mayniac wrote:
[quote]
On 2009-09-04 11:00, Michaelmystic2003 wrote:
Am I the only one not diggin' this?
[/quote]
Nope, I'm with you.
[/quote]

I'm three. :) I'd rather use cards that laymen are familiar with. The design doesn't appeal to me. There are many better looking cards out there in my opinion. I'm one who likes to collect cards, but I'm not interrested in even collecting this. It doesn't look like a lot of thought was put into the design, although I'm sure there was. Again, I'd rather stick to decks that people are familiar with. It eliminates any suspicion that the deck is gimmicked. Besides, you can pick up a Bike deck for under $2.00, and even cheaper in bulk. I just bought 10 packs of bikes for $8.97 at Wally Mart. However, I do wish all the best.
Message: Posted by: Voldemort (Sep 5, 2009 01:48AM)
Yeah... Unless the price can compete with the bikes that I get (Which works out to be about $1.10 a deck) I don't think I'll be that interested either. I mean its not like they have stopped making Bikes altogether. They are just limiting a few of the gaffs that can be produced. And quite frankly I don't really use anything that I can't make anyway. (Except DB'ers and DF'ers which are not in jeopardy and easier to buy than make).

But you can be sure that I'll buy a few decks just to check them out and add one to my display case.

I wish you all the best.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 5, 2009 03:57AM)
I know that my deck printed a couple of thousand times at the first step can hardly compete with the price of a deck that is printed 20 million times per year.

My competition is more the Richard Turner deck and the Lee Asher Deck, both brought out from magicians for working magicians. The rest is philosophy and time that will tell, if the deck will be used.

Unfortunately I did not experienced the time of Fox Lake, but it is funny to see an old trick from time to time with Aviator cards.

I really have a vision in mind and every long journey has to start with the first step.

Yes, the design process of the whole deck took more than 7 months now, a lot of changes and evolution after several discussions with a lot of other magicians. That the design ended up that way is easy: it was intended to look like an everyday deck of cards (what it definitely does) but with the most possibilities for us magicians.
If the Joker looks too comic style... You are abolutely right, a king riding an old bicycle is totally differerent and classy. How can I compete with that? ;) (just kidding)

All the fancy decks that are out now allready are perfect for collectors and there is definitely a market for these. They look all very suspicious for laymen and that is why no pro uses them. My approach is different and when I introduced the deck in my lecture at FFFF, the magicians there highly welcomed the concept. I want my decks ending up in a show, not on a shelf.
Message: Posted by: Uli Weigel (Sep 5, 2009 04:34AM)
The big pipped aces look ugly in my opinion. Furthermore I don't think, that the big pips really increase visability. You can spot a normal ace from a long distance just as well. If I would buy a Phoenix deck, the first thing I'd do, is to throw those three aces away. IMO, some blank cards, an additional Joker or double blanks would be a better option to fill up the box.

Something about the back design and the case design strikes me the wrong way. The "Phoenix" font is too fancy for my taste. The cards a supposed to look classical but they really don't right now. Something's just not quite right, but unfortunately I can't really tell, what it is. Maybe there are some straight lines missing, which could frame the bumpy patterns.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 5, 2009 05:28AM)
Uli, unfortunately you did not see the threads going on in German forums. We tried several patterns and I am sure that if you ask 5 people you will get 10 opinions.

You are all right. But in a "regular" deck of cards should be no blank cards whatsoever. Others put advertising cards or guarantees to your regular deck, I give you the option to choose the aces you would like to use. I think this is not the worst choice.

Just trust me that the aces seem to look arkward on screen, but if you hold a whole Phoenix deck in your hand they just look great and make sense. But anyhow. If you cannot get warm to them: throw them out, use them for tricks whatsoever. And no: there is a difference when spotting a regular ace. All you see is a hugh white space with something black or red in the middle.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Sep 5, 2009 05:51AM)
What colours would you do them in? I like the range put out by Anglo...i cuurently use the red&gold set...they look classy...

I never use bike brand cards, I think they are ugly, UGLY looking things..why would angels use a bike anyway? and why are the wheels not round?

I used to be an illustrator many years ago - and things like that annoy me...

goood luck with these - maybe an art deco design at some point in the future? in green, black and white backs? hmmmm? oh go on!
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 5, 2009 06:01AM)
Thank you, Iain. I also think that the Bicycle back design is not really beautiful, we are just used to it and most people just love what they know.

At the moment the color range will be standard red and blue decks, like you know them from Bicycle. I did not want to place the hurdle for a change too high.

I like the colors of the Lee Asher deck in green and brown, but this would have been a too difficult decision for most Bicycle users to switch over.
Message: Posted by: Uli Weigel (Sep 5, 2009 06:16AM)
Christian, I did follow the threads in german forums, I just didn't say anything.
I will certainly try your cards. However, my favorite brands are Tally-Ho and Bikes and I have no reason to change, especially since I hardly ever use gaffs except the occasional double backer oder double facer.
Message: Posted by: EdgarWilde (Sep 5, 2009 07:21AM)
Three extra aces added to a deck of cards is more normal for a layman to find than an extra joker and a double-blank/blank-faced?

Extra jokers are added (as filling) to be used as card replacements for if you lose a card. Adding a few cards a la "World thinnest deck" would be more normal (people could then circle the pips they want the card to represent) than three aces (you couldn't replace a spade for one (unless you ink in the heart)).

Oh, and there are two places with the one-way back info - hints on where they are, are in previous posts. I suggest that one gets dropped. Knowing it is too late anyhow, I would suggest infinity symbols instead of the "lazy eights" (that part of the design can then be brought forward/become more pronounced at a later stage on the joker with some patter ideas surrounding infinity and the phoenix; it wouldn't be completely out-of-place, just a magician's deck).
Message: Posted by: Voldemort (Sep 5, 2009 08:07AM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-05 03:57, Card-Shark wrote:

All the fancy decks that are out now allready are perfect for collectors and there is definitely a market for these. They look all very suspicious for laymen and that is why no pro uses them. My approach is different and when I introduced the deck in my lecture at FFFF, the magicians there highly welcomed the concept. I want my decks ending up in a show, not on a shelf.
[/quote]

But what is the difference between this deck and a "Fancy" black deck or white deck to a laymen?

This discussion has been had many, many times here. These are the same thing as any "Fancy" deck to a layman simply because they will not be "The norm". Don't get me wrong. I don't have the same impressions or opinions when it comes to specialty decks. I use specialty cards a bit just to mix it up and have never had anyone ask if they were "Funny". If they did ask I would simply hand the deck to them. Problem solved.

But the reason that some believe that specialty decks look suspicious, Is not because of their color or design, But because they are not the same color or design as what is usual.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 5, 2009 09:32AM)
"usual" for you does not necessarily mean "usual" for others. Even if you think that USA is the only place to play cards or do magic and that every layman on earth uses only Bicycles, you are wrong. Even in the USA there are other brands out there like Studs, Tally Ho or Aviator for instance.

Everyday around this world there are decks printed that are not Bicycle. In whole Europe only magicians know the Bicycle brand, the same on other continents. Why do magicians use them? Because of the quality in most cases, not because of the price as they are only available at magic dealers there. In Europe normal decks look completely different and even have 4 indexes in the most cases. We are even not used to 52 cards in some countries. We magicians outside the USA are used to use decks that a layman not recognizes. And you can trust on million experiences around the globe: this is NO PROBLEM anywhere.

And as I did not touch the faces (at least if you do not find the added secret) this will still be a deck that will be familiar for every Poker player.
Message: Posted by: Voldemort (Sep 5, 2009 11:09AM)
Doesn't seem like a good point to try to make since in fact you ARE trying to sell them to MAGICIANS in the US.

So using this train of thought I take it that magicians in Europe would have no problem using any of the specialty decks that are produced. Black Tiger decks, Karnival decks, and so on should be fine. Because if only magicians are using bikes, And your saying that bikes are not the norm in Europe, Whats the difference if a magician uses a "fancy" deck that is not the norm either.

I just don't get your previous argument about "Fancy decks" if the bikes you are using now are not the norm anyway.

Anyway, At least in the US, this deck sort of seems... Too close to a Bicycle deck. I don't know if that makes sense or not. But because the bike back IS so easily recognized here, Some laymen may see it as some kind of a knock off. But it sounds like in Europe it doesn't matter because the bikes you are using now are not normal.

And please, I realize that there are many other kinds of cards in the world. I have many of them.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 5, 2009 11:30AM)
As long as a deck looks "normal" for a layman you are fine with any deck. A deck where colors are mismatched and are "out of the norm" are not normal any longer and therefore draw suspicion. It is that easy.

The deck was intended to be as close to a Bicycle deck as possible. I do not break any copyright issues in any way, just read the flap of each Bicycle deck and you know what is copyrighted. My deck is printed at USPCC and they checked everything with their law department. We are ready to go.

What will you say if I also announce that there will also be a deck out there that uses so thin cards that two!!! complete decks fit into one card case? And it uses the same faces and backs of the Phoenix Deck! Secret deck switches are finally possible to bring in a thin deck with 104 cards. This was never possible before. And absolutely impossible using the Bicycle brand as they are not able to print thin cards and do not allow other companies to use their brand and design.

With my designs that are owned by me I can choose the best card material from around this planet earth to print the Phoenix Deck on. The Bicycle stock is not the worst decision to start with. Perhaps I will also produce smooth surface decks one day, it is the same Bicycle card stock but without the linen structure that is pressed into the paper after the printing process. Would be easy to do...
Think outside of the box, there is a whole world of possibilities waiting for you. But you can stay with your comfort, that is absolutely fine and nobody will say anything against it. But donīt blame the ones who want to get further and extend the possibilities of todayīs card magic.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Sep 5, 2009 11:54AM)
Christian-

Wow! As a long-time user of your cards, can't wait for these to be available- they look great! This had to be a fun project to pull off, and I wish you the best...

Jim
Message: Posted by: Voldemort (Sep 5, 2009 12:01PM)
I'm surely not trying to blame you for anything Christian. In fact I admire you and your work and wish you nothing but the best in this and all your endeavor's.

And I'm not saying that thinking outside the box is a horrible thing.

I was just confused by the statements about "fancy decks" when a "fancy deck" is nothing more than a deck which is not normal. You had said that no "Pro" would touch a "fancy" (Or specialty) deck. These ARE a specialty deck and these would not be normal either. At least here.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Sep 5, 2009 12:08PM)
I think the point you are missing is that eventually they may become the "norm", the more that people use 'em...and that they are similar enough to be seen as normal...

just classier looking than some fat angels on a square bike!

I'm in the UK - no one has heard of the Bike brand unless they play/watch a lot of american poker...

I enjoy interesting decks, but I'm not a magician, I'm a mentalist - I want to use something that is classier, tactile and still useable...i've been using the Anglo decks for a while, and people just ask "oooh I can look at your posh cards please?" they only want to touch them cos they look pretty!

they don't think they're special as in gaffed...

I remember ages ago, I had a deck in my pocket that had a double-backer, I forget it was in there, someone took the deck and had a look through..then stopped and said "oh? I think you need to buy some new cards - they've messed up the printing on one card....look, the back's been printed twice..."
Message: Posted by: Rpascual (Sep 5, 2009 12:11PM)
I like the cards but the box outside I don't know. In my opinion it looks like a cheap bicycle deck (maybe I'm thinking to much like a magician but saying that) I will definitely buy these and give them a try though :D.

If anyone can remind me... what are thin cards used for?
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 5, 2009 12:58PM)
Just imagine the following situation...

Have a deck of cards face up on the table. Let a spectator name any card. ANY CARD. Spread the cards face up, push their named card forward and close the spread. Turn over the deck and spread again to show that all cards have a red back. Turn over their named card... It is blue. Or there is a writing on the back stating: I knew that you would take the "xxx".

The Ultimate Brainwave Deck. Just imagine that you have two decks in your card case. You can easily show the faces of a complete deck and still have a whole deck left to play around with...

I am planning of coming up with a creativity tournament. Magicians are invited to come up with their best idea using the thin cards. I already asked Max Maven and Patrick Page to be in the Jury to find the best effect and both said yes. The winning idea will be released afterwards and big prises will wait for all the winners. Just give me some more time, the Phoenix has to fly first before he can do more things for the magic community.
Message: Posted by: Perl (Sep 5, 2009 01:14PM)
Haha : ] maybe can hold a contest similar to Mr. Regal "How do I clink?" to spark off the idea of using such thin cards :]

"How do the birds catch fire?"

Perl Lee
Message: Posted by: Voldemort (Sep 5, 2009 01:20PM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-05 12:08, IAIN wrote:
I think the point you are missing is that eventually they may become the "norm", the more that people use 'em...and that they are similar enough to be seen as normal...

[/quote]

No... I'm not missing that point. However I believe your missing mine and that is that right now, they are not normal. What difference does it make? The difference is that it was stated that certain "Pros" don't like the "Fancy" decks because they are not the norm. However any "Fancy" deck can become the norm as well given enough time. Don't you think? Why then are some trying to make the point that the "pros" would use these cards and not other "Fancy" decks?

This IS a specialty deck in that it is not what is normally seen. To say "Well there are a lot of different cards used and they are generally accepted" throws the entire premise that some "Pros" don't like "Fancy" decks because they are not common right out the window.

I'm just questioning what the "Pros" supposedly said.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 5, 2009 02:48PM)
Perhaps I am using the wrong term and you can not / do not want to understand me (hey, I am German). With fancy decks I mean decks that do not use the standard colors or standard faces of a POker deck. I don't want to name all decks that fall into that category, but a white print on black background is usually not touched by working pros. Only if they want to use it as bizarre prop.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Sep 5, 2009 03:17PM)
I think you are missing the point, for anything to become "the norm", they have to start somewhere, Bikes were the new brick on the block at some point...so they were percieved as not normal at first...

ad infinitum...i don't think the fancy decks are printed in enough quantities (and the price reflects that) to be used by everyone...

another thought is this...when you perform should you use what everyone else does? or should you use something else that is percieved as better quality - as you are a professional? its partly down to how you portray yourself obviously, so therefore a personal choice...

however, just because something is everyday, does that automatically discount any others? I'm not putting words into your mouth, merely asking a question...

if I produce an attractive, expensive looking pen for someone to use, will they suspect it having "special ink"? or will they accept it as I am wearing a suit, am generally well turned out etc...
Message: Posted by: Waterloophai (Sep 5, 2009 03:20PM)
The discussion about nice or not nice is a bit senseless in my opinion.
It will be allways a matter of personal taste.

More important are the pro's and cons in the use of a new deck.
I regret that there is only one joker (or am I wrong?). In many tricks the TWO jokers play a part. (for example some acaan effects and sandwich effects).
Is there a plastic wrap around the deck? In many tricks the plastic wrap plays a roll...
In the gaff assortiment there must be at least a card with a back that is identical to the picture of the cardcase.

Wish you all the best with this new deck !
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 5, 2009 03:59PM)
The packaging of the deck will be identical to a Bicycle deck, means a seal, cellowrap and a hanger.

I never liked the guarantee Joker so this was always the first card that was discarded. I think the decks are reasonably priced to use Jokers of two decks if necsary.

Thank you for the gaff idea with the case face design. Any more wishes?
Message: Posted by: Rpascual (Sep 5, 2009 06:13PM)
Will the cellowrap be removed easily with the plastic red line thingy(you know like the thing you use to open a pack of gum? Lol with most bicycle decks the cellowrap thing is impossible to remove and maintain in tact the bottom part,
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Sep 5, 2009 06:13PM)
I too am curious how one can conclude that pro's don't use fancy decks. That's quite an ignorant comment without actually doing dilegent research first. I know several pro's who use fancy decks. Justin Miller is just one off the top of my head. It's hard to get Christian's point when he doesn't make himself clear. I don't blame it on him being German, :) but rather being contradicting in some of his statements.

Simply put, it's just another deck of cards in a world of thousands. Nothing special or fancy about them at all. I'm not convinced to change from Bikes to these because they offer nothing different than a different look which I personally don't find appealing. Some on the other hand will. But, to be a successor of the Bikes, these cards have to offer improvements in quality. By the sound of things, they are the same quality as Bikes. Fot them to be the norm amongst magicians there would have to be many factors to consider. You can't just create a new deck with a new look and expect magicians to change over, especially if the price is higher than most other decks out there. I prefer cheaper decks because I go through many of them, as I'm sure other magicians do too. I've been following this thread to see if anything said will change my mind, but I do wish all the best to Christian. If they become the norm, I will look for them at my local magic shop.

I am only stateing my opinion on the cards, and have nothing but respect for Christian. I may just buy a deck to support a great contributor to the art of magic. :)
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 5, 2009 06:32PM)
Do you really think that I start such a huge project without researches and investigations?
I am German and magician, but not stupid and studied marketing and sales. I am running my own business since 1997 and I plan to revolutionize the magic community. I think I already did a pretty well job with my antique deckss that opened up worlds for story telling magicians and bizzarists.

I travelled around the world this year, met hundreds of real working Professionals where I can count most of them to my friends. So I know what I am talking about.

The deck is not intended to be for everyone as I know that I never can compete with a Costco price. My aproach is another one as my service for magicians and the possibilities that I open have a much higher value for a magician than the Dollar that you save on a Bicycle deck.
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Sep 5, 2009 08:02PM)
I too can count on both hands how many pro's USE "fancy decks" that's why I found your statement to be obscure, and lacking in merit. You made a bold statement by stating that no pro would use a fancy deck. If you are going to market your cards as the successor of the Bicycle Deck, you have to understand that as you already mentioned, you are not capable of competing with them. If you can compete with them, how will your deck ever be a successor to the Bicycle Deck? I honestly can't ever see your deck as a successor to the Bikes. With some very bold statements, you have to realize that there will be opposition to it.

P.S. I'm not saying that you are stupid. On the contrary, I believe you are a smart, intelligent man. From what I have read so far, there doesn't seem to be any difference with all the other "fancy" decks already out there, other than your marketing stategy. By the way, being that my wife has worked in marketing for 22 years, I can see through all the hype, and look to see what the product really is and what it can honestly offer. That's why I'm following this thread. But like I said, I see no difference other than your marketing. I do wish you all the best sincerely. :)
Message: Posted by: tabman (Sep 5, 2009 10:14PM)
Howie Schwarzman always used Piatnik cards when he was on the road pitching magic. I asked him why he didn't used Bikes most of the magicians I know (I know many magicians but Howie is one of the best) and he told me he used the Piatniks because they looked special, not ordinary. He's out of the business now but he sold Piatnik cards too.

I think your decks look great. I cant wait to get my hands on a deck and see how they work.

Good luck with it all,

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: Magicmike1949 (Sep 6, 2009 01:29AM)
I'd like to see a double face deck with same face on each side added to your arsenal. Also we're going to need and Extractor and a Glimpse box. And how about a really nice looking Rainbow Deck with an assortment of classy looking back colors.
Message: Posted by: Voldemort (Sep 6, 2009 03:27AM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-05 15:17, IAIN wrote:
I think you are missing the point, for anything to become "the norm", they have to start somewhere, Bikes were the new brick on the block at some point...so they were percieved as not normal at first...


[/quote]

I didn't say that they couldn't become the norm. At the same time so can any other deck. Black, white, green or purple. But they WILL NOT become the norm because the public at large will never see them other than in a magicians hands. And that is what we are talking about when we say "The norm". What is normal to the people who we are performing for. Not what is normal to us as magicians. But that's not what I'm getting at for the love of Pete.

I'm wanting to know, 1) Why all of a sudden should we go along with what "Pros" supposedly say is the "Norm"? And 2) Whats the difference between this and any other specialty deck that the "Pros" will supposedly not touch? And Christian sort of answered number 2 for me in that hes talking about odd colors I guess. But as Dan stated, I've seen plenty of "Pros" who use specialty (fancy) decks. Chris Kenner, Dan Garcia, Justin Miller, and Wayne Houchin just to name a very few.

As far as my opinion I think ANY deck would be odd to a layman if it is not something that they are used to seeing. That includes red, blue, yellow, black or green. Tally Ho's probably look pretty weird to someone who has only seen aviator's all thier life.
Message: Posted by: EdgarWilde (Sep 6, 2009 05:06AM)
Come to think of it:
Doesn't Europe already have a card supplier with runs for magicians: Piatnik (in normal European bridge-size)?.
I used these before I could afford Bicycle, wishing that Carta Mundi would come out with trick decks so it would be affordable AND good quality (sorry Piatnik, but I'm a sucker for the linen/air-cushion finishes).
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 6, 2009 05:46AM)
OK, I think I have to go deeper into the history of playing cards. I am an expert and do lectures about that, the last lecture I did about the history was at the FFFF in front of the best close-up guys in magic. So believe me that I am not talking nonsense, I studied it when I designed my vintage cards Gypsy Deck, Heirloom Deck and Medieval Tarot. I could tell you EXACTLY what is authentic and where I made intentionally "historical mistakes" to make them better for us magicians. Show me a vintage card and I can tell you when it was printed and where in the world it was played.

All the books that I read show the evolution of playing cards around the globe and the images of the cards always represent the "normal cards" for the public at that time. It is not so long ago, only 130 years, that Anglo style playing cards did not have any indexes, the court cards showed the whole body from head to toe. Then the first decks showed up showing a small index in the corner, much smaller than you are used to now. They grew bigger over about 20 years to the size we know now. But if you go into a casino you will see much more variations of indexes in all sizes and positions. Could you imagine a poker player who would tell the guy at the table that the cards do not look regular?

By now I did not talk about the back designs. In early days the cards had NO back design at all, the cards where plain white. Then color was added, but the print always went over the edges due to the production process (first print, then cut). Cheaters found out that you can easily mark these kind of cards during the game they played, that is why the white border around the back design was invented, Casino cards are replaced after a single game so that no marking is possible on for instance Bee cards.

The design of the back is totally uninteresting, as long as it follows some easy rules. It should be a single color, red, blue and black are very common colors around the globe. The design should be nice but should show a pattern over the whole space so that markings are difficult to place. But this only is true for non-advertising playing cards.

There are researches out that say that playing cards are still one of the most interesting advertisement tool for companies as it is cheap in production and the message will be seen for a very long time. So the chance when visiting a "normal guy" that you will find an advertising deck in his drawer instead of the "common?" Bicycle deck is much higher than you expect. And the backs of advertisement cards show nearly everything from photos, messages, plain colors etc.

It does not make sense to use these advertisement cards in the movies as product placement is to be avoided somehow, this is why they often use the cards they can find in a store nearby. (But this is only my own opinion.) In the end - and as we magicians are trained to recognize a Bicycle deck even from far distance - we believe as all movies use Bicycle cards that the whole world uses them. Ask a layman after such a scene with which brand the guys played Poker, they will look at you with BIG eyes as this doesnīt matter to them.

The last decades however showed another phenomenon: artists around the world tried to establish new faces. You must admit that the court cards can hardly get uglier, but we are used to them. They failed as most changes where too big. Hey, they were artists and changed nearly everything. So what is problematic?

Using different colors.
A heart and diamond has to be red, clubs and spades has to be black. The court cards usually use the extra colors yellow and blue, if they use other colors the acceptance goes down rapidly. The back of a card is always WHITE!!! People are used to read books and papers in black on white, not the other way round.

Using different shapes.
Poker cards have to be Poker size, Bridge cards have to be Bridge size.

Using different designs.
Bicycle twisted the indexes about 45 degrees a while back so that Poker players could peek more easily when they only lift the corners. They failed and stopped the production so far as I know. Because the cards looked arkward in a fan.

The Joker and the Ace of Spades:
The history about the different looking Ace of Spades goes back to the time when gouvernment charged taxes on playing cards. The producers of cards had to proof that they paid taxes so the Ace of Spades got a tax stamp punched on it. After several years this changed slowly so that the tax stamp was printed directly onto the card. From there it was only a small step to use the "stamp" as a special design or for naming the producer of the cards, when the tax became obsolete.
The Joker is often used as an extra advertising, as most companies believe that this extra card is perfect to transport an extra message. So around the globe in many cases the Joker shows a new product, a brand or an extra information. Nobody is expecting a Jolly Joker, but in most cases of regular decks you will see such thing. A King riding a bike is just a variation, and if you would go back into the history of the Bicycle cards you would see a lot of variations of the Joker.

Did I forget anything? Voldemort will tell me, I am sure. ;)

All that I want to say is: all slight changes that I did are well thought. The larger aces are the most challenging part of the deck, they can be successful as the reaction with most magicians was VERY positive but they can also fail. That is why I added the regular ones. The upcoming time will nearly be democracy. You choose which aces you want to use. As long as I get the feedback what is more accepted during the next two years or so, I can then see where to go after a while.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 6, 2009 07:39AM)
About Piatnik:

yes, they made a lot of magicianīs cards, Magic Christian was a great influence on that. Piatnik took a lot of gaffed cards out of their repertoire and therefore does not play a role in the magic community any longer.

So far all my cards that exist today are printed by Carta Mundi Belgium or their branch ASS Altenburger in Germany. They have some advantages and some disadvantages. As most magicians like their "Bicycle stock", I thought it would be the best idea to start with that kind of card material that you are used to. I will try to get the cards cut in the same way that Richard Turner did with his deck, upside down. Hope that this will not produce too many problems at USPCC where they love to do the things that they did the last 30 years. Even dragging out a few sheets of printed paper seems to be a very tough job to realize. ;) (yes, I am not kidding)

As I will probably also produce some decks in smooth card quality (without the linen structure), this could be something for you, EdgarWilde.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Sep 6, 2009 08:55AM)
Interesting info, Christian- thanks!

Jim
Message: Posted by: silverking (Sep 6, 2009 09:13AM)
Some folks in this thread who are laying their unhelpful, negative energy on Christian's project exhibit a [i]severe[/i] case of passive/aggressive tendency.

It's creepy to read a post that rips a guy's ideas apart and then ends with, "but seriously, I wish you all the best".
Message: Posted by: AlluTallu (Sep 6, 2009 09:27AM)
This looks promising :) But I don't like the fact that there are 7 aces and only one joker in each deck. Maybe you could make two different decks. One would have the normal aces and two jokers and the other would have the aces with larger pips and two jokers. I wouldn't like to open a new sealed deck in a show just to discard three aces and say: "we don't need these - there are seven aces in this deck of cards."

In other words I prefer cards that are ready to go right out of the box.

-Aleksi
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Sep 6, 2009 11:50AM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-06 09:13, silverking wrote:
Some folks in this thread who are laying their unhelpful, negative energy on Christian's project exhibit a [i]severe[/i] case of passive/aggressive tendency.

It's creepy to read a post that rips a guy's ideas apart and then ends with, "but seriously, I wish you all the best".
[/quote]

That's because some are merely stating their opinion and do not want to make it look like it's a personal attack on the cards or Christian. I do wish Christian the best. I have even ordered special gaffs from him in the past. and have always found that his cards are top quality. I, like some others here are just being honest about our opinions specifically in regards to this deck. Christian can choose to ignore the negative remarks, or as any good marketer would do, listen to them and see if they are worth taking into consideration to make his cards even better. If all Christian got was positive feedback, it would be harder for him to see where improvements can be made. He wanted opinions, and he is getting them from both sides. I think Christian will admit that even negative responses can result in positive results.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 6, 2009 12:15PM)
I am aware of the risks and the negative opinions regarding my new deck. If everybody would just jump onto it, I would be more than surprised.

Giving the magic community a new CHOICE for their everyday work is my intend. And as I am taking it seriously I will do everything in my power to care about all wishes regarding "specials". For instance I am thinking of realizing a double faced deck with identical faces for a very long time and if the Phoenix Deck will be accepted over the time, this idea will come true.

You will not believe what amount of time and money I have to put into this project. That I really want to establish a new brand and not just want to make money is hopefully proved that I do not charge 6 or more US$ for a deck like other "collector's deck" (perhaps this term will work better).

After all: the choice is yours. We live in a free world where a Honda exists happily next to a Porsche, Volkswagen or Chrysler. Nobody will blame you for your choice you make. But without visions you will never change anything or learn new experiences. For me my timespan is too short for accepting things as they are. If we would all think this way then every magician would still wear a Tuxedo and a tophat. I really want to give my contribution to the magic fraternity. All this is summed up in the Phoenix Deck.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Sep 6, 2009 01:52PM)
I can see a very nice and simple way of marking the borders too...bit like I do with tally's...

if you're doing blue and red, I'd also suggest doing a black and white back, as they've become more popular with the split spades and ghost bike designs of late...there's already a "market" involved in those too...

plus I think they'd look quite pretty in black and white...like the tally globe back ones they've done...
Message: Posted by: Voldemort (Sep 6, 2009 04:43PM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-06 05:46, Card-Shark wrote:
OK, I think I have to go deeper into the history of playing cards. I am an expert and do lectures about that, the last lecture I did about the history was at the FFFF in front of the best close-up guys in magic. So believe me that I am not talking nonsense, I studied it when I designed my vintage cards Gypsy Deck, Heirloom Deck and Medieval Tarot. I could tell you EXACTLY what is authentic and where I made intentionally "historical mistakes" to make them better for us magicians. Show me a vintage card and I can tell you when it was printed and where in the world it was played.

All the books that I read show the evolution of playing cards around the globe and the images of the cards always represent the "normal cards" for the public at that time. It is not so long ago, only 130 years, that Anglo style playing cards did not have any indexes, the court cards showed the whole body from head to toe. Then the first decks showed up showing a small index in the corner, much smaller than you are used to now. They grew bigger over about 20 years to the size we know now. But if you go into a casino you will see much more variations of indexes in all sizes and positions. Could you imagine a poker player who would tell the guy at the table that the cards do not look regular?

By now I did not talk about the back designs. In early days the cards had NO back design at all, the cards where plain white. Then color was added, but the print always went over the edges due to the production process (first print, then cut). Cheaters found out that you can easily mark these kind of cards during the game they played, that is why the white border around the back design was invented, Casino cards are replaced after a single game so that no marking is possible on for instance Bee cards.

The design of the back is totally uninteresting, as long as it follows some easy rules. It should be a single color, red, blue and black are very common colors around the globe. The design should be nice but should show a pattern over the whole space so that markings are difficult to place. But this only is true for non-advertising playing cards.

There are researches out that say that playing cards are still one of the most interesting advertisement tool for companies as it is cheap in production and the message will be seen for a very long time. So the chance when visiting a "normal guy" that you will find an advertising deck in his drawer instead of the "common?" Bicycle deck is much higher than you expect. And the backs of advertisement cards show nearly everything from photos, messages, plain colors etc.

It does not make sense to use these advertisement cards in the movies as product placement is to be avoided somehow, this is why they often use the cards they can find in a store nearby. (But this is only my own opinion.) In the end - and as we magicians are trained to recognize a Bicycle deck even from far distance - we believe as all movies use Bicycle cards that the whole world uses them. Ask a layman after such a scene with which brand the guys played Poker, they will look at you with BIG eyes as this doesnīt matter to them.

The last decades however showed another phenomenon: artists around the world tried to establish new faces. You must admit that the court cards can hardly get uglier, but we are used to them. They failed as most changes where too big. Hey, they were artists and changed nearly everything. So what is problematic?

Using different colors.
A heart and diamond has to be red, clubs and spades has to be black. The court cards usually use the extra colors yellow and blue, if they use other colors the acceptance goes down rapidly. The back of a card is always WHITE!!! People are used to read books and papers in black on white, not the other way round.

Using different shapes.
Poker cards have to be Poker size, Bridge cards have to be Bridge size.

Using different designs.
Bicycle twisted the indexes about 45 degrees a while back so that Poker players could peek more easily when they only lift the corners. They failed and stopped the production so far as I know. Because the cards looked arkward in a fan.

The Joker and the Ace of Spades:
The history about the different looking Ace of Spades goes back to the time when gouvernment charged taxes on playing cards. The producers of cards had to proof that they paid taxes so the Ace of Spades got a tax stamp punched on it. After several years this changed slowly so that the tax stamp was printed directly onto the card. From there it was only a small step to use the "stamp" as a special design or for naming the producer of the cards, when the tax became obsolete.
The Joker is often used as an extra advertising, as most companies believe that this extra card is perfect to transport an extra message. So around the globe in many cases the Joker shows a new product, a brand or an extra information. Nobody is expecting a Jolly Joker, but in most cases of regular decks you will see such thing. A King riding a bike is just a variation, and if you would go back into the history of the Bicycle cards you would see a lot of variations of the Joker.

Did I forget anything? Voldemort will tell me, I am sure. ;)

All that I want to say is: all slight changes that I did are well thought. The larger aces are the most challenging part of the deck, they can be successful as the reaction with most magicians was VERY positive but they can also fail. That is why I added the regular ones. The upcoming time will nearly be democracy. You choose which aces you want to use. As long as I get the feedback what is more accepted during the next two years or so, I can then see where to go after a while.
[/quote]

Since we are taking an aggressive tone here because someone apparently feels threatened by having to explain the bold statements he made in the first place, Yes, You did forget something. And that is that laymen don't give two s***s about playing card history. They don't care if the cards I'm holding come from you or the Jolly green giant and they certainly don't care about the history of how they came to be there. They care about whether they recognize them or not and unless your going to stand there and lament that long winded history to them (Which I don't advise) they are not going to care that the cards should be this color or should be that size.

Did I not say in previous posts that I wish you the best? Did I not say that I will be buying a few of these decks when they arrive? Did I not tell you that I admire your work? I believe that I did.

But you still have not answered the whole "Fancy decks" and why "No Pro" would touch touch them question when in fact MANY "pros" do touch them. I've just given you some names in a previous post and there are many more.

So instead of a history that the CEO of the USPCC himself probably doesn't care about, Why not explain the whole "Pros wouldn't touch a fancy deck" statement. And also why you think YOUR DECK is not a specialty (Fancy) deck itself.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 6, 2009 05:03PM)
Voldemort, without being agressive...
Did you read the statement or did you just copy it in your last posting? I think that if you read it you would notice that I follow all the necessary rules to let the deck look "normal" for a lay person. Does it make sense to name a list of magicians and see if my list will be longer than yours? I donīt think so.

I had long talks for a year and more now with a lot of magicians around the globe to find out if there will be a chance for my project or not. And during these discussions we often talked about the decks of Theory11 and Ellusionist, just to name two companies who are specialised on these kind of decks.

They both have their fans and that is fine for them. What do you expect from me? That I should take back my statement? No, I wonīt do that as I still believe that I am right. Your opinion is also OK as I do not want to convince you or change your mind. Everybody can have his own point of view. Isnīt it cool to live in a free world where everybody can have his own opinion?
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Sep 6, 2009 10:21PM)
As long as just one pro uses a fancy deck, your statement is wrong. Sorry to tell you that, but it's true. Names of pro's that use fancy decks have been mentioned proving your statement to be false, no matter how much research you've done. The title of your thread states, "the successor of the Bicycle Deck", but how do you figure if you can't compete with them. For example; if Joe's Diner states that they are the successor to MacDonald's, they would have to be able to first compete with them, and then secondly offer a better product to the general public, not just a selected few. They would have to somehow convince those who go to MacDonald's that they are better, not just an alternative. From what you are saying, your cards are just an alternative. Also, the only rule for making normal cards is making them widely available to the open public. Theory11's Gaurdians are sold in Walmart which exposes them to the open market deeming them to be normal to laymen.
Message: Posted by: silverking (Sep 6, 2009 10:38PM)
Christian, I'd consider not arguing with vent'n'dummy guys about playing cards.

It's really quite pointless.

Card guys, bizzare guys, and general magi understand what it is that you're doing, and appreciate the efforts you've made to date, and that you're [i]continuing[/i] to make with this new deck.
Those that have followed your products since the beginning also understand that German, [i]not[/i] English is your first language. Only those insecure with their own lives take the time to rip apart statements word by word when those statements are made by somebody who doesn't speak English as a first language.

You're a guy who [b]builds things up[/b], not a guy who tears things down.

"Building up" is difficult, expensive, trying, challenging, and rewarding............."tearing down" on the other hand, any lame magi with a computer and a connection to the internet can do.
Message: Posted by: The great Gumbini (Sep 7, 2009 01:06AM)
We are all forgetting one thing here. In the right hands, the trained hands---even the most NORMAL deck of cards (whatever that is) is anything but NORMAL!

I for one will love to see these cards come out. In my performance I use so many different backed cards it would make a persons head spin. But look at the normal average home (you know the ones WITHOUT the magicians) and you will find cards from all over the place. We have made Bikes the "norm" but that only means something to us. I'll tell you a little secret. You want to floor an audience with normal cards? Bring out a dirty old deck and perform your routine. No one suspects a thing. BTW I have just shared with you a very precious secret that I have kept for a long time. Old decks for some reason signal "All is normal here".

So with the introduction of these new cards coming I wish CardShark the best. I will buy them---then I will dirty them---then I will entertain with them.


Good magic to all,


Eric
Message: Posted by: Hogle (Sep 7, 2009 05:35AM)
Hi Christian!

As I mentioned before, I'm really looking forward to try these cards out.

Daniel
Message: Posted by: booswain (Sep 7, 2009 08:58AM)
I'm also looking forward to playing with these cards...having bought from card shark before he has shown himself to be a thinker and a true craftsman....
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Sep 7, 2009 11:01AM)
I guess I should check other sections of the Café more often.



I hope no one things that I am being aggressive when I say that some people need how to think a little more clearly and read a little more carefully.

Let me take some of the points that seem to disappear when one thinks about Christian's project:

1. "fancy decks" vs. "normal decks." This deck looks like something you could buy at Walmart or any other American drug store as a cheaper alternative to Bicycle. Vegas Brand, Streamline, Aviators...none are "fancy decks" like Black Tigers or the Ghost Deck or any of other specialty decks which have come out in the last few years. Tally Hos and Steamboats (my personal favorite by far) and...heck, even Bees look different than Bikes, but no one would say they are competing with "fancy decks".

2. Concerning Gospel Dan's assertion that a single exception proves a general rule to be false, I would recommend reading [i]Logic for Dummies[/i] to understand the basic fallacy. Not even multiple exceptions prove a rule to be false.

3. What makes these cards special? Christian made that clear: it is a normal looking deck (it's not black with red pips or something exotic; it looks like you could buy it at the truck stop) for which there will be numerous gaffs available, since he will own the rights to the deck. It's an obviously intelligently thought out marketing strategy.

4. How is this deck a successor to Bicycle? Again, easy to understand if one pays attention. USPCC is going to stop production of gaffs. Do you want normal looking cards (as opposed to Tactical Green Scorpion Hello Kitty First Editions) without having to worry about when the gaffs are no longer printed? The "successor" is the deck which can replace the Bicycle deck for looking like you bought it at the 7-11, but for which you can rely on someone to continue making the gaffs.

5. Lastly, lets go back to the thing about what looks "normal". Again, I refer you to the cards listed above. I might even mention Squeezers or Peanuts or Playboy or Budweizers to re-enforce my point. But above that is this: the European market, as has been mentioned on the very first page, does not in any way depend upon Bicycle decks to look like "normal cards". They don't. Christian's cards, even hot off the press and never yet seen in public (outside this forum), will look just as "normal" to my spectators--or my poker buddies (we have NEVER used Bicycle cards to play poker, EVER)--as a deck of bikes.

As Silverking said, Christian is offering us something new, something creative, and a solution to a very real problem. If you don't like the cards, don't buy them. But to put the guy down is just silly and hurtful, especially when done with such little sympathy or understanding. Pass on the merchandise, but don't dump on someone's dream--especially one so well thought out as this.

To Christian: Gruss, and thanks for the work. I'll be good for a brick or two, at least. Well, maybe only one to start out with. In fact, I've been meaning to talk to you lately and place an order, but I'll put that in a PM sometime soon.

And a question in public: you said that you could get a brick in either color without having to mix them. Will we be able to buy 6 red/6 blue bricks?
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 7, 2009 11:12AM)
Thanks for asking me the "mixture" question. I will keep that in mind and try to make that also available as an option.
Message: Posted by: King14 (Sep 7, 2009 01:11PM)
Hi Card-Shark will you have a pre-order on your web-site for the new cards???
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 7, 2009 04:02PM)
Yes, I am working on that at the moment. I am planning a relaunch and also the implementation of a new shopping system. So I need some more time but then I will start with that.

BTW, I donīt reach a person at USPCC, can anybody tell me what a box of 12 dozen bricks (=144 decks) cost? I have to estimate shipping costs, thank you.
Message: Posted by: Nico Zottos (Sep 7, 2009 04:51PM)
One gross (144 decks) of normal Bikes costs about 350 dollars from the site I buy them from.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 7, 2009 05:00PM)
Oh boy, I made a mistake (as I am in the middle of programming my webshop). I meant how much such a carton WEIGHS (not costs). Thank you.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Sep 7, 2009 05:25PM)
Christian, you might want to give Kardwell a quick call. They would know that, I'm sure. Tel. 631-298-0005.
Message: Posted by: Rpascual (Sep 7, 2009 05:49PM)
How much a deck in box weighs? Is that what you're trying to say?
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 7, 2009 05:52PM)
My question is how much a carton containing 144 decks (12 bricks containing 12 decks each) weighs.
Message: Posted by: Mercury52 (Sep 7, 2009 06:22PM)
A case (144 decks) weighs about 33 pounds.

Kevin
Message: Posted by: Dan Bernier (Sep 7, 2009 07:03PM)
I realize that I look very foolish pushing some issues that really are not worth pushing. And, I do regrett getting involved in the first place. I have respect for Christian and have bought custom gaff's from him in the past. I don't think I'm showing that respect by getting all caught up in two stupid issues regarding "no pro's using fancy decks", and Christian's deck being the succesor to the bikes.

Christian did make the comment that NO pro's would use a fancy deck, yet several names of pro's have been mentioned that do. I suppose, I being a part time pro who uses "fancy decks" took offense to it and decided to turn it into a crusade to prove he was wrong with his statement. Christian has a great vision for his cards and I should of just left it alone. It was not very christian of me to try and distort that vision, or even interferre with it. Sometimes I just got to learn when to shut my mouth up. My apologies are first to you Christian, and then to anyone else here I may have offended with my negative behaviour.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Sep 8, 2009 03:42AM)
You're a good man, Gospel Dan.

It all reminds me of that old quote from Yogi Berra about a St. Louis restaurant called Ruggeri's: "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."
Message: Posted by: Sensio (Sep 10, 2009 10:36AM)
It could serve more if only an extra ace of spades was included with the main pip being similar to the rest aces. This would make elmsley moves better and all ace designs would be more similar between each other. Why, afterall, an ace should pop out from the rest???

Then 2 identical jokers could be included (very important to me as well as many others) as well as a doublebacker - this would be the tip of the iceberg - the kicker ending!!!...

My honest contribution and looking forward to trying them,

Sensio!
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 10, 2009 10:44AM)
Good point, Sensio, unfortunately the cards are already approved so I cannot and wonīt do any changes. But I could imagine adding an extra small Ace of Spades and extra Joker(s) to gaffed card sets.

I think the best choice would not be to sell double backers or blank faces alone, but pack together an assortment of gaffed cards. Letīs say 10 double backer red / red, 10 double backer blue / blue, 10 double backer blue / red, 10 blank face cards and some more gaffs to fill the pack like Skinner Monte cards and the cards above.

The blank backed decks will hopefully be available soon for Bicycle cards, so there will be no need to print them with the Phoenix faces. I probably will print the Phoenix cards with blank backs that are different to Bicycle cards so that you can combine that to get a complete blank backed Phoenix Deck if necessary.
Message: Posted by: tabman (Sep 10, 2009 01:48PM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-10 10:44, Card-Shark wrote:...but pack together an assortment of gaffed cards. Letīs say 10 double backer red / red, 10 double backer blue / blue, 10 double backer blue / red, 10 blank face cards and some more gaffs to fill the pack like Skinner Monte cards and the cards above....[/quote]

That sounds like the way to do it. When can we order some??

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: tabman (Sep 10, 2009 01:54PM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-07 19:03, Gospel Dan wrote:....apologies are first to you Christian, and then to anyone else here I may have offended with my negative behaviour....
[/quote]

Everyone is entitled tho their viewpoint and your comments made me think about what I had said about Howie. The point about Howie which I probably didn't make clear was that Howie was pitching the Piatnik decks. He tried to convert me to them but I didn't like them at all and I may not like these but its a feel thing and I expect them to feel like Bikes, right??

What is interesting here to me is a guy named "Gospel..." having an argument with a guy named Christian.

;)

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: mr.matt (Sep 10, 2009 02:08PM)
In agreeing with stoneunhinged

I'm going to apologize in advance for anyone who I offend with this because I'm not normally a confrontational person but this is ridiculous.

First the cards look great Mr. Card Shark. I will surely be picking up several packs hopefully you can sell them to my local magic shop for 3 dollars as I would gladly pay 4.50 a pack for them there to help keep them in business. That's why I pay twice the cost for my tally ho cards there ($4 vs. $2 online) because quite frankly we need to keep small business' in business. I agree that bicycles are very ugly which is why I stick to Tally's and Studs. (not sarcasm)

Second I apologize for the ignorance of my American comrades who are so self absorbed with this sense of entitlement that many of us are raised with in this "great" (sarcasm) nation. Many Americans do not realize that there are other places on a map. However if we bothered to look at where our seventy dollar designer jeans came from we may learn a little geography.

Third. Laymen as we call them do not care about card design whatsoever. If your magic, not just your effect, but your character; presentational skills; showmanship as well as the effect are all 110% you could do magic with cards printed on business cards from an office supply store and no one would care. If they do point out that your cards seem to be 'trick' cards you need practice more and learn how palm off all your gaffs hand the deck out for inspection and get your gaffs back where you need them, or become so proficient at sleight of hand that you don't need gaffs.

Fourth. As my Grandmother taught me "If you don't have anything nice to say don't say it at all." Is saying that someones art and creative card design is bad or stupid any different than when a spectator says your magic is dumb or he knows how you did a certain effect. No. Doesn't feel good when it happens to you so let's make the world a little better place and keep our mean comments to our selves and grow up.

Rant over.

As to avoid any more mean comments in here please PM hate mail to me and we can meet up for some zazen in Pittsburgh.

Respectfully
Matt
Message: Posted by: mr.matt (Sep 10, 2009 02:23PM)
Those big Aces already got my gears going. Something with Tell tale heart and doing shapeshifters and other color changes to have it look like its beating. Not sure on the rest yet any one else have any ideas.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 10, 2009 02:50PM)
Gospel Dan send me a PM a few days ago and as it says "private", I keep it private. I do not feel bad at all, also thanks to Dan.

I will try to convince as many dealers as possible. And if you wish a certain dealer to be part of the Phoenix Deck project, please tell him the he just has to contact me.

I will relaunch my website within the next few days and will then realize a preorder function on my website.
Message: Posted by: Mind_Magic (Sep 10, 2009 05:05PM)
I like The Phoenix Deck, it looks different.

I definitely will order some decks with gaffed cards.

Hope card-shark can print lefty deck.

Regards!
Message: Posted by: Hansen (Sep 10, 2009 06:14PM)
Actually, I thought the Phoenix Deck looked quite similiar to my preferred regular deck, Aladdin. I don't know if that's good or bad -- it probably is neither. The upshot is I think the Phoenix Deck is an excellent venture and I can certainly see myself picking up a deck or two. Congratulations Christian.
Message: Posted by: magicmind (Sep 12, 2009 03:30PM)
Since USPCC is going to stop production of gaffs. Foxlake went out awhile back. Guess we would have no choice but Phoenix.

Personally, Ilike the cards. Rebuying gaffs??? Not so much.

I have a few pet tricks with cards....hope to find those onsale soon, so I can buy more supplies ;)

Christian...thanks for all you do. I appreciate your creativity and would love to "beta test" anything you produce.

:bluebikes: ....guess Café needs a phoenix emoticon
Message: Posted by: Loopback (Sep 13, 2009 09:05PM)
I was under the impression they were still making gaffs but would not allow their Ace of Spades or their back design to be modified
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 14, 2009 02:56AM)
Both of you are right. USPCC decided not to touch the Ace of Spades, the Jokers and the back design. Then they changed the card case design.

Last but not least their mother company who has no idea of playing cards and looks only for numbers decided to stop storing most of the gaffs. No doublefacer, no doublebacker, no blank cards, no Jumbo cards etc.

They would produce the cards if someone will order a whole bunch of them (5000+) and sell them by himself.

This would be OK but there would still be the problem that most interesting gaffs who need to change the back design (for instance Twisted Angels, marked decks) will not be possible. And whatever they come up with new ideas against us magicians, we would have to live with that, no chance to complain whatsoever.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 14, 2009 03:40AM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-12 15:30, magicmind wrote:
:bluebikes: ....guess Café needs a phoenix emoticon
[/quote]

Your wish is my command. Meanwhile you can use these images ;)

[img]http://www.card-shark.de/Bilder/RedPhoenix.gif[/img] and [img]http://www.card-shark.de/Bilder/BluePhoenix.gif[/img]

red: http://www.card-shark.de/Bilder/RedPhoenix.gif
blue: http://www.card-shark.de/Bilder/BluePhoenix.gif
Message: Posted by: King14 (Sep 14, 2009 01:27PM)
Card-shark..Will the Phoenix gaffs match with the standard Bicycle Deck???Looking forward to buying these cards.Keep up the good work
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 14, 2009 01:33PM)
What kind of gaffs are you talking about? It would not make sense (in the first step) to produce "blank back Phoenix Decks" if they would look the same to a Bicycle blank back deck.

And all the other gaffs, for instance the Skinner Monte cards would match the Bicycle faces, but as they will show the Phoenix back they will not match.

So please explain what you are thinking of. Thank you.
Message: Posted by: King14 (Sep 14, 2009 02:41PM)
As long as I can purchase full range of gaffs to match Phoenix that's all I need.When can I pre-order from your site??
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 14, 2009 03:23PM)
My new website is up and running. All I now have to do is sort out things where and how I will ship my stuff to calculate prices.

This will take a few more days / weeks, but then I will start the preordering phasee.
Message: Posted by: Ray Haining (Sep 14, 2009 04:26PM)
Mr. Card Shark appears to have an acute marketing sense. Because of the change of policy by USPC concerning gaffs, there deinitely will be the need for something like this. I think he's done a brilliant job of producing a deck that, indeed, looks like something you'd get a local store.

Just a few thoughts:

AlluTallu, above, has a point: many magicians like to start out with a new, unopened deck, open it up in front of the spectators, take it out and shuffle it. It would look kind of odd, and suspicious, to have to remove three extra aces.

Maybe a normal deck--with just the four aces and only the one-way feature, as this is a natural occurrence in many ordinary decks--could be put out. You might consider going with an advertisement card--maybe for bicycle cards!--as long as you don't advertise magic. You could explain to potential advertisers that you encourage magicians to leave the decks with their audiences and that therefore their advertising will get around.

In a normal deck with only the four aces, you should go with the larger aces, as you are putting out a new deck and this "is you."

You might consider marketing your cards to the general public. Why not?

The idea of using a deck that is familiar to the audience is so that they don't suspect you of using trick cards. But in my experience, this is more a function of skill, rather than back design. Not that I'm any great shakes, but I've been accused of using a trick deck or trick cards even when using Bicycle cards.

I remember Fox Lake cards going out of fahion because, as far as I know, they were only available in bridge size, which at the time were considered too "effeminate"; real men only used poker size!
Message: Posted by: Ray Haining (Sep 14, 2009 04:28PM)
That's "get at a local store."
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 14, 2009 04:52PM)
I can understand that the extra aces are a little bit irritating. These where my thoughts about them:

I love the new aces but did not want to lift the hurdle for changing your favourite deck too high if you love your old aces. For some magicians the large aces could be a no go and therefore I would lose these guys.

Please think of the following if you want really to open up a new deck in front of a spectator:

1. you would be able to spread the deck in new deck order (without showing the last few cards - the aces) and "find" the four aces with your favourite revelations. After that you can get rid of the three extra aces by palming them off and you can continue with the rest of the deck.

2. you want to get rid of the extra aces at the top of the facedown deck? Treat them like advertisement cards. Take them off the deck without giving them any notice. Just put them into your pocket, mentioning that we do not need the advertisement cards. As every layman knows that usually there could be advertisement cards (not in Germany, by the way), nobody would take notice. Donīt run if you are not chased.

3. if you want to go into a Tamariz stack in front of the audience you can immediately go into your faros after removing the Joker and the "advertisement aces". No first setup shuffles to get the cards into start position. Just do it.

4. and finally if you are true to yourself: How often have you opened a deck in front of an audience? Right. Only once a night if you are using a new deck every day and do not want to break in the cards beforehand. So these are rather rare situations and regarding the possibilities with the extra aces (at this special place) the benefit is much higher than the drawback.

As the Phoenix Deck is "my deck" like you say my decision was for the larger aces AND the regular ones. Isnīt that great when you think about it? The missing second Joker can be taken out of a second deck easily, but the large aces are unique so far.

BTW, I never liked the Guarantee Joker in a Bicycle deck with all the text on it, for me it was more advertising than anything else. Every other (European) Deck would give you at least two nearly identical, beautiful looking, Jokers. In my magic I always use only a deck consisting of 52 cards, but if I would need jokers I would use two regular ones.
Message: Posted by: nikola paris (Sep 14, 2009 05:31PM)
What an incredible adventure ! Trying to create a new "standard" is very ambitious and courageous, but I would be one of your clients in order to encourage you for this adventure ! Good luck and thank you for doing your best for magicians... :)
Message: Posted by: Ray Haining (Sep 14, 2009 09:05PM)
I still say that if you are attempting to supplant Bicycle cards as the new "norm," then it would be good to have a normal, regular deck version available for those who don't care about gaffs. Couldn't you put out two regular deck versions, one with regular sized aces and another with the large version? In these versions, you could include two regular jokers.

By the way, I think the best design for the joker is just that: a joker, not a king riding a bicycle or, for that matter, a phoenix. However, the design of the joker would not prevent me from using a particuler deck.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 15, 2009 03:53AM)
Ray, we should talk about costs one day. ;)

The Phoenix Deck is meant as a "working horse" deck for magicians that appears regular, not as a Poker deck that can be used for laymen.

As the Phoenix Deck first has to have its success in the magic community before I would focus on the laymen market, I would do everything to support the working magicians. The "regular" features of a Phoenix Deck was never intended that I would sell a brandnew and sealed deck to a non-magician. What was a must for me is the feature that every magician should be able to leave the deck with the spectators after he did magic with it.

There are no clues whatsoever on the cardcase that this deck would be for magicians nor would there be a hint of the "extra cards" as you would have chosen beforehand if you want to use the large or regular aces. Why should I waste cards just for advertisement that nobody wants and always throw away? I give you a bonus for free. I know that the Phoenix deck is slightly more expensive than a regular deck. As this is the case I think I owe you arguments and features why you would have to pay more for it.

A Joker of each deck always reflects the brand of it. On studs it is a horse I think, on Steamboat it was a steamboat. The Phoenix bird is another bonus that I wanted to give you. This mythical bird has the capability to be reborn from ashes after he goes up in flames. Here is some background info. [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_(mythology)[/url]

So if you want to do a torn and restored effect or want to burn a card, this would be the perfect deck to tell a corresponding story.
Message: Posted by: AlluTallu (Sep 15, 2009 09:51AM)
I like the torn and restored idea with your joker design! This would be perfect with two identical jokers. I still think it would be great if you offered two decks: One with regular aces and the other with the bigger aces.

-Aleksi
Message: Posted by: VcosNJ (Sep 15, 2009 10:07AM)
Yeah, I'm not really feeling the duplicate aces, and the fact they are not the same as the regular aces. I'd also prefer two identical jokers. Anyway, I'll give this a try. :)
Message: Posted by: Jeff Corn (Sep 16, 2009 11:33AM)
I love the concept of the duplicate aces. If you're not a fan of the bigger aces, take them out and don't worry about them. Then you have a regular pack, sans advertisement cards. I always throw the ad cards away. Always. Like CS said, why waste the cardstock on cards that are going to be tossed out when you could just put something that others may actually use on them. I'm very interested and I tend to stay away from the special back designs.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Sep 16, 2009 01:30PM)
Just another quick comment:

I took the trouble (because I'm weird that way) to re-size the photo of the back of the deck to appear in the size of an actual playing card on my monitor, and it looks GREAT. I recommending doing that before dismissing the design out of hand. The design loses a little something blown up to larger proportions. Too much space between lines or something. In actual size this problem disappears.

Christian, if you recall I requested some kind of "reviewers first" privilege on your gypsy deck a couple of years ago. I was #6 on your order list. This time you can make it up to me. Put me down as #1 on your list this time. I'll take a full brick of mixed red/blue (if you can do that), or just red (if you can't).

But you need to get these out quick, while I have money in the bank. :)

Please, bitte bitte bitte, let me be the first!
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 16, 2009 03:50PM)
Everything is now on hold until Friday, USPCC sees problems in producing card cases for me that I designed by myself and that contain no information about them. These card cases will look similar to the cases you see on my first posting but I need them to put the thin cards inside.

I am now in discussion with them and their law department for weeks and there is no progress. Another great frustration period for me, it is not easy to deal with them. Strange as it is my mony, my artwork and myideas. They just should charge their services and proceed!!!

Yes, you can be one of the first. Unfortunately as the cards have to be shipped to Germany for European customers, US customers would get them first probably.
Message: Posted by: Andi Peters (Sep 16, 2009 04:50PM)
Will you be producing a gaff that has a blank front and blank back?
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 16, 2009 06:39PM)
Not if these cards are also available from "Bicycle". Both blank sides means there is no difference between Phoenix and Bicycle.
Message: Posted by: Zebaztian (Sep 20, 2009 03:16PM)
I like the idea of very thin cards. I use a Phil deck and a two way force Phil deck for a mentalist trick, but these 104 cards are as thick as 1.5 normal deck. Can I order one and / or two way force Phoenix decks?

Think about a mene tekel deck and a Svengali deck which has really all 52 cards, instead of 26! Or the gobsmack deck with all the cards in it, instead of 26 cards which are too thick.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 20, 2009 03:41PM)
With the thin Phoenix cards 104 cards will have a thickness that they will fit into a regular card case. I do not have two complete thin decks here so I cannot exactly measure if the double deck will be slightly thicker.

As far as I remember, the extra Jokers did not fit inside or the cards will only be very tight in the card case. But still a very satisfying situation. ;)
Message: Posted by: Zebaztian (Sep 20, 2009 04:01PM)
Just a little thicker is not a problem, as long as it is not as thick as two Phil decks.

Do you make one way force decks? Or should we order 52 Phoenix decks to make our own 52 one way force decks?
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 20, 2009 05:11PM)
Zebaztian: are you asking for forcing decks of the thin cards or of the regular cards? I think I will do both. With the thin cards I first wanted to start with only exclusive effects before I will offer the thin decks alone. But I wanted to establish VIP users who would support me with a higher order of regular decks. They will be authorized to get the regular thin decks right from the beginning.
Message: Posted by: Zebaztian (Sep 21, 2009 03:39AM)
I'm interested in the normal Phoenix deck, but also in Phoenix forcing decks. I'm not a VIP user, I'm just a small amateur who likes doing card tricks using gaffed decks. I do a small mentalist trick using the pop eyed popper deck, and a bigger mentalist trick with Phil cards (from Protea in South Africa). I see nice possibilities with you ultra-thin cards, but I need a few one or two way forcing decks.
Message: Posted by: Silvio (Sep 21, 2009 04:33AM)
Just Buy 52 of the decks then you can make a forcing deck lol...that's how I get mine lol
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 21, 2009 05:39AM)
Forcing Decks will be available also. No need to sort by yourself.

If I really want to replace Bicycle cards, those standards have to be available also.
Message: Posted by: motown (Sep 21, 2009 01:35PM)
After looking at the back for several minutes, I'd have to say it's not my kind of design.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 21, 2009 01:48PM)
Motown, thank you for looking at the back for several minutes. That is far more than I could expect from the most people. ;)

BTW, I have green light for the printing, all problems are solved, we will start now and proceed. Excitement is growing fast. Presale phase will start soon.
Message: Posted by: Lencano77 (Sep 22, 2009 06:31AM)
Nice deck, nice design and I like the name. So I will definitly try them out!

Nice job Card-Shark
Message: Posted by: booswain (Sep 22, 2009 12:44PM)
I want my hands on some of these..cant wait to buy some
Message: Posted by: iceblade (Sep 22, 2009 02:40PM)
Will the phoenix deck be available at bridge size? Thanks
Message: Posted by: Darth_Prime (Sep 23, 2009 02:09AM)
Am I the only one who can't find the markings on the back?..
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 23, 2009 10:26AM)
@Darth_Prime: Are you looking for the One-Way marking? Look on the left side of the card and search for a missing part that you will find on the other side ;)
Message: Posted by: booswain (Sep 23, 2009 05:19PM)
This is going to sound stupid but what does a one way marker mean
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 23, 2009 05:24PM)
A oneway marking is like a stripper deck for the eye. You will see which card is the only one that was turned around.
Message: Posted by: Tim Dowd (Sep 24, 2009 09:59AM)
Hi Christian, the first forcing deck you should make is the Joker then everyone who suggested two jokers are served, then produce the Tommy Wonder Tamed cards for me... I will then buy a few Bricks ;) I need a new set of Gypsy's Curse cards my old ones are falling to pieces...

I like the idea of doing a Four Ace Trick as an opener you could also do a diminishing deck gag and Topsy Turvey Cards from the Royal Road before hitting your Four Ace Trick.

Get everyone to write in with a good idea as an opener for your cards and then give it away as an e-book when someone orders a brick or two...
Message: Posted by: booswain (Sep 24, 2009 11:11AM)
Thank you card shark....the education continues....
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Sep 24, 2009 07:17PM)
Tim, I really like the idea. Perhaps we can add ideas in a special guest book that is available online for everyone.

Other surprises are waiting for you, also some special offers for early adopters.
Message: Posted by: AznSAmagic (Oct 1, 2009 01:34PM)
I'll give anything a try once...

Anymore updates Card-Shark?
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 1, 2009 01:55PM)
Yes, the update is: I have all prices, the final changes in the contracts will be made tomorrow, all artwork is approved.
The production should be done by the end of October / beginning of November. The release date should be by the middle of November. Perhaps the 11/11 is a good date for that!

The presale phase will be started this weekend. For all people who subscribed to my newsletter I also want to get a special deal so now would be a good time to subscribe. ;)

I am really excited!
Message: Posted by: Joaquin (Oct 1, 2009 02:34PM)
A Deck that looks different for any Layman raises a lot of suspicious.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 1, 2009 03:04PM)
Please, what do you call different? Bicycle is not THE poker deck, it is only A poker deck. A lot of magicians think that the whole world turns around this deck, but this is absolutely not true. Laymen just donīt care. It was funny being at a French magic convention. I saw minimum a dozen different decks used in corner magic all around. Open your mind for new opportunities!

If you think the proof that Bicycle is used throughout the world would be the fact that you pretty often see such a deck in the movies or tv series, then think of product placements where companies pay for something like that. As we are aware of playing cards we see the appearance of a deck immediately. If we would car salesmen we would easily see every single car that is used in the movies. Or take Apple. Do you really believe that so many Macs are used in the real world what the movies and tv series want to tell us?

In the end it is your magic that raises a lot of suspicious - or not...
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Oct 1, 2009 04:09PM)
[quote]
On 2009-10-01 14:34, Joaquin wrote:
A Deck that looks different for any Layman raises a lot of suspicious.
[/quote]

And what looks different for the layman?

Please don't be offended. But I have never in my entire life had someone say "those cards look suspicious" because I was using poker cards rather than skat cards. Never.

Never.

This is the purest red herring of all time.

Folks: use the cards you want to use. Period. You like Ellusionist cards? Use them. You are obsessed with Tally-hos? Use them. You want to support Christian's idea of creating a new brand altogether? Use them. Of course, Christian has magicians' needs in mind....
Message: Posted by: professorwhut (Oct 1, 2009 04:38PM)
I agree, use whatever the heck deck that floats your boat.

I wish Christian all the best with this project, everything I have ever gotten of his has far exceeded my expectations.
Message: Posted by: wcb39 (Oct 1, 2009 05:41PM)
Hey Stoneunhinged....right on! I love all decks [am a bit of a deck junkie!] and like yourself have never had anyone comment other than to ask me where I got the cards.
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Oct 1, 2009 06:04PM)
Stoneunhinged, it's a shame if we both really would live in Göttingen... I do - when I'm not traveling. See or hear you? Best, Jan
Message: Posted by: JIMclubber64 (Oct 1, 2009 09:53PM)
Hey Christian, could you post a picture the blue box? Blue is my preferred color when it comes to cards, and I'd like to see how this deck looks in blue.
Message: Posted by: prizna (Oct 7, 2009 06:48AM)
A phoenix mental photography deck would be good.
Message: Posted by: Sensio (Oct 7, 2009 07:38AM)
May I please ask why a US buyer will pay 3 US Dollars (i.e. circa 2 euros) for the same deck a European will be asked to pay 3 euros? i.e. 50% more? this also is strange given that the company is based in Germany, Europe...
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 7, 2009 08:12AM)
The calculation is very easy. I have to charge 19 % VAT within Europe and no tax for all other orders.

The cards will be produced in the USA but I found a solution that I can leave half of the production in the USA and will send out all US and Canada orders directly from there. This service is not free of charge for me but as it is faster for you I decided to do that. And as I only charge 5 US$ (3.50 Euro) for shipping and paper can get pretty heavy, this was the cheapest way for me to solve that problem also as the international shipping rates are already more expensive than the amount I am charging when I ship a single deck.

All other orders will be shipped out from Germany.
For that purpose I have to ship the decks over to Germany. Also to be sure that you will get best quality of gaffed decks I will prepare the Invisible Deck, Brainwave, Stripper etc. by myself. So all of these decks have to be shipped to Germany first, prepared and then be shipped back to the USA.

Paper is pretty heavy, we are talking about several palettes of cards that have to be shipped over here. As the European magicians should not have to wait two more months than the US magicians I have to ship them with air freight. On top of that I will have to pay customs.

So all in all this is a mixed calculation and there is not really a big margin on the regular decks. It is nearly the same on both prices.
Message: Posted by: Zebaztian (Oct 7, 2009 11:26AM)
Bicycle cards are much more expensive in Europe than in the USA. What did I read lately? A bit more than a dollar at Costco and Wallmart? The price is thrice as much in Europe - to start with.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 7, 2009 11:35AM)
Zebaztian, you are absolutely right. I really tried to get the price down as much as possible for ALL magicians around the globe. Bicycle decks are only available in Germany in magic shops and there they cost between 2.20 Euro and 3.70 Euro, depending on the quantity (and the quality of the magic shop).
Message: Posted by: Zebaztian (Oct 7, 2009 01:03PM)
[quote]
On 2009-10-01 14:34, Joaquin wrote:
A Deck that looks different for any Layman raises a lot of suspicious.
[/quote]
In Holland people play card games with bridge size cards which they got for free in their local pub. Mainly these cards are made by Carta Mundi in Belgium and have sponsored backs, e.g. by Jameson Whisky or Heineken Beer. So almost every non-sponsored back deck looks suspiciuous. On the other hand, layman just don't care which cards you use, as long as your trick / routine is well done.
Message: Posted by: PhiltheBear (Oct 7, 2009 02:16PM)
I'm not really into card magic - but I have previously bought Christian's Tarot deck, which is a masterpiece. I have to be honest, as a UK resident I don't think I've ever seen a Bicycle deck. Nor do I care. As a spectator or card player I'm not interested in what the back looks like - it's the faces that hold my attention. When someone is playing Find the Lady I really am not worried that the back of the card is of a particular pattern or colour. My guess is that 99.99% of any audience feels the same. I applaud Christian's idea of stepping into the gap that is going to be left by USPC for you Americans. For the rest of the world - we won't notice the difference. It really is that simple. And, yes, at some point I'll probably buy a deck or two but I'll probably wait to see what's available in the gaffed sets ;)
Message: Posted by: AznSAmagic (Oct 7, 2009 03:12PM)
Christian...

I'm in Canada but when I check out it is quoting me Euros and not US - why?

If I have to pay Euros, I'll be paying 50% more.
Message: Posted by: AznSAmagic (Oct 7, 2009 03:17PM)
Nevermind... Christian has fixed that :)

Order placed!
Message: Posted by: John McDonald (Oct 7, 2009 03:20PM)
Just pre-ordered mine. Christian you are to be commended for all the hard work that you have done. I notice you already have a marked, stripper, invisible deck etc..... I think that these cards look great. I have played around with the Richard Turner cards and am hoping they will be just as good.

Best and thanks

John
Message: Posted by: magicmind (Oct 7, 2009 03:27PM)
[quote]
On 2009-10-01 21:53, JIMclubber64 wrote:
Hey Christian, could you post a picture the blue box? Blue is my preferred color when it comes to cards, and I'd like to see how this deck looks in blue.
[/quote]

He posted several pics earlier in this thread.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 7, 2009 03:30PM)
I think I cannot state that I really want to establish a new alternative to Bicycle if I do not supply all the "standard" magic decks right from the beginning.

So the weeks until the official release will be extremely busy as I have to prepare all the trick decks by myself to provide best quality.

I found a rough and smooth spray that does not change the look of the cards so that both sides nearly look as glossy as always. So I am preparing a special spraying procedure to get all decks done by the 20th of November.

Hey guys, I have to thank you all for your support. Really, everybody is lost with his vision if nobody will listen and give his idea at least a try...
The future will show that someone is careing about the needs of professional card magicians.

As now all artwork and pictures are available (after a very busy weekend) you can see the blue deck and backs on my website.
Message: Posted by: Zebaztian (Oct 7, 2009 03:50PM)
Just pre-ordered a pack. Now I'll have to wait for more than a month.
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Oct 7, 2009 05:34PM)
Christian, that looks very impressive... when do you follow with double faces? See you next weekend in Austria... :) Jan
Message: Posted by: wpt1031 (Oct 7, 2009 05:41PM)
Just put my preorder in. Did the first presale set.
Message: Posted by: Rpascual (Oct 7, 2009 06:11PM)
Since bicycle brand jumbos are out of the question could we expect a phoenix jumbo set one day?
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 7, 2009 06:14PM)
Yes, and not only that, I am also thinking of a medium size deck with large indexes. It is great on stage, I produced some of the cards already for the Homing Card effect. You can see them in action here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQTgJaKPvUc

The idea behind this format: the cards still feel like Poker size cards so most of your slights can still be done. Even palming if you have large hands. And for the spectator the cards donīt look like a magic prop but just like a regular poker deck. For him it looks perhaps that you would have smaller hands. Thatīs all.
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Oct 7, 2009 06:31PM)
Christian, me again, double faces will follow? Jan
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 7, 2009 06:36PM)
I will tell you tomorrow live in Austria ;)
Message: Posted by: prizna (Oct 7, 2009 07:00PM)
Will you be making a mental photograpy deck?
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 7, 2009 07:03PM)
I think yes. It is just that I have to start somewhere. Actually I would like to support all needs to expand the possibilities of the Phoenix Deck as soon as possible.
Message: Posted by: magicbyfish (Oct 8, 2009 03:52AM)
Ok I amdit to being lazy and not reading through all 7 pages so forgive me if someone has allready asked this, but will you be producing a reversed index deck?
a lot of magicians I have spoken too are either left handed or like me grew up self taught doing sleights in right hand when magicians traditionally do them in the left hand, flourishes etc become blank at this point.
just a thought for the future?

alex
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 8, 2009 05:32AM)
I was the first who designed a "lefty deck" on a custom print, now as NYMP already produced a lefty deck on Bicycle we found an agreement that I should not have followed the idea of producing them in larger quantity.

I am willing to care about the idea and I do not want to say "no", please understand that I first have to get the regular deck to a certain success so that there will be at least some demand for a lefty version. The minimum quantity to be produced would be 1000 decks, but then the price per deck would necessarily be twice as high. So only larger production runs will bring the price down. Please letīs see how 2010 will work out for this project.

So far I have some other ideas like double facers with the same face on both sides, long cards, Jumbo decks etc. And as I am a small company I have to start somewhere and grow healthy. Doing too many things at the same time could harm the whole project. But definitely I do not want to say no.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Oct 8, 2009 12:53PM)
I ordered package #3 last night.

@Jan: I was totally unaware of any magician from Goettingen. Let's have a beer together. Just let me know when you're in town again.
Message: Posted by: deliveryboy (Oct 8, 2009 03:57PM)
Is their a way you can order just red backs without having to get blue backed decks?
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 8, 2009 04:07PM)
Yes, you can decide to get all red, all blue or mixed half and half.
Message: Posted by: prizna (Oct 8, 2009 08:14PM)
Can the set of 4 decks only be purchased as a mix of red and blue? (there is no option for colour and it says you get a mix)

and, I know it was mentioned here but I cant find the post but how much is shipping?
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 8, 2009 08:25PM)
Yes, the pack of four decks is only available in a mix to make it easier for shipping. If you just want red decks, order them separately, but then you will not get the trick cards on top.

All the other presale sets will have the option to choose the card colors.
Message: Posted by: prizna (Oct 8, 2009 08:28PM)
How much is the basic shipping cost?
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Oct 8, 2009 09:01PM)
@stoneunhinged: I'm back next week Tuesday... my tel.# is no secret (see my website...) Cheers, Jan
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 9, 2009 03:44AM)
I have a "flatrate" shipping cost of 3.50 Euro / 5 US$
Message: Posted by: SAMARITAN013 (Oct 9, 2009 12:16PM)
HI CHRISTIAN AND EVERYBODY,

AS YOU KNOW, I AM A BIG FAN OF ALL YOUR STUFF;
EVERY SINGLE TRICK YOU SELL(AND CONCEAVED),I BOUGHT AND MORE THAN ONE!!!
MY BYCICLE DECKS STAY WHERE THEY ARE AND THE SUCCES I HAVE WITH YOUR DECKS IS GREAT!!!
THE MARKINGS ON THE BACKS OF THE EXISTING MARKED DECKS YOU SELL ARE A LITTLE COMPLICATED, BUT AFTER TRAINING IT'S OK.
I HOPE YOU PUT AN OTHER SYSTEM ON THE BACK OF YOUR PHOENIX DECK...:)

I WANT TO TELL EVERYBODY: GIVE IT A TRY!!!! I AM SURE IT'S WORTH IT.
I ALLREADY PREORDERED 36 OF YOUR DECKS!!!!

BRAVOOOOO CHRISTIAN!!!!! GRÛSSEN AUS BELGIËN. STEPHANE.
Message: Posted by: edh (Oct 9, 2009 09:43PM)
Hmmmm...
Message: Posted by: Voldemort (Oct 9, 2009 09:55PM)
[quote]
On 2009-10-09 21:43, edh wrote:
Hmmmm...
[/quote]

Ditto...
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 9, 2009 09:55PM)
Hmmmm?

I met Stephane in France at the last convention two weeks ago. What a great guy, and yes, he is a very generous customer.

So thank you Stephane for your support, it was great meeting you, I think I will have to book you for private French lessons for next yearīs convention in Paris, France as I would like to demonstrate also in French language.
Message: Posted by: SAMARITAN013 (Oct 10, 2009 06:44AM)
CHRISTIAN,

IS THE MARKINGSYSTEM ON THE BACKS OF THE PHOENIX DECK DIFFERENT OF FOR EXAMPLE
THE MARKINGSYSTEM OF YOUR HEIRLOOM MARKED DECK????????? FOR ME THIS SYSTEM IS A LITTLE DIFFICULT TO "READ IN A GLIMPSE"!!!!
YOUR HEIRLOOM DECK IS GREAT IN HANDLING AND FEELING AND SUPER NICE. THE CHOICE BETWEEN EUROPEAN COURTCARDS OR US COURTCARDS AND THE POSSIBILITY TO BUY THESE TWO SETS OF COURTCARDS WITHOUT BUYING A WHOLE DECK IS UNIQUE IN THE CARDSELLING MARKET. AGAIN BRAVOOOO!!!!
THAT ALL TO STATE THAT I AM SURE YOU WILL DO ALL SUCH STUFF WITH YOUR PHOENIX DECK
AND THAT I AM VERY CONFIDENT ABOUT GETTING SPECIAL FEATURES,GAFFS,TRICKCARDS,... WITH A GOOD AFTERMARKED(LIKE YOU ALLWAYS OFFERED)AND AT HONNEST PRICES. THE IDEA OF TWO DIFFERENT SORT OF ACES IN THE PHOENIX DECK IS ALSO GREAT! EVERYBODY CAN CHOOSE WICH HE PREFERS, LONG LIVE DEMOCRACY.
THE PHOENIXDECK LOOKS NOT SUSPICIOUS. THE PHOENIXDECK IS NOT TOO EXPENSIVE. THE
SHIPPINGCOSTS ARE OK. AFTERMARKED AND COMMUNICATION WITH "CARDSHARK" IS SUPER. YOU ARE VERY OPEN-MINDED AND HAVE A LISTENING EAR FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS! I AM COMPLETELY CONVINCED!!!!!!
NOW AGAIN ABOUT THE MARKINGS ON THE MARKED PHOENIXDECK...?? EASYER???

PS. B.T.W. LITTLE RECTIFICATION, WE MET IN BLACKPOOL, NOT IN FRANCE.

GREETINGS TO ALL MAGIC FRIENDS . AMITIES DE LA BELGIQUE. STEPHANE.
Message: Posted by: CardMaker (Oct 10, 2009 06:51AM)
Uuuuuh, is this loud here.
Message: Posted by: SAMARITAN013 (Oct 10, 2009 07:17AM)
YES, I AM A BIG CONVINCED FAN!!!!
I REALLY BELIEVE IN A NEW STANDARD WITH THE PHOENIX DECK, KNOWING THE FOLOW-UP
THAT CARDSHARK GIVES TO ALL HIS PRODUCTS.
GREETINGS TO YOU CARDMAKER... I JUST VISITED YOUR WEBSITE; GREAT!!!!
GREETINGS TO ALL YOU MAGICIANS.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 10, 2009 08:40AM)
Sorry Stephane that I mixed you up with another great guy from Belgium. It is funny that your last name (that I do not name here completely) has something to do with shouting. ;)

The marking will be the one from Ted Lesley, but as all markings usually are made AFTER the playing cards where already designed and on the market, here I could go the other way. So I changed the back design again when I tried to make a very visible but well hidden marking. So the regular deck followed these changes so that I can now say:

the marking is extremely easy to read
it is coded like Ted Lesley (3S for Three of Spades)
it is visible even if you open up the fan only a very small part
it is huge compared to other markings
the alternative SUM deck even tops the "regular" marked deck as you then can do much more killer effects that usually would only be possible with a memorized deck.
Message: Posted by: booswain (Oct 10, 2009 10:05AM)
I purchased a 4 pack..thanks for the bonus cards...they look great and I'm excited about getting them..thanks for the good price
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Oct 10, 2009 10:22AM)
SAMARITAN013, it is considered a bit impolite to type everything all in BIG LETTERS LIKE THIS, which is why some people are not responding kindly to your posts. Since it is only your third post, and since you may be new to Internet forums, perhaps you do not know this.

Welcome to the Café! But please use big AND little letters when you type your posts. I'm sure that people will be much kinder and appreciative to your posts.

Jeff
Message: Posted by: SAMARITAN013 (Oct 10, 2009 01:27PM)
Thanks for the tip you give me, stoneunhinged; I am sorry if I looked impolite;
I write now with big glasses on my nose, cause I do not see very well any more and
certainly not on the laptop from wich I write;
thanks to you christian; I am happy to hear the new marked phoenix deck will have a ted lesley system!!!! very easy and clean and rapid to read; this will change from the other marked decks; what will be the price of your marked phoenix deck??

... and yes I am stephane something to do with shouting;;; nearly blind and surely deaf:)
greetings to all
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 10, 2009 02:44PM)
If you want to see an overview of all products that will be available right from the start please follow this link: http://www.card-shark.de/?page=65&lang=en&shop=true&Category=10

Thank you.
Message: Posted by: alibaba (Oct 10, 2009 05:55PM)
I've visited the web site and preordered. Very impressive indeed. I, for one, would love to see you turn your talents to fanning decks. I've always loved the old, art-deco designs (such as the Cardini and Tannen backs).
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 10, 2009 08:10PM)
Thin (manipulation) cards in Phoenix design will be released soon also. Donīt worry. ;)
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Oct 13, 2009 06:34AM)
I've seen samples of the new Phoenix Deck last weekend at a little (but great...!) convention in Austria and I was talking with Christian "Card-Shark" a lot about his upcoming projects. The cards are excellent, the design of back, Jokers and the Aces are wonderful. I wish Card-Shark the success he deserves. Jan
Message: Posted by: King14 (Oct 17, 2009 04:34PM)
The Phoenix Deck will be ready for the UK Postal strike.Dammmmm
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 17, 2009 04:39PM)
If everything works well I will bring them with me to McMillan's Day. ;)

But I guess that they wonīt strike for more than a month.
Message: Posted by: Daniel Normandeau (Oct 19, 2009 05:01PM)
Those look really slick! Can't wait to add to my collection. Should be fun for XCM as well!
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 19, 2009 05:07PM)
Just to let you know that Steve added the Phoenix card cases to the list of available smileys ;)

phoenixred: :phoenixred:
phoenixblue: :phoenixblue:

So feel free to use them to show your support to others. Thank you all for your help, the presale is still open and so far the feedback is really great.

Christian
Message: Posted by: Joe Mauro (Oct 19, 2009 10:45PM)
Mr. Brooks sent out an announcement to purchase.

Will there be a McDonald's Aces gaff set for purchase?

~Joe
Message: Posted by: Sword of the Soldier (Oct 19, 2009 11:16PM)
Just ordered my set. I'm excited to see how these puppies handle! Can't wait!

Josh
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 20, 2009 04:06AM)
The McDonaldīs Aces are missing in the first step but I could produce some as I already have blank backed Aces. Perhaps I should add this custom printed set to my webshop so far. (All I have to do is printing some cards on their backs.)

Later this classic set of cards will of course be printed directly at USPCC.

BTW, I am open for other suggestions.
Message: Posted by: Roger Kelly (Oct 20, 2009 05:23AM)
The thread has become too long too read in depth with the short space of time that I've got at the moment, so appolgies if I'm raking up old ground.

Christian certainly has come up with a lovely product and it shows that much thought and creativity has gone into these cards. I'll be getting some just to look at - but I'm afraid that'll be it. My concerns are that there is only ONE joker. I don't know of many decks that only have one joker - but I'm sure they exist. Christopher Williams summed it up for me earlier on Page 1. Two jokers are the 'norm' for me. I use them for a sandwich effect and the finale for Jumping Gemini. So, not only TWO jokers but two IDENT jokers are essential for me.

I wonder if the ONE joker was a cunning marketting ploy on Christian's part? He almost 'assures' more sales in the hope that we [i]double-up[/i] on our orders.

My other [i]issue[/i] is that they are not large index - which I think proper poker cards should be.

So, beautiful product - of that there is no doubt. AND I'll wager that the quality is excellent as reflected in other Card Shark work. It's nice to see that gaffs will be available too.

But, given the fullness of time and if they do 'reach' all magicans, won't they then become "...those dodgy cards that all magicians use..." ??

If they're double ident jokered (or a Joker Force deck available) and are large indexed and competitively priced enough (not always the case with Card Shark product - but you do get quality!) to buy in bulk from a UK dealer (no shipping) then I'm [b]All In[/b] I know, I know, I'm being picky - but I'm the customer - and that's what matters in any business venture.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 20, 2009 05:42AM)
Hi Roger,

please visit my website to see that the prices are more than competitive, magic dealers are invited to stock them also. BTW, I will be at International Magic where you can see the cards also.

About the index: the faces are first of all exactly the ones from Bicycle, so the indices are similar to the ones you know and use.

About the Joker: believe me, if there would have been a chance to get 57 cards instead of 56 I would have loved to add a second Joker. As you need two identical Jokers for your sandwich effect then I wonder why you never complained at USPCC. They have this ugly guarantee Joker that nobody can use (OK, letīs say 80%) but as there where never complaints about that I thought that this should not be a great issue. Actually you can have mine as I never use Jokers and usually throw them away. ;)

I get great responses so far about the huge symbols of the aces when I show the prototype deck to magicians. If time will tell that the large ones will be accepted I will have no problems in switching completely over to them. Then there will be again space for a second Joker on the printing sheet.
Message: Posted by: Voldemort (Oct 20, 2009 06:02AM)
I'm sorry... But $36.00 U.S. per dozen plus shipping is NOT competitive. At least not here in the U.S.

Abroad maybe, But not here.

I can buy a dozen decks of Tally's for $26.00 here.
Message: Posted by: Roger Kelly (Oct 20, 2009 06:13AM)
Hi Chritian

Thanks for getting back.

[quote]
About the index: the faces are first of all exactly the ones from Bicycle, so the indices are similar to the ones you know and use.[/quote]

Hmmm - I don't think I explained myself properly there. What I was referring to was the Jumbo Index - as in casino cards. They are what I use currently as they fit with my gambling theme on occasions.

[quote] As you need two identical Jokers for your sandwich effect then I wonder why you never complained at USPCC. They have this ugly guarantee Joker that nobody can use (OK, letīs say 80%)...[/quote]

Christian, if you only knew how many times I'd complained to USPCC, direct and here on the Café. I've given up now for reasons I wont bore you with. But you are right in a fashion. The Guarantee Joker is useless but I sometimes use one from a different colour deck for a, late in the show, Cros/Bizarre Twist. Incidentally, One-way forcing decks are common enough in Bike Jokers - so I have plenty. I just break open a new deck and add a regular Joker and trash the other. That way, the jokers stay uniform with the rest of the deck, (which is one of the points Chritopher Williams was alluding to earlier.)

Anyway, I look forward to having a look at International Magic. Are you talking about the shop in Clerkenwell, London, or JUST the convention? Sadly, I wont be at the convention.

I hope it all goes well for you.

Regards.

PS - (off topic) can you provide Bycycle type (Jumbo Index) blank backs?
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 20, 2009 06:33AM)
[quote]
On 2009-10-20 06:02, Voldemort wrote:
I'm sorry... But $36.00 U.S. per dozen plus shipping is NOT competitive. At least not here in the U.S.

Abroad maybe, But not here.

I can buy a dozen decks of Tally's for $26.00 here.
[/quote]

Competitive to what? The cheap Costco prices for badly cut Bicycle decks? How could I (and why should I)? I am setting new ground and take a high risk and therefore I have to start with a much lower quantity so that I will not "die in beauty". If everything works as hoped and the demand for the cards will rise I will be happy to increase quantities and lower prices.

My quantity is far less than 20 million decks of Bicycle each year. So the only chance to compete is with best quality. I would say my Phoenix deck can be best compared with Richard Turner Gold Seal decks.

Richard Turner offers two bricks (24 decks) for a price of 60 US$ (not possible to get a single deck or only 12 decks) plus 10.50 US$. You will always get 12 red and 12 blue decks, even if you only need red decks. I would never say anything against this offer as it is really great.

My price compared to that incl. shipping cost is 72 US$ plus 5 US$ shipping. You can have smaller quantities and also decks of only one color.

Other comparable decks:
Lee Asherīs Fournier 605 deck: 11 US$ plus shipping
Ellusionist`s Bicycle Masters: 3.30 US$ if choosing more than a dozen plus shipping
Theory11 Bee Stingers: 4.20 US$ if choosing more than a dozen plus shipping

About Jumbo index cards:
I am planning a jumbo index, midsize format poker deck. It will not be based on the Jumbo Index Bicycle cards as I do not like them. The middle part is too small and the court cards completely look different. I would stay with the face center parts of a regular Phoenix deck and would put all available space into the larger indices. You can see samples here as Trevor Lewis uses the custom produced cards for his Homing Card effect: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQTgJaKPvUc

Unfortunately I do not have Jumbo Index blank back decks. And also unfortunately: I will be at the convention, but I could imagine that Martin and Card Collection would get some of the Phoenix cards.
Message: Posted by: Roger Kelly (Oct 20, 2009 06:47AM)
I've got no 'beef' about the costs where quality is assured. And without even seeing these, I've no doubt that they will be excellent. The pre-sale offers look good - its just that I will ONLY purchase fom a UK dealer and ONLY to avoid the shipping costs, which I realsie cannot be avoided, but are very expesive due to the bulk/weight of the order from USA or Germany. Shame I'll miss these at the convention. (Hmmm - could pop in for one day I supppose!)

Christian, you are a tease!! I got all excited when you said you were looking at Jumbo Index - BUT in mid format!! Bummer! No good to me either.

Shame you don't do a blank back large index Bike. Oh, well - just means I cant do one particular trick which is a favourite. And I can't be bothered to split cards!

Will you be offering a one-way force deck of Phoenix jokers?
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 20, 2009 07:05AM)
Roger, first of all I only charge 3.50 Euro for shipping, independend of the quantity you are ordering. It is not my problem that England is still holding to their British Pound and that the pound is so weak compared to the Euro at the moment. ;)

The midsize cards will be worth a try as they are extremely visible on stage but handle still like Poker cards. As long as you do not have to palm a card AND have small hands you will be able to do all your favourite moves. I can palm such a midsize card. The charm about these cards: for a spectator the cards still look like Poker size cards and do not look like stage props. But they will be much more visible and a real alternative to the Jumbo Decks of Bicycle.

Yes, one-way force decks (of Phoenix Jokers) will also be available.
Message: Posted by: ArtIn (Oct 20, 2009 07:21AM)
When this special ThinCards will be available the World stops turning!
It seems that a lot of people don't realize that it is a hard run against USPCC.
Like Christian already mentioned in Europe there is no Problem at all with using
different card stocks.. be creative!
a deck should be no excuse for bad handling or suspicous moves.

I think phoenix deck is not about using new cards with a new design..
and dealing with the problem of suspicion. it is about opening a new era of effects! hope there is something to discover at blackpool next year!


I will be looking forward to see this project grow up!

_________________
PS:
when will the thin deck be available?
when will the tamed cards are available?
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 20, 2009 07:34AM)
I hope that both - Tamed Card and thin cards - will be available next yearīs Blackpool. I am working on that so that hope will be replaced by knowing.
Message: Posted by: magicjack1977 (Oct 20, 2009 10:06AM)
No offense, as it looks like a great deck, but if it's supposed to emulate a regular deck of bikes so closely, then why not just use regular bikes? They are not suspicious to the spectator (unlike cards with odd or unfamiliar markings - the US Playing Card Co. brand is no longer enough to quell the suspicions) and regular bikes cost a hell of a lot less to replace and can be picked up at your local gas station.

I've bought so many "magicians" decks over the years and I alwasy go back to regular bikes (or Bee). I suspect I'll just be sticking with them. to each their own though.
Message: Posted by: Roger Kelly (Oct 20, 2009 10:09AM)
[quote]

Roger, first of all I only charge 3.50 Euro for shipping, independent of the quantity you are ordering...[/quote]

Really?!! That is a fantastic deal. Certainly worth me re-considering. (Just a marketting suggestion Christian - you might want to make that [b]stand out[/b] on your website - because something like that is a sales clincher! It wasn't that obvious to me.)

[quote]Yes, one-way force decks (of Phoenix Jokers) will also be available.[/quote]
Again - brilliant news! Problem solved!

I'm now interested - shame about the jumbo indices though. ;)
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 20, 2009 10:17AM)
Also good news about the following: I will be able to offer blank back Phoenix Decks and double face Phoenix Decks right from the release date of the 20th of November. I will add these two variations within the next few days.

About pricing: I am sure that I will never will get all Bicycle users to move over to Phoenix. But sometimes talking about 1 US$ saving when buying a deck of cards (while you are booked for a gig for a couple of hundred US$) just makes no sense to me. Just imagine how many decks you have to buy to save enough money to invite your lady to a nice dinner. Will one year of using and buying cards be enough?

I do not want to reduce the features of my deck to the pricing. This for sure is not a USP, other features are, for instance the soon available thin card stock with matching faces and backs.
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Oct 20, 2009 01:25PM)
I too haven't read all this thread, but it's certainly of interest. The problem I have, is that I have a good many gaffed Bicycle Decks. Many of them I use just occasionally - but switching to a new design would mean replacing my entire card set.
I don't fully grasp what the new "politics" are at USPCC, but it seems to me that they make, or allow a huge number of gaffed decks to be made. For instance, the John Kennedy Mind power Deck, is one of my favourite packs. In order to produce this deck in Phoenix, wouldn't you need to first get the consent of John Kennedy?
Bicycle also currently offer a wide selection of different coloured backs, aged cards, reverse image cards, etc. As they already produce such a vast selection of variations and gaffs, I don't see how your new cards are so appealing?
Whilst I like the concept, surely USPCC have already made the Bicycle brand the "magician's choice"...what exactly do your cards offer, that Bicycle can't?
sorry if I'm missing the point.....
Potty :)
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Oct 20, 2009 02:47PM)
Potty, I think that your point is a good one. But this statement:

[quote]...surely USPCC have already made the Bicycle brand the "magician's choice"....[/quote]

...reveals the the whole point of the venture. Bicycle has made policy changes which means abandoning magicians.

USPCC has allowed a huge number of gaffed decks to be made, but they will no more.

That's what all this is about.

Christian has designed a deck which he has complete legal control over. Thus he can also continue to make any gaffs anybody wants in perpetuity.

It's a big risk he's taking. I'm not saying that everyone should support him. But...OK, I lied. I think everyone should support him.
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Oct 21, 2009 02:24AM)
" Bicycle has made policy changes which means abandoning magicians.

USPCC has allowed a huge number of gaffed decks to be made, but they will no more."

I thought I'd read that they've only decided to stop making a few gaffed cards. If indeed they plan to stop manufacturing ALL their gaffed decks, then they will lose the business of many of the World's magicians. Perhaps that's their intention, they feel that allowing their brand to be associated with gaffed decks is detrimental to their core sales.
The most important gaffs for me are pretty basic - double backs/faces, and various different colours.
With the exception of the Mind Power Deck, I can't think of many specially printed cards that are of value to me. Svengali decks can easily be made at home (I actually prefer mine to have all the cards the same length).....as can many other gaffs, such as "Stand and Deliver",etc.
I guess the real test will be when magicians go to buy their favourite deck, and find it unavailable....
But I wonder if Bicycle will be happy to lose what must amount to a fair amount of trade from magicians around the World? Or will they simply reverse their policy at the next board meeting?
Doug
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Oct 21, 2009 03:46AM)
[quote]
On 2009-10-21 02:24, Potty the Pirate wrote:
Or will they simply reverse their policy at the next board meeting?
Doug
[/quote]

That's certainly a risk Christian is taking.

But the way I look at it, I'm taking no risk at all by buying Christian's cards instead of bikes. By supporting him I'm putting my money into a business made by a magician for magicians. It's win win, all the way.

The only negative I can see is for those who have a very heavy card use. If you absolutely must open two or three packs per day and are going through 1,000 decks per year, then an extra fifty cents or dollar per deck plus a couple of sets of gaffs could add up to a big chunk of money.

But who burns through 1,000 decks per year?
Message: Posted by: Kevinr (Oct 21, 2009 03:52AM)
[quote]
On 2009-10-20 10:06, magicjack1977 wrote:
No offense, as it looks like a great deck, but if it's supposed to emulate a regular deck of bikes so closely, then why not just use regular bikes? They are not suspicious to the spectator (unlike cards with odd or unfamiliar markings - the US Playing Card Co. brand is no longer enough to quell the suspicions) and regular bikes cost a hell of a lot less to replace and can be picked up at your local gas station.

I've bought so many "magicians" decks over the years and I alwasy go back to regular bikes (or Bee). I suspect I'll just be sticking with them. to each their own though.
[/quote]

I agree what does this deck do that others don't?

Whats the point other than to collect another deck?

Practice with the cheap standard bike cards.. that's what you hand need to learn to work with...

Air Jordans won't make you play basketball better...

Having Tiger Woods gold club won't make you play golf like Tiger Woods

Flashy cards won't make you a better XCM (just make people wonder if the cards are fake)

There are no short cuts for PRACTICE!
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Oct 21, 2009 05:36AM)
Kevin, it seems that you have jumped into this thread without reading it.

This deck does nothing other decks don't.

This deck is not being made for collectors.

Price is relative: there are, at last count, more people living in the European Union than in North America; for us bikes are neither cheap nor what you can buy at the local supermarket or convenience store.

This deck is not going to make you perform magic better. No one has made that claim, nor would Christian be so silly as to make the claim. Thus your reference to Air Jordans or Tiger Woods gold clubs is silly.

What the Phoenix deck *is* is a [i]project[/i]. It is an entrepreneurial undertaking to provide magicians with a permanent source for cards which can legally be gaffed in perpetuity.

The point is NOT to compete with specialty decks such as those being made by Ellusionist. The point is NOT to have a deck which looks fancy and flashy and make XCM look better. The point is NOT to try to get six or seven bucks per deck by marketing to the under 21 crowd. And anyone who thinks that these are the selling points of this deck has not adequately read and comprehended this thread.

The point of this deck is to provide an alternative *workhorse* deck to working magicians.

As for your last comment, "There are no short cuts for PRACTICE!", you are most definitely WRONG. Fully developed reading competence will shorten the time one needs to master one's endeavors in any and every field.

You should give it a try.
Message: Posted by: ottphd (Oct 21, 2009 09:31AM)
Decks look great, looking forward to using them. I own a lot of different and unique decks, Change is good! Why not have another tool in your work shop? After all, you do not know how sweet the wine is until you taste it.
thanks card-shark, I stand behind you 100%
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 21, 2009 09:52AM)
Thanks everybody for your support and interest. Everyday I get more excited as the appearance of my brain child where I put so much work, time and effort into finally comes to life.
Message: Posted by: Kevinr (Oct 21, 2009 02:01PM)
[quote]
On 2009-10-21 05:36, stoneunhinged wrote:
Kevin, it seems that you have jumped into this thread without reading it.

This deck does nothing other decks don't.

This deck is not being made for collectors.

Price is relative: there are, at last count, more people living in the European Union than in North America; for us bikes are neither cheap nor what you can buy at the local supermarket or convenience store.

This deck is not going to make you perform magic better. No one has made that claim, nor would Christian be so silly as to make the claim. Thus your reference to Air Jordans or Tiger Woods gold clubs is silly.

What the Phoenix deck *is* is a [i]project[/i]. It is an entrepreneurial undertaking to provide magicians with a permanent source for cards which can legally be gaffed in perpetuity.

The point is NOT to compete with specialty decks such as those being made by Ellusionist. The point is NOT to have a deck which looks fancy and flashy and make XCM look better. The point is NOT to try to get six or seven bucks per deck by marketing to the under 21 crowd. And anyone who thinks that these are the selling points of this deck has not adequately read and comprehended this thread.

The point of this deck is to provide an alternative *workhorse* deck to working magicians.

As for your last comment, "There are no short cuts for PRACTICE!", you are most definitely WRONG. Fully developed reading competence will shorten the time one needs to master one's endeavors in any and every field.

You should give it a try.
[/quote]

I read all 8 pages.. I even quoted another poster in my last post..


Here is what these eye catching cards will do if magicians actually start buying them and not used for anything else:

People will reconize them as (As they are starring down to watch you card trick) "Hmm, Never seen those cards before. Oh those are those fire bird cards all magicians need to use."

Of course that's if we all started buying them. However, others have already gotten on making there own cards band wagon. Because there is always some kid out there ready to buy yet another new deck of funny cards. For those that use bicycle cards they are NOT getting rid of ALL the abilities to use there cards so don't freak out and think you have to buy ALL new cards now...

(pointless chatter below)

The largest producer of playing Cards is The United States Playing Card Company (go figure in the Unites States) located in Cincinnati, Ohio, is the world's largest producer of playing cards. The company was founded in 1867. USPC vends over 100,000,000 decks of playing cards annually. The company produces Aristocrat, Aviator, Bee, Bicycle and Hoyle brand cards...

Yes if you count ALL 27 EU countries you will reach around 495 million people and the United States has about 301 Million.. China has 1.3 billion people... What that has to do with special cards that clients will only see in a bag of magic tricks is beyond me?!??? but you brought it up so...
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Oct 21, 2009 03:17PM)
[quote]
On 2009-10-21 14:01, Kevinr wrote:
What that has to do with special cards that clients will only see in a bag of magic tricks is beyond me?!??? but you brought it up so...
[/quote]

The point is, my friend, that BIKES are special cards in Europe. Bikes. Bikes are strange, weird, and have to be explained.

I brought it up because I live in Europe. Where bikes are strange cards.

Your mileage may vary.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 21, 2009 04:16PM)
I met an older US couple that visited the "old world" in Austria. I took out a Bicycle deck and they asked me if these are cards from Austria. Any questions?

Why do you really believe that all US citizens would care about playing cards or that Bicycle cards exist? Because they have nothing better to do to look at the back of cards that show up in movies or tv series? Hmm. There are more important things to watch. Every magician learning at least a little bit about (mis-)direction will know how many items will stay completely unrecognized by normal people. We are aware of the existence of these cards so we see them in a completely different light. But not lay people. It is funny how often this "common" deck is the center of discussions in a forum. In the real world if you go out and do good magic this issue will NEVER exist.
Message: Posted by: kcg5 (Oct 21, 2009 04:20PM)
Kevinr, USPCC is no longer in Ohio. And I believe the general thrust in this discussion is that the guy making the cards put in his own hard work, and is a magician. This might be a great product, give it a chance.

I will be interested to get my hands on a deck of these. Will they be sold at magic shops? ( I understand it is the owner who would be stocking them)

Jeff, I believe USPCC stopped making many of the gaffs because of the move. I will have to do some research and get back to you on that. Many rumors out there, many forums, some truth...
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Oct 21, 2009 04:21PM)
Both last posts are very true and valid. Jan
P.S.: O.k., last three posts...
Message: Posted by: iceblade (Oct 21, 2009 04:24PM)
It's a pity those aren't made in bridge size because I would certainly give them a try
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 21, 2009 04:39PM)
In the last three years bridge size cards never played a role for me. If ever, perhaps 5 people asked for special bridge size cards. Paul Potassy is one of them...

So the chances for a bridgesize deck are really small. And this, btw, is the same reason why a lot of special trick cards are no longer stocked at USPCC as the demand of magicianīs cards are for them only marginal. Means: not even 2 percent of their sold playing cards go to magicians. Their main business is definitely in casino playing cards. Why they stopped several trick cards? Due to their law department. All their trademarks (backs, Jokers, Aces) only keep strong if they are not changed over and over again. Every single change weakens their trademarks and there would be one day where USPCC will not be in the position to fight against any rip-offs from China or other producers. That is the reason why they stopped it.

I can understand their point of view absolutely. For them it is much more important to keep selling 20 million Bicycle decks per year and lose a few angry magicians than keeping a few magicians happy and facing the biggest problem of copies of their most important brand.
Message: Posted by: Bill Lhotta (Oct 21, 2009 06:08PM)
I read the advertisement from the Café here that Steve sent out and after drilling into one of the links was surprised to read that USPCC was discontinuing double backers/double facers and blank faced cards. I was under the assumption (as discussed in this [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=320924&forum=203] Thread[/url]) the only gaffs that were being discontinued by the USPCC were those that altered the trademarked design on the back. In the thread I just mentioned it states double backers, double facers, blank faced cards , mismarked pips (except for Ace of Spades), etc would not be affected by the new USPCC policy since these gaffs do not alter the back design that the USPCC owns.

I’d like to understand if this is true or not as it goes against some of the key advertising points made in the Phoenix ad.

Christian would you please comment.

Thanks!

** Bill **
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 21, 2009 06:23PM)
USPC took the mentioned products out of their portfolio. If someone orders these kind of decks and stocks them by himself, these kind of cards will exist in near future again.

But this will not be the effort of USPC regarding us magicians, it is because someone (or a group of people) wants to fill the gap that USPC opened. So far as I heard these standard gaffs (double facers, blank cards, double backers) should be available soon. This shows that we cannot rely any longer on USPC's care for magicians but on the efforts of other companies or persons. I don`t want to criticize the politics of USPC, they have to survive in a hard world market of playing cards. And the new owners wanted to concentrate on the core markets to increase the profits so it seems.
Message: Posted by: Bill Lhotta (Oct 21, 2009 07:57PM)
Thanks for the clarification Christian!

** Bill **
Message: Posted by: Steve Brooks (Oct 21, 2009 08:30PM)
I'm looking forward to checking these decks out, but then again I'm a card guy.

---

:phoenixblue: :phoenixred:
Message: Posted by: J-Mac (Oct 22, 2009 01:04AM)
I'm not a card guy - I stick mostly to coins. Small hands make card sleights a potential disaster for me every time I perform them!

That said, I really do like the Phoenix deck and also the fact that Christian is really putting a lot into this - sure, for himself as a business owner, but also for magicians everywhere.

So I'm about to place an order now, probably for a dozen Phoenix decks. Heck, If I don't end up using most for performances, I know some people - and some really nice kids (ahem... my granddaughters!!) who will love playing poker with them!! And I'll bet no one even notices that they aren't Bikes.

(Just for grins and giggles, I asked several folks last week - regular people from all walks of my life - what brand cards they usually play cards with. Not one had an answer! I then asked what the backs of the cards looked like - most said either "Red, with some kind of design", or the same answer but with "Blue".)

Thanks Christian.

Jim
Message: Posted by: Lee Smith (Oct 23, 2009 11:14AM)
I really like the look of these, I have sent a pre order to try them out.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Oct 24, 2009 01:32AM)
Has anyone tried to faro these cards? If so, how do they compare to other major brands?

John

PS Even here in Canada, most decks that I see are from the dollar store. I've never met a non-magician who has said that anything was standard.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 24, 2009 07:54AM)
As the cards are still not on the market nobody can have had the chance to faro them. Just take a regular deck of Bicycle cards and faro them face-up if you usually faro Bicycle face-down. This should give you a close feeling how they will handle when they are available.
Message: Posted by: Mercury52 (Oct 24, 2009 09:48AM)
Christian showed me a prototype Phoenix deck back in August at LVMI and Magic Live. As someone mentioned earlier, they do have an "Aladdin" kind of vibe to the back design. I quite like them.

As for audiences thinking something is standard or not... Between myself and magician friends of mine, I've seen magic done for layfolks with Bikes, Tally-Hos, Bees, Split Spades, Arrcos, etc, etc, and not ONCE has anyone said anything about whether the cards were normal or not. People just don't pay a lot of attention to it. If they see 52 faces and a design on the back, it registers to them as a deck of cards. Also, normal people buy their decks at Walmart, Target, the drugstore, etc. If you go into any of those stores, you'll see normal Bikes, Jumbo index, Bees, Studs (at Walgreens), Pinochle decks, Spongebob decks, and so forth. People are aware that multiple decks exist. Magicians seem to LOVE to run without being chased.

I think the Phoenix deck looks really nice, and I'm glad Christian is trying to put out a deck that magicians can have full control over in order to produce any effect imaginable. I put my preorder in on day 1.

Kevin
Message: Posted by: Harry Guinness (Oct 24, 2009 07:11PM)
Really like the look of these. Need to replenish my card stocks, down to my last few decks. Not been impressed with the last few bricks of Bikes I bought, edges were rough! Also, based in Ireland we have no shops that sell bricks of cards cheaply. Cost 30 yoyos to get a brick over here! Christian, I'm gonna be fully behind you!!! Gonna order presale pack 5 I think! 3 quid a deck plus the extras suits me great!
Message: Posted by: Dizzidiz (Oct 25, 2009 09:40PM)
I just ordered myself a birck of them. the 5 dollar shipping made me ecstatic! (I'm in canada)

I would have bought more, but I don;t have money right now haha (school >_<)
Message: Posted by: Darius DCLXVI (Oct 26, 2009 06:45AM)
I think if someone is going to suspect you of using dodgy cards, they will suspect you whatever deck your using. I've had it a couple of times in my professional work using nomral bikes.I can't see why the Pheonix deck would make people anymore supsicious.

I've been using the Karnival deck for a long time now and not had anyone suspect them (I have had a lot of comments on how cool they look!)

I will be honest and say that the design is not to my personal liking but I do think this project is a very good idea and Christian deserves to do very well with it.

Best of luck

Darius
Message: Posted by: Darius DCLXVI (Oct 26, 2009 06:45AM)
I think if someone is going to suspect you of using dodgy cards, they will suspect you whatever deck your using. I've had it a couple of times in my professional work using nomral bikes.I can't see why the Pheonix deck would make people anymore supsicious.

I've been using the Karnival deck for a long time now and not had anyone suspect them (I have had a lot of comments on how cool they look!)

I will be honest and say that the design is not to my personal liking but I do think this project is a very good idea and Christian deserves to do very well with it.

Best of luck

Darius
Message: Posted by: wpt1031 (Oct 26, 2009 11:58AM)
Will these decks be offered by any other retailers besides yourself Christian? If not its not a big deal since your shipping is fantastic.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Oct 26, 2009 12:05PM)
I am open for all dealers and there are already a few inquiries. If you have a dealer nearby where you would like to purchase the Phoenix Decks: please say hello from me and tell him that he should visit my website and get his dealer status here:

http://www.card-shark.de/index.cfm?page=56&lang=en&dealer=true

Thanks
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Oct 27, 2009 02:24AM)
Some folks have commented that Bicycle brand is unusual in Europe - not quite true, they appear perfectly normal to Brits. But of course, most other European countries have different court cards - in Germany the queen is "D", the king is "R", etc. So using an "English" or "American" deck might look suspicious.
Whatever the circumstances, if you're doing close-up magic, and someone suspects a gaffed deck, it's time to go to your routines using regular cards.
Though I do like lots of the cool gimmicks out there, you simply can't beat good old sleight-of-hand!
Potty
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Oct 27, 2009 05:45AM)
A "new" brand of playing cards isn't really an issue while performing, at least over here in Europe. Just tell your audience (if their is a question) that these are the cards most common in all casinos around the world... and give your deck as a gift to somebody at the end of your performance. I do it very often specially after presenting a hard hitting MD routine because there is no other way (o. k. except using a promotion deck of Coca Cola...) you can destroy the last possible idea of marked cards in order to exclude all possible explanations. Having as goal to leave my audience NOT having the feeling they have seen something they can not explain in the moment (not enough) but having experienced something impossible there is almost no other option anyhow. Jan
Message: Posted by: WillyWombat (Nov 6, 2009 03:30PM)
Could you please tell me more about the Mental Marriage trick by David Solomon.
Is it self-working or basic sleights needed or one for the knuckle busters!
Sounds like a nice effect.

Mark.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Nov 6, 2009 08:04PM)
Mental Marriage is a great effect by David Solomon that guarantees to be free of knuckle busting moves. No real slights are in use whatsoever but the idea behind is great.

It can be performed as a packet trick or you can take the cards out of a regular Phoenix Deck. What you take out are the four queens and four kings, the packets are mixed up and spread on the table face down. You and / or the spectator pick a king and a queen in several phases.

Having a lucky coin (or what I like for myself a wedding ring of a - luckily married - spectator) is all that is needed to make sure that the two cards match (whenever the coin or ring is placed) or do not match. This is 100% secure and self-working!!!

As a finale you take out two envelopes, one containing 100 Dollars, the other one a million. Again the spectator is asked to place the coin / his ring. Opening the envelope that was not chosen you will see the 100 Dollar bill, the picked envelope will have a cheque inside saying: "a million thanks" or "a million kisses" or whatever.
Message: Posted by: Jupiter47 (Nov 9, 2009 03:50AM)
Congratulations on the venture. I wish you the very best
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Nov 9, 2009 05:59AM)
Shortly I will release the next kicker, called The Phoenix Oracle. It is a kind of ACAAN and very strong for laymen (and even magicians ;) ).

USPCC is unfortunately responsible for a delay of approx. 2 weeks, the delivery date of them to me is now the 13th of November, airfreight etc. will take about a week. Then I have to sort the cards. But as long as they do not send them later than that I should be able to send out all orders by the end of November.

So last chances for getting a great deal in the presale phase...
Message: Posted by: hcs (Nov 13, 2009 01:10PM)
BTW:
I own two of Christian's great Sharpies. They are indeed wonderful pieces of a pen!
Thank you very much, Christian!
Message: Posted by: Failed Magician (Nov 14, 2009 04:02AM)
How long does it take for shipping to Indonesia?
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Nov 14, 2009 06:57AM)
Regular shippings to other countries take 5-10 days delivery time.
Message: Posted by: truesoldier (Nov 14, 2009 08:48AM)
Hey Christian

I hope you are well. Will you be at the International Magic Convention later this month? If so, will you be selling the Pheonix Deck?

Looks great, I really wish you all the best of luck with this project.

P.S How's Oliver doing these days. Give him my regards.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Nov 14, 2009 10:07AM)
Oliver is fine, he is now studying and we donīt see us that often.

Yes, I will be at the International Magic Convention.
My greatest goal will be to present the Phoenix Decks there the first time. It will get tough as the cards will leave the USA on next Monday, 16th of November. Fingers crossed.

As they will be flewn to Germany and have to go through customs it will get a little bit tricky and will take approx. 7 days. So a few days left before I leave to sort all necessary cards and get the orders shipped out together with a delivery to London.

Donīt ask about my workload at the moment.
Message: Posted by: truesoldier (Nov 14, 2009 11:47AM)
LOL, I know how busy work can get, but hey it's better to be busy then not, as it shows a sign that there is a demand for your good work.

I'll look out for you in 2 weeks then, and hopefully everything will go according to plan.

Finally, are you planning on launching an extention set as you have with your previous decks?

All The Best
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Nov 14, 2009 11:56AM)
Extension Set would mean a gaffed deck or at least gaffed cards. All that is planned and you can get the first items on the website.

Also if I forgot to communicate that:

all Phoenix Deck orders to USA and Canada are shipped out from my USA depot as a friend will care about that from now on. All responsibility stays in my hand, we are establishing a communication platform that will allow this step easily.
Message: Posted by: Kevin Gardner (Nov 14, 2009 08:04PM)
Will the Phoenix deck be avalible through Murphys?
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Nov 14, 2009 09:02PM)
Probably part of the items, but not the Phoenix Decks itself. As I tried to calculate a competitive price, I had to calculate a margin for dealers that would not have been of interest for Murphys. If Murphys would get the decks, the retail price would have to be at least 4 - 5 US$ so that I would not lose money when selling them to Murphys. They just get a very high discount and that is something that I cannot give.

But I am open to every dealer who can stock them. And all Phoenix orders from the USA and Canada are shipped out by my US depot directly.
Message: Posted by: Dizzidiz (Nov 15, 2009 12:42AM)
So that means Iw on;t be waiting 3 weeks for my cards? just 1-2? That makes me a very happy man if I understand correctly :)

EDIT: I mean 1-2 weeks from release. not from today.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Nov 15, 2009 05:57AM)
Yes... and no.

US Playing Cards took longer than they promised to produce the cards. The first date they gave me was the end of October / beginning of November. From there I calculated my release date of the 20th, regarding that shipping by air freight to Germany (and normal shipping to my US depot) would take about a week. Then another week for sorting and producing all gaffs sets etc. and one week for safety. You never know...

Then came their update: cards are still in production, they have problems with the finishing machine where the linen structure is pressed onto and all cards (incl. Casino) are getting a delay as the machine could only work on half speed. So they told me that the cards would be ready by the 13th. But they where not able to guarantee that as I had to arrange the shipping with a freight company.

I now booked the pickup for the 16th in the afternoon. Fingers crossed that nothing else happens. On friday morning, 4 of 5 decks where already completed, so chances are high that they can keep Monday. But I will only be sure if the cards are picked up and ready for their travel over the big pond.

Calculating from there I guess that I could receive the cards on the 23rd, in the US depot the cards could show up there by the 20th. My fellow there will also have to sort the cards but he will be two or three days ahead. We here in Germany are ready to go and I will do all my best to get the cards shipped out until the 28th of November. I myself will leave Germany on the 26th to go to International Magic in London, so I really hope that the cards will be ready by then so that I can take them with me there. That was communicated to USPC over and over again: that I MUST have them for this convention. They do not really care, responsibility in Germany looks different, believe me...

So we have a tight time frame but are sure to get the Phoenix Decks out as soon as possible.

I donīt know exactly how long US shipping takes (priority mail), the cards to US and Canadian guys are shipped out from New York. These are the facts at the moment.

Christian
Message: Posted by: Dizzidiz (Nov 18, 2009 06:58AM)
Fingers crossed. my goal: Get them on a friday, sometime before Dec. 17th (when I leave for home for two weeks) Hope the release goes well!
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Nov 20, 2009 10:17PM)
Update for the release of the Phoenix Deck:

US Playing Cards had some more problems regarding the release date, to make a long story short: the machine careing about the finishing is slightly broken and can only work on half speed. They expect to get the new part by the middle of December and will then go back to full speed. I just was unlucky that my cards were also delayed.

Roger Nicot, my friend and shipping partner in New York, got half of the Phoenix Deck production to his office yesterday. I hopefully will get my half of the half shipped over by UPS so that I will receive it on Monday or Tuesday. The last part should arrive via air freight in a few more days.

We are trying everything to get all pre-orders out until the end of next week as we have to do some more sorting and preparation to be done when we get the cards.

So for all of you who want to make a bargain: I will prolongue the presale phase until the 23rd of November. So only three more days to get great deals.

More to read on my website. http://www.card-shark.de/index.cfm?page=8&lang=en

Thanks
Message: Posted by: Todd Bernard (Nov 21, 2009 12:33AM)
Question. Would you want these cards to be percieved as fancy decks or normal decks?
Message: Posted by: Kevin Gardner (Nov 21, 2009 02:44AM)
What is the thickness of a [b]normal deck[/b] of Phoenix cards?

Will they be super thick like Ellusinist Ghosts or Bicycle Master edition?
Or will they be the thickness of a normal deck of bikes?
Or will they be thin like manipulation specialty cards?
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Nov 21, 2009 05:53AM)
@Todd: These decks are definitely planned as "normal decks" for laymen. There is nothing fancy on them. The back design is not that extraordinary that people will go wow.

I hope all of you will give these cards a chance and will see that no layman ever cared about with which cards you do magic. As long as you use items they know everything is unsuspicious.

@Kevin: The cards are planned to have the same thickness of a Bicycle Deck. I still did not have the chance to get the hands on the deck but Roger, who is the lucky person who already got his stock told me that they handly like a charm.

He took a few decks with him to a lecture of Michael Ammar two days ago in Buffalo, and they where all amazed about the feel of them them. Faros and riffle shuffles should be the easiest as they are cut like the Richard Turner decks.

The next planned step for the Phoenix Decks will be the release of thin (manipulation) cards that will make new effects possible. They will be so thin that 104 cards will fit into the card case. And as they will look the same as the regular Phoenix Decks they can easily switched out during a performance.
Message: Posted by: Dizzidiz (Nov 21, 2009 02:11PM)
Very excited for these!
Message: Posted by: Todd Bernard (Nov 22, 2009 02:09AM)
[quote]
On 2009-11-21 05:53, Card-Shark wrote:
@Todd: These decks are definitely planned as "normal decks" for laymen. There is nothing fancy on them. The back design is not that extraordinary that people will go wow.

I hope all of you will give these cards a chance and will see that no layman ever cared about with which cards you do magic. As long as you use items they know everything is unsuspicious.

@Kevin: The cards are planned to have the same thickness of a Bicycle Deck. I still did not have the chance to get the hands on the deck but Roger, who is the lucky person who already got his stock told me that they handly like a charm.

He took a few decks with him to a lecture of Michael Ammar two days ago in Buffalo, and they where all amazed about the feel of them them. Faros and riffle shuffles should be the easiest as they are cut like the Richard Turner decks.

The next planned step for the Phoenix Decks will be the release of thin (manipulation) cards that will make new effects possible. They will be so thin that 104 cards will fit into the card case. And as they will look the same as the regular Phoenix Decks they can easily switched out during a performance.
[/quote]

Thanks for answering the question for me. I'm glad to hear that. Any chance of producing these decks for the entire public and not just magician's. I think there is a lot of potential there.

By the way, you might want to check with the Guiness Book Of World Records. I'm sure fitting 104 cards into a regular card case must be a record of some sort. :)
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Nov 22, 2009 06:10AM)
My main focus is the magic community. I would not hesitate if there opens up a chance to sell these decks to laymen.

The Guinness Book of Records will be more impressed if they get to know that there are cardcases out where 416 cards are inside...

I saw the automatic shuffling line at USPCC where 8 decks are shuffled and put together as one block into a bigger cardcase for the casinos. Very impressive machine.
Message: Posted by: Kevin Gardner (Nov 22, 2009 10:35PM)
Will the Card-Shark web site be printed on the box?

Or any nonsense like....
"Visit Card-Shark for all your magic card gaff needs"


By the way... I really like the name Phoenix :D
My favorite cups are the Phoenix II cups, there are other cool things and cool people named Phoenix. Seriously it's a cool name.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Nov 22, 2009 10:44PM)
No, this is the text on the bottom of the case:

DESIGN BY CARD-SHARK • GERMANY
PRINTED BY THE U.S. PLAYING CARD CO.

and on the flap:

We claim exclusive copyright in all Aces with large center pips,
Joker, the name Phoenix Deck, back design and case design.
CARD-SHARK PLAYING CARDS GERMANY
Schliepersberg 43, 45257 Essen, Germany
http://www.phoenixdeck.com

The link actually is redirected to my website, but later I will do a landing page so that laymen will be blocked and would have to answer a question that only magicians know to proceed. On the landing page they will learn that the quality of the cards make the Phoenix Deck the perfect choice for magicians. ;)

I kept in mind that professionals want to be able to give away the deck as a souvenir. Any hidden card revelations, tricks etc. where completely avoided on it. For a layman it should not show anything of interest or something that would five them a (false) solution for the tricks they have seen by the magician.
Message: Posted by: Harry Guinness (Nov 27, 2009 08:22PM)
Christian,

What's the arrival date looking like for Ireland then?
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Nov 28, 2009 03:53AM)
US Playing Cards was very late with the delivery, we insisted to get at least a partial delivery by Express so that we could start with the shipping and that I would have the decks for International Magic Convention starting today.

We got them on Wednesday evening, sorted for 24 hours nonstop, packed the first orders and got out all sets 1 and 2. US and Canadian customers will be receiving their packets from the USA, as my friend Roger Nicot will send them out. He is still sorting and should also start within the next few days.

Some orders with special decks that have to be produced like Invisible Deck, Brainwave Deck, Stripper etc. will have to wait a few more days until I come back from London as I had no time to produce these decks before I left.

They will be sent out next week.
Message: Posted by: Servaas Koomen (Nov 28, 2009 10:51AM)
How about esp decks?
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Nov 28, 2009 02:34PM)
One step after the other, please ;)

So far I can offer the nearly brandnew Inkblot Decks, that are marked and take you much farther than an ESP deck.
Message: Posted by: Renaldo (Nov 29, 2009 01:44PM)
Thanks for keeping us updated on all this, Christian. I think a lot of us are anxiously awaiting our shipment!
Message: Posted by: syd_uk (Dec 1, 2009 05:21AM)
Hi all

Received my first batch of Phoenix cards this morning.

I've not had much chance to play around with them, but first impressions are good. They look and feel much like a Bicycle deck - but the subtle differences will make themselves clear over time.

I'm looking forward to getting more familiar with these cards and plan to use them for an upcoming performance..

Well done CardShark!

Syd
Message: Posted by: Mercury52 (Dec 1, 2009 09:42AM)
Got notice last night that my decks shipped, so should be seeing them soon, I think!

Kevin
Message: Posted by: Voldemort (Dec 1, 2009 10:51PM)
Well.. No matter what Christian, congratulations on this coming together for you and I wish you nothing but success. Glad to see that the decks are finally finished and your shipping them now.

Great job on starting this and seeing it through!
Message: Posted by: hcs (Dec 2, 2009 02:41PM)
I got my decks. Congratulations!
Great job!
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Dec 2, 2009 02:45PM)
Me too, what can I say? Excellent job, my congratulations as well! Jan
Message: Posted by: Lseeyou (Dec 2, 2009 02:46PM)
I received the deck and I'm completely disappointed but waiting for Christian reply...

Glad I order only one deck!
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Dec 2, 2009 03:02PM)
Hi Elcio, just saw your posting. We all know that from time to time US Playing Cards have some misprints in their production line. Unfortunately they are - even promising the Quality Level 1 - limited to their possibilities.

I contacted you already to send me a photo of your deck so that I can gather this information and to talk with them about this problem. You surely will get a new deck for a misprinted one. But for that I need the proof.

So far after preparing and opening hundreds of decks I can only say that you were unlucky. The decks are sealed and cellowrapped and I do not have x-ray eyes for a better quality control. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Christian
Message: Posted by: Kevin Gardner (Dec 3, 2009 01:32AM)
[quote]
On 2009-12-02 14:46, Elcio wrote:
I received the deck and I'm completely disappointed [/quote]

Yikes! What was the problem?

Again, love the name Phoenix :bigsmile:
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Dec 3, 2009 03:06AM)
As always with USPC: from time to time there is a bad deck in between where the machines mixed up. I am waiting for a photo so that I can see where the problem lies. The decks are sealed and cellowrapped. I am working on X-Ray eyes but this will take a few more years... ;)

If you are ordering a single deck and are unlucky that you hit the "bad deck button", then you surely will be disappointed. We will solve this problem for Elcio.
Message: Posted by: Zebaztian (Dec 3, 2009 05:08AM)
I'm not dissappointed at all. Good artwork, normal USPC-feel about them, very nice gaff-packet.

I'm not noticing any difference between the feel and handling of the bicycles and the Phoenex (is Phoenex the plural of Phoenix?). But Christian already promised there wouldn't be, because the USPC prints all the cards with the same machines.
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Dec 3, 2009 08:37AM)
The difference is noticed if you open up a packet and can immediately go into Faros without the need of breaking the cards in.
Message: Posted by: Renaldo (Dec 3, 2009 09:28AM)
If I haven't gotten a shipping notice yet and haven't gotten any cards, should I be concerned?
Message: Posted by: Card-Shark (Dec 3, 2009 10:06AM)
No, just patient. ;)

We have had a VERY long list and do our best to get all orders out until the weekend. If you ordered one trick deck like the Invisible or the Brainwave this would also be the reason why you are still waiting as I am preparing them all at the moment. So please stay tuned, we are three people working hard on it to ship out all orders fast.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Dec 3, 2009 10:13AM)
Just got my two bricks about ten minutes ago. But I'm exceedingly busy right now, so a review will have to follow in the next few days. I'll let everyone know if they fit the "faro right out of the box" test.
Message: Posted by: Brane (Dec 3, 2009 01:40PM)
My Phoenix-meet-Ted-Lesley decks arrived! Design is just what you've seen on Christian's web site. Card box's design and color suggest the Bicycle deck, but, of course, is not.
I'm not much of a finger flinger, so I can't say much about the 'feel' of them with any expertise. I'm sure I couldn't distinguish these blindfolded from Bikes.
But the 'sort of Ted Lesley' feature? Now THAT I can say something about! It's wonderful! NOT as blatant as the original Lesley work, and yet, slightly larger!
Placement is a single glance location.
For those who are looking for a perfect deck to use with Martin Baukin's 'Quick Commercial Card Readings,' these are about as perfect as you could ask for.
Thank you, Christian!
brane