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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Hot off the Press! » » Pictorial Preview: Phonograph 5 deck (SkyNerd Studios) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

EndersGame
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*** SKY NERD STUDIOS ***

Landry Sanders is the creator of the Rainbow Illusion series of playing cards, and the guy behind Sky Nerd Studios. I first came across Sky Nerd Studios online when I discovered Landry's colourful rainbow inspired playing cards, the Rainbow Illusions series of two decks: Special Edition, and Version 2. You'll find my detailed review of that here:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......c=650100

But Landry also has a new deck in the works, and in this article I'll be featuring his latest playing cards project, entitled Phonograph 5, which is currently up on Kickstarter here.

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*** PHONOGRAPH 5 PLAYING CARDS ***

Phonograph 5 is Landry's latest deck, which recently launched for funding on Kickstarter.

A reinvented Charles Goodall deck

The deck of Phonograph 5 Playing Cards shows dual influences of a beautiful and historic Charles Goodall deck as well as of the Victorian phonograph.

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The reason for this deck's name is because it was inspired by two things, one being the Victorian era, specifically the phonograph.

The phonograph influence is chiefly noticeable in the name of the deck and the tuck box, although the phonograph theme will also return later with the Jokers. It is worth mentioning that the tuck box is made from waterproof synthetic paper, and includes some intricate artwork, as you can see here on the flap.

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The card-backs were custom designed by Landry, and were geared to fit the time period that this deck is intended to evoke, particularly with the use of elaborate scroll-work and ornamental patterns. They have club pips in the corners, and there are small details like musical notes to fit the overall theme.

All the Aces are over-sized, but the Ace of Spades lives up to its traditional billing as being a center-piece attraction, with a more elaborate and artistic design.

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Besides the Victorian era setting and phonograph, the second main influence behind this deck is an ornamental Charles Goodall design for the court cards that dates back to 1899.

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Many decks today owe their classic look to the historical designs of court cards, and Landry has chosen to use a very special design based on a deck produced by the Charles Goodall company in London. Goodall & Sons have produced as much as two-thirds of the playing cards printed in Britain, and by the time the dynasty's founder Charles Goodall (1785-1851) handed over the business to his two sons by the mid 1800s, the company was already producing more than 2 million decks annually!

The clarity and classic beauty of the many designs produced by Charles Goodall has lead them to be adopted and copied by other manufacturers world-wide, and they have been one of the major influences in designs of court cards seen today. The particular deck Landry used as a source for Phonograph 5 Playing Cards was produced in 1899, and is an uncommon deck with detailed scroll work and ornamental patterns.

Here's a comparison between a card from the original Charles Goodall deck, and Landry's updated design.

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To add to the authenticity and feel, Landry wisely decided to use a vintage colour theme. The court cards still have a standard look, and are easily recognizable, and yet have a very different look than the ones commonly seen today, with a much more elaborate and dignified appearance. I particularly appreciate the colours used, and the ornate designs.

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The pips are also very dignified, and thin borders add to their elite look.

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The overall look for each suit is classy and elegant, as shown here with the Clubs.

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The Joker cards reprise the Phonograph theme, and remind us of the Victorian origins that inspired this deck.

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I'm especially pleased that the final version of this deck will be produced with a Classic Finish by Expert Playing Cards, an industry leader that makes top notch cards, with excellent printing registration, and very even and smooth handling. A beautiful deck like this certainly deserves a loving printing from a quality company like Expert!

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*** CONCLUSIONS ***

Preferred Rainbows: Which of the Rainbow Illusions decks you prefer will largely depend on whether you prefer the black or the white faces. The tuck box and card backs of Version 2 are probably the more impressive of the two, as are the Aces, but personally I still have a soft spot for the look of the black faced cards, and that wins me over. But for cardistry, the larger style diamonds of the original Special Edition deck makes it a winner, although the borderless backs of both decks look terrific when doing spreads and spans.

Classic Phonographs: I love the inspirations that Landry has drawn on for the Phonograph 5 deck. The Charles Goodall design from 1899 is absolutely stunning, and has a truly vintage look, which gives the court cards in particular a classic appearance that still looks quite different from your standard courts. The Victorian era phonograph fits in well with the period that this captures, and everything works together nicely to create an authentic period piece.

Card quality: What about the card quality? It absolutely lives up to the colourful design. Landry has opted to get these decks printed by Legends Playing Card Company, using their Diamond finish. I'm a huge fan of Legends playing cards, and you can read more about them in my reviews here and here. Their quality is typically better than as any USPCC produced deck, with more clean cut edges. The Diamond finish is extremely durable (especially welcome with black cards, which otherwise tend to wear more quickly with a USPCC produced deck), and the cards spread and fan beautifully. The Phonograph 5 deck is being printed by Expert Playing Card Company, which produces their decks in the same factory in Taiwan as Legends PCC, and have the same high quality. Their Classic finish has an embossing somewhat similar to a typical Bicycle deck, but with a superior cut, handling, and durability.

Where do you get them? If you're interested in picking up some of these playing cards for yourself, the first place you should go is to the designer's Facebook page, Sky Nerd Studios, which is how you can get into contact with Landry. Sky Nerd Studios is a design studio that creates playing cards, art, video and photography, and there's also a youtube channel SkyNerdStudios. To get on board with the Phonograph 5 deck, head to the Kickstarter project here. Version 2 of the Rainbow Illusions deck is also available from Rare Playing Cards here

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Recommendation

So are the Rainbow Illusion Playing Cards or perhaps the Phonograph 5 Playing Cards from Sky Nerd Studios for you? With these decks, Landry Sanders has shown that he is capable of some diverse styles. What the Rainbow Illusion decks offer in terms of vibrant colour and bling, the Phonograph 5 deck offers in terms of style and vintage look.

These two types of deck might well appeal to different collectors, and show that Landry is capable of very different designs - it's almost hard to imagine they originated with the same designer! With a creativity that has the capacity to draw on unique styles and varying sources, I look forward to what Landry Sanders and Sky Nerd Studios come up with next.

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What to learn more? Check out:

Sky Nerd Studios: https://www.facebook.com/Sky-Nerd-Studios-129502907118893
Rainbow Illusion V2: https://rareplayingcards.com/products/ra......9.2dd030
Phonograph 5 Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/142......ng-cards

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BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame - click here to see all my pictorial reviews: => Magic Reviews <==> Playing Card Reviews <==> Board Game Reviews <==

Want me to write a review of your playing cards or magic? Contact me via Private Message.
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