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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Shuffled not Stirred » » Ender's Review: The marked Mechanic V2 Deck (Mechanic Industries) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

EndersGame
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*** MECHANIC INDUSTRIES ***

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Mechanic Industries describe themselves as follows: "Mechanic Industries create innovative products for both magicians and playing card fans alike. We give you the tools to create your very own brand of magic." So what are these tools? Well, their signature deck is an industrial styled design that fits the "mechanics" theme, but more importantly, the card-backs have been marked to create a flipbook animation, which doubles as a very ingenious marking system.

Besides their original Mechanic deck, to celebrate their fifth anniversary they've also put out an upgraded metallic deck set, which relies on a similar animation and marking system. In this article, I will show you the marked Mechanic deck, and its follow-up, the Metallic Deck set.

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*** THE MECHANIC V2 DECK ***

Mechanic Industries has released some great gear for magicians - and what is a better than a deck of cards that holds special secrets? The Mechanic Deck is a deck of cards that fits right into the theme and name of the company, Mechanic Industries. This deck has its genesis back in 2012, which is five years ago already now. It was a solid success, so in early 2014 they decided to take the deck in for a "service", and gave the entire deck an overhaul to make it even better. It is this "new and improved" version 2 of the Mechanic Deck that is widely available, and is the one I'll be showing here.

Tuck box

The box is a black box, the front showing the Ace of Spades, which offers a metal look, and a gear-like portrayal of the deck.

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The back of the tuck box features the design of the card-backs, with churning metal cogs conveying the idea of an industrial factory.

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Card backs

The Ace of Spades and also the back design are both composed of various gears, cogs and chains. This creates a metal feel to the deck, and also makes it appear as if you are holding in your hands the working of a factory. If you are a magician, that is indeed really what you are holding: the inner workings of a magic device.

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The rivets and stepped borders of the back design also create appealing and great looking fans and spreads that are just ... well, riveting!

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The back design has especially benefited from the tweaks made in Version 2 of this deck. A higher contrast has been used to make the animation stands out more clearly, along with extra cogs and a new chain guard.

Ace of Spades

The Ace of Spades is heavily customized, and picks up the industrial machine-like artwork we've already seen on the front of the tuck case.

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The all-white faces of the cards stand out nicely from the bordered backs.

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Face cards

The faces of these cards are at first glance standard, but looking closer it can be seen that they feature improvements made to standard court cards.

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The court cards have less colours to them and just feature greys, black and red, which I believe improves the look over the traditional courts. The clubs and spades also have a faint mottled grey look to them, fitting in with the theme.

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Since the faces are mostly standard, with only slight aesthetically appealing tweaks, this deck is extremely recognizable and useable for either magic or card games.

Jokers

The deck comes with an ad card, a double backer and two extra jokers, and with these extra cards you can perform some great magic, which can be found on some of the company's great tutorials, which are found on their website - half of these are free, others are premium.

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Together with a grinder coin (which Mechanic Industries also makes) and some practice, the coin can be apparently pulled right off the card, since the Jokers have a coin-like image that can appear and disappear. Prepare yourself for some great magic with this deck!

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Animations

But there's two extra treats built into this deck, and the first is the animated card-backs. The back design of cogs and gears really looks like it could fit in a factory and you could almost imagine the gears turning. Well, with this deck, it won’t even take imagination to see the gears turning, because there's a flip-book animation that allows you to flip through the cards and see the gears turning through the deck - check the video trailer below to see this amazing effect in action!

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Riffling through the cards in this way can be used as an added kicker for a magic effect, or just to enjoy watching!

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Marking system

But there's still an extra treat for those of you who are magicians, and that's that the Mechanic deck is also fully marked!

That's right, with a bit of practice, just by looking at the back of the card you can tell what card it is.

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It does take some learning to be able to read it well, and isn't always the quickest to read, but that's because the system is subtle, so your spectators won’t figure it out at all.

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Unlike the first deck, Version 2 now has two points of reference in the cog rotation that can be used to identify both the suit and value of the cards.

You can preview how this works for free - download a free PDF from the publisher explaining the marking system in detail here.

Video trailer

See the official video trailer for the deck here:




*** THE METALLIC DECK SET ***

Metallic Deck Set

A very special version of the Mechanic deck was produced in 2017, to celebrate the fifth birthday of Mechanic Industries. And what better present than something new and shiny?

The crew at Mechanic Industries went all out by producing some super decks that look fantastic both inside and out: a pair of metallic decks.

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This set consists of two decks, Glimmer (gold) and Shiner (Silver).

Glimmer deck

The gold Glimmer deck is a special limited edition that is only available as part of the "Metallic Deck Set" which includes the pair, so it can't be obtained separately.

For added luxury, the entire interior of the deck is entirely foiled, for a very shiny and stunning look! An added feature of this is that you can use the inside of the box to secretly glimpse a card.

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The outside of the tuck box also employs extensive use of foil, along with stylish embossing.

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Shiner deck

Unlike the other deck in the set, the silver Shiner deck is available for purchase on its own.

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The inside of its tuck box is also entirely foil, in this case a shiny and spectacular silver.

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Card backs

Metallic gold and silver inks are used for the card backs to ensure a completely glamorous look. The design is similar to the original Mechanic decks, but has had the benefit of some tweaks.

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Face cards

To match the stylish look of the tuck boxes, metallic gold, silver, and red Pantone inks have been used with black on both the backs and faces of all the cards.

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Shown above are some court cards with metallic silver ink from the Shiner deck, while shown below are some cards with metallic gold ink from the Glimmer deck.

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Jokers

Similar to the original Mechanic deck, Jokers are included that enable the card backs to be combined with coin magic, using Mechanic Industries' Grinder coins.

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Animations & Marking system

Like the Mechanic Deck, the metallic decks have both a flip book animation system and a marking system built into the card backs.

Riffling through the deck shows the cogs turning. Furthermore, secrets that identify the suit and value of each card are cleverly built into the design. The system is based on the Mechanics deck, but it has undergone some modifications and additions.

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Once again, you can download a free PDF from the publisher which explains the marking system in detail here.

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Video trailer

See the official video trailer for the deck here:




*** CONCLUSIONS ***

What do I think?

Innovation: With the Mechanic series of decks, Mechanic Industries has come up with some terrific ideas, and injected some real life into card magic. These aren't just ordinary decks of cards, but have some real secrets and possibilities built into them.

Cards-and-coins: The first noteworthy and unique element about these decks that impressed me is how the design of the Jokers can be used to perform some powerful magic with the use of a Grinder Coin. This is a great concept that will especially appeal to those who already have some expertise with coin magic. It enables magicians to create a real surprise, because most people will never be anticipating magic that involves an item apparently being removed from a playing card and becoming real. To assist with this, some really creative ideas are available and can be learned from the tutorials available in the Mechanic Industries Workshop.

Animations: The second special feature of the decks from Mechanic Industries is the flip-book animation of the card-backs. This looks terrific, and is something very different from what most people have seen before. This obviously means that all the card backs are different, but surprisingly most spectators won't even notice this until the moment that you want them to, when you start riffling the cards. While this just adds visual appeal with the Mechanic decks, in the case of the Optricks deck it not only has a hypnotic effect, but can be used in conjunction with a great card reveal, thus strengthening the effect of the magic.

Marked cards: The animation system is closely linked to the marking system, and these have been cleverly combined and tied together. It's not the easiest system to learn, but it is well explained in all the PDFs provided for free by Mechanic Industries, and magicians who enjoy marked cards will likely find something here that they can work with.

Quality: The quality of these cards is also great. The decks have been printed by the United States Playing Card Company, and this means that they are high quality playing cards. The stock and finish is something that most magicians will find great to use, and they will immediately have a familiar feel. These decks should prove long lasting and will handle great.

Glamour: If you really want to take the looks to the next level, Mechanic Industries has the answer with the luxurious looking metallic decks, Glimmer and Shiner. The tuck boxes of these decks already look magnificent, outside and in, and the metallic ink on the cards makes these look fantastic. It's rare that they'll fail to impress, and these are a fitting tribute in celebration of their fifth anniversary.

Workshop: One things I really like about the Mechanic Industries Workshop is that you're not left on your own to figure things out. Purchasing a Mechanic Industries deck and getting their gear means you are buying into their brand, and they want to reward you by giving you the tools you need to take this to the next level, by providing you with the learning materials and ideas you need. As a result, each deck is backed up by support from the publisher, in the form of PDFs which explain the marking system, and all the tutorials they offer. Many of these are free, and if you want to progress further, there are premium tutorials to choose from as well. The Metallic Deck set comes with coupon cards for 50% off some of the premium tutorials.

Tutorials: The tutorials available in the Mechanic Industries Workshop contain some great moves that allow you to perform a lot of visual and unique magic. Pulling a coin off a card is something that I thought was great, and it looks very convincing. Alchemy contains a whole variety of moves which you can perform with a Grinder Coin in tandem with a Mechanics Deck, and these moves all look impressive. These tutorials and effects are not something for absolute beginner magicians, as they have a lot of sleight of hand required, and some of which is assumed for the effect. For more experienced magicians however, these tutorials are a goldmine with some really innovative and clever magic, and are the kind of magic that some will even want to incorporate into routines when performing professionally. The premium tutorials do require a small investment, but they really do offer some good value explanations and ideas.

Where to get them? Decks of playing cards and the accessories produced by Mechanic Industries are readily available from suppliers of specialty playing cards and of magic products. You'll find their decks at online retailers like Rare Playing Cards and Art of Play, and even Amazon and eBay. Most online magic dealers should stock their products, including their coins. Their distributor Murphy's Magic can also provide names of dealers in your area. For the tutorials, you can access these directly from the Mechanic Industries Workshop, which is where you can also purchase the premium tutorials from.

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Recommendation

Are the playing cards from Mechanic Industries for you? I've had a lot of fun with these decks, because they add things to playing cards that aren't commonly seen. Even though I'm personally not skilled in coin magic, I love the ideas of combining grinder coins with the Jokers to cause various vanishing or appearing routines, and I can really appreciate the potential this offers. But in addition, the decks also have animations and a marking system built in, plus they are backed up with some high quality tutorials available directly from the publisher. All that means that these decks are a complete package, and so much more than just another custom deck of 54 pieces of cardboard.

Definitely check out some of the performance videos they have available on youtube to see what the Mechanic Industries decks can do, or head to the company website to learn more. Those who enjoy the novelties that these unique decks offer are not likely to be disappointed!

Want to learn more? Visit Mechanic Industries:
Website: www.mechanicindustries.com
Workshop: www.mechanicindustries.com/work-shop (Tutorials)

Follow Mechanic Industries on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Youtube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/MechanicIndustries/videos

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Direct links for the decks featured in this review series:
- Mechanic v2 deck
- Metallic Deck set
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BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame

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"Instead of attempting to learn a great number of tricks, concentrate upon a few good tricks and master them so that their technique and their presentation is so excellent that those who see them will want to see them again." -Expert Card Technique
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