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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Pictorial Review: Truth & Lies Playing Cards (Murphy's Magic) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

EndersGame
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*** MORE MAGICAL DECKS FROM MURPHY'S MAGIC ***

Murphy's Magic & Playing Cards

Murphy's Magic is a wholesale magic dealer that was formed by Mark Murphy in 1998. They have an enormous range of magic products which they sell in bulk quantities to magic dealers around the world, and they have a huge network of contacts in the retail industry. Their website is a terrific resource with tons of information about their products, which include all things magical: magic kits, magic tricks, card tricks, DVDs, books, gags & jokes, puzzles, juggling, playing cards, accessories, and more.

But given my love for playing card games, performing card magic, and collecting card decks, what really interests me is the fact that Murphy's Magic also produces their own playing cards. They have developed and produced multiple decks of playing cards over the years. In this article, I'll be covering one of their newest releases, which is available from Murphy's Magic dealers and retailers that sell magic supplies or custom playing cards. Introducing: the Truth and Lies series of playing cards!

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*** MAGICAL SAYINGS & STYLE ***

Truth & Lies Playing Cards

This release of Truth and Lies Playing Cards from Murphy's Magic is a collection of six decks: three Lies Decks and three Truth Decks.

These playing cards are made to represent the dual nature of deception and honesty, as is evident already from the names. Magicians especially will appreciate the importance of the old adage "A lie told often enough becomes the truth." Deception is at the heart of magic, because it is what illusion is all about.

In magic, we need to create a narrative so that what did not actually happen looks very much like it did. The truth and lies decks explore this duality that is inherit to magic. In the words of the publisher: "Truth and Lies Playing Cards represents the dual nature of deception and honesty. They are two sides of the same coin, both interwoven deeply within every magic trick. A parade of ornate lies are what spectators are driven to see, while the bare and unembellished truth is ignored and often hidden in plain sight."

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These cards were designed by Bobby Haiqalsyah and Lance Miller, with the idea from Jason Brumbalow to remind you of the Lies we share, the Truths we bury, and the duality of both. Each of the six decks has a different phrase related to this theme in beautiful blind embossing on the tuck case. Aside from this external difference, the cards themselves within the three Lies decks are identical, and those in the Truth decks also match each other, while the Lies and Truth decks are quite different from one another.

Each box features the name of the deck (Truth or Lies) on the front of the tuck case, and is in different colour schemes for each deck, the Truth being mainly a dark navy blue and the Lies deck a white and elegant gold. These colour schemes fit with the back designs of each deck. The two back designs are the same style and artwork, featuring a bordered design with some intricate diamonds and designs, but the Lies deck has a white back design with gold coloured design, while the Truth deck is a black back with light blue shapes.

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The tuck cases are exquisitely designed, the intricate designs creating appealing boxes that look wonderful as a partnership, because they have been designed to pair together perfectly when placed next to each other, with the two circles entwining from one box to another, as can be seen partially below.

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These are also side-loading tuck cases, which means that they open from the side rather than the top. It's not something common, but is not unheard of, and is a nice touch that immediately helps makes these decks more unique and different than other decks of cards.

Here's the official video trailer for this deck:



The Lies deck

Let's start by taking a look at the Lies deck, which has a white theme (white lies anyone?).

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The different phrases in blind embossing on the Lies tuck cases are:
- Nothing Is Real
- The First Casualty Is Truth
- There Is No Beauty In Truth

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This embossing to create the phrases really enhances the tuck boxes and adds something unique to them, which is great.

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The back of the cards has ornate artwork that picks up the diamond inspired design that appears on the tuck box.

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The court cards of the decks are redesigned from standard courts, and maintain their standard look so are very usable, but feature better looking colours to make them more aesthetically appealing, using mainly a black and gold colour in the Lies deck.

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The pips of these cards have all been intricately designed with various whorls and lines to create an elegant looking effect, which is very nice.

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For both decks the spades and clubs are black, while the hearts and diamonds are gold for the Lies deck, fitting in with its respective back designs. The indices are clear and easy to identify, making it suitable for games or card magic if desired.

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Each deck has its own custom Ace of Spades, and the Lies Ace of Spades features an intricate design in gold with the name of the decks "Lies" below it, also the phrase “Nothing Is Real”, which is also embossed on one of the tuck boxes.

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Each deck contains two Jokers, which are both identical which is handy for some magic effects. The Lies Joker pictures a demon type figure uncovering his face from a mask.

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Each deck also comes with two extra gaff cards, a blank card and a double backer in each deck. This allows for some great magic effects, and is always great to have in a deck of cards.

The Truth deck

And here's the companion Truth deck.

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The different phrases on the Truth tuck cases are:
- I Never Believe Me
- Lies Are Convenient
- Lies Require Commitment

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Once again this embossing really looks stunning, and the text highlights something about the nature of magic. To quote the publisher: "The embossed phrase illustrates that the distinction between truth and lies may not be as clear-cut as you'd think! ... Sometimes the truth is just the lie we tell ourselves, but sometimes true magic can be found in the lies we tell others."

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The card backs use similar colours to the tuck box, and look very stylish when cutting and shuffling the cards.

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The faces of the cards are basically identical, with only a few differences, mainly in the colours. In the case of the court cards, the Truth deck adds some pale blue to the colour palette, which complements the back design.

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Another difference is with the colour of the pips used for traditionally red suits. Unlike the Lies deck, in the Truth deck these are pale blue instead of gold, again to fit with the back design.

What is somewhat unusual from normal is that all the pips are facing the same way - I'm not convinced this was the best design choice. But the whorls and shape of the pips especially looks great when doing twirls and spins with the cards.

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The custom Ace of Spades in the Truth deck is composed of all phrases about Truth, while the Truth joker is made up of the word "Truth" and a phrase below it says "There is no beauty in truth".

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The quality of this deck is slightly disappointing unfortunately. The tuck boxes are wonderful - certainly no issues there. But the card quality is not as high as some other decks, and they just do not handle as smoothly. Based on my personal experience with a lot of decks of cards, it is my educated guess that these cards have been printed by Noir Arts (NPCC). While NPCC does print decent quality cards, it does not quite match the high quality of USPCC, LPCC or EPCC.

These cards are very snappy, have a very smooth edge, possibly from being laser cut, and but they do not always fan the most evenly, although some of their decks do perform better than others. It is not that these decks are not worth using, but just do not expect something too high performance. For detailed thoughts on NPCC's card quality and extensive comments about how they compare with USPCC playing cards, see my article here.

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These cards are great for collectors due to their brilliant design of the cards and tuck case, and they are truly great to look at and enjoy. They are especially usable for games due to their design, and some might find them suitable for card magic, but due to their quality their handling is not quite up to the high standards demanded by card flourishing or magic. Despite this, they are still great decks that can especially be enjoyed for playing card games, for a place of honour in a playing card collection or on a magician's shelf.


*** CONCLUSIONS ***

What do I think?

Collectors and gamers: Murphy's Magic has something for everyone, and the Truth and Lies decks will especially appeal to collectors of playing cards or those who enjoy card games. Unfortunately the handling of these cards is not quite consistent enough to live up to the exacting standards demanded for use in card flourishing or card magic. Even so, magicians will appreciate the thematic idea that these decks represent about the nature of illusion, and they will make a great collector's piece side-by-side on a shelf in the home of a magician. They're also very stylish, and are of a much higher quality than your standard department store deck of cards, so they'll be more than adequate for playing a game of poker or cards as well.

Magicians and cardists: If you're looking for something neat and clean to use for card magic or card flourishing, the Murphy's Magic Signature NOC deck will fit the bill just beautifully. These have an even higher quality cards stock and finish printed by Expert Playing Card Company that they will live up to the very highest demands put on them by magicians and cardists alike, without disappointing in any way. See my separate review on that deck here.

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Recommendation

So are these decks of playing cards from Murphy's Magic for you? Once again Murphy's proves that they can produce something for everyone, and it's good to see more solid contributions to the custom playing card market with some attractive new releases. Their decks meet different needs, but one thing that they share in common is that they are very affordable. The recommended retail price for the decks is only around US$8, making them significantly more inexpensive than your typical custom deck of playing cards, which tend to be in the range of $12-20.

Attractive and affordable - now that's a combination I like.

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The decks reviewed in this series are all available at your favourite Murphy’s Magic retailer. Want to learn more? Visit: Murphy's Magic

Here are direct links for the decks featured in this review:
Lies decks: Lies Require Commitment, I Never Believe Me, and Lies Are Convenient
Truth decks: Nothing Is Real, The First Casualty Is Truth, and There Is No Beauty in Truth
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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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