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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Pictorial Review: Spirit II Playing Cards (Gambler's Warehouse) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

EndersGame
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* * * INTRODUCING GAMBLER'S WAREHOUSE * * *

Gambler's Warehouse is based in Texas, and while they have close connections with the gaming industry in Las Vegas, they are especially serious about playing cards. You only need to visit their subsidiary website Playingcards.net, to get some sense of the enormous selection they have available for sale. They have been part of the playing card industry for more than two decades, and are passionate the design, production, and use of decks of cards. They have gained a very positive reputation in assisting many designers of playing cards make their playing card projects a reality via crowd-funding, in part due to the strong relationship and connections they have with well known printer, US Playing Card Company.

But Gambler's Warehouse also produces high quality custom playing cards of their own design, and that's what this series of reviews is all about. In a previous review, I have taken a close look at the Alloy series of Playing Cards that they produced - you can see that review here. I was super impressed with these decks, and they quickly became among my personal favourites. Now it's time to look at some of the other playing cards they have produced in-house. The Spirit II deck is one of their most recent projects, and is only just available, so if you like things that are new and exciting, then this might just be a deck for you!

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* * * SPIRIT II PLAYING CARDS * * *

The original deck of Spirit Playing Cards that was designed by Charles A.P. (Blackout Brother) proved very popular. It featured metallic colours, and incorporated the use of multiple icons and symbols.

This successful deck has now been followed up with a sequel: the Spirit II deck. This new deck has all new artwork, and comes in different colours than the original. It's brand new, and is only just becoming available for purchase now.

Green edition

Three different versions of this new deck were produced, but I'll start by showing the Green edition, which is accented with Gold.

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One interesting feature of this deck is the use of crossed keys as part of the indices. These look amazing when fanning or spreading the cards, because a great deal more is seen besides just the indices.

Also noteworthy are the customized over-sized Aces, with the Ace of Spades being particularly intricate.

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In keeping with the spiritual theme of the deck, the court cards also have a stained glass style background.

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The arrangement of the pips on the number cards is also completely original and custom, and yet it is very attractive and stylish, which suits the feel of the other elements of this deck design.

The beautiful tuck box features interior printing, to complete an all-round classy look.

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Notice also here an example of the effect of the extended indices in the spread of cards shown on the left here.

Red edition

The Red edition is a luxury limited edition accented with Silver, and uses metal foil on the card-backs, and on the tuck box.

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The card-backs and Aces have similar designs on all the decks. The card-backs have a somewhat restrained design, which doesn't lend itself that well to cardistry, but ensures that they don't detract from the beautiful artwork on the front of the cards, while at the same time providing a classy and stylish look.

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Just like the original Spirit deck, an interesting interpretation of the court cards is offered here, with all of them in a frontal position.

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Black edition

The third version of this deck is a borderless Black edition, which is accented with Gold, and is my personal favourite.

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The Aces look particularly stunning on this black background, and the card-back artwork has a whole different effect with this colour scheme!

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I really love the look of the court cards in this edition, which have an iconic feel, and appear to have come straight from a medieval church! The colour combinations probably make this deck my personal favourite of the three!

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Just like the other editions, the tuck box has interior printing, and is embossed with foil, in this case gold like the Green-Gold edition - but the interior printing looks more vivid and beautiful against the black background of this tuck box.

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There are lots of things that stand out about this project, starting with the outstanding tuck-boxes, which look absolutely luxurious and classy, particularly with the generous amount of embossed gold foil. I also love the artwork on the court cards. Magicians will appreciate the addition of two bonus cards that are gaffs, one being a double backer, the other being a split-card.


* * * CONCLUSIONS * * *

Spirit II decks: One of the newest kids on the block from Gamblers, the Spirit II decks take what was good about the original Spirit decks, and make them even better. They make a bold and elegant statement already with the tuck box, which has gold or silver foil accents, depending on which of the three colours you opt for. My favourite is the black deck, which card faces on the backdrop of a black canvas, really bringing the renaissance style mosaic artwork to life, while retaining an ancient feel. These decks will really appeal to those who like something that feels like it has come straight out of the pages of history, centuries removed from today. Beautifully exquisite!

Card quality: All the decks that I've looked at and own that have been produced by Gamblers have been outstanding quality, and are typically produced by United States Playing Card Company or Expert Playing Cards. The Spirit II decks I've reviewed above are USPCC produced decks. These have a high quality card stock and finish, that ensures both durability and good handling, and is exactly the kind of quality that most people will be familiar with from a quality Bicycle style deck. And in every case, the cards are packaged in an appropriate and attractive tuck box, which is very true here as well, especially with all the gold and silver foil, which makes an instant positive first impression!

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Recommendation

I continue to be impressed by the decks produced by Gamblers Warehouse. In an earlier review, I gave a glowing report about their Alloy deck, which featured remarkable iridescent foil on both the back and the front of the cards - an industry first, and a remarkable achievement. Not only can you purchase their own decks at their subsidiary Playingcards.net website, but they also have a wide range of hundreds of other quality playing cards for sale there too. As an extra bonus, all their listed prices include free US shipping.

In addition to this, Gambler's Warehouse also acts as a fulfilment company for a lot of other card designers, who rely on their expertise and experience to help produce custom playing cards. Clearly, these guys know what they're doing, and they have a proven track record that many crowd-funding projects rely on with confidence. I know that if I was producing my own deck via crowd-funding, I'd definitely be considering them as a partner to assist with this.

If my positive experiences with the above decks are anything to go by, this is a reliable and a good choice to consider as a source for quality playing cards, and I can certainly recommend very highly the decks I've reviewed here! They may have "gambler" in their name, but getting these great decks from Gambler's Warehouse is definitely no gamble!

Want to learn more?
Gamblers Warehouse: http://gamblerswarehouse.com
Playing Cards Dot Net: http://playingcards.net

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Direct links for the Spirit II decks featured in this review:
- Spirit II Playing Cards (Black, Green, Red)
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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.
EndersGame
View Profile
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Reviewer EndersGame
1056 Posts

Profile of EndersGame
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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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