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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Hot off the Press! » » Live on Kickstarter: Watermelon Playing Cards (Flaminko) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

EndersGame
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*** FLAMINKO PLAYING CARDS ***

I've seen all kinds of words used to describe playing cards: Elegant, sophisticated, classical, modern, visual, colourful, eye-catching, and many more. But how about this one: Delicious!

The definition of delicious is: "highly pleasant to the taste, delightful." It makes me think of things like chocolate ice-cream, fresh fruit, juicy hamburgers, sweet candies, and good food. And that's exactly what the Deliciousness series of playing cards from Flaminko Playing Cards is all about! Currently the series includes a planned four decks: Burger, Watermelon, Lollipop, and Citrus.

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But what makes these decks so striking is that each of them has been designed with a very playful and fun design that captures the essence of the subject material, so that each deck is a separate design. Yet all four decks are very clearly linked with a similar style and artistic direction, that makes them fit together. So far Flaminko has already successfully published the first of the series, Burger Playing Cards, which is available from retailers. Right now they're in the middle of funding the second deck of the series, Watermelon Playing Cards, which is being crowdfunded with the help of Kickstarter here (funding ends on Friday 23 March 2018):

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fla......ng-cards


*** WATERMELON DECK ***

Flaminko's current project is their lively Watermelon deck.

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Tuck box

Who would have thought of making an entire deck that is a tribute to the humble watermelon? It's certainly an excellent and juicy fit for this series, not just because it is delicious, but because of its bold colours and the tactile fun that watermelon pips offer. There's lots of nutritious energy packed inside the deck, of course, but it all begins with the tuck box.

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The watermelon pips make an immediate impression from the outset, being featured on the tuck box along with the watermelon rind. Just as with the Burger deck, UV spot printing has been used to create raised surfaces and a shiny look, which really makes for a stylish and eye-catching box. I especially love the combination of bright red and green, which is lively and fresh, and has an instant impact.

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Back design

The back design is a symmetrical design with several tones of green, inspired by the signature colours and design of a watermelon skin.

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Pips

Each of the pips has a heavily customized design, representing different parts of a watermelon, with vibrant red and green being a key feature of the design.

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The Diamonds and Heart suits capture the tender red of tasty watermelon, while the Clubs and Spades are reproduced with green tones that represent a watermelon rind.

Aces

Once again, the Aces have giant pips that really showcase the customized pips in all their glory.

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The colour scheme also complements the card backs nicely.

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Court cards

The court cards all have a unique piece of artwork that corresponds to the focus of each suit. I particularly appreciate how each suit has its own feel, despite needing to work with the restriction of picture watermelon pieces!

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But not only do these picture different slices, but they also incorporate other small details to admire, such as a knife. The Kings and Queens are given royal crowns of gold and silver to make their royal status abundantly clear, and this assists ensuring that the cards remain functional.

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Number cards

The number cards all rely on the customized pips to give each character and deliciousness.

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Naturally they also complement the court cards well.

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Jokers

Related members of the Cucurbitaceae family join their big Watermelon brother in this deck via the Jokers, which each feature a melon, namely a Honeydew and Cantaloupe.

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Watermelon Cardistry

Just like the Burger deck, the Watermelon deck has a lot of potential for cardistry.

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The card backs especially lend themselves well to this purpose.

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Watermelon Fun

Just as with the Burger deck, which came with instructions for a Burger Stack game, there are rather unusual ways to use these cards if you are really keen. How about some card throwing, at a real watermelon? Naughty - but judging from the Kickstarter video, that didn't stop the guys from Flaminko giving it a try!

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The Watermelon deck should be arriving in backers mailboxes in August, which for those in the northern hemisphere means it should be on time to help add some refreshment to your summer!

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*** CONCLUSIONS ***

What do I think?

Tuck boxes: I love the tuck boxes of this series. They are extremely well designed, and do a great job of showing what the deck is about. Touches like the UV spot printing (which gives added looks and feel to the sandwich/watermelon pips) really enhance the final result. Many people I've shown these decks were immediately captivated by the cute looking tuck box, and wanted to see the cards inside, only to have their initial positive impression confirmed and strengthened by the playing cards themselves!

Card quality: The card quality of all these decks matches the quality of the graphic design. These decks have been printed in Belgium by industry giant Cartamundi, using their 310 gsm stock and B9 Superluxe finish. I've seen a lot of playing cards produced by USPCC and Taiwanese publishers like LPCC and EPCC, and the quality of these Cartamundi cards is certainly on par with those.

Handling: The cards have an air cushion style finish. They are super soft, and handle smoothly and beautifully. Cartamundi's B9 Superluxe finish is one that cardists and magicians alike are known to appreciate, so it doesn't disappoint. I was very impressed and satisfied with the overall handling.

Collectors: Flaminko's Deliciousness decks will especially appeal to the collector. These playing cards have "collectible" written all over them, especially when these decks are put together as a set. And there's just a whole lot to appreciate about them, starting from the creative tuck box, the bright colours, and the heavy customization. I'm somewhat of a collector, and when I first heard about these decks, I was immediately intrigued and wanted to see them! Fortunately, they easily lived up to my expectations!

Card games: Despite the strong appeal for collectors, these decks aren't just an eye-catching novelty for the collector to share and enjoy. I really like the fact that Flaminko has made a real effort to ensure that the cards are functional. Even though each deck in the Deliciousness series has heavily customized pips, they are instantly recognizable. The indices are very clear if you're holding a hand of cards, so they certainly can be used for playing card games, whether you're playing some Hearts, Spades, or Poker. I haven't yet played their "Burger Stacks" game, but my children enjoy games like Snap, Slapjack, and Slamwich, and this deck is ideal for that purpose too. Publishing rules for a burger themed game is also a great idea.

Card magic: The fact that the cards have a functional graphic design and recognizable pips, ensures that they can be used for card magic too. While they do have some elements that could distract from a traditional card trick routine, the creative magician has new potential to use these for tricks that connect with the theme. For example, with the Burger deck you could capitalize on the artwork by performing a "sandwich" effect, or some other burger inspired plot. Each deck also comes with two extra gaff cards that will especially be welcome for magicians: a double backer, and a third Joker that is a duplicate of one of the Jokers.

Card flourishing: The smooth handling of these high quality cards means that they'll also be appreciated by cardists. The vibrant colours of the back design makes them quite suitable for this, and the thin borders and straight forward design of the card backs works very well when doing cuts, fans, and more advanced cardistry moves. It's definitely something that will fit nicely in the toolbox of a cardist! I especially love the fresh greens of the Watermelon deck, which provide a fresh look and colour, quite different from most other cardistry decks.

Series: These decks also work together as a series. Even though they clearly stand apart from one another, and are quite different from the others in the series, they also have a similar overall graphic design that makes it clear that they belong to a family. It is indeed delicious from start to finish, and I'm excited about what the Flaminko team will come up in the future!

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Recommendation

So are the decks from Flaminko Playing Cards for you? The playing card industry can feel saturated at times, and it takes something truly special to stand out from the crowd and be noticed. These lovely Deliciousness decks have that special something, and immediately grab attention and interest. The Burger deck looks and feels fantastic from the moment you first lay your eyes on it. The Watermelon deck does the same, without feeling like it's a simple duplication of the first deck in the Deliciousness series. Each deck feels unique and interesting, and the fact that you can actually use them for things like card games and card flourishing only helps make them more appealing.

If you like the look of these decks, definitely check out the Kickstarter for the Watermelon deck that is currently happening, and keep an eye on Flaminko's social media for news of further decks in the future!

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Want to learn more? Visit Flaminko Playing Cards:
Official website: flaminkoplayingcards.com
Social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

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Direct links for where some the decks featured in this review can be found:
- Burger deck
- Watermelon deck (current Kickstarter)
- Lollipop deck
- Citrus deck
- Deliciousness series

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

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