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Topic: Bicycle Guardians by Theory 11
Message: Posted by: michaelmystic2003 (Mar 20, 2008 11:01AM)
BICYCLE GUARDIANS BY THEORY 11

Effect: A new specialty deck of cards that sports a unique design.

Review: I received my Bicycle Guardians in the mail yesterday. As soon as I took them out of the package I knew they would be great! I'm a fan of specialty decks... they add a little extra something into some of my card work. I opened them and to my surprise, the cards were specially designed WITHOUT looking suspicious! They in no way look like gaffs, just incredibly cool cards. This is ideal for the fans of specialty decks who sometimes go through the difficulty of spectator's believing your deck is a trick deck. Let's go more in-depth, shall we?

DESIGN: These cards are absolutely beautiful. The faces are simple, white background with a slightly grey undertone. The court cards look great too... the reds have been changed to a maroon, the blues have gone to a navy blue, and the yellows are now grey. Upon reading this the cards may sound ugly to you but trust me, each colour compliments the other and they blend into a beautiful image. The Ace of Spades is also a simple yet elegant design, the large spade being a pair of resting feathered wings. Some may argue that it is too simple, but I feel it blends in with the deck, unlike aces such as that in the Master's Deck which sticks out like a sore thumb.

The Jokers depict an archangel in a tattoo-like design, holding an unknown figure on the ground at spear point. This is also a lovely looking design and is, again, very simple without being boring.

Now the main event... the backs. These are the best part of the deck, for sure... I can't get enough of them. They are a reshaped version of the basic Bicycle Back, with two muscular archangels at either end rather than the angels on bicycles. The back is black and the border is white. They also look amazing, like palm-sized works of art. They look brilliant in flourishing as well.

HANDLING: These are the best cards I have handled yet. They are durable, strong, thick, and glide extremely well. Fans look wonderful and multiple cut flourishing looks and feels amazing with these cards... somehow it is actually much easier to handle and looks much more elegant. They also withstand the fraying effects of the Faro Shuffle as well... not one card has any sort of fray on it and I Faro-ed them at least 30 times last night. They still stayed in perfect condition. These card feel even nicer than Bicycle Master's and will probably last longer too.

Also, they are certainly called Guardians for a reason... they withstand dirt and dropping and will even stay in pristine condition after being dropped on the ground. Regular Bicycles don't even come close to Guardians in this field.

OVERALL: These cards are a simple, elegant, and beautiful solution to Bicycles. They do not look like gaffs and they last for a long time... they also suit many tastes and personality. If you wish to add something extra into your card work that will enhance the visual impact of your routines, these are definitely worth checking out. Bicycles Guardians are available at Thoery 11 and they get a rating of 9/10 from me.

Michael Kras
Message: Posted by: Joshua Barrett (Mar 20, 2008 11:53AM)
Interesting, I hear they remade these, but the original deck was the worst deck I have ever used right next to the 1800 series
Message: Posted by: Donny Orbit (Mar 20, 2008 12:01PM)
I heard they were pretty bad as well.
Message: Posted by: Tim Jahn (Mar 20, 2008 12:02PM)
Well Michael,

I'm glad that you like them. As for myself I ordered two decks of these when they first came out and I thought they were some of the worst cards that I've ever handled. However I heard that they did sort of a second edition trying to fix the problems that the first edition had and I never ordered any of those.

I DID order some 909 centurions when they came out. I've got a review up somewhere on here. The centurions are the second worst cards that I've ever handled right behind the guardians.

As I said I am certainly happy that you like them and I never ordered any of the new edition But I just can't see using any of the cards that I've bought from Theory 11 for anything more than shims for a short table leg.

I hope some more people chime in on this and give their thoughts. Maybe I just got a couple of bad batches or something. But I have heard quite a few saying the same as me.

Thanks for the review Michael,
Tim
Message: Posted by: Donny Orbit (Mar 20, 2008 12:28PM)
Tim,

How are you liking the Wynn's brother? ;)

DO
Message: Posted by: ritty360 (Mar 20, 2008 02:06PM)
Why do we keep using cards that are not traditional bicycles? It all smacks of gimmick decks.
Message: Posted by: Joshua Barrett (Mar 20, 2008 02:17PM)
We "try" to use them I suppose just for fun, at least me personally, but in this case it don;t pan out as they suck for anything but card juggling
Message: Posted by: Tim Jahn (Mar 20, 2008 08:13PM)
[quote]
On 2008-03-20 15:06, ritty360 wrote:
Why do we keep using cards that are not traditional bicycles? It all smacks of gimmick decks.
[/quote]

So does that mean if I use Tally Ho's I may be using a gimmick deck?
This whole "Specialty cards = gimmick deck to spectators" argument has been talked about to death on here and I don't think it holds much water.
Do laymen really know what a "gimmick" is and is it something that would jump immediately into their minds? I don't think so. Besides, Whats wrong with handing them the pack and telling them to check it out if they like? Problem solved!!

I myself don't use specialty decks for performance that much. Signed card tricks get expensive after awhile. However, When I do, I have never had anyone say "Those cards must be gimmicked!!!" Come on.

Tim
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Mar 20, 2008 10:09PM)
I agree most spectator's don't really know what a gimmick is, per say. But many of them have seen Svengali decks and T.V. magic cards and such, and there is a little word in their brain that they label, "trick deck". I have never heard one spectator say "Is the deck gimmicked?" But I have indeed heard the term "trick deck" come out of a spectator's mouth on more than one occasion.
Message: Posted by: michaelmystic2003 (Mar 21, 2008 07:36AM)
Thank you for the response! I have heard the card's first editions were horrible for handling... but these second editions, WOW... right out of the box, smoothest cards I've ever handled. These will last, and I recommend you try out the second editions.
Message: Posted by: Tim Jahn (Mar 21, 2008 09:38AM)
[quote]
On 2008-03-20 23:09, daffydoug wrote:
I agree most spectator's don't really know what a gimmick is, per say. But many of them have seen Svengali decks and T.V. magic cards and such, and there is a little word in their brain that they label, "trick deck". I have never heard one spectator say "Is the deck gimmicked?" But I have indeed heard the term "trick deck" come out of a spectator's mouth on more than one occasion.
[/quote]

Yes... But again, Could you not simply hand them the deck?

I too have heard the "Are those trick cards?" question more than once. You know what the funny thing is... Each time I heard it, I was using regular Bikes. Go figure.

Tim
Message: Posted by: michaelmystic2003 (Mar 21, 2008 10:04AM)
Hehe.. I don't want some spectators grimey mitts on my brand new Guardians :D
Message: Posted by: djrdjr (Mar 21, 2008 04:56PM)
Nevermind wrong deck.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Mar 22, 2008 08:23AM)
[quote]
On 2008-03-21 10:38, Tim Jahn wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-03-20 23:09, daffydoug wrote:
I agree most spectator's don't really know what a gimmick is, per say. But many of them have seen Svengali decks and T.V. magic cards and such, and there is a little word in their brain that they label, "trick deck". I have never heard one spectator say "Is the deck gimmicked?" But I have indeed heard the term "trick deck" come out of a spectator's mouth on more than one occasion.
[/quote]

Yes... But again, Could you not simply hand them the deck?

I too have heard the "Are those trick cards?" question more than once. You know what the funny thing is... Each time I heard it, I was using regular Bikes. Go figure.

Tim
[/quote]

Don't feel bad. I was doing a trick with regular dollar bills once, and someone asked me "Are those trick bills?" (Surely they could not have LOOKED more genuine, since they were exactly that.)

Seems that "the item is tricked" is the only explanation they can come up with in their pitiful little brains, be it cards, money, or whatever.
Message: Posted by: Solitaire (Apr 7, 2008 06:07AM)
@michaelmystic2003:
I suppose the Archangel depicted on the Guardian deck is St George the dragonslayer (for more information see here: http://www.shcsc.k12.in.us/arthur/stgeorg.htm )

I also enjoy the change in the backs and in the court cards althought I have to admit I am not into angels but on this deck, I like them.
Message: Posted by: booswain (Apr 25, 2008 11:01AM)
It seems like lots of stores like Ellusionist and Theory 11 are making exclusive decks. My experience with the decks from Ellusionist has been generally postitive. I really like the Tally Ho Vipers and the Bicycle Masters from Ellusionist and I actually use them for tricks. There are some decks that I just think are cool to look at like Shadow Masters or the 1800 series. I did pick up a deck of Guardians just because I thought they looked cool. I havent used them for tricks yet. My fav cards to use are just basic red or blue bicycles.
Message: Posted by: booswain (Apr 25, 2008 11:03AM)
I did pick up a pack of Bulldog Squeezers after seeing the back in John Bannons royal scam trick. I just love the name.
Message: Posted by: booswain (Apr 26, 2008 12:45PM)
I finally opened my guardians..they are thin..and not the quality I was hoping for
Message: Posted by: michaelmystic2003 (Apr 29, 2008 10:45AM)
They are thin? You must have a mismade deck.. My Guardians are exceptionally and noticably thick.
Message: Posted by: booswain (May 6, 2008 11:45AM)
Hmmmm...mine are thin and seem poorly made
Message: Posted by: michaelmystic2003 (May 10, 2008 12:30PM)
UPDATE: I'm still using the same deck I bought almost two months ago... they still work amazingly!
Message: Posted by: Thomas Kwon (May 11, 2008 04:00PM)
Imho.. guardians are absolutely trash. they don't handle nicely, and the only things they are good for is torn and restored card routines.. that's where I've been using my 2 decks of guardians for..
Message: Posted by: Amiable (May 12, 2008 11:09PM)
The responses on these decks are very polarized... and it's just a deck of cards :P
Message: Posted by: michaelmystic2003 (May 13, 2008 11:22AM)
Guardians: OUT

Split Spade Lions: IN

Coming soon, my review of the brand new David Blaine Split Spade Lions from Theory 11.
Message: Posted by: Joshua Barrett (May 14, 2008 08:21AM)
I did get a few decks of the new split spades. they are very nice handling cards and look elegent unline T11 cards. by they can be bought much much cheaper from other retailers then t11 high margin rates.
Message: Posted by: michaelmystic2003 (May 14, 2008 11:27AM)
They re absolutely beautiful and have a ton of hidden secrets and features such as optical illusions, puzzles, and other hidden mysteries within the deck of cards.

I have also heard that the blue deck of Split Spades comes set-up in Mnemonica stack right out of the box.
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (May 26, 2008 12:55PM)
[quote]
On 2008-05-14 09:21, Joshua Barrett wrote:
I did get a few decks of the new split spades. they are very nice handling cards and look elegent unline T11 cards. by they can be bought much much cheaper from other retailers then t11 high margin rates.
[/quote]

I haven't found any online dealers that have them for less when buying a dozen or half dozen. Nevertheless I don't plan on buying anything from T11. Fool me once... Better to wait until the cards are available on eBay probably, which is usually cheaper for international orders.

All in all I find myself less and less excited by these custom decks. However if this one handles noticeably better than say a regular Tally-Ho deck, I'm interested. Not that those aren't good enough in themselves.

The boxes look very nice on these. Not sure about the inverted backs.
Message: Posted by: Joey Stalin (Jan 10, 2009 02:33AM)
I picked up a couple of these at Wal-Mart before I saw Gran Torino. They were the same price as regular Bicycles so I figured why not. I have yet to play around with them.
Message: Posted by: Chessmann (Jan 16, 2009 12:38AM)
If you want to get motion sick, spread (backs up) a pack of Steamboats back and forth. Great cards, but oh, watching those backs moving around will make you puke!
Message: Posted by: Gordon (Jan 16, 2009 04:06PM)
Gambler's General Store in Las Vegas is selling Guardians for $3.00 a deck.
Message: Posted by: RileyG (Jan 21, 2009 07:37PM)
[quote]
On 2009-01-16 17:06, Gordon wrote:
Gambler's General Store in Las Vegas is selling Guardians for $3.00 a deck.
[/quote]

I bought two decks for $2.95 each, plus two decks of the Tragic Royalty by Bicycle...

The bicycle guardians cards have a unique one way pattern that could prove interesting as well... Very subtle 1 way deck...