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Steve Brooks
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Hey gang,

I wanted to bring to your attention a very special playing card project that my friend Lee McKenzie is doing over on Kickastarter.

As many of you card collectors probably already know, Lee is the designer of the now classic Empire Deck which is already difficult to find.

That said, here is a bit about a new deck that is certainly worthy of your undivided attention as it will most likely become highly sought after as well!

EMPIRE 'Bloodlines' Playing Cards & Warrior Card Armour by Lee McKenzie


I sold everything and bought a one-way ticket.

In 2008 I left the UK and my amazing friends and family, to see the world with my girlfriend and pursue a dream of a freelance design career.

A desire to combine my love for design and card magic consumed me. I reached out to the magic and a custom playing card company who had inspired me, Ellusionist, and eventually ended up becoming their go-to playing card designer, which was absolutely incredible!

Last year, after losing my Grandfather, I began to question everything in my life. I quit freelancing and tried to forge my own path, create my own playing cards and share my passion with the world.

It's been tougher than I ever imagined, but thanks to those awesome people who believed in me, I successfully launched my first deck last year on Kickstarter! The Empire deck showed me that this path could actually work! I started my own playing card company, Kings & Crooks and today with your help, we can take the next step with...

EMPIRE 'Bloodlines' Playing Cards

It's time for some new blood in the Empire saga..

I've spent the best part of the last year designing a brand new edition that embodies the very same epic values, obsessive detail and powerfully dramatic story telling design of its predecessor. However, the Bloodlines take the bold graphic style that the Empire series has become known for, and pushes it even further. They each stand strong with a unique style of their very own.

Inspired by the beautiful, ornate and elegant stone engravings that emerged during the rule of one oft the most powerful Empires in history. These were times when legendary wars for world domination took place, courage was celebrated and honour was earned on the battlefield.

These are a bold, uniquely custom new deck for any card lover, artist, magician, player or collector. If you have the original Empire deck, you'll see that the Bloodlines are not just a new coat, but a whole new beast entirely. I hope you like them as much as I enjoyed making them!

...Some Empires Never Fall.



Standard editions available in Royal Blue & Emerald Green.


  • Printed by the U.S. Playing Card Company on Bee® Casino-Grade superior stock.
  • Bloodlines will be printed at Quality level 1, air-cushioned finish performance coating for a buttery smooth, pro-level experience.
  • 56 strikingly bold, custom playing cards that take the powerful, Empire series style to whole new level.
  • Carefully considered layouts and design features that make the deck not just a beautiful piece of art, but one that you can actually play easily with, no matter your game. Cardistry, magic, gambling etc.
  • White bordered edging around the back design for a more traditional card back look and feel that's tasteful and doesn't become distracting during use.
  • Mischievous custom jokers that contain a card reveal utility for magicians to create powerful effects.
  • Heavily detailed artwork on the backs, suits, layouts and pips with custom Ace of spades art, jokers and court cards.
  • Wrapped beautifully in a luxurious, soft touch white box that's silver foiled and precision embossed.
  • Finished with custom Empire series seals in scarlet/royal blue.
  • Standard editions of Empire Bloodlines are available in Emerald Green and Royal Blue.* Your choice of coloured decks (green or blue) can be specified on the survey I will send at the end of the project.





Half card clip. Half battle armour. All beast.


Why Warrior Card Armour?

I'm an accessory freak. I love stylish and clever "gear" that takes the ordinary things we love, and gives them a unique flair; an individual character. I love playing cards too and I was frustrated with the lack of creative evolution in the card accessory world. I wanted something to enhance my passion for the cards themselves, to push peoples' experience with their favorite playing cards to another, more personal level. Although there has been some interesting ideas slowly emerging in the card accessory world over the last few years, I believe there's room for so much more creativity. The Empire series of cards inspired and set the perfect stage for the Warrior and one thing is for sure, there's never been anything like it in the card world...till now.

What is the Warrior exactly?

Battle armour to protect your playing cards. It's a hardcore, iron-forged, genetically-mutated monster of a card clip and the very first of it's kind. It's rugged good looks are inspired by the fierce roman gladiator masks and it's solid form means it's built to last; defending your deck like a Warrior at war.

With your help, together we can unlock the cage and unleash the Warrior. Battle armour built for the mightiest of warriors, is now custom built to protect your deck. Card clips, watch your back, evolution has begun.


  • "Built for Battle" and "Born for Victory" are engraved along the left and right sides.
  • The reverse features the Kings & Crooks logo along with the word "Warrior" embossed below.
  • It's finished with a heavily distressed silver patina, like it came straight from the battlefield.
  • The entrance features smooth curved lines that allow a deck to flow into the hold without causing damage to it's delicate packaging by avoiding butting corners or metal stabbing on edges.

If you would like more indepth information about this project, more photographs, etc. all you need do is Click Here!

"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
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