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 Post subject: Bicycle 125 deck Review
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:38 pm 
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It will be this year, 2010 (which I have spoken strangely about, but that's another story!) that the U.S.P.C.C (United States Playing Card Company) first opened their doors and released a force to be reckoned with (or a really great brand of playing cards). Families across the world have used these cards for entertainment, gambling, magic tricks, and for some people, weapons. From 1885-2010, the U.S.P.C.C has remained strong and very resourcefull when it came to entertainment. Then in 2009, they were bought out and stopped original production of the deck we have come to love and use. And this year, 2010, marks the 125 anniversary of Bicycle, bringing the 'Bicycle 125 Anniversary Edition' playing cards as well as my review.

After peeling open this deck of cards, I was shocked to find that it's no surprise these have been getting such rave reviews from some of the top NON Magic organizations. I have never been one for purchasing playing cards online, nor have I ever been one to review a deck of cards, but this year Christmas has come early. But after handling them, I can easily say that these playing cards have handled the smoothest and most elegantly. Theory11 has certainly put their effort over the top, setting a brand new bar the modern world has never seen before. And I say modern, because these cards are essentially a modernized version of one of the original designs for Bicycle's original brand name playing card.

There is a lot of really interesting history inside one small pack of these playing cards. And as a Magician-to-Magician, these cards were quite refreshing to handle and even just to lay eyes on! And I know, there are TONS (possibly HUNDREDS) of unique decks of cards out there that claim to be nothing but the best, but in all reality, nothing works better for everyone than the "original recipe". So the history: Inside the case, there are 2 playing cards you see first. Each one has the faded back design of the rest of the deck in different colors. So one card will have a blue back design, and one of them will have a red back design. Each one is faded. Printed onto each side of these cards, are very fun facts about the U.S.. Playing Card Company starting back at the roots of Military days where these cards were used for psychological warfare as well as escape routes for the prisoners. (Snapple can eat it)

Now to break into my more serious review mode, what you will find in a surprisingly impressive little package is very well thought out and also very special. It's wrapped like every other deck hanging on the shelf at your local Walgreens or Shoprite, but do not let that fool you. One thing I found wrong about this, is that on the website the cards are advertised with special edition foil deck seals. Well the seal on my deck was very thin (thinner than usual) as well as non-metalic. Perhaps it was a screw up on the printers fault, I don't know. I'm not a doctor. But one thing I did find interesting and worth your money, is the case. I know, it sounds really geeky, but I think I can speak on a lot of consumer's behalfs when I say we are tired of the plain old cardboard case that wears out with casual pocket use. All you needed to do was have one in your pocket when you sat down and your case would warp into something crazy. Well this material was very thick as well as glossy, like a photograph. It almost hurts your eyes when you look at it on a certain angle from the sun because of the metalic characteristics. Of course the design is a little souped up to look somewhat unique. One thing I was most impressed about though was the back design of the case. It felt good to see a case that doesn't have advertisements on them like those of the current owner of the U.S.P.C.C.

As for the actual deck itself, I would say right off the bat that these handle more gracefully than your average deck of playing cards (Maybe because the average deck of a family has been wrapped in a rubber band, dipped in water, and aged for 10 years) or maybe because these were produced on a more finely touched scale. I noticed that they were slightly more stiff than most other playing cards I have played with in the past, but not TOO thick. I would say just right. Of course the dealio with the back design is that it was printed as a modernized vintage illustration and they look almost like royalty somehow. The faces of the cards have changed as well. You could see from photographs of the deck that under every index of every card bares a little index that reads "1885-2010". Short but wise. And the way each pip was printed is more generic than usual, meaning that they have less shape to them but look wonderfull nonetheless. As for court cards, they look vintage and again, more generic. In fact, they almost look sad to me. At the border of the court cards reads "125th Anniversary Edition".

When you first pick up this deck of cards and sit down with them, I would say to stand back up. You will feel like an absolute card-star. WIth perfect fluidity to the quality of each card, you will never look at playing cards as simple pieces of paper (Err, um PASTEBOARD) ever again. I can be almost certain that you will not find this deck of cards at your Grandmother's house sitting in the drawer with a rubber band and lots of wear (Oh wait, did I already use this analogy? Crap). If perfectly symmetrical card fans or table spreads, second deals, faros, or even table riffle faros are your dream, then Erdnase's techniques pretty much execute themselves when these playing cards are at use.

Available at...wherever as well as most of your favorite Magic vendors. $4.95 per deck. Available soon for public demand! (I'll be first in line so watch it...)
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 Post subject: Re: Bicycle 125 deck Review
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:47 pm 
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Joined: 12 May 2007
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Technically, it is the USPCC's 142nd annaversary. Bicycle started producing cards in 1885.
Good review though, I am going to pick a brick up!
~Ian :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Bicycle 125 deck Review
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:50 pm 
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Joined: 07 Aug 2009
Posts: 2948
Location: Sunny Orlando
girspiggy wrote:
It will be this year, 2010 (which I have spoken strangely about, but that's another story!) that the U.S.P.C.C (United States Playing Card Company) first opened their doors and released a force to be reckoned with (or a really great brand of playing cards). Families across the world have used these cards for entertainment, gambling, magic tricks, and for some people, weapons. From 1885-2010, the U.S.P.C.C has remained strong and very resourcefull when it came to entertainment. Then in 2009, they were bought out and stopped original production of the deck we have come to love and use. And this year, 2010, marks the 125 anniversary of Bicycle, bringing the 'Bicycle 125 Anniversary Edition' playing cards as well as my review.

After peeling open this deck of cards, I was shocked to find that it's no surprise these have been getting such rave reviews from some of the top NON Magic organizations. I have never been one for purchasing playing cards online, nor have I ever been one to review a deck of cards, but this year Christmas has come early. But after handling them, I can easily say that these playing cards have handled the smoothest and most elegantly. Theory11 has certainly put their effort over the top, setting a brand new bar the modern world has never seen before. And I say modern, because these cards are essentially a modernized version of one of the original designs for Bicycle's original brand name playing card.

There is a lot of really interesting history inside one small pack of these playing cards. And as a Magician-to-Magician, these cards were quite refreshing to handle and even just to lay eyes on! And I know, there are TONS (possibly HUNDREDS) of unique decks of cards out there that claim to be nothing but the best, but in all reality, nothing works better for everyone than the "original recipe". So the history: Inside the case, there are 2 playing cards you see first. Each one has the faded back design of the rest of the deck in different colors. So one card will have a blue back design, and one of them will have a red back design. Each one is faded. Printed onto each side of these cards, are very fun facts about the U.S.. Playing Card Company starting back at the roots of Military days where these cards were used for psychological warfare as well as escape routes for the prisoners. (Snapple can eat it)

Now to break into my more serious review mode, what you will find in a surprisingly impressive little package is very well thought out and also very special. It's wrapped like every other deck hanging on the shelf at your local Walgreens or Shoprite, but do not let that fool you. One thing I found wrong about this, is that on the website the cards are advertised with special edition foil deck seals. Well the seal on my deck was very thin (thinner than usual) as well as non-metalic. Perhaps it was a screw up on the printers fault, I don't know. I'm not a doctor. But one thing I did find interesting and worth your money, is the case. I know, it sounds really geeky, but I think I can speak on a lot of consumer's behalfs when I say we are tired of the plain old cardboard case that wears out with casual pocket use. All you needed to do was have one in your pocket when you sat down and your case would warp into something crazy. Well this material was very thick as well as glossy, like a photograph. It almost hurts your eyes when you look at it on a certain angle from the sun because of the metalic characteristics. Of course the design is a little souped up to look somewhat unique. One thing I was most impressed about though was the back design of the case. It felt good to see a case that doesn't have advertisements on them like those of the current owner of the U.S.P.C.C.

As for the actual deck itself, I would say right off the bat that these handle more gracefully than your average deck of playing cards (Maybe because the average deck of a family has been wrapped in a rubber band, dipped in water, and aged for 10 years) or maybe because these were produced on a more finely touched scale. I noticed that they were slightly more stiff than most other playing cards I have played with in the past, but not TOO thick. I would say just right. Of course the dealio with the back design is that it was printed as a modernized vintage illustration and they look almost like royalty somehow. The faces of the cards have changed as well. You could see from photographs of the deck that under every index of every card bares a little index that reads "1885-2010". Short but wise. And the way each pip was printed is more generic than usual, meaning that they have less shape to them but look wonderfull nonetheless. As for court cards, they look vintage and again, more generic. In fact, they almost look sad to me. At the border of the court cards reads "125th Anniversary Edition".

When you first pick up this deck of cards and sit down with them, I would say to stand back up. You will feel like an absolute card-star. WIth perfect fluidity to the quality of each card, you will never look at playing cards as simple pieces of paper (Err, um PASTEBOARD) ever again. I can be almost certain that you will not find this deck of cards at your Grandmother's house sitting in the drawer with a rubber band and lots of wear (Oh wait, did I already use this analogy? Crap). If perfectly symmetrical card fans or table spreads, second deals, faros, or even table riffle faros are your dream, then Erdnase's techniques pretty much execute themselves when these playing cards are at use.

Available at...wherever as well as most of your favorite Magic vendors. $4.95 per deck. Available soon for public demand! (I'll be first in line so watch it...)
__________________


Wow! great review... I hadn't heard of these yet but now I want 'em haha!


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 Post subject: Re: Bicycle 125 deck Review
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:26 pm 
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Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 2753
Wow! I really like those. The muted colors are nice and that new back design is very classy. Good review as well.

I have a few questions, You say the stock is stiffer than the 808s. Do you own any of the other thick stocked Bikes to compare it to? And is the finish the same dimpled finish as on other Bicycle cards?

I'm glad to hear they finally decided to improve the box as well. I keep getting high quality cards that outlive their boxes. I'm anxious to hear how these hold up.


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 Post subject: Re: Bicycle 125 deck Review
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:40 pm 
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Joined: 27 Nov 2006
Posts: 2713
eostresh,

I own a few different kinds of bikes, but they are very flimsy. To me, nobody has been able to improve the quality of bikes yet until now. I think it has something to do with the company move. I heard from a friend (Popchris3) that during the time of moving, there was a period of about 3 months where normal bikes were complete crap and then they started to get better. I personally don't know too well, but I found that since the boxes started to change, the cards did as well. But I tend to use the same deck for months on end and by this time, these new ones came out so I am trying them.

As for the cards outliving the life of the box, I brought these to school and found that while sitting in my 15 lb backpack all day with it getting dropped, thrown around, stepped on, and constantly being opened and closed, everything stayed in tact, other than a minor scratch on the front side of it and a small ink blotch on the corner. Other than that, the case is holding up. I did notice, however, that when I put the cards into the case, if you look on the top edge of the deck, there is a small chunk of cards that is out a little more than the rest and I don't know why that is, nor have I found that with any other deck of cards I have tried.

Hope that just about answered it all, if you have anymore questions, I'm here :D


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 Post subject: Re: Bicycle 125 deck Review
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:56 pm 
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Joined: 21 Sep 2009
Posts: 2479
Location: Jackson, Michigan
Nice!!

Going to pick a few packs up.


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 Post subject: Re: Bicycle 125 deck Review
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:07 pm 
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Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 2753
girspiggy wrote:
Hope that just about answered it all, if you have anymore questions, I'm here :D


Thanks for the information on that, it does help. I am probably more interested in these than the new Arcanes. I like the looks of these much more.

girspiggy wrote:
I own a few different kinds of bikes, but they are very flimsy. To me, nobody has been able to improve the quality of bikes yet until now. I think it has something to do with the company move. I heard from a friend (Popchris3) that during the time of moving, there was a period of about 3 months where normal bikes were complete crap and then they started to get better. I personally don't know too well, but I found that since the boxes started to change, the cards did as well. But I tend to use the same deck for months on end and by this time, these new ones came out so I am trying them.


I have heard similar things from other sources. I guess that T11 and Ellusionist have both been pushing USPC to improve the quality of their product. You can find cheaper cards and you can find higher quality cards but USPC is the only company big enough to get a low cost, good quality deck, so I'm always interested when they come out with something like this. I was going to get some Arcanes but I think I'll try these out instead.


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 Post subject: Re: Bicycle 125 deck Review
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:15 pm 
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Joined: 03 Aug 2007
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Location: Continuously practicing, even as I type.
So, what is the deal with these; are they going to be like, in stores, or just online?


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 Post subject: Re: Bicycle 125 deck Review
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:49 pm 
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Joined: 12 May 2007
Posts: 377
Location: Your worst nightmares
Popchris wrote:
So, what is the deal with these; are they going to be like, in stores, or just online?

They will be in select stores, ones that buy from online companies, but mostly online. They are a T11 "Exclusive," meaning that a lot of stores will buy from theory, and sell them at their store.
~Ian :mrgreen:


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