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 Post subject: Arrco U.S. Reg. Deck Review
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:44 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 2753
Arrco U.S. Regulation Deck Review:

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Where to find: $3.50/deck

Information about my reviewing process: ... 0&t=156760

Other reviews on this deck:

Initial Impression: This is not a bad deck but very similar in feel to a standard Bicycle 808. The stock is similar in weight and thickness and both cards have dimples on the surface for the air cushion finish. There is a slightly different feel to the coating on the finish. The Arrco feels a little more “sandy” but you would have to hold them in a direct comparison to even notice. Arrco advertises a plastic coated finish which may account for this. That slight difference in the coating seems to be about the only difference I can detect out of the box.

The Look: Of all the cards I have owned the Arrcos have the finest detailing on the back design. From a distance it almost looks like an Impressionist design as all the little details sort of blend together. A nice look but not striking enough to really set it apart. The ace of spade is a quite simple, almost boring design, and the heads of the court cards are a little bigger than on Bikes. The number cards and pips seem similar to bikes. Over all nothing in the artwork to really set it apart.

Card construction: I’ll let you know if anything stands out when I split one but nothing really stands out.

Durability: The longevity test will be the final judge of this but as you will see the crimp hold/recovery of this card scored lower than any other card in the review. Weather this bodes poorly for longevity we shall see.


1 Week:9
Easily the equal of the 808s.

Spring Moves:
1 Week:7
Again I could feel no difference in stiffness in the cards between this and a Bike 808, nor did I notice any handling difference with moves that rely on this trait.

1 Week:8.5
These cards don’t dribble bad at all. Never the less I had more even dribbles from the 808.

Crimp hold and recovery:

OOB:6 hold / 8 recovery
1 Week:6 hold / 8 recovery
This was poorest performance category of this deck and the poorest performing deck in the group. While the deck seems like it ought to last as long as an 808 this attribute makes me skeptical. Not only did it not hold the crimp well it wouldn’t recover from it very well either
Single card glides:
OOB: 8
1 Week: 8
A stronger performance here, it seems as if the slightly rougher finish helps prevent the cards from sliding in groups.

2+Card Obfuscations:
1 Week:8
Another improvement over the Bike 808s, this deck will be a little more forgiving if you are sloppy with your doubles and corner to corner spins.

XCM cuts:
Nothing in particular about this deck tells me it is a must have for a flourisher.

Card Splitting and Gaff construction/availability: TBD

Who should not buy?: Nothing in particular about this deck would lead me to discourage or recommend it’s use by particular age group, experience level, or style of magician..

Who should buy these?: See above.

Final Thoughts: It is a fine deck but very similar in handling to a Bicycle 808. Because of that I have the least to say about this deck. When I find time to get to the longevity review we shall see if my concerns about the crimp characteristics are well founded or not. If it can make it two weeks(The life expectancy of an 808 in my hands) then I’ll be happy with it. While it seems to average out with a Bike there are a few improvements in some areas that account for why some would likely prefer this to the 808. It is not a better deck but different enough that some of you will definitely prefer it.

Last edited by eostresh on Sun Feb 21, 2010 7:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

 Post subject: Re: Arrco U.S. Reg. Deck Review
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 7:48 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 2753
Arrco 1 Week Update:

Much like the Aladdin this is a deck that sort of grows on you. OOB it scored very close to a Bike 808. The plastic coated finish did seem to give the deck a slightly different feel but it was hardly noticeable unless compared side by side. The deck “Feels” a tad stiffer during day to day use but in blindfold tests I could not tell the difference. The real difference between the two deck may be in the longjevity. After a week of use the Arrco showed almost no signs of slowing down. Here are the scores for this week.

This finish, like the one used in the Aladdin, seems to have a knack for repelling dirt. There is almost no discernable change in how these fan.

Spring: 7
It seems to have lost very little energy in the spring. It seemed to pace well with an 808 in both blindfold and visual tests. Almost no change with an OOB deck as well.

Dribbles: 8.5
While the stock hasn’t lost much energy it seems to have broken in just enough to improve its’ dribble. While not quite as smooth and easy as the Aladdin you may prefer it if you have a stronger grip.

Crimp Hold / Recovery: 6/8
Never a great performer in the crimp hold but the stock seems to repair itself quite nicely. After a week there are very few unintentional crimps and those that are present are hardly visible. If using an intentional crimp in a routine I recommend using a strong crimp and not allowing the deck to be shuffled more than two or three times.

[b]Single Card Glide:[/b] 8
As the stock breaks in the tendency of extra cards being glided by mistake will lesson.

2+Obfuscations: 8
Not much difference than the OOB score. It will perform most doubles, single corner displays, and opposing corner displays with a bit more security than a Bike 808.

Additional Thoughts:
I didn’t originally peg this to be a long lived deck but it seems to be holding up quite nicely. In most areas it seems to perform quite a bit like a Bicycle but the plastic finish may be giving it a boost in life expectancy. The Arrco finish definitely repels dirt better but the stock seems to be holding it’s stiffness better as well. Whether that is because of the cardboard and glues used in the stock or the plastic finish perhaps protecting the stock I can’t say. All I can say is that the Arrco will easily outlive a Bike 808.

 Post subject: Re: Arrco U.S. Reg. Deck Review
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:35 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 2753
Arrco U.S. Reg Final Update:
That was weird….After the one week update I had thought this one would last a while but it seems that the spring and stiffness in the stock rapidly deteriorated in just the last four hours of use. Even with that said it is mostly lacking in only the stiffness and most other categories changed very little. In all it made it to the 9th hour of the 2nd week witch puts it on par with the Aladdin and a bit ahead of the Bike 808 and Massa Decks.

Fanning: 8
It did finally lose a bit of it’s fan but still and works pretty well. I’m still impressed with the finish. It doesn’t seem to get a “sticky” as when an 808 gets old.

Spring: 5
This is the one category that caused me to give up on this deck. The overall deck just started feeling very “Floppy.” Although it will still perform a deck spring there is very little energy left in the cards. The cards are getting so loose that it is becoming easier to accidentally crimp and bend them with certain maneuvers.

Dribbles: 9
As the spring goes down the dribble benefits. Very smooth and easy dribbles when the deck is in this condition.

Crimp Hold/Recovery: 6 hold / 8 recovery
No real change here. The deck has stayed in pretty good condition but I still advise using a very strong crimp with this deck and not shuffling it to much before needed. I tend to re-crimp a “breather” after 1-2 hours of practice.

Single Card Glides: 7
It is performing better than ever for glides coming off the top of the deck, however, bottom card glides are very unreliable because of the strong concave bow in the deck.

2+card Obfuscations: 8
Diving-board Doubles are fairly secure but standard push off doubles are becoming more problematic. Single corner displays are becoming more secure because of the concave deck shape but opposite corner spins feel very loose because of the weak stock. Overall still performing at an 8 for my move repertoire however if you are fond of push-off doubles and don’t use the DvB DL you might rate it a 7.

Final thoughts:
Good solid deck. I retired for one factor(spring and overall softness of the deck) but in most other categories there was hardly a change at all. I was most impressed by how long it kept it’s “New Deck” feel. Indeed after the 1st week I couldn’t tell the difference between it and the new Aarco in blindfold tests. We recently had a spate of humid weather here and perhaps that is in part a contributor to the rapid deterioration of the stock. If you live in a drier climate I’d like to hear your thoughts on this deck. Perhaps it will further outlast an 808.

There have been stories that the Aarcos used to be a real high quality deck before they were taken over by USPCC. While I have heard that hearsay from several sources I have yet to hear an account from someone who actually had experience with an Aarco both pre and post the USPCC takeover. If anyone out there reading this can contribute a first hand account of the truth of these rumors I would love to hear your comments on that.

Weighing all the facts I would have to say that this deck is a good buy if you can get it for around $3.00. It will perform similar to a Bicycle and outlast one by a bit. I personally like the back design quite a bit. It has a finer level of detail than just about any other deck I have used. Nevertheless, its’ performance characteristics don’t warrant paying top dollar for this deck. Indeed there is nothing about this deck that would lead me to recommend it more than a Bike other than to those who like the looks of the back.

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