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 Post subject: Aladdin 1001 Deck Review:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:31 am 
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Aladdin 1001 Deck Review:
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Where to buy: $3.50/ pack http://store.dananddave.com/aladdin-pla ... -blue.html

Other reviews on Penguin: http://www.penguinmagic.com/discuss/vie ... ilit=arrco

Information about my reviewing process: http://www.penguinmagic.com/discuss/vie ... 0&t=156760


Initial Impression: The first thing you will likely notice as you open a new box of Aladdins is the smooth finish on the cards. While there is texture to the cards they are devoid of the dimples common on most cards produced from USPC. The texture does not have the smooth plastic feel of the Fournier but it is still quite a bit different than what most in the U.S. are used to. Overall getting used to a smooth finish card will most likely determine how much you like these cards.

The Look: The back design is nice but doesn’t have the fine detail of the Arrcos or the bold designs of the Tally-hos. The court cards are standard USPC artwork and the Ace of spades is unremarkable. The most interesting artistic feature are the Jokers. The Jokers are a picture of a rabbit coming out of an egg…guess it’s the Easter Bunny? Instead of add cards this deck includes a total of 4 Jokers. This could come in handy for a few effects I know of and is probably there to accommodate some of the card games that are more popular overseas, the market these cards are intended for.

Card construction: The card stock is a bit stiffer than the 808, in fact its’ stiffness rivaled the Tally-ho. The card finish is linen without any dimpling. There is some texture added to the finish, likely to add some airflow to the glides, but it doesn’t appear to be in any set pattern. As it ages this may cause trouble with its' fanning. Over all this deck came in at about 15mm which is about two cards thinner than a Bicycle 808.

Handling:

Fanning:
OOB:8
1 Week:8.5(peaked at a 9 midweek and then lost a bit by the end of the week)
2 week(KIA): 8
It usually fans nicely but occasionally you will find uneven fans even though it’s brand new.

Spring Moves:
OOB:7.5
1 Week:6
2 week(KIA):5.5
A little stiffer than a Bike but just barely. Acrobatic Diving board Doubles seem to have a little more pop but not enough to really set it apart.

Dribbles:
OOB:7.5
1 Week:9
2 week(KIA):9
Dribbles can be clumpy on this one. Likely do to a combination of stiffer stock and the lack of consistency in the finish texture.


Crimp hold and recovery:
OOB:6 hold / 7 recovery
1 Week:5 hold / 7 recovery
2 week(KIA):4 hold / 7 recovery
Ouch! Be careful here. The deck seems to heal itself from crimps all right…the problem is it starts to heal before you may be ready. If you need to use a crimp in an effect just be sure you don’t let your audience go hog wild.

Single card glides:
OOB:8
1 Week:8
2 week(KIA):7
this will be a solid worker for any sleight using this characteristic. The stiffer stocks certainly seem to help with these kinds of moves.

2+Card Obfuscations:
OOB:7.5
1 Week:8
2 week(KIA):6
One corner displays and one handed doubles seem to perform a touch better than an 808 but corner to corner spin moves seemed a bit sketchy for some reason. Overall a better performer than a Bike but not by much.

XCM cuts: Should be fine for this application but nothing about this deck indicates that it might excel in this area.
*1 week Edit* once stock softens multi-packet cuts become insecure.

Card Splitting and Gaff construction/availability: TBD

Who should not buy?: Though I wasn’t terribly impressed this isn’t a bad deck at all. If you already know that you don’t like smooth finished cards then don’t bother with this one, it won’t change your mind.*1 week Edit* Maybe I was wrong? See the 1 week update for details

Who should buy these?: Anyone interested in experimenting with a smooth finish deck will find the Alladins an affordable alternative too many of the European brands.
*1 week Edit* good practice deck for those who wish to save a Massa deck for performance.

Final Thoughts: I had high hopes for this card and perhaps that is why I was a bit disappointed. Working with the Fourniers taught me to appreciate the advantages of the smooth finish card and look past some of the weaknesses. Unfortunately this one just didn’t do it for me. While it did score respectably in all categories except the crimp it failed to excel in any category. Even the 808 excels in a few categories! Perhaps it is important to look at these cards in perspective. The smooth linen finish supposedly helps the cards resist humid climates. As such they are a common card in various parts of South East Asia. These cards are not, nor were intended to be, a high performance card. They are simply the Bicycle of Singapore. A good deck to experiment with but if you already know what you are looking for I’d say pass.
*1 week Edit* I changed my overall impression of this deck once I broke it in. See 1 week update for details.


Last edited by eostresh on Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:06 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Aladdin 1001 Deck Review:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:37 pm 
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Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 2753
Aladdin 1001 1 Week Update:

This was a pleasant surprise. This was the deck that I was least impressed with after it’s OOB review however, I really began to appreciate how it handled. After a few hours of practice the fan improved to a point where it was on par with an 808. The other thing that improved drastically was its’ dribble. Both of these were offset by a quick reduction in the overall stiffness and springiness of the cards. The performance of this deck is perhaps a good example of how to interpret my reviews. While I go to great lengths to ensure the comparison numbers are accurate you should not simply add all the numbers together and select the highest scoring deck. A better use of my reviews is to consider what aspects of a card you value the most based on your own style and select a deck from there. With that caveat in mind lets look at this weeks scores.

Fanning: 8.5
As soon as the stock broke in the fans improved to about that of the Bike 808. It seems to have sloughed of a tad in the last few days but at its’ peak it may even fan better than an 808. What surprises me most is how a smooth finish stock is able to accomplish such high performance fans. It is also a deck that seems to resist filth somehow. At one point I was worried that perhaps I was treating it more gently than the Massa so I literally threw it on the ground to try to filth it up a bit. I’m happy to say the finish just has a way of repelling dirt.

Spring: 6
Though it started out a tad stiffer and springier than the 808 it seemed to lose this very quickly. This can became problematic for multi packet cuts. You will certainly need a lighter touch to avoid spilling cards all over the place when breaking this deck into four or more packets. Certain aerial moves may also feel a bit flaccid. On the plus side, as with the Massa, this would be a good deck to learn certain strength based moves.

Dribble: 9
Once this deck breaks in it begins dribbling like a champ. Smooth and easy! This would be a good deck for practicing an Anaconda or even a dribble shift.

Crimp Hold & Recovery: 5 hold/ 7 recovery
The cards have an average ability to repair themselves but below average ability to hold an intentional crimp. For one effect I do I use a stack of about 20 cards. To protect this stack prior to use I use a breather crimp. I find that even my breather crimped card only lasts for about an hour or two of practice before I need to re-crimp it. If you are very careful with your cards, and thus the deck is not developing unintentional crimps, this shouldn’t be a big problem but for a guy like me, especially in review conditions, this is likely going to be the category that ultimately puts this card to bed.

Single Card Glides: 8
This category remained about the same as the OOB score. While certain glides improved a bit other glides seemed to become more problematic. Nevertheless, it is still an above average performer in this category.

2+ Obfuscations: 8
I gave this one a slight bump primarily because as the stock softens it becomes easier to pull push-off DL, especially the Hugard/Braue version. One handed DL and opposing corner spin displays remained about the same as the OOB.

Overall Thoughts:
I really grew to like this deck. The combination of the smooth finish and malleable stock make it perfect for Faro shuffles and even one handed shuffles(that I am just learning now.) It’s difficult to describe exactly what it was about this deck that forced me to change my tune from the original OOB review. Suffice it to say that between it’s increased performance once broken in and the idiosyncrasies of how the specific handling characteristics combine as a whole I will definitely recommend this deck. It is definitely holding up better than the Massa and perhaps even the 808. As a rough guess I expect this deck to go KIA within the next week or so but if it does it will probably be due to it’s weak performance in crimp hold. For people who don’t use crimps, or are careful with their cards this is a deck that could last a long time indeed. I wish it could be produced with a different back design. I know that I said design was too subjective to review but I am simply getting bored looking at this deck. The Jokers are awesome but that is about it. The good news is that, and I believe I heard Rozzerdog make this comment as well, once broken in this deck performs a lot like a Massa deck .So if you have purchased some of those and are worried about their longevity I would recommend Aladdin 1001s as a nice compliment. You could use the Aladdins(still being produced and thus not a collectors item) for practice and Massas for performance.


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 Post subject: Re: Aladdin 1001 Deck Review:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:02 pm 
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Posts: 2753
Aladdin Final Update:
Well I realize that this is coming in a few days shy of a week review but I just got off a three day weekend with not much to do other than practice with my deck. I’m calling it curtains after ten hours of practice on the 2nd week. I’ll actually keep this deck around to practice a few specific moves but overall the stock has weakened to the point at which it is no longer a reliable performer for my full repertoire of moves.

Fanning: 8
The finish is what I am most impressed with about this deck. It just doesn’t seem to pick up dirt that easily. Therefore, it is a solid steady performer even after two weeks of heavy abuse.

Spring: 5.5
As you work with this deck you will notice the stiffness of the stock steadily decrease. It is to the point now where a forceful riffle shuffle bends the stock requiring it to be bent back into position.

Dribbles: 9
This is a great deck for dribbles. A combination low spring force and smooth finish will keep this deck dribbling nicely even after prolonged use.

Crimp Hold/Recovery: 4 hold / 7 recovery
It still recovers about as well as it did OOB but the hold continues to deteriorate. I could barely distinguish an intentional crimp from an unintentional crimp after this test.

Single Card Glides: 7
As decks get broken in they tend to develop concave bends. On the Aladdin this bend becomes pronounced enough that on certain one handed glides you will find a tendency to pull extra cards along with the intended card.

2+card Obfuscations: 6
The deteriorating stock is really hurting the Aladdin in this area. Any move using an opposing corner spin will become insecure because of the soft cards. The softness in the stock is also keeping the cards from holding together well. This makes single corner displays and Diving Board Doubles more problematic to disguise. If you perform the push-off double described by Hugard/Braue you will find a tendency for three or more cards to break free from the pack.

Final thoughts:
The reservations I had regarding this deck in it’s OOB review were quickly dispelled as it began to break in. For anyone interested in a deck that fans well and doesn’t seem to lose that fan this is a definite buy. Overall this deck will likely outlast a Bike 808 and while I am calling it quits on the overall review I will continue to use this deck to practice a few specific moves. When I was first working on the Anaconda I liked using a Bike 808. The 808 was a good deck to learn that move with but would lose its’ dribble after about a week, the Aladdin 1001s still perform admirably with this even after two weeks. In you are interested in learning a one handed shuffle this is also a good deck to start with. It’s easy flex and smooth finish make it an admirable deck for learning this knuckle buster. Overall the loss of energy in the spring, the poor crimp hold, and the erratic performance in many of the 2+ obfuscations will force me stop using it as an every day practice deck but I will continue to break it out when I want to practice those two moves.

Probably the worst thing about this deck is the over all look. I know I said that reviewing the artwork was too subjective a thing to evaluate but after two weeks I’m just sick of looking at this one. I’m less bored of the Bicycle Rider back than I am of this one…and I’ve been playing with Rider Backs since I was a kid! I wish USPCC would take the same stock and finish and give it a new design; much like the 808 Air Cushion is used with many different designs.

To conclude, I would say that purchasing this deck between $3.00 and $4.00 is a good buy. I would advise anyone interested in a Massa deck to get some of these as well. The Massa will lose its’ fan first and the Aladdin will lose it’s spring first but they will feel quite similar when they are performing at their optimum levels. In short this would be a great practice deck to compliment a Massa.


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 Post subject: Re: Aladdin 1001 Deck Review:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:20 am 
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Joined: 17 Feb 2010
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do you have the summary version on what makes the Aladdin 1001 Deck special than the others??

Schneeschuh


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 Post subject: Re: Aladdin 1001 Deck Review:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:35 am 
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Joined: 28 May 2007
Posts: 2753
janetbrand28 wrote:
do you have the summary version on what makes the Aladdin 1001 Deck special than the others??

Schneeschuh


Mind elaborating on that question? Do they work better for Swiss snow shoe-ers or something? :?


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 Post subject: Re: Aladdin 1001 Deck Review:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:20 pm 
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Location: www.mymagic reviews.wordpress.com
janetbrand28 wrote:
do you have the summary version on what makes the Aladdin 1001 Deck special than the others??

Schneeschuh

Would you care to explain why you are advertising a fashion related item on a magic forum, of all places? We're about the last people who would know about shoes!


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