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 Post subject: English Laundry Playing Cards Review
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 5:50 pm 
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Joined: 24 Apr 2007
Posts: 485
Location: California
English Laundry Playing Cards Review

Where to buy: 4.95/deck http://store.dananddave.com/english-lau ... cards.html
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For questions about how I review cards this template may explain my methods:
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=156760


Initial Impression:
Before I begin I would first like to say that if you’re a fan of Bicycle 808 cards then you’re in for a treat. On the other hand, if you do not like the feel of Bicycle cards then this deck of cards more than likely won’t be for you. Okay, with that said let’s get to my initial impression on these unique styled cards. The box design is very unique and also very beautiful all at the same time. The front of the box has the logo from the English Laundry clothing design company along with some additional graphics that make it really stand out. On the back of the box, is the exact design which you will find on the back of each card. Black borders on each design with an amazing metallic silver has been etched into almost a Bee grid design. After taking the cards out and playing with them, my first initial impression was that of a somewhat different feel than a regular Bicycle deck. Upon further use I must take back what I first said, because these cards handle just like a Bicycle deck, hence the Bicycle stock. Even though that may be the case, I still enjoy using these cards.

The Look:
The look of the box design, the back design and the actual hand drawn pictures of the court cards are truly amazing and beautiful. As I have just stated in my Initial Impression, the back design which contains black bordering each design and the metallic silver that looks similar to the grid pattern of a Bee deck is very elegant and stunningly beautiful. The King, Queen, Jack and Aces have all been hand drawn by English Laundry artists. Now, as for the hand drawn court cards, for the King you have a hand drawn picture of King Henry the VIII with the word “Arrogant” underneath. The Queen card is a hand drawn picture of Queen Elizabeth I (although I could be mistaken) with the word Elegant underneath. Then the Jack has a hand drawn picture of Winston Churchill with the word “English” underneath as well. Next, all of the Aces have the same hand drawn image which is also very well drawn and beautiful as well. These cards have impressed and have also gotten me more questions and just your general compliment on how unique the cards are and obviously something they have never seen before.

Card construction:
There really can’t be much to say about the construction of these cards because of the simple fact that they are on Bicycle stock. I know a handful of people who flat out do not like Bicycle stock cards because they are somewhat thin, has no finish and can be bent easily. Then others love Bicycle cards and the stock they are printed on because Bicycle cards are inexpensive and are known by all. Now, with that said, you really shouldn’t handle these cards like you do with a regular Bicycle deck, unless you bought a couple bricks of the English Laundry cards. So I take extra care of these since I only have 6 decks in my collection and I have no plans to buy more than that.

Durability:
For the simple fact that I personally take a bit more care for these cards, I can see the durability of the English Laundry deck lasting for as long as you treat them with a bit more care. Other than that, just take into consideration that no matter how beautiful and elegant these cards are, they will only last as long as your light touch and your understanding that these are your standard Bicycle stock.


Handling:

Fanning: 9
The first time that I ever learned how to do the various fanning methods was with a standard 808 Bicycle deck. And these cards are virtually no different, so I find it rather easy to do one handed fans, two handed fans as well as pressure fans.

Spring Moves: 7
Just think of a Bicycle deck and what you can do with them, and you’ll understand that these cards work just the same.

Dribbles: 10
I absolutely LOVE the way these cards dribble and after 2 weeks of use, I can still dribble these cards as if they were a brand new deck.

Crimp hold and recovery: 7 for hold, 6 for recovery
I put both a light crimp and a some what deeper crimp into a card and both of them held remarkably well. Although the light crimp made it somewhat more difficult but in the end I didn’t have much of a problem finding it with a light touch. Recovery on the other hand, is still something I never cared much for in Bicycle cards which unfortunately is the same for the English Laundry Deck. It took multiple times to get it just right where it didn’t make a noticeable difference amongst the other cards. But after awhile, and more crimps mind you, it started to make the deck look like it has been used for a couple months. When in fact I had only used it for almost 2-2 ½ weeks of use.

Single Card Glides: 9
Incredibly easy and can be done with little effort or thought, identical with a stand Bicycle deck of cards.

2+Card Obfuscations: 8
To save on space and me getting carpal tunnel syndrome, get out a deck of Bicycle cards. What you can and cannot do with them is the exact same with the English Laundry Cards.

XCM cuts:
At this point in time, I have not taken the time to learn any of the XCM moves. So I cannot comment on how well these would work out or if they would be an epic failure.

Card Splitting and Gaff construction/availability:
I haven’t tried splitting these cards for gaffs or any other construction. On the other hand I have done so with Bicycle cards, and for the fact that they are so darn thin I wouldn’t recommend it, although that is just my opinion on the matter.


A Few Thoughts on Magic:
The English Laundry cards have been serving me very well in my performances for the past few weeks and I have received many questions and compliments on the cards. It’s not just the unique back design that impresses the audience it’s when they select a court card for the first time. I usually hear, “Whoa!” or “Hey, look at this!” and then turn to their friend or family member showing them the card. At that point I know they selected either a King Queen or Jack which even makes me laugh.

Now here’s something I wanted to share with the Magicians who like to perform the Larry Jennings card trick, The Visitor. I will not go into too much detail, in fact none at all, but to those who love and perform the effect, which includes me. You will not be able to perform that effect with this deck of cards, I am still continuing to perform as many effects I can with this deck, but so far The Visitor is just one you cannot perform.

Who should not buy?:
Anyone who is not a fan of Bicycle cards will not like the English Laundry deck of cards, it’s as simple as that.

Who should buy these?:
I would suggest anyone who is open to using any type of deck of cards in the performance to pick up at least one deck. The spectators just LOVE these cards for so many different reasons, makes me love performing with them even more. Also, if you happen to collect cards, which I am guilty of myself, then I highly suggest picking one or two up because I can see these being collectors items in the future.

Final Thoughts:
Although these cards may not be for everyone I still have tremendously enjoyed performing with them. The spectators love the design of the cards and on quite a few occasions have asked where they can get some (a few magician friends of mine have also asked the same question). Although they may not be for everyone because of the stock they are printed on, I believe everyone should at least buy one so they can make up their own mind on if these cards would be used or just a great addition to your collection.


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