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 Post subject: Bee No.92: Stingers, Erdnase ed. & Club Special
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 7:11 pm 
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Bee No. 92 (AKA Stinger back Club Special)

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bee 012.JPG
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Where to buy: $4.95 / deck http://store.dananddave.com/bee-stinger ... cards.html and here: http://www.theory11.com/playingcards/stingers.php


Information about my reviewing methods: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=156760

Initial Impression:
Wow! Smoothest fanning deck I have ever felt! There is a good reason bee club specials printed on the aristocrat stock have become favorites among card men for generations. They simply feel like butter. With that said they cater to a specific type a of card magician. Folks who like classic gambling demos and flourishing peppered with a good dose of spread fans, table spreads, and faro shuffles probably won’t find a better deck of cards. With that generous pat on the back I should mention it’s obvious weakness (won’t be a weakness for some). The stock on the Bee club specials is very loose. It isn’t even as stiff as a Bike 808. If you are using a lot of spring based moves, or moves that work better with a stiffer stock you may find the stingers just a bit too swishy. Indeed reviewing these cards on the heels of the D&D v.4 makes me appreciate that deck even more. In retrospect those felt like an attempt, an admirable one at that, to get Bee style performance with a stiffer stock.

The Look:
A very simple black diamond pattern that fades to white at the boarders gives the Stingers a unique look I have not seen in any other card. I won’t say that it is better but it is unique. There is less color in the court cards but what color is there is well balanced. The yellow and blue is gone and you are left with a grey(almost silver), black, and a deep, almost maroon, red. All the hearts and diamonds use the same dark red for their pips. I really like the red used on these, very similar to the red used on the Massa deck. The Joker actually has a little yellow thrown in. Jokers are great because it is where the design artists can actually get a little creative. In this case it is a picture of a jester walking on the back of a bee. You get two jokers in the pack and they are the exact same. The Ace of spades is fairly large. A bee hive inside the spade that is surrounded by flowers. On the top is “Bee” and on the bottom is -92-. The ad banner at the bottom of the spade reads Consolidated –Dougherty which tells be that Bee’s and Tally-hos share the same lineage.

A few things to mention: It is my understanding that the Bee Stingers share the same stock and finish as the standard Club Specials and the recent Erdnase playing cards. I certainly would appreciate any confirmations or denial of that information and edit this review accordingly. In the mean time, while I won’t discuss the look of those cards, you can assume that the performance review will work for those cards as well.
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bee 022.JPG
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Card construction:
These cards were 14.5 mm or about three cards thinner than a bike. These also weigh in at about 89 grams making them one of the lightest I have reviewed. It is a softer flexing stock than most other brands on the market but that probably helps make the finish feel smoother as well.

Handling:
Overall great fans and dribble but a little sketchy on the sleights.

Fanning: 10
Okay I have done my best to avoid handing out 10s but I have to admit this fans discernibly smoother than any other card I have reviewed. Simply outstanding!

Spring Moves: 6.5
While your “spring flourish” should look fantastic with these supple cards the actual spring energy is quite poor. Even a Bike 808 has this one licked. That is certainly not a bad thing, I found a lot to appreciate in the Massa deck, but if you like a stiff stock I’d stay clear of these.

Dribbles: 9.5
Well I didn’t want to hand out two 10s on one review but it was darn close. If you recall my Tally-ho review you know that I really fell in love with how easy and smooth they dribbled after they broke in. These top the Tally-ho dribble right out of the box. Perhaps not by much, but you can tell the difference. If you like dribble passes, dribble forces, or Anaconda flourishes these come highly recommended.

Crimp hold and recovery: 8
The stock seems to hold and recover well from crimps. Hopefully this characteristic will give it a bit more durability than some other soft flexing decks.

Single card glides: 8
Pulling a bottom card longitudinal glide off the pinky was a little difficult but all other glides were pretty good.
2+Card Obfuscations: 6
The Hugard&Braue push-off dl had a tendency to grab an extra card. Probably something you could adjust to once you get used to the soft stock but either way going into a single corner display from there will be a delicate operation. The soft stock and super slick finish will make spinning moves more tenuous than with the Bike 808 stock. You will have to be careful with a Diving Board double. The cards may have a tendency to break apart on the initial snap out and during the turnover phase. Ironically a deck like this might be good to practice your various 2+O techniques as it is fairly unforgiving in this category.

XCM cuts: This is not a deck to learn new multi-packet cuts with but should be okay for moves you are familiar with. Obviously if beautiful fans, ribbon spreads, one handed faros, and Anaconda dribbles are a large part of your flourishing repertoire then this is a deck to get.

Card Splitting and Gaff construction/availability: The Stingers come with a double backer. No other gaffs available. Because of the different red used in this deck you won’t be able to use a standard Bicycle double facer with this deck. I have yet to split these cards.

Who should not buy?: Folk whose repertoire is heavily laden with modern card sleights. Floops, Diving Board Doubles, One Handed Pop-outs, Clip shifts, Nowhere Passes, Herman Outjog Passes, are just a few of the moves made either a bit more tricky or a bit less deceptive with the slick finish and soft stock of the Stingers. Even still, if I’m correct one the same stock and finish being used on the Stingers, Erdnase, and the Club Specials, then there should be no excuse not to at least try out the Club Specials. Those cards sell for $1.89 at most websites. Bicycles are not even that cheap unless you get them in bundles.

Who should buy these?:
Anyone into fans of all sorts, dribbles of all sorts, and one handed and two handed faro shuffling. Ie. Anyone into classic card sleights and flourishes. I don’t consider myself particularly good at many of these classic flourishes but I can perform most of these fairly well with this deck.

Final Thoughts:
From the OOB evaluation I would ponder that these will be headed for a specialist bracket. Much like the Fourniers are the kings of powerful knuckle busting modern card sleights but sacrifice fanning smoothness, these are the kings of classic card magic and flourishing. I am so impressed with what this deck has to offer that I’ll happily overlook some of its failings. While it may never become the performance deck of choice for me I will be sure to always keep a deck or two of these around for times when I want to practice my dribbles and fans. If the Stinger’s afore mentioned strengths match with your style of card magic then don’t hesitate, get a brick!

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 Post subject: Re: Bee No.92: Stingers, Erdnase ed. & Club Special
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 6:01 pm 
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Awesome!! i was looking forward to this review!! and you didnt disappoint!!


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 Post subject: Re: Bee No.92: Stingers, Erdnase ed. & Club Special
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:25 pm 
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quick question. is the red so different from an 808 that a double facer would look out of place?


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 Post subject: Re: Bee No.92: Stingers, Erdnase ed. & Club Special
PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:33 pm 
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worldwideme wrote:
quick question. is the red so different from an 808 that a double facer would look out of place?

Unfortunatly yes. This is one drawback to the deck. Most USPC art works just fine with a standard double facer but not the Stinger Backs. If you are more interested in the handling than the look you might check out the standard Club Specials. I know Sirbrad did a nice review on those a few years back and I think the only difference is the artwork. Perhaps if he reads this he could chip in on that.


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 Post subject: Re: Bee No.92: Stingers, Erdnase ed. & Club Special
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:53 am 
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I do not use Bees hardly ever being that they are limited with the type of card magic that I do. Double-backers/facers are slightly visible. They kinda look like a break in the deck. Most may not catch this upon casual glance, but I just prefer 808 cards with borders being that they are more common today. So there really is no need for me to bother with Bees. They are better suited for gambling tricks.


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 Post subject: Re: Bee No.92: Stingers, Erdnase ed. & Club Special
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 2:15 am 
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Bee No. 92, Stinger backs: (1 Week Update)
Well I finally got around to these guys and I have to say...it was a rough week. A bunch of humidity rolled in for about 4 days and it drizzled non stop for about two of those. Why is that worth mentioning in a card review? The Bee No. 92s with the "Aristocrat" finish seemed particularly effected by the humidity. They are still good in fans but spring energy is very weak and it doesn't seem to hold a crimp very well. While there are some admirable traits about this deck I fear that, for many, there will be some heavy drawbacks to consider.

Fan: 9
While it did take a hit here I really have no complaints. It went from completely outstanding to merely excellent.

Spring: 5
The score says it all. If I try an acrobatic DivingBoard double without adding any wrist motion these cards have a tough time jumping 3 or 4 inches.

Dribble: 8
Many times I have noticed dribbles hitting their peak after about a week but not so here. They were great OOB but have just lost something over the week.

Crimp Hold And Recovery: 4 hold / 6 recovery
The biggest problem I have noticed is the crimp hold. I use a breather crimp in a routine protecting a card stack. Before I need the crimp the deck goes through 3 syble type cuts, two false shuffles, and one "spectator" cut. Even if I crimp directly before the routine I really have to hunt to find the crimp. Not exactly confidence inspiring!

Single card glides: 8
I left this one about the same. It is a pretty good deck for moves that use a glide component.

2+ Obfuscation: 6
There was no change here, which is a good thing because it started kind of low. It will perform okay if you are comfortable with a move. Not a recommended deck to be learning new 2+O moves on. The two moves I notice the most trouble with are the single corner display and the H&B push-off double. The stock is just so lose that it is easy to push one, and sometimes two!, extra cards in that push-off action.

Overall thoughts:
Well I will keep the review going for a while. This time not because of any outstanding characteristics that make up for its failings, as with the v.4s and the Anglo Rugs, but because I think the recent humidity has really effected this deck and now that the weather has dried out I want to see if it perks up a bit. One way or the other I feel pretty confidant to warn people in humid climates away from this deck. There is one particular feature that may interest some of you. If you like to faro shuffle, both one and two handed, then this will be a good deck for you. Humidity or no humidity this is one of the smoothest decks for faroing that I have come across.


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 Post subject: Re: Bee No.92: Stingers, Erdnase ed. & Club Special
PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 4:53 pm 
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Bee Stinger Back Final Update:
Well I had hoped that the drier weather would have helped this deck improve some performance characteristics, at least enough to carry on with the review. Sadly it did not so, for now at least, I'm calling it on the Stinger Back review.

Handling:

I won't really update the scores on this one, it has been three days and 4 hours more of practice and the scores are about on par with the last update. Overall the weakened stock and terrible crimp hold is just too much to want to deal with any more.

Overall thoughts:
Well first thing I'll say is that you may want to give the stingers the benefit of the doubt. As I mentioned the stock seemed really effected by the humid weather I experienced in the last week. If you live in a drier climate these may be a longer lived card for you. That said there are still a few things to note. First, if the deck softens up due to humidity it is unlikely to recover in the short term (perhaps it would with a month on the shelf but I don't have time for that with these reviews.) Second, I will definitely recommend that people in humid climates might want to avoid the Bee Stingers. If you live in an climate like mine(humidity fluctuations between dry and wet seasons) you may want to save the stingers for the dry season.

If I get a chance I may attempt to redo the "Stinger" review in better weather but there is something important to point out with this deck. Just because it is billed as, and sold as, a premium deck by several websites doesn't mean it is. If you read the box their are no claims to quality beyond what you get from a Bee Club Special, a deck that sells for $1.89 in most places. Indeed the deck box advertises itself as a Club Special with a "Stinger" back. Putting it in that perspective this deck performed as well as and lasted as long as a Bicycle 808. Another deck that retails for just under $2.00.

So with those thoughts in mind here are my recommendations as best as I can give them right now. This deck fans and faros better than any deck I have so far reviewed but has a tendency to get "beat up" when performing tricky moves. Not a recommended deck for people who do a lot of "In hands" and "modern" moves. Moves like the Diving Board Double, Anderson and Truffle false shuffles, one handed bottom palms, ect., all tend to bend and stress cards in order to accomplish the effect. The poor crimp hold/recovery with this deck will likely put this deck to bed quickly using those moves. However, for at the table gambling demos I doubt you will find a better deck. If you think about it, many of those moves, dealing bottoms, dealing seconds, perfect faros, Zarrow shuffles ect. all benifit from a smooth supple deck and in that category the Club Special Stingers are hard to beat.

One final thing to mention. The weather is drying up and I have some Bee Erdnase edition cards on the way. I have heard mixed reports that the Erdnase is from the same stock and finish and that the Erdnase have a different stock and finish. I'm sure I will know soon enough one way or the other. If they are the same card then hopefully I'll get a chance to reevaluate these decks without the humidity plaguing my efforts. Until then, if you like the look of these go pick up a few decks, if you are interested in some of the handling characteristics but would rather get a cheaper deck then get yourself some standard "Club Specials."


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 Post subject: Re: Bee No.92: Stingers, Erdnase ed. & Club Special
PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 11:03 pm 
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hey eostresh.

i asked about the differences in stock and finish between these and the club specials on t11 and i learned that the regular bees have a cambric finish.

and the stingers are aristocrat stock and finish.

so there is a difference in the cards

at least thats what they said here

http://forums.theory11.com/showthread.php?t=27346

but they could very well be wrong.


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 Post subject: Re: Bee No.92: Stingers, Erdnase ed. & Club Special
PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 7:04 am 
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worldwideme wrote:
hey eostresh.

i asked about the differences in stock and finish between these and the club specials on t11 and i learned that the regular bees have a cambric finish.

and the stingers are aristocrat stock and finish.

so there is a difference in the cards

at least thats what they said here

http://forums.theory11.com/showthread.php?t=27346

but they could very well be wrong.

I'm not ignoring you...finding a definite answer to your question is proving difficult. It has been a good long time since I used a club special...since well before I started these reviews...so I can't say with certainty and probably won't know until I get a chance to handle them side by side.

Here is one thing to keep in mind. A cambric finish refers to a style of finish and the Aristocrat refers to a name of a specific finish. So just because they are advertised different doesn't mean the are different. One may refer to the process and the other the cambric style process that is specifically used for those cards.

Cambric refers to a type of linen weave cotton cloth commonly seen used for needle point work. As it relates to cards I have heard two stories. One, the paper used in the stock is a cotton based and not a wood based paper. The other, that it refers to the pattern used when the paper is "dimpled" prior to printing. I'm more inclined to believe the latter. If you hold a dimpled card into the light you will see that the dimples are not arranged in a perfect pattern but more of a weave pattern. That said, just about all USPCC cards seem to have the same dimpling pattern on them, Air Cushion, Air Flow, Linoid, Aristocrat, and even the Plastic Coated Arrcos all look about the same. Where I notice a difference in the USPCC brands is in the different stiffness and thickness of the card stock used and in the final varnish used to coat the cards with. If the cambric finish refers specifically to the dimpling pattern then pretty much all dimpled USPCC decks have a "cambric" finish.

While that might be educational...it doesn't really answer your question. Are the "Stinger Back Club Specials" the same card as the standard "club specials?" Sadly I don't have an answer to that yet. I'll keep searching my sources and see if I can find an answer and worse case scenario I'll pick up some club specials in a month or two and compare them head to head. Even then the best I could give you is my opinion. In the mean time I'm inclined to say, go with what they said at T11. These guys have obviously used both cards in recent memory and claim them to be different. I can't dispute that until I get some Club Specials or dig up some more concrete answers for you.


***I have to say...I have found plenty of info on the web as to how cards are made but trying to find out specifics about specific stocks and finishes has proved to be quite a challenge. You would think I was trying to steal the Colonel's Recipe!***


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 Post subject: Re: Bee No.92: Stingers, Erdnase ed. & Club Special
PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 8:58 am 
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eostresh wrote:
worldwideme wrote:
hey eostresh.

i asked about the differences in stock and finish between these and the club specials on t11 and i learned that the regular bees have a cambric finish.

and the stingers are aristocrat stock and finish.

so there is a difference in the cards

at least thats what they said here

http://forums.theory11.com/showthread.php?t=27346

but they could very well be wrong.

I'm not ignoring you...finding a definite answer to your question is proving difficult. It has been a good long time since I used a club special...since well before I started these reviews...so I can't say with certainty and probably won't know until I get a chance to handle them side by side.

Here is one thing to keep in mind. A cambric finish refers to a style of finish and the Aristocrat refers to a name of a specific finish. So just because they are advertised different doesn't mean the are different. One may refer to the process and the other the cambric style process that is specifically used for those cards.

Cambric refers to a type of linen weave cotton cloth commonly seen used for needle point work. As it relates to cards I have heard two stories. One, the paper used in the stock is a cotton based and not a wood based paper. The other, that it refers to the pattern used when the paper is "dimpled" prior to printing. I'm more inclined to believe the latter. If you hold a dimpled card into the light you will see that the dimples are not arranged in a perfect pattern but more of a weave pattern. That said, just about all USPCC cards seem to have the same dimpling pattern on them, Air Cushion, Air Flow, Linoid, Aristocrat, and even the Plastic Coated Arrcos all look about the same. Where I notice a difference in the USPCC brands is in the different stiffness and thickness of the card stock used and in the final varnish used to coat the cards with. If the cambric finish refers specifically to the dimpling pattern then pretty much all dimpled USPCC decks have a "cambric" finish.

While that might be educational...it doesn't really answer your question. Are the "Stinger Back Club Specials" the same card as the standard "club specials?" Sadly I don't have an answer to that yet. I'll keep searching my sources and see if I can find an answer and worse case scenario I'll pick up some club specials in a month or two and compare them head to head. Even then the best I could give you is my opinion. In the mean time I'm inclined to say, go with what they said at T11. These guys have obviously used both cards in recent memory and claim them to be different. I can't dispute that until I get some Club Specials or dig up some more concrete answers for you.


***I have to say...I have found plenty of info on the web as to how cards are made but trying to find out specifics about specific stocks and finishes has proved to be quite a challenge. You would think I was trying to steal the Colonel's Recipe!***



dang you really know your cards!!

that was fun to read AND informative. thanks for all your hard work Eostresh. i think i speak for a lot of people when i say thank you and keep it up man!


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 Post subject: Re: Bee No.92: Stingers, Erdnase ed. & Club Special
PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 7:36 pm 
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worldwideme wrote:


dang you really know your cards!!

that was fun to read AND informative. thanks for all your hard work Eostresh. i think i speak for a lot of people when i say thank you and keep it up man!

Thanks very much....although I think that is the first time I have been complimented for not answering a question. Anyways I forwarded your question on to some "card gurus" over at 52plusjoker.com If they can't answer your question then it is likely a trade secret and there will be no way to know for sure other than trying out both and making your own judgement. One way or the other the Club Specials should at least be similar to the Stinger backs so if you want to get those for practice and Stingers for performance you should be all right.


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 Post subject: Re: Bee No.92: Stingers, Erdnase ed. & Club Special
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:08 pm 
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Still no final answer for you but here is what I got so far. First of all the Aristocrat is the stock no the finish(My bad I knew that but wasn't thinking at the time.) Cambric does refer to the particular pattern of the dimples so in that sense all USPCC cards have a cambric component to their finish. (except for the smooth finish decks) The last step to the finishing process is the protective laminate used. This changes from deck to deck(probably the most inexpensive alteration that can be made to a deck) and it will effect handling and longevity but not a lot.

Stingers were originally made for casinos who wanted boarders to help detect second deals and players holding out extra cards. In that form they were printed on the same stock and finish as Club Specials. T11, though they advertise the Aristocrat stock, does not claim their Stinger Back club specials as anything more than a Stinger Back that can be purchased without a casino logo on it and without having been previously used in a game room(Stingers were originally available only as used cards). I'll try to get some standard Bees here in a month or to confirm but I am positive it is the same card.

Keep in mind that psychology plays into how people perceive card performance. I do my best to avoid that but I have to consciously think about being objective. Even after that I am sure I still get effected by how much I like the "look" of a card. Case in point, Arrcos. I love that deck but other than the final laminate coating being a little different I can't say with certainty that there is any difference in the stock than say a Bike 808.


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 Post subject: Re: Bee No.92: Stingers, Erdnase ed. & Club Special
PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:26 am 
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eostresh wrote:
Still no final answer for you but here is what I got so far. First of all the Aristocrat is the stock no the finish(My bad I knew that but wasn't thinking at the time.) Cambric does refer to the particular pattern of the dimples so in that sense all USPCC cards have a cambric component to their finish. (except for the smooth finish decks) The last step to the finishing process is the protective laminate used. This changes from deck to deck(probably the most inexpensive alteration that can be made to a deck) and it will effect handling and longevity but not a lot.

Stingers were originally made for casinos who wanted boarders to help detect second deals and players holding out extra cards. In that form they were printed on the same stock and finish as Club Specials. T11, though they advertise the Aristocrat stock, does not claim their Stinger Back club specials as anything more than a Stinger Back that can be purchased without a casino logo on it and without having been previously used in a game room(Stingers were originally available only as used cards). I'll try to get some standard Bees here in a month or to confirm but I am positive it is the same card.

Keep in mind that psychology plays into how people perceive card performance. I do my best to avoid that but I have to consciously think about being objective. Even after that I am sure I still get effected by how much I like the "look" of a card. Case in point, Arrcos. I love that deck but other than the final laminate coating being a little different I can't say with certainty that there is any difference in the stock than say a Bike 808.



Awesome thank you so much man! most guys would just speculate at and answer and leave it at that, or tell me to research it myself. which is understandable. but you didn't do that! thank you so much! i ordered some tally's to try out a thicker stock while you searched. but now i'll bee (haha get it pun!) picking up some club specials in the near future. i saw some at Walgreens once.


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