'Bee' Premium Casino Playing Cards:
(A SirBrad review)
No not the stinging kind, I hate them.
I have not bought any Bee decks in a good 10 years at least, but after watching Daryl's EOCS, they started to appeal to me after about volume 4. All I saw was Bees, Bees, Bees, and more Bees. So I went out looking for a pack. I must say that in my local area they were extremely hard to find! Kinda like trying to find a pack of bicycles in Cyprus.
Also I know that McBride uses them frequently as well.
Anyway, there were 4 packs left at good old Wal-Mart thankfully. They had them for about $2.62 before tax, which is was not too bad, but I found them at fast food marts, Eckard, and CVS for almost a whopping $4-5 a pack! So anyway, after having them completely branded in my mind because of Daryl, I decided to grab two packs, one red, and one blue. I began handling them shortly later, and they felt smooth and very comfortable right away. Just as slick as a new bicycle deck by the way, but not too bad considering they are new.
I noticed they could be used for some one way deck principles as well, and Daryl had mentioned about how sometimes the diamonds on the backs are cut off center on each side. You can even see this while looking down at the sides of the deck if you flip them end for end. One disadvantage I found was that it is a little more difficult to conceal reversed cards, And DL's as there is no white border. But this does come in handy for locator cards, key cards, and second deals for sure.
Overall though I like the feel and flashy look of the deck, and the backs kind of put you in a 'hypnotic trance' if you look at them long enough. The edges are rougher than bikes, but this also makes thumb, and pinky counts easier with this deck. I am sure in time I will be just as comfortable with these again as I am with bikes. It has just been so long since I used them that I forgot how fun they were to handle.
Also I use bikes a lot being they are the standard in the magic industry for almost all the packet tricks, and gimmicked decks on the market. So a switch is never much of a problem. The Bee deck is a little firmer than bikes out of the box, but will most definitely become more flexible after being used for awhile. Flourishing is smooth with this deck, and riffle shuffles with a cascade finish are eloquently stunning. Fanning is very easy, and as I previously stated secret counting, and buckles are very easy to do with this deck.
Pros: Smooth handling deck, very eye appealing. Works well with all types of flourishes. Rougher edges allow thumb, and pinky counts to be done almost effortlessly. The almost hypnotic card back's style provide good misdirection, and help aid in the disguise of other cards very well. Great quality deck overall, and feels very natural and smooth in it's handling.
Cons: Lack of white borders can expose reverses, and even DL's if your not careful, or used to the deck. Sometimes the backs are cut off center, which can be a pro, or a con depending on what you want to use them for. Slick as bikes at first, but this helps make them smooth enough for fanning, shuffles, and flourishing right away, as opposed to cheaper decks which get smoother over time.
Overall I like this deck alot, and I hope it only gets better with added use. It is too early to give it a definite score, but even just out of the box I was impressed with it, and got used to it rather quickly. Two of these should be in every magician's/cardician's arsenal.
(This what not meant to be a review at first, but it looks like it sort of turned out that way. In fact I was just working on some real reviews earlier, but I have yet to finish those. I guess the format carried over in my discussion of my new Bees that I am very happy with.
I would like to write a lot more reviews soon, so I may as well get some practice in. )