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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Pictorial Review: Legends PCC - Classic & Diamond finish decks (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

EndersGame
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* * * MORE LEGENDARY PLAYING CARDS * * *

I've previously introduced Legends Playing Card Company (LPCC), a publisher of very high quality playing cards. Along with the United States Playing Card Company, they have to be considered as one of the industry leaders in producing custom playing cards, and the decks of playing cards they produce arguably even surpasses the quality of their more well-known and larger rival. The human legend behind these legendary playing cards is Lawrence Sullivan, an American magician based in Hong Kong, who after a successful career as a magician went on to establish the Legends Playing Card Company in 2013, which he created as his answer to the frustration experienced with many "premium" brands of playing cards, many of which were poorly cut and sub-par quality. He's committed to quality in design, details, paper, finish, and manufacturing, using a proven factory in Taiwan to bring his vision to reality. The playing cards available from the Legends website features decks that are nothing short of spectacular quality.

The four main finishes that prospective clients of LPCC can select from are Diamond finish, Classic finish, Elite finish, and Emerald finish. Legends also works closely with Expert Playing Card Company (EPCC). The two companies even share use of the same factory in Taiwan, with EPCC offering the same finishes as the first three just mentioned but under different names: Master finish (=Diamond), Classic finish (=Classic), and Damask finish (=Elite). In an earlier feature on Legends, I especially covered decks featuring the Diamond and Classic finishes, since these account for a large percentage of the decks they produce. But the other two options available, Elite and Emerald finish, are good alternatives that creators of custom playing cards can opt for as well. In this review series, I am covering decks using these different finishes, to see how they compare. And if you don't care about different finishes, no problem, this is a review for you as well, because I'll show you what several decks of cards look like, which may be of interest to you. So let's start cracking open some shrink-wrap and get busy opening some decks!

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* * * CLASSIC FINISH DECKS * * *


KNOWLEDGE

The Knowledge deck is a unique in-house deck produced by Legends.

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Legends typically sees the creation of an in-house deck as an opportunity to experiment with all kinds of extra features, and to produce an absolutely top notch deck that showcases superlative quality. As Legends says, this deck "celebrates all the knowledge Legends PCC has gained from years of innovation in playing card production."

A classic symbol of knowledge is the owl, and that's why the owl motif features throughout this deck, including on cards like the Joker, and the card-backs themselves.

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If you look carefully you'll notice an owl on the tuck box stamp as well. In the case of this deck, Legends' knowledge and expertise has resulted in a very special deck indeed. That's already evident just by looking from the tuck-box, which screams class with its spectacular gold foil on a matte black!

But it's much more than that - the paper used to make the tuck box is ultra-black imported Italian Fedrigoni paper. This is an intensely deep black satin-smooth paper stock that has special qualities, including a resistance to light, making the first of its kind to be used on a tuck box. Not only does this make the gold foil accents stand out even more strongly than normal, but it has durability as well as aesthetics, as the manufacturer of the paper, Fedrigoni, describes: "The innovative composition of the alpha cellulose pulp without carbon black dyes prevents oxidation when hot foil processes are used, and also helps reduce scuff-ability. This paper is neutral pH to ensure longevity."

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Special mention needs to be made of the court cards, which have an artistic style that is considered to be "Arts and Crafts". The use of gold metallic ink on these cards really helps accentuate the beauty of these classic court card designs.

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The beautiful Ace of Spades also features our owl friend prominently.

And as for the card backs, it's hard to imagine a more glamorous and impressive look, with the addition of gold foil making them looking incredibly classy, far more so than this picture can convey!

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More needs to be said about the court cards. These full-framed images are classic designs that were originally designed more than a hundred years ago by Peter Gurney for his Verdye deck, which dates from around 1910. They are absolutely stunning, and really fit well with a stylish and luxurious looking deck like this.

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The Peter Gurney court card designs were remastered by Legends, and Legends has acquired the rights to produce them on any of their decks of cards, including custom decks from clients.

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To learn more about Peter Gurney and see images of his original designs, see The World of Playing Cards page here.

This really is a beautiful deck that looks every bit of the classy product that it was intended to be!

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LUXX GREILLE

The LUXX Greille deck is part of the LUXX premium line of playing cards, and comes in either blue/silver or black/copper. This is one of the most classy decks I've seen so far from Legends, and it's not hard to see why, just by looking at the shiny tuck box!

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Only 1000 of each were produced, and the seals are individually numbered.

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The card faces are mostly in the traditional style, with slight adjustments to the font used for the numbers. However this deck does have custom aces, custom jokers, and custom court-cards, which are styled on a traditional deck, but with a modern looks with a more original yet unified colour scheme.

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But the chief thing that stands out with this deck is the hot stamped shiny foil on the card backs. If ever a deck is going to dazzle you with its brilliance as soon as you take it out of the tuck case, it is this one!

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The attractive tuck case is nearly all foil too, and this (along with the embossing) makes it immediately eye-catching. Like the card backs, it features a repeating grid pattern that was designed by Rick Davidson, with geometry that helps to emphasize the shimmering foil. Depending on how the light falls, the way this looks can change dramatically; from different angles the light picks up triangles, squares, or diamonds, and is very eye-catching.

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The LUXX Greille is definitely one of the more premium and classy decks in the Legends catalogue!

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* * * DIAMOND FINISH DECKS * * *

The Diamond Finish is one of Legends' most popular and successful finishes, and many creators choose to use it for their custom deck. I have already reviewed a number of decks with this finish previously, so I do have considerable experience with it. However my most recent order from Legends didn't include any Diamond Finish decks, so I don't have anything new to cover in this section. I can certainly recommend this finish however, and some of the decks that I reviewed have previously with the Diamond Finish include the following:

Legends #202 Egyptian Edition, Legends #098 Persian Edition, Legends Digital Petroglyphs, Aquila, Don Quixote Volume 1, Memento, and Jones Playing Cards.

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For pictures and detailed coverage of these seven decks, see my first review.


* * * CONCLUSIONS * * *

All four finishes have their own advantages and benefits. They are all excellent quality, but they do handle and feel differently. To begin with, I should mention that the word "finish" doesn't technically refer to the coating applied to a card at the end of the printing process (which is usually the same coating for all the different Legends finishes), but to the texture of the card's surface, and the style and depth of embossing. Both the Classic and Elite finishes have a thicker paper stock, while the Diamond and Emerald finishes have a thinner and stiffer paper-stock, that has more of a snap when springing the cards. The Classic finish feels most similar to a USPCC produced Bicycle deck, and while the Elite finish is quite similar, it has a different and deeper embossing pattern and a more papery feel. The Diamond and Emerald finishes can take some getting used to if you're familiar only with Bicycle decks, but they will grow on you over time, and are far more durable than an average USPCC deck.

Legends Playing Card Company is an industry leader, and in my opinion the crisp cut of their cards is clearly superior to and cleaner than the cut of a USPCC produced deck. The cards are consistently printed accurately and crisply. Furthermore, Legends is also renowned for the amazing tuck boxes they produce, which typically feature innovative design, and luxurious and classy enhancements like embossing and foil accents. Other features like gold foil stamping on the back of cards and UV spot printing are also evident in what they make, so there's a diverse range of options that creators of playing cards can capitalize on.

I wouldn't hesitate in recommending Legends Playing Card Company as a printer of choice for creating a project for a custom deck of playing cards, and also for purchasing a range of quality decks. They produce very high quality cards, and the playing cards available on their website include a diverse selection to choose from. Lawrence Sullivan is a man absolutely committed to the very highest quality possible, and the results speak for themselves. Legendary playing cards indeed!

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Want to learn more?
Legends Playing Card Company: www.legendsplayingcards.com
Playing Card Online Store: www.legendsplayingcards.com/collections/playing-cards

Direct links for the decks featured in this review series:
Classic Finish: Knowledge Playing Cards, LUXX Greille Playing Cards
Elite Finish: LUXX Palme Playing Cards, Leonardo Playing Cards, Cultura Playing Cards
Emerald Finish: Hong Kong Playing Cards, Porcelain Playing Cards

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BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame - click here to see all my pictorial reviews: => Magic Reviews <==> Playing Card Reviews <==> Board Game Reviews <==
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