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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Review: Vintage decks (Expert Back, Vintage Classic, Texan) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

EndersGame
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*** PLAYING CARDS GALORE FOR AN ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION ***

In this review series, I'm featuring a number of decks I recently received as part of my first ever order from PlayingCardDecks.com (which I'll mostly refer to as PCD in this article). And because PlayingCardDecks is currently celebrating their first anniversary, from 24 - 30 April you can get 20% off everything on their website using the coupon code "YEAR1" at check out. They have 10,000s of decks in stock, with over 1500 different decks as part of their range. In my previous article I covered three decks from the "Texture" series, while in this article I'll cover some vintage style decks, in other words playing cards that have faux aging.

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*** VINTAGE DECKS ***

I love decks that have a very nostalgic and vintage feel. Over the years, there have been several decks of playing cards that have been produced which replicate a truly vintage look, with faux aging on the cards. Here are some superb examples of these decks that PCD carries.

Expert Back deck

The Expert Back deck features a classic design that dates back to 1895.

Bicycle playing cards have been produced since 1885, so this design reflects part of the rich heritage of playing cards, since it was one of the original designs that appeared on playing cards produced by Bicycle before the 1900s. This particular design reappeared in 2010 when it was featured as part of a 125th anniversary deck set.

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But there is one big difference with this particular deck - everything has been given a "distressed" look, to make it appear as if these cards have actually survived more than a century of years, and actually come to us straight from 1895, weathered by time.

This is immediately evident from the tuck box, and the card backs.

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The iconic Ace of Spades is of course quite similar to the one we are familiar with today.

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But these cards don't just look worn, they also have the appearance of having been damaged by water, dirt, and time, and it's a very convincing look.

The pips are larger than what we normally see on cards today, although the court cards have quite wide borders and feel somewhat condensed.

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A number of decks have been produced over the years with a faux aged look, but what I especially appreciate about this one is how all the face cards have been weathered differently, making each of them feel unique. While the card backs are all identical - otherwise it would be a marked deck, and very impractical - each card has different stains and patterns.

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Besides the standard playing cards, this deck also includes two ad cards. And despite the aged look, the cards have Bicycle's superb air cushion finish and quality, so handling is a dream.

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Besides the red deck shown here, the Expert Back with a distressed look is also available in green and blue.

Vintage Classic deck

The Vintage Classic deck also has a false aged look, and the yellowed tones used for the tuck box already gives an indication of what we can expect to find inside. The box features the black triangles along the edges that will also be a distinctive feature of the card backs.

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However, unlike many other decks of this sort, what sets this one apart is a very stylish and unique design on the card backs. It's features a very distinctive diamond shape that fills much of the canvas of the card, while a black triangle is central on all four edges. This makes flourishes like fans look very attractive and eye-catching.

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As for the card faces, these all feature a classic and traditional design, but an extremely weathered and worn look. The court cards are particularly attractive, with narrow bordered, and beautiful artwork that fills up most of the card space.

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As is evident from the number cards, the pips and style is somewhat traditional in style, but the cards just look very well worn. This is noticeable in the apparent scratch marks in the pips, and the colour tones and shading.

Like the previous deck, each card has a unique weathered look of its own, so it's not that an identical digital filter of some kind has been applied to all the cards in the same way, and this unique feel makes the effect more convincing. This has been created digitally, through a multi-step process of digital painting that employed multiple brushes, a palette of washed out colours, and special eraser brushes. The result is different for each card, and they all have a dirty and worn out look, just as you'd expect them to look if they had been played with over the course of a century or more.

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Along with the court cards, my favourites in this deck are the stylish Aces, all of which feature oversized pips inside an ornate design.

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A pair of jovial jesters completes the deck with Jokers, with the two remaining cards being a double-backer and an ad card.

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Despite the vintage look, this deck is a high quality Bicycle product, with the usual high standards for printing and handling, and it's also a very practical and functional deck. It's an ideal choice for anyone wanting a deck to have a genuinely antique flavour and look.

Texan deck

The Texan deck also has a long and distinguished history at United States Playing Cards. The edition seen here is known as the Texan No. 45 1889, and was first printed in Cincinnati in 1889 by the ancestor company of USPCC, namely Russell, Morgan & Co.

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After going out of production for 80 years, the USPCC brought them back into circulation, using a yellowed tinting on the cards to give them an authentic antique look.

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The court designs are typical of the pre 19th century period in which this deck first appeared, being a genuine reproduction, and all the card faces and pips also originate from this time period.

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The overall impression these playing cards are intended to convey is a Texan style deck from the wild west.

The card backs feature a "lone star" emblem, to strengthen the idea that they have travelled forward in time, and have been taken straight from a nineteenth century El Paso saloon.

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Naturally, we're not to be fooled by the aged look - these cards handle as beautifully and smoothly as any new Bicycle deck.

Given their origin, this is one of the oldest brands of playing cards still being produced today!

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They are enjoyed and appreciated by both card players and magicians, and their signature back design also makes them a good choice for card flourishing.


*** RECOMMENDATION ***

So is PlayingCardDecks.com something for you? I won't repeat the more detailed conclusions I included in my previous article, except to say that these playing cards deserve similar praise for their creativity and quality. Whether you're looking for decks suitable for card games, card magic, or card flourishing, there's something that fits the bill, and the decks featured here are good examples.

So if you're looking a high quality deck of playing cards, PCD is definitely a terrific online retailer to check out, based on my own very positive experience. And getting 20% off with their anniversary sale that is running from 24-30 April (use the coupon code "YEAR1"), now is a great time to discover this site. I'm very pleased to recommend all the decks featured in this review!

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Want to learn more? Check out PlayingCardDecks.com
- Online Store: playingcarddecks.com (use code "YEAR1" to get a 20% discount site-wide during the first anniversary sale 24th to 30th April 2018)
- Related links: Blog, Kickstarter projects, Loyalty Rewards Program, Pip Box Club
- Social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

Direct links for the decks featured in this review:
- Textured decks: Metal - Blue Edition ($17.99), Wood ($14.99), Denim ($12.99)
- Vintage decks: Expert Back ($5.99), Vintage Classic ($9.99), Texan ($6.99)
- Sophisticated decks: Monarchs (Blue) ($9.99), Queens ($11.99)
- Gaff decks: Super Gaff ($13.99)
NB: prices listed in brackets are prior to applying the 20% off anniversary sale discount.

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BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame - click here to see all my pictorial reviews: => Magic Reviews <==> Playing Card Reviews <==> Board Game Reviews <==
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Review: Vintage decks (Expert Back, Vintage Classic, Texan) (0 Likes)
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