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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Review: Bicycle Syndicate deck (Shapeshifters & Max Playing Cards) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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New Custom Playing Cards From Gamblers Warehouse

In this review series I'll cover some of the latest additions to the ranks of the custom decks from Playing Cards Dot Net. This is a division of Gambler's Warehouse, which has been a part of the playing card industry for over two decades. Not only do they sell a massive amount of playing cards, but they are also involved in crowdfunding and producing custom playing cards.

Today we will first meet the GRID Blackout deck, which uses special UV inks that show up under black light. Then we'll take a look at the goldsmith inspired design of the Bicycle Syndicate deck, before moving to the Hercules deck, which is a delightful homage to a mythical hero, and my favourite of all the decks showcased here!


Bicycle Syndicate deck

The Bicycle Syndicate deck is another recent project from Gambler's Warehouse, and sees a collaboration between well known playing card blogger Max Playing Cards, and the Shapeshifters design team, which also has produced several other decks, including Mystique and Ophidian.

The name already captures something of the collaborative concept, with the deck inspired by teamwork: "parts and gears in perfect harmony to create the beauty". The tuck case design has been deliberately inspired along the lines of the craftsmanship this collaboration produces, and is intended to bring to mind the intricate work of a goldsmith.


The exquisite pattern from the back of the box returns on the card backs, which are designed to represent "an elaborate structure where metals are combined with precious gems and mechanisms that seem to hide a real treasure." A palette with a range of brown and gold inks has been used here, and it does have a genuine gold touch to it without looking garish or cheap, and which helps bring out several details from the design.

Unlike the card backs, the faces have a white background, which ensures that they are very practical for use in card games or magic. But the level of detail and artistry that has gone into the designs is significant, and in some ways this makes the deck immediately feel like more of a work of art to be admired than a tool to be used.


The style of the ornate borders and pips will look familiar to anyone who has seen other decks from the Shapeshifters team, but I find that it has a more settled look in this deck that is more pleasing to the eye. Having cards in a solo black or solo red colours, depending on the suits, ensures a simplicity that emphasizes and heightens the beauty of the designs.


The deck is rounded out with two Jokers, representing day and night respectively, an ad card and a double backer.


Of all the Shapeshifters decks I've seen, this is quite easily my favourite so far, and I think that it has the capacity to be more practical than some of their previous decks. It won't appeal to everyone, but if what you see here draws you in, then you're certain to be even more impressed when you see the cards firsthand.


And of course the trusted name of Bicycle on the box guarantees that we get the usual quality USPCC handling, so there will be no disappointment with the performance of these cards.


Once again Gambler's Warehouse continues to produce attractive and high quality playing cards. They have a lot of experience in the custom playing card industry, and collaborate with designers by offering fulfilment as well as production of custom decks. Decks like the ones featured in this review series are fine examples of the creative and attractive work they are producing.

Besides producing playing cards, Gambler's Warehouse also sells them at their online retail outlet, Here you'll find a wide range of hundreds of quality decks for sale, all of which include free US shipping in the price.

Of the playing cards covered in this review series, the Hercules decks are easily my favourite. I'm especially partial to the striking looks of the face cards in the Bicycle Edition of this deck, which really stand out against the jet black backdrop. The tuck box of the Limited Edition is definitely the most impressive of the two, given the abundance of foil, and these cards are also highly attractive despite the white background. I'm no hero myself, but with the Hercules decks in my pocket, I can console myself that a hero is always close at hand.


Want to learn more?
Gamblers Warehouse:
Playing Cards Dot Net:

Direct links for the decks featured in this review series: (prices listed include free US shipping from
- Limited Edition Grid Blackout deck ($24.00)
- Bicycle Syndicate deck ($15.95)
- Bicycle Edition Hercules deck ($14.95)
- Limited Edition Hercules deck ($14.95)

The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deck the Halls » » Review: Bicycle Syndicate deck (Shapeshifters & Max Playing Cards) (0 Likes)
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