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PARADIGM - Playing Cards - A Review

This is my take on Derek Grimes PARADIGM playing cards. The Ad Copy reads:

A Paradigm is a standard, perspective, or set of ideas. A Paradigm is a way of looking at something. I set out to do just that, and after a year in the making, Paradigm Playing Cards is here. The cardistry community is fascinating in every aspect of the word. I wanted to design a deck that was engineered specifically to your favorite flourish while also being a magician's best friend. A crossover deck in many ways, or the best of both worlds. I wanted to design a deck with which you could begin by showing the slickest packet cut off, then right after do an Ambitious Card routine! With pretty standardized Pips and indices and standard reimagined Courts, this deck is sure to not raise any suspicion. Although the concept and design are mine, I couldn't have brought this deck to its final glory without my two best friends.

Daniel Schneider (Black Roses Playing Cards, Orbit, Polyantha) and Luke Wadey (Mono-X, Grid, Typographic Playing Cards) played a pivotal role in the life of this deck. Daniel helped bring the visions of the number and court cards to life and is the leader in custom Courts. He proved it again with the six custom Courts in this deck. Luke took my original back design, broke it down and reimagined it, giving it depth and formatting it to an intricate grid; whilst also designing an infinite tuck box design, perfect to the style of the deck...

-Limited edition 2500 print run
-Printed by USPCC
-Crushed Premium stock
-Traditionally cut
-Air Cushion finish
-Duplicate 3 of Hearts
-Duplicate Jokers
-6 custom Courts
-Card reveal
-First edition

My Thoughts:

I recently received about ten different decks of cards from Murphy's Magic for review.
After laying all the decks out, I was first attracted to the design of the Paradigm deck. That was the first deck I opened. I immediately went to Murphy's site to read the ad copy and see what insight it had to offer. Secondly, as much as I hated to break the seal on this collectible deck, I opened the deck, fanned through the cards front and back to get a good look.. and then performed what is always my first official task - a pressure faro shuffle.

The copy says they are made by USPCC and utilize crushed premium stock. They do feel fine and handle like you would expect a flourish deck to handle.. but do they handle like a more traditional deck used by magicians? Yes...

The cards didn't faro perfectly the first time, but feeling the edges I didn't expect them to.. They were far superior, cut wise, from a deck of regular Bicycle cards, and I could tell they would only need nine or ten faros to perform up to par. Unfortunately, traditional Bikes sometimes never faro or riffle properly.. so the fact Paradigm conformed quickly is an important measurement for me. They flourished perfectly the first time. No stickiness and not overly slick. Air cushion finishes are one of my two favorites for flourishes, maybe because of my personal touch, so I am not at all hesitant to recommend these well-designed cards.

Part of the feature design was creating a card that could be flourished and then immediately used by magicians without appearing to be gaffed.. which it isn't. All the numerical values and pips are traditional, and only the court cards are custom designed, although not so much so as to raise concern. The faces of the Jacks, Queens and Kings are personalized, but not to an extreme, and the orientation is slightly off-kilter.. but I didn't find that a problem.

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Paradigm as: "A philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated."
It's easy to tell the creator, Derek Grimes, intended to produce a card that was both unique, which it is, and disciplined enough to be within the framework of what magicians find acceptable. Designing a card that satisfies the magician and the cardists isn't easy, and I have a number of never used decks to prove it.. but I WILL definitely use Paradigms during magic performances ( I'm not a cardist ) and I will recommend them to anyone who wants the best of both worlds.

Paradigm is limited to a production run of 2500.. and will NOT be rerun. That puts folks like me in a bit of a conundrum, as I would like to have a couple packs of unopened cards to add to my collection.. and they look SO GOOD in use I want a few packs for effects. Oh well... better get yours before I get mine...

$12.00 From Murphy's Magic and dealers who carry their line of products.
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