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Reviewer EndersGame
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If you're like me, then one of the things you'll enjoy about getting a new desktop computer is checking out all the extra programs that come along with its operating system. It's the 3D Pinball game from Windows XP that inspired the Pinball deck, which was created by Bocopo Playing Cards. While it is pleasing as a novelty deck for collectors, these playing cards will especially appeal to cardists.

The tuck box already introduces to the main colours that this deck employs, with hues of blue and beige/orange along with white. Geometric shapes dominate the look, and that's exactly the kind of thing that we're looking for in a cardistry deck.


The card faces are unapologetically designed with the cardist in mind, which is immediately evident from the touch of colour on the edge of all the faces, which quickly evolves into a moving stripe as the cards are spread face up.

While the design of the court cards shows remnants of the classical court cards that have inspired it, these have a very modern and geometric feel that is in keeping with the overall feel and design of the deck. They do a particularly good job of complementing the card backs, to ensure a unified look. I especially like the circles in the middle of the court cards. Not only are these well suited for executing twirls or spinning packets, but they also bring to mind some of the flipper-like mechanisms you might find in a pinball machine.


The borderless card backs pick up design elements from the tuck case, and use the same mix of colours. I personally have a soft spot for the combination of blue and orange, so this was a colour palette that immediately appealed to me. While borderless backs are often less than ideal for card magic or for general usage, they are perfect for cardistry, because they accentuate the visual effect of fans and spreads. That's certainly the case with this deck, and depending on which way the cards are fanned, it will create a completely different look.

The symmetrical two-way design of the backs ensures that even if they are rotated in packet cuts the visual aesthetic isn't affected. Strong use of geometric shapes enhances the look of visual card flourishes, and the circular shapes towards the center of the card backs are well chosen to add emphasis to spins and twirls.


The pips are two-toned, and continue a strong geometric look and style that fits with the rest of the deck. You wouldn't want to use this for an actual card game, since the suits aren't that distinct from one another, and even all the indices use exactly the same colour. But that's because this is a deck designed to be played with in other ways.

With the deck in motion in the hands of a skilled cardist, and with a dose of imagination, these flashes of colour may even bring back some of the nostalgia of the 3D Pinball from Windows XP. The geometry of the shapes and colours used for the pips gives them a flipper feel, and brings to mind the whirling knobs and action of a pinball machine. In other words, wherever you look, there are flashes of blue and orange/beige that conjure up images of the arcade - although you'll have to supply your own sound effects.

I especially like the giant Ace of Spades, which employs twin shapes that bring to mind two pinball flippers. The two Jokers match one another, one is in blue and the other in beige/orange, and each depict a miniature pinball machines. Two additional cards are included, one an ad card for Bocopo, the other an ad card for this deck.


The Pinball deck has been printed by the United States Playing Card Company, with their popular air cushion finish, so it handles as well as it looks, and performance should please cardistry fans. It's not quite the same as being hunched over an actual pinball table, with flashing lights and all the bells and whistles associated with gaming arcades. But it does have a retro look and feel, and there's something pleasantly satisfying about having a custom deck of playing cards that is best enjoyed when used as an exercise of dexterity and skill.

I know exactly what to expect from a Bocopo deck by now. Typically you get a no-fuss tuck box, without the glamour of foil or embossing, but which does reflect something of the colour of the design inside. And that's what most Bocopo decks are about: the cards themselves. Their signature style is to have creative, flashy, and vibrant patterns that are well suited to cardistry, printed on USPCC-produced cards so that they handle consistently and smoothly. The end result is a fun custom deck that performs well, and is usually at an attractive price point, making it very good value buy. The Pinball deck certainly hits all of these notes very nicel.

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