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Author: Rick Carruth

Warrior (Midnight Edition) Playing Cards by RJ – A Review

Warrior (Midnight Edition) Playing Cards by RJ – A Review

Warrior (Midnight Edition) Playing Cards by RJ – A Review

The Ad Copy:

Warrior Playing Card (BLACK) features:
4 of Clubs duplicate
Custom court cards by Daniel Schneider
B9 SlimLine Linen Finish stock
Manufactured by Cartamundi

Designed in consultation with none other than Daniel Schneider (Black Roses Playing Cards), with some of the biggest names in the industry represented on the court cards.

While the back design might be minimalistic, the deck is packed with hidden revelations and built-in magic tricks.

These are the Warrior Playing Cards by RJ.
The cautionary tale of the moth.

There is wisdom to be gleaned from the tale of the moth. A foreboding story, a warning to us all to employ caution in all matters concerning one’s insatiable desires.

The moth is a symbol of resilience and determination, of the cruel ways of the world and the most obvious example of the devastation that awaits those who desire that which will eventually lead to their destruction.

The moth is relentless in its pursuance of its love: light. There is no length the moth will not go to in order to reach that which it desires. This is the part of the story which begs our admiration, one must wonder at the level of perseverance the moth exhibits. Identical to the inevitability of the way in which darkness envelopes light, so too is the moth’s unrelenting race to its own demise.

Herein lies the lesson we ought to learn, be cautious of the things we seek with blind determination. For in attaining our utmost desires, we may find our reality turn to dust, as quickly as a moth caught up in its beloved flame: and in the moment when we think we have it all, in the split second when the moth and light are one, darkness will be all that it will ever know.

Be cautious of the things that burn too bright, for there is often solace to be sought only in the shade.

My Thoughts:

Warrior Playing Cards were the object of a Kickstarter project during the 2020 year. They shipped out in mid-October to all the backers and to Murphy’s Magic for distribution. I don’t know the percentage of projects that exceed their promises.. but Warrior Playing Cards are one of the few.

First and foremost, I want my cards to feel right and handle right. All the bells and whistles mean nothing to me if the cards feel like a standard deck of Bicycle cards. I know.. some of you are thrilled to open a standard deck of Bikes, as that’s all you’ve used for years.. but some of us have developed a feel for slim linen cards, smoothly cut on the edges, and once you’ve done so, it’s hard to go back to what served us well for years. So.. that’s the very first thing I look for.. For the record, Warriors are B9 SlimLine Linen Finish Stock, printed by Cartamundi.

Warrior Playing Cards by RJ (Romy RJ Meermans) feel and handle right…

Second.. I appreciate an artistic, but simplistic, design on my cards. I don’t want the design to distract from whatever effort I’m putting forth.. but I do want the cards to look like I’ve made an effort to provide a deck that’s pleasing for my spectator. I’m not one of those who thinks my audience is suspicious of anything not Bicycle… The court cards are custom designed, but not too far outside the norm. Well, Laura London IS the Queen of Spades.. but other than that….

Warrior Playing Cards are either midnight black or white with a very urbane moth printed on the back. They describe it as ‘minimalistic’. I like it…

Third.. Aside from their sharp handling, each deck has been designed to give you several custom cards to provide you with a number of ways to reveal their card. The Jokers have a Four of Clubs on one and a Nine of Clubs on the other within their design. Several court cards have ‘hidden’ reveals as well. Eg.. check the sword of two of the Kings for reveals, plus.. the hand of the Queen. The Ace of Clubs has a fancy custom design as well. There is a 4 of Clubs duplicate in each deck and either a double backer in the whites.. or a specially printed gaff card in the blacks. I’m sure there are others..

At $15.00 a deck.. they are reasonably priced. I would venture to say these will become collectable.. but.. I can’t leave a deck in cellophane! I cannot find the total printing, but I do know they were almost 70% funded their first day. If you appreciate an attractive deck of cards with multiple bonus features.. I recommend Warrior Playing Cards for your collection AND for those special effects where a little style will go a long way.

$15.00 From Murphy’s Magic and their associates who carry their line of magic.

https://www.murphysmagic.com/product.aspx?id=67948

Review by Rick Carruth for the Magic Roadshow

Warrior (Full Moon Edition) Playing Cards by RJ – A Review

Warrior (Full Moon Edition) Playing Cards by RJ – A Review

Warrior (Full Moon Edition) Playing Cards by RJ – A Review

The Ad Copy:

Warrior Playing Card (WHITE) features:
1 double-backed card
4 of Clubs duplicate
Custom court cards by Daniel Schneider
B9 SlimLine Linen Finish stock
Manufactured by Cartamundi

Designed in consultation with none other than Daniel Schneider (Black Roses Playing Cards), with some of the biggest names in the industry represented on the court cards.

While the back design might be minimalistic, the deck is packed with hidden revelations and built-in magic tricks. These are the Warrior Playing Cards by RJ.

My Thoughts:

As there is only a slight variation in bonus features between the White Warriors and the Black Warriors, I’m going to refer you to the review for the Black Warrior Playing Cards for the details. The review for the Blacks should be posted directly above this review. I hope you take a moment and give it a read..

I’ll say again.. I really like these cards. I like the way they handle and the SlimLine Linen Finish stock. They are cut for flourishes and faros, and designed for style without being overbearing.

They provide a variety of features, including special reveals on court cards and the Jokers.. as well as custom designed court cards that are different without being too different.

I’m recommending Warrior Playing Cards to my friends and readers.

$15.00 From Murphy’s Magic and their associates…

https://www.murphysmagic.com/product.aspx?id=67949

Review by Rick Carruth for the Magic Roadshow

HIT – by Luke Jermay – A Review

HIT – by Luke Jermay – A Review

HIT – by Luke Jermay – A Review
(Gimmicks and Online Instructions)

Here’s the Ad Copy…

With “Hit,” you’re able to perform an unforgettable, painstakingly clear demonstration of persuasion–and mind control. From a shuffled pack you remove just four cards and offer to play a few rounds of Blackjack with a participant. Despite letting her choose her cards every time, you, the performer, always prevail. Even when cards are exchanged and shown to the spectator, you are always left with the winning hand.

In the first phase, two hands of Blackjack are created but kept face down. The spectator chooses which hands they wants… and you win. In the second phase, a card of each Blackjack hand is shown and still…you are left with the winning hand. In the third phase all the cards are shown except one… and still you win. In the last phase ALL the cards are shown, and still you mysteriously win.

What makes “Hit” a spectacular addition to your mentalism or magic repertoire is that this is not a card trick about cards. It’s about CHOICES, and makes an ideal forum to interact in a meaningful way with your spectator. This trick is entirely self-working, and can be learned in minutes. It comes with all of the required gimmicked cards, and more than an hour of video instruction teaching every facet of the routine.

My Thoughts:

First.. Luke Jermay is one of my favorite performers. His work is always pivotal and very influential. He has excelled in both the world of magic and mentalism, and served as a consultant to Criss Angel on Mind Freak, Derren Brown on both Mind Control and Trick of the Mind, Marco Tempest on Virtual Magician and on the tv show The Mentalist. He has composed a bookshelf full of books and manuscripts.

Psychological illusions and mental conundrums are Luke’s specialties. To get a good idea of how ‘HIT’ fits into these styles.. I suggest you visit the Murphy’s link below and watch a 7 minute plus trailer that will show you everything you need to know.. other than my opinion.

Luke employs a type of blackjack many of you will not be familiar with.. a two card blackjack where no additional cards are dealt. Think of Five Card Stud.. except a different game.. and two cards. You are dealt two cards.. and the highest hand wins. You cannot ‘bust’, as 21 is the highest possible sum with two cards. So, there is a winner and a loser of each deal. I suppose you could tie.. but Luke makes sure you don’t.

The ad copy is correct. It plays out exactly as written. The only thing I could add is that it’s also possible for you to tell your spectator they will WIN the next hand, in some cases. In either case, you are in full control of all hands, and you successfully predict who will win.

It’s possible to present this as a gambling demonstration, but Luke presents it as a theorem on choices.. and how choices affect the outcome of our lives. I like Luke’s psychological approach, and the gambling approach is simply another option.

The instructional video (online) runs an hour and seven minutes. It’s thorough. Also included are a couple of additional handlings.. including one similar to the gambling demonstration I mentioned above and another using a pendulum, powered entirely by the spectator. Both are nice additions to the primary effect.

The secret, if you want to call it that, is all in the gaffed cards included with the effect. You are provided with enough gaffs to carry out four different hands, all of which you’re in full control of from beginning to end. The gaffs are not typical Bicycle cards.. they are Cardshark Phoenix cards. I would like to have the option for Bicycle gaffs, but I have enough Phoenix decks that it wasn’t a problem.

I really enjoy effects with a twist. You are encouraged to take the method and develop your own effect.. something that suits YOUR style. I’m sure you can think of many reasons why you are able to ‘control’or ‘predict’ the outcomes. As I’m fond of saying..”Use your noggin’ for something other than a hat rack” and create an effect that’s complementary to YOUR style.

Again, watch the trailer to get a good idea of how HIT looks in performance. It is easily performed by beginners willing to put in a little practice to master the handling. There are NO sleights.. so everything is about remembering whether to fan a card to the right or left of another card. Simple enough guys… I am recommending HIT to all my friends and Magic Roadshow readers.

$ 25.00 Available from Murphy’s Magic and all their associates..

https://www.murphysmagic.com/Product.aspx?id=59593

(Review by Rick Carruth for the Magic Roadshow )

Vanille Playing Cards by Paul Robaia – A Review

Vanille Playing Cards by Paul Robaia – A Review

Vanille Playing Cards by Paul Robaia – A Review

Here’s the Ad Copy for Vanille…

A limited edition print, Vanille Playing Cards are a marriage of minimalism and modernism.

A rich mint and black flirt with one another to provide beautiful juxtaposition and depth within the back design. The back design is complimented with minimal face cards where a striking color palette is further presented.

Composed of the same mint and black, it also hosts yellow and red. Together, the colors create a sensory experience of utter beauty and sleekness.

Designed by Paul Robaia, Vanille was printed at The United States Playing Card Company. Its matching, elegant letterpress tuck box was printed from Clove Street Press. These cards are suited for magicians, cardists, and collectors.

My Thoughts:

If you’ve purchased the Casual Playing Cards, Casual V2, Red Flora or Black Flora, then you have purchased one of Paul’s previous decks. Each was unique in its own way, with its own color scheme and limited availability.

Vanille playing cards are a continuation of this informal series of playing cards.. each designed to be both collectable and functional. I have reviewed three of the four sets created by magician Paul Robaia.. and the Vanille may be my favorite.

The black and mint colors of the back design are two of my favorite colors, and add both depth and unique style to Vanille. The number cards are all traditional, which I actually like. Getting too far from tradition prompts suspicion amongst your spectators, as, unlike the cardists, The court cards are traditional design.. but not traditional colors. They are black, red, yellow and light mint, forming a nice contrast.. but still maintaining a familiarity.

I actually use Vanille playing cards in a couple of effects. If I were much of a cardists, I would definitely use these cards in my flourishes. They look very good as you spin and twirl them for an audience. No kidding…

They are made by USPCC, finely cut, and the tuck boxes printed by Clove Street Press. I had no problem handling the cards straight out the box. It took me about a minute to condition the cards for my deals and handling. They are thin, crushed Air Cushion stock.. designed to be both super smooth and ideal for flourishes.

A certain segment of you guys are going to buy these for their collectibility. These are a very limited run of cards.. and I have noticed they are already priced at over twenty dollars a box on a certain popular bidding site.

Vanille Playing Cards include two unique Jokers, an advertising card, and a double-backer with a unique back.

I am impressed with Paul’s latest.. and I think anyone ordering Vanille cards will be quite satisfied. Buy them to collect.. or buy them to use. You’ll enjoy Vanille Playing Cards either way… (I encourage you to visit Murphy’s link below and watch several short videos of Vanille in use.)

$15.50 Available at Murphy’s Magic and dealers who carry their line of magic.

https://www.murphysmagic.com/product.aspx?id=66512

Review by Rick Carruth – The Magic Roadshow