Let us get it out of the way at the start. We receive no endorsement, promise, compensation or promise of compensation (including a free deck of the cards we are about to describe). We will be buying the Purple Monarch deck from Theory 11 is our bottom line.
With those preliminaries out of the way, thus meeting the FTC guidelines for influencers (can be found here), we have long said that we did not understand the hysteria our profession has suffered from the release of custom made cards. We have been using our Bee (blue) decks since we were in utero and have attached a sonogram showing our nascent work on the Charlier Cut in previous posts. But those efforts were always with a Bee (blue) deck — although slightly smaller than poker size for our only then evolving little hands.
Our mother would complain to her OB/GYN that it wasn’t so much the kicking that bothered her during our pregnancy, but the sharp edge of the cards being dropped in her innards during the last trimester (we don’t know what that would be in metric) of her pregnancy with us.
As we grew into what some have described as a young man, we continued to use the poker-sized Bee deck in both red and blue (we were wild as a teen and young adult and frequently lived on the edge as evidenced by our several chain escapes in neighbors’ pools and challenges to schoolmates to tie us up with 100 feet of rope). Fortunately, our parents understood this was normal for a young man obsessed with Houdini. They wouldn’t buy the rope or chains for us so we had to use our show money to buy them and then boxes and boxes of red and blue Bee decks.
Yes, we went the way of the devil on occasion and would try Aviators (because they were cheaper and usually gimmicked) or Fox Lake (same as Aviators but with better gimmicking) or even a set of bridge-sized Hello Kitty cards. But we always returned to Bee (now only blue) decks.
The motivation was simple. Bee decks have no borders and possess what some could consider a busy back. 86 percent of our card routine involves second dealing. The entire middle section (which seems to take about 90 minutes to most audiences) is all second deals.
There are trade-offs, of course. Our double lift is suspect and our performance of Dai Vernon’s Triumph can be easily ruined with the boardless cards. We do the double lift on an off-beat and never do Triumph anymore.
But the point of this post was not what we did but what we will do.
Theory 11 is advertising a new deck of cards called the Purple Monarch deck. It is beautiful and could convince us to move from security provided by one of the several gross packages of Bee (blue) decks to a new deck. We will order one or two or three from Theory 11 and do a review if we like them. It is Inside Magic’s policy to never do a review of something we don’t like. We don’t want to add negativity into our art and we were scandalized in the late 1980s with a negative (with positive points) about a card sword that we described as “it looks neither like a sword or a card sword. A swashbuckler would not buy or steal this object for a sword fight and a magician would have no need to use it to stab cards or even himself in disgust for paying over $50 dollars for an aluminum pipe and a wood handle roughly cut and unfit for the hands of anyone other than a giant or two very normal-sized men working together.”
The sword manufacturer was very distressed by this review and we felt badly. We tried to make it up by retracting the story (that’s why it’s no longer on the site) but that wasn’t enough. We saw him at the IBM convention in Orlando and he ignored us. We cried and overspent at his booth. But the damage was done. Never again.
You can view the Monarch deck here. You can even tell them Inside Magic sent you but remember, we receive nada for the link or the puff. Let us know if you agree that it is a deck about which one could be very excited.