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Darkfall Playing Cards Review

Official Review

October 3rd, 2016 6:57pm
Rating:
Reviewed by Dr. J. M. Ayala de Cedoz
This is a different sort of deck with some interesting design features. The card box is a black matte finish box with the Darkfall back design on one side and its Ace of Spades design on the other printed in light grey ink. The box is also embossed on the flap and front of the box. It has a custom seal with the raven (to me it looks like a raven) and the name of the deck on it.

The cards themselves are mostly black and the backs have a black border. The majority of the back design reminds one of a chainlink fence and at each end of the card (near the short ends) there is a Star of David-looking design weaving in and out of a square diamond shape and the raven in the middle. Against the black background the light grey ink shows up nicely.

The faces of the cards are all custom, including the court cards. The suits are all distinguishable but the Hearts and Spades are basically the same, except the Spades having the pedestal on them which makes them look like a Spade. If you know your court cards well enough, you could look at the custom court cards and be able to tell which suit each one belongs to without the pips or suits on them. While they are all custom, they still retain the "standard" design features of court cards, such as the King of Hearts stabbing himself in the head, the one-eyed Jacks of Hearts and Spades with the JH facing the left and the JS facing the right, etc. The pips of all suits are printed with a darker shade of grey which in lower light may be difficult to make them out against the black background.

The cards handle quite nicely but they are not quite Bicycle quality. They are distributed by the Murphy's Magic Playing Card Company and have what they call the Slipstream Finish. This is close to USPCC Air-Cushion finish but not quite the same. Spreading, fanning, springing and riffle shuffling are easy and smooth. They cards Faro okay too.

One thing that happens with any deck that has borders in any color other than white is that they imperfections in the edges become very obvious and are often very visible. By 'imperfections' I mean the knicks on the edges of the cards where the paper has been dented, torn, separated from the center of the card, etc. This exposes the white paper underneath the colored layers and makes the edges look splotchy. This deck is no exception and at least with the deck that I have, the edges of the deck are a little bit rough when squared.

The Jokers in this deck are almost identical except for the headpiece of each Joker and a small design near the bottom of each Joker. I would venture to say that if you would choose to use this deck for performing and you have an effect that requires two identical Jokers, these two would pass for identical to most laymen (and even most magicians), even though they are not.

You also get a duplicate of the Ace of Spades except its face is white and the printing is black ink.

There is an odd card included which I am not entirely sure at all what its function or purpose is, but it is a 3 of Hearts that matches the one in the deck, except one of its end pips in the middle of the card is printed out of line with the other two and there is a weird, cockeyed G-shape character in its center in its place.

The price point for these is good and overall the deck has a neat design, but I certainly think that this is one of those that is better reserved as a collection-only deck, not to be used in performance if for any reason other than they do not look as clean most workers would want them to, and because the faces in darker venues would be harder to discern.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Darkfall Playing Cards

Publisher: Murphy's Magic Supplies, Inc.
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $7.95
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Manufacturer's Description:

In the presence of the dark, there are those who find the city to be a wonderland of opportunity. To street artists, this urban playground is their canvas, the streets are the escape routes and the veil of night is their protection.

Designed by Jason Brumbalow & Illustrated Abraham Garcia, the Darkfall Playing Cards are a respectful nod to the street artists who charge into the darkness to imprint their brand on the city. Darkfall is a fully custom-designed deck of high-quality playing cards infused with the modern street art spirit, and masterfully crafted exclusively at the US Playing Card Company, for a premium finish and highly-durable casino quality stock.

A pulsing infusion of symbology, style and unforgiving passion, Darkfall was created for those who laugh in the face of uncertainty in order to carve their mark onto the world.

The city is waiting for your craft, grab a deck today and let the darkness fall.


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