New Magic Castle Cards

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Postby erdnasephile » 09/08/12 07:41 PM

Just received the Member Update Newsletter in the mail today, and noted an ad for the new magic castle cards.

Anyone used these yet? Opinions? (I still have a fondness for the USPCC ones from the 70's)
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Postby West McDonough » 09/08/12 08:20 PM

The new ones are also USPCC, with air-cushion finish. Jonathan loves them! They handle beautifully.
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Postby erdnasephile » 09/09/12 08:01 AM

Thanks, West! Do you happen to know who did the new artwork?
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Postby brianarudolph » 09/09/12 10:10 AM

I hear they're also supposed to be printed on deluxe stock *and* traditionally cut. Looking forward to getting my hands on some soon.
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Postby El Harvey Oswald » 09/09/12 01:38 PM

They're nice
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Postby The Magic Apple » 09/10/12 10:17 AM

Here is a brief description of the cards:
Custom Made Jokers and Ace of Spades make this an amazing deck of cards both to look at and to perform with. All new back design. They are all sealed with a gold sticker. These decks are traditionally cut making table faros, flourishing and sleight of hand much easier!

These 1st edition decks are going to go fast so GET THEM NOW!

Available in Magic Red and Castle Blue.

Avialable by CLICKING HERE and at The Magic Castle gift shop
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Postby mrgoat » 09/10/12 05:17 PM

brianarudolph wrote:I hear they're also supposed to be printed on deluxe stock *and* traditionally cut. Looking forward to getting my hands on some soon.


Seems an odd move. Clearly most of the decks of cards are bought by people that wouldn't now traditional cut from a paper cut.

So why are they now making the cards that magicians want, instead of the audience that mainly buy the cards, muggles?
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Postby erdnasephile » 09/10/12 06:01 PM

I think it's a good thing the Castle upgraded the cards.

Hopefully, more magicians will purchase the cards, thereby generating some extra revenue.

IMHO, first class place deserves first class cards. :)
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Postby mrgoat » 09/10/12 06:05 PM

erdnasephile wrote:I think it's a good thing the Castle upgraded the cards.

Hopefully, more magicians will purchase the cards, thereby generating some extra revenue.

IMHO, first class place deserves first class cards. :)


I hear you. But the cards were sold in the gift shop to the muggles. They will have cost (I guess) about 12 cents a deck. They were crap. So the margin on them was really good. The muggles would know no different.

However, now, that margin has totally vanished, and I really doubt *that* many magi will buy more than one deck.

So from a business POV, I have to really question the decision.

Situation a) Crap cards, sold at MASSIVE margin to people that can't tell the difference

Situation b) Good cards, sold at a tiny margin to people that can't tell the difference (and a couple of dozen magi buying them once too).

If I was their bank manager I know which one would make the most sense.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/10/12 09:53 PM

Damian, I realize that you weren't into magic during the 1970s, but there was a period when a lot of cardmen were using Magic Castle cards because they were good quality (USPC) and had a cool aura. In LA, The Magic Castle is a very famous and exclusive place, and a magician in the area using Magic Castle cards might seem cool.
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Postby erdnasephile » 09/10/12 10:29 PM

Richard's right: in the 70's they were cool (at least in SoCal). The new design is nice, but I must admit: I'm partial to the old design.

The other cool Castle item IMHO was the official Magic Castle matchbox. (I think John Kennedy had his haunted matchbox with surprise finish made out of them.) Too bad they didn't make some high quality cards from that design as well.

Looks like The Magic Apple is out of the blue decks already, but there are still a bunch in the Castle gift shop. Also, there are quite a few at higher prices on ebay. (I bought a few at the gift shop to support the club).
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Postby Evan Shuster » 09/10/12 10:40 PM

Hmmm... I don't think that they're out of the blue decks. I think that the default is blue, unless you specifically select red.

I may be wrong...
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Postby Larry Horowitz » 09/10/12 11:02 PM

The cards are one way.

I do question whether the performer or the Magic. Castle special cards will get the credit when the audience thinks about it.
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Postby erdnasephile » 09/10/12 11:41 PM

Evan Shuster wrote:Hmmm... I don't think that they're out of the blue decks. I think that the default is blue, unless you specifically select red.

I may be wrong...


Huh..I think you're right--never seen that before--usually there is a drop down menu if an item comes in different colors. In any event, I stand corrected.
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Postby erdnasephile » 09/10/12 11:46 PM

Larry Horowitz wrote:The cards are one way.

I do question whether the performer or the Magic. Castle special cards will get the credit when the audience thinks about it.


Interestingly, the cards come with a printed card touting the fact the cards are normal and that any magic with them is due to the skill of the performer. (See the 4th picture in this auction: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Magic-Castle-Pl ... 3a78b9fce0 )
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Postby Smurf » 09/11/12 12:59 AM

Of the two designs, I also prefer the older one. The new one comes across as too "cartoony" to me. I would have preferred a more elegant and sophisticated piece of artwork.

As a deck collector and user, I am very happy the new decks have better quality.
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Postby El Harvey Oswald » 09/11/12 11:27 AM

Old-style Magic Castle cards from the early days turn up in the Francis Carlyle book and I believe Bruce Cervon is using them in some book photos. This was baffling in light of the quality they had recently fallen to before the re-design; but RK solves the mystery by relating the cachet these decks had when the quality had been as it has seemingly been restored to now.

Financially, it's probably a bad decision to reduce the margins by incorporating features - good stock, traditional cut - that non- magicians dont care about. However, I did once have to go to my cr to find a decent deck for a performer in the Close Up Room, whereas now the cards are a legitimate performing option. So there are perhaps some non-financial benefits.
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Postby KirkG » 09/12/12 11:41 PM

The new decks are better than those of the just previous version, but not as good as the decks from the 70's. They cost a dollar more than the recent old style, so the margin is safe. They handle much better than the recent old style, so now magicians can handle them well and it has a bit of cache to do a routine and then present the deck to the audience as a souvenir.
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Postby El Harvey Oswald » 09/13/12 06:56 AM

The "margin is safe" only if they also cost only $1 more to make.
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Postby KirkG » 09/13/12 12:10 PM

And if more people buy and use them. I realize that doesn't directly affect the margin, but McDonalds made a bunch of money with a small margin by increased demand for a product.
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Postby mrgoat » 09/13/12 12:15 PM

Kirk wrote:McDonalds made a bunch of money with a small margin by increased demand for a product.


They sure did, but this would be like them suddenly selling Kobe beef fillets instead of crappy cheap hamburgers to poor, stupid people with no sense of taste.
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Postby The Magic Apple » 09/14/12 12:50 PM

The Magic Apple has a FEW dozen Blue decks back in stock. In fact, we have less than a gross of the Red decks left too

CLICK HERE to order
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Postby Scotto » 09/17/12 01:05 PM

Someone asked about the art work, I believe that Ex-Trustee Steve Mitchell did the artwork on these cards. I have a few decks and they are very good quality.
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Postby Leonard Hevia » 09/17/12 02:34 PM

Are the faces standard Bicycle 808s for this updated version? The last version of the Castle cards did not carry this feature. The court cards looked cartoonish.
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Postby Scotto » 09/17/12 05:19 PM

Leonard Hevia wrote:Are the faces standard Bicycle 808s for this updated version? The last version of the Castle cards did not carry this feature. The court cards looked cartoonish.


With the exception of the Jokers and Ace of Spades. The faces are the same as standard Bicycle.
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Postby erdnasephile » 09/17/12 07:21 PM

Scotto wrote:
Leonard Hevia wrote:Are the faces standard Bicycle 808s for this updated version? The last version of the Castle cards did not carry this feature. The court cards looked cartoonish.


With the exception of the Jokers and Ace of Spades. The faces are the same as standard Bicycle.


Glad to hear it! (I wish more custom cards would just keep the standard 808 faces so we could actually use them in color changing routines with 808 decks. -- EATCT Green backs I'm talking to you! :grin:)
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Postby KirkG » 09/17/12 09:36 PM

mrgoat wrote:
Kirk wrote:McDonalds made a bunch of money with a small margin by increased demand for a product.


They sure did, but this would be like them suddenly selling Kobe beef fillets instead of crappy cheap hamburgers to poor, stupid people with no sense of taste.


I wouldn't call these Kobe Beef Playing cards. Neither would you, if you handled them and were a card guy.
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Postby mrgoat » 09/18/12 03:49 AM

Kirk wrote:
mrgoat wrote:
Kirk wrote:McDonalds made a bunch of money with a small margin by increased demand for a product.


They sure did, but this would be like them suddenly selling Kobe beef fillets instead of crappy cheap hamburgers to poor, stupid people with no sense of taste.


I wouldn't call these Kobe Beef Playing cards. Neither would you, if you handled them and were a card guy.


Captain Pedantic strikes again!

The point, and I am sure you get it, is that these cards are decent quality, whereas before they were utter turds. And they are being sold to muggles who won't know the difference.

Thanks though.
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Postby R.E.Byrnes » 09/18/12 07:03 PM

Captain Pedantic, Grand Duke of Literalism and Nostalgia. It was a comparison that accurately captured the degree of difference between the prior cards and the new ones, and the fact that the majority of buyers are indifferent to that difference -- something that can be perceived even without refined Card Guy instincts. It feels as if we are on the edge of another paean to the Vernon-era cards.
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Postby Pete McCabe » 09/18/12 08:15 PM

I don't know how much you're paean for those cards but they're worth it.

Thanks! I'm here all week.
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Postby erdnasephile » 09/18/12 08:50 PM

Ba-dum-bump! :grin:
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Postby KirkG » 09/19/12 12:36 AM

Costco cards are "decent". These are less so. Certainly better than the most previous batch, but that is not saying much. To be fair, these are close to Costco, but not quite there.
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Postby Scotto » 09/28/12 05:47 PM

Just a couple of things about the "new" Magic Castle cards I was asked to post regarding questions that were raised here;

1. Brookledge Corporation(owned by Milt Larsen) has the cards made and supplies them to the AMA to sell at The Magic Castle.

2. We asked Steve Mitchell to do the design, and Milt and I approved it.

3. We have almost sold out of all the decks since we got them in July. Most members that have talked to us love the new cards, they have not talked to us about the design.

4. The old cards cost more then 12 cents. They were much more then that. The new cards were somewhat more, hence the increase in price.

Thanks

Dale Hindman
Executive Director
Magic Castles Inc
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Postby erdnasephile » 09/28/12 11:00 PM

I purchased 4 decks. They faro out of the box and are pretty flexible. They handle well and have a nice soft feel to them. I like the custom Ace of Spades and Jokers. I would've rather had a blank card than the disclaimer card that is included.

The stock appears thinner than the Bee stock (i.e. the EATCT decks or the Gold Seal Bikes). I also broke out a 1980's Castle deck to compare. Much more snap in the vintage deck, and the older back design still pleases.

In short, huge upgrade from the most immediate past decks. Very nice job by all concerned, and much appreciated!
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Postby Steve Bryant » 09/28/12 11:08 PM

I too love the new decks.

The disclaimer card is a bit of a lie, as was pointed out in the last Castle newsletter. A nice touch.
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