These now sold out cards are the Professional Bicycle Skull and Bones playing cards designed by the Conjuring Arts Research Center for magicians and collectors. While the design to some may leave something to be desired it is still worth a mention as it is a unique entry by Conjuring Arts into what seems to be a more and more popular genre of playing cards.
Skulls and bones have become a sort of theme amongst card designers lately. Karnival has based almost it’s whole series on skulls and bones and has I’m sure inspired all the skull and bones Kickstarter project decks (of which I am surprised still keep getting funding even though a lot of them are clearly derivative).
Nonetheless this deck is still unique in that it is still a fairly standard 808 bike deck but with a few changes. Design-wise the backs are fairly simple with a well designed skull and cross bones artwork that is two-way. This is good for magicians as it basically looks completely standard and there are no cheats in the deck. Sadly the back design wins nothing for me. I am not a fan of skull decks and that will not change in the futures. The faces are Arrco standard faces with slight customization on the court card faces to resemble some magicians. The indices are standard but on one side bold and the other side thinner. An easy way to mark a deck and but may be easily noticed by onlookers.
The tuck box is fairly standard fair with no embossing or metallic inks. It only notes that the contents have an Ivory finish.
The ivory finish tends to be hit or miss with me. I like it in the sense that it is unique but would I use it? No. I prefer any kind of textured finish like Air cushion and so on. There is nothing particularly wrong with the finish it’s just not my preference.
The stock is semi-firm allowing flexibility for springs. They shuffle nicely as well but farrowing can be a little challenging. Fanning can be done well which is nice to see as some ivory finishes do not fan very nicely. The cards will also spread nicely.
BACK – 3.5/10
FACE – 6/10
FINISH – 5/10
So what? If you are a collector I can recommend buying this deck but if you are a magician I can recommend several decks to use over this one. This can be used for gaming though as there is very little customization to faces.