If you have not heard of this collection you probably have not been part of the card collecting or magic community for long. The decks in this collection have awed many a person and commanded a hefty sum in the aftermarket. The successful Kickstarter campaign led to one of the most beautiful collections ever created and inspired by currency.
Jackson Robinson, the creator of this collection hand drew the designs for all the decks in the collection adding true meaning to works of art. There are five decks in the series though I will only be focusing on four of them as I do not have the fifth. It is also important to mention that the whole collection is available Bicycle branded or unbranded of which I purchased the latter for my collection.
Lets start with the collection’s namesake, the Federal 52. Each deck in the collection has a colour scheme with them. This decks theme is based on a green colour very similar to the colouring on current US currency. The tuck box features some embossing and some green foil elements. It also features a custom Kings Wild Project seal. Inside the flap there is some more artwork along with the words "For Claire" and "In God We Trust". I thought that was pretty neat.
I will pay more attention to the stock, finish and handling of the cards later as all the decks in this collection are identical in this case.
The cards themselves are another fantastic example of intricate design. All the cards are custom. The cards two through ten in every suit have a delicate colourful design in their background behind their pips and the court cards all have the likenesses of people from history. Every deck has a card explaining who is on the court cards but in most cases you can tell by looking at them. The back design is previewed on the back of the tuck box.
The Federal 52 out of the whole collection is the "plainest" of them all. Yes folks, it only gets better.
Second up is the Gold Certificate. The colour theme on this deck is orange and black and features embossing but in this case no foil elements. There is also a custom Kings Wild Project seal. Inside the flap we have another intricate design in orange and some more words "For Scarlett" and again "In God We Trust".
Again the design on the cards is fantastic with a different colour scheme from the Federal 52. They do follow a similar scheme with a design behind the pips on two to ten and custom court cards. The back design is captured on the back of the tuck box once again.
Now on to my personal favourite, the Silver Certificate. With a blue theme on tap here the design is even more intricate. These are also only produced in a run of 6000 and sealed with a custom holographic sticker. The tuck case is embossed and has some foil on it but only a little. Inside the flap is another intricate design and words saying "For Nonette" and "In God We Trust".
The design on the cards borrows and builds again on the previous decks with custom pips, backgrounds and court cards. The back is once again seen on the tuck box.
Last but not least is the Federal Reserve Note. This is by far the most intricate design of all using a sort of burgundy copper colour scheme. These cards were produced in a run of 4500 making them rather rare. The tuck case is embossed and has foil elements throughout. Inside the flap theres a lot of artwork and quite a bit of text. First you have "For Rebecca" and "In God We Trust". And second a large quotation "We hold these truths to be self-evident. That all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. That among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." Pretty cool. I know that a quite from something American but I’m not sure what. I am Canadian.
The design on the cards while following a similar theme is still more unique. All the backgrounds on the pip cards contain a KW seal for Kings Wild presumably. The artwork is extremely intricate and I can only imagine how long it took to design all this artwork. The back design is seen on the tuck box again.
All cards in the collection feature casino grade Bee stock and magic embossed finish. Thusly they all handle the same. I personally am not a huge fan of casino Bee stock. While the stock is incredibly durable they are stiff as well and with smaller hands I have a hard time flexing them. All decks fan, spread and shuffle very well.
BACK – 10/10
FACE – 10/10
FINISH – 8/10
So? While only the silver certificate and reserve note decks are available still to purchase directly from Jackson Robinson through the Kings Wild website all of these decks are worth it. There is a black reserve note deck as well that is a forcing deck and also rare but I did not purchase it. They are all worth a buy. These could be neat for cardistry but I think these are really just for collectors. You really can’t use them for magic either as the artwork can be distracting.
Go get ’em!