Archive for the ‘Products’ Category

Almost gone for good: Last of the Gold Arcane decks won’t be hoarded

Sunday, July 20th, 2014


Not everything lasts forever. One of the most treasured decks of cards on the market is about to be gone for good.

Almost gone for good: Last of the Gold Arcane decks wont be hoarded

“Hunger for gold is made greater as more gold is acquired.” Prudentius

There’s nothing like gold. The precious metal found in nature and forged in fire has become a symbol of beauty, desire, excellence, power and wealth. Wars have been fought over it, lives have been lost in pursuit of it. Part currency, part rarity, gold has been formed into all sorts of things, from coins to chandeliers. It is the ultimate allegory in stories and philosophy. The thirst for gold is unquenchable; the more we have, the more we want.

In 2010, a few months after the release of the Arcane deck, we teased our fans with a glint of gold on a playing card. Soon after, we released the Gold Arcane deck out into the wild.

The creation of the deck was just as much a challenge as its predecessor. While printing the original black Arcane in 2009, decks and decks were destroyed because the quality and color wasn’t exactly right. The incredible level of detail on the Arcane deck challenged the staff at U.S. Playing Card Co., who rose to it and printed what they call one of the most stunning decks they had ever printed.

There was only one way to up the ante: Gold ink.

We added gold details to the back and slathered the indicies and the pips of the hearts and diamonds of the faces with gold, using metallic ink. The result was one of the most stunning decks ever printed by USPCC — the first casino-grade deck ever printed with such a look. Because gold should be a treasure, we had only 5,000 decks printed. After that, the printing plates were destroyed.

Almost gone for good: Last of the Gold Arcane decks wont be hoarded

“Mystery is a resource, like coal or gold, and its preservation is a fine thing.” Tim Cahill

Since then, the Gold Arcane deck has been one of the most sought-after decks of playing cards in this new era of custom playing card creation. A quick scan through ebay.com reveals that it’s hard to find one for less than $100. But the deck has never been up for regular sale at Ellusionist. For a while, it was the subject of a contest series on our Facebook page: A lucky winner on Gold Wednesday would claim one for themselves. The deck was also a prize for other contests, and was given away through other promotions.

Those days are nearing an end. Our supply of Gold Arcane decks has been reduced to less than 500. But unlike others, we don’t plan on hoarding our gold.

Your last chance to secure a Gold Arcane deck from Ellusionist is coming soon…

INSIDE THE CARDS: Joker the newest, wildest card in modern deck

Monday, April 14th, 2014


INSIDE THE CARDS: Joker the newest, wildest card in modern deck

One of the more enigmatic cards in the deck is the joker. Its designs far exceed the Aces of Spades that usually command a deck’s attention. Jokers can be sublte or strange, restrained or resplendent, workman or wonderful. Though we’ve long been known for our killer designs for Aces, we have always been partial to the joker card, because of how we contributed to the card’s evolution in the deck.

A little history first: The common suits in a deck of playing cards are French in origin — spades, hearts, clubs and diamonds are variations of the tarot deck’s batons (wands), cups, swords and coins (pentacles). The French streamlined the tarot’s four court cards per suit to three — the jack, queen and king.

But the joker isn’t from the tarot.

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SUITABLE FOR FRAMING: Magician shakes tremors for impossible towers

Thursday, November 28th, 2013


SUITABLE FOR FRAMING: Magician shakes tremors for impossible towers

One of the biggest joys we get at Ellusionist.com is seeing how you use the products we make, from decks of custom playing cards to videos showing what you can do with those cards. Thanksgiving always gives us a chance to settle down and really feel all the feels brought by the gratitude we have for all the customers who have kept us working our tails off over the last 13 years.

We love seeing what you do with our products. So many great performances, so many beautiful videos, so many amazing reactions. But every once in a while, one of you comes up with something completely, astonishingly different.

SUITABLE FOR FRAMING: Magician shakes tremors for impossible towersThe latest to bewilder us is Jeremy Griffith, who has his own idea of a stacked deck. An Instagram user, Jeremy has been posting incredible pictures of Republics, Artifice and Rounders defying gravity. At first, the cards and decks in his series appeared to be floating. And just when we thought we had it figured out, Jeremy moved the camera down and showed EXACTLY how he accomplished it.

And bewildered us all over again.

See for yourself: Deck boxes balance on top of coins, single cards, glasses, pens and more. Jeremy said there’s no glue, tape, invisible thread or seams. Everything is done using precision balance (as precise as hands can be, anyway), centers of gravity and plenty of patience for trial and error.

“The rules when this thing got started with me were simple,” he said. “Photoshop was out of the question and nothing could be bonding the cards. Also, I was only allowed to use what was in the picture, which is usually a deck and a flat surface.”

The Lake Forest, Calif., resident has studied magic for 23 of his 30 years. For all of those years, he’s had a small tremor in both hands. Nothing serious, medically — but annoying enough to where the tremors become a hassle. Taking up magic at 7, the tremors complicated things, he discovered. It was hard to get that soft touch with cards, so he stuck with coins for the longest time — the hard metal and constant motion was easier to manage.

But he eventually conquered cards. He learned a sort of dynamic tension similar to guitar players and used that to progress deep into card magic. Though he still has the tremors, it’s hard to spot them unless his hands are completely still, he said. Which makes us look at all those towers in a new light.

Talk about an impossible stack.

“Usually I’m just seeing how far I can go with the center of gravity before it becomes too unstable,” he said. Every level you go up gets harder to balance for obvious reasons, and as such, requires a lot more patience. But when you pull it off, it’s like shooting nothing but net from the half court line.”

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Gaff System perfect for Calen Morelli’s use-everything style

Monday, November 18th, 2013


Gaff System perfect for Calen Morellis use everything style

Most magicians stick to what they know — cards, coins, mentalism. Calen Morelli has no such restraints. He’ll use rubber bands, lip balm, water bottles, pens, cellphones, T-shirts, gum… anything that spectators are familiar with.

So when Morelli was invited to be a part of Ellusionist’s Gaff System project, he immediately thought of ways to expand and push gaff cards for effects that hadn’t ever been dreamed up before. Such as a torn-and-restored trick, which turned out to be the first gaff card he envisioned for the project.


“I remember coming up with this in my car right after the call with Brad, when he asked me to be a part of this project,” Calen said. “That idea excited me so much to see what else was in my brain for these cards.”

 

Calen started magic at 15, after watching David Blaine’s “Drowned Alive” special. He found he had a knack for it, and quickly outpaced the sources from which he learned.

So he started making his own tricks. Starting green, he undertook a yearlong project, where he would create a magic trick each day, and post daily videos of those tricks to YouTube. Called “365 Days of Magic,” the tricks he created gained a large following in the magic community — so large that before he got to video No. 200, he was hired to work for David Copperfield as a consultant.

Gaff System perfect for Calen Morellis use everything style

He said that his unique approach to using atypical items came from a desire to be different and from a dissatisfaction with the material he had been learning. He said that expanding his horizons helped him stand out as an original among a crowd of card magicians, he said.

“I feel like doing magic with every day items is the simplest way to come across original to a audience.”

Even having landed a job with David Copperfield, Calen remains an active performer, filling his social networks with new performances regularly, and appearing with other online personalities, such as YouTuber Stuart Edge.

The grind of creating a trick a day taught him a lot about what works and what doesn’t, he said.

“I learned the process of creating a magic trick,” Calen said. “And how to very efficiently and quickly go from just a simple idea into a full, ready-to-perform effect … If a traditional method doesn’t work for my style or where/who I’m performing for, then it’s limiting me.”

That means Calen’s magic is particularly suited for gaff cards — especially a deck that pushes the boundaries of what gaff cards can do. Calen’s contributions include effects that transform a ChapStick into a chosen card and his favorite: The torn-and-restored trick he first envisioned.

Designed for use with our Emerald, Cobalt and Tundra Artifice decks, The Gaff System will be available on Nov. 19.

PHOTO CONTEST: Send us pictures of your Wreck decks, win a brick

Friday, September 6th, 2013


PHOTO CONTEST: Send us pictures of your Wreck decks, win a brick

Those of you who have Wreck by Daniel Madison: You’ve already ripped up a couple of decks, haven’t you?

Figured so. Once Madison showed it to us, we ripped up a fair share of decks, just like you, in preparation to perform it. But while getting the hang of the tear, we noticed something: These ripped decks look so awesome.

Awesome enough for a photo contest.

Send us pictures of your Wreck decks. We want to see a deck utterly destroyed and creatively composed into a shot. We’ll pick a winner based on creativity, composition, cleverness and coolness. We’ll ship the winner a brick of one of our unlimited custom decks, so that they have a healthy stash for many more performances.

Submit your entry one of three ways:

  • ~ On Facebook: Post your picture to our wall, and make sure it has the hashtag #wreckdeck.
  • ~ On Twitter: Make sure you mention us (@ellusionist) and use the hashtag #wreckdeck.
  • ~ On Instagram: Post it to your feed with the tags #ellusionist and #wreckdeck.

Quick rules:

  • ~ The Wreck deck must be an Ellusionist custom deck. (Bonus points if you have the nerve to Wreck one of our rare decks, but that doesn’t guarantee a win.)
  • ~ Only one entry per person.
  • ~ You must be the creator/photographer of the shot.
  • ~ Image manipulation is allowed, but the backbone of the shot must be a Wreck deck.
  • ~ We will consider only the entries who followed all the contest rules and submission guidelines, including proper tags, one entry, etc. Following all the guidelines is completely your responsibility.
  • ~ Deadline for entries is midnight Eastern on Sunday (Sept. 8).
  • ~ We’ll name a winner sometime Tuesday.

Good luck!