Collectability, or, Black Ghost Decks and Me.

April 21st, 2008 | Jason Brumbalow | Filed Under General, Products

With the release of the much heralded Second Edition Black Ghost Deck now less than 24 hours away, I’ve been thinking about collectability vs function, about just what it is that sets the Black Ghost Deck apart from it’s every rival.

Is it that untill very recently, they’ve never been officially offered for sale? Is it due to the extremely small quanitity ever produced? Or, is it maybe that the deck itself was just *right*?

When I was asked to be the guest blogger for this post, I realised that the timing was perfect for my sphere of knowledge, you see, I’m a collector. I’ve been collecting various things for most of my life (from Autographs to Star Wars Figures, from Trading Cards to Movie Props), and I’m now almost able to tell whether something’s going to take off in a big way, or be resigned to the broken toy shop in the sky.

Or at least, I thought I did.

That all changed with the release of the original Black Ghost Deck Giveaway, back some 3 Christmases ago.

I remember now, reading the forum post that laid out the rules. “If you spend $350 or more, we’ll give you a brand new, extremely limited edition Steel Case Enclosed Black Ghost Deck” was the essence of the post, and I don’t mind admitting that I was a little dubious at the time.

I’d not ordered anything for a while though, and at the time, seeing that I was using the regular Ghost Deck, and wanted to replenish a few other items, by the time I’d finished adding everything up – I wasn’t too far off the target.

Now, the other thing about me is, that if you tell me something’s free – but I have to spend another $50 to get it, I most likely will do. I know it sounds strange, but I’ve got to have it, whether I need it or not.

Order placed, I waited for my parcel to arrive.

Between Christmas and the New Year, it finally did, and I unpacked everything excitedly, unable to contain my joy at managing to get all the giveaway prizes that year.

Any and every concern I had regarding the point of the Black Ghost Deck vanished when I saw it sat nestled in it’s steel frame. It almost sat there winking with a certain gleeful malevolence, just daring me to open it up and take a look.

Honestly, it didn’t take me long to do just that – despite having promised myself that I wouldn’t. After all, there was only ever 5000 of these decks made, surely it had to be worth something one day!

(I wasn’t too far wrong with that, as the decks have sold on ebay for… well, take a look)

I removed the deck from it’s box and sat there agog as I spread through the cards. These were literally only the reverse of the cards I was currently using, but that’s like saying that a Ferrari is only a couple of buckets of parts.

There was just something about the deck that captured me, some part of it’s essence embedded itself within my psyche.

I reluctantly replaced the deck back in the box, replaced the box in the steel frame, and sat the frame on top of my book case in my office. In fact, it’s there now – just 8 feet behind me and to my left. (Please, don’t believe for a second that it remains untouched since then, although I may be able to count on my fingers the times I’ve unboxed it, there’s some certain amount of joy that spreading through that deck brings me – almost like a cocoa on a winter’s day)

Fast forward to near the end of last year, and news surfaces that there *may* be a Second Edition Black Ghost Deck on the horizon.

I didn’t know how to feel.

All in one, I felt elated – that I’d be able to get hold of more of these cards, and I felt upset – that now just *anyone* could own them.

Fast forward a little bit more, to a few mere weeks ago, and I managed to catch a glimpse of the gallery for the Second Edition.

I don’t mind telling you, I’m as excited now, as I was the first time I held the Black Ghosts in my hands three years ago.

For the very first time (in my personal opinion), the Jokers are just *perfect* to the vibe of the deck.

Why though? Simple. They show the Black Ghost himself – the dark phantom who’s power seems to purvade the very fibers of the cards, the apparition who maybe even called the cards into being, and the all powerful mage who’s able to project the name of a spectator’s card into his hands*

The same quality artwork, the same love and care that goes into every deck, and the same awesome quality card stock and finish that goes into every Ellusionist deck is gracing these Second Edition decks too, meaning that I’m even closer to the edge of my seat waiting for tomorrow.

I don’t know how you feel about the new alternative coloured and styled playing cards that seem to hit the markets with an alarming frequency these days, but there’s one thing *I* know.

If it doesn’t say Ellusionist on the box, it doesn’t go in my cart.

Brendon Selley.

*Take a look at the jokers, you’ll see what I mean…

All views in this blog entry are the opinion of the author, and may not necessarily represent the views of Ellusionist or any of it’s employees or subsidiaries.


  1. Great Article Amigo!!! I miss you Wierdo. Pip,pip, cheerio and all that rubish!

    LCA Por Vida!!!

  2. Terry Tolleson on:

    That’s a great synopsis of these cards (this coming from someone who will make his first purchase from Ellusionist, today).

    When I happened across this site some weeks ago, I was absolutely awestruck at the cards offered here. Naturally, I learned of the Black Ghost in the forums and such and was equally blown away (mostly because I think the Ghost deck is one of the most unique and freshest customs around).

    While it would be nice to get a copy of the first edition, I desperately want to drop some coin on a couple of the decks here, including the 2nd Edition runs. I just want the cards.

    I’m more a collector than anything, but these decks actually make me want to learn card magic. They absolutely beg to be flipped over to the spectator to gasp at.

  3. Terry is soooo right about the “magical” essence of these. You should read some of my 1st-ed comments that I made pre-2nd edition in the forums.

    I have two 1st editions, one that I got from a Christmas promo that I’ve cracked open, sharpied the edges, and that I carry around with me. The other was a very meaningful and generous gift that I keep in the wrapper: not because of collectibility, but because of how I got it and who I got it from.

    Looking forward to using the 2nds.