We think it’s safe to say that only in the magic community will talk about a new Bicycle deck reach a fever pitch. Can you think of any community that loves cards as much as we do? The new Bicycle Mandolin back has magic debate written all over it.
The Mandolin back, according to this post on the Murphy’s Magic blog, was developed by the U.S. Playing Card Co. in order for magicians to create and market their own gaff cards without fear of breaking the company’s recently ratcheted-up enforcement of the Rider back “trademark.” The guys at Murphy’s say this back will be used for many gaffed effects, such as Twilight Angels and Strange Travelers.
However, the back leads to an interesting debate — one that we have heard ever since we first unleashed this modern craze of custom playing cards. The issue is card suspicion: Some magicians argue that only common cards should be used, so that people don’t suspect cards of being trick cards. In other words, the only way sleight of hand can be regarded as magic is if you use a red or blue Rider back. It’s safe to say that we at E see both sides of the debate.
But the Mandolin back is meant to look like a Rider back. The legendary Paul Harris led the design of this deck. It looks great, no doubt, but it also looks like a knock-off of the Rider back. Our question for Rider purists: Does this deck pass the test? And for everyone: If the Mandolin isn’t going to be as widely available as the Rider, is suspicion really eliminated?
No matter how you answer the above questions, we still say that cards are just as important as your outfit. Pick cards that match your character.