This review will feature the INFINITY Playing cards and is taken from the archive of TuckCase. One of the coolest decks I ever laid eyes on is the INFINITY Series deck by Ellusionist, which was designed by the famous Lee Mckenzie. A lot of work went into this deck to get it this cool. Here are the details from Ellusionist's website:
One of the most ambitious decks of cards in Ellusionist history, we set out to create the most unique deck of playing cards ever created.
The tuck box of the Infinity deck overflows with a richness of design that US Playing card originally said, "Cannot be accomplished." So, we went to work directly with their pressmen, their special effects experts, research & development departments, working in unison to finally land upon a creation that is worth of notoriety in the world of playing cards. It is important to note that only First Edition Infinity Decks had the embossed tuck boxes. The decks available now are 2nd Editions and the box is NOT embossed.
Release Date: November 22nd, 2011
Stock: Bee Casino grade stock
Finish: Performance Coating/Magic finish
Colors: Black, white, metallic red, metallic silver, metallic gold, turquoise
Most people will be interested in learning the difference between the two editions of this deck. The only difference between the 1st edition and the 2nd is the embossing on the tuck case. It is unfortunate that the 2nd edition doesn't have embossing but that is what makes it the second edition. If you can get your hands on the 1st edition you will have everything this deck has to offer. If you lose a card in the first deck or have to rip it or write on it for a certain magic routine, no need to fear the cards in the 2nd edition will work as replacements.
INFINITY comes with 56 cards in total - the complete 52, two Jokers, an ad card and a double back. The backs of the cards are duel-directional so it doesn't matter which way you hold them. There is a reveal on one of the Jokers that makes this deck really useful for a lot of different card tricks. The cards feature Ellusionist's Performance Coating finish that is actually superior when compared to Bicycle's Standard Air Cushion finish. The Performance Coating makes card fans, spreads and overall handling a breeze. INFINITY also uses Bee Casino Grade Stock which makes these cards extremely durable and last longer than your standard Bicycle deck. Magicians and card players will be pleased with this deck's longevity.
Everything about the INFINITY deck design is custom - the colors, tuck case, the Jokers, court cards and even the pips! The design is extremely intricate with metallic inks that make even the pips pop. The more I look at this deck the more I find in its design. The back design features deep shadows, swirling line work and the tiniest text that spirals the word INFINITY into the deepest parts of the design creating a three-dimensional effect that you will just get lost in. Although Ellusionist card decks are made with the magician in mind, these cards will make any fan of design drool.
The Ace of Spades is somewhat abstract, which looks like a smokescreen taking the shape of the spade with no real line work. It is odd that the Ace of Spades has this abstract look considering the rest of the deck has confident line work throughout.
The Joker cards are my favorite cards in this deck. They feature a fully bearded "Old Man Time" type figure that truly takes on the concept of infinity. They also have many different design elements that will take you by surprise. As stated previously, one of the Jokers features a cool reveal that goes unnoticed unless you are really looking for it. There is no guarantee on this deck as it is not a USPCC brand issued deck but a 3rd party deck. Despite holding their products to the highest quality, Ellusionist does not have a guarantee on their decks.
Notes on the Infinity Series Deck:
- Took USPCC and Ellusionist about 2 years to bring this deck to life.
- Fully custom intricate design.
- Reveal included on one of the Jokers.
- 2nd Edition decks do not have embossing on the tuck case.
- The designer of this deck also worked on other decks for Ellusionist including Artifice and Artifice Arcane.
Final Assessment: The INFINITY Series Playing Card deck is the bee's knees! Although totally custom the elements of a traditional deck all remain intact. The Ace of Spades is it's only real downfall in terms of design but beyond that it is hard to find fault. As most Ellusionist decks have great handling, this deck is perfect for their target market of magicians. Casual card players will enjoy this deck as well but will be instantly taken for the design. This deck runs about $8 on the Ellusionist website so it might be a bit pricey if you are only going to use them to play cards every other weekend. However, considering the difficulty it took to bring this deck to market it is a must have for a collector and it wouldn't be out of this world if it was priced for double the amount. If you do pick up this deck you might be tempted not to play with it because of how nice it looks. Then again, you could just pick up more than one!