Based in the UK, Big Blind Media is a magic media and playing card company known for their "heavy metal" and edgy design work in both their magic videos and on their line of Karnival playing cards. Makers of the darkest playing cards on the market such as Karnival Inferno, Karnival Assassins and Karnival Death Heads (images below); Big Blind Media is not afraid to push their capabilities and push the limits of what USPCC feels comfortable with printing. Fans know them for it. Fans love them for it. Fans keep coming back for it!
Big Blind Media is run by Owen Packard, who is also a guitarist in heavy metal band Earthtone9. One listen to the band's aggressive style and you will understand where Big Blind Media gets their vision. Owen does the same for the magic and playing card industry that he does with his band - always driving new ideas louder than ever each time he goes to work.
With that, TuckCase.com spoke with Owen as well as designer Sam Hayles as they gear up to release the next deck in the Karnival line of playing cards - Karnival Elite playing cards. In this two part post, you will learn the story behind Karnival Elite directly from Owen and Sam in two exclusive interviews only on TuckCase.com....
Tuck Case: Your next deck, Karnival Elite, is coming out rather soon, do you have a release date in mind?
Owen Packard: Yep - we are looking at mid-July for the Karnival Elite to land. It is always a loooooooooong process from first thought to release date, and we get very impatient waiting ha! But each step of the process is quite involved, so it can take a long time to get a new deck into somebody's hands!!!
Tuck Case: Why the Karnival Elite playing cards? What inspired the idea behind Elite?
Owen Packard: Well, we wanted a deck that was slightly more elegant. Something that embraced everything that defines the Karnival range (edginess, rock 'n roll, etc....) but presented a more baroque and refined vibe. Sam (Hayles - designer) and I talked at length and fiddled with a lot of ideas before we settled on this look. We are really pleased with it. It's clearly a Karnival Deck... but it's something a bit different too.
Tuck Case: What stock will the Karnival Elite playing cards have?
Owen Packard: It'll be on the standard USPCC stock. We don't tend to fiddle with the stock too much - we just use the tried and tested USPCC stock (and finish) for that unparalleled feel and quality.
Tuck Case: In a post on BMPokerworld.com it was said that there will be 5000 printed for the release? Is this a one time only limited release?
Owen Packard: Yep - just 5000!!!!
Tuck Case: In the same press release from BMPokerworld.com, it also mentioned there will be a Standard Red Bicycle 7 of clubs face up in the center of the pack. Why is this being done?
Owen Packard: Aha. Well, let's just say that magicians might be able to find a use for an errant card from another deck being face up and SEALED INSIDE a deck of Karnival Elite's!!!
Tuck Case: As a UK based company, what challenges do you face working with a US based production company USPCC?
Owen Packard: We work with USPCC via their European sister company Fournier, so there are a lot of people involved in each step of the process ha! But to be honest it is not too much of a headache. We have a US office in Florida too, so we have all global positions covered. We have been doing decks with USPCC for over 5 years now, so we have the system pretty much down, and we have a great relationship with them. And let's face it - if you want the best playing cards - you want BICYCLE!
Tuck Case: Karnival Elite Designer, Sam Hayles, has designed all of your decks, correct? How did you team up with him?
Owen Packard: Sam and I go way back. He has worked with a lot of the heavy metal and rock bands I know over the years. In fact, Sam has done the artwork for the last two albums my own band released. So we are close anyway. I would use Sam on ANY project that needed a design element. I love his work. I love his style. Plus he has an amazing ability to take ideas and generate something cooler than you can even imagine.
Come back tomorrow to read the Part II of the interview with Big Blind Media as you will hear from designer Sam Hayles.