Earlier this week on August 1, 2013, Bicycle released four new playing card decks into the wild. The four playing card decks include the Skull Deck, Peacock Deck, Madison Deck and the Escapist (Escape Map) Deck.
The Skull Deck design comes directly from the caves at USPCC. However, the new deck is not exactly "new" as it was first released by Conjuring Arts Research Center (CARC) under the name Skull And Bones. Before CARC, it was over 100 years ago that this design was first seen. When compared to the CARC release, The Bicycle Skull deck receives a new tuck case, name and is given standard faces. Instead of being called Skull And Bones, Bicycle simply calls it "Skull." CARC also used the original Rider Back tuck case with the Skull And Bones name in place of the Rider Back name. While the CARC decks were available in both finishes (smooth and embossed) as well as red and black colors, the Bicycle version is only available in black with an embossed or air-cushion finish.
The Peakcock Deck has a stylish and subtle design that puts you right in the heart of spring or summertime with its pastel color palette. The deck features a peacock feathered back design and a custom Ace of Spades. The Peacock Deck is available in two pastel colors: light green and mauve or light purple.
The Madison Deck is not to be confused with famous card mechanic, Daniel Madison as it has nothing to do with the man. The Madison deck comes with another pastel color palette that features an almost bold kaleidoscope back design design of a floral spread. According to BicycleCards.com, the Madison Deck is "practically décor, inspired by the likes of Jonathan Adler and Vera Bradley." The deck also comes in two colors: gold or turquoise.
The Escapist Deck was teased many months ago and pays homage to a deck that was printed back during World War II. The original deck was actually used as a strategic tool in order to help POW's escape captivity. The decks of playing cards would actually peel apart to reveal a map that would aid the POW to freedom. The Escapist Deck, or Escape Map as the written on the tuck case, does not peel apart to reveal any map but when each card in this deck is put together in order, it creates a much larger map.
All four Bicycle releases feature standard Bicycle stock and air-cushion or embossed finish.