Bicycle White Allure Playing Cards come from the New Jersey design outfit TPX Designs, which is run by Noel Quiles of Millville, NJ. TPX Designs launched their Kickstarter project on April 26, 2013 for the White Allure playing cards and successfully funded the project on May 25th with 449 backers totaling $17,685. The Bicycle White Allure playing card project is TPX Designs' third playing card deck created through a Kickstarter project. The first project was the Bicycle Genesis and the second was the Allure deck. Bicycle White Allure is an extension of the original Allure project.
It should be noted that TPX Designs is currently running a Kickstarter project for their fourth playing card project called Bicycle King of Kings.
Name: Bicycle White Allure
Company: TPX Designs
Release Date: End July 2013 (Decks started shipping)
Stock: Standard Bicycle
Finish: Magic Finish
Colors: White, Gold, Red, Black
According to the deck's Kickstarter page, Bicycle White Allure was brought to market due to demand for a white version of the original Allure playing cards, which was an all black deck.
On to the review....
As seen above the tuck case features a classy white and gold design. It is clear from the start that this deck was originally intended for a darker version as the white version loses key details that made the original Allure pop. The White Allure tuck feels rather bright and lacks contrast to bring out detail that was originally very prevalent on the original. Metallic gold inks or embossing would have possibly done the trick. While the White Allure strictly uses one light color for the embellishments on a white background, the original Allure deck contrasted with multiple bright colored embellishments on a black background that gave the overall design depth. At inspection of only the tuck case, there is certainly more to be desired in this follow-up release, which seems to be typical of re-colored releases.
The deck features 56 custom playing cards - 52 standard, 2 jokers and 2 gaff cards. With the back design, which is also featured on the tuck, we are met with the same bright, almost washed-out look that the tuck case features. In certain parts the design elements are lost in the background, where they originally popped in the first Allure deck. With that said, the back design is a two-way design with heavenly embellishments. Two harps are featured as the main focal point with many abstract geometric shapes intertwining around a cross in the direct center. The back design is bordered with more abstract shapes similar to those found in a doily or decorative lace. The design contains many tiny details that takes a close eye to fully appreciate.
The court cards are an improvement as they feature bolder colors, which provides much needed contrast. The royals are positioned in the middle inside somewhat of a frame with a gold to white gradient background. The royals are then recolored and skinned providing the boldest elements on the deck. This is quite the change from the back and tuck case designs. TPX Designs did a good job tying in the overall theme by adding an outside border in the same style that is found on the back design. This border fills out the cards nicely by adding resolve or closure to the design.
The Ace Of Spades features a blacked out Ace with no ornate design or intricate detail within. The style here is refreshing and modest. A bold but lightly colored abstract floral pattern adds contrast in the back. There is also a very light and subtle floral pattern even farther back in the design that is very unnoticeable unless inspecting these cards very closely. In fact, the camera does not even pick this up. This feature is actually on every card in the deck. Although this is more noticeable on the original Allure cards, this design element is a very nice subtle and hidden element that finally brings out some depth in the cards. This is one element where we do not want to see it contrast with the background or else the cards would look too busy. Moving on, a stylized "Allure Playing Cards" is written across the bottom of the Ace, which fills out the Ace Of Spades as the arch of the deck. The rest of the Aces are similar to the Ace of Spades without the name of the deck written across the bottom.
The number cards are custom. They feature the same border as the court and aces feature as well as the subtle floral pattern deep in the cards. Although these elements provide consistency throughout the deck, a negative to the number cards are the way the indices and pips were designed with a highlight or glowing border that creates a blurred effect on the white background. They are bold enough that they are not illegible but it is slightly unflattering.
The Jokers are interesting with a leaping angel of sorts that is silhouetted on both cards. Each joker is red and black, which is a nice way to keep things different between the jokers that are often times left the same. The angels keep the theme of "Allure" alive. The Jokers use the classic intertwined "US" indices. This is a very nice tie in with the standard Bicycle decks. A lot of times custom decks do away with any sort of tie in with the traditional Bicycle deck but it is nice to see Allure keep it.
As mentioned in the beginning of this review, the deck comes with two gaff cards. While one gaff card is a double back that is often times standard with custom decks, Allure also comes with a gaff card that features a blurred out Queen of Spades. This gaff card is extremely impressive as it can be used in a lot of different magic routines. This is the first time we have seen a blurred out card used for the gaff and it is certainly exciting.
White Allure playing cards handle similar to the standard Bicycle playing cards as they feature bicycle stock and a magic finish. They spring nice and work well right out of the box. They will obviously need some breaking in as all decks do but there are no disappointments in the handling or feel department. These cards work and work well.
Notes on White Allure Playing Cards:
- With the release of White Allure, a Limited Edition Gold edition was also released at only 1000 available.
- While 4000 of the original Allure were printed, only 2500 of the White Allure were printed.
- The original Allure produced 1000 gilded edged decks that were dropped from the White Allure.
- All of TPX designs tend to have a religious theme.
- These can be found at site sponsor PlayingCardz.net for European customers.
Final Assessment: Overall this deck may fall short for some looking for contrast but it is perfect for those looking for a bright and heavenly design. This contrast issue on the backs could have very well been the intention of TPX, which in that case would make it a non-issue. Aside from the contrast choice, TPX designs gets points for knowing how to create elegant and classy looking cards with exciting design elements that you don't normally find on other cards. Given the unique gaff card, this deck is perfect for magicians. After all, what is the point of creating a unique gaff card like that if it isn't going to be used?
Final score: 7.9/10