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Review: Theory 11 Rebels

The Theory 11 Rebels were designed by Shepard Fairey's StudioNumberONE. Shepard Fairey is the famous designer/artist who did the iconic Obama Hope poster as well as album art for many national recording artists. The Theory 11 Rebels were released on August 31, 2012. Review taken from the archive of TuckCase.

The Specs:

Name: Theory 11 Rebels
Company: Theory 11, Designed by StudioNumberONE
Release Date: August 31, 2012
Stock: FSC-certified stock
Finish:  Eco Finish
Colors: Black, Metallic Silver, Gold, White, Red
Face: Standard
Size: Poker

The tuck case is truly a work of art. The design is filled with iconic and symbolic imagery that is bordered by embossed metallic silver ink. The US capital building is the centerpiece of the two way back design as a two headed eagle, which is used throughout history on flags and other historical pieces, is the main piece for the front of the tuck case. I like the contrast between the name "Rebels" and the heavy imagery that often depicts the State or unity. Although it seems to be contrary, Theory 11's website states the following:
The back design proudly features the United States Capitol Building, a timeless symbol of our nation’s united spirit of independence.  

With that, the theme of this deck can be interpreted in many ways as it is quite mysterious as to why the elements were chosen. The deck can be saying that the US is a rebel as in independent country or it could be paying homage to the way our founding fathers rebelled in history to secure the nation's independence or it can be saying something else. The up-for-grabs interpretation definitely adds to the deck's appeal.

Once you open the tuck case, you are instantly greeted with a red inside. This is a nice change as most decks usually do not do much with the inside of the tuck case.

The deck is a standard 52 deck with 2 Jokers, one double back and an ad card. The two jokers do not offer any differentiation or secret reveal. I am surprised there is no reveal as this deck seems like it would offer something like that given its use of iconic symbols throughout. The Jokers  feature silhouettes of dancing but symmetrical jokers. Despite taking up most of the cards, the joker design is very light. The design is a nice fit in a deck that comes with so many strong objects.

The Ace of Spades is one of my favorite Ace of Spades ever, as it is a huge spade with the double headed eagle in the middle. This iconic image within another iconic image is extremely powerful. I do not think I have ever seen a stronger Ace of Spades design.

The court and number cards are traditional and predominately feature heavy and dark gold, red and navy inks. Given the metallic silver used on the tuck case, I am surprised the court cards did not feature colder colors.  Although I am surprised, it is certainly not a bad thing. To me the contrast shows just how much this deck "rebels" against the mind as you think you will get one thing but you end up getting another.

Aside from design, this deck performs like the majority of the Theory 11 decks. Fanning is quick and slippery but provides enough grip to keep control. Durability is also at the max. This deck can be shuffled, fanned, dealt and dealt again without losing form and snap.

Notes on the Theory 11 Rebels Playing Cards:

  • Designed by StudioNumberONE, which is owned by Shepard Fairey.

  • Heavy contrasting elements.

  • Features the latin phrase, Et Lux In Tenebris Lucet,  which means "And light shines in the darkness" on the back design and tuck case.

Final Assessment: The Theory 11 Rebels are most definitely in my top 5 favorite playing card decks. The iconic imagery exemplifies strength, confidence and power. All three feelings and qualities that are needed to perform under pressure, whether it be in close proximity to a small group or in front of a huge auditorium in front of hundreds. The Rebels are the epitome of it's name by utilizing contrasting colors and statist imagery. The only thing this deck doesn't rebel against is the handler's hands.

Final score: 9.7 

Review: Theory 11 Rebels Reviewed by Ivan on 9/10/2014 Rating: 5

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