karnival fatal review - singel deck front tuck caseIt has been some time (a couple of years?) since we’ve looked at a new Karnival Deck from BigBlindMedia, so we were delighted when the Karnival Fatal playing cards dropped through our letterbox.  Here’s our review…

As with previous decks, the talented Sam Hayles is responsible for the design. It is a highly stylised design which plays with the idea of ‘double exposure’ in a striking black and white design. There’s a lot of white space around the edges of the design which doesn’t make for the most interesting spreads and fans – so not a deck for cardistry perhaps.


The tuckcase suitably showcases the design and retains the prominent Bicycle branding of which we obviously approve!

One disappointment for me was the small number of faces which have been specially designed for the deck.  So, as is traditional, the Ace of Spades gets a superb treatment featuring the femme fatal of the title and the cityscape which blends in (like the image on the front of the tuck case).

karnival fatal review - ace of spadeskarnival fatal review - jokers - skyline
karnival fatal review - jokers

The jokers, too, get a redesign, again featuring the lady and cityscape – though here you can hide or display either aspect depending on how you arrange them.  I like both Joker designs, but for magic use it is sometimes helpful if they are indistinguishable.

Otherwise, the rest of the cards have standard ‘Bicycle’ pips and faces.  I would have like to see more work on these if possible.

karnival fatal review - white swirlUsefully, the deck also includes a double-backer and a blank faced card.  These both have many applications for magicians – and the latter, in conjunction with the white space on the back design already mentioned – enable to the impression of a fully blank deck.

There’s not much more to say here.  Printed on decent quality USPCC stock, the Karnival Fatal deck is a joy to handle, straight out of the box.  Fans and spreads and sleights all easy to perform if you’re used to the airflow finish.

For us this is a nice deck, but not a ground-breaking one.  But a must for all you collectors and Karnival nuts out there.

You can pick up a Karnival Deck from the Merchant of Magic for £7.99 (at the time of writing).

There are a few more pictures below. (With thanks to BigBlindMedia who kindly provided the review copy).
karnival fatal review - backs spreadkarnival fatal review - fan
karnival fatal review - three deck shot

Bicycle Karnival Fatal Playing Cards – review
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