Review: Butterfly Playing Cards by Ondrej Psenicka

Madame Curator

Have you ever fallen head over heels in love, at first sight? Yours truly just did. With a marvellous thing of “terrifying beauty”, as the great Max Maven would call it. Introducing a diabolical and gorgeous marked deck… the Butterfly Playing Cards by Ondřej Pšenička…

The talented European magician has created an exceptionally clever side-marked card system where his gorgeous display of butterflies (hence the name), is drawn around the workings and not vice-versa, which is the typical traditional way. If you possess fair eye sight, they will be easy to use and see even in dim lighting… Glimpsing the seamlessly integrated marks is not difficult thanks to its bold colours and well-thought of design.

Besides having a high quality varnished finish which shuffles gracefully in your hands, I personally think that Ondřej made good logical decisions in its construction. There are many features to be appreciated in the Butterfly Playing Cards like the subtle but powerful one-way center, one-way marking (binary), two-way marking (both edges), and suit marking system.

Frankly, I believe it when Ondřej shared he spent 4 years and went through 8 prototypes before being completely satisfied with the final product. Much effort and attention has gone into creating these custom marked decks, professionally printed by Cartamundi in Europe.

The faces of the cards are typical, so as not to shout “gimmick deck!” although the Ace of Spades and the accompanying jokers in the deck are custom. The Butterfly Playing Card’s unique design is professional and artistic, and you can easily tell that the creator is a perfectionist with much pride. This is not a sloppy rush job  for a quick buck but a passion project from a creator who made something he would personally use!

Routines and suggested uses for the Butterfly Playing Cards in an official book (available in hard copy or PDF ebook) up for purchase, though basic instructions are included with the deck. There are also other “product line extensions” that may strike your fancy like the standard uncut sheets, to other rewards like card cases, etc.

With about 15 days more to closing, the Butterfly Playing Cards project is still accepting funds via Indiegogo, with the eventual decks ready for shipping after the first quarter of next year. I am reviewing the blue “Prototype 8” deck Ondřej sent me, and if red is more your colour, you’d be pleased to know that the stretch goal will be reached at 300%. Funding for the project is currently at 229% at this present point of writing, with yours truly being the proud and happy 360th backer of this amazing project.

Here are some pictures:

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Hand wrapped, numbered, and signed… this is a prototype deck for Ondřej’s Butterfly Playing Cards. I was quite touched with the personal note addressed to me, which is a rare human touch in today’s age of modern technology…

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Only a few prototypes were made and sparingly sent out, with a note informing that these cards were digitally printed so the actual ones will be even better! The quality of the card stock right now is already very good so I cannot imagine how the improved version will be like. Sweet.

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Unwrapping the plastic so I could handle the deck, I fell in love with EVERYTHING about the Butterfly Playing Cards. It looks so innocent and pretty, there is just no heat on them! The red card, as pictured below, is beautiful but I personally like the blue version better… it reminds me of intricate pieces of China, so I’ll be choosing that once the Indiegogo project wraps up 🙂 Variety is the spice of life so I’m sure most of you may be wanting a 50/50 mix of red and blue… and why not!

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Despite this only being a prototype deck, I’m honestly more than satisfied with the finish and feel of the cards. Cartamundi is a known brand and their solid quality is first class. This makes me excited about the end product that will be released April 2017.

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Stefan Eriksson did an excellent job with the design, giving it the quintessential soul and professional feel of the Butterfly Playing Cards. There are so many elements in the artwork that I truly appreciate; there’s real comprehension and artistic skill involved… and being both a designer and magician, he was absolutely the right man for the job.

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There is a profound elegance to the deck and like I mentioned earlier, they handle like butter. It’s a joy to use the Butterfly Playing Cards; they also look so visually stunning when fanned! I see this as a big plus for professionals, especially in close-up/ walkaround situations where your tools of the trade can be an ice-breaker or interesting talking point.

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While the Butterfly Playing Cards can be shipped worldwide, Indiegogo backers residing in the US and Europe will enjoy free shipping (from 3 bricks up)… Lucky ones! Ondřej also shared with me that there are plans for a special box set come August 2017, comprising of a deck, the book, and a DVD of routines. Refill decks will be made in the later part of the year too. It’s all awesomely exciting stuff and I’m stoked for it, but we’ll all have to be patient since good things are only worth waiting for! Meanwhile, here are some excellent clips of Ondřej and his deck in action.

Magic constantly evolves and positive growth is good, providing the discerning magician with more interesting options and inspiring creators with contemporary ideas and concepts that push the envelope. I’m excited about this and personally give it my two thumbs up. Ondřej Pšenička, we’re looking forward to more great stuff from you. Highly recommended.

10 Stars (10 / 10)

Fund this project now via Indiegogo.

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Butterfly Cards Ondřej Pšenička

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