My name is Chris Mayhew. I am a magician living in Toronto Canada, and I love playing cards. For me, my interest in magic was inevitable. I grew up in Calgary Alberta, close to a magic shop that opened a few blocks down the street from my house.
As soon as I walked into that shop I was hooked. I would spend every chance I could hanging out at the magic shop, absorbing as much as I could from the local magicians that frequented it. I found the Dr. Leon Playing Cards at the magic shop, and fell in love with the look and feel of the cards instantly.
Dr. Leon Playing Cards were created by acclaimed Japanese magician Hiro Sakai. Hiro has contributed some wonderful ideas to the art of magic over the years, many of his tricks can be found in the Magicana section of Genii magazine. He is well known for his role played as Dr. Leon on his acclaimed Japanese television show. Hiro came out with his own deck of cards based on the persona he played on Japanese T.V. and that deck is the inspiration for all of this!
To see the original cards, check out the video at the top!
I found the Dr. Leon Playing Cards at the magic shop. This deck was around back when Ellusionist was first releasing its Black Tiger Cards, which some consider to be the deck that started the wave of interest in custom playing cards.
What attracted me to the Dr. Leon's at first was the card box. I remember seeing the lion on the card box glaring at me from the magic shop shelf. As soon as I opened the card box and saw the back design I knew it was my favourite deck of cards.
I bought all the decks I could from the magic shop and watched as the cards slowly disappeared, getting harder and harder to find as the years went by.
Now the cards are very difficult to find. They were printed in two colours, black and yellow. If you manage to find a deck, it's usually only available in yellow. The black cards are nowhere to be found. I always wished there would be a reprint in red, but sadly that never happened.
Fast forward years later, I took it upon myself to reach out to Hiro Sakai and ask permission to print the cards I wish had existed when I first found these cards years ago. Hiro gave me his blessing, and the Leon Playing Cards were born!
These cards were meant to keep the essence of the Dr. Leon Playing Cards, while stripping them down to their most quintessential form. The minimal, elegant design will add a touch of luxury and class to any performer's arsenal.
The Leon Playing Cards will be manufactured with the following features that every playing card enthusiast knows and loves:
- Printed with United States Playing Card Company (USPCC)
- Q1 Grade Casino Quality
- Crushed Stock
- Air Cushion Finish
The Leon Playing Cards are going to come with an innovative sideways tuck box that you are going to love! This new sideways tuck box removes the bottom flap from the usual side tuck design that jams up the cards when you put them into the box. Your cards will glide in and out of the box effortlessly.
On top of that, the beautiful tuck box will be printed with Expert Playing Card Company (EPCC) using the synthetic stock used for their Superior Brand Playing Cards tuck box. This synthetic stock is so durable the box will last for years without tearing, and keep your cards well protected.
This new box design fixes a long standing problem that magicians and playing card enthusiasts have had with the standard sideways tuck design. For that reason I am going to share this box design and make it available to other artists and creators who wish to create their own deck of cards with EPCC in the future.
My goal with this project is to revive the Dr. Leon branding and bring the cards into the hands of a new generation of magicians and cardists.
I also want to introduce the new sideways tuck design to the wonderful playing card community. If all future decks started to use this new box design, everyone will benefit. It's my gift to the community!
To add any additional decks to your pledge, please include an extra $15 per deck. Surveys will be sent at the end of the campaign for all add-ons to be accounted for.
Risks and challenges
This is an ambitious project that is trying to mix design elements from EPCC and USPCC, which is an unorthodox way to print cards. Because these two items will be printed with separate companies and assembled at the Art of Play warehouse there may be unforeseen delays as this has never been done before.
The estimated date everything will be printed and assembled is Feb 2018, but this may change if delays occur. Fulfillment will also be done through Art of Play using their 2018 shipping rates.
This would not have been possible without the incredible design work by Scott Pearson, who has been there from day one helping with the cards, photos, graphics etc.
Also a big thanks to Phil Da Costa for re-designing the sideways tuck box eliminating the bottom flap issue that exists on most sideways tuck boxes.
And most of all thank you for your backing and support, this is an ambitious project to create a deck combining the best of both worlds; an incredibly durable tuck box with the card stock we all know and love.
With your help and support you will be reviving the Dr. Leon Playing Card brand!
Make sure to follow the journey on Instagram @LeonPlayingCards and if you send us videos of YOU using these cards when they arrive we will post it to the page!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)