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My Ideal Aviator Box Design

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My Ideal Aviator Box Design
« on: September 13, 2016, 03:33:14 PM »
 

Wild Joker

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I see Aviator brand cards are becoming more widespread and easier to find, as opposed to just exclusively a bookstores, so although Aviator may be growing in popularity, I still feel that it could be more eye-catching hanging from the racks among other playing cards - the box design, in my opinion, could certainly use an update and a little modernization, so I got to playing around in Fireworks, and this is what I came up with what I think would be a better box design for Aviator (keep in mind, this isn't anything serious, just something I piddled around with). The back of the box description was paraphrased from Bicycle's website, since Aviator already lacks any kind of description on their boxes other than "Poker Size Playing Cards." And this is really, really rough, so I apologize for the lackluster quality.

 

Re: My Ideal Aviator Box Design
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2016, 11:58:28 PM »
 

CBJ

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Re: My Ideal Aviator Box Design
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2016, 12:08:18 AM »
 

Wild Joker

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Like I said, this was just something rough I whipped up while goofing off. But otherwise, wow, never seen that before, but looks really nice.
 

Re: My Ideal Aviator Box Design
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2016, 02:20:27 AM »
 

Don Boyer

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The new design was meant to hearken back to the original design - the deck was made to commemorate the Lindbergh flight crossing the Atlantic Ocean and used to have propeller planes in the design.  It was updated in the 1960s to jet aircraft and given a more modern aesthetic.

It's unlikely you'll see any major changes to the design.  Today, it's considered a regional brand by the company, not commonly seen outside of airports or card specialty stores except by special order.  The only brands they put any serious effort/resources into as far as design changes and marketing are usually the national brands, of which they're down to just two - Bee and Bicycle.  They're also less likely to make the design full-color - it's cheaper and simpler to use a monochromatic design, requiring only a single printing plate and a single ink color to make the tuck boxes instead of the usual four for CMYK printing.

I think the only reason they have the vintage-look edition is, if I'm not mistaken, because Dan and Dave did the design and wanted it for themselves in their online stores.  USPC probably liked the look and cut a deal with them to market it a little more broadly, though you'd never call it "common."  I could be wrong on this, though, so don't take this as hard fact.
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Re: My Ideal Aviator Box Design
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2016, 04:09:48 PM »
 

Wild Joker

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Must be special order then, as I said, they're popping up more and more just in regular grocery stores now alongside Bicycle, and whatever other brands that are carried, which depends on the store itself.
 

Re: My Ideal Aviator Box Design
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2016, 03:46:22 AM »
 

Don Boyer

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Must be special order then, as I said, they're popping up more and more just in regular grocery stores now alongside Bicycle, and whatever other brands that are carried, which depends on the store itself.

Well, here's the list of all current brands produced and manufactured by USPC, in no particular order:
Bicycle
Bee
Tally Ho
Hoyle
Aviator
Streamline
KEM
Maverick
Congress
And lastly, some assorted "brand-less" novelty decks, most of which are under license with a trademark owner (Coca-Cola, Ford, RealTree, etc.), while some are unique and original USPC designs (America, The Dog, etc.).

Which are the brands you're seeing with more regularity?

I had a conversation with a USPC marketing exec about their brands - this was a couple of years ago, so the info is likely not current.  He mentioned the following about the brands:

* Bicycle and Bee are their biggest national brands (no surprise there).  They are the only ones being pushed to major national chain stores because of their name-brand recognition and they are the ones on which the dragon's-hoard share of the company's marketing dollars are spent.
* Maverick is a regional brand, limited to the South and mostly sold in dollar stores.  (I have personally noticed them more recently moving into other states, but only because the discount chain store Family Dollar has been expanding outside the South and carries their own special version of this deck, with the price printed in the left side of a white bar appearing on the top front of the tuck box - it's a bold "$1" in a thin circle.  Everything below this white bar appears like the normal tuck box front, albeit it just a wee bit smaller.  They also have their own versions of Bicycle Standard and Bicycle Pink Ribbon, priced at $3 and marked in the same manner.  The Bikes tend to sell out FAST - in New York, a pack of Bikes is usually closer to $4.25 in chain stores.)
* Tally Ho is a regional brand, limited to New York City.  It's RARE to see it sold in an ordinary retail setting outside the city limits.  Even inside the city, it's not common and usually found in mom-and-pop stores and corner bodegas rather than any national chains (because the chains usually sell Bicycle or Bee, perhaps a novelty deck or two and little else).
* Aviator is a regional brand, limited to airports.  (Again, this may no longer be true.)
* Any deck limited to being a regional brand may also be found outside of that region in stores specializing in cards, like magic shops and card specialty stores.
* No mention was made of the other brands.

My own observations:
* Congress is more limited primarily because it's a bridge-sized deck that almost always has one-way art - the audience for such decks is limited, so the retail opportunities to find it are also limited.
* Streamline is often considered a discount deck - I've seen them in Walmart priced at $1, but it's been a couple of years at least since then and I haven't seen them recently.  The quality had dropped while USPC experimented with making them and a few other brands in China, but has since returned to normal and is on par with smooth-finish Bicycles.
* Hoyle isn't terribly common - in general, the remaining "orphan brands" USPC acquired in more recent acquisitions aren't common (Hoyle, Streamline, Maverick and, to a lesser extent, KEM).
* KEM are all-plastic and not marketed the same way as the paper decks are - they used to dominate the plastic card market before the USPC takeover, but plastic decks are most appealing to poker and bridge players (people who use cards A LOT and are tired of replacing paper decks), and among that crowd, the USPC-made decks are not considered as well-made as the older stock (they think there's a different plastic in use that's inferior to the older plastic, which was really cellulose acetate - I have no idea what plastic is being used today), therefore many other brands have overtaken them in the marketplace.  They are, however, still found in the annual World Series of Poker - USPC is a sponsor and manufactures custom KEM decks under the Bicycle brand for use in all the tournament's games and the excess, unused decks are often made available for sale in twin packs of red and black after the tournament concludes, still sealed as if for the tournament.
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Re: My Ideal Aviator Box Design
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2016, 04:49:06 PM »
 

Wild Joker

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Actually, I think I have a theory as to why I'm suddenly seeing more brands at grocery stores as of late: because they're selling wine now. Typically, it was fairly common to find Bicycle decks in a grocery store usually at the check-out lines, or dangling from a shelf down whatever aisle had chips and/or liter bottles of soft drinks - but now that stores are allowed to sell wine, there's usually an end-cap display case full of USPC brands of cards (and occasionally, so others as well) at the wine aisle, I've come to notice.

Now, to answer your question specifically, here's what I can give you as far as a break-down of the brands:
* Bicycle - They're everywhere. Number one product, so it makes sense. Now, while I usually just see Standard Size/Face in most stores, one regional chain down here called Food City carries additional decks, such as Jumbo Index, Pinochle decks, and Bridge-sized decks. I'll also occasionally see a special deck, such as a pink breast cancer deck. Walmart almost always has the Shark decks
* Bee - Surprisingly, for this to be USPC's other top brand, I only see these at Food City (it's where I got mine), I never see them anywhere else. I also see them in Jumbo Index.
* Hoyle - I used to see these almost exclusively at book stores like Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble, but another one of our regional chains, Kroger (despite being headquartered in Ohio, is a mostly southern chain) has been carrying the traditional Shellback decks - usually in a two-pack of red and blue (as Bicycle often comes in), but as of late, Kroger has also been carrying plastic Hoyles as well, including the clear ones. Interestingly, one time, I saw a Jumbo Index Hoyle deck at Hobby Lobby, of all places.
* Aviator - Like Hoyle, I used to generally only see these at the book stores, but as of this summer, I began noticing them alongside Bicycle and Bee at most Food City locations; now, they're also popping up at Kroger alongside Bicycle and Hoyle as well.
* Streamline - Food City's the only place I've seen these, and as I mentioned in another thread, they appear to be (at least the deck I purchased anyway) Canadian decks imported from China . . . how they ended up down here in Tennessee is beyond me. They don't see to sell well though, there's usually very few of them in the case, and they're usually always dirt cheap (like a dollar or so) compared to the usually higher Bicycle or Bee decks. Even Aviator decks are selling for like two dollars. So yeah, I can see what you mean about them being a "discount" deck. Of the few decks that I own, it's perhaps my least favorite.
* Maverick - I can confirm they are down here in the south, but I can also tell you that they're not very common either. The only place I've seen them in any kind of regularity is Big Lots, usually in their own miniature cardboard case hanging at the end of a toy aisle). I think I may have also seen them in a Family Dollar at one point, but I can't say for sure, I rarely, if ever, shop at any dollar store other than Dollar General, where they at least have brand-name products. I don't own a Maverick deck, but I have noticed the consensus among most enthusiasts out there is that it was an okay/decent deck until USPC moved to Erlanger, and they've apparently gone straight downhill since. Guess I'm not missing anything.
* Tally Ho - I can also confirm this must be a regional deck, because I've never seen a Tally Ho deck first hand in any store anywhere. I generally hear good things about the deck, though.
* KEM - Never see them.
* As for those novelty decks that you mentioned (Coca-Cola, America, The Dog, etc.) Yup. All at Kroger.
* Congress I've actually never heard of before.  :o But, based on the information you've given, I guess I could see why (same with KEM).

I should also mention that Food City, in addition to carrying the certain aforementioned deck brands, also carry Bicycle accessories, such as dice, and plastic poker chips.

Interestingly enough, I've noticed that Cartamundi brands are starting to branch out beyond the dollar store chains. Both their Classic and standard Ace brands are being sold alongside the USPC brands at Kroger now, which is really odd - the Classics are sold individually, but the Ace decks are sold in a pack that comes with both red and blue, as well as dice. As I said previously, Classic had pretty much disappeared from dollar stores in favor of standard Ace for a while, but both are being sold again; dollar stores also have Limited Edition Ace decks, but not like the ones we discussed in another thread - dollar store Limited Edition Aces are usually either purple or green. Eagle seems to be exclusive to another regional chain called Ingle's - and likewise, they too are sold ironically alongside Bicycle at check-out. Then again, I haven't shopped at an Ingle's location in a long time (they're not as progressive as other grocery store chains that have long since adopted the whole "super center" layout, but that's not necessarily a bad thing), so I don't know if they've started carrying other brands - if I ever find myself at an Ingle's, I may check for curiosity sake.

So, in short - as far as USPC brands go, Bicycle (and its novelties), Bee, and Streamline remain common; Hoyle and Aviator are becoming more widespread; Maverick is dwindling; the others are virtually nonexistent in these parts. Meanwhile, Cartamundi brands like Classic and Ace are also becoming more widespread.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2016, 04:56:29 PM by Wild Joker »
 

Re: My Ideal Aviator Box Design
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2016, 02:18:22 AM »
 

Don Boyer

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Don't sell the Streamlines short.  The later-model US-made ones from Erlanger are at least as good as Bicycles in terms of quality of the paper and the lack of embossing actually makes the paper stiffer.  They hold up nicely for such an inexpensive deck.

Mavericks dropped in quality because of all the USPC brands, they're the only ones not being made in Erlanger.  They moved manufacturing to China and they've been a "dollar store" deck ever since, regardless of what they were previously.  The quality is the lowest USPC offers.  (I should also add that USPC doesn't make their own mini decks, either - those are farmed out to China, regardless of brand.)  They're more common than you think - as you mentioned, they're found in dollar stores like Big Lots, Family Dollar and Dollar General.  I'm guessing you don't shop in those stores for cards as often as you would elsewhere, given the typical "dollar store" deck's low quality.  Outside of dollar stores, they're scarce - in them, they're practically common throughout the South.  Considering the low quality of the cards, I'm actually rather surprised that Jacks and Jokers is even bothering to sell Maverick-themed clothing - J&J's merchandise is pretty expensive stuff overall, not the kind of clothes your typical dollar-store shopper is likely to afford.

Tally Ho are good-quality decks, though they were better once.  They used to have their own unique stock, but no longer - USPC is down to exactly two kinds of stock, Bicycle and Bee Casino.  Today, they're on par with Bicycles - which is unfortunate, because Bicycles have also gone down a bit in quality (I'm referring to "general issue" Standards, not custom decks).  The last decks of Tally Ho I bought were better than the ones before that - those had off-centered die cutting AND inconsistent color shades on the card backs!  The most recent ones were decent.  The designs are a nice alternative to the more-common Bikes and Bees.

Congress is one of the oldest brands USPC carries!  Just as Bicycle are known as brand number 808, Congress are brand number 606.  In the last several decades, the brand has specialized, made and sold in bridge pairs and with the typical bridge-deck whimsical artwork, often in one-way designs.  The increasing popularity of long-lasting plastic decks for frequent bridge and poker play has made the Congress brand seem like more of a throwback - demand has dropped, so opportunities to find them at retail have gone way down.  Of all the brands USPC is making today, only four come in bridge size - Hoyle (only in Super-Jumbo index), Bicycle, KEM and Congress.  Of those, only Congress is exclusively made in bridge size.

The overall variety of decks from USPC has been reduced, aside from Bicycle - Bee only comes in standard width with standard and jumbo index; Aviator comes in standard width with standard and jumbo index cards and a standard index pinochle deck; Tally Ho comes only in standard size/index and two back designs; Hoyle comes in standard width with standard and jumbo index, bridge width with super jumbo index, "slice" half-standard width and two plastic decks (one clear, one standard).  Bicycle has more varieties than you can shake a stick at, including dominoes and super jumbo bridge and standard decks - even a jumbo index pinochle deck is available.  (Again, not counting any mini decks.)  There was more variety across the board, once - I own some bridge-sized Bee and Aviator decks.  Congress and KEM decks have been reduced in variety as well - they used to come in several different back designs, but now they have fewer than a half-dozen available at any given time.
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Re: My Ideal Aviator Box Design
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2016, 12:41:06 PM »
 

Wild Joker

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Don't sell the Streamlines short.  The later-model US-made ones from Erlanger are at least as good as Bicycles in terms of quality of the paper and the lack of embossing actually makes the paper stiffer.  They hold up nicely for such an inexpensive deck.
If I managed to snag one of those as opposed to the plastic-coated, cheaply-made China imports, I may hold a different opinion - but again, these plastic imports just plain suck.

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Mavericks dropped in quality because of all the USPC brands, they're the only ones not being made in Erlanger.  They moved manufacturing to China and they've been a "dollar store" deck ever since, regardless of what they were previously.  The quality is the lowest USPC offers.  (I should also add that USPC doesn't make their own mini decks, either - those are farmed out to China, regardless of brand.)  They're more common than you think - as you mentioned, they're found in dollar stores like Big Lots, Family Dollar and Dollar General.
Well, again, Dollar General (at least the DGs where I live) tends to stock only Cartamundi decks like Classic and Ace. Like I said, I wouldn't swear to seeing Maverick in another dollar store, but I do know they're definitely sold at Big Lots.
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Tally Ho are good-quality decks, though they were better once.  They used to have their own unique stock, but no longer - USPC is down to exactly two kinds of stock, Bicycle and Bee Casino.  Today, they're on par with Bicycles - which is unfortunate, because Bicycles have also gone down a bit in quality (I'm referring to "general issue" Standards, not custom decks).
I do believe that even I can tell a difference in Bicycle stock since the move to Erlanger - seems like the stock has gotten a tad thinner and flimser than it once was . . . but I've still handled worse (like Hoyle). 
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The last decks of Tally Ho I bought were better than the ones before that - those had off-centered die cutting AND inconsistent color shades on the card backs!
I've noticed a lot of people complaining about that, and I must admit, that too is a quibble of mine about any decks I get that have off-centered printing on the back. Maybe that's one reason why Bee tends to be my favorite deck, because it doesn't even really have that issue, but man, my current Bikes are pretty off-centered (my last decks, the red was off-centered, but the blue was fine), but the Hoyle deck I have is perhaps the worst: two thick borders on one corner, two thin borders on the other. Surprisingly, of the decks I have with bordered backs, the only one that's perfectly printed is my Limited Edition Ace: the borders are thin, and the design is centered. Other than that, I've yet to come across any other deck with perfectly centered backs.
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The overall variety of decks from USPC has been reduced, aside from Bicycle - Bee only comes in standard width with standard and jumbo index; Aviator comes in standard width with standard and jumbo index cards and a standard index pinochle deck; Tally Ho comes only in standard size/index and two back designs; Hoyle comes in standard width with standard and jumbo index, bridge width with super jumbo index, "slice" half-standard width and two plastic decks (one clear, one standard).  Bicycle has more varieties than you can shake a stick at, including dominoes and super jumbo bridge and standard decks - even a jumbo index pinochle deck is available.  (Again, not counting any mini decks.)  There was more variety across the board, once - I own some bridge-sized Bee and Aviator decks.  Congress and KEM decks have been reduced in variety as well - they used to come in several different back designs, but now they have fewer than a half-dozen available at any given time.
Some of these I haven't even seen either - of course, it could also be that I haven't paid that much attention. Other than what I mentioned previously about the Hoyle decks, I don't believe I've seen Aviator in anything other than standard size and face, but I can certainly atest to the different varieties of Bicycle. Come to think of it, I think Bikes are the only ones I see being carried in Bridge sizes. And, heh, I've heard about the mini decks, but I've also heard about giant decks that are four times the size of standard decks.
 

Re: My Ideal Aviator Box Design
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2016, 02:18:22 AM »
 

Don Boyer

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Don't sell the Streamlines short.  The later-model US-made ones from Erlanger are at least as good as Bicycles in terms of quality of the paper and the lack of embossing actually makes the paper stiffer.  They hold up nicely for such an inexpensive deck.
If I managed to snag one of those as opposed to the plastic-coated, cheaply-made China imports, I may hold a different opinion - but again, these plastic imports just plain suck.

To be more accurate, you mean "plastic coated."  And to be even more accurate, ALL modern playing cards until recently were plastic coated!  The coatings used by all the companies could be defined as some member of the plastic family, regardless of the different varieties of coatings out there.  The only reason that's no longer the case is that US manufacturers are now legally required to use eco-friendly materials in making playing cards - USPC uses starch-based coatings, vegetable-based ink dyes and high post-consumer content recycled paper.

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Tally Ho are good-quality decks, though they were better once.  They used to have their own unique stock, but no longer - USPC is down to exactly two kinds of stock, Bicycle and Bee Casino.  Today, they're on par with Bicycles - which is unfortunate, because Bicycles have also gone down a bit in quality (I'm referring to "general issue" Standards, not custom decks).
I do believe that even I can tell a difference in Bicycle stock since the move to Erlanger - seems like the stock has gotten a tad thinner and flimser than it once was . . . but I've still handled worse (like Hoyle).

When they moved to Erlanger, they went from a 310gsm stock to a 300gsm stock because they were having a little trouble feeding the paper through the machines.  They'll never tell you that today, though, because they no longer use industry-standard grams-per-square-meter measurements for their stock - instead, they use caliper thickness, and not even a specific thickness but a RANGE within which either of the two stocks is offered.  You don't get to choose an exact thickness, just a range.  To really muddy the waters, the two ranges OVERLAP, so a thick Bicycle stock can end up thicker than a thin Bee Casino stock.  I have no good idea (and several bad ones!) as to why they do this - in some way, it must simply be easier and more economically feasible for them to do so.  If it wasn't, they wouldn't be doing it, period.  If ever there was a company that could pinch a penny until it screamed, USPC is that company - but you can't blame them entirely, as they do have corporate owners to whom they are accountable.

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The last decks of Tally Ho I bought were better than the ones before that - those had off-centered die cutting AND inconsistent color shades on the card backs!
I've noticed a lot of people complaining about that, and I must admit, that too is a quibble of mine about any decks I get that have off-centered printing on the back. Maybe that's one reason why Bee tends to be my favorite deck, because it doesn't even really have that issue, but man, my current Bikes are pretty off-centered (my last decks, the red was off-centered, but the blue was fine), but the Hoyle deck I have is perhaps the worst: two thick borders on one corner, two thin borders on the other. Surprisingly, of the decks I have with bordered backs, the only one that's perfectly printed is my Limited Edition Ace: the borders are thin, and the design is centered. Other than that, I've yet to come across any other deck with perfectly centered backs.

It's been a HUGE issue lately with USPC.  It's rare that I find a USPC deck that isn't cut at least a little off-centered on the backs.  The fronts can be all over the place, but they're less critical in terms of game play, as long as they're not cut within the die line.  And Bee decks are indeed just as susceptible!  You don't see it as easily because of the lack of a border, but a sharp eye can spot the difference in the diamond back pattern when the cards are cut off-centered.  It facilitates a type of card cheating called edge sorting - there's a famous poker player right now facing lawsuits from two different casinos due to accusations of edge sorting, though honestly, it's the casino's own damn fault for not quality-checking their own cards and properly training their staff to foil this type of cheating (it's pathetically easy to stop, but neither casino did so).


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The overall variety of decks from USPC has been reduced, aside from Bicycle - Bee only comes in standard width with standard and jumbo index; Aviator comes in standard width with standard and jumbo index cards and a standard index pinochle deck; Tally Ho comes only in standard size/index and two back designs; Hoyle comes in standard width with standard and jumbo index, bridge width with super jumbo index, "slice" half-standard width and two plastic decks (one clear, one standard).  Bicycle has more varieties than you can shake a stick at, including dominoes and super jumbo bridge and standard decks - even a jumbo index pinochle deck is available.  (Again, not counting any mini decks.)  There was more variety across the board, once - I own some bridge-sized Bee and Aviator decks.  Congress and KEM decks have been reduced in variety as well - they used to come in several different back designs, but now they have fewer than a half-dozen available at any given time.
Some of these I haven't even seen either - of course, it could also be that I haven't paid that much attention. Other than what I mentioned previously about the Hoyle decks, I don't believe I've seen Aviator in anything other than standard size and face, but I can certainly atest to the different varieties of Bicycle. Come to think of it, I think Bikes are the only ones I see being carried in Bridge sizes. And, heh, I've heard about the mini decks, but I've also heard about giant decks that are four times the size of standard decks.

Yes, I have "Big Bicycle" decks - they're no longer in print, haven't been for a little while now.  I did recently see some $8 decks at my local CVS pharmacy store that were 8.5x11 inches - even bigger than standard jumbo sized!  They also had the goofiest-looking little blackjack game kit - an entire miniature blackjack table, with teeny little chips stamped with different denominations, super-small cards and even a CARD SHOE meant for dealing the cards out to the table, also in the appropriate size - roughly small enough for squirrels!  I considered getting it, but I was laughing too hard to take myself seriously...
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Re: My Ideal Aviator Box Design
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2016, 12:30:00 AM »
 

Wild Joker

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I can follow-up on my previous spotting record, I was shopping at an Ingle's location today, and here's what I can confirm as far as brands they sell:

Pretty much their selection is the same as Kroger's selection - Bicycle, Aviator, and the specialty decks like The Dog, Coca-Cola, even Jack Daniels. They also still have Cartamundi's Eagle deck ironically alongside them. Unlike other places (excluding Walmart), their Bikes are sold in individual decks, or in the two-deck red and blue pack like Walmart has . . . but, oddly, they also had old Rider Back decks . . . not sure if they've had them for so long that they're backstock, or if perhaps they're fakes, I don't know, I didn't check the boxes to see.

So, to basically sum up one of the points I brought up in this thread initially, it would seem that Aviator does now, indeed, have a much wider availablity beyond airports and bookstores now if all of the major regional grocery store chains in my area have them. I just still find it a little odd, however, that given that it's essentially USPC's number two brand, that Bee is hard to come by.

Oh, and, heh, Walmart is now carrying Maverick decks, and if I thought the imported Streamline decks at Food City at a little over a dollar was dirt cheap, Mavericks at Walmart are even dirtier cheaper at only 88 cents.  ;D
 

Re: My Ideal Aviator Box Design
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2016, 05:17:06 AM »
 

Don Boyer

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I can follow-up on my previous spotting record, I was shopping at an Ingle's location today, and here's what I can confirm as far as brands they sell:

Pretty much their selection is the same as Kroger's selection - Bicycle, Aviator, and the specialty decks like The Dog, Coca-Cola, even Jack Daniels. They also still have Cartamundi's Eagle deck ironically alongside them. Unlike other places (excluding Walmart), their Bikes are sold in individual decks, or in the two-deck red and blue pack like Walmart has . . . but, oddly, they also had old Rider Back decks . . . not sure if they've had them for so long that they're backstock, or if perhaps they're fakes, I don't know, I didn't check the boxes to see.

So, to basically sum up one of the points I brought up in this thread initially, it would seem that Aviator does now, indeed, have a much wider availablity beyond airports and bookstores now if all of the major regional grocery store chains in my area have them. I just still find it a little odd, however, that given that it's essentially USPC's number two brand, that Bee is hard to come by.

Oh, and, heh, Walmart is now carrying Maverick decks, and if I thought the imported Streamline decks at Food City at a little over a dollar was dirt cheap, Mavericks at Walmart are even dirtier cheaper at only 88 cents.  ;D

You could have been looking at some old leftover stock that was buried in the back of a warehouse and finally unearthed, then shipped to the first store needing playing cards in order to unload them.  Regarding the Bike Rider Backs - believe it or not, USPC still makes them, calling them Bicycle 807.  Classic box, modern cards, Erlanger listed on the box as the city of manufacture.  But it's more likely that it was old Rider Back stock lying around, as the 807s don't see much retail outside of magic shops and USPC's own website.

Yes, that is dirt cheap for Mavericks.  But they're hardly worth it.
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Re: My Ideal Aviator Box Design
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2016, 09:35:40 AM »
 

Fess

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Yes, that is dirt cheap for Mavericks.  But they're hardly worth it.

I couldn't agree more. Mav's don't survive a morning of friendly play at the Diner for us.  >:(
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Re: My Ideal Aviator Box Design
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2017, 08:58:37 PM »
 

Wild Joker

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Ace is really braching out more and more beyond dollar stores. Food City had an entire display case of them directly across the aisle from their USPC display case; I'm guessing Cartamundi is wanting to broaden their sales territories, because up until the last year or so, just about the only place you could find Cartamundi brands (Classic, Ace) was only dollar stores (except for those specialty and limited edition decks they had at bookstores).
 

Re: My Ideal Aviator Box Design
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2017, 07:11:32 PM »
 

EndZoneLayer

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Actually, I think I have a theory as to why I'm suddenly seeing more brands at grocery stores as of late: because they're selling wine now. Typically, it was fairly common to find Bicycle decks in a grocery store usually at the check-out lines, or dangling from a shelf down whatever aisle had chips and/or liter bottles of soft drinks - but now that stores are allowed to sell wine, there's usually an end-cap display case full of USPC brands of cards (and occasionally, so others as well) at the wine aisle, I've come to notice.

Now, to answer your question specifically, here's what I can give you as far as a break-down of the brands:
* Bicycle - They're everywhere. Number one product, so it makes sense. Now, while I usually just see Standard Size/Face in most stores, one regional chain down here called Food City carries additional decks, such as Jumbo Index, Pinochle decks, and Bridge-sized decks. I'll also occasionally see a special deck, such as a pink breast cancer deck. Walmart almost always has the Shark decks
* Bee - Surprisingly, for this to be USPC's other top brand, I only see these at Food City (it's where I got mine), I never see them anywhere else. I also see them in Jumbo Index.
* Hoyle - I used to see these almost exclusively at book stores like Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble, but another one of our regional chains, Kroger (despite being headquartered in Ohio, is a mostly southern chain) has been carrying the traditional Shellback decks - usually in a two-pack of red and blue (as Bicycle often comes in), but as of late, Kroger has also been carrying plastic Hoyles as well, including the clear ones. Interestingly, one time, I saw a Jumbo Index Hoyle deck at Hobby Lobby, of all places.
* Aviator - Like Hoyle, I used to generally only see these at the book stores, but as of this summer, I began noticing them alongside Bicycle and Bee at most Food City locations; now, they're also popping up at Kroger alongside Bicycle and Hoyle as well.
* Streamline - Food City's the only place I've seen these, and as I mentioned in another thread, they appear to be (at least the deck I purchased anyway) Canadian decks imported from China . . . how they ended up down here in Tennessee is beyond me. They don't see to sell well though, there's usually very few of them in the case, and they're usually always dirt cheap (like a dollar or so) compared to the usually higher Bicycle or Bee decks. Even Aviator decks are selling for like two dollars. So yeah, I can see what you mean about them being a "discount" deck. Of the few decks that I own, it's perhaps my least favorite.
* Maverick - I can confirm they are down here in the south, but I can also tell you that they're not very common either. The only place I've seen them in any kind of regularity is Big Lots, usually in their own miniature cardboard case hanging at the end of a toy aisle). I think I may have also seen them in a Family Dollar at one point, but I can't say for sure, I rarely, if ever, shop at any dollar store other than Dollar General, where they at least have brand-name products. I don't own a Maverick deck, but I have noticed the consensus among most enthusiasts out there is that it was an okay/decent deck until USPC moved to Erlanger, and they've apparently gone straight downhill since. Guess I'm not missing anything.
* Tally Ho - I can also confirm this must be a regional deck, because I've never seen a Tally Ho deck first hand in any store anywhere. I generally hear good things about the deck, though.
* KEM - Never see them.
* As for those novelty decks that you mentioned (Coca-Cola, America, The Dog, etc.) Yup. All at Kroger.
* Congress I've actually never heard of before.  :o But, based on the information you've given, I guess I could see why (same with KEM).

I should also mention that Food City, in addition to carrying the certain aforementioned deck brands, also carry Bicycle accessories, such as dice, and plastic poker chips.

Interestingly enough, I've noticed that Cartamundi brands are starting to branch out beyond the dollar store chains. Both their Classic and standard Ace brands are being sold alongside the USPC brands at Kroger now, which is really odd - the Classics are sold individually, but the Ace decks are sold in a pack that comes with both red and blue, as well as dice. As I said previously, Classic had pretty much disappeared from dollar stores in favor of standard Ace for a while, but both are being sold again; dollar stores also have Limited Edition Ace decks, but not like the ones we discussed in another thread - dollar store Limited Edition Aces are usually either purple or green. Eagle seems to be exclusive to another regional chain called Ingle's - and likewise, they too are sold ironically alongside Bicycle at check-out. Then again, I haven't shopped at an Ingle's location in a long time (they're not as progressive as other grocery store chains that have long since adopted the whole "super center" layout, but that's not necessarily a bad thing), so I don't know if they've started carrying other brands - if I ever find myself at an Ingle's, I may check for curiosity sake.

So, in short - as far as USPC brands go, Bicycle (and its novelties), Bee, and Streamline remain common; Hoyle and Aviator are becoming more widespread; Maverick is dwindling; the others are virtually nonexistent in these parts. Meanwhile, Cartamundi brands like Classic and Ace are also becoming more widespread.

Can anyone tell me which grocery stores in Southern California sell decks like Hoyle, Aviator, etc... ?  I've heard from some people that Ralph's (same company as Kroger) sometimes carries them, but the stores I've been to do not it seems.  Their website says they "carry" hoyles and bikes but each store keeps different stock.  If anyone knows a specific location, would be much appreciated.

Also, I have noticed some 7-11 stores carry Aviators and sell them for $3.49-3.99
 

Re: My Ideal Aviator Box Design
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2017, 08:31:52 PM »
 

Wild Joker

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Remember when I said a few posts back that I saw that the Ingle's store I was at had some Rider Back decks among the Standard? Well, I was there again today, grabbed two of these Rider Back decks, and want to see if anyone here can figure out if these are fo real or if they're fake:

I would think they're real because the boxes have gold accents, the black USPC seal, and have Made in U.S.A. . . . But they're dated 2014 and have the Erlanger address on them . . . which I find odd, because didn't Bikes adopt the new Standard box design since the move to Erlanger? You guys be the judge:

And for the record, I've no intentions of actually opening or using these decks, I got them strictly for the old-school Rider Back boxes.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2017, 08:32:30 PM by Wild Joker »
 

Re: My Ideal Aviator Box Design
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2017, 01:48:55 AM »
 

Don Boyer

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Remember when I said a few posts back that I saw that the Ingle's store I was at had some Rider Back decks among the Standard? Well, I was there again today, grabbed two of these Rider Back decks, and want to see if anyone here can figure out if these are fo real or if they're fake:

I would think they're real because the boxes have gold accents, the black USPC seal, and have Made in U.S.A. . . . But they're dated 2014 and have the Erlanger address on them . . . which I find odd, because didn't Bikes adopt the new Standard box design since the move to Erlanger? You guys be the judge:

And for the record, I've no intentions of actually opening or using these decks, I got them strictly for the old-school Rider Back boxes.

This is a product that USPC sells at their website bicyclecards.com as "Bicycle 807."  It's a modern deck made in the Erlanger plant but using the "Classic" box design that was abandoned by the company in 2009 in favor of the "Standard" box design that's more common today.  Of course, the design's been tweaked to have modern details like a current copyright date and legal info on the box bottom, and no address listed in place of the old Cincinnati address.  Magicians demanded a return of the old design because there's quite a few magic tricks that rely on the older-style box, plus there's some diehard card players that prefer it over the more modern look of the Standard box.

The name "807" came about because for a while, the boxes had a barcode and a serial number on the bottom, said serial number beginning with the digits "807."  That serial number's gone now, but the name stuck - the cards themselves are identical in all ways to what's being sold in the Standard boxes and have the "808" designation on the Ace of Spades and milestone on the Bike-riding King Joker
« Last Edit: March 01, 2017, 01:50:44 AM by Don Boyer »
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Re: My Ideal Aviator Box Design
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2017, 05:19:53 PM »
 

Kruser

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On a side note, I visited the Bicycle site recently and was surprised to see that the Aviator Heritage Edition has already been discontinued!

... This surprised me since I thought this would be more of a mass-market deck (maybe like Archangels).  There was no indication that this was a limited run ...

Does anyone know how many of these decks were printed? ... Glad I grabbed some while I could! - a great deck for the price!

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Re: My Ideal Aviator Box Design
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2017, 02:26:36 PM »
 

Don Boyer

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On a side note, I visited the Bicycle site recently and was surprised to see that the Aviator Heritage Edition has already been discontinued!

... This surprised me since I thought this would be more of a mass-market deck (maybe like Archangels).  There was no indication that this was a limited run ...

Does anyone know how many of these decks were printed? ... Glad I grabbed some while I could! - a great deck for the price!

Kruser

I wish I could say was surprised, but I'm not.  In theory, even their mass-market designs that are custom/non-standard aren't intended to be made forever.  I'm guessing that this one in particular was very popular, thus it sold out more quickly.
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