The LUXX series
The original decks
In a previous article found here, I covered the entire range of LUXX decks produced by Paul Middleton from JP Games Ltd. Paul became involved in the playing card industry at just the right time, and saw how crowd-funding enabled independent designers to produce high quality playing cards that could successfully compete with the industry giants. His own vision was to create a series of top tier premium playing cards that combined luxury packaging, with a functional deck and an affordable price-point. And so was born the LUXX Playing Cards series. This is a delightful range of beautiful and highly regarded decks with a broad appeal, playable aesthetics, luxury look, and within the reach of anyone to purchase.
The original two decks that gave birth to the LUXX series were created by designer Randy Butterfield, and released in August 2014 in an Orange and a Blue version. This LUXX first edition proved to be incredibly popular, and successful beyond what Paul had imagined - today the only way to get them is via the secondary market. And so a second edition of this same basic design was produced, entitled LUXX Shadow. This took its starting point in the original design, but went with black as the dominating colour, and the addition of metallic inks. The matt black tuck boxes featured gold and silver foil for a truly exquisite look.
The later decks
Alongside the original members of the LUXX series, came three others: the red and blue LUXX Palme decks; the blue, green, red, and purple LUXX Elliptica decks; and the copper and silver LUXX Greille decks. The LUXX Elliptica was another Randy Butterfield design, while the LUXX Palme and LUXX Greille were both designed by Rick Davidson.
For those looking for even more glamour, the LUXX Gilt Edge Collection was produced with the addition of lavish gold gilding to the LUXX Shadow, Palme, and Elliptica decks, for an even more impressive look.
The newest deck
Now, with the brand new LUXX Redux, the LUXX series has another closely related sibling as part of its family. Designer Randy Butterfield has reworked the original design yet again, with the same basic design from the debut deck that proved to be such a hit, remodelled slightly to create yet another fresh new look.
"Redux" is a word meaning "brought back, revived", and that's exactly what this new deck is: a revived and reworked version of the classic and original LUXX deck. As such, this new deck isn't something that is an altogether brand new or independent design, but is a take on the two previous versions of the LUXX deck in a similar style: the original LUXX first edition and also the later second edition, the LUXX Shadow.
The back design and faces are extremely similar, with only a few small differences in colour. While the two previous editions had come in different colours, and the back design feature multiple colours and tones, the LUXX Redux deck is just a single deck released, and features just one colour.
The tuck box is made of a stiff and strong black matte material, and creates a look similar to the original. It is very durable, and should last a long time without getting easily dented or damaged.
But the first impression it creates is one of elegance and beauty, with gorgeous red foil adorning the matte black. The only printing at all on this box is this beautiful red foil, which stands out amazingly against the black material, and creates an amazing look. The intricate whirls all around the tuck case create a beautiful and classy looking deck box that instantly impresses, and the striking combination of red and black exudes sophistication and style.
The back design is the same as the previous editions, with just subtle tweaks, specifically a colour difference. A black background with red intricate whirls and patterns are formed on the back, creating a most elegant back. The red stands out from the black very well, and looks nice and elegant.
The cards have a white border on the edges, which helps to distinguish one card from another, and also helps to make the design stand out better. What is interesting is that the border against the design is not just a straight line next to the design, but dips in and out according to the design pattern, which also help to improve the elegance and style of the look of the back.
Court cards & Aces
All of the court cards have the standard look to them, and so are very easily recognisable and usable. The normal colours of the court cards however have been changed, using a less bright grey and black, as well as bands of splashes of red on the red courts and a gold on the black courts. The courts also have an elegant border which enhances the look of the cards.
The four Aces are all larger than standard, and full of intricate design and whirls which make them look great. The Ace of Spades has the most detail of them all, but the other Aces are also over-sized and ornate.
The faces confirm that this is one of the more elegant and classy looking decks of cards you'll find. Each individual pip looks the same shape as standard pips, and so is very recognisable in colour and shape, thus avoiding any confusion, and ensuring good playability. At the same time the pips have incorporated delicate dots around the edges, which add to the style and make them look so much more stylish and elegant.
The indices of all the cards are standard, and very easy to read and use because of this, especially when holding a hand of cards.
The two Jokers have been well designed, an image of two dark jesters throwing cards from one hand to the other over their heads. These are quite dark, which helps to build an aura of mystery about them, and creates a great look.
They also reprise the design of the card backs within the Jokers themselves, in two different shades of colour that correspond to those used for the court cards.
Like the rest of the LUXX series, the LUXX Redux deck was produced by industry leader Legends Playing Card Company. The stock of these cards is reasonably soft, and not too stiff, but it is still a quite durable stock, and can be compared to USPCC’s Bicycle stock.
The embossing pattern and finish is made up of small dimples evenly and closely spaced on the cards, and the cards slide over each other smoothly and nicely. While it says Elite finish on the box, to me the feel and look seems more similar to the Classic finish from Legends. Whatever the case, even after extensive use this quality finish has proven lasting and even, so the cards still spread and fan evenly after the deck has been in some use.
These cards have also been traditionally cut for a face-down faro shuffle, and have Legends diamond cut which creates super smooth edges that are second to none.
Overall, the LUXX Redux deck is a very elegant, classy and sophisticated deck. Being very standard yet having enough touches of larger elegance, this is an extremely usable deck, whether for the magician, cardist, or card player. I'm a big fan of designer Randy Butterfield, and admire the versatility and creativity evident in his many different designs. The LUXX Redux continues his good form, and its functional aesthetics and good looks should ensure that it has a very broad appeal and wide application. The deck seems somewhat standard, yet breathes an aura of classiness and sophistication that will be appreciated by the discerning eye.
This is a deck that will not sit idly on your shelf, but is designed to be used and to be inevitably admired. And yet the LUXX Redux is not at a price-point that puts it out of reach for all but the very serious collector. Affordable, durable, usable, and thoroughly beautiful inside and out - what more could you want?
Want to learn more?
JP Games Ltd: www.jpgamesltd.co.uk
Related pictorial reviews:
The complete LUXX series: Glittering gold-edged LUXX decks from JP Playing Cards
Randy Butterfield: All the playing card designs of a versatile Midnight Owl
Direct links for decks and series featured in this review:
LUXX Redux: www.jpgamesltd.co.uk/buy-playing-cards/luxx-playing-cards/LU...
LUXX Series: www.jpgamesltd.co.uk/buy-playing-cards/luxx-playing-cards
LUXX Gilt Edge Collection: www.jpgamesltd.co.uk/luxx-playing-cards/luxx-gilded-collecti...
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- Last edited Sat Sep 2, 2017 3:24 am (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Fri Sep 1, 2017 2:26 am