One of the more bemusing trends I've encountered while trawling through Kickstarter for playing cards is the tendency towards absurdly elaborate, often literally jewel-encrusted, tuck boxes.
"Wow," I say, as I read how many tons of gold foil are layered around the cardboard box the cards come in, "that's a lot of time and effort put into something that's going to end up abandoned under my bed."
Like a lot of aspiring (and actual) magicians, I prefer my cards to hang loose - to go commando as it were. I have a few tuck boxes on hand for gimmicks that require them, but most of the time my decks are allowed to graze free-range around the house. Fortunately, the geniuses over at Ellusionist are willing to cater to my hedonistic naked deck ways.
Reloads are just decks of cards that come in a simple cellophane wrap instead of a traditional tuck box. That change knocks about 45% off the price. Right now Reloads are only available for Sea Green Keepers, but that's okay because Keepers are great.
What are Keepers?
Adam Wilber's Keepers, in my humble estimation, are better Bicycles. Designed with performers in mind, Keepers have standard fronts save for the ace of spades and the club royals and beautiful, light-house themed backs that are meant to pass for Bicycle's gold standard at a glance (the Rider Backs that is, not the awful, custom flaming mariachi skeleton special editions people with bad taste can't get enough of).
The key difference is that Keepers are thinner, a little firmer, sharper (no joke, I'm fairly certain I could cut someone's throat with one of my Keeper Blues), and infinitely tougher. The only downside is they cost about three times as much as Bicycles. Reloads kind of solve that problem. The introductory price puts the Sea Green Keeper Reloads at just $3.50 a deck. That's close to Bicycle territory. Buy 12 or more and the price gets knocked down to $2.98 a deck. That's not "oh yeah check out my 400 Bicycle deck bulk order," cheap, but it's cheap for a deck this good.
I would totally be stocking up right now, only I live in the UK and shipping is a thing. That being said, this is a great deal for a supply of cards that will last you ages. Here's hoping Ellusionist starts to offer other decks in this new naked format.