The melding of mystic mainstays was celebrated when Cartamundi, the world’s leading manufacturer of playing cards, acquired the manufacturer of brands including Bicycle and Bee, The United States Playing Card Company, for a one-night-only installation of “Cartamundi’s House of Cardistry & Magic” event. The very special evening was hosted by Stefaan Merckx (CEO of Cartamundi) and Michael Slaughter (President of USPC) in the magically rebranded “As Is NYC” (located at 734 10th Avenue in NYC). World-renowned cardists and magicians were in attendance to showcase their skills with their favorite close-up magic, of course using their favorite playing card brand.
We had a chance to speak with some of the performers, including the incredible Devonte Rosero (devontemagic.com) and TJ Tana (tjtana.com), two world-renowned entertainers who have competed in cities around the globe. While these two professionals amazed us with acts of cardistry, we asked what exactly that specialty was… According to Bicyclecards.com, it is defined as “the non-magical manipulation of playing cards with intent to display creativity, performance art, and skill.”
Within the last decade, cardistry has evolved from a visual card demonstration used solely by magicians to a social media phenomenon that’s taking the world by storm. So much so that those videos featuring cardistry tricks have collected tens of millions of views, and thanks in part to the launch of Cardistry-Con, the trajectory will only continue from there. Magic, on the other hand, has reinvented itself in the last decade. Platforms like America’s Got Talent and social media have introduced the thrill of the card industry that originated hundreds of years ago to a whole new audience.
— Michael Slaughter, President of USPC
Both Devonte and TJ certainly exemplified the incredible levels of skill in cardistry that captivated everyone who was lucky enough to witness their act. Speaking with Stefaan Merckx during the event, we discussed the loyalty that performers have to a very specific brand, and even style, of playing card that they will use. The growth of the Cartamundi brand with the acquisition of USPC should encourage evolution of the playing card industry. The development of all the brands in the expanded family can only improve.
For me, as a full-time working professional magician and mentalist, I tend to use strictly Bicycle and Tally-Ho backed playing cards. Not just because of the quality, but for its commonplace appearence. If someone I am performing for senses that the props I am using are not ordinary or free of gimmicks, it could hinder the illusion.
— TJ Tana
To learn more about Cartamundi and all the products and brands they bring to the public, please visit cartamundi.com.