It all started with Jerry's Nugget playing cards. Back in 1970, when those decks were created, Jerry's Nugget Casino owners Jerry Lodge and Jerry Stamis had no idea how much influence their decks would have on the current world of playing cards. A deck of 54 cards, once sold for only half a buck in the casino's gift shop, now sold for over 300 dollars. And that is only the beginning of the overly commercialized world of cards.
Pretty soon after the price of the Jerry's Nugget cards went gaga, popular magic and cardistry sellers noticed the profits they could make with playing cards and started creating their own decks of cards, living up to the unwritten law "the more limited, the more wanted". Playing cards became the hearts of many companies and their marketing strategies, and the number of limited decks on the market increased, and still increases exponentially, just like the amount of people and companies that create them.
Now, there is nothing wrong with making and selling playing cards, but there are some major issues that need to be taken care of:
1) Playing cards are no longer what they used to be. Instead, it became design accessories that could be used for no purpose other than to collect or to show off because the cards usually look too suspicious and gimmicky for card games and magic tricks. The main problem is that due to the fact that some of the most popular magic companies massively hype such cards, newbies think every magician and cardist should have them, especially when they see their idols use and promote them.
2) Due to a lack of transparency of the companies, no one knows the actual amounts and values of such decks. Some of the sellers keep giving away their so called limited decks in contests and along with other purchases which means the values of the decks keep dropping without the owners realizing that.
3) Nowadays there are odd trends based on these playing cards purely made to make more profit from, such as uncut sheets. Uncut sheets of playing cards are sold for at least over ten times more than cut and boxed decks of cards while they were only manufactured half way through and thus cheaper to produce. You cannot use them other than for collecting and even for that they don't suit their purpose well due to the space they require in order to display or store them. Also, although uncut sheets usually run in very limited amounts, their value doesn't increase as much as the companies that sell them would like their customers to believe.
In 2008, we had the idea of producing the most expensive and valuable paper playing cards in the world. We did not feel the need to rush anything, but after our successful 2011 April Fools' prank in which we promoted obviously fake Jerry's Nugget cards and noticed a huge, serious interest in those decks, we figured something had to be done against the overly commercialized world of playing cards fast. Thus, the Art Fighters Playing Card Company was born and, as our name suggests, we fight the art like crime fighters fight crime, simply because we do not agree with the current conditions.
Every deck we produce includes a subliminal message showing the disturbed reality of the world of playing cards in order to confront such playing card creators and sellers with their own absurdity. Then again, our decks are very usable for magic and card games, we provide transparency, and we do not sell uncut sheets.
Mark is a professional Dutch entertainer and producer in the arts of music and magic, as well as CEO, founder and in-house designer of the AFPCC and its mother companies. As a magician, Mark is better known as Mystery Mark, which explains why his personal cards are called Mystery Mark's Miracles. Being a true artist, Mark is willing to do whatever it takes to make people think about the arts and the overly commercialized positions they are in.
Mark is the executive producer of the Miracles playing cards and is the designer of the Compass 822 decks and Miracles tuck cases.
Richard (Product Manager)
Richard is the DarkSleightZ product manager, and a certified Master of Communication who is hired by several companies because of that profession. As a hobbyist magician, Richard got in touch with Mark because of a friend who was in Mark's audience and figured the two should meet up. A great friendship and partnership followed.
Richard is responsible for the product listings and communication.
Travis (United States Representative)
Travis is an amateur magician who got in touch with DarkSleightZ through their community website. Because the AFPCC was in need of a trustworthy representative in the United States and since we got to know Travis personally for almost a year, we figured he was the person to consider for this job.
Travis is responsible for the fund-raising of one of our upcoming decks of cards.
Daniël (Transportation Manager)
Daniël is a handyman who is continuously looking for small jobs to make a little extra money. He happens to be the brother of a good friend of Richard, which is how he got in contact with us. Because of his gift to remember names and related information like no other, the job of being our transportation manager was really meant for him.
Daniël is responsible for sending out all of the orders and handling returned decks.
Joris is a film maker, web designer, all-round graphic designer and ex-schoolmate of Mark. After doing a university project together with Mark, his design skills were recognized and he was asked to finish the Miracles playing cards design which Jurgen (below) had started. Joris completed this task successfully.
Joris is responsible for the current, final design of the Miracles playing cards.
Jurgen used to be in the same class as Mark in high school. He used to be one of Mark's magic students, better known as EMO. Being a hobbyist designer, he was asked to design an original deck of cards for Mark, named the Miracles playing cards, with M- and perhaps some S-shapes. Jurgen successfully completed a basis for the backs of the cards, but could not finish the design due to a lack of time.
Jurgen is responsible for the basis of the Miracles playing cards back design.