The Orbit Deck: Fourth EditionChris "Orbit" Brown
Welcome back Orbit crew, it’s been a while. The Fourth Edition Orbit deck is setting all new standards and going places the Orbit brand has never gone before. Many things have evolved and as always plenty of time and dedication was put into the project. The Orbit deck was originally crowd funded on Kickstarter back in 2015, the second edition came out in 2016, the third in mid 2017, and the Fourth here in late 2017. From here on in there will be 2 Orbit deck releases each year until 2020 when we reach our 10th and final edition. Each edition along the way will be it’s very own unique design and feel because each edition should bring something more than simply another color. There were 7500 third edition Orbits printed and we sold out in 23 days. This time around we printed 23,000 because we don’t care about breaking sales records or selling out in one hour, we care about everybody getting a chance to own these so they can complete their Orbit deck collection. Our customer base has grown exponentially and we think we are ready for the expansion of volume with our 23,000 decks weighing in at a little over 2 and half tons. Recently a lot of decks have been printed in short supply and higher price. We believe $12 is a very reasonable price for a deck of custom playing cards. Also the shipping cost is the exact cost it takes for us to ship and not a penny more. The people’s interest in the Orbit brand was so magnified that I decided it was time to add to the Orbit team. This year we have a new Marketing & Sales Director, Jeanine Mencia who will be handling all wholesale orders and customer emails at support@theOrbitbrown.com. If you’d like your local magic shop to carry Orbits, give them Jeanine’s email address and we’ll work something out. So, now that all that’s out of the way, lets get into the good stuff.
Design has always been an important aspect for the Orbit brand. If you notice, the first three Orbit decks had very little other designs competing with the bold central O symbol. This time around we decided to change that and bring a new design that would share the spotlight at a glance from afar. After speaking with Daniel Schneider (The 3rd edition Orbit deck, Orbit Joker, Ace of Spades graphic artist) about a dream I had with the solid white lines coming from the white border onto the back design itself along with the star field he said, “Let me give it a shot.” He then made this design, we went through only a couple renditions before he nailed it. I knew it was ready. I knew I wanted to see an Orbital path when the cards were fanned or spread. The borders were made a bit thinner than before to ensure the white shuttle line was noticeable in the spread. The black and white combo makes this deck a visual treat that will be hard to top. Daniel Schneider himself even said “It’s going to be hard to top this.” This deck just like the other Orbits feature the same duplicate jokers, double backer, and a duplicate 8 of spades. Don’t think I forgot about the one way design. It’s there, even harder to find than before in my opinion. Enjoy the hunt and email me at chris@theOrbitbrown.com if you can’t find it. I’d be happy to reveal it for you.
SPECS & FEEL
Ok, lets take a look under the hood. The fourth edition Orbit deck is the first in the Orbit lineup for a lot of things. It’s the first one to feature Premium (Bee Stock) quality. This Premium stock is also crushed which means the cards are thinner than traditional Bee playing cards. The only problem with crushed classic stock (Bicycle Stock) is that they don’t last as long unless you take great care of your cards. Crushed Premium lasts for a very very long time regardless of how rough you are. These cards were meant to go the distance and maintain their integrity longer than the third edition Orbits. The fourths were created on the Web Press instead of the sheet fed press. The sheet fed press is for smaller runs of prints while the Web Press is usually for larger jobs. And YES, there is a difference in the final feel. Since we printed 23 thousand decks this time, we went with the Web Press. After handling these cards every day for the past three weeks I can tell you that they still feel amazing and fan perfectly. I made sure to take these cards with me to Disneyland and mess with the cards regardless of if my hands were just washed or not. I have even dropped a few cards as well. I haven’t used a card clip and have been sitting on them in my back left pocket wherever I go. I want to see how they hold up and they are impressing me more and more each day. They are flexible like crushed bikes but feel sturdier. Bee playing cards have always feel soft to the touch as if the cards had a cloth feel around the edges. I even looked at both edges with a macro lens of premium stock vs classic stock. It was obviously which one was which. The Premium looked more like fabric than cardboard. I’m pretty sure there aren’t very many crushed Premium stock cards created on the Web Press out there. I was blown away when I first held them. It’s always a nervous moment the first time I feel a new Orbit deck. Imagine my joy when I exclaimed “These are the best feeling cards I have ever felt in my life!” Aside from that, these cards are traditionally cut like the Third Editions to give that old school vibe to the cards and to ensure easy faros.
THE KING OF HEARTS STORY
Back in the summer of 2016 we learned of my Dad’s slowly developing dementia and then one year later we discovered cancer and other problems that required immediate surgery. The procedure was going to be around 8 hours and we were told that this procedure was very risky. We all knew that there was a chance that he might not make it through. My dad knew the risks but if they didn’t do the surgery he would have died within a month more than likely. I remember getting to the hospital at around 6 am. I was there with my brother, my sister, and my mom. I went in to go talk to him before the surgery. I walked in and he looked nervous but happy to see me. I knew this could potentially be the last time I get to talk to my dad and he knew it as well. So instead of talking about how this might be our last talk I decided it was best to keep his eye on a prize. Hope is the greatest thing you can give somebody who is about to dance with death. I told him the following…
“Hey so, dad. I wanted to run an idea by you. I’d like you to be in my next 7 Orbit decks. That way no matter what, you’ll live forever in my cards. My friend Daniel Schneider can put your face onto one of the kings. Which king do you want to be?”I wanted him to be the king of hearts but at the last second I decided it was best to let him make the choice. I told him all the options and he said, “Hearts!” I was so happy that we were both on the same page. There was a small moment when he forgot about his fears and he was so excited to be one of the Orbit kings. Right before I left I told him that the surgery will be like time travel for him. For me it would be 8 hours, for him it would be instantaneous. He’d leap 8 hours into the future. His look was filled with uncertainty, fear, and helplessness. He was always strong for me as a kid so I thought it was a good time to return the favor by showing him that same strength. I didn’t shed a single tear. It was all smiles and hope. He then told me how proud of me he was. I gave him a hug, told him I loved him, and that I’d see him in 8 hours. With each hour that passed it meant things were going according to plan. Our anxiety was reducing but strangely increasing as each hour passed. The doctor came in looking like a tired zombie and said the surgery was a complete success! I don’t remember anything he said after that due to my excitement. He got out of the hospital about a month later. Every Tuesday since then I come over to my parents house to hang out with my dad for a few hours. We are currently watching 2 episodes of Dexter on Netflix each week and we are about to finish season 2. He said that’s his favorite part of the week. It’s now our ritual and I have no intention of stopping. I love my time with my dad and he loves it as well. I told him the other week “I’m glad you’re not dead dad, so now you can see how the King of Hearts turned out!” He laughed at that. I got the Black Orbits on November 1st. I gave him his Black Orbit deck on November 14th. He then put it with his collection of other Orbits and told me how proud of me he was. The reason why the King of Hearts is missing a heart corner pip is to remind me that he faced death and was given a second chance at life. I feel like we all get one of those second chances. The heart remaining is his second life. When I was driving him home a month after his surgery I told him that he’s on extra time that he wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for his successful surgery.
These aren’t just cards to me, they are a part of me. PS. My wife Holly is the Queen of Diamonds which was a surprise I told her about on her birthday on September 5th. Thank you all for being a part of the Orbit brand. Much more to come. Until next time.