This is the first section to my review for one of the latest decks released by Theory11, Bee [red] Stingers. You can find these at Theory 11 or on Dan and Dave’s site. I write each of my reviews in two sections; the first one when first I get the deck and have worked with it a bit. Then I’ll write the second piece a while after the cards have been completely broken in as well as used in live performances.
Feel: The new edition of Stingers does not disappoint. The stock used for these is wonderful. The Aristocrat has a great snap to it while still being flexible. If you snap your cards a lot like I do you’ll love the noise they make. The stock also makes them extremely durable. I have a deck of Black Stingers that have been without a box for over a year and a half. They are basically my practice deck, I use them constantly; they get dropped, put on the floor, lost, you name it. Yet after all this for over a year they still fan, spread, and handle like new. Most other decks of cards go bad after a few months of normal use. Stingers not only last, but come out feeling great after extensive handling way past what other cards can take. That’s what I call durability. The only issue I’ve had so far is some clumping. To be clear, this is with the out-of-the-box Red Stingers. Clumping could only be a problem because the cards aren’t broken in so I’ll definitely touch on that more in the second piece of this review.
Design: Stingers have a one-of-a-kind back design. Mixing the diamond style back with a fade-out to the borders makes for an eye-catching look. Make it in red and you’ve got yourself one smooth looking deck. Putting the style of the original Stingers together with a darker shade of red was a great, but overdue, idea. Now that we’ve got them though, fun color-changing effects like the Chicago Opener.
Court Cards: The Red Bee Stinger deck’s court cards are devoid of any clashing oranges or bright blues. In their place are shades of black, gray, and red. The color scheme complements the backs nicely, giving the Stingers a stunning overall look.
Spot Cards: The spot cards have the standard look and layout of Bee and Bicycle decks of playing cards. The only notable difference is the deeper red which matches the rest of the deck. There seemed to be a trend of making smaller pips for a while, but I’m glad the pips on these and the Titaniums are normal sized.
Ace of Spades, Jokers, and Box: I’ll take the same approach as I did in my Bicycle Titanium Edition review and talk about all three of these at once. The Ace of Spades and Jokers are standard Bee cards with no alterations. The box is also the same as most bee decks, the difference being that the Stinger design is on the back. As you can see in the pictures it’s the same box as the original Stingers, just in red. One little thing I noticed was that the box has small silver metallic accents on almost every side. These little finishing touches and details are one of the many details that separates Theory11 from the competition.
So here are the ratings:
The Bee [red] Stingers are the combination of an already awesome deck of cards and good customer service. Theory11 listened to what we had to say about the black Stingers. They took this information and made all the changes possible, from stock to finish. The end result is a deck that’s not only visually appealing but handles like a dream. The Red Stingers are perfect for the card collector, the magician, or anyone who appreciates high-quality playing cards.
After a few months I’ll be writing the second piece to this review. It’ll cover feel after the deck has been completely broken in, and I’ll also talk about performance pros and cons.
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