· By Brad Fulton
HISTORY OF THE FULTON PLAYING CARD COMPANY
History of the Fulton Playing Card Co.
Brad Samuel Fulton has worked with Dan & Dave Buck since the beginning of the modern designer playing card industry. For their story READ THIS. (link to dd history)
in 2010 Brad Fulton had an epiphany. Following a traumatic accident Fulton saw a mysterious place in his dreams…Fulton’s Clip Joint. The neon light flickered. The smoke billowed. It was a place that oddly resembled his grandfather Sam Fulton.
Following a successful pitch to his friends Dan & Dave Buck, work began on this epic undertaking. The goal was lofty—to create the greatest deck of cards ever made—as well as capture an era and place Fulton loved and knew well—Post WW2 Los Angeles. Numerous illustrators were considered but Fulton knew deep down that only his friend Dan Phillips could bring the true nuances to life. Dan proceeded to turn the job down citing that “he didn’t know how to design a deck of cards.” Fulton knew better and the constant shakedown would begin. Dan relented and the true process began.
Fulton had amassed a huge collection of images to inspire and guide the deck—as well as films. The initial comps were bad. The project was in disarray , but the kinks would be worked out over many months and revisions. The light at the end of the tunnel emerged and a modern classic was born. Fulton’s Clip Joint would break the mold of what a deck of cards could be. It instantly transported you to 1946 Los Angeles.
Following the release of what many consider “The best deck of cards ever made”, Fulton had an Ace up his sleeve.
As early as 2008 Fulton had joked with The Buck Twins that he was “Ace Fulton, owner of the best casino in Vegas.” It wasn’t until late 2011 that the joke became inspiration for a groundbreaking deck of cards that would go on to reinvent the casino card genre. After years of witnessing The Buck Twins use their Jerry’s Nugget Cards from the 1970s, Fulton had long imagined what one could do with a casino styled deck from a bygone era. After spending an abnormal amount of time with rare deck samples from vintage casinos, Fulton decided that we first needed to “build” the sign for his namesake gambling palace. Dan Phillips was experimenting with 3D modeling and decided to make a physically correct sign that could be built in real life. That design project guided the path of creating the ultimate casino deck a la Fulton.
With a classic logo back, and a fictional account of the supposed casino in place, Ace FULTONS released in two colorways — Sunset Orange and Tobacco Brown. The success of Ace was immediate. A second colorway in classic red and blue came with a bonus black version (wrapped in foil) called “Midnight Fuel.” Fuel is now considered one of the essential card decks for collectors around the globe.
As an auteur In the world of playing cards, Fulton typically uses nostalgia and imagination to create a world around a deck. With insight from the past while looking ahead, Fulton has notched many firsts in the world of cards. From the individual custom pip on Clip Joint, to the idea of fictional locations—thinking outside the realm of the norm is always on the table. It’s even safe to assume the renewed interest in casino cards is largely in part to the success of Ace Fulton and his casino.
“I’d say I’m a failed filmmaker at heart. I envision an entire film for each deck I produce. From the location, to the score—each FULTONS Deck fits in its own universe that only exists in my dreams”