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Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first entered popular culture. Over the centuries packs of cards, in all shapes and sizes, have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. All over the world, whatever language is spoken, their significance is universal. Their popularity is also due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

Matrix Reloaded

Matrix Reloaded playing cards published anonymously, 2003.

Matrix Reloaded spanish-suited playing cards, based on the science fiction action film, published anonymously, 2003.

Matrix Reloaded playing cards published anonymously, 2003 Matrix Reloaded playing cards published anonymously, 2003 Matrix Reloaded playing cards published anonymously, 2003 Matrix Reloaded playing cards published anonymously, 2003 Matrix Reloaded playing cards published anonymously, 2003

Above: Matrix Reloaded playing cards published anonymously, 2003. 40 cards in box. Twenty different scenes from the film are repeated so that matching games can be played to develop memory skills.

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996.

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Pepys Games

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The Story of Pepys Games by Rex Pitts

Pulp Pin-Up

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Classic 1940s Pulp Pin-Up covers on playing cards from China, c.2010.

Jigstar

Jigstar

Jigstar film star card game by Murphy Games Ltd, 1936.

The Bristol Pack

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The Bristol Pack, an exhibition of playing cards designed by Bristol artists, 2005.

Norwegian Troll Cards

Norwegian Troll Cards

Norwegian Troll Cards published by Aune Forlag of Trondheim, c.2000.

Crikey!

Crikey!

Crikey! Classic British Comics playing cards published by Bird Playing Cards, 2013.

101 Dalmatas

101 Dalmatas

101 Dalmatas by Naipes Fournier, 1995,

World of Harry Potter

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World of Harry Potter playing cards produced by Winning Moves under Waddingtons Number 1 brand, 2019.

Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII is a role-playing video game.

Bicycle Cybertech

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Bicycle Cybertech playing cards inspired by cyberpunk genre, illustrated by Jamie Meza, 2019.

Les Géants d’un Mythe

Les Géants d’un Mythe

Les Géants d'un Mythe created by François Poulain and manufactured by Grimaud, 1983.

Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire, 2005.

Emoticon

Emoticon

Emoticon playing cards designed by Buy Design Studios, 2016.

Lego Batman Movie

Lego Batman Movie

Lego Batman Movie playing cards, 2017

Monty Gum ‘Stars Play’

Monty Gum ‘Stars Play’

‘Stars Play’ card set published by Monty Gum, Leiden, 1988.

Snow White 2nd edition

Snow White 2nd edition

Snow White 2nd edition published by Pepys Games, 1951.

Snow White 1st edition

Snow White 1st edition

Snow White card game 1st edition published by Castell Brothers Ltd (Pepys), 1937.

Hercules

Hercules

Hercules card game published by Herclio Fournier, 1997.

A Goofy Movie

A Goofy Movie

A Goofy Movie card game published by Heraclio Fournier, 1996.

Mickey and the Beanstalk

Mickey and the Beanstalk

Mickey and the Beanstalk card game devised by Ern Shaw for Pepys Games, 1947.

007 Die Another Day

007 Die Another Day

“007 Die Another Day” James Bond themed playing cards, 2002.

Dan Dare

Dan Dare

Dan Dare sci-fi card game based upon Frank Hampson’s pictures in the Eagle comic, published in 1953.

Gulliver’s Travels

Gulliver’s Travels

Gulliver’s Travels by Pepys Games, based on the cartoon film, 1940.

Film Stars

Film Stars

Film Stars from the 1960s with photography by Sam Levin.

Star Kings

Star Kings

Star Kings playing cards inspired by space opera, 2017.

Calavera Playing Cards

Calavera Playing Cards

Calavera playing cards designed by Jirs Huygen for Cartamundi, 2015

Hogwarts

Hogwarts

Harry Potter Hogwarts playing cards, c.2016.

Wizard of Oz

Wizard of Oz

Wizard of Oz card game published by Pepys, 1940,

Davy Crockett

Davy Crockett

Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier... card game published by Pepys Games, 1956.

Moviestars

Moviestars

Moviestars from the golden age of cinema by Offason AB of Sweden, c.2000s.

Four Feather Falls

Four Feather Falls

Tower Press “Four Feather Falls Snap” No 6587, based on successful TV series, c1960.

Story Magazine

Story Magazine

Dutch singers, TV and theatre artist playing cards for “Story” magazine, 1978.

Storks Snap

Storks Snap

Snap game based on characters from the film “Storks” c.2016.

Cinderella

Cinderella

Cinderella card game published by Pepys Games, 1954.

Mickey Kids

Mickey Kids

Mickey Kids playing cards from Disney.

One Piece Hana Fuda

One Piece Hana Fuda

One Piece Hanafuda King card set published by Beverly Enterprises Inc, Tokyo, 2010

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

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Lara Croft Tomb Raider 20 Years Commemorative Deck, 2016.

DRRR!!

DRRR!!

DRRR!!, short for Durarara!!, is an anime adaptation of a Japanese light novel written by Ryohgo Narita.

Riders of the Range

Riders of the Range

Riders of the Range by Pepys, 1953.

Schlager Film Revue

Schlager Film Revue

Schlager Film Revue “Hot and Sweet” Quartett für Teenager, 1964.