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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.

Naipes Fantasio

Naipes Fantasio by Vigor S.A.C. e I., c.1960

Naipes Fantasio by Vigor S.A.C. e I., c.1960

Naipes Fantasio was one of Vigor's brands of Anglo-American style playing cards, alongside Naipes Pokerín and Las Rosas.

Naipes Fantasio by Vigor S.A.C e I., 1960

Above: front and back of sealed deck of Naipes Fantasio by Vigor S.A.C e I., 1960. 52 cards + 2 jokers in box. The ace of hearts has a green 'Marianne' tax stamp and the deck has a 1 Peso orange tax band around it. The set also contains two leaflets


Naipes Fantasio by Virgo S.C.A., c.1975

Virgo S.C.A. existed for a short while around c.1975-80. It appears that the name ‘Virgo’ was an anagram of ‘Vigor’ but was soon discontinued. It is a mystery what happened to Virgo S.C.A. but the Vigor business subsequently became known as Gráfica 2001 / Naipes La Española who are still in existence today. The court cards in this example are exact copies of Fournier. The Kings and Jacks don't all have little thin moustaches as in the earlier editions of Naipes Pokerin by Vigor.   See the Box

Naipes Fantasio by Virgo S.C.A., Buenos Aires, c.1975 Naipes Fantasio by Virgo S.C.A., Buenos Aires, c.1975

Above: Naipes Fantasio by Virgo S.C.A., Buenos Aires, c.1975. The address is San Pedro 5770, Buenos Aires. The Jokers show a dragon and castle with the word "fantasio" beneath. The reverse shows a gaucho and an ox cart, double-ended. The box states "cartulina importada" so supposedly the cards were printed in Argentina on the foreign cardboard.


Naipes Fantasio by Gráfica 2001 (Successors to Naipes Vigor & Virgo S.C.A.), 2004.

Naipes Fantasio for Teacher's Highland Cream by Gráfica 2001, 2004

Above: Naipes Fantasio with 4 special aces for Teacher's Highland Cream Scotch Whisky manufactured by Gráfica 2001, 2004. 52 + 2 jokers in Box.