Published by Nintendo in the late 1960s, this pack appears, at first sight, to be a standard pattern. However, a closer inspection reveals non-standard cartoon-character kings drinking beer, and red stars replacing the diamond suit. There is also a special joker celebrating Gambrinus, “the God of Beer” and a non-standard ace of spades.
Member since July 27, 2022
I graduated in Russian and East European Studies from Birmingham University in 1969. It was as an undergraduate in Moscow in 1968 that I stumbled upon my first 3 packs of “unusual” playing cards which fired my curiosity and thence my life-long interest. I began researching and collecting cards in the early 1970s, since when I’ve acquired over 3,330 packs of non-standard cards, mainly from North America, UK and Western Europe, and of course from Russia and the former communist countries.
Following my retirement from the Bodleian Library in Dec. 2007 I took up a new role as Head of Library Development at the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) to support library development in low-income countries. This work necessitated regular training visits to many sub-Saharan African countries and also further afield, to Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh – all of which provided rich opportunities to further expand my playing card collection.
Since 2019 I’ve been working part-time in the Bodleian Library where I’ve been cataloguing the bequest of the late Donald Welsh, founder of the English Playing Card Society.
A limited edition art print of the Jack of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.
A limited edition art print of the King of Diamonds 1984 woodblock joker.
“Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots” video game characters on playing cards, Japan, 2008
Complete contents of a sample book of advertising cards by De La Rue
Kyoto Souvenir playing cards by Nintendo aimed at the up and coming tourist industry, 1950s.
History meets pop culture in a 36-card set that pays tribute to Lenormand's legacy and the colourful...
Men's and ladies fashion playing cards published for the Seiko Corporation by Nintendo, Japan, 1971....
Glico Almond Chocolate playing cards with designs by Izumi Tamai, produced by Nintendo, Japan.
Standard international pattern playing cards made in occupied Japan, c.1950.
54 different colour photographs of steam locomotives from around the world.
Publicity pack for the German brewery Nordbräu with Bavarian pattern courts (adapted).
Sushi playing cards illustrating different types and styles of sushi, USA, 2004.
Disney themed playing cards featuring Mickey Mouse and his friends; available at Tokyo Disneyland in...
McDonald’s Playing Cards for the Japanese market featuring McDonald's characters that appear in comm...
Courts in medieval costume holding both French and Italian/Spanish suit-signs.
Promotional pack for a brand of Japanese whisky, featuring comic Wild West characters.
Advertising pack for Japanese fashion and lifestyle business featuring different national and region...
Colourful advertising pack for Fujitsu Limited, reminiscent of the flower power/psychedelic era.