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Published January 26, 2024 Updated January 26, 2024

Sylvanian Families mini playing cards

Miniature cards in sheet form with Sylvanian Families characters on the courts and Jokers.

1987 Japan Epoch Co. Ltd Ephemera Miniature Toy Cards Add to Collection

Originally created by the Japanese company Epoch in 1985, Sylvanian Familes became hugely successful around the world, winning the British Association of Toy Retailers award for "Toy of the Year" three years in a row - in 1987, 1988 and 1989. An early playset with these small anthropomorphic animal figures included this sheet with miniature cards to press out and a separate box to make up (using glue)

Sylvanian Families mini playing cards published by Epoch Co. Ltd, Japan, 1987

Above: Sylvanian Families press-out sheet with 52 cards + 2 (identical) Jokers + 2 blank cards, published by Epoch Co. Ltd, Japan, 1987. Card size: 16.5 x 23.5 mm. © 1987 Epoch Co. Ltd

After seeing these cards at a trade show, I persuaded Tomy (who were the UK distributors at the time) to supply some of these sheets to be sold separately from the playsets.

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By Roddy Somerville

Member since May 31, 2022

Roddy started collecting stamps on his 8th birthday. In 1977 he joined the newly formed playing-card department at Stanley Gibbons in London before setting up his own business in Edinburgh four years later. His collecting interests include playing cards, postcards, stamps (especially playing cards on stamps) and sugar wrappers. He is a Past President of the Scottish Philatelic Society, a former Chairman of the IPCS, a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards and Curator of the WCMPC’s collection of playing cards. He lives near Toulouse in France.


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