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  1. #1
    Joe Hadsall's Avatar :: Content developer
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    Playing card finds: Virginia Slims deck

    Not really blogworthy, but I know a bunch of us love cards, so I thought I'd share a unique deck I found a couple of weekends ago at a Joplin flea market. Some pics are at the bottom.

    It's a promotional deck for Virginia Slims, marketing its then-new catchphrase, "You've come a long way, baby." Because marketing a carcinogenic cigarette to women is basically the same thing as breaking through the glass ceiling and paying equal wages, right, ladies? Don't y'all feel empowered now? I'm biased against cigarettes, but biased for cards, and these are good ones. They have a very smooth finish; not USPC's typical air-cushioning but a smooth plastic coating. The stock is pretty thin. I'm impressed with how it handles: Fans pretty well and faroes decently and easily.

    As nice as the stock and finish is, I love the design even more. The spot cards feature Victorian trimming around the indices, and the pips are custom designed. The face cards feature vintage-styled portraits of ladies in medieval garb. The joker is some goofy looking man, grinning much like that jerk surrounded by women yet doesn't actually have a chance with any of them, despite the favorable ratio. The backs feature a repetition of that catchphrase in red letters on gold background. The aces are all bigger and yellow with red or blue "VS" designs, depending on the suit.

    This deck has 55 cards: The extra promo card has a message: "These Virginia Slims Victorian Playing Cards have been designed to remind you that there once was a time when women were never ever allowed to play cards, much less smoke an occasional cigarette. But times do change. So cut the cards and as you deal another hand, remember: You've come a long way, baby." Copyright Phillip Morris, 1985. The box is in OK shape; one of the jokers' backs has some discoloration likely caused by spilled liquid.

    I picked them up for $2. The guy who sold them to me actually had a tale of woe: The deck was sealed until recently, when some kid opened the box when parents weren't watching.



    “What’s the point of that, I wonder? I mean, I get how they did it. I just ain’t seeing the why.”
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  2. #2
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    I love the face cards, and the backs!

    Good find!

  3. #3
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    I saw the back and was like 'Hmm, they look okay' then I saw the fronts and was like 'OH MY GOODNESS THOSE ARE AMAZING.'

    Seriously, I absolutely love the portrait style of them, and the face cards are great.

  4. #4
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    Wow, very nice cards, i love the big pips on the aces. and looks great in that fan, back and front :)

  5. #5
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    I picked up 2 packs of these from a magic dealer in Philadelphia a long time ago. I don't think I ever opened them so it was nice to see what they looked like in the pics provided by Joe. In addition to the red ones shown, I also have a blue deck somewhere.

    -Calvin

  6. #6
    Ty Lee's Avatar :: Elite
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    any other info on them?

    When did they get produced? Are they still in production? I ask things like that so I know how possible it would be for me to run across a set. If they're in production now, I'd love to order some. Were they part of some point collection promo, like camel does? As an avid collector of cards, I'm dying to know. I've always dreamed of a Victorian deck. I even check out Estate sales and shops in hope of finding a real vintage deck like that. But a mock up will do, since I've got a killer "Dead Man's Hand" routine in the back of my head for them.
    Watch me prestadigigoo, prostigoogigate, pull a rabbit out this hat!

    Ty

  7. #7
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    Fan-freaking-tastic. They look wonderful!

  8. #8
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    A quick google search turned up a couple on ebay that were pretty cheep.

    Virginia Slims 1985 Phillip Morris Playing Card

  9. #9
    Joe Hadsall's Avatar :: Content developer
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    I need to update my post. I bought two more decks from a guy on eBay for about $7. Woot! I say "woot" only because Arvind hates that word.
    “What’s the point of that, I wonder? I mean, I get how they did it. I just ain’t seeing the why.”
    ~Malcolm Reynolds

  10. #10
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    They look very interesting, especially the Joker design, looks nice.

    Good find.

    -Jesse
    Currently working on:
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  11. #11
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    Those look awesome. I have a Marlboro deck but it's nothing special. I found a deck still sealed hidden inside of an old car before. It looks like its from the 50s or 60s. I looked online, but its not worth much and you can get them real cheap.

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