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.”