Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My X-men Collection: Playing Cards

I imagine most people are going to scratch their heads about this entry, but I'm posting it for the benefit of the few of you like me who will think it's neat. I'll do my best to make it interesting for everyone regardless of whether or not you care about the X-men or playing cards.

At the height of my X-men obsession I used to collect "everything with an X on it." That's pretty much how my parents and I referred to it - they both knew that if there was something X-men related to be found in stores, I would want it. This largely remained the same even after I stopped reading the comics.

I believe I found these playing cards at Walmart. I actually bought two sets - one to keep sealed in plastic as a collector's item and another to use. Even though I could easily play solitaire on our home computer, I liked to play with real playing cards whenever I could even before I bought these. I owned a book with different variations of solitaire and I did my best to recreate a version that wasn't in the book but which I had on my computer - Cruel. There were two advantages to playing "manually" - I could cheat rather than shuffling the cards and starting all over, and I could play in my room and listen to my music as loud as I wanted without disturbing anyone. Once these cards were purchased, they were the only deck I used to play on.

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I placed the card box directly on my scanner to give you an idea of just how well loved these cards are.

What I really liked about this deck is the way it is set up - there is one X-men per number and a different image of that character for each suit. The deck is full of 90s X-men art goodness. Because this is not something you can easily get your hands on anymore, I have scanned each and every card to show you. They're a bit aged around the edges, but you'll note I was always careful to never bend them as I basically treated them with as much love as my comics. Click on any of the images to head over to Photobucket and see them in larger details.

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As you can see, the deck also came with two rules cards for X-men War and Evil Mutants(Crazy Eights) which are identical in rules to the games you probably already know how to play. Because I was normally playing alone, I took advantage of the evil mutants for a completely different purpose. My solitaire book contained a game that I don't remember the name of anymore because I changed it to "Rescue the X-men."

BONUS: I have recorded a video showing you how to play "Rescue the X-men"! Please excuse the babbling and otherwise awkwardness in this video, as this is literally the first time I've ever done this and I was quite nervous about it. I also probably could have done some better editing, but I literally thought this up, recorded, and edited it all together in the span of a few hours.



This card deck and the fun I had with it actually ended up spawning a playing card collection for me. I now have Peanuts, Spider-man, Monty Python, Sailor Moon, Disney Villains, Looney Tunes, and more. As you got a sneak peak in the video, I also have more X-men cards!

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Around the time of the movies they released another set. These are, in my opinion, not as nice as my original set, partially because they only use one image per number, and also because they pulled images from Ultimate X-men and reuse characters for multiple numbers. While slicker in appearance and possibly better made, I just don't care for this set.

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These are the back of both sets of cards - the original set is on the right and the second set on the left.

At this point I bet you are thinking that I'm done. But then of course you're probably seeing more images and text below this, so you know I'm not. What's left? Around the same time as the more recent deck above, I also found X-men UNO!

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This one came in a fancy metal tin. While the cover provides you with a preview, I'm scanning all the cards anyway. In this set there is still just one image per number/card type, but with so many more in a game of UNO, I find this understandable.

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As you can imagine, I'm very partial to the "Draw 2" card, and the 6 isn't half bad either. I also like the way Gambit is throwing four cards on the "Draw 4" card. Looking at these again it took me awhile to remember who number 8 even was. I could tell you but I'll leave it up to you to guess in the comments.

The one unique UNO card for this set is "Mutate." With this card, once putting it down you had the option to dump all but one of your cards for the same amount from the deck OR you could force someone else to do the same. I never actually played this with a group, so I can't tell you how well it would work in practice. It seems kind of pointless beyond possibly making someone lose their valuable Draw 4 cards.

That's all I've got, at least until I happen to spy another set out there. If you happen to know of a different set beyond what I have here, please let me know about them!

10 comments:

  1. I really should have expected him to get in the way.. he lives for that. Of course if I had kicked him out the room you just would have heard constant meowing in the background instead. :)

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  2. +JMJ+

    I was seriously mesmerised while you were playing that game. Oh, no! What if she can't rescue the X-men?!?!

    Now you make me wish I had X-men playing cards of my own. =P

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  3. LOL! In the beginning I was all nervous and self conscious.. but then I started playing the game and I was just saying out loud all the things I think in my head when I'm playing anyway, and almost forgot the camera was even there. :)

    You could print out the pictures and then glue them on index cards... yeah, that's a bit much, but I guarantee you that's exactly what 12 yr old me would have done if I didn't have these. :)

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  4. +JMJ+

    It wouldn't have been "a bit much" for twelve-year-old me, either, I assure you! ;-)

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  5. Dude, please say the identity of the number 8 character in the UNO game. We've had a horrible 2 hours trying to figure out who she is.
    PS. PRETTY PLEASE!!!

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    1. 2 hours? Oh no! :) That is Kitty Pryde. There was a brief time after Wolverine lost his adamantium and had bone claws that she took one of the ones that had broken off and attached it to her glove. It was pretty silly, so it's understandable why they didn't keep it that way too long.

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  6. I was recently given a 90's art set of xmen cards missing jokers and wondered if you would be able to give a rough age on the cards?

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    1. Is it one of the sets mentioned above or another entirely? Because these are the only ones I'm familiar with. I probably got that first set around 92 or 93, at the height of the cartoon's popularity.

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    2. it was the 90's art one as above

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