Wednesday, 18 March 2020

The best Star Trek playing cards?

There are plenty of Star Trek playing cards out there, they're one of those things that are pretty easy to slap a picture of Captain Kirk on the back and think yourself an exciting merchandise maker. So it's a very welcome moment when a licensee does something more interesting with what could be a very ordinary product....

Forbidden Planet have just done that, with the launch of a new crossover set of playing cards that fully integrate Star Trek into the deck; each suit is based on a particular Star Trek series, with the set including TOS, TNG, DS9, and Voyager, each represented by key characters and their respective Starfleet deltas/combadges, or for DS9 the Bajoran insignia. To make things extra clear, each suit is a different colour too.

The casts of characters for each of the series are:
  • TOS (yellow): Kirk (King), Uhura (Queen), Spock (Jack) and USS Enterprise NCC-1701 (Ace).
  • TNG (red): Picard (King), Troi (Queen), Riker (Jack) and USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D (Ace).
  • DS9 (purple): Sisko (King), Kira (Queen), Odo (Jack) and Deep Space 9 (Ace).
  • Voyager (blue): Janeway (King), Seven of Nine (Queen), The Doctor (Jack), and USS Voyager NCC-74656 (Ace).
The numbered cards all use the relevant insignia designs. And there are also three joker cards in the ser: Q, Garak and Quark with Tribbles. Here's a selection of the designs (my only quibble is surely Doctor Crusher should be the TNG queen!):

Great stuff! This set is currently up for pre-order, with an expected May release.

Aquarius, who have made several different sets of Star Trek playing cards in recent years, have also been getting a bit more creative with their most recent releases. I don't think they're done as brilliant a job as Forbidden Planet, but bravo for trying! Here for instance is their "Tao of Spock" set, which a little oddly features ONLY SPOCK! Each card includes a Spock quote!

Or how about this tricksy playing card game, which offers some sort of secondary game the cards can be used for, as well as functioning as a regular deck of playing cards.

Of there more recent releases, the least creative is this curious set of two decks of TOS cards; the character-photos set was previously released on it's own, joined now by a second ships and insignia themed set.

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