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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