playing cards

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J.J. Abrams gave a TEDtalk back in 2007 telling the audience all about a mystery box his grandfather gave him that he never opened. This box does open and inside you’ll find some special playing cards.

Inside the box, which is sealed with an alphanumeric lock and branded with the Mystery Box emblem, are 12 decks of Mystery Box Playing Cards that are individually wrapped in letterpress kraft paper with the Mystery Box emblem on the front. There is also a short letter from J.J. Abrams included within.

The box and the cards were designed by in part by Abrams and for each deck sold, Bad Robot Productions will make a $1 donation to 826 National, a non-profit that promotes creative writing workshops in schools.

See more pictures and the TEDtalk video after the break…

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Cthulhu, terrifying as he/it is, is one of those legends people can never get enough of. The creature has inspired tons of art and stories and games – it’s impossible to count. And now, there’s a Kickstarter project working with Chaosium Games (an official licensee) to make tarot cards, playing cards, and an anthology. The artwork is nothing short of drool-worthy. The project is funded and has 11 days left so you can still show your support and get first in line for the initial wave of product.

Check out examples of the cards and the Kickstarter video after the break.

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The Princess Bride is one of those stories I never get tired of. I love watching the movie over and over again; I love the designs and characters and memorable quotes. Given that, I’m pretty sure these officially licensed playing cards were meant just for me – and every other fan of the movie. Every card in the pretty deck is inspired by the film. Based on examples such as the card pictured above, they are all going to be gorgeous.

See a couple more images and the project video after the break.

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Practically everyone owns a set of Bicycle playing cards, but it’s usually just a plain stack without any fantasy creatures. Boring. Make your poker night more visually exciting (without playing strip poker) by using an Elves & Orc deck!

Artist Nat Iwata is offering these cool cards through a Kickstarter campaign, but it’s not his first rodeo. He’s already made a steampunk Cthulhu set. He decided to switch genres and focus on Elves & Orcs this tme around because he thought it would be fun to do a dual themed card deck and play with the colors. He designed custom pips for the four different card suits, too. They definitely look fierce.

Check out more card images as well as the Kickstarter video after the break.

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Game of Thrones cards 1

Know what helps pass the time in the winter that is inevitably coming? Playing cards. Poker, Old Maid, War, Rummy – they’re all good choices. Now you can play them in style with these hand drawn cards by Paul Nojima. He was inspired by similar designs from artist Jim Tuckwell and built  an entire deck. The number cards are just numbers, but the face cards feature characters such as Jorah Mormont, Khal Drogo, Stannis Baratheon, and more. They’re almost too pretty to actually use.

If these cards aren’t your style, you can also get ones featuring the on-screen characters in the Nerd Approved Shop.

Check out close-ups and an aged version of the cards after the break.

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These beautiful Legend of Zelda playing cards were made in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the game. They’re an officially licensed Nintendo product and contain images from all the Zelda games. I love the four variations of Link that are on the back of every card. Imported from Japan.

See another image after the break…

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There are so many editions and versions of playing cards that I’m a little surprised when people come up with designs we haven’t seen. These Legend of Zelda cards are something new though – well, sort of. They were designed by Nelde in January of 2011 but are just now available to purchase (finally).

The Cards of Legend are being produced by the same company that makes traditional Bicycle cards so you know they’ll be high quality. The deck includes:

  • 56 Poker sized cards
  • Printed on Bicycle grade paper with embossed finish
  • Unique suits (sword, heart, rupee, tri-force) and face cards
  • Custom card backs (available in red and blue)
  • Custom tuck box

They could be the coolest cards you’ll ever own.

See more shots of these gorgeous cards after the break.

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When you hear that someone has made zombie playing cards, you don’t necessarily expect them to be awesome. Zombies in commercial products are looking more and more cookie cutter these days. However, this set of playing cards by Darren J. Gendron is different.

The set is titled “Póstumo – The Deck of the Dead” and features great illustrations and even different suits. Instead of clubs, spades, diamonds, and hearts you get shovels, bats, hearts, and brains. The font was specifically designed for the cards, and the face cards feature zombie Kings, Queens, and Knights.

The Kickstarter project for the cards is already funded, and if you go ahead and back now, you’re essentially pre-ordering a deck that you’ll receive in February 2013.

See more creepy card designs and dice after the break.

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Hot off the truck in our Nerd Approved Shop—Game of Thrones Playing Cards!

The Game of Thrones Playing Cards is a set of playing cards that feature images of popular characters from the hit television show, Game of Thrones, on HBO. These playing cards make a great gift for any card shark and fan of Game of Thrones!

Game Of Thrones Playing Cards—$4.99

Much like its Periodic Table companion, these astronomy playing cards will allow you to brush up on science while honing your gambling skills. The cards feature over 100 different photographs from NASA’s public domain archive as well as the name or identification number of the celestial object, its classification system, and its distance in light years from Earth.

Hit the jump to check out an additional photo.

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