We’ve covered Nintendo’s history a lot here in NL, not just the video game side. At this point, it is well known that before Nintendo got into gaming, it was well known for producing handmade Hanafuda playing cards. And if you’re a hardcore Nintendo fan, you’ll probably want to get these.
Erik Voskuil is one person who managed to get two decks of these playing cards. as owner before Mario Blog, author The book of the same name, managed to get two 1950s bundles depicting Nintendo’s own Kyoto headquarters on the box, and they seemed to be in pretty good shape. But Fosswell’s cards, unfortunately, met a tragic fate. (Thanks, Kotaku!)
It is understood that Voskuil shared his enthusiasm for getting the cards on Twitter, toying with the idea of opening them or leaving them closed. In the end, he decided to open one of them to document photos of Kyoto.
As you can see in the pictures, although the boxes are over 70 years old, they don’t look bad! We are very envious. But when Voskuil opened the pack, he was greeted not by a deck of cards, per se – but rather a deck of them.
Since the cards have been tightly packed together all these years, it is likely that the ink on them got too warm and caused the cards to stick together. Plus, since the cards were made in the 1950s, they weren’t the kind of plastic-coated you get these days, which meant they were brittle.
Voskuil documents the process and the disappointment on his blog, but here’s an excerpt from his attempt:
“…when I carefully removed a portion of the sleeve, I quickly discovered that all the cards were fused together perfectly. They had been pressed together for a long time, most likely under hot and humid conditions, as the ink on all the cards had made them stick together. Exactly, the single deck of cards turned into a single solid brick, and the images printed on the cards, which contained relatively large amounts of ink, probably contributed to this as well.
It’s also good to note that these cards predate the “all-plastic” cards. These are made of paper, which is more fragile than plastic cards.
After applying more force to the pack, and trying to bend it, it became apparent that there was a real danger that the layers of paper inside the card would give way and rip, rather than the cards would burst. The other package has the same problem. It was a solid brick, too.”
Despite receiving advice on how to memorize cards, Voskuil is sure that the cards are beyond help. disappointing! But he at least hopes to find another package to unlock in the future. He’s still open to suggestions on how to save these fragile paper cards, so if you can think of any, send them to him on his site. Articles!
We can’t imagine the disappointment and frustration, but at least the boxes look beautiful! And the chests came with one separate card each, so that’s a thing.
Have you been disappointed by the collector purchase? Would you like to have a set of hanafuda playing cards from Nintendo for yourself? Let’s know!
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