Explorer Playing Cards

We are going to cover a project which is a relaunch of an unsuccessful project created by Card Experiment.


It seems like Card Experiment has listened to the feedback of the card collector community and decided to release a deck based on the previous tuck box design! YaY! This goes to show that some times, sensible people take feedback seriously and everybody becomes happier because of it. Below are some pictures for your reference.

Explorer Mini Card Faces
The edges for Revelation Mini are more colourful instead of yellow and red for the Revelation
Explorer Rev + Mini card back
Revelation card (left) and Revelation mini (right)

This name may sound familiar for some of you avid playing cards collector out there. There was an earlier incarnation of Explorers Playing Cards project started by Card Experiment. Personally, we have a few cutting comments to make about the current project comparing to the previous cancelled one. If you do not like to read bad comments about your favourite Explorer Playing Cards project, better navigate away from this page right now.

Let us start by refreshing your memory about how the tuck boxes looked for the previous incarnation of this project.

We suggest you to click on the pictures to view the bigger version of them. Take a look and let those images and artwork sink into your brain. Done that? Good, read on to look at the current tuck box design.

Comparing the artwork style and colourful design of the previous tuck box design with the current ones, we cannot help but feel that these are entirely two distinctly different projects. With the first design, we really felt that the deck of cards seemed surreal and out of this world. Without the Bicycle logo on top, you wouldn’t realise that it is a deck of playing cards. It looked almost perfect enough to be a cover for a sci-fi novel.

The new ones on the other hand, it straight out yells in your face with a big Ace of Spade that it is a deck of playing cards. You cannot mistake it for anything else in the world unless you have never touched playing cards in your life ever.

We have nothing against Card Experiment but we feel that the huge gap in the design is really a shame. Kudos to Copete Cohete for the beautiful illustration on the original tuckbox illustration and on all court portraits.

Now that we have finished ranting on the tuck box design, it is time to calm down and think about why. Everything happens for a reason or so people keep saying. We have to think about why the initial project failed. It failed because of lack of funds. It barely achieved a third of its intended goal of HK$190,000 (around US$24,398.78). At HK$57,968 with 14 days to go, nobody thought that the project could become a reality. We can only speculate on a few reasons why.

  • They offered 3 different decks, Revelation, Domination and Oblation but the design on the card faces are the same for all 3 decks with the difference in the colour scheme, it did not arouse enough interest for people to pledge for more decks. The main selling point is in the tuck box design.
  • There is a lack of special add-ons. Projects by other playing cards creator tend to have unique coins or special case box to display the playing card decks.
  • The cost of using United States Playing Card Company (USPCC) to print 3 different colours of essentially the same design will increase the cost unnecessarily. Needless to say, this makes it even more expensive to print 3 different tuck box designs.

Having said so much about the past, let’s look at the present and progress towards possibility. As of the time of writing, the project is nearing fully funded status! It just needs a few nudges in the right direction and this project can go live fulfilling its promise. Remember we talked about the original tuck box design being good enough to be an actual sci-fi novel cover? There was an accompanying narrative which tied up the design of the Royal Court portraits and Aces design.

I was chosen, by virtue of our neutrality and perhaps my two-facedness and uncanny ability to make the best of any situation, to be the main point of contact when first contact happens. I am also to be the scribe of all mission logs. Lots of trust in me. My resemblance to the Administration emblem might play a part too.

While the mission objective is to establish peaceful contact, will this turn out to be another Columbian Exchange?

According to the old project, Flagrant Agenda provided the narrative. They are the creator of Agenda Playing Cards which we wrote an article on.

The entire concept is based on space exploration and human’s contact with alien civilisation which turns out to be more than meets the eye. The more we read into it, the more somebody needs to turn this playing cards into an actual sci-fi novel.

Below are screengrabs we took off the project page of the Revelation deck. Gold Foil on matte back stock. Black Card Back and Faces.

Next, let’s look at the Domination deck. Red Foil on matte black stock. Red Card Back and Faces.

The design on the both card back is showing “The Zookeeper”. It is a representation of hidden higher powers in the Explorers’ Universe. Take a look again at the Aces below.

Explorer Rev 4 Aces

We appreciate the fact that the design of the Aces are not flat fat pips. Rather the designs are pretty interesting with a spaceship designed to resemble the traditional pips of Spade (Fiasco, a reconnaissance star cruiser), Heart (Solaris, an offensive support star cruiser), Club (The Invincible, largest human built space carrier) and Diamond (Eden, a planetary lander).

Lastly, here are some product specifications:

  • Fully Customized Deck with 2 Jokers
  • Foiled Tuck Case on thick Matte Black Stock
  • Printed by Expert Playing Card Company with Damask Finish
  • Gold & Red Foil Sticker Seal (UNLOCK at STRETCH GOAL 1)
  • Tuck Case Embossing (UNLOCK at STRETCH GOAL 2)
  • Limited Edition. Will not be reprinted


Explorer Playing Cards (original project)

Explorer Playing Cards (current Kickstarter project page)

Card Experiment

Copete Cohete

Flagrant Agenda (Facebook)




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