We play a lot of cards in my house, so we have a cardboard box full of card decks, and every once in a while one of us will pick up a new one just to give us some variety in our card options. One of our decks is a set of Disney Mickey Mouse playing cards. I think I actually picked them up with the intention of incorporating them into a birthday project, but I needed two identical decks of cards and there was only one on the shelf. Since I never found a matching box, I went with another deck design for the present but kept the cards for myself.
The blue box in which the cards came has a smiling Mickey on the front, and the box bears his name as well, but the deck features not just Mickey but several of his friends as well. The backs of the cards are purple and feature a group portrait of Mickey, Goofy, Donald, Pluto and Minnie, all smiling widely. The picture is full of vibrant color, and the characters are shaded in such a way as to give them a slightly three-dimensional look. The arrangement of the characters adds to the fun, as each is in a distinct position. Minnie sprawls in the front, her chin resting on her gloved hands, while Goofy, in the back, has one arm on Mickey’s shoulder and the other on Donald’s. Next to them, Pluto pants cheerfully, one ear raised as if to indicate that he has just heard an intriguing noise.
While Mickey is not the only character in this deck, he’s certainly the star. In each suit, numbers 2 through 9 focus on Mickey, and the pose is the same across the suits. For instance, each 5 shows Mickey eagerly pointing at something, while the Mickey on 9 bashfully holds out a bouquet of pink flowers. In all 36 cards, he looks the same, with black arms and legs and dressed in his traditional red shorts with white buttons. The aces are a bit different, as each features Mickey in a different pose and costume engaged in some type of physical activity. For instance, the ace of clubs shows a scowling, green-shirted, yellow-helmeted Mickey doing a difficult skateboarding trick, while the ace of diamonds shows him in jeans and a red shirt kicking a soccer ball.
The face cards are where the real variety comes in, as each character has a number to his or herself, and each character gets four different poses. The 10s feature Pluto, though he only has two to himself as Mickey shares the limelight with him on the other two. Jack Goofy, Queen Minnie and King Donald all get to fly solo for all four of their cards. My favorite suit for the face cards is spades, as Goofy, Minnie and Donald are all dressed in marching band uniforms and each plays a different instrument.
Only three of the cards in the deck – two with Mickey, one with Pluto – feature any less-than-happy facial expression, and it’s not so much that they are unhappy in them, it’s just that they are concentrating hard. It might have been fun to have a little more variety in the expressions; Donald is particularly entertaining when he is angry. However, this choice gives the deck a very cheerful feel.
One thing I appreciate about this deck is the balance between variety and uniformity. For instance, I’m glad that the suit colors are the traditional black and red. I have other Disney decks with blue and purple instead, and while they are pretty, the color difference throws me off, especially when I am playing a fast-paced game like double solitaire. The suits are further differentiated from each other in that each suit has its own background color. Every card has a white border and a white rectangle in the upper left and lower right corner where the number and suit of the card are displayed, but the main picture is contained in a rectangle, with the character in question sometimes spilling out into the border a bit. The clubs have a pink background, the spades green, the hearts blue and the diamonds yellow. What’s more, in the face cards, the corresponding suit design is set in the middle of the card as part of the backdrop. This makes it look as though each character is peeking out from behind a frame with a hole in the shape of a club, spade, heart or diamond.
Along with the 52 regular play cards, there are two identical jokers. Each has a purple background and features a laughing Mickey receiving a slurp from Pluto. Additionally, one card has a list of games and rule books available for purchase, while the other encourages customers to check out www.USPlayingCard.com to learn about other card brands, how certain games came about and how to play hundreds of different games.
I find that playing cards is more fun when I have an interesting deck, and this deck certainly fits the bill. Colorful and featuring beloved characters that just about anyone is bound to recognize, it’s also practical and can be used for any game that calls for regular decks of cards. Golf, double solitaire and rummy are the favorites in my house, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Meanwhile, if you are of an artistic nature, you can use the cards to build houses and see how far you can get before the structure collapses. Whatever your pleasure, the Mickey Mouse card deck is a Disney delight.
This review is a part of the All Things Disney Write-Off.
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