In August 2022, we shared the heartbreaking tale of a dedicated Nintendo collector who mistakenly believed he had acquired two rare antique playing cards when, in reality, all he had obtained were two pieces of useless cardboard.
Erik Voskuil, before Mario, believed he had struck gold when, after years of looking, he discovered two decks of souvenir playing cards, some of the best representations of the products Nintendo used to produce before converting to video games.
On August 7, Voskuil commented with excitement, "I cannot overstate how exicited I was to find these seventy-year-old Nintendo cards, featuring Kyoto in the 1950s." These are the only copies I have found in all my years of collecting. In order to put that into perspective, Voskuil writes on his blog that, after spending "more than twenty years of searching for vintage Nintendo items," this is the first time he has ever seen the cards—printed totally in English—up for sale.
But when I opened them, catastrophe:
or so we believed. Voskuils story started reaching individuals outside the typical video game collector groups since it was published on websites like this one and wound up in news feeds and Google search results. Voskuil says in an update on his website, "Within months after posting the story online, I was provided two decks, by two distinct people, both from the United States. After reading about these cards on this blog, they each came to me separately.
The first deck was donated by a man who runs the Playing Card Exchange Facebook page. He claimed to have "purchased a Nintendo Souvenir Kyoto Playing Cards deck through an estate sale some time ago." The second came from a Portland-based woman. Voskuil reports that "a copy of the Souvenir Kyoto Playing Cards had been found in an abandoned house in her area." Unaware of the cards, she looked online, came across my post, and got in touch with me.