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Product:
  Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG Playing Cards

Product Type:  Playing Cards

Manufacturer:  Manga Entertainment / Bandai

Suggested Retail Price (SRP):  Free (Promotional Item)

Purchased from:  Virgin Megastore, Bristol

Rarity:  Rare

Reviewer:  Rich (Webmaster)

 

Everyone owns playing cards.  You may not think you do but dig around long enough in your house and you will generally find a pack somewhere.  It seems to be an unwritten law, kind of similar to the way there is always a tin of peeled plum tomatoes and a jar of lentils in the cupboard even if you donít remember ever buying them.  But you know, that tattered old pack is probably a bit bland, itís probably missing the 7 of clubs, the 3 of hearts and one of the jokers, it probably, in fact, needs replacing with anime playing cards!

Quite a few anime series have playing cards based on them, but packs arenít always that easy to come by.  These Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG ones were promotional items and so are rarer than most.  The pack comes in a thin cardboard box like any cheap pack of cards and contains the usual four suits and two Jokers.

Each card has the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG logo on the back and a screenshot from the series inset on the face, whilst the Jokers carry identical pictures of the Tachikoma mini-battletanks.  The suit and number are presented in the standard size and font

 and are clear and easy to read, whilst the box itself carries a great sketch of Kusanagi and Togusa.  As a pack of cards theyíre fine but as licensed merchandise they are sadly a bit lacking.

The main problem is the images used on the cards.  All of them are screenshots from the series and whilst there has been some thought given to their arrangement it could have been done better.  It would have been nice if the suits were themed to certain groups of characters or episodes, but instead the odd 

numbered cards, Kings and Queens feature pictures of Section 9 members, whilst the Jacks have pictures of Gohda and all but one Ace have pictures of Kuze.  The biggest issue with the images is the fact that most of them are zoomed in, making them grainy and low quality which is unforgivable considering the visual quality of the series.  There is also the annoyance that the cards slide across each other a bit too easily.  Basically anyone who isn't a pro will probably find the cards spraying everywhere when shuffling, in fact simply picking them up caused the entire deck to slide straight out of my hands when I got them out for this review!  I know they are promotional freebies but you expect better than such annoyances from something associated with Ghost in the Shell.

If you are going to take the time to track these down you may be a bit disappointed. These Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG playing cards are perfectly functional but there hasnít been enough effort put into their design to make them as special as the series deserves.  Itís good to see different images on each card, but the quality of each picture is generally pretty low and some more individuality for the deck as a whole wouldn't have gone amiss.  Where's the futuristic writing or promotional artwork?  As a pack of cards these are fine, but as anime collectibles they are not as good as they could have been.  If you can find them for free theyíre decent enough, but if you are looking to buy some there are better anime playing cards out there.

Extras

Just the nice looking but flimsy cardboard box.

Ratings

Product:   Extras:
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