Plugged Nickel deck review. The reborn of the skeleton cowboys


Two months ago I was talking about a set of two Bicycle decks developed by VixenTor Games: Plugged Nickel.

That campaign finished unfunded and the creator, Matt Drake, decided to take some time and change the way he was handling the project, improve the design and think about printing the decks in another company with less minimum quantity restrictions.

Two months later, I have found in my mailbox a prototype of the new Plugged Nickel deck and I am quite excited because, as a collector of sealed decks, I don’t have too many opportunities to enjoy a deck of cards in every of its aspects. The prototype has been made by Liberty Playing Cards, a smaller printer and with a lower minimum of decks restriction. Matt wants to decide about printing with them or with USPCC so I will try to help giving him my opinion about the deck.

I have also made my own photographies just to illustrate this review that will be done mainly as a collector but also trying to cope with Matt’s expectation about the usability, handling and finish of the cards.

  • DESIGN: the new design is much better than the old one. Although the barbed wire was an essential element of the design, taking out the barbed wired borders on cards and suits has made the design much clearer. Although skulls, skeletons and corpses are not new at all on playing cards designs, the focus in this deck is quite original mixing the skeleton with the far west theme.
  • PLAYABILITY AND HANDLING: as a collector I don’t have a huge experience on manipulation but I always have a new and crisp rider back deck (printed in Ohio) to be able to compare :) I would say the cards are easy to manipulate and handle smoothly. Regarding the playability, the new pips and indexes are bigger and much clearer so I think this deck is perfect for a cool night game with other skeleton cowboys.
  • STOCK, PRINTING AND FINISH: comparing the cards with the rider back, the stock seems to be quite similar, even slightly thicker but not too much. Although the tuck box says Imperial Linen Finish, it is similar to the air cushion by Bicycle. The printing quality is quite good, specially having in mind this deck has been digitally printed and it is supposed the final version of the deck would be lighter and better. I have detected some bad centered cards although this could also be solved in a better quality control in the definitive version. The tuck case is a bit bothering (specially for collectors of sealed decks) but Matt clearly states it will have metallic inks, embossing and even printing in the inside of the box depending on funding levels.

It is clear than USPCC is the big man in this movie, but having in mind the quality and improving some aspects in the printing of this deck, I think backers won’t feel disappointed with the result if printed with Liberty.

The project will be launched in June so I will keep you informed about the release.

Good handling!