This is a first ever article about SVI Group’s project and the project in this article is Caribbean Wind Playing Cards. There are a few things that the Caribbean are famous for such as beautiful beaches, rum and pirates.
Pirates will be the central theme for this project and there are two editions to this deck. You may know this from movies such as the Pirates of the Caribbean series that there are always an authoritative figure trying to capture or kill the pirates since they were always plundering ships around the Caribbean region since the region provided safe haven for them.
To be honest, the theme of piracy has been done quite frequently on Kickstarter. If you have been following the playing card project on Kickstarter in the past year or so, you may notice a few piracy related projects come and gone.
You may have been familiar with characters such as Blackbeard, William Kidd, Anne Bonny, Calico Jack just to name a few. So there will not be any surprises when it comes to pirates used in the royal court cards.
As mentioned earlier, there are two editions of the playing card decks in this project. One is obviously the Pirates while the other edition is dedicated to the Royal Charter. The Royal Charter edition will feature characters who are on the opposite side of the pirates. They consist of European royal navies and privateers.
The Pirate deck will be predominantly red in colour and will feature pirates.
If you have an eye for detail, you may notice that is character that appears out of place with her costume and that Queen of Clubs, Cheng Ay Sao. She is a leader of a pirate coalition in China during the Qing dynasty. You may know her as Ching Shih or Cheng I Sao.
The Pirates deck utilises red as the main colour in the design which applies to the tuck box too.
Before we move on, I’ll like to talk about the Aces and jokers. There are not special pip designs for this project. However, the Ace of Spades has seen more time spent on it. There are two joker cards. One is the typical pirate flag which most of us are familiar with and the other shows a pirate standing over >booty”.
Next, the Royal Charter deck which features the forces wanting to bring an end to the piracy in Caribbean. They are mainly blue in colour, signifying a direct opposition to the Pirates.
There is just one aspect that seems strange is the use of red colour for the Diamonds and Hearts pip. I understand that traditionally the Diamonds and Hearts pips are colour in red. However, it will have been interesting to see the pips to be blue in colour, to follow the theme of the Royal Charter.
The Aces design are similar to the one in Pirate deck except for one difference, the wording of “Royal Charter” in the Ace of Spades. The jokers are different from the Pirate deck. One card has the emblem of royal navy while the other is a navy sailor.
It was mentioned at the start of the article that there are two editions to Caribbean Wind playing cards. That is not entirely true. There is a premium Caribbean Wind deck which is only available through Kickstarter as a way to reward the backers.
The deck is black in colour and it features both pirates and royal charter characters. The design of the card face is a little different because it has a border around the royal court portrait.
Along with the premium deck, there is a special reward for backers who backed the luxurious box. Initially the reward only gave backers a 2 decks box, it has been changed to a 3 decks box. Because of the additional premium Caribbean Wind deck.
There are also other free gifts included (depending on the amount of pledge you pay). All backers will receive a special stamp and backers who pledged more than 27 pounds will receive a booklet which provides introduction to each of the characters in both Caribbean Wind playing card editions.
There are other add-ons such as a special coin. The dealer’s coin is made in the style of the Spanish ancient coins of piastres (top), which was one of the main monetary units of the Golden Age of the Pirates. The front of the coin depicts the coat of arms of the English East India Company, on the reverse side there is a symbol of the coastal brotherhood with the inscription on the tape “Caribbean Wind” and the year of publication of the project 2018 (bottom).
Beside the coin, there is a more expensive collectible and that is the special wooden box that can contain 2 decks.
Although the pirates theme has been done too often on Kickstarter, this is still a good project to add to your collection.