|Nintendo Ehon Trump (ca 1965)|
Over the years, Nintendo has produced many different types and styles of playing cards. One of my favorite card series is called Ehon Trump (絵本トランプ). They come in cute television-shaped cases.
|Ehon Trump based on Obake no Qtarō|
'Ehon' translates to 'picture book', and refers to the second use of these cards (besides their regular playing card function), which is a creating your own cartoon show.
|Cards featuring Spaceboy Soran, Obake no Qtarō and Space Ace|
The Ehon Trump series features many different manga (cartoon) favorites, including Disney figures (Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Bambi) and Japanese television heroes from the 60s like Obake no Qtarō (オバケのQ太郎), Space Ace (宇宙エース) and Spaceboy Soran (宇宙少年ソラン).
Another important figure licensed by Nintendo for inclusion in the Ehon Trump series is Ultraman.
|Advertisement for Ehon Trump with Ultraman|
Ultraman was used prominently in the card series' promotional material.
The advertisement states "Twice the fun: nice trump cards and manga" (「楽しいトランプゲームとマンガで２倍の楽しさ！！」) and "Comes in very nice television type case" (「とってもすてきなテレビ型ケース入」).
Ehon Trump was released around 1965.
They cost ¥400 per pack of cards.
The television front includes an embossed Nintendo logo, in the 'handwritten' style used at that time
This logo can also be found on the back of the case.
Each Ehon Trump pack contains the regular 52 playing cards, 2 additional joker cards and a story booklet.
The cards are sealed with a card tax stamp, which was required for playing cards in Japan up to 1989.
Each Ehon Trump pack focusses on the adventure of a single character (Bambi in the example below). Illustrations on the front of the cards tell the story in 52 pictures.
This story is also the topic of the accompanying booklet.
|Story booklet included with Ehon Trump|
The booklet contains a paragraph of text for each of the cards, written in the traditional Japanese right-to-left, top-to-bottom style.
The same text is also included on the card, underneath the picture, so you can read the story by flicking through the cards.
You need the booklet when you present the story to a (captivated, surely) audience. You would place the television case upright on a table, and show the cards one-by-one, while you read out the story. Two slots in the top of the case allow for cycling through the cards without the need to open the case.
|You can move the card up easily through a slot in the case|
An opening in the back of the case makes it possible for your index finger to push the card in the back up, after which you could move it down again in the front of the pack, where it would show the next part of the story. The pictures neatly fit the television screen.
This way, with a little imagination, you are creating your own cartoon show.
The Ehon Trump, like all Nintendo cards of that era, where sold in a cardboard cover, which contained a nice pattern of Nintendo logos and card symbols.
In 1970, packs of Ehon Trump were used as give-away in a promotional campaign for N&B Blocks.
Are you interested to see more posts about Nintendo cards, or should I stick to the toys and games?