Thursday, 18 February 2016

Australian Toy cards 1: Fish

"Fish card game", Anon, 36c+1

 The following set of cards was purchased at a thrift shop in a remote Australian town. These cards came in a pack of three. All of these cards are designed for the express purpose of a particular game. Although they were purchased in Australia, they might have been printed in America. 

 Let us speculate for some moments on why this deck was produced.  Most of the games that are played with this set of three cards can be played with normal playing cards. However, owing to the shady associations of normal playing cards, parents might be hesitant to allow them to fall into the hands of children. 
   Hence, manufacturers would be more than happy to manufacture "non playing cards" for the purposes of children. In any case, it would also be economical for manufacturers. Why bother to invent a new game when you can simply design new cards for an old one? 

The present deck is intended for a game normally called "Go fish". This game involves players capturing cards in a central "pool" with cards in their own hand. In most versions, whoever captures the most cards wins.
  In this deck, the maker has taken a hint from the fishy name of the game. All nine subjects of the deck are fish. Each of the subjects is repeated 4 times to generate the deck of 36 cards.  

The illustrations of the deck are clearly interned to appeal to children.  Each of the cards has a border of a distinctive colour. Perhaps this acts in a similar fashion to the indexes of normal cards?
Most of the subjects of the deck are oceanic creatures. Perhaps the "pool" would be more properly called the "ocean"?