Modern Idols Playing Cards – 4 Decks on a Theme from Thirdway Industries

TL;DR: modern, funky neon cards will keep you guessing and make you smile.

At the start of this year, pre-COVID-19, my wife and I were doing a meditation based stress reduction class. Part of the class was meditation, part was yoga. Yoga? I thought. Why yoga? My only prior experience with yoga was a single class where I felt like I needed to compete. Yeah, I know. Anyway, I’ve been trying to pick it up again for the the last month and I’m loving Peloton’s yoga offerings. Totally worth the $12.99 a month.

Hope and Endless Hope

This morning’s yoga session introduced me to “revolved half moon”. I did my best to match the single legged balancing post with a twist the onscreen instructor was going, and then suddenly I started laughing. A lot.

This is how Modern Idols cards make me feel: I look at them and burst out laughing at some little detail I just noticed.

The original campaign brought in just over $40,000 for these decks, which makes this a pretty great Kickstarter for Thirdway Industries and designer Giovani Meroni. (A quick glance reveals they are probably one and the same.)

Fear and Extreme Fear

There are two variations, Hope and Fear, which each then have two variations, standard and limited. The limited “Endless Hope” and “Extreme Fear” cards are the same as their standard variants, but the tucks are beautifully embossed (outside only) and have numbered seals with a limited run of 1,500. Hope is blue, Fear is purple.

All of the cards display a top notch design game, and bring just enough challenge to the traditional design to be fun but still easily recognizable. The court cards are highly detailed and entertaining, with just enough asymmetry to invite you to take a closer look. Which, pretty much every time I do take a closer look at one of them (right now, the queen of clubs), I find something that makes me chuckle and say aloud, “WTF is that??”

I haven’t tried playing these in low light yet. I suspect the only complaint would be the non-traditional suit coloring. The bright green clubs symbol on a dark blue or dark purple background definitely stands out. Orange diamonds are also surprisingly accessible, although matching the orange diamonds to the dark pink of the hearts adds a little cognitive overhead. You know what it would fix tho? It would fix the Topher Grace scene in Ocean’s 11 where he describes his winning hand as “all red cards”.

Recommended. You can find them at 52Kards,, CardCutz, et al, and the pricing for the standard edition seems to be landing around $18 a deck. My cost based on Kickstarter, all in, is about $12.88 a deck, which suggest a price of $39, so I’m guessing that the current wholesale price must be in the $5 to $6 range. The “Extreme Fear” seems to be going north of $50 a deck (though sold out), which seems about right. There’s a UK eBay price at the $79 level for a single “Endless Hope” deck, which is impressive.

I bought a full early bird brick of Modern Idols and have the following:

  • Hope (unmarked) – 2 unopened, 1 opened.
  • Endless Hope – 2 sealed (#676, #735) and 1 open (#722)
  • Fear (unmarked) – 1 sealed, 1 open
  • Extreme Fear – 2 sealed (#650, #680) and 1 open (#653)

2 thoughts on “Modern Idols Playing Cards – 4 Decks on a Theme from Thirdway Industries

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