Alice in Wonderland by Sasha Dounaevski & PlayingCardDecks.com

Let’s get this out of the way: there are a lot of Alice in Wonderland playing cards on the market. Like this one. Or this one. Or this one for kids. Or Wasteland Alice from 2018. Or more traditional Alice from ASVP in 2020. Or Albino Dragon’s White Rabbit from 2018. Or even the Wonderland / Looking Glass decks from 2018. And then there’s this whole section on etsy which I’m not going to dive any further into this morning.

This particular deck and I became acquainted before I even knew it was Alice in Wonderland themed. PlayingCardDecks.com included a single court card with another order, and it just really captured my imagination. Clean lines, simple color scheme, and just manic enough to capture my imagination. So after a quick exchange figuring out what it was, I bought a couple of decks in September 2019.

The original campaign, “Alice in Wonderland Luxury Playing Cards,” in 2017 was successful, but with 244 backers pledging just over $6,000 (of a $5,000 goal) it was a slim margin. But did this Alice in Wonderland campaign kick off all of the others? My limited data suggests that it was the first on KS, but I haven’t gone through some other sources, so I don’t know for sure. The rewards breakdown (I’ve combined early bird and regular):

  • Digital coloring book: 1 backer (❤️❤️)
  • Single deck: 143 backers
  • 2 decks: 70 backers
  • Half-brick: 11 backers
  • Full-brick: 3 backers
  • 144 Decks: 0 Backers

For me, this deck is all about the clean lines and delightful surprises. The card that just say, “Drink me.” The Mad Hatter. The White Rabbit. It’s beautiful, light, airy and fun. It hasn’t gone out of its way to look like a painting, or to seem as if it wasn’t a digital first production. And it’s eminently playable, as long as you aren’t getting distracted by the art.

The tuck is also beautiful. With printing inside and out, and some super fun details on the sides and top, it’s great on its own. Mine don’t have any limited edition seal numbers, etc., but the KS rewards section suggests there were some prototype decks as well, so maybe those are more limited.

The artist, Sasha Dounaevski, doesn’t appear to have any other decks to her credit and she doesn’t call out playing cards as a specialty. One thing that this seems to have in common with 5th Kingdom, another PCD production, is bringing new artists into the luxury playing card world. Super cool.

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