Colliding Crowns Imps and Monsters Fantasy Playing Cards by Justin Hillgrove (2019)

Selling a couple extra on eBay.

One of the things I love about custom playing cards on Kickstarter is that they’re a great way for artists to build that community of 100 or 1,000 or 10,000 fans, and to capitalize on their work, often in a very DIY way. Now, I suspect that the more complicated projects bring in their own additional considerations — a large number of global backers means help with fulfillment, a complicated tuck means another printing vendor to connect with. But at it’s core, anyone should be able to produce their own decks, get the capital up front to sell them, and pocket some extra.

Justin Hillgrove appears to be one such artist if you look over at ImpsAndMonsters.com. I was one of 5 backers to signup for a brick of these cards, and they definitely deliver on the fun theme the rest of his artwork also shares. The colors and suits are non-traditional, but the standard mode deck manufactured by USPCC is as 100% playable as you have come to expect. Also if you’re practicing the basic charlier cut like I am, these seem to work just fine. A note on the original campaign: at $8,600 and 311 backers, this was a little smaller of a campaign than most of the decks I backed.

Every card has been touched. The pips really only have the custom suit indicators, each in a different color, but the courts are all completely unique featuring skeletal dragons, evil narwhal steeds, queens who mean you deep harm and more. There’s a great explanatory extra card that walks you through the mini mythology Hillgrove has put together here, and there’s a bonus joker. All of the art is entertaining and whimsical. The tuck is pretty standard, albeit well decorated with his art, and the numbered seals are a nice touch.

One of the super fun adds to the KS backers was a digital coloring book. How fun is that?

TL;DR: Recommended.

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