Review: Bicycle Trading Cards
Last week, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to receive and review cards from Bicycle.
I don’t really play cards…at all… but I appreciate a good toy, playing device- so I was curious to see what Bicycle had to offer.
Just like you, I always see Bicycle cards at the check out counter or in toy stores, but not once have I ever stopped to think, “hey Amy, buy a deck of cards”… that thought has never crossed my mind…ever.
The Bicycle playing cards arrived in a pristine white box. On the cover of the box was a picture of people who looked truly happy and seemed to be enjoying each others company, all while playing cards. That picture alone made me think,”wow, playing cards can make you that happy?”
Once I opened the box, I continued to be intrigued by the presentation. Sitting on red confetti like paper were 4 to 5 sets of playing cards. Within the box were a set of “Cyclist” cards, other cards, US Presidents cards and Sharks cards.
Being that I never play cards, I was SOOO CURIOUS to see what the Sharks and US Presidents cards would look like.
U.S PRESIDENTS CARDS
The deck of US Presidents cards was packed very tightly in plastic wrap. Once I opened the plastic wrap, the deck of cards was sealed by a lovely seal.
Lesson 1: Bicycle pays great attention to detail
The box of U.S. presidents is SO BEAUTIFUL, you can actually feel the texture of the text on the box.The artwork on the box alone is highly impressive, and its obvious that much attention was paid to every single detail.
Once I opened the box, I was greeted by the US flag on the flap of the box, and poured the cards into my hand. The back of the cards has a detail drawing of the Statue of Liberty, the US Flag, eagles, and the Capitol Building . Each card has a President on it. The drawing of the US Presidents on the cards is so exact!! The detail is phenomenal. You know how US Currency is very detailed, the representation of the people on the currency? The Bicycle cards are the same way.
One thing I noticed was that the majority of the presidents were depicted grinning, but Clinton was shown fully smiling- with his teeth showing. Apart from the Presidents, the deck of cards had the Statue of Liberty, eye of providence,Mount Rushmore, and the Liberty Bell. In terms of first ladies, the deck included a card with a portrait of Edith Roosevelt, Mary T. Lincoln, Martha Washington,and Martha Jefferson.
The educational factor of these Bicycle cards is evident. Apart from teaching kids their numbers and shapes, these cards can be used to teach kids and even adults about American leadership.I think as students come to the US to study, it would be great if they could be given these cards at the airport . The State Department has a program called EducationUSA, where the focus is to increase the number of international students who study in the US.How great would it be if those students could receive a deck of cards from their respective embassies before traveling to the US?
These cards need to be place in elementary schools, to help teach kids about history.Play encourages learning, and these Bicycle cards are a prime example of how playing can contribute towards learning. A classroom teacher can use these cards to quiz students, asking them “ ok, you picked Clinton, what year was he the President?” or “ ok, you picked George Washington, wat makes him unique?” The possibilities are endless with these cards. Students could even take the cards and line them up, based on the order of their presidencies, starting with George Washington. These cards alone could easily be part of a class lesson for 2-3 days.
Bicycle has taken a simple topic, US Presidents, and found a way to extend the learning opportunities. Not only can people play card games with these cards, but for those people who do not know how to play card games 9 like me), they can use the cards to spark conversations or to expand on knowledge of US presidents.
Quality of the Cards: The cards are made well, they are not made out of thin flimsy paper. Don’t get me wrong, the cards are not super thick, but they are sturdy enough.
Apart from the US Presidents, the box of cards I received from BICYCLE also included a deck of cards with the word’ SHARKS” on the cover.Sharks? I had no idea what that meant. Once I opened, I realized the deck of cards were just as cool and educational, if not more, as the US Presidents cards. The SHARKS cards have fun facts on them about Sharks. So while you are playing cards, you also have the opportunity to learn about SHARKS. Once again, what a great mobile way to teach an audience , whether they are children or adults. I never knew Sharks had multiple rows of teeth, did you? That’s just one of the many cool fun facts on the SHARKS Bicycle cards. Because Bicycle cards are so compact, they are mobile, meaning they travel easily, like a mobile phone. They do not require batteries, so anyone, anywhere in the world can appreciate them, regardless of their socioeconomic background. The shark cards are in color, which adds a new dimension to the cards, plus they contain 2 languages on each card. Educationally, anyone playing with this deck of cards can learn how to read a foreign language, they can learn about sharks, and see what various sharks look like.
I really like these Bicycle cards. The design is clean and sharp, the presentation is flawless, and the cards are educational. The deck of cards are small enough to throw into a bag or a pocket, making them extremely mobile. The fact that they don’t require batteries, means that it can lead to hours of fun , not just in the US, but in many countries. In Ghana, West Africa, where the official language is English,such cards would be welcomed, especially since they play so many card games there. I think there is a huge potential for these cards that are being produced by Bicycle. I believe that Bicycle has hit on the right formula regarding their cards, and I believe we will see more innovative Bicycle cards.
These cards were extremely impressive, and now I no longer leave home without a deck of cards in my bag.