Sunday, January 17, 2010
These elongated, capsule-shaped playing cards from Umbra initially appear to be brilliantly functional — the slimness of the design should allow you to hold many more cards in your hand at once. However in practice, they're really not much more accommodating than a conventional deck. A fanned hand only needs to reveal the slender sliver on the left with the card designation — the rest of each card is overlapped, so the overall benefits are pretty minor. And the the downsides are kind of annoying — they're difficult to shuffle and challenging to keep stacked in a pile. And of course, you're not going to pull these out for the guys on Poker night — you'd be laughed off the table. Still, they have a friendly, curving form, their oversized (5-inches) length charmingly playful. Umbra is a familiar name in housewares — mostly kitchen and bath stuff — so it's nice to see them branching out. All their products have a strong design focus — although the manufacturing quality could be a little better.
The cards even come in a cool, translucent capsule case, a shape that complements the cards wonderfully.