Musings on the “Bucket List”

Collectors don’t always have it easy. There are things that are easy to collect, that have attainable goals, but those things don’t bring much satisfaction. A guy could collect, say, every “Weird Al” Yankovic album. 20-some CD purchases later, he’s done. What’s next? Maybe he’d move on to collecting every Tangerine Dream release. That’s a much harder goal, and knowing TD, maybe it’s one that’d take him his entire lifetime to finish.

But those are the goals that have some way to track. There’s websites and catalogs to look through, fan sites and price guides and stores dedicated to collecting CDs and vinyl. But most of all, those are the goals that are arguably finite. While Weird Al and Tangerine Dream are by no means finished recording new music and releasing new albums, it is generally assumed that, at some point, they will stop, and that mythical 100% Completion can be achieved.

Collecting decks of cards is not like that at all. It’s difficult to pin down even a basic category of cards to collect, like “all decks themed after Coca-Cola” or “all decks bearing drink recipes” or “all decks sold in unusual cases.” Nobody’s bothered documenting and cataloging every deck of cards that has ever been manufactured. There is no de facto authority on the price and rarity of each deck. Some types of cards are ridiculously hard to search for, given how many unrelated things come up when you’re trying to find “round cards.”

So how does a guy like me set goals for collecting? Just ambling around town and searching random stores for decks isn’t really going to accomplish a lot, and some days I’ve got to put my foot down and decide, “This is what I want to go for next.” That’s why I have a mental bucket list. It’s not really a collection; I haven’t got check boxes to mark off or anything. I don’t even have a clue what’s out there, 90% of the time, so my “wants” are honestly pretty vague. This post will actually be the first time I’ve even written out some form of the bucket list.

The things that I want:

  1. Own a tarot deck.
    1. Own the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure tarot deck? (very hard)
    2. There’s a deck of round tarots on my Amazon wishlist…
  2. Own more decks in unusual shapes.
    1. There’s card-printing services that’ll print cards in capsule, oval, and hexagon shapes, but those are expensive and I don’t have designs ready…
    2. Presumably there’s house-shaped cards out there somewhere, since there’s that one company that prints those in bulk…
  3. Own a Hanafuda deck.
    1. I have no idea what I’d actually play with it, considering nobody I know actually knows how to play oicho-kabu.
  4. Own a Nintendo hanafuda deck. (very hard)
  5. Own more Nintendo decks in general.
    1. Since I own a recent Mario deck, I wonder how hard it’d be to get a more vintage one from prior to the Famicom’s release?
  6. Does anybody manufacture cards in landscape-orientation?
  7. Any more decks promoting bizarre products? Air conditioners aren’t weird enough for me anymore.
  8. Decks with altered suits (a la The Cards of Legend)?
  9. Own a deck in an unusual material, like bamboo planks or stainless steel.
  10. Decks themed after video games. I had two, somewhere, and can’t find them now.
  11. Maybe others. A lot of others.

Even this isn’t as complete of a list as I’d like. Frankly, I just have zero idea just how deep the rabbit hole goes as far as weird kinds of playing cards. At this point I do have a lot of decks that I have yet to write about, but I’m always looking for more to add to the collection. So I ask you, dear reader(s), please point me towards anything you think might pique my interest.



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