Clockwise from 12 o'clock: Nothing is what it seems with these Optical Illusions playing cards designed by Pentagram ( Swipe , 477 Richmond West, #103, 416-363-1332, $11.95). Just like Grampa used to play, Airplane Spotter playing cards are a facsimile of a deck first issued in 1943 (Swipe, $8.95). But I thought Ken was the queen... ( Toys 'R' Us , 195 Yonge, 416-866-8697, and others, $3.99). Joker playing cards with metal case, by Umbra (Swipe, $7.95). Pass the Scooby on the left-hand side (Toys 'R' Us, $3.99). Minis ( Ontario Specialty Co. , 133 Church, 416-366-9327, $1.25). Jumbos ( Metro Paradise , 631 Yonge, 416-960-3532, $1). This Simpsons deck comes packaged in a full-size Duff beer can, minus actual beer - doh! ( Urban Outfitters , 235 Yonge, 416-214-1466, $18).
Designed by a medical doctor, these Hoyle Super Jumbo Face cards let the visually impaired get in on the game ( Canadian National Institute for the Blind , 939 Eglinton East, 416-413-9480, $7.50). Not shown but also available at the CNIB's Visions Unlimited: English Braille playing cards, $4.65.
Jack Daniel's Gentlemen's Playing Cards are recreations of authentic Civil War-era faces - two packs per tin (Urban Outfitters, $4.99). Helping Hand playing cards by Umbra in a metal case are a charity case - all profits from the sale are donated to Partners in Caring (Swipe, $7.95). These cards were designed by Takenobu Igarashi for the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and come in a swanky double box set (Swipe, $32.95).
Cards Eh! feature the symbols of Canada's coats of arms, Nunavut's included ( Flatiron's , 51 Front East, 416-365-1506, $10). Dirk Yates's Real Military Men sure are real naked - definitely not GI Joe for the kids ( Glad Day Bookshop , 598-A Yonge, 416-961-4161, $13.95).
Looney Tunes cards, just in case you aren't watching enough TV (Toys 'R' Us, $3.99). MAC's new deck features body art designed by fashionistas and celebrities (watch for them this summer at MAC counters nationwide, $15). Lovely Girl playing cards (the actual product name). Nuff said. You'll love their original 80s style (Metro Paradise, $1). In the centre: Toronto rocks ( Grand & Toy , 100 Yonge, 416-364-9120, and others, $2.99). Optical Illusions (see 1 above). Barenaked ladies ( Super Discount Plus , 719 Yonge, 416-921-3544, $1.49).