My design partners at Deveo Media and I are excited to announce the follow-on campaign to the Middle Kingdom White and Black campaigns: Middle Kingdom Silver and Gold.
“Middle Kingdom” was used to refer to civilizations around the Yellow River Valley before the empires leading to modern-day China began to form. The two characters in the ideogram for China, 中国, are part of those for Middle Kingdom, 中央王国, so the reference has stood the test of time. The court cards use exquisitely detailed line art of Chinese deities and people, while the card back is an excellent freehand drawing with interpretations of Chinese lattice borders and, of course, a dragon.
Silver Deck Art!
For the Silver deck, we asked for backers' votes on the card face color combination, and the winner was a silver background with black print! Here is an artist's preview of the Ace-Ten of all four suits. After that is a picture with the tuck box, card back, and a card face.
The Gold deck is complete! Here are the picture cards:
China's vast history provides a rich palette of subjects for court cards.
King of Clubs: Huangdi, the Yellow Emperor, creator of the centralized state
King of Hearts: Pangu, the first living being and creator of the Earth from chaos
King of Spades: Tai Di, the "Primordial Divinity" or "Utmost God"
King of Diamonds: Caishen, the main Chinese deity of prosperity
Queen of Spades: Nuwa, humanity's creator along with her twin brother, Fuxi
Queen of Diamonds: Lan Caihe, an immortal portrayed sometimes as a man dressed as a woman and other times as a woman, Lan Caihe was said to have ridden to heaven on the back of a magical swan while in a drunken stupor
Queen of Hearts: He Xiangu, an immortal renowned for her selfless caring for others
Queen of Clubs: Xi Wangmu, Queen Mother of the West. She held court and allowed deities to meet in her perfect palace
Jack of Hearts: Fuxi, humanity's creator along with his twin sister, Nuwa
Jack of Spades: Zhan Yinbao, an Army officer
Jack of Clubs: Yu Shi, the rain deity
Jack of Diamonds: Luxing, a deity who made people happy through promotions and salary increases
Fantastic creatures play a large role in Chinese mythology, and we wanted to honor those representing our suits:
Kui (Clubs): A one-legged Ox that would warn of coming storms. The Yellow Emporer (the King of Spades) used Kui's skin for a drum that could be heard hundreds of miles away
Phoenix (Hearts): Sun, warmth, and love
Dragon (Spades): The most powerful creature
Pixiu (Diamonds): Brings in good luck and wealth and drives away evil
The Jokers and Extra Cards
The Number Cards
The coins from the first two campaigns were a huge success so we decided to offer two more combinations: black nickel with a shiny silver Spade and Dragon on opposite sides, and shiny gold with a black Spade and Dragon. Here's some concept art.
$12,000- Funded! Unlock unreserved coins as add-ons
$15,000- Unlock Silver and Gold Gilded Decks add-ons
$27,000- Upgrade Tuck Boxes to Foil!
Coins!- Price Per Coin: $15 US, $16 Canada or Mexico, $17 Rest of the World
Custom Chinese Language Tuck Boxes!
These distinctive tuck boxes can be delivered flat as art pieces or as folded and glued tuck boxes. As of now the foiled boxes are works in progress but I hope you're as excited about Chinese-language offerings as I am. All prototype boxes will be numbered P-(number) while the hand-inked boxes will be individually numbered as well. No more than 100 of each of these boxes will be produced. Add them on today!
Silver or Gold Foil on Glossy Black Tuck Box Stock- $20 flat ($30 for shipments outside of the U.S.), $35 ($45 for shipments outside of the U.S.) as a folded and glued tuck box. Additional boxes are $20 flat/$30 as a tuck worldwide. A Middle Kingdom Gold or Silver card deck will be included with each Foil tuck box regardless of whether it is sent flat or folded. The images below are in-progress drafts to show the design. I'm working with a printer to finalize the art. The foil will look truly amazing!
Hand-Inked Tuck Boxes- All hand-inked tuck boxes are $30 flat ($40 for shipments outside of the U.S.), $40 ($50 for shipments outside of the U.S.). Additional boxes are $20 flat/$30 as a tuck worldwide I will hand-ink a tuck box in the design you see here:
For black and white tuck boxes, I will use gold or silver ink:
For metallic gold or silver hand-inked tuck boxes, I will use black ink. The top-quality 105 lb tuck box paper is made by Gruppo Cordenons of Italy. I already have some of the paper in Virginia, here are some iPhone images of test laser-printed experiments. The paper’s metallic sheen really stands out in person, I hope it translates into the pictures.
I’m going to follow up with the printer I want to use about putting shiny black foil on the metallic card stock.
Middle Kingdom Silver and Gold High Gloss Collectors’ Edition!
Price per deck: $40, $45 Canada/Mexico, $50 Rest of World Available only as an add-on, the Collectors’ Edition decks will not be for commercial sale. No bar code on the tuck box! The cards will be 310 gsm, printed using high gloss (raised) printing on the card and tuck box by Make Playing Cards, a Hong Kong-based printer. The decks will be limited to a maximum of 100 available to backers (plus a couple of each for the creator and artists) of each color, numbered and never reprinted so take advantage today and don’t miss out. Here is a link to MPC's process: http://www.makeplayingcards.com/impressions-by-mpc.aspx
Middle Kingdom Gold, Middle Kingdom Silver Decks- $12 US, $14 Canada or Mexico, $15 Rest of the World
Middle Kingdom Black, Middle Kingdom White Decks- $12 US, $14 Canada or Mexico, $15 Rest of the World
Uncut Sheets- Including the Middle Kingdom White Deck
Shipping is the same for up to 6 sheets, so pledge for more and save!
The Silver uncut concept art is in the works and you can see a mock-up of the Gold uncut up the page a bit. U.S.- $40 for 1, $50 for 2, $55 for 3 if you want to include the uncut sheet for the White deck. Canada and Mexico, $50 for 1, $60 for 2, $65 for $3. Rest of World- $60 for 1, $70 for 2, $75 for 3
Middle Kingdom Black and White Gilded Decks
$20 each, Canada and Mexico, $22, Rest of the World $25
Two-Deck Box- Add 1 Black and White Deck or 1 Black and White Gilded Deck
Box Only- U.S.- $40, Canada and Mexico, $47, Rest of the World $55
Add 1 each of the Middle Kingdom Black and White decks- U.S.- $55, Canada and Mexico, $62, Rest of the World $70
Add 1 each of the Middle Kingdom Black and White Gilded decks- U.S.- $60, Canada and Mexico, $67, Rest of the World $75
Middle Kingdom 6-Deck Box* With any Combination 6 Middle Kingdom Black or White Decks (Only 15 Available!)- $48 to the U.S., $55 to Canada and Mexico, $60 to the Rest of the World
*6-Deck Boxes are included in "as-is" condition, as some have noticeable dings, dents, bends, etc.
Figurines of the Creatures on the Aces
Each is approximately 1.6" x 1.1" x 1.2" (4.1 x 2.7 x 3 cm)
Strong Plastic- $30 each, or $90 for all 4.
Stainless Steel- $119 each, or $414 for a full set of 4. Canada and Mexico add $10, Rest of World add $15.
Polished Gold Steel- $127 each, or $430 for a full set of 4. Canada and Mexico add $10, Rest of World add $15.
Here are some important things for you to know:
• To be printed by the United States Playing Card Company on its Air Cushion stock
• The $12,000 campaign goal prints both decks, with custom tuck box seals, and both coins
• Each deck will also include a Kickstarter-exclusive seal you can stick to the outside of the cello wrapper
• You can pick any combination of decks for any tier. You will tell us how many of each deck you want to receive through the post-campaign survey
• The coins will be: 1) Shiny gold with a black Ace of Spades on the front and a black dragon on the back and 2) Black nickel with a silver Ace of Spades on the front and a silver dragon on the back
• The coins available in this campaign will be numbered 1-100. No additional numbered versions will be produced. 90 of each coin will be available during this campaign.
• At $27,000 both tuck boxes will be upgraded to FOIL!!!
Risks and challenges
I have successfully delivered on several Kickstarter playing card campaigns, so while there is always risk I am confident I will be able to fulfill your pledge rewards:
-The funding goal pays for both production and shipping, so there will be no delay or asking for additional funds from you
-I am putting both deck "colors" in this campaign. You will use the post-campaign survey to tell me how many of each deck you will receive
I have worked with the U.S. Playing Card Company on multiple projects and look forward to working with them for this one. Gambler's Fulfillment is well-established in the community and I have also worked with them in the past. Challenges can always happen, but I am confident I can work through anything that comes up.
- (20 days)