Thursday, November 16, 2023

Subtle Differences between Bicycle Jokers

 The eight jokers below  might appear at first glance to be the same. Can you identify the differences?  

They are numbered with a full explanation about the details below the eight.

The credit (not the blame) for the inspiration about this section goes to Allen Potter of the FB Jokers Collector Club. He did a series of 10 posts about Bicycle jokers in Nov 2022 which trained me to see my Bicycle jokers with an enhanced attention to detail. BTW, please leave a comment at the end about your thoughts on this little game.

 Joker 1

Joker 2

Joker 3

Joker 4

Joker 5

Jokers 6

Joker 7

Jokers 8

 Puzzle Answers

Joker 1 is cool in a few ways. The enlarged indices are part of it but so is the US address which predates the modern Zip code system (introduced in 1963).

Joker 2: The king has been replaced by Santa Claus with a sack on his back full of toys. Allen pointed this out and I found one with Santa in my collection that I hadn't noticed. He says that it was published as part of a special Christmas Edition 1993/1994.  There are full sized images of this which I am now looking for. Some other differences to notice between 1 and 2 include the size of the corner indices, the font used for the word Guarantee, the wording of the Guarantee, and the address of the Guarantee.

 Joker 3: The king is wearing a jester hat.

Joker 4: The milestone has 88 on it which is less common. Usually, as on #3, it's 808 which refers to the Bicycle product line. The 88 refers to the enlarged corner indices. A milestone dates from Roman times when their roads including mile markers, on stones.

Joker 5. The king has been replaced by a queen. And the milestone marker says 1850, the date of the launch of the first Bicycle Playing Cards. 

Joker 6. You'll need to look closely at the pictures to catch what's special about those three. Right above the milestone, there is a registered copyright notice (a little C in a circle). This is very unusual. Usually, there is either nothing or a registered trademark (a little R in a circle). I have no idea why this one has a copyright notice. But don't get me started talking about the difference between a copyright and trademark for a few reasons, one is that I only barely understand it..

Joker 7 has a little manufacturing number at the bottom, tiny text. Here is a link to the USPCC website where they explain how the codes indicate the year of manufacture which is usually on the ace of spades and sometimes on the joker. Note that the explanation does not in any way help explain these letters. 366 75. Stay tuned as I research it.

Jokers 8 have different markings on the milestone:" one is blank, the other is 808. 

Enjoy this little game? Leave a comment and say so.

Learn More about the Bicycle Brand? I have written about the Air Cushion finish of Bicycle Cards?
The World Of Playing Cards website has a great article on the early Bicycle decks. Mouthwatering!
Here's the Bicycle and USPCC history as written by themselves!

Here's my article on the Bicycle 808 (versus 807). Key point. The 808 was an early USPCC manufacturing code. The first deck produced was 101, the second was 202, and the eighth was coded 808. It was the Bicycle brand which was such a hit that it survives to this day.

I have the unicycle jokers in a separate section. They're grouped with the skaters. Check them out now! What to see next?
Want to see the Cat Jokers?  Alice in Wonderland Jokers?  Pretty Girls in Bikinis Jokers?  Overall organization of the joker collection?
Or, go read about the history of the   US Playing Card Company  or another popular historic US Playing Card Company Brand: Congress Jokers).

Now might also be a good time to read about the overall joker collection taxonomy or organization

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Thanks for your input and for reading and thinking about jokers.