D Xpo"Solid Seconds" 2006

This xpo shows the jokers that didn't make it to become "joker of the month" in 2006, but they were all.........a solid second!






All jokers come from existing decks, except for the first joker in the bottom row. This re-edition of an older joker was printed on a modern inkjet or laserjet printer at home, somewhere in one of the Baltic states. We had wanted to give our view on these home-made "jokers" then, but that month a better joker came along with it's own story. So now it's a good time to express our thoughts on the subject.

Nowadays it's easy to make your own deck of cards. There are pc programs available in packages, which include several sheets of "playing card carton", that can be used on any modern printer. The results however strongly depend on the resolution of the printer.
So with a little creativity, you can make a sheet of different single jokers too. As these unique designs will interest joker collectors, making them can be a profitable business. Some 15 years ago this was already discovered in Belgium, where a series of some 60 single jokers was printed by an actual printing firm on actual playing card carton. They found their way to many Belgian and other joker collectors. Although the designs were very different in theme and not all jokers have the same quality in design, some collectors even started collecting the whole series. A profitable business for this publisher? Here's a little math: at that time 1 (Dutch) guilder was a reasonable price for a brand new joker. Depending on the ordered number of sheets, the price for "one deck" (with no additional costs for boxes!) would have been between 3 and 5 guilders. Sold at 1 guilder per joker, the profit will be about 55 guilders per deck. Nowadays 1 euro (= 2.20 former Dutch guilder) is a reasonable price for a joker! And of course home printed sheets cost even less!

At first we too had added some of these jokers to our collection, but as soon as we found out that these jokers never came with a deck, we have stopped buying these jokers. Because we felt a bit cheated. It's a sport to find non-standard jokers in standard (or non-standard) decks. Printing single jokers, just to make some money, is fouling up that sport in our view. The field is already widening enough as it is. Each year worldwide a great number of new decks is published, with new jokers to find. Booming countries, like China and India, are already producing more and more decks and most of them find their way around the globe. 

In this ever widening field WE are not waiting for oportunists, who have found out that there are joker collectors out there and that they are willing to pay a good price for a piece of carton with a joker design on it. So at this moment we carefully feel and  look at any suspicious looking new joker. Usually the (lack of) quality of the carton is a good indication to take a closer look. But with the improving quality of home printing machines, we often need to use a magnifying glass nowadays. So we're afraid that a good number of collectors will have some of these fake jokers at home without even knowing it. 

Of course everybody is free to choose his own way in collecting, but we do not participate in this particular part of the field. For us these jokers will always be qualified as fakes!

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Name and shame the guys that produce or sell laser print jokers without telling it.. No-one likes to be ill-treated. Imagine you change a banknote of  100 euro and in return you get two laser print banknotes of 50 euro, still happy ????. Yes, see you in jail. Warn your friends.

Tom Klein