A little something different this week for our regular Thrift Treasure series. We usually concentrate on games and puzzles, and this Windproof Magnetic Playing Card set fits close enough to the theme.
Many times when we find cool vintage stuff like this, the company has been long out of business or moved on to other products. And the only place you can still find copies are at your local thrift store or on resale sites like eBay. But fortunately this isn’t the case with this offering from Kling Magnetics – they’re still in business and manufacturing Magnetic Playing Cards as they have since 1963!
Our copy is an earlier version when the license belonged to Regal & Wade Mfg. based in Maspeth, NY. We could not determine the events leading up to the line becoming a company of its own, but it does appear to be a case of a product outlasting the original manufacturer.
The idea behind the Windproof Magnetic Playing Cards is simple and elegantly done. Each card is printed on a special metal-based substrate. The board itself is embedded with magnets just far enough apart to always be able to grab a card without moving it.
Almost any game you can play with a standard deck of 52 cards can be played on this board as long as you don’t have to stack the cards too high. In our case, a nice game of solitaire on a sunny afternoon perfectly demonstrated the flexibility of the product.
Many games have a draw and discard pile, and even back in the 1960’s they already had a solution for this. Included is a custom plastic deck holder with an elastic band running across the top of both piles. Even a large gust of wind wouldn’t blow the heavier-than-normal cards from the piles.
While this wouldn’t have fit into our guide of games to play IN the pool, it is a good companion for those that are water-shy but still want to enjoy being poolside with the rest of the family.
You can purchase one for yourself directly from Kling Magnetics or from Amazon. There are also a number of used copies currently on eBay if you’d like to save a couple bucks. I’m just hoping to find some paper plates compatible with this board to keep my food from blowing away at our next picnic!