Inspired by the game of the same name, Wasteland was a collaboration between inXile Entertainment and Kings Wild Project. A post apocalyptic, high energy game and a deck with the same attitude. The building blocks of this venture started a while back, when the two Kickstarter project creators, Jackson Robinson and Brian Fargo were two of the subjects featured in the Crowd Funding documentary Capital C. The documentary followed 3 projects, two which were Wastelands 2 and Federal 52. The rest, as they say, is history.
Jackson Robinson's talent and attention to detail shine through on Wasteland. The "Radioactive" edition is a fun and entertaining nod to the video game, bright colors, weathered looks and edge, along with an assortment of unique characters making up the court cards.
A beautifully appropriate Ace of Spades anchors the black and red band running through the face and court cards giving the deck a nice connection when fanned. The eerie yet entertaining Jokers fit right in with the inspiration of the deck and I can't help but love the "Big Baby" Joker sporting the Kings Wild Logo on his belly. The full color illustrations on the standard deck are gritty, detailed and perfectly at home in this deck. The Radioactive edition is full of color and punch, from the look to the design elements, the deck just screams the over the top look and feel of the video game. The full color matte tuck case wraps this package up perfectly and is sealed off with a gold foil seal tagged with a radioactive logo.
I have to be honest though, what really stands out on this project for me is the Kickstarter Exclusive Desert Rangers Edition. A lot of decks use "Bling" for the sake of Bling, but when that "Bling" is used in a perfect balance it's just remarkable. The Desert Rangers isn't just a tuck swap, and we'll get to the tuck in a minute. The decks do share the same illustrations, but the face cards and courts take on a monochrome look with gold metallic ink accenting the band on the faces and courts, while the back design takes on a entirely new look.
Let's start with the tuck. Constructed of a nice heavy stock, in an antique gold foil, with an amazing stressed and weathered look that the renders did no justice to. The embossed Desert Rangers star on the front and the Wasteland band on the back shows that details do matter. It's all so subtle, but so perfectly used its hard to discount how well planned the look of this deck was. Sealing off the deck is the iconic Kings Wild Gas Mask Logo which has never looked more at home.
The back design is just amazing. The subtle details in the frame work on the weathered black backdrop are perfect. Top it off with two beautiful gold foil Desert Rangers "Badges" in a mirrored "Rider Back" layout and it's perfection. Printed by the Expert Playing Card Co., they continue to perfect their work with foil and it's application on playing cards. The Desert Rangers Edition was an awesome surprise when I opened it. Its difficult to convey in renders what the finished product will look like, and on the flip side, it's sometimes difficult to deliver the concept to the finished product...Desert Rangers surpassed my expectations.
Both versions are great, but there is no hiding which deck stands out of the two. With Desert Rangers being a Kickstarter Exclusive, it may take a little looking around the secondary market for one, but this is one of those decks worth adding to your collection if the concept appeals to you. If your a gamer, the Radioactive edition should be a no brainer. As a collector, a deck like Desert Rangers delivers beautiful "Simplicity" in a pack that just has to be opened and appreciated. Collectors, don't pass this one by.