Building structures with playing cards is a fine amusement, but requires an extremely stable surface, a good eye and a measure of simple good fortune. These cards, produced by Eames Office and designed by Charles and Ray Eames, have six slots each, which allows them to interlock securely while minimizing the need for exceptional skill or luck.
From the Eames Office toy page (which also explains the history of the cards):
The images are of what [the] Eameses called “good stuff “, chosen to celebrate “familiar and nostalgic objects from the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms.”
The related Eames Gallery offers the House of Cards in several styles and sizes: Small ( 3 3/4 by 2 3/4 inches), Medium ((7 by 4 1/2 inches), or Giant (11 by 7 inches). Quantities and images vary by size; there’s also a set featuring images of Eames textiles.
These visually stimulating cards lend themselves to all sorts of uses. They’d be great as entertainment for anyone stuck in bed (or hospital); as a tool for practicing dexterity and hand-eye coordination; as a cooperative interactive game between people of varied ages; or as a story-telling motivator in a nursing home.
The Eames Gallery online store is bizarre and impossible to navigate, but you’ll probably have to shop there to buy the Giant or Textile versions. If you’re going for the medium or small sizes, try MOMA instead.