Hi Debra, it could be a knock-off but it wouldn't surprise me if it were an early edition. Some of the decks that are commonly associated with US Games or AG Muller turn out to be reincarnations of earlier editions by other publishers. I know there is an earlier version of the US Games I Ching Cards, and there are a few others that I know of. But it could be a more recent edition made under license from AG Muller. Maybe the seller would know. I do like the additional colors. If I had the cash to spare right now I think I would snag it myself.
quote: In 1986, the company acquired Heraclio Fournier, S.A., the largest playing card manufacturer in Europe. In 1987, USPC acquired Arrco Playing Card Company, the third largest playing card manufacturer in the country. International Playing Card Company, a Canadian subsidiary of USPC since 1914, maintained its own manufacturing operation from 1928 to 1991. Currently, International Playing Card Company is a sales and marketing organization located in Ontario.
The United States Playing Card Company was acquired by a series of new owners: Diamond International in 1969, Jessup & Lamont in 1982, Frontenac in 1989.
In late 1994, however, after a long and tedious struggle, Company Management, along with some local investors were ultimately victorious in accomplishing a buyout. The ownership of The United States Playing Card Company was finally returned to its Cincinnati roots.
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So they say, but Wikipedia reveals:
USPC has owned Spanish playing card manufacturer Heraclio Fournier since 1986. In 2004 they acquired Kem Playing Cards, makers of durable high-quality plastic playing cards. Also in 2004, it was acquired over the course of four months by the JardenCorporation and made into a subsidiary.
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Jarden probably owns everybody, whether it is publicized or not.
U.S. Games Systems, Inc., of which Stuart R. Kaplan "President" is merely a stockholder (once he became a full time employee back in the mid-seventies, his name stopped appearing as copyright holder for his contributions) may no longer exist. Kaplan is overdue for retirement, and it may be that is all that stands in the way of Jarden announcing their acquisition of U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
And it should be noted, U.S. Games Systems, Inc. publishes nothing themselves, but has always been a marketing clearing house with outside facilities providing any printing, etc. Essentially, U.S. Games Systems, Inc. is in the business of holding copyrights. Translation: The Rider Tarot. Thin ice at best!