Naipes Comas is one of the most important card manufacturers in Spain. It might not be as important as Heraclio Fournier, but it is still very well known, and their products have a very high quality.
It is also a very old company, the oldest cardmaking company in Spain. The founder was D. Pedro Comas, who produced the first card decks in 1797. Between that year and 1810, the company was settled in Mataró, afterwards it moved to Barcelona.
The company was controlled by several (4) generations of the Comas family until it was turned into a joint stock company in 1954, whose name is NEGSA (Naipes y Especialidades Gráficas S.A.). 5 years later, they moved the factory to Hospitalet de Llobregat because they needed more space.
The whole story of the company can be read in English in their homepage: www.naipescomas.com
In 2010, the company was purchased by their competitors Cartamundi (Belgium). Cartamundi was present in the Spanish market since 2002, and it had been gaining importance ever since, due to the licenses of famous toy-lines and movies. The acquisition seems to be an attempt to gain more market share by leaving out Comas, because they’re currently not using the factories and installations in Barcelona, although they have kept the trademark.
Naipes Comas is not especially popular for their children’s decks, most of the quartets and card games for children are manufactured by the concurrence, although they had a series of popular fairy tales that I remember from the 80s and 90s. They were a cheaper alternative to Heraclio’s quartets. Before that, in the early 80s (also in the last 70s) there were a different series of quartet games, from which I present four of them.
PIPPI LANGSTRUMPF (Nr. 1):
The first of this card games (Cuarteto Nr. 1) has scenes taken from Pippi’s TV series. That series was aired in Spain in 1979, 4 years after its creation, so we can date the card deck around 1980. It is also interesting to mention, that the card deck uses the German name of the Astrid Lindgren's character and not the name for which it was known in Spain that was Pipi Calzaslargas. This is because the quartett is based on a quartett made by FX Schmid years before, in 1971. I have also commented that deck in entry #521.
BANDERAS DE EUROPA/ FLAGS OF EUROPE (Nr. 2):
The second game includes 28 flags from Europe, including, of course, flags of countries that do not exist today, like Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia or the Soviet Union.
Some other peculiar cards in this deck are Greece, which shows the flag that was used between 1975 and 1978. Similarly, Albanian, Romanian and Bulgarian flags correspond to the Communist Republics before the early 1980s. Because of these facts, the card deck was designed probably in 1978 and released in 1979.
One peculiarity of the flag deck is that it is actually a “2 in 1”. There is an extra card (Pirate Flag) to play the “Schwarzer Peter” game.
COCHES DE CARRERAS/ RACING CARS (Nr. 3)
Based on FX-Schmid “Rennwagen”. Some of the most famous pilots of these cars were Fittipaldi, Hurt, Scheckter or Lauda. Families are: Formula 1 (2 families), Formula 2 (2), Sport Protoypes (2), German Touring Series (1) and Nascar (1).
AVIONES DE PASAJEROS/ PASSENGER AIRPLANES (Nr. 4)
Base don FX-Schmid “Verkehrsflugzeuge”. There's a mixture of famous and not-so-famous airplanes from the late 70s, including many American models (Boeing, McDonell-Douglas, Lockheed), Russian models (Tupolev, Antonov, Jakovlev), and some European (Airbus from Germany, Concorde from France...)
Again, the names of the planes are written in German. This can be seen mostly in the Russian models, were the "w" appears instead of the "v", for example "Tupolew" instead of "Tupolev".
They are numbers 1 to 4, by this is just chance. There were more of them made, in one card of the “Pippi Quartet” there’s a card with a list of published decks. In it, we can see that “Flags of Europe” was one of the first released, that’s why I am assigning number 2 to it.
|Promotional Card showing other card decks for children.|
Quartets number 1, 3 and 4 are actually FX-Schmid decks. I guess Comas bought the designs, and the pictures from the German company, because the decks are almost identical. The back of the cards and even the title card are identical in quartets number 3 and 4, sharing the design with the original German decks. The Comas’ logo has been modified to fit the “FX-Schmid” logo on the lower right corner.
Here's a sample of one (of the many decks) FX-Schmid's "Verkehrsflugzeuge-Quartett":
Additional information from Chris (quartettblog.wordpress.com): Flags of Europe (N°2) deck is based on an ASS quartett from 1969. Didn´t know that, so thanks for the hint!
FACTS AND FIGURES
- Name:CUARTETO PIPPI LANGSTRUMPF, CUARTETO BANDERAS DE EUROPA, CUARTETO COCHES DE CARRERAS, CUARTETO AVIONES DE PASAJEROS
- Year: 1979
- Company: Naipes Comas (Spain)