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  • Peter Berthoud

Contraband (All Editions)

Updated: Dec 27, 2022

Contraband Card Game, Pepys Series


First Published: 1950, Pepys Series by Castell Brothers Ltd. Bow Street, London & North Wallace Street, Glasgow and later St. Cross Street, London

Illustrator or Designer: Not Credited


Contents: 54 Cards, £10,000 in Pepys Currency + Rules Booklet


Contraband Box Lid Front 1st to 4th Editions
Contraband Box Lid Front 1st to 4th Editions

Contraband Box Lid Front 5th Edition
Contraband Box Lid Front 5th Edition

The pack contains: 1 Ruritanian Crown Jewels, 1 Diplomatic bag, 4 each of 7 items (Watch, Brandy, Perfume, Diamond Necklace, Silk Stockings, Whisky, Camera) and 24 identical cards showing items not liable for duty.


Contraband cards: 1st Edition, Blue Backs, No Fines or Duty on cards
Contraband cards: 1st Edition, Blue Backs, No Fines or Duty on cards

Contraband cards: 2nd or 3rd Edition, Red Backs:  items not liable for duty, Ruritanian Crown Jewels, Diplomatic bag, Watch, Brandy, Perfume, Diamond Necklace, Silk Stockings, Whisky, Camera
Contraband cards: 2nd or 3rd Edition, Red Backs: items not liable for duty, Ruritanian Crown Jewels, Diplomatic bag, Watch, Brandy, Perfume, Diamond Necklace, Silk Stockings, Camera, Whisky.

Contraband cards: 3rd or 4th Edition, Red Backs:  Perfume,  Silk Stockings, Camera, Whisky
Contraband cards: 3rd or 4th Edition, Red Backs: Perfume, Silk Stockings, Camera, Whisky

Contraband's various editions can be confusing. The 1st Edition has blue card backs and no Duty or Fine values on the cards, there is also a misspelling. The 2nd Edition corrects the Misspelling and adds values to the cards which now have red backs. The third and/or 4th editions change some of these values.


In addition to the cards there are differences in the Pepys Currency between editions. The 1st Edition currency is printed on thin card and hardly fits the box. In the 2nd and subsequent editions the currency is printed on paper and does fix the box but the range of colours used for different denominations changes.


In the 5th Edition we have a settled version with a new box and one known set of cards and currency.


I know that the 2nd Edition currency that Rex Pitts illustrated in his World of Playing Cards article doesn't match any set I have, hence my ambiguous numbering of editions 2-4. In the same article there are details of an interesting foreign language edition.

Packing Slip dated 24th Jul 1971 from a 4th Ed game.
Packing Slip dated 24th Jul 1971 from a 4th Ed game.

The game in its original box was produced until at least 1971. The fifth edition in the suitcase box was first produced circa 1973.


Lagoon reissued the game in 2011.






Contraband Lagoon Edition 2011
Contraband Lagoon Edition 2011













The "5th Edition" in the suitcase style box was part of Rex Pitts' personal collection, his temporary identification sticker is in the top left corner.



Game & Version Details



Contraband 1st Ed - Currency



Contraband 2nd or 3rd Ed - Currency



Contraband 3rd or 4th Ed - Currency



Contraband 5th Ed - Currency


Contraband 1st Ed - Card Back


Contraband 2nd-4th Eds - Card Back


Contraband 5th Ed - Card Back


Contraband 1st Ed - Rules Front



Contraband 1st Ed - Rules Back



Games Advertised:

Speed

Sylabex

Disney Wu-Pee

I Commit

Woodland Happy Families

International Football Whist

Mickey and the Beanstalk

Faraway Tree

Picture Dominoes


Contraband 2nd or 3rd Ed - Rules Front




Advertised:

Pepys Series Games Club



Contraband 2nd or 3rd Ed - Rules Back



Games Advertised:

Chase

Woodland Snap

Woodland Happy Families

Faraway Tree

Snow White

Peter and the Wolf

Disney Wu-Pee

Mickey and the Beanstalk

Speed

Picture Dominoes

Sylabex

International Football Whist

I Commit




Contraband 3rd or 4th Ed- Rules Front


Contraband 3rd or 4th Ed - Rules Back



Games Advertised:

Penalty

Stocks & Shares

Channel X



Contraband 5th Ed - Rules Front



​​Contraband 5th Ed - Rules Back



Games Advertised:

Penalty

Stocks & Shares

Channel X



Contraband 1st-4th Eds - Box Top Side



Contraband 1st-4th Eds - Box Side Left



Contraband 1st-4th Eds - Box Bottom Side



Contraband 1st-4th Eds - Box Side Right



Contraband 5th Ed - Box Top



Contraband 5th Ed - Box Side Left


Contraband 5th Ed - Box Bottom Side


Contraband 5th Ed - Box Side Right


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