Introducing Double 12 Travel Domino Playing Cards (“Mexican Train”) – A Creative New Product from Walnut Studiolo

A new game design from Walnut Studiolo, our travel-sized version of Double 12 dominoes uses the most efficient material for travel size and weight: playing cards! Coupled with a “Mexican Train” themed set of accessories, our Double 12 Travel Domino Playing Cards will become your favorite family travel game for cabin getaways and 2-10 players.

Back Story

Customers have been requesting a Double 12 domino version of our Travel Dominoes since we first introduced our Baltic birch Double 6 Travel Domino set years ago, specifically for playing “Mexican Train” which is a popular “trains” game in the US. But increasing from a Double 6 to a Double 12 set triples the number of dominoes. That’s a lot of wood, and a lot of sanding! It takes particular skill to line up similar wood grains without unique markings for dominoes, and 28 is a challenge. Because a double 12 set requires 91 tiles, we needed the material weight and cost to be more effective than wood or leather — playing cards were the answer! 

During prototyping and testing, we carefully tested several sizes and styles of material to end up with just the right playing card material and size for these dominoes. The thin, FSC-certified card stock provides the best table action for dominoes: they don’t glide across the table with air-cushioned ease (a feature you want in regular playing cards but not with domino cards!) and the thinner material is easier to pick up and put down into domino formations.

Lightweight, Sustainable, and Functional Travel Dominoes

We played and prototyped these cards for months before hand-drawing each tile. We think the new design ticks all the boxes:

  • Lightweight and minimal for travel
  • Approximately the same size as a normal domino tile
  • Good combination of “stickiness” and “smoothness” for ease of play
  • Recycled, sustainable material sourcing
  • Versatile game for couples to large gatherings
  • Colorful pips for faster recognition during play
  • Innovative corner numbers (our original idea!) for viewing domino values fanned in the hand
  • Hand-drawn artwork to emphasize our original handicraft

For shuffling, we find these cards are easier and faster to flip over than traditional domino tiles. Shuffle them just like you do with tiles: turn facedown and swirl around the table, “Monaco style”.

The “Monaco shuffle”: turn cards upside down and swirl in circles to distribute.

Travel “Mexican Train”

“Mexican Train” is one of our customers’ favorite games and this set was designed specially for this game, with 10 train cards, a “quick start guide” with how many cards to deal how many players, and a link to complete rules of play and a free printable scoresheet

Double 12 Travel Dominoes come with 10 train cards, rules of play, and a free printable scoresheet for Travel Mexican Train.
Photography credit: Lindsey Rickert

Our printable, half-page PDF Mexican Train scoresheet matches the look and feel of our dominoes and is available free for all with the link on our website:

What’s Included:

  • 91 quarter-size domino playing cards (from 0/0 to 12/12)
  • 10 train cards
  • 4 blank replacement cards
  • 1 Mexican Train “quick start guide” card with link to full rules of play and free printable scoresheet
  • All inside a printed tuck box (can be also used as a train hub!)

We can’t wait to hear what you think of the new design! We welcome your feedback at walnutstudiolo [at] gmail [dot] com.

Double 12 Travel Dominoes have a unique, hand-drawn design and innovative corner numbers for fanning dominoes in the hand.
Photography credit: Lindsey Rickert

About Walnut Studiolo

Walnut Studiolo crafts original modern designs by hand in our Oregon workshop using only natural materials. We are a family-run company located on the North Oregon Coast. Learn more about us on our website: https://walnutstudiolo.com

2 thoughts on “Introducing Double 12 Travel Domino Playing Cards (“Mexican Train”) – A Creative New Product from Walnut Studiolo

  1. Hello! I love these playing cards you made! I was just wondering if you had a normal sized deck of these playing cards? My parents love this gave and have a VERY old card deck. I think these would be too small for my dad to read and use. If you had a normal size deck that would be amazing since they don’t make these anymore!
    Thank you for your time!

    1. Hi Mark, Great question, thanks for asking. During R&D, we actually tried a larger size deck and found that a large card didn’t play as well on the table, taking up too much room. We actually liked the small domino-sized cards better for game play. But we have had several requests for this size and we are currently considering printing a small run of full-sized cards to see how they turn out. Shoot us an email for details: walnutstudiolo [at] gmail [dot] com.

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