01 April 2014 @ 12:54 am
Set Name: 拡張パック 第1弾 (Expansion Pack)
Set Logo: N/A
Number of Cards: 102
Checklist: Download (PDF)

Notes: The quintessential starting block for the whole series we know and love. To Japan, it was the Expansion Pack, whereas two years later for English audiences we all called it the Base Set, and kids everywhere loved it. While I can't relate to the original Japanese release, I can relate to the English release which came out back when I was in primary school. I remember excitedly seeing the card packs in my local toy store while down shopping with my mum, and my pocket money went toward an original 2-Player Starter set and a Zap! deck. I was hooked after that, and found myself collecting the sets and the decks, playing the game, and having a whole lot of appreciation for the game as a whole; though my interest waned after Rocket's english release, getting back into the TCG was almost like stepping back to this time.

And Expansion Pack was one of the first classic sets I was determined to track down when I got into the Japanese TCG. And I'm glad I did, because it's getting more scarce and expensive these days.

This set is full of a mixture of budding mid-late 90s CGI art by Kenji Kinebuchi, beautiful renders of Pokemon by staple artist Mitsuhiro Arita who has worked for PCL since the base set, filler arts by Ken Sugimori featuring the staple of his stock dex images being displayed on a rendered background, and a singular card by Tomoaki Imakuni -- the one and the same Imakuni? who became more prominent through the TCG in later years in Japan for some very interesting gag style cards and promos. It's kind of amazing thinking that there were only four artists for the entire 102 original cards, not that many more artists really came into the fray until Neo anyway, but it's a lot to take in; to realise just how small the TCG team was when it started off, and even the pack art was done by Mitsuhiro Arita at the time.

I think out of all the cards in the set the titular Charizard of course is a favourite, but I find myself loving the Venusaur art even more. Gyarados and Dragonair are also classic favourites for me, and I think I'll forever love the art of them.

• This set was released in Japan on the 20th of October 1996.
• There is no actual official name for this set, so it's colloquially known as just Expansion Pack, which is what Booster Packs were called in Japan.
• Until VS, there was no printed numbering order. Instead PCL ordered them on their old databases by typing, ascending rarities (commons grouped together followed by uncommon and so on), and dex order after that. This ordering stayed in place from this set to Neo 4.
• The PTCG, and likely this set in general, was conceptualised all the way back in October of 1995 when Red and Green were still in their final stages of development, making this set have the longest development time out of all sets in the TCG. Something expected as it laid down the basic rules of gameplay and the structure of things to come for the next decade.
• There is a special '1st Edition' printing of this set that is colloquially known between English and Japanese collectors as No-Rarity Base Set (レアリティマーク無し) which was a very limited run, most of which are now commanding some very extreme prices if they can be found in good condition, and even more if they're gem. It's very difficult to acquire a full set. While the Starter Packs, which were 60 card randomised decks full of cards just from the Base Set itself, had No-Rarity cards in them when they were first printed there is no guarantee if buying Starter Packs will net a number of these cards. Likewise, there were some printing corrections with the body text on Gust of Wind, Potion, Switch, Energy Retrieval, and Pokemon Trader in those packs which means even if they come with no mark they aren't true No-Rarity base set cards since they're from a secondary printing.
• This set was released as 'Base Set' in English -- much like the Japanese release there was no real official name for the set.
• The Jynx card in this set was censored in the English release, with her dark face being changed to purple.

Scans: Expansion PackCollapse )

Last Updated: 31/03/14 Set Complete
25 May 2012 @ 07:17 pm
A small but exciting update tonight, courtesy of the lovely runners of the PCGN blog. Freeze Bolt and Cold Flare are going to be seeing some old Kanto favourites, finally finishing off the line that began in BW4 with the Venusaur family being in that set. The blog revealed the images of Charmander (010/059), and Charmeleon (011/059) from Freeze Bolt along with Squirtle (012/059), and Wartortle (013/059) from Cold Flare.

It's more than safe to presume we'll be seeing Charizard and Blastoise to match the set. You can check out the new cards below! Interestingly, their Pokedex entries have been blanked out so presumably they'll be entries from the up and coming Black 2 and White 2.

Freeze Bolt:

Cold Flare:

As usual we'll keep you updated as the news comes.

Current Mood: chipper
16 August 2010 @ 01:13 am
Set Name: 構築済みスターター「大海のカイオーガex」 (Construction Starter Ocean's Kyogre ex Deck)
Set Logo:
Number of Cards: 16
Checklist: Download (PDF)

Notes: I've always loved this little deck. The final set-related deck of the PCG era has a few nice choice cards in it such as Psychic-Delta Treecko and Grovyle. The Kyogre ex card in this deck is glossy coated, and actually features a gorgeous water web holo if caught in the right light. It's not as intense as other gloss holos, and thus not picked up by my scanner sadly. Unlike the matching Groudon deck there are no cute joint artworks between any of the cards, but all of the cards have their own unique art that stand out nicely.

● This deck was released on the 3rd of March 2005 exclusively at Pokemon Centres around Japan. The mainstream release date was the 10th of March 2005.
● This deck was released along side Miracle Crystal.
● This, along with the matching Groudon deck, was the final set-related deck released for the PCG-era. The two decks released after this were fillers until the switch over to DP-era.
● These cards were assimilated into the EX Crystal Guardians set in English.

Scans: Ocean's KyogreEX DeckCollapse )

Last Updated: 02/03/14 Set Complete
Current Mood: accomplished
Set Name: Promotional Cards 2006
Set Logo:
Number of Cards: 58 (including 2 Jumbo, 5 Trophy Cards)
Checklist: Download (PDF)

Notes: The promo run for 2006 isn't that half bad. Again, being one of the 'Food Year' promos, there are a LOT of Meiji, a lot of McDonalds, and a lot of Movie promos. This was the last run of PCG-P cards, with most of them featuring Gen IV Pokemon due to the 9th movie. Then the year is cut off at the end, transitioning into the tiny DP-P roots. I'm really fond of the Meiji cards in this promo run due to the art on them, and I really adore the snooty Pidgey McDonalds promo. I'm still missing a lot from this, but it's getting there.

2006 featured 5 trophy cards, including a Victory Ring reprint, Battle Road Stadium reprint (which never made it into English, unlike the original print), Victory Orb reprint, Medals, and the final Tropical Tidal Wave produced before they resumed reprinting Tropical Wind promos. Gym Challenge also sprouted a lot of stamped energies which are in the un-numbered category. My copy of Battle Road Stadium is quite special to me, being a gift from my partner.

• While most of the un-numbered cards for 2006 are officially cataloged on Pokemon-Card.com, there are 3 Trophy cards unaccounted for on their listings.
• The return of un-cataloged Jumbos happens this year with two lovely reprints of Gardevoirδ ex and Tyranitarδ ex. Both cards were originally issued in final decks of PCG-era.

Scans: Promotional Cards 2006Collapse )

Last Updated: 27/07/10
Current Mood: happy
Set Name: ポケモンカードゲーム バトルスタートデッキ カメックス (Battle Start Deck Blastoise)
Set Logo:
Number of Cards: 11
Checklist: Download (PDF)

Notes: Such a nice little deck. All of the battle deck series cards are very nice. Each deck has one devoted artist for the Pokemon. Masakazu Fukuda is the choice for this deck. Blastoise comes in both a holo and non holo variant. The Battle Start series was specially done for the run into Worlds 2010, and were released in conjunction with the WCS site in Japan. They were also a part of the chain of decks that kept the TCG floating for a while until the next set hit the shelves.

• This deck was released in Japan on the 20th of November 2009.

Scans: Battle Start Deck BlastoiseCollapse )

Last Updated: 12/22/11 Set Complete
Current Mood: accomplished
05 November 2009 @ 12:24 am
Set Name: イントロパック Intro Pack
Set Logo: N/A
Number of Cards:40
Checklist: Download (PDF)

Notes: Ah, the original Intro Pack. A highly sought after set which features a number of cards with exclusive art attainable only in this set. It consists of two decks (Bulbasaur and Squirtle), and like the Neo Intro Pack, forms one sub set according to the official card listing on Pokemon-Card.com. Contrary to the fact that it's an Intro Pack, it came quite late into the game in 1999, and so features a number of promotional reprints. It also features a video with a tutorial on how to play the game, something I hope to rip and upload when I have access to triskitty 's rig for doing such a thing for archival purposes.

This entire set made it into CardGB2 on the Game Boy, which was my first introduction to them.

Scans: Intro PackCollapse )

Last Updated: 05/11/09 Set Complete
Current Mood: tired
02 July 2009 @ 06:51 pm
Set Name: スターターパック (Starter Pack)
Set Logo: N/A
Number of Cards: 29
Checklist: Download (PDF)

Notes: It was out of pure luck that I was linked to an auction containing the full set of these cards from a very thoughtful anonymous commenter on the site here. Originally released at the end of 2001, this sub set is a very little known treasure of the e-Card era outside of collector circles; released through the deck only. In Japan, this was the only way to get the cards showcased in this deck, and most of this deck was broken down into the english sets when Wizard of the Coast were jamming every card they could into the series before the end of their license.

The cards were issued with the purchase of a e-Series Starter Pack, featuring 4 cards of one evolutionary family and all 5 trainer cards. It could take anywhere up to 6-9 decks to finish the set of all 29 cards given this random chance which makes the set elusive and hard to piece together.

• This deck was released in Japan on the 1st of December 2001.
• The final evolution of the starters in this set have holographic variations which are part of the 2002 promotional card run, and were obtained by filling out and sending in the form issued in the deck with the token from the box. They are notoriously difficult to find now due to their general expense.

Scans: Starter PackCollapse )

Last Updated: 02/07/09 Set Complete
Current Mood: accomplished
Set Name: マクドナルドオリジナル「ミニマム★パック」(McDonalds Original Minimum Pack)
Set Logo:
Number of Cards: 18 (+12 energy cards)
Checklist: Download (PDF)

Notes: The McDonalds Minimum Pack is a pretty neat subset that was released exclusively through McDonalds in their happy meals early in 2002 by paying an extra 180円, bridging the gap between e1 and e2 with more e-reader compatible cards. It's an oft overlooked set I feel that doesn't get the love it deserves, and features some really nice art across the board and even some really unique styled holos in things like Chikorita and Slowpoke.

Each pack came with 6 cards: three Pokemon, one of which would be holo, and three energies, which likewise would come with one in holo. The packs now are pretty hard to source due to their distribution, and I've never had a chance to pull one apart myself as I've pieced this set together by hand.

One day I might scan the non-holo cards, but for now I'm more content to have the gorgeous full holos scanned. I do own all of them now though!

• This set was released in Japan between the 26th of January and the 24th of February 2002.
• All these cards remained exclusive to Japan and saw no release in English.

Scans: McDonalds Original Minimum PackCollapse )

Last Updated: 13/01/14
Current Mood: tired
30 October 2008 @ 03:19 pm
Set Name: ロケット団 (Rocket Gang)
Set Logo:
Number of Cards: 65
Checklist: Download (PDF)

Notes: What a trip down memory lane. I remember my first card from the English set of this being the holo Rainbow Energy- it was the first set in english to introduce the cosmo holo pattern. A note as to the holos of this set: some of them look like they have oil spots on them, however, they are all pristine cards. The cosmo/galaxy foil is partially visible under some of the normal card print, which means you can get a holo sheen across 90% of the card surface.

I've always been really partial to this set for its art as a whole. All the usual players are on the field here, artist wise, given the generation it was released in. Evil Flareon/Vaporeon/Jolteon really stand out to me, and I love how Arita incorporated purple in all of their backgrounds to link the trio. The boxes for the Evil/Dark type cards in the Japanese release are shorter than their English counterparts, but they still come out on top thanks to better printing resulting in better colour yield (trust me, compared side by side, there is a big difference.)

• This set was released in Japan on the 21st of October 1997.
• There were no corresponding decks released for this set, however a Gift Box does exist. It doesn't contain any new cards, however, unlike many other decks down the track released parallel to sets.
• The Grimer card in this set had the illustration altered for the English release, as localisation teams were worried that people would think Grimer was looking up the passer-by girl's skirt.
• This was also the first set to introduce white-mark rare cards, a tradition that has carried for many years now, though most of the newer "white-mark" cards up until the end of Legend era simply had a holo star or a gold holo star due to the introduction of dark type cards in Neo, which had white rarity marks due to the black background of the cards. During this classic era, secret rare cards featured a triple star instead.
• This set was released as Team Rocket in English.

Scans: Rocket GangCollapse )

Last Updated: 27/06/11 Set Complete
Current Mood: accomplished