Pokemon Trading Card Game (TCG)

By Matt

Released in 1998, the Pokemon Card Game fad began, starting with the Base set. Until 2003, Wizards of the Coast published Pokemon cards, which would explain the change in the card layouts. The trading cards come in booster packs of various numbers, the most recent being 10. This was most recently; other booster packs have only included 9 cards.

Each card had a picture of the Pokemon on the top half of the card, its name, type, HP, and information, like species, height and weight. On the older cards, the symbol for the set would be right next to the information below the picture. Later on, the symbol was moved to the bottom right of the card. The bottom half would have either moves or abilities, depending on the card. These moves would require energy cards, which would come in plentiful amounts with the theme deck that would be purchased.

Starting with Pokemon Diamond and Pearl sets, there were some moves that did not require energy to be used; it would have a blank moon-like icon next to its move. Also, a Pokemon ability, as it was called back then, was changed, and is either a Poke-Body, which stays throughout the term it is the active Pokemon, or a Poke-Power, which could be used when the proper requirements were met. Other characteristics of cards included moves with secondary effects, some of which would correspond with the status conditions of the Pokemon games. Actually, all of the status conditions (that is, Burn, Paralyze, Confuse, Poison, Sleep) have been included in this game, all with similar effects.

Through time, a description of the Pokemon was put on the bottom of the card; this was removed for some time, and then reprinted starting with the Diamond and Pearl cards. Since cards were released in series, there would be a number on the bottom right of the corner. The first one would be its number in the series, and the second would be the total number of cards in that particular series. To prevent confusion about the card series, a symbol would be placed somewhere near the bottom-right of the card. The shape located next to the number would also tell you something about the card. A circle represents common rarity, a diamond, uncommon rarity, a star, rare, and a holographic star, ultra rare.

New forms of cards have been introduced as ultra-rare, like the EX cards, which are extremely powerful, but at the same time, extremely rare. EX cards are different from today’s Lv. X cards, which must be placed on top of the same Pokemon to take effect. To promote series like Generation IV and V, collectible tins have been released, along with one of the promo cards for three starters of that region.

If you remember a few years ago (in 2008), Burger King had a Pokemon card that came with each BK Kids meal you would order. Collectors today look for cards that they are missing, and would pay a great amount to complete their collection. Although I am a collector, I just get what I can find, and I don’t really worry about completion. The cards will always remind me that I will be a Pokemon fan forever.



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