Just a quick little update for today, just a few things I felt were worth sharing.
Worlds 2002 Promos
First off, while trying to research an article about bootleg and counterfeit Pokémon TCG cards, I stumbled across this reddit post (namely from r/pokemon) about some of my old promo cards, namely the ones I released for Worlds 2002 in Seattle. Below is a quick preview, but you should be able to click on it to see the actual post.
Unfortunately they either forgot they had a Zapdos, or they were never given one. If you want to see what the cards actually did, or at least wanted to get a higher quality look at them, check them out below:
Aaah I love seeing any time my old fakes reappear online like this. Anyways, some of the comments brought up a few points that I’d like to share, along with some other bits and pieces:
- Kaizeren Myuu and I split duties on the artwork; she covered the Johto legendaries plus Latias, whereas I took the Kanto legendaries plus Latios.
- Fave comments: “Never seen them, fooled me at first though.” — MakesYouSeemRacist / “Almost too bad they’re fake, its an interesting set.” — BlackToothBob
- These kinds of reviews are the absolute best that any faker can get. At least ones focus on authenticity like I was.
- “Sometimes when the site owners would go to conventions or tournaments, they would print out copies of some of their more popular fakes to give out for promotion. It’s possible these are some of them.” — [deleted]
- For the record, again, these were actually exclusive fakes that we handed out for Worlds 2002 in Seattle. We also handed out promo fakes at 2001 WCSTS, Origins 2003, GenCon 2003, Worlds 2010 and Worlds 2011. The latter two were done for fun, with the help of Chris Silver (thanks again!).
- That said, I can’t exactly remember when I started handing out convention-exclusive promo fake cards. I mean, I do remember the first one I did on a massive scale was my three-part Nick15’s Tyranitar/Mewtwo/Scizor fake I made for the 2001 WCSTS in San Diego. And then there were stuff like my 2000 WCSTS Electabuzz, but that was part of the tournament’s own “Create-A-Card” event. But there were all kinds of minor events and mall tours… I can’t remember if I simply printed out some Fake Edition or Mayakashi Edition fakes, or if I made some one-off fake that were exclusive only to that mall tour.
- All that said, I think the first TRUE exclusive promo fake card I made was Nick15’s Alakazam (pictured right), which I produced for the September 8th, 2001 WCSTS qualifier event at Neutral Ground in Mountain View, CA.
- “…the moltres card includes the burn status in one of its attacks, which I don’t think was included in the trading card game up to that point” — BlackToothBob
- For the record, the Burned Special Condition was added to the game in the Expedition Base Set. Now technically, the English release of Expedition was in September 15, 2002, just after Worlds 2002 (which was around August 3, 2002). However, it was released in Japan in the year prior (December 1, 2001), so the concept of “Burned” in the TCG was around for a few months by then. I’m also sure that Wizards of the Coast had also been discussing the introduction of the Burned Special Condition in the advertising hype building up prior to its official English release. With all this said, the “Burned” concept was toyed with in earlier sets via “Char Counters”, which were introduced in Neo Genesis, particularly with Quilava #47. However, Char Counters were not considered one of the “Special Conditions”, and were never to be seen again once Burned was added to the list of official Special Conditions.
…OK, that’s about everything I wanted to share about what was said about these. Anyways, it was nice to see
Anniversary of the Passing of the Original PokéGym (The Dojo Era)
Everyone’s familiar with the PokéGym, right? It’s one of the top and oldest Pokémon TCG news and strategy sites online, and home to Team Compendium, the main rulings body for the Pokémon TCG.
Well, once upon a time, its longevity wasn’t so assured. In fact, as it turns out, two days ago ended up being the twentith anniversary of the passing of the Original PokéGym, the one from the Psylum/The Dojo era and located at pokegym.thedojo.com (versus pokegym.net). Or at least, it was the twentith anniversary of when I reported on it. This version of the ‘Gym was what the current ‘Gym was built off of, and it lasted as long as it has to this day because of how important it was back then.
The twentith anniversary of its original demise was actually a random surprise; I didn’t realize it until I just happened to randomly poke through some of PA!’s old news. In fact, you can read the story as it happened back in the day:
Saturday, January 20th, 2001
Let’s see…. The PokéGym was part of another company called “Psylum Inc.”. Not only did Psylum run the ‘Gym, but they also ran The Dojo (a Magic site) along with a slew of other popular sites.
Now Psylum was bought up by USA Networks about a year ago. USA Networks is a TV network (like NBC, CBS, etc), which also owns the Sci-Fi network. … No for some reason (the details yet unknown to the simple PokéGym fan like me), USA Networks wanted to go in a “new direction”. And Pokémon (along with Magic and all the other Psylum sites) weren’t part of that new direction. With that, they decided to shut down the Psylum sites. To make matters worse, they shut them down quietly WITHOUT warning or discussing it with ANYONE with a Psylum site.
Tyais and Qasic (the PokéGym webmasters) were totally powerless to stop it. Although Qasic postponed the shut down of the UBB (thinking it was a hacker the first time around), he didn’t totally stop it. Basically USA Networks said for them to shut it down, and they had no choice but to comply.
It really sucks, doesn’t it? Its like if construction workers just came waltzing in to your house and said “we’re tearing this down” and began destroying your home.
… So now everyone’s asking, will there be a ressurection of the PokéGym? Well, yes and no. First off, Tyais didn’t seem to feel like going on any more after the shut down… but I’m sure his mind will change after about a few days of thinking about it. God knows the same thing happened with me a while back. 😉 …. Secondly, most of the information at the PokéGym, including the layout and everything else belongs to USA Networks. So there’s very little chance of ever getting the info or anything else from the ‘Gym back.
Now if Tyais and Qasic ever wanted to get the Gym back, they’ll have to restart the site from SCRATCH. Which will really be a time waster, but they have no alternative… other than just not doing it again. Of course, the ‘Gym wasn’t just a website, it was a community, so there are literally dozens of people willing to resurect the ‘Gym to it’s former state. And weill probably do it with or without Tyais or Qasic. God knows I’m willing to work on a new design for the ‘Gym. (^_^)
.. Reconstruction has begun however. The ‘Gym already got a temporary ezBoard as a replacement for the UBB. There you’ll find log of the chat that Qasic and Tyais had the day of the ‘Gyms demise. Although it may be complicated to read, it will explain more about this whole situation than I ever could. Hmmm…
Well, here’s the link to the ezBoard. You’ll be seeing me there a lot too. Also check there (and here) for updates on the ‘Gym’s situation. Dark Master Trainer Mike of Wizards fame says he has something that may solve the ‘Gym’s problem. We’ll wait and find out.
Fortunately, Wizards of the Coast was able to step in and save the day! As it turned out, WOTC was trying to build its own internet community and build up an entire forum system, using the PokéGym as its founding board. This time, however, the ‘Gym would be dubbed “Wizard’s PokéGym”, or WizPoG for short… turning into a stealth pun/reference to Wizpig from Diddy Kong Racing (a joke I didn’t catch until quite literally last year). This form of the ‘Gym would last until the end of Wizards’ regency over the Pokémon TCG in 2003, when the ‘Gym was spun off one last time into its current incarnation.
I managed to luck out in the middle of this, because Tyais had only just set up a “Create-A-Card” forum on the old Psylum PokéGym and made me a moderator of it. This in turn transferred me to being one of the mods for WizPoG, and therefore technically under the employ of Wizards of the Coast for a couple years. This was technically my first job, but I really didn’t earn much from it, and I didn’t take it very seriously, trolling my other coworkers and acting the fool… but… I was just a dumbass kid back then who didn’t know any better. Still, I remained a mod even in the modern form of the ‘Gym, even helping with the set up process in 2003, only to finally move on in 2004.
Anyways, I’ve always had such great memories of the PokéGym, across all of its incarnations. The fact that it went down twenty years ago nearly to the day is simply but one of it’s myriad of other important moments in its history… but certainly one of it’s most important ones as it’s what spurred the ‘Gym towards what it is today.
Today is PA!’s NINETH Anniversary??!
I’ll keep this one quick, but…
Yeah, today is PA!’s NINETH Anniversary! Even though the site is also over twenty years old. What gives?
Actually, technically it’s been nine years since THIS incarnation of the site began. Namely, its current WordPress form. Back around then I had gotten back into playing the Pokémon TCG during the Black/White Block, and I started trying to calculate the print runs for each of the BW sets which had been released. At the time all of my work had been shared at the PokéGym, but it was getting hard to organize everything… so I thought, why not start up PA! again so I have my own Pokémon website to post Pokémon-related crap? And that’s what I did!
This would end up being what I would consider to the site’s first post. From that point on I would catch myself updating once a year or so, until November 2019 when I decided to start the site back up full time. And so here we are!
Sorry, it’s not nearly as exciting as any other more important anniversary, but hey, I still felt like it was worth sharing.
And that’s about it for today. Just a quick little walk down Memory Lane. … And by “quick”, I mean a twenty paragraph essay with inline source citations. Huzzah! Good times.