All that is left is... to finally do it!

Just a small minor update for you… but I’m basically ready to start work on my Space World Fake Card set! So wait, what was the hold up?

I’ll admit I’m the kind of person who needs to make sure everything is in its right place before I can start working on something, at least if it were up to me. But after all my hard work, I’d say there’s nothing left to work out. Those things included:

  • Getting my Neo Redux blanks completed
  • Knowing what Pokémon will actually be in the set
  • Actually designing the set layout, complete with balanced types, rarities and collector numbers… and for all three sets

Well the last one was the last major hurdle… and it’s finally done! I actually have the three main sets already basically designed, or at least built up enough such that I know what I’m missing so that I can fill it in later. The pages are already set up in the sidebar, but you can see them here below:

That’s right, I actually have the complete full set lists for both Alpha⁹⁷ and Beta⁹⁸ worked out, while the set list for Omega⁹⁹ was left intentionally incomplete in order to give me some flexibility to add whatever I want to it. That said, all three sets will have at least 125 cards each, with the possibility to up them to 130-135 cards in case I need to.

But the key fact is that I can finally start making fake cards without worrying about type balancing or making sure I have enough commons or uncommons, etc. Furthermore, having a layout that I already know ahead of time allows me to build a card without worrying about having to edit insignificant details later, since that was something I caught myself doing a lot with Mayakashi Edition back in the day. Like, because I decided to add or remove one card, it means having to renumber every single card to adjust for that change… or leave it looking inconsistent, which… lol, not gonna happen. The way things are set up, if I do need to make a change that affects other cards in the set, I’ll only need to fix a small handful of cards at most, which makes all the preliminary work I’ve been doing this whole time worth the effort.

Of course there are other things I need to be concerned about, like set logo graphics for the set and other details… but that’s something that I can work on any time. Frankly I plan on taking my time on that, as I intend on using whatever I design as pieces for my Technical and Professional Writing portfolio; this may include stuff like press releases, brochures, retailer advertisements, etc… IRL stuff that would be created for any product that is trying to be sold. Well… I mean, that’s the plan; I might genericize it up a bit just so it doesn’t look like I was actually commissioned by Nintendo to produce this material for them. I’ll think of something, but the point here is, I’m gonna make sure that the energy I spend on this project can be applied towards other ends.

Now if you are keen eyed, you might have also noticed the “Art Style” column. Once again I plan on using a variety of different art styles with my fakes in order to make it look like it’s a proper Pokémon TCG set. So I’ll be doing line art, water colors, Prismacolor markers, 3D-CGI stuff (I just downloaded Blender)… y’know, stuff like from the good ol’ days. I even drew a stupid Gengar to show the kind of artsy-fartsy stuff I could do:

 

Actually the important thing is that I downloaded Blender… I acutally thought that it was some high profile, uber-expensive app which I had to get using… uh… other sources… but no! I just discovered it was totally free! Yay! The thing is, I need to relearn how to do CG modeling, as I’m a decade or two out of sync, but knowing how to model will help me when I start my Unity classes next month. But frankly it can’t be that much harder than Infini-D 4.5, and I was able to do stuff like this with it:

Ahhh… I can’t wait to see where this takes me…!

Anyways, that’s all I have to share at the moment.


I'm lovin' it....? Yeah, I guess I am!

OK so, it took me forever, but I FINALLY found my Nintendo e-Reader. Why? Well, I’ve recently realized that information about the Pokémon TCG during the e-Reader era is pretty slim, and plus, enough time has passed since the original e-Reader era that it’s less a disappointing release and more of a mysterious, not-very-documented part of Pokémon history… and so, why not try to document it a bit better? There’s a whole slew of sprites and other artwork and info which, frankly, doesn’t seem to exist ANYWHERE online, apart from a “Longplay” from a few years back. So that said, I spent my time yesterday and today working on the foundation of a Pokémon TCG Card-E Era… which I just brought online. Yay! I even made a quick YouTube video about the Celebi promo: take a look!

The page itself, for now, goes over the basics about the e-Reader and Dot Code formats, like what the code format actually is, how much data is actually encoded on it… and even one fun fact: apparently it’s theoretically possible for a Dot Code bar to be about half a football field in length (American or Association, take your pick), yet only encode about 2MB of data. That’s right: some 140ft or 43m of Dot Code will barely get you a 2 minute MP3 song. Two 1.44 MB floppy disks would hold more data than that Dot Code. Crazy stuff!

Anyways, more info like that can be found on the Pokémon TCG Card-E Era page, and it’s also still a work in progress as I’ll be adding a lot more to it over the next while. Keep an eye on it!

Finally, I’ve still been going to McDonalds for lunch… haven’t skipped a day! I’m still able to get Pokémon Happy Meals, but for the last five days I’ve literally gotten the exact same toy: the Green #4’s. Well, I don’t mean to complain, because actually I’m still able to get cards from it, and that actually has helped me fill out my card placement data sheet some more. I’m actually only missing ONE card now: Snivy. Incidentally, yesterday I was missing FIVE cards: Grookey, Torchic, Mudkip, Sobble and Snivy… and in two packs today I managed to get FOUR of those cards I’ve been missing. So yay!

The point here is, I’ve basically got the card slot position list worked out, save for Snivy… and even then, based on the numbers, I suspect that it’ll be in the first position in the pack (behind the holo card). Here’s my updated list:

I guess my next question is to see if there are any common connections with what cards you get… like, Charmander/Fennekin and Charmander/Chikorita packs happened twice, so… But, I only have 17 packs catalogued, so who knows.

Anyways, that’s all I have to update you guys on right now. I really should move onto more creative endevours, but I like food.


They just keep on comin', don't they?

I’m gonna keep this news bit short and sweet, mostly because a lot of what I could talk about is already located on the actual “General Mills Pokémon Promos” page I just added. But…. as I found out yesterday, General Mills’ has a “Pokémon 25” promotion as well where they’re giving out packs of cards in specially marked boxes of cereal. I ended up buying two boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch—which fortunately will be eaten because I LOVE that stuff—and within those two packs I discovered ALL of its secrets. Like how the cards are basically reprints of existing cards, although the holo versions use a special holofoil style that is exclusive to this promo. Or how when the box says there is an “exclusive Galarian Ponyta”, it’s means that it’s “exclusive” only to boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch; packs of cards in other General Mills’ cereals won’t have the Galarian Ponyta in it.

But this is a more collector’s focused promotion, because the cards themselves can be found anywhere else. Well, assuming you can actually FIND them first…

Puke.

 


 

In other news, I actually rediscovered my old Gen 1 Pokémon TCG blanks! And by “Gen 1”, I mean, the very first set of Pokémon TCG blanks that I produced for this site way back when. Take a quick look below:

Oh man! Look how AWF…AWFU… AWESOME these blanks were! They were the BEST blanks ever!!!

Ok ok, joking aside… hey, not too bad for a 17 year old who found a niche to fill! But here’s the thing too, this is where I discovered quality of art <<< quality of story; these blanks were far from the best thing anyone has ever done, but no one cared back then! That was the best part; everyone making fakes back when were more focused on having fun… creating their own dream cards of their favorite Pokémon (or Digimon or friends or whatever), no one gave two craps about their quality. If anything, these blanks capture the unbridled joy of making fake cards… there is so much soul imprinted into these blanks that is hard to recapture today, especially since these were the first ones anyone ever made online for fan use.

Well, it’s not to say that modern blanks DON’T have soul! But like, the soul in these blanks exist regardless of their quality, I guess that’s what I’m getting at.

But fortunately I have history and experience to build upon for my modern fakes… if it weren’t for these blanks, I wouldn’t be able to produce anything like this today:

So for that, I can greatly appreciate these old blanks of mine.

ANYWAYS! Just for gits-and-shiggles, I reuploaded that entire set of blanks—which is only the original seven types, three stages (Basic, Stages 1 & 2) and the Trainer card—over on the Blanks Download page in the sidebar. It’s only the blanks, no symbols or fonts, but I do have links to those files in the other “Generation” blanks sections. Everything can be found in the “PA!’s Original Blanks (1999-2004)” section.

But that’s it for the moment! Hopefully seeing the old blanks brings back a few good memories… I know they did for me. Huzzah! Good times.


Wait, doesn't mentioning McDonald's automatically make this about McDonald's regardless??

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to McDonald’s and my luck of getting the Pokémon Happy Meals is still holding out… but today I got my first repeats (two more Green #4’s), so I’m gonna focus on NOT-McDonald’s updates for you.


First off, I finally got around to making a Pokémon Aaah!-centric Instagram account, and I’ve updated the sidebar link away from my personal account—which I hardly use—over to the PA! one. So if you’re on Instagram, join me there instead!

Secondly, so get this… back in an earlier post from last month, I was comparing existing Pokémon TCG blanks from the early-2000s with some bootleg cards made around the same time, one of which was a blank from Pokémon Zeo. However, I had to sort of rebuild that blank from other fake cards because Zeo‘s blanks have basically all disappeared from the internet.

However, PA! Discord user Alveinhero surprised me with a few ZIP files: it was all of Zeo’s blanks! To be specific, they were ZIPs made by Zeo superfans kyatt7 and angurisneo, and Alveinhero simply shared them with me.

So now that I’ve got these ZIP files, what should I do with it? Well, seeing as there is still demand for their blanks—afterall, I’ve been getting a few Google search hits from people looking for them (see below pic)—I guess until someone else closer to Pokémon Zeo‘s inner staff decides to host these files themselves, I’ll host them here on PA!. Afterall, archiving the past is what we’re good at!

Oh yeah, here’s the actual download link (16.3 MB .RAR download). I’ll also be posting the link in Blanks Download page over in the “Artsy Fartsy” Sidebar link. Alas, not all of the blanks are available; only Zeo‘s Card-E and Neo Gym blanks were archived in full. It also has a base collection of Trainer and Energy blanks too. You can see what exactly is included in the archive download using the handy graph below. Of course if anyone else happens to find any more of their blanks, send them this way and I’ll make sure it’s added to the archive.

  • Late Night Bonus Update: after this post went live, Alveinhero sent me ANOTHER ZIP file he found of Zeo blanks, namely their ADV blanks made in 2003. On top of that, as I was looking for my own old blanks, I uncovered a cache of their first Japanese Neo blanks back when they were released for PA! (we’re talking WAAAAY back in the day), so I worked those into the ZIP file above AND updated the list below.

Enjoy! And again, give thanks to kyatt7 and angurisneo for originally archiving them, and for Alveinhero for sharing everything them with me. Good times!

  • Just to address any elephants in the room, it’s been twenty years, kinda childish to hold onto ANY grudge for that long. This is all for the sake of fans who want to see their favorite blanks online again. Clearly there is still a demand for them, so unless someone else wants to host them, I don’t mind doing it until then.

But past that, that’s all I’ve got for you today. Hopefully tomorrow my McDonald’s run will net me the #3 Promo Pack, thus completing my McDonald’s Promo Pack collection… but I still have some more cards to get to complete the set. More importantly, I still have to solve the “Cards in what pack position” situation, where all the cards in the McDonald’s appear only in a specific position, like Oshawott is ALWAYS in the last-most position in a pack, or Fennekin is the middle card of the nonholos… I need more data!!

…Oh, and then also make some fake cards and work on my YouTube series. Whatever.


God if you start squeezing me, I'll start dripping fry grease all over the place.
A Quick Diversion:

Just saw this on a /vp/ archive… lots of good memories in that thread, including…

Yep, I’m definitely still running it. Thanks for remembering me, Anon! :D


The Actual News:

I’m not gonna say it’s been a slow news day, only because… well, PA! isn’t in the Daily Pokémon News business much anymore… BUT we still are in the “Pokémon Data Agregation” business, which is why I’m gung-ho on this McDonald’s Pokémon stuff. It might also be spurred on by the whole “no one can find any!”… though it doesn’t help that some people are buying 100 Happy Meals for Fun and Profit. On the flip side, at least TPCi recognized the increased demand and is willing to pump out more cards and products just to meet demand:

Oh COPE harder (inb4 “pretending to be retarded”). None of this would be an issue if scalpers and low-quality YouTubers didn’t follow Logan Paul’s lead and assume Pokémon cards were a quick and easy was to free money. I’m not gonna play the “this is a kids game about magic animals hurr durr durr” card, because Pokémon is supposed to be for all ages… and while Pokémon is a lot of things to a lot of people, if there’s one thing definitely NOT, it’s being a sound financial investment. If you want to profit from potentially risky investments because you correctly predicted a mad increase in value, you’re better off investing in some altcoins or in the stock market. I did the cryptocurrency thing for a year and made like $3000 off an initial $150 investment. Yeah, Mr. Moneybags, I know… but that’s what cryptocurrency is for.  I play Pokémon because I ENJOY playing and collecting and sharing my fun thoughts and artwork with an audience… not because I think of it as a way to profit from it. And you might be surprised to find that a ton of Pokémon TCG players feel the same way.

For example, I was low on cash a while back, and I had to sell some of my Aquapolis and Skyridge holos for a spot of cash. I HATED digging into my collection like that, but I needed the cash. If it was all about money, I would’ve cashed out ALL of my cards by now, especially since those six cards were potentially worth $1200! But it’s not about that for me… my cards mean more to me as part of my collection than as dollar bills.

Of course then there’s stuff like Magic: the Gathering where Wizards of the Coast recognizes and plays with the value of their cards on the secondary market—going so far as to market their “Secret Lair” series of cards at premium prices—but TPCi has never been about going that far. Perfect example: when Mewtwo-EX was blowing up the tournament scene back around 2012, going as far as being considered Pokémon’sJace the Mind Sculptor” to such a degree that the best tournament decks used Mewtwo-EX either as their win condition OR to defend against other players using Mewtwo-EX’s to win. So what was TPCI’s solution? Stick a promo Mewtwo-EX into a $10 tin (alongside Rayquaza-EX and Darkrai-EX, which also were highly sought-after cards). To be fair, it was a promo version, so at least the regular Next Destinies version of Mewtwo-EX would retain some nominal value… but at least anyone who wanted it could get it for at least a quarter of Mewtwo-EX’s secondary market cost, plus you got a tin and a few packs out of it too. Magic’s solution to Jace the Mind Sculptor, besides banning it, was to stick it into a $40 From the Vault gift set, only to print that in limited run. But the real cherry on this sundae is that Mewtwo-EX is worth peanuts now… definitely a far cry from the $40-$80 during its peak; if there is ever good proof of how short term a Pokémon TCG card’s value is, it’s Mewtwo-EX. Maybe HGSS Yanmega Prime too.

The point here is… anyone crying about Pokémon cards losing value, or even trying to profit from it to begin with, is in the wrong business here. I’ve been playing the Pokémon TCG on-and-off since day one, and it has never been about money, and that’s one reason why I keep gravitating towards it. Like, I enjoy Magic for the chess-like gameplay challenge, but I enjoy the Pokémon TCG for the same reason why I enjoy drinking a nice cold beer on a warm day with my friends: to kick back and relax in the company of my friends. It really is a damn shame that scalpers and other profiteers have made the McDonalds promotion hard to find to begin with, and it’s even worse to see those same people cry foul when TPCi doesn’t cater to their whims. Pokémon is a franchise built with the players and fans in mind first-and-foremost, and that’s what I love about it. Seeing the announcement that they’re going to continue printing more McDonald’s packs to meet demand was great news, but one that was definitely within expectations. If that kind of news disappoints you, well, I’m not gonna say “go away” and other Gatekeeper-y things… but honestly, I think you’ll have a lot more fun and experience less resistance from the community if you put that scalping and profiteering energy into a field that is actually BUILT with that mentality in mind.

…Ahem. OK, rant over.

With all that said, I’m here today to share just a few minor bits of research and tidbits with you; afterall, people can see someone open up packs of McDonald’s card anywhere, but people come to PA! for the atmosphere and the attitude!

Yeah I’m not fooling anyone here.

Anyways… well, first off, I updated the McDonald’s page with more info; I got the Green #4 packs today, so that’s something. To be specific, the Green #4 promo packs contained a cute little card frame you can slip one of your favorite cards into.

 

I also realized that having a simple scan of a flat cardboard item probably didn’t give anyone any good ideas of how it actually functioned, so I added some example photos of the items to the page as well.

 

Yep! My Alakazam card fit nice and snugly inside the Card Frame.

Anyways, if you missed the previous scans, just pop on over to the McDonald’s page for more info.

Finally, I wanted to share an interesting observation that I just noticed concerning the kinds of cards I get in the McDonalds packs. Specifically, as a reminder, the McDonald’s packs have four cards in them: one holofoil card which is placed in front, and three other normal cards after it. But once I started getting duplicate cards in a specific slot in the packs, I checked to see if maybe ALL my duplicates appeared in the space slot, and here is what I got:

Wha… hold on there… there IS a pattern here!

Look, you can see that each card that I got—at least the non-holo ones I have duplicates of—only appears in a specific slot. For example, all my Fennekin appear in the middle position, and all my Oshawott appear in the last position. And not a single card ever appears outside of that.

Now this might just be a weird coincidence, or maybe the way the cards are cut from the card sheet and stuffed into packs ALWAYS ensures that they appear in a modulo manner. That is to say, the card sheet is some multiple of 3 wide and high, so no matter how the card sheet is cut and its cards place into packs, cards will remain in their relative position. Or something like that. Maybe next time I’ll go into more detail about what I’m getting at here. Still tho, it’s an interesting coincidence… I wonder what causes it?

Anyways, that’s all I have to share at the moment. Speaking of money, I need to do my tax return soon! Maybe I’ll take care of that… after I go to McDonald’s again for lunch, lol. Good times.