Alright! Another Weekly Roundup is go! One thing I didn’t even realize I did was, I’ve been calling this segment both the “Weekly Roundup” and the “Weekend Roundup”. Totally didn’t even realize that I was doing that, as I started telling people “I’ll post this on the Weekly Roundup” or “this is going on the Weekend Roundup!”. You can even see evidence of this in the featured artwork for last week, where I called it the “Weekend Roundup”. So yeah… let’s just call it Weekly from here on out, especially considering that I most likely will be regularly posting these roundup posts on Sunday nights, which is already Monday for most of everyone else around the world.

By the way: I want to hear from you! If you found some cool or weird news to share, or just know something else that you want to help spread the word about, send it my way and I’ll add it to the upcoming Weekly Roundup. You can do that by emailing me at nick15 [at] pokemonaaah.net or messaging me on Twitter at @aaahpokemon. I can’t wait to hear what you have to share!

Today’s news will cover these topics:

  • NFT = Npeople Fscamming Twithpokemoncards
  • UNOVA’S MOST WANTED: Have YOU Seen This Card?
  • Neo Gendai Final Update Before Official Release
  • And finally: New Meaning To “Starting Safari Zone HD”

 


 

NFT = Npeople Fscamming Twithpokemoncards

This bit of news came from AtoMan, Dr. Omanyte and GC|Linkinboss over at the Fake Card Mania channel @ PA! Discord. But before I get into it…

I won’t lie: cryptocurrency is fascinating to me. I won’t go so far as to say IT’S THE FUTURE and bet my entire financial farm on it… BUT I’m also not gonna be an old boomer and resist it, and then block people on Twitter for disagreeing with me about it. There is a certain inevitability to most tech, it’ll happen whether I like it or not, simply because a critical mass of people support it. But that’s the key operating term: a critical mass of people supporting it. Cryptocurrency clearly has enough utility to enough people, despite the fact that it doesn’t physically exist, and so its definitely here to stay. Frankly people could say the same thing about fiat currency and how slips of colorful paper with dead politicians and philosophers on it only has value because the government says we can pay or taxes with it (and they’ll leave us alone if we play along). The utility that I feel has some value is the very system of the blockchain… information that is publicly owned and copied, and can’t be altered without someone else knowing. It uses the post-scarcity fundamentals of the internet and uses it for what it as always good for: endless duplication so that no one can control information that belongs to everyone else.

NFTs, on the other hand, clearly doesn’t have the same utility as cryptocurrency. Again, the whole point of the internet is that it’s meant to alleviate the problem of scarcity. So the fact that NFTs attempt to bring artificial scarcity onto the internet is ridiculous in-and-of-itself. It’s even worse knowing that NFTs aren’t even what they claim to be to begin with: you don’t actually OWN a digital picture… all NFTs are is an entry in a digital ledger which just happens to point to a particular picture. You “own” that particular entry, but you can’t really control what it points to. Consider: if I created an NFT called boredApeLookingSideways.jpg and sold it to you, you may think you own that particular picture… but then I can go in and just change boredApeLookingSideways.jpg to boredApeDictatorDidNothingWrong.jpg and you couldn’t really do anything about it. Ultimately NFTs are little different than those “own a piece of the Moon!” or “become a Laird in Scotland!” scams, simply because you don’t actually own anything beyond a piece of document saying “I own this thing”. (Yes we can get into the weeds about how that’s how banknotes worked, but let’s skip that rabbit hole for now.)

What am I getting at here? Well, today’s bit of news revolves around some rather silly NFT shenanigans. I mean, NFTs by virtue of their own existance count as “silly shenanigans”, but that’s besides the point.

So AtoMan posted on the PA! Discord that he got a notice from DeviantArt that one of his pieces may have been used in an NFT. Take a look:


Fortunately it wasn’t AtoMan’s actual artwork, rather it was a Polish-translation of the “University” Magikarp promo card, and this was simply a false positive result from DeviantArt’s automatic NFT checker system. Still tho, aside from that being a rather polite thing for DeviantArt to do at all, it also revealed another soft-white underbelly to the world of NFTs which further reenforced my negative beliefs on them: anyone can just take your artwork and try to resell it as an NFT. The OpenSea.io link that DeviantArt provided showed other NFTs of existing cards, with that particular NFT having a claimed value of 1 WETH (approx US$1567.33 as of writing).

If I can admit one aspect of any new tech that I’m sympathetic to… it’s the fact that, as a new piece of technology, it’s rife with abuse so long as it remains unregulated. Someone could argue that people abusing  copyright with NFTs shouldn’t deminish its utility, certainly no more than when AI is trained using other people’s artwork. I beg to differ, however, as I’d argue that unscrupulous users abusing AI to their own ends, such as using other people’s artwork in order to train an AI to then profit from, is just as shady. And I feel that those kinds of practices will hold AI back until people learn to regulate themselves (assuming government doesn’t step in). Will NFT benefit just the same with regulation? Maybe, but it’ll still have its inherent problem of people interpreting ownership of an entry in a digital ledger as outright assuming they own the artwork itself. This false assumption is what gives people belief in its value, and once that assumption evaporates, so does that value. It’s exactly like that “Established Titles” scam where the value in buying into it came from the novelty of the (mistaken) assumption that you literally owned a square foot of land in Scotland; without that assumption, all you’re doing is spending $150 just to own a fake piece of paper that says little more than “a winner is you“… and who wants that??

But alas, NFTs will continue to clog up the internet as long as they remain unregulated. They’ll encourage what could be a legitimate business to team up with known scammers in order to promote some bull-hockey because they know there are enough people out there who’ll be tricked into buying it because they have a chance to win a rare Pokémon TCG card. Dr. Omanyte shared this tweet in our discussion:

Look I’m not gonna deny the hype Logan Paul gave to the Pokémon TCG, but still, these kinds of scams feed on people’s desire to own Pokémon history despite their lack of funds to actually own it all themselves. In this case Liquid Marketplace claims to sell the ability to co-own collectables… meaning a particular collectable is split up into X number of  US$Y “tokens” based on what they think it’s worth, and you can then co-own a share of that particular collectable. Admittedly it’s one step above NFTs, as you literally don’t know crap with NFTs, while with Liquid Marketplace at least an actual physical item does at least exist. But in a way this exploits people’s ignorance on how shares work. Like, I can own a share in a company just like I can own a share token in this particular item, but at least I now have a say in how that business is run. If I buy more shares, I can actually have a greater say in the company. I can buy a share token in this collectable, but… what else can I do with it? I guess can vote if it goes to auction or not. But can I initiate the vote? Reading the terms of use for Liquid Marketplace, you need to wait for the website to “allow” Token holders to request that it be put up for auction. Furthermore, if it sells less than what it says it’s worth—which I can almost guarantee is the case—then you’re SOL.

The thing is… the point of owning something is being able to say THIS IS MINE. If I wanted to I could destroy it… it is mine to do as I wish. Co-owning something with Liquid Marketplace denies you that ability. I can’t initiate a vote to say “let’s burn it”, I can’t initiate a vote to say “let’s let this particular YouTuber borrow it for an episode to talk about it”. You can’t do ANYTHING with it. So you don’t own it. Frankly you don’t even really co-own it either, because if, say, me and two of my friends co-owned a copy of Radioactive Man #1, we at least have the right to fight one another to the death over it. I CAN’T FIGHT LOGAN PAUL TO THE DEATH BECAUSE I CO-OWN AN ILLUSTRATOR CARD! If you needed any proof that Liquid Marketplace is a scam, it’s that right there.

But seriously, if Logan Paul’s name is on it, run FAR away from it. Spinning it back to NFTs again, GC|Linkinboss shared this handy video from Coffeezilla about… I guess it’s Logan Paul’s own version of Pokémon called “CryptoZoo”, which is an NFT “game” which is insanely broken. Well, at least Logan Paul isn’t broke. Take a look:

So yeah… I love this world of Pokémon, and it’s a damn shame to see so many unprincipled people profiting from it, or at least from its spirit. I hope that none of you fall into his traps, and if you have, I pray that you are able to get out of it with minimal heartache and cost. Truly anything involving Logan Paul and Pokémon is the epitome of a Faustian bargain. I should make that a fake card!

 


 

UNOVA’S MOST WANTED: Have YOU Seen This Card?

If there is any justice in this universe (and there definitely is!), it’s that Logan Paul has yet to get his grubby hands on other top-tier rarities in the Pokémon world. Sure he may own one of only 40-ish cards out there (the Illustrator card), but at least he isn’t in the know to know of stuff like Prerelease Raichu or… uh… the extremely rare Missingno card. (Please, don’t tell him about those!) 7o7  In fact, there is a small collection of cards that are even RARER than any of those, and I’m hoping to help someone snag just one of them in particular:  Holo-less Holo-Rare Shadowless Base Set cards. That’s right, Holo-Rare cards which were printed in 1st Edition (or are otherwise Shadowless) Base Set cards that were printed without a holo.

But wait, how do we even know they exist to begin with? Well, Matt Matoba (aka Ike_Lawliet on the PA! Discord)—the crack reporter who broke the Pokémon Jamboree story—has a side gig as a sort of… grail finder. He’s regularly hired to help his clients acquire a number of different collection holy grails… and by his count he’s had a 100% success rate. So far he’s found an e-Reader demo set, an am3 Mewtwo vs Mew promo cart, and a card that was PSA POP 1… but not anymore! I asked Matt if he was willing to share some of his finds with me, and he said he would love to… as soon as he could get the permission to share it. ;) In the meantime, what started this conversation to begin with was that there’s one card he’s currently trying to find for a client: a holo-less Shadowless Base Set Chansey card. Here’s a quick mock-up using a Shadowless Base Set Chansey and a reverse holo XY Evolutions Chansey:

Matt is positive it exists—seeing as about five other cards have been found with the same “holo-less” error—but this Chansey one has so far eluded all of the most arden collectors. Of course that fact hasn’t stopped Matt, especially seeing as there is SOME potential good news: Matt has good reason to believe that the holo-less Base Set Chansey card was released in the Midwest United States, perhaps near Minnesota. So if you or anyone you know is or was a Pokémon TCG collector from the Midwest and might have heard someone talk about their cousin owning a weird non-holo Chansey card… drop me a line at nick15 [at] pokemonaaah.net or swing by the PA! Discord and let’s talk about it!

Anyways, I’m hoping to make this a regular feature every now and again, where Matt can share some cool news about some of his client’s wishes and finds. He definitely knows how to find the really rare things that us Pokémon fans can only dream of owning… so I can’t wait to see what else he can find. In fact, if he ends up finding his holo-less Chansey card, we’ll be sure to share it here. Good times.

 


 

Neo Gendai Final Update Before Official Release

It took me all last week, but I finally finished the final phase of my Neo Gendai blanks: Dark Pokémon borders! Take a look (click to enlarge):

As mentioned last week, part of the issue I had with making these blanks is that the TCG had two different implementations of “Dark Pokémon”… one seen in Team Rocket and the Gym sets (left) and one seen in Neo Destiny (right). The Team Rocket and Gym implementation feels more accurate and was used for longer, while the Neo Destiny version is… well, Neo styled.

So instead of falling into the classic “Perfection is the enemy of good” trap by making two separate versions, I decided to mix the two together and make a unique Dark Pokémon layout. Honestly for most intents and purposes, I doubt anyone is going to notice the difference. But for those who know their fake card blanks, I took the art border from the Rocket/Gym format, and then the Neo-specific elements from the Destiny format, and then recolored the Neo elements to better match the Rocket/Gym coloring (which is more of a duller, greener bronze, versus Destiny’s more redder, copper tones).

Frankly, I think it all looks great, and I can’t wait to see it in action. In fact, for kicks and giggles, GC|Linkinboss did a quick test with a completely built-from-scratch Neo-ified version of Dark Golbat:

Oh MAN this looks so nice! These blanks are some of the best works of art I’ve ever made, if I may say so myself. :D

 


 

New Meaning To “Starting Safari Zone HD”

Finally, here is this week’s weekly Safari Zone HD release. As I mentioned before, every week I’d like to release cards which either tie into the previous week or sets something up for the next week. Last week I revealed Bulbasaur, so it felt only fitting to release the remaining starter Pokémon, Squirtle and Charmander.

But wait… what’s Base Set Charmeleon doing here?? Wasn’t Safari Zone a set for the Vending Machine releases? Charmeleon was Base Set-only!

Actually, as it turns out, Charmeleon was only EVER released in Base Set! Over the card games first many releases, there was never a regular “Charmeleon” card until Expedition. Oh, sure, there were other cards that involved Charmeleon… but even then there was only just Dark Charmeleon and Blaine’s Charmeleon. Otherwise there was no promo, no special release, no fixed card in a starter deck… NOTHING. A good three years or so between Base Set and Expedition would pass (in North America at least; it was five years in Japan!) before another plain ol’ “Charmeleon” card would be released. So weird!

AHEM… so yeah, why are we including Base Set Charmeleon in this set? Mmmm no particular reason! But since this is “Safari Zone Remastered”, there might be some additions and changes to the set…. it would be rather boring of all we did was do a vanilla update of the original set. So I guess you’ll have to wait and see what happens. ;)

BTW, the astute among you might have noticed that these cards are out of 134 versus 133 from last week. That was a small error on our part, we had accidentally left out a card when building the original list. But that’s been fixed. :D

 


 

Alreet, that’s it for this week! I hope you enjoyed this week’s roundup, and I hope you visit us next week. If you live in the US, enjoy your day off from work and school on Monday, as it’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Otherwise, I hope you have a good week. See you next time!