The Actual News:
Today’s news will cover these topics:
- WANTED: Amazing TCG History!
- New Galarian/Paldean Language Theory
- New Instagram Shows TCG Art History
- The Final Stage of this Safari Zone HD Remaster Surprise
WANTED: Amazing TCG History!
So remember two weeks ago when I talked about Matt Matoba (aka Ike_Lawliet on the PA! Discord) who has a side gig as a “grail finder”, and how he’s looking for a Holo-less Shadowless Base Set Chansey card? Back when he shared that info with me, I asked if he would be OK to share any other grails that come his way, and he said would be happy to. Well, Matt said these two “grails” came across his desk, and I just had to share them with you! I’ll bet you’ve never seen these before…!
First off… y’know, anyone can get a 1st Edition Base Set Charizard. In fact, I’d say 1st Ed. Charizard is uncool, old-fashioned, real Melvin. If you REALLY want to have a card that out-classes even someone like Logan Paul and HIS boring 1st Edition Charizard, you’ll need to get one of THESE:
That’s right! It’s not just any 1st Edition Charizard (well, the French version at least), but these are actually the very first Charizards printed in French. Like, quite literally the first versions. As a reminder, machine square-cut cards are test cards printed by Wizards in order to check print quality and other matters before the cards officially go to print. In fact, they’re so unique that the current owner—a former Wizards of the Coast brand manager—tried to submit them to CGC for grading, but CGC refused to grade them due to their unusual and unique nature.
Thousands of 1st Edition Shadowless Base Set Charizard exist. By my count, perhaps less than a dozen (three is technically “less than a dozen”) of these square-cut 1st Edition Charizard cards exist.
The other unique grail that Matt shared with me is this one. It’s not nearly as rare or special as literally the first 1st Edition Charizard cards printed in French… but as someone who’s been playing the game since day one and even went to the very first large-scale Pokémon TCG tournament event, this following grail is near-and-dear to my heart: it’s a Super Trainer Showdown winners medal!
With the year 2000 embossed on it, it’s definitely either for the West Coast STS in Long Beach, CA or the East Coast STS in New Jersey… I suspect it might be for the latter. Still, this is a great piece of Pokémon TCG history to see, because I don’t think there are any good scans or photos of the original Pokémon TCG awards. This may actually be a first for the internet in at least two decades…!
Pretty neat stuff regardless, don’t you think? But I want to add a little cherry on this super sundae: you can own these items yourself! Yes, you can own a piece of Pokémon TCG history, as the aforementioned anonymous Wizards brand manager is willing to sell all of these in order to get them into the hands of Pokémon TCG collectors who would appreciate them. The Charizards are being offered at US$3,000 each, with the STS Medal going for US$15,000… which I think is fair because it’s rare as all hell and the only other owners had to win a tournament to get their’s! If I had that cash I would absolutely drop it on a Charizard and the STS medal, but alas, I live in California… that kind of money could barely get me a cardboard refridgerator box in the Tenderloin, and I’d be one of the lucky ones (at least I could stand up in mine!). Still tho, I’m happy to be able to at least share these holy grails with everyone here and have something new to add to my Super Trainer Showdown page.
But maybe you’d be interested in owning any of these items! If so, give me an email at nick15 [at] pokemonaaah [dot] net and I’ll get you connected to the right parties.
Speaking of that Hololess Chansey; we’re still on the look-out for one! We’re even more positive that a copy was released in the wild somewhere in Minnesota, USA… and it looks like it also covers Base Set 2 Chansey cards as well. So if you lived there back during Base Set’s release and/or think you know where one of these Hololess Chansey cards might be, please drop Matt a line at matt [at] matobadesign [dot] com and he’ll make it worth your time. And like with the Charizard and STS medal, this is a legitimate offer!
New Galarian/Paldean Language Theory
Since the release of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, the site was getting a TON of new friends visiting the PA! Discord, wanting to learn more about the Paldean language. While I’m afraid that the prevailing theory is that Galarian/Paldean is “consistant gibberish”, this hasn’t stopped us from trying to uncover more theories and ideas to see if maybe it actually is something new. One new user, Kinnit (aka Austin Secrest, @Asecrest949), has been trying to crack one major idea that even I’ve been having trouble with: working separating UPPERCASE and lowercase Galarian/Paldean.
As a reminder, there are 41 unique characters in Galarian/Paldean: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0123456789+?#!^
But many of these characters almost look like they could be lowercase versions of other letters, which in turn would be the UPPERCASE form. One potential example that Kinnit spotted right away Q and O, and they’ve shared some of their initial notes of their work with me to in turn share with you here! The first two pages are just the initial text from ScVi that they found (some of which already is on the Paldean word list page, some still need to be added, while the third page has processed data of their work for the Galarian/Paldean letter Q and which letters preceed and follow it:
This work culminated in a PDF file that Kinnit wrote up using my Galarian language font, Thraex Sans, of every instance of the Galarian/Paldean letter Q and O, to see if the latter is a lowercase version of the former by comparing similar words together. Take a look at Kinnit’s results by clicking on the image below:
Kinnit’s work is extremely meticulous, and I hope is the start of a new subset in Galarian/Paldean language research: even if the language itself may be “consistant gibberish”, there may be other patterns baked into the script which at least maintain its own consistency… and in this case we can’t know for sure if certain letters ARE upper or lowercase forms of others until we can support this kind of work. I look forward to more of Kinnit’s work on Galarian/Paldean! And if you have your own theories, swing by The Language Institute channel on the PA! Discord and share them with us!
New Instagram Shows TCG Art History
GC|Linkinboss shared this link over on in the TCG Zone channel at the PA! Discord: called pokeca_art_life, it’s clearly a new account and they’ve been posting some unique TCG artwork from both past and present.
What initially caught my eye was the Southern Islands postcard, but the other pictures are great glimpses into Pokémon TCG artwork and card layouts. Be sure to give them a follow!
The Final Stage of this Safari Zone HD Remaster Surprise
Finally we reach the last of the extra surprise that I talked about last week: the final stages of the Starters! These cards were originally part of the “Trade Please!” promotion in Japan, where you were given one of three of the following Final Stage Starters and told to… well, trade them! These cards were never officially released in English, so GC|Linkinboss and I figured adding them to our Safari Zone HD Remaster set would be a realistic way to bring them to the Western world.
OK well technically that Blastoise card WAS released by Wizards in English… but not to the public. Rather, it was a unique prototype card that Wizards made in order to secure the Pokémon TCG rights, made before any other English Pokémon TCG card ever (well, maybe second after Tropical Mega Battle Exeggutor). But had Safari Zone been released back in the day—at least as we’re reimagining it here—this would’ve been the first OFFICIAL time anyone would’ve seen those cards outside of Japan. Dang, I wish they did it! But at least we can imagine it here.
Finally to round out the final card this week, we’ve got an Omastar, the fourth Starter Pokém—…. wait a second… are you trying to bamboozle me here?
That’s it for this weekly roundup! I wanted to talk about a few other things, but I’ll just save them for next time. That said, I’ve got a few pages I need to update, such as the Safari Zone HD page with the list of cards we’ve released thus far, as well as a new Multilanguage Layout Guide—which covers all the different translations of different card elements (HP, Weakness, Resistance, etc)—and an updated Evocon guide… all in preparation of my Neo Gendai release (two years in the making!!). One update that I DID made just recently was a new addition to the Artist Yellow Pages, where I added info about Qwilfish who drew the art for the “Initial C-harmeleon” fake card I made last week. If you’re in the market for some fan art for your own fake, give those artists in the Artist Yellow Pages page a poke!
I hope you enjoyed this roundup, and I look forward to sharing some more fun stuff next week. Huzzah, good times!