I’m catching myself pushing my weekly roundups to Monday evening versus Sunday evening… part of this is just a way to balance my weekends. With being an adult and all that, the only free time I have is Saturday and Sunday, so that’s the time when I actually spend to take care of stuff. It therefore seems that Mondays after work is the more ideal time for me to post my Roundups. Even tho I didn’t post this until Tuesday evening. Sna. But in any case, I appreciate you coming to visit me every week! And, as always, feel free to share any cool info or updates with me… either email at nick15 [at] pokemonaaah.net, or Twitter @aaahpokemon, or messaging me on the PA! Discord! Most of the stuff I share every week comes from visitors like you, so thank you!! :)
The Actual News:
Today’s news will cover these topics:
- Return of Kadabra (and the Spirit of 2002)
- Stolen Blanks for Sale
- Pokemon TCG Online Will Go Silent…
- Fish Goes on a Pokémon Streamer’s Shopping Spree
- Recently Updated Pages
- The Last Safari Zone HD Remaster Card….
Return of Kadabra (and the Spirit of 2002)
When I saw the following post, my jaw dropped, because it spells the return of TWO Pokémon TCG ideas we haven’t seen since 2003. Huh, wuzzat??
OK first off, the following is maybe the bigger news of the two TCG ideas that came out of the last week or so: Kadabra is officially coming back to the Pokémon TCG! Here’s PokéBeach’s tweets about it, plus a quick follow up after Uri himself gave WPM a call:
Kadabra Officially Returning to the Pokemon TCG in "Pokemon Card 151!"
Check out the full details on https://t.co/BBXqTvB8hd:
➡️ https://t.co/85c8diP1km#PokemonTCG #ポケカ #Pokemon pic.twitter.com/N9ABn3ZPJL
— PokeBeach.com 💧 (@pokebeach) January 26, 2023
Geller has sent a voice recording to PokeBeach that says, in part, "I'm pleased Pokemon fans are excited to see Kadabra return to the card game. I want to thank the Pokemon fans who reached out to me over the years, including the ones from PokeBeach, who kept contacting me."
— PokeBeach.com 💧 (@pokebeach) January 26, 2023
I mean, this is big news for many obvious reasons… but for the biggest reason for me personally is that I can finally see Kadabra—and for that matter, Abra and Alakazam—return to the game! After all, Alakazam is one of my most favorite Pokémon! My first TCG deck was a mix between Alakazam and Hitmonchan, and I even made my own Alakazam fake! Take a look:
So what’s this “Spirit of 2002” I mentioned? Well, this would be the first printing of Kadabra in some 20 years, with Kadabra’s last appearance being in Skyridge… a set originally released back around 2002/2003 (whether Japan or North America, take your pick). Furthermore, news of Kadabra’s return also came with news that a new TCG set called “Pokémon Card 151“… and with a name like “Pokémon Card 151”, I can easily imagine Kadabra will be one of the other 150 Pokémon that will be part of the set.
But here’s something you might have known, or maybe you didn’t…. but back around 2000 or 2001, Wizards of the Coast—the then guardians of the Pokémon TCG license—had plans to release a reprint Pokémon TCG set similar to the ill-fated Base Set 2 called “Crosstrainer“, which was said to be a set which contained all 151 Pokémon (from Bulbasaur to Mew) in a single set. Some of them were going to be reprints of cards from Base Set, Jungle, Fossil and Team Rocket, but it was also said to include “30 new cards”, which most likely could’ve been the Vending Machine cards that Wizards also had the rights to but ultimately never released (thus our “Safari Zone HD Remastered” project). This set release was far enough along that Wizards even revealed an official release date: July 10th, 2001. Now naturally that set never actually released; it ultimately was cancelled and the reprint set idea lived on as Legendary Collection. But just like with Jamboree and Vending Machine, the dream of what could have been lived on… until now!
Now I can’t say that Pokémon Japan was inspired by “Crosstrainer” when making “Pokémon Card 151”, as a whole set of the first 151 Pokémon is a fairly obvious idea. But the fact that set idea never has actually happened despite the announcement of Crosstrainer back in 2001, at least not untui lnow… well, I can’t help but think that perhaps they were just a little inspired. Thus the spirit of 2002 lives on!
Wait a sec, Crosstrainer was intended to be released in 2001! And Kadabra technically last appeared in 2003. So where did 2002 come from? OK, fine, I split the difference between those two dates. But I can still easily see myself in my mind’s eye in 2002 lamenting about the lack of Crosstrainer in my life, and I also took the fact that Kadabra was still a regularly released TCG card for granted… so I can finally live out my 2002 dreams in 2023. Good times…
…now if the Western release of “Pokémon Card 151” is actually named Crosstrainer, I’ll be the happiest boy on this planet!
Stolen Blanks for Sale
Let’s get one fact out of the way: art theft ain’t cool. Period.
That said, one thing I will admit I’ve struggled with over the years has been whether or not to tell my fake cards, seeing as they do involve someone else’s IP. Back in 2003, goodness no, there was no chance for it. Today, however, selling fan-made fake cards has gotten pretty normalized! In fact, tons of people make a good living off making their own fake cards, as I covered in this post a couple years back. So I guess now’s a good time to get to selling my own fakes, right?
Well, we’ll get to that another time. At the moment, however, I’m most afraid of is seeing people sell my blanks. Again, back in 2003, it’d be super easy to spot someone selling my blanks for profit, and I’d be all the happy to try to get them to stop. I mean, let’s be real, it just ain’t fair for them to profit off my work, especially when I couldn’t! But with etsy and fake selling being a lot more common and normal, it’s a lot LOT easier for someone to get away with taking our blanks or making a fake with them, erasing our credits on them, then selling them.
Fake Master Extraordinare, aschefield, spotted two such examples on the PA! Discord of someone taking his blanks, erasing his name off them, and trying to sell works using them (if not the blank itself):
I won’t post links to the original Etsy posts because I don’t want anyone to outright harass them for their actions. But I do want to share these screenshots just to show that we don’t approve! I can’t speak for aschefield, but I know that if someone wants to use my blanks to sell their own fake cards with… well, I’d be a lot more OK with it if you left my credits on it. For this reason I’ve been leaving Nintendo’s credits on my blanks that I’ve been releasing. But selling the actual blank outright is even lower. Fortunately it doesn’t look like the person selling the blank got any sales from it… but still.
Of course this debate gets me thinking about selling my own fan-made fake cards. I ultimately came to the conclusion, and based on actual real-world experience, IP rights holders are less inclined to have a problem with fan works as long as it doesn’t interfere with their ability to sell their own products and/or your work doesn’t make people mistaken it (whether intentionally or not) for something official. Thus as long as I make it very VERY clear to my audience that they’re buying a custom-designed card, just as other people have with their own fan-made cards, then there won’t be any issues. But that point comes back to those selling aschefield’s work like this: by removing his name from his blanks, it’s making people think that THEY did the hard work involved in creating the blank, versus… y’know, all the hard work that comes from just downloading the blanks aschefield made.
I’ll leave this here for now, but I just want to say that if you want to sell fakes using our blanks… well, at least ask us first!
Pokemon TCG Online Will Go Silent…
Ah, another end of an era: Pokémon TCG Online will officially start going silent March 1st, 2023:
Card set development for Pokémon TCG Online will officially end on March 1, 2023.
More info on Pokemon official website: https://t.co/ASB9fraX8b pic.twitter.com/ixm19dFb1T
— PokeGuardian (@PokeGuardian) January 31, 2023
This game has been going strong for over 10 years now! It’s such a shame to see it begin its sunset. What kinda sucks is that I’ve got a TON of PTCGO code cards… I still don’t know if I should cash them out right now or if I should wait for Pokémon TCG Live to replace PTCGO before using them, seeing as Live will be using the same code system as PTCGO.
That said, the March 1st announcement only appears to cover NEW content… PTCGO will still be playable for the foreseeable future. Just that… that’s it.
Bare minimum though, this would be a good idea to start archiving whatever you can of PTCGO. We take its existence for granted now, but it’ll eventually be inaccessible, just like the Gen 5 Dream World browser games. I still have my old hacki—…uh… catching assisting tools for Dream World, but of course they’re useless now. Soon PTCGO will be but a memory, so it’ll be up to us fans to record and recover what we can before it disappears! Hey, maybe we can build our own PTCGO servers, just like what’s been done with Phantasy Star Online for the GameCube, Dreamcast and PC? And maybe the fan PTCGO server can have custom cards? We can only dream…
Fish Goes on a Pokémon Streamer’s Shopping Spree
Ah, the problems that come with being a Pokémon fan. Game Freak keeps doing the bare minimum because doing anything more tends to be unprofitable, Charizard is being released in another Pokémon TCG set again, and a Pokémon game-playing fish went on a shopping spree with its owner’s credit card during a live-stream. … Wait, what?
Yeah so apparently someone designed a program that translated a fish’s movements within a particular grid into movement in a particular Pokémon video game. Like, if the fish swims over this way, the player character walks to the left, and if the fish swims this other way, the game presses the “A” button. Easy peasy programming stuff. It’s even set up so that it can recognize different fish. Well, apparently during a particular livestream, their game crashed… but of course no one told the fishies that, and they eventually swam to the point where they accessed the user’s eShop account and even cashed out 500 Yen (about US$5) into their account. At the very least, the fishies did read through the terms of service, so you can’t say they did it carelessly!
This kinda reminds me of the time that I flushed my Dad’s keys and wallet down the toilet once… or twice… but those fishies were very naughty fish! In fact if my fishies—or child—revealed my credit cards to the internet like that, I would… alert my credit card company, because I would be afraid of potential credit card fraud. Fortunately the streamer did have the video evidence and attempted to get a refund… that said I wonder if Nintendo’s customer service bought the story?
I know, I’m a very boring Dad. Actually, speaking of credit card fraud, did I ever tell you the time where I accidentally cancelled my debit card due to an illegal $207 purchase, only to forget that it was me who made that purchase? I’m not just a very boring Dad, but I’m also a very stupid Dad as well. … Wait, what does this have to with Pokémon again? Oh yeah, that’s right: don’t put your credit card info on your children (or fish’s) Switch, otherwise they might “accidentally” buy a bunch of stuff on your dime. And at that point, I wouldn’t be alone in the Boring and Stupid parent club.
Ah, but you won’t be joining me in the Boring, Stupid AND PEDANTIC Dad club, because I want to mention that the fish didn’t actually reveal the user’s entire credit card info, just the last four digits. Consider that the last four digits of MY credit card is 8891… but there’s nothing much you can do with that info, can you? You’ll need my Social Security as well to do any real damage, and that is 2X4B—…… aaaaaah, you almost fooled me for a second there! ….I guess I remembered why I’m in the Stupid Dad club. Humph.
Recently Updated Pages
I’ll keep this quick, but even though I’m doing these Weekly Roundups, I’m also trying to fill out other bits and pieces with the website whenever I can.
The two updates I did were:
- Multilanguage Layout Guide: before I officially release my new Neo Gendai blanks, I wanted to gather up a list of all the different international versions of the Pokémon TCG and the way they defined stuff like “HP”, “Weakness”, “Resistance”, etc on their cards. Part of this is to create a style guide in order for fakers to use my Neo Gendai blanks to design cards in their own languages… at least ones that had an official TCG release at some point. When I release my blanks, I’ll have a generic English one for you to use either as itself or by replacing the text with whatever language you want. Pretty neat idea, huh? So the style guide is maybe 50% done, with the other half being Russian, Thai and Indonesian outright, as well as bits and pieces of the other languages. Check it out!
- TCG Card Backgrounds: This is just a really REALLY small update, but upon looking at Black Star Promo Entei #34, we all noticed that it used a stock photo background as well! Wow, that one slipped under our radar, so I updated it on this page.
This site has been called a rabbit hole, so I hope you enjoy your fall through it!
The Last Safari Zone HD Remaster Cards….
Oh! Sorry, I didn’t mean the last Safari Zone cards EVER, just that two of this week’s cards are the last ones of the set. Y’know, cards number 133 and 134 out of 134! And those cards are… well, take a look!
Jokes aside (though praising Lord Helix is no joke) Linkinboss and I debated over how we wanted to design Mysterious Fossil for Safari Zone… should it be more generic such to include the potential that other Fossil Pokémon could evolve from it? Or maybe just leave it as-is? In the end we figured to just leave it as is, seeing as Safari Zone HD Remaster is a dream set of what Wizards might have done if they were to release the Vending Machine cards in English back when they had the license, and there simply were no other Fossil Pokémon to evolve into other than the ones from Gen 1. Of course if I were to make Fossil Pokémon cards for a modern fake card set, I probably would have them ALL evolve from a new Fossil Trainer card as well as phrase the Fossil card so that ANY Pokémon that evolves from any kind of Fossil or could be put onto your bench via a Trainer card with “Fossil” in its name could be placed onto it… but that’s for a modern set. Classic sets use classic rules.
One side thing I want to share is that Linkinboss also took the time to get some of these cards printed up on actual card stock. As proxies, of course! And the results are… well, take a look for yourself!
I gotta admit, they look really awesome! At a glance, the proxy Computer Search (rebuilt from scratch using my Neo Gendai blank) is nearly indistinguishable from an actual Computer Search. It’s not until you zoom in close that you can see the halftone edges on the proxy card’s text versus the clean edges of real card text… but still, the quality is good enough that you can still make out the “Proxy card. Not for Resale” text very clearly. Good times!
On the right you can see some of the other example cards… and my goodness, seeing them in real life like this, with cleanly printed edges (versus edges that were clearly manually cut out using scissors)… it just makes them look all the more real. It’s like I’m looking at an alternate universe where these cards were released and this is just a photo from someone’s eBay auction. These are just SOOO COOOL!
Now, will you ever get your hands on some? I dunno. This was done as a test, and unlike fan-made fake cards, these are nearly 100% other people’s work. I mean the translation is our’s, but the card art is source isn’t. In fact, apparently Linkinboss tried to get them printed up with another printer but the job was flagged for using Pokémon IP… I think Linkinboss got around that by using a different back, but still. Of course selling them is out of the question, but this doesn’t mean we can’t maybe just hand them out for free or something, but… we’ll see.
Wait, Clefairy and Snorlax? We haven’t released those cards yet! Oops…
Whew! A post to big that it took me an extra day to write it up. I hope you enjoyed reading it, and I hope you come visit us again next week. Huzzah! Good times.