This has been a slow week in the world of Pokémon, but also a busy IRL week for me, which hasn’t given me much time to actually reading up on Pokémon news! So this week I’m just gonna post a quick roundup, but next week I have a couple things planned which will make for a more robust news day. Sound good?
The Actual News:
Today’s news will cover these topics:
- Special TCG Guest Will Appear at Charlotte Regional Championship!
- On This Day 20/21/22/23/24 years ago…
- I’m thinking of a Safari Zone HD Remaster Card between one and ten….
- BONUS: PA! now has a Reddit Thingy!
Special TCG Guest Will Appear at Charlotte Regional Championship!
Dr. Omanyte shared this on the PA! Discord, but if you’re going to the Charlotte Regional Championship, then you’ll have a special surprise in store for you… Kagemaru Himeno will be there to say hi! Maybe sign a few cards as well. Here’s the deets:
Special Guest Announcement! ✨
Joining us at the Charlotte Regional Championships is illustrator Kagemaru Himeno!
You can follow along as we update here: overload-events/KagemaruHimeno
We are excited to see you!
— Overload Events Pokémon Regional – CLT 3/24-26 (@Overload_Events) February 21, 2023
Pretty neat! If anyone’s going, if you could get a Birthday Pikachu card signed for me, and then wait until October 20th, 2023 to surprise me with it, I would be greatly appreciative of your surprise gift!
On This Day 20/21/22/23/24 years ago…
This is a new idea I’d like to kick around and see how it goes… but since Pokémon Aaah! has been around since 1999, we’ve seen a lot of Pokémon history come and go. And one thing I’ve learned is that if we don’t understand our history and truly grasp where we’ve been, then how can we truly know where we’re going? Honestly this is one reason why I wanted to keep all the different versions of the site online, because I wanted to make sure that history remained alive.
But hey, maybe pouring through years and years of random news articles just isn’t your thing. So what I’m gonna start to do is dig up whatever old news I could find that happened back during PA!’s Classic years and share them with you, as well as give some context and other info to see how far we’ve come since then. Maybe I’ll sneak in a few links that I can find. Sounds fun, huh? Well, let’s see what I can find…
- 22 years ago… February 24th, 2001: Pokémon Stadium was just around the corner, and Nintendo just posted a new commercial for the game on www.PokemonStadium.com. The original website may be long gone, although thankfully some of it was archived, and at least the commercial still remains, courtesy of YouTube!
- It’s strange how like, even though we’re in 2023 and everyone who was a kid back in 2001 likely has their own kids now… it’s still hard to shake the feeling that the world of Pokémon is just the same today as it was back then. Watching that commercial now seems normal, but at the same time, I can easily imagine that releasing something similar would look out of date… afterall, where are the adults playing Stadium along with the kids??
- 20 years ago… February 20th, 2003: Skyridge—the very last Wizards-released Pokémon TCG set—gets an official release date! BJJ763 over at the Wizard’s PokéGym posted a blurb about the set:
- WOTC POKEMON-E SKYRIDGE BOOSTERS 6/36/9 RELEASE DATE 4/23 WEEK
PRODUCT INFO: Pokemon-e Skyridge set has something for everyone. It’s got 6 Pokemon with the new Crystal-type Poke-body power that lets them use any energy type. It also introduces evolved Pokemon with healing abilities that activate whenever energy is attached, as well as an exciting, new mechanic – Mystery Plates. Players and collectors alike will want to pick up the Skyridge set. Look for foil cards, 1 in every booster pack. Each booster box will also include 1 of 4 special, oversized box toppers.
- WOTC POKEMON-E SKYRIDGE BOOSTERS 6/36/9 RELEASE DATE 4/23 WEEK
- If I had only known that this was going to be the last Wizards-printed Pokémon TCG set… then I would’ve bought THREE boxes instead of two! Back then I was actually making well enough money that I could spend it on cards willy-nilly… so I ended up getting two boxes each of Aquapolis and Skyridge. Little would I realize that both would have limited print runs and thus packs of them go for INSANE prices. But I didn’t care about that; I was happy to have packs of them to open up. Fortunately the cards themselves go for insane prices, and that saved my butt back when I was unemployed. I never thought I would be able to pay my bills with Pokémon TCG cards, but there we are.
- 20 years ago… February 21st, 2003: During the Q4 2002 Hasbro Earnings Conference Call, it was announced that all Wizards retail stores would be shutting down; apparently this also included affiliated Game Keeper stores. That said it seems like a few individual stores were saved from the chopping block for a while, but even they ultimately closed up shop by the end of 2003.
- Oh man, I remember Game Keeper! There was one in San Mateo at the Hillsdale Shopping Mall, and for a VERY short time one had opened up at Serramonte Mall back when I worked at the Longs Drugs at the mall. I think what killed the Serramonte store was the lack of ability to actually PLAY there. That, and the massive drop in sales caused by the September 11th attacks. But the idea of Wizards of the Coast having their own store today is… well, it seems more likely than ever before. The problem is that Hasbro has been pushing Wizards into greater profits at the cost of its fanbase, so I guess blowing millions on a store idea would actually mess up Hasbro’s bottom line. Too bad, huh?
Wow, the memories! Like… stores closing down and Fourth Quarter Earnings calls. lol … But still, it’s fun taking little trips down Memory Lane like this. I wonder what else I can dig up from Pokémon history? We’ll see next month!
I’m thinking of a Safari Zone HD Remaster Card between one and ten….
Did you guess “the Abra line”? Dang, you’re good! Check out this week’s Safari Zone HD Remastered cards:
Y’know, I completely forgot that there were TWO Kadabra in the original Vending set! But hey, all the merrier to celebrate the return of one of my favorite Pokémon ever: that’s right, Wigglytuff!
Lol but seriously… one reason why I made the original Safari Zone set and why I’m glad to be helping with GC|Linkinboss’ remaster of it is that I wanted to get a good look of these cards and imagine how different the game would be had they been released. And boy howdy, does this set have some wild card ideas that would’ve been tons of fun trying to play around with.
- Abra reminds me of the classic “Tim” card from Magic the Gathering; switching your Pokémon out is no guarantee of safety from a ping!
- Depending on when Vending was released in the West, Kadabra’s Energy Restore might have been pretty useless to pretty clutch, particularly with the introduction of Darkness and Metal Energy cards. For this set, we’re imagining that it was released between Neo Destiny and Expedition, so those Special Energy Cards would’ve definitely been worthy targets of this attack.
- Meanwhile Energy Shock would’ve been useful regardless of when it was released, particularly with the proliferation of Energy Removal. Actually, I can easily imagine a deck with Neo Genesis Sneasel and Safari Zone Kadabra… only for Sneasel to be banned that much quicker, lol
- Finally Alakazam’s Psycho Panic was a creative idea, but I can’t imagine it being much use back then. I mean, what Psychic Pokémon was dominating tournaments back then? Still, it was a creative idea and might have been something worth having to knock out someone else’s Kadabra if they were running it. (But now this is just sounding like when we had to run four Mewtwo EX just to protect against someone else’s Mewtwo EX…)
- Wigglytuff, on the other hand, is about as bland as you can get for a card from back then. FOUR Colorless Energy for 20 damage AND the ability to reduce damage by 10? That wasn’t even worth the cost back then!
Did you play the TCG back then as well? How would these cards have fit in your deck? Heck, are they even worth playing in modern decks? Why not share your thoughts in the comments!
BONUS: PA! now has a Reddit Thingy!
Wait, what? I think they call them “subreddits”… I dunno, I’m not a reddit guy. I actually prefer more Anon-based forums, but we’ll leave that discussion for another time.
But yeah! Pokémon Aaah! is now on Reddit. Cutting to the chase, you can visit us at /r/pokemonaaah
So wait, why even get one after not having one for so long, and especially if I’m not into reddit? Partially just to have it for its own sake, partially also just to reserve the name. Consider that my Twitter handle is actually AaahPokemon, since someone else took PokemonAaah back in 2016, so I’m trying to avoid having the site’s name being used by someone else.
But these are things that I could’ve done at any time. What really set things in motion was when I found a handy Reddit Search thingy, and so for kicks-and-giggles I decided to search for stuff like “Pokémon Aaah!”, “nick15”, and so on… and that’s when I stumbled upon this post by one IWasaLonely_Estate on the Forgotten Websites subreddit:
MY. JAW. DROPPED.
I mean, I’m absolutely flattered that PA! has left such good times to these users, but the fact that IWasaLonely_Estate had made backups of the site and they’ve been meaning to send them over to me?! SIGN ME UP!!
In fact, I did at least sign up for a Reddit account just so I could give them a reply in the hopes that they’re still around and still have their backups of the site:
I sincerely hope they see it and get back to me… but it has been nine years and that user stopped using their reddit account a long time ago… but hey, a boy can still dream, can’t he?
But anyways, now that I had a reddit account, I figured I might as well build a subreddit for the site as well, and so that’s what I ended up doing. I don’t have much plans for it to be honest, but hey, maybe someone can help take care of it for me?
Separately… if you were someone who also used to download copies of your favorite websites—like Pokémon Aaah!—and still have copies to share, please send them my way! While I have maybe 60.2% of all the news ever posted on this site, there are still some significant gaps, such as during PA! Version 2.0 (late 1999), Version 3.5 (early-2000) and PA! Version 6 (late 2001). In fact, I designed a little graph showing what eras which backups exist of, and what remain missing:
If you just HAPPEN to have backups of the site from any of the red-marked periods, then let me know!!
Y’know, in retrospect, five years really wasn’t that much time, but it felt a lot longer vback then. Ahhh, the memories… good times!
Yep, that’s it for this weekly roundup! Just a quicky this weeky… but be sure to swing by next week, because I’ve got a real treat to share with you. Thanks again for stopping by! Huzzah! Good times….