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Pokemon TCG Collecting
by Daniel Norton
Hello, and welcome to my first collecting article!
I have a few different styles of articles in mind for possible future articles.
Some article styles include:
This week/fortnight/month in collecting- An update of all new cards or TCG related products which have been released since the last article of this style.
Do you have this one yet?- An article focusing on one particular obscure or rare card, giving information about the history behind it.
Q & A- Where I answer any questions you may have about collecting, if I plan to do this I will announce it the week before so you have time to leave questions.
One off articles- An article focusing on a specific set or part of the TCG.
My first article is one from the last category, a look at the HGSS Black Star Promos which have been released so far.
The Black Star promos have the promo symbol (of, surprise surprise, a Black Star) and are numbered HGSSXX.
So far we are up to 21 HGSS Promos, released in these ways:
12 in Blister Packs
6 in Tins
2 in Poster Packs
1 at World Championships
As soon as the HGSS set was released we entered a whole new era of the TCG, leaving behind the DP/DPt era. This era will last up until the release of Black and White sets, and it’s safe to assume that the promos will undergo a numbering change then too.
When the first HGSS set came out we got 6 promos right off the bat. The first two were Ho-Oh and Lugia and came in Poster Packs, which came with a poster showing all the cards in the set plus a few booster packs. You only got one of the two promo cards with the set so you would have to buy two to get both promo cards, the extra packs are no big deal but paying for a second poster is kind of redundant. Personally I would have placed both promo cards in the same package, but I guess it makes them more money.
Also released were two blister packs with 3 boosters and 1 promo card, either Wobbuffet or Pikachu. Now the Wobbuffet was a pretty standard release, but the Pikachu caused a little upset amongst collectors as the original Japanese version was very rare and expensive due to limited release via the Action Point system, and the English versions extended release hurt the Japanese price slightly.
At least same time we were also treated to two blister packs
with 2 boosters and a promo card, either HootHoot or Noctowl,
which were originally released in Japan to participants of
the 2009 Battle Tour.
Next up came 3 tins, each including a reprint of a Prime from the HGSS set. You could choose from Meganium, Typhlosion and Feraligatr, which was pretty predicable as these were also the subject of the theme decks from the HGSS set, being the final evo’s of Generation 2. The only change from the set was altered artwork, and of course, the Black Star symbol in place of the set logo.
Now, when the next set, HGSS: Unleashed, was released, we were treated to 4 new blisters to go with it. 2 containing 3 packs, and 2 containing 2 packs. The 3 packs contained new Latias and Latios cards which had previously been released in a dual blister pack in Japan. The 2 card blisters contained holographic reprints of Cleffa and Smoochum from the HGSS set, which does seem rather odd for an Unleashed blister release.
When the 3rd HGSS set, Undaunted, came along, it stuck with what we had been given with the last 2 sets. 4 blisters, 2 with 3 boosters and 2 with 2 boosters. The 3 boosters contained Lapras and Shuckle promos which had been given out in Japan to the winners of the Pokémon Challenge Battle in May and June 2010 respectively. Once again, the 2 card blisters contained holo versions of set cards, in this case, Plusle and Minun from Unleashed.
Could we see some Undaunted cards made holo for the Triumphant blisters? At this point it seems likely.
HGSS18 is the hardest to obtain out of all the HGSS promos so far, as it was only given out to competitors and Staff at the 2010 World Championship. It is a new art version of Tropical Tidal Wave, a nice change from the Tropical Wind we had for the last 3 years running.
As with previous Worlds cards, it had many different versions. The regular Worlds 2010 stamped version was given out to all competitors, in 7 different languages, along with 2 filler cards, contained information about Worlds 2011 and the 2010 Worlds decks to make up a 9 card page.
Staff at the event were given a version of the card in English, with the word “Staff” stamped across the bottom in addition to the Worlds stamp.
More versions were given out to the competitors who top cut the event, with stamps going from Top Thirty-Two right up to Finalist.
If you are just looking to get the card to fill in the gap in your numbered promo set, the Staff version is probably the easiest and cheapest to get ahold of, as many people are unwilling to split the 9 card sets (and in my opinion rightly so, these sets are the only cards I actively collect that aren’t English or Japanese).
The last 3 promos to date came in tins again, and this time, they weren’t reprints. Each tin contained 2 promos, 1 HGSS promo of a Shiny Legendary dog, and a Secret Wonders reprint (with new exclusive foil style) of the same dog. The dogs of course are Raikou, Entei and Suicune. The exclusive Shiny cards were originally released in Japan in a “Perfect Pack” containing the three dogs and a few blisters. These were informally known as the “cheaper versions” of the Japanese Shiny dogs, as two different sets were released, with this set having a mass release, and the other set being limited to 1,000 sets. Reaction to these tins were mixed, a lot of people disliked the reprints of now rotated Secret Wonders cards, however the exclusive new promos were generally viewed as favourable. Some people however did wish for the limited versions of the cards to have been released here as the attacks were better for the game.
And that’s how far into the HGSS promos we are!
If this article is well received and I continue writing, I will be sure to include new Black Star promos in my “This week/fortnight/month in collecting” articles.
I hope you enjoyed reading, and please e-mail any criticism to help me make future articles better.
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