This is a little bit different usually I review shows, mostly medical dramas, but lately, I’ve gotten back into Pokemon. Well, the card aspect of it. Ever since I was young, I’ve collected the cards. For me, there is something nostalgic about opening those packs and laying eyes on those cards, your cards, for the first time. I’ve made bad trades, found rare finds, joined local gyms and Trading Card Games. I’ve made great friends, and will always hold Pokemon dear to my heart.
With the series being out for a few weeks, I asked The Game of Nerds if I could try something different talk about my own cards, and starting next week, open packs and writing about the cards I found. I know I will not finish my original 151 cards, but re-creating the PokeDex and trying to capture one of every pokemon at least once, throughout the card series. But, that is for a later article. This one is more of background, and talking about those cards long out of print. I’m gonna glaze over 3 of the main old school card generations, but if you want me to go over something more, leave a comment below, and I am totally down to talk about my collection more in-depth.
The Base, The Fossil, and The Jungle
As a child, I would collect them, but never actually played the game until adulthood. I just liked looking at the pretty shiny cards. When Nintendo came out a few years back with original design cards, it was a great throwback, but in this section, I only want to talk about the original prints. I mostly loved the Fossil art and the Base art, though later, I grew to love the Jungle Deck for battles. From this set comes my all time favorite pokemon- Ninetails… This was way before my love of Japanese storytelling came, and I didn’t understand the little tales each Pokemon card had written on the bottom, or the origins for the inspiration of the cards until much later, but I always found her character and art style so alluring. Ninetales is still one of my favorite characters. Still, from the original 151, Ninetales was not my most treasured, even if it was my most favorite.
No, my most treasured Pokemon card from the original set comes almost 10 years after it’s release, around 2005, 2006. I was in high school, and my family situation wasn’t the best, but my parents were still trying, and it meant a yearly trip to Disney World. We were at Epcot, around Christmas time, and my birthday (shout out to all my December babies, where Christmas and Birthday presents tend to be one and the same!) And in the Japan district, in a random little shop… original Fossil cards, marked at regular price.
I used up 3 of my Christmas/Birthday gifts to get the last 3 packs and carried them around like gold all through the park. I remember curling up on the floor, nervous about what the pack might hold. Tearing the packaging carefully, now truly understanding the value of what I was holding, gently thumbing through the cards… and Dragonite staring me in the face. I never had such a rare card, nor will remember opening something quite like this pack. My parents didn’t really understand, but me running around screaming excitedly seem to make them happy for the Holiday, which was nice. This card represents my love for pack opening as a young adult, something I have yet to give up almost 15 years later. Luckily, I have a cute niece who is starting to get into collecting, and we trade. But this only covers the first Set. I wanna talk about two more before the end of the Article!
The Rocket Set
To me, the Rocket set’s art was so fascinating, a dark and twisted turn of my favorite cards. I didn’t have many, only a few dozen cards, but my favorite cards were actually a set of 4- Eevee and their first 3 Evolutions, Vaporeon, Jolteon and Flareon. They all seem so powerful and chaotic, my youthful mind ran wild with ideas of how Rocket would twist Eevee evolution to do their bidding. The fact I have all 3 of the Rocket cards makes me so humble and happy. Sadly, I don’t really remember collecting the Rocket set, as that was elementary School era. I was shocked and elated when I came across them after middle school, right before high school started, and the rekindling of my love for the card collection.
The last set was the last set I remember collecting as a kid, before losing my love to the pettiness and adjustment of Middle School, but something I never forgot.
The Gym Leader Set
So, the last set in my trip down Nostalgia lane, the Gym set. It’s actually where my oddest organization skills really developed, as well as my passion for collecting the cards before it hit the wall of Middle School Fitting In And Not Standing Out. My collection was organized first my the Gym leaders, then in each section, I organized the Pokemon by their number. This odd organization I kept even now, though I use them now in organizing Trainer cards based on what they do or what they were. Anyways, I think the artists in this set really let the Pokemon really move, incorporating their background and almost seem to be a picture in movement instead of a piece of art. I also loved how each Leader had Pokemon from the Manga and TV series that you might not realize the Gym Leader would have unless you were watching the series.
Ironically, my favorite card in this set does do a nod to my favorite card in the Base set. Blaine’s Vulpix. Something about the background and the flaming balls of doom really draw me in for some reason. It reminds me a lot of Ninetales, though it is blue in the background and this one is yellow, but the art seems quite contingent with one another. Ironically, I did see Blaine’s Ninetales, and the art doesn’t look like it’s from the same story. But, it told it’s own story. Personally, I like when you can look at and evolution set, and almost see how a Pokemon goes from one stage to the next through the artwork. I see it a lot more in the later sets, but a few of the old ones did this as well. Most of the Gym Leaders seem to have this feel. Sadly, the sets were so small, it didn’t have a lot to look at.
If you enjoyed my ramblings, feel free to like the article, or comment. Next week, I am gonna go over my other cards. See, on the back of my binder, I plan to have a PokeDex-like organization and have every Pokemon represented. I hope to have a “Hit List” of the Pokemon of each generation I need to collect, as well as write some articles up every once in a while about opening the packs. I also do not play the online Trading Card Game, so will share the codes every once in a while.
Thank you for your time, and until next time, Stay Shiny!