This isn’t the first time Pokemon TCG (trading card game) cards have needed to be reprinted. This isn’t even the first time Pokemon card sets have been printed beyond their original run in recent years. Since the dawn of the trading card game, Pokemon cards have appeared limited edition at the same time as they’ve been widely available around the world – that’s the dance both Wizards of the Coast and The Pokemon Company International have been dancing for the past two decades.
First, there was a card game in Japan. Then there was a campaign by Wizards of the Coast to bring said card game here to the United States. As evidenced by the most valuable Pokemon card in existence, Wizards of the Coast began printing demo cards on Magic: The Gathering card back sheets.
When Wizards of the Coast first started printing Pokemon cards, they delivered a “1st edition” run. Then they started printing cards in a standard run, then another run. One has a “shadow” behind the main image, the other is called “shadowless”.
If you held up three Pokemon cards from these runs, you’d see MINOR differences between each card. The one has a little “1 EDITION” mark to the left of the statistics of the Pokemon. Another has a shadow gradient behind the frame of the image of the Pokemon, and no “1 EDITION” mark. The other has no mark, and no shadow. Some 1st edition Pokemon have shadows, others are shadowless.
Wizards of the Coast were printing and reprinting and extending print runs of Pokemon cards since the very first set to be released inside the United States of America. In the year 2003, The Pokemon Company International took over production of Pokemon TCG. Over the course of the past two decades, over 30 BILLION Pokemon cards have been sold across the planet.
This week, The Pokemon Company International released a statement suggesting that they’d received complaints that people were not able to buy Pokemon cards in some markets, and that they’d be responding by increasing production of sets, and reprinting some cards to make certain everyone has a chance to buy the cards they desired.
They’ve not yet been clear whether this includes the McDonald’s Happy Meal set. They have been clear that they will increase the size of print runs in the near future, and they WILL be reprinting cards from some sets that are already on the market.