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Revision as of 10:57, 18 November 2007
The Vending Machine Cards are a series of special collections for the Pokémon Trading Card Game. They were released in Japan only.
- 36 cards in Series 1
- 36 cards in Series 2
- 52 cards in Series 3
- The first series of cards was released in Autumn 1998
- These cards were not available in decks or booster packs, but from vending machines. It is important to note that "Vending Machine" is not the official name of this set, it is merely a nickname assigned by collectors. The cards were printed on glossy card and came attached to a roughly A4-sized sheet, colored either blue, red or green (depending on the series). The front of the sheets have step-by-step guides on how to play the game and advertisements for other Expansion sets, while the back of the sheet includes 3 cards (face down), cardboard damage counters and coins. Series 3 sheets include a special 4th card, which feature extra battle effects or checklists. Among these special cards is the “Pass Card” (see below).
- While this was a novel idea in Japan, it was not introduced in America or European countries, likely because it was too expensive to produce/maintain and was not suited for the market. While some of these cards did make English appearances (as Wizards of the Coast Promotional Cards), many still remain exclusive to Japan.
- People began to notice that some Pokémon did not have complete evolution chains over the three sets – this mystery was soon revealed. In April 1999 a “Masaki Evolution” Campaign was launched, inspired by the idea that in order for certain Pokémon to evolve in the games, they have to be traded. In order to acquire the fully evolved versions of Kadabra, Machoke, Graveler, Haunter and Omanyte, people had to send one of these cards along with a Pass Card to MediaFactory. In return they received the evolved version of the card they sent. Not many of these cards actually made it to collector's hands, and one can still expect to pay $100+ for them.
- The character art for some of the cards in the Vending Machine series' were winners from an illustration competition started by CoroCoro Magazine in late 1997. Those winners were not only awarded by having their art fearure on real Pokémon cards, they also received the coveted Pikachu Illustrator card.
- A special sheet of cards (dubbed “Series 00”) was released at the World Hobby Fair in 1998, featuring Pikachu, Mewtwo and Mew.
Series 1 (Blue Sheet)
Series 2 (Red Sheet)
Series 3 (Green Sheet)
Masaki Evolution Campaign Cards