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Illustration contests

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Illustration contests are contests in which entrants are invited to send in illustrations of requested Pokémon, and have them featured on a card in the Pokémon Trading Card Game. Shogakukan are the primary hosts of the contests in Japan, with the majority of them held through their CoroCoro publications. Wizards of the Coast and Pokémon USA have also held contests in the US. The following is a list of all contests from the beginning of the TCG.

CoroCoro Pokémon Illustration Contest

In late 1997, CoroCoro held an Illustration contest, in which the top illustrators had their artwork featured as one of the Vending Machine cards. These winners were not only awarded by having their art featured on real Pokémon cards, they also received the coveted Pokémon Illustrator card.

Water
Poliwrath
PoliwrathVendingS1.jpg
Illus. Yuuki Kawamura
Colorless
Snorlax
SnorlaxVendingS1.jpg
Illus. Keita Takahashi
Psychic
Mr. Mime
MrMimeVendingS1.jpg
Illus. Kasumi Matsuda
Psychic
Mewtwo
MewtwoVendingS3.jpg
Illus. Kazuhiko Nishihara


CoroCoro Best Photo Contest

CoroCoro held another contest in May 1999 and invited readers to take interesting pictures of Pokémon from the recently released Pokémon Snap and submit them in the Best Photo Contest. The top five winning entries had their artwork featured on reprints from Expansion Pack. The exact number of these cards in existence is unknown.

Grass
Bulbasaur
BulbasaurSnapBestPhotoContest.jpg
Photo. Yuuki Tanaka
Water
Poliwag
PoliwagSnapBestPhotoContest.jpg
Photo. Hiroyuki Sasaki
Water
Magikarp
MagikarpSnapBestPhotoContest.jpg
Photo. Yuka Matsubara
Water
Gyarados
GyaradosSnapBestPhotoContest.jpg
Photo. Ryouichi Abe
Lightning
Pikachu
PikachuSnapBestPhotoContest.jpg
Photo. Mina Akuhara


64 Mario Stadium Best Photo Contest

Much like the CoroCoro contest, the TV Tokyo variety show 64 Mario Stadium also held a Best Photo Contest in May 1999. The top five winning entries had their Pokémon Snap photographs featured on reprints from Expansion Pack. The exact number of these cards in existence is unknown.

Grass
Koffing
KoffingSnapBestPhotoContest.jpg
Photo. Natsu Sato
Fire
Charmander
CharmanderSnapBestPhotoContest.jpg
Photo. Tsukasa Hosono
Water
Squirtle
SquirtleSnapBestPhotoContest.jpg
Photo. Miyuki Ogino
Water
Articuno
ArticunoSnapBestPhotoContest.jpg
Photo. Yui Tanaka
Colorless
Chansey
ChanseySnapBestPhotoContest.jpg
Photo. Kaori Samoya


2002 Wizards Pokémon Illustration Contest

In mid 2002, Wizards of the Coast also ran an illustration competition for the English version of Keita Takahashi's CoroCoro contest illustration. The chosen image was created by Craig Turvey.

Colorless
Snorlax
SnorlaxWizardsPromo49.jpg
Illus. Craig Turvey


Poké Card Creator Contest

The Poké Card Creator Contest was a contest held by Kids' WB! in 2004. Applicants aged between five and fifteen were invited to create an image of one of five pre-selected Pokémon and submit it to Kids' WB! between February 16 and April 10, 2004. Pokémon USA designed five new cards using the winning illustrations. A total of 5250 Poké Card Creator Packs were distributed in July 2004; 50 packs to each of the five grand prize winners, and one pack to 5000 first prize winners. The grand prize winners also won a $500 Target gift card.

Grass
Treecko
TreeckoCreatorContest1.png
Illus. Mark Kraus
Grass
Wurmple
WurmpleCreatorContest2.png
Illus. Katie Gross
Fire
Torchic
TorchicCreatorContest3.png
Illus. May Do
Water
Mudkip
MudkipCreatorContest4.png
Illus. Rowan Laidlaw
Lightning
Pikachu
PikachuCreatorContest5.png
Illus. Sylvia Forrest


2009 Pokémon Card Design Contest

In 2009, Shogakukan held the Pokémon Card Design Contest through many of their publications. Entrants were invited to design the artwork for Spiky-eared Pichu Pokémon M and Arceus. Aside from two magazines that held contests for original drawings, each one provided an outline of the requested Pokémon drawn by professional illustrators (whose artwork were also featured on the cards in the Movie Commemoration Random Pack). This contest was restricted to residents of Japan and is so far the largest to be held in the history of the TCG.
Application periods varied on the publication:

  • Kindergarten; Televi-Kun; Elementary School 1st Grade: February 28 - March 31, 2009
  • Elementary School 2nd Grade - Elementary School 6th Grade: March 3 - April 2, 2009
  • CoroCoro; Pucchigumi: March 14 - April 14, 2009
  • Pokémon Fan: March 18 - April 20, 2009
  • CoroCoro Ichiban!: March 25 - April 24, 2009

Cards were distributed in conjunction with theatrical release of Arceus: To a Conquering Spacetime on July 18, 2009.

A total of 552 winning entries were chosen across the twelve publications, broken down into four bands:

  • Best award (1 winner; 12 total): 13 sets of the winning cards and a limited edition Daisuki Club Giratina Nintendo DS Lite.
  • Excellence award (5 winners; 60 total): Jumbo copy of the entry along with a DX Monster Ball DP
  • Special award (10 winners; 120 total): One copy of Pikachu's Ice Adventure DVD
  • Lucky award (30 winners; 360 total): One Garchomp vs Charizard SP Deck Kit

It is unknown if there were 100 copies of the selected entries distributed to each of the winners due to the low numbers of complete sets that have surfaced within the collector community. It is speculated that there may only be twelve sets - one for each of the winners.

Lightning
Spiky-eared Pichu Pokémon M
024332 P GIZAMIMIPICHUMMUBI.jpg
Kindergarten winner
Illus. Shunsuke Takemori
Lightning
Spiky-eared Pichu Pokémon M
024333 P GIZAMIMIPICHUMMUBI.jpg
Elementary 1st Grade winner
Illus. Haruka Uekura
Lightning
Spiky-eared Pichu Pokémon M
024334 P GIZAMIMIPICHUMMUBI.jpg
Elementary 2nd Grade winner
Illus. Taisei Fujita
Colorless
Arceus
024335 P ARUSEUSU.jpg
Elementary 3rd Grade winner
Illus. Shoki Nakamura
Colorless
Arceus
024337 P ARUSEUSU.jpg
Elementary 4th Grade winner
Illus. Arisa Sugino
Colorless
Arceus
024339 P ARUSEUSU.jpg
Elementary 5th Grade winner
Illus. Meiko Akiba
Colorless
Arceus
024341 P ARUSEUSU.jpg
Elementary 6th Grade winner
Illus. Mikako Nishizaki
Lightning
Spiky-eared Pichu Pokémon M
024343 P GIZAMIMIPICHUMMUBI.jpg
Televi-Kun winner
Illus. Keita Mizuno
Colorless
Arceus
024344 P ARUSEUSU.jpg
CoroCoro Comic winner
Illus. Hikaru Okawa
Lightning
Spiky-eared Pichu Pokémon M
024346 P GIZAMIMIPICHUMMUBI.jpg
Pucchigumi winner
Illus. Mahiro Shinozaki
Lightning
Spiky-eared Pichu Pokémon M
024347 P GIZAMIMIPICHUMMUBI.jpg
Pokémon Fan winner
Illus. Shizuka Kusakabe
Colorless
Arceus
024348 P ARUSEUSU.jpg
CoroCoro Ichiban! winner
Illus. Ryoga Kawai
Lightning
Spiky-eared Pichu Pokémon M
024268 P GIZAMIMIPICHUMMUBI.jpg
Weekly Shonen Sunday winner
Illus. Gosho Aoyama
Colorless
Arceus
024350 P ARUSEUSU.jpg
Shonen Sunday winner
Illus. Natsumi Nishiyama


2010 Pokémon Card Design Contest

In 2010, Shogakukan held another Pokémon Card Design Contest through many of their publications. Entrants were invited to design the artwork for Illusion's Zorua and Illusion's Zoroark, again using a pre-drawn template. This contest, much like the one held in 2009, was restricted to residents of Japan. The application period across all publications ran from February 20 to April 2, 2010. Winners were announced on July 27, 2010.
A total of 660 winning entries were chosen across the ten publications, broken down into four bands:

All selected entrants also received the regular prints of Illusion's Zorua and Illusion's Zoroark (660 total). It is also unknown if there were 100 copies of the selected entries distributed to each of the winners. It is speculated that there may only be ten sets - one for each of the winners.

Darkness
Illusion's Zorua
IllusionZoruaKindergartenLPromo.jpg
Kindergarten winner
Illus. Megu Taniguchi
Darkness
Illusion's Zorua
IllusionZorua1stGradeLPromo.jpg
Elementary 1st Grade winner
Illus. Mayumi Fujimura
Darkness
Illusion's Zorua
IllusionZorua2ndGradeLPromo.jpg
Elementary 2nd Grade winner
Illus. Kousuke Mori
Darkness
Illusion's Zoroark
IllusionZoroark3rdGradeLPromo.jpg
Elementary 3rd Grade winner
Illus. Ryusuke Mori
Darkness
Illusion's Zoroark
IllusionZoroark4thGradeLPromo.jpg
Elementary 4th Grade winner
Illus. Kozue Omi
Darkness
Illusion's Zorua
IllusionZoruaTelevi-KunLPromo.jpg
Televi-Kun winner
Illus. Yuta Koike
Darkness
Illusion's Zoroark
IllusionZoroarkCoroCoroLPromo.jpg
CoroCoro winner
Illus. Kouhei Yoshihisa
Darkness
Illusion's Zorua
IllusionZoruaPucchigumiLPromo.jpg
Pucchigumi winner
Illus. Miho Sugano
Darkness
Illusion's Zorua
IllusionZoruaPokeFanLPromo.jpg
Pokémon Fan winner
Illus. Izumi Sakaga
Darkness
Illusion's Zoroark
IllusionZoroarkIchibanLPromo.jpg
CoroCoro Ichiban! winner
Illus. Kazuki Yamane


Showcase

Unlike the contest ran in 2009, all 660 chosen entrants were showcased on the Japanese Pokémon movie website. Below are the top six entries for each publication, including some additional entries from the Pokémon Fan magazine.