Original TCG Era merchandise

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TCG Era
Neo era →

The Original TCG Era maintained the steady flow of TCG merchandise from the start of the Pokémon Trading Card Game until the beginning of Generation II with the release of Pokémon Gold and Silver. Throughout this time, a variety of products, ranging from Starter Packs to Decks, were released in order to promote the card game, and ultimately, the video games and the franchise as a whole. Below is a chronological list of all merchandise items released during the Original TCG Era.

Series 1 Starter Pack

The first official item of TCG merchandise was the Series 1 Starter Pack (Japanese: 第1弾スターターパック), released alongside the first card set Expansion Pack on October 20, 1996. The deck includes a random assortment of 30 cards from the set, with the remaining 30 composed of basic Energy cards. The deck includes items a player experiencing the TCG for the first time will require: damage counters and a coin. A rulebook outlining the workings of the game and a card checklist are also included.

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Starter Deck
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Gift Pack

The Gift Pack (Japanese: ギフトパック) was released on December 12, 1996 and is designed to encourage two players to engage in the TCG with the inclusion of two Starter Decks. The pack also includes a special game mat in which to carry out battles, 30 additional damage counters, four Poison markers, plus a copy of Easily Understand How to Play Pokémon Cards, which itself comes with two promotional cards.

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Gift Pack
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Team Rocket Gift Pack

The second gift pack, the Team Rocket Gift Pack (Japanese: ロケット団 ギフトパック), was released on December 19, 1997 and includes a number of Team Rocket themed items, with its eponymous TCG expansion released earlier on November 21, 1997. Like the first Gift Pack, the Rocket Gang Gift Pack includes two copies of a deck to allow two players to immediately jump into play. This deck, the Team Rocket Starter Deck, is an original creation found only in the pack. Also packaged is a set of damage counters, two Poison markers, two coins, two Team Rocket badges, a play mat, and a poster.

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Team Rocket Gift Pack
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Nivi City Gym Deck

Two decks featuring Gym Leaders and Pokémon belonging them were released on April 26, 1998, building up to the eventual release of Leaders' Stadium later in the year. The Nivi City Gym (Japanese: ニビシティジム タケシ) Deck focuses on Gym Leader Brock and his Pokémon, the majority of which are Fighting-types. The deck comprises 60 cards, plus four additional cards to be integrated into it, as well as a coin, rulebook, and Pokémon Gym Guide.

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Hanada City Gym Deck

The second of two decks released on April 26, 1998 was the Hanada City Gym (Japanese: ハナダシティジム カスミ) Deck, which focuses on Gym Leader Misty and her Pokémon, which consist of entirely Water-types. In addition to the 60 main cards, the deck includes four expansion cards, a coin, rulebook, and Pokémon Gym Guide.

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Kuchiba City Gym Deck

The second wave of decks leading up to the release of Leaders' Stadium were released on July 25, 1998. The first deck focuses on Gym Leader Lt. Surge and his predominantly Lightning-type Pokémon, and is named Kuchiba City Gym (Japanese: クチバシティジム マチス). The deck includes 60 main cards, four expansion cards, a coin, a rulebook, and Pokémon Gym Guide.

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Tamamushi City Gym Deck

The Tamamushi City Gym (Japanese: タマムシシティジム エリカ) Deck was released on July 25, 1998 and focuses on Gym Leader Erika along with her Pokémon, which consist mainly of Grass-types. The deck has 64 cards in all: 60 main cards, plus four extra cards that can substitute those in the main deck, and also comes with a coin, a rulebook, and a Pokémon Gym Guide.

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Quick Starter Gift Set

Similar to the previous Gift Packs, the Quick Starter Gift Set (Japanese: クイックスターターギフト), released on December 4, 1998, is designed with immediate two player battles in mind. The Quick Starter Gift Set includes two original decks: the Red Deck and Green Deck, which comprise mostly of cards from the three Expansion Sheets. In addition to the decks, the set includes two deck boxes, a set of damage counters, eight Poison markers, two coins, a play mat, a rulebook, one random Series 1 (Blue) Extended Sheet, and a copy of Understand How to Play Pokémon Cards Now: Newest Edition.

Product images:

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Quick Starter Gift Set
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Pokémon Song Best Collection

Main article: Pokémon Song Best Collection

Pokémon Song Best Collection is a music CD that was released on January 1, 1999. It came with ten promotional cards: Venusaur, Charizard, Blastoise, Arcanine, Mewtwo, Mew, Cool Porygon, Hungry Snorlax, Computer Error and Super Energy Retrieval. All cards which came with this CD had been previously released. The reprints of Venusaur, Charizard and Blastoise also feature the Pikachu Records logo. It also came with a copy of Pikachu in English.

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Pokémon Song Best Collection
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Pokémon Card GB Official Guidebook

Main article: Pokémon Card GB Official Guidebook

The Pokémon Card GB Official Guidebook was released on January 29, 1999. It is a strategy guide to the TCG and the Pokémon Trading Card Game for the Game Boy Color. Included with new copies of the book was the promotional card Venusaur.

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Pokémon Card GB Official Guidebook
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Yamabuki City Gym Deck

In a similar fashion to the associated Leaders' Stadium decks, two more decks featuring Gym Leaders were released on February 26, 1999. Sabrina and her principally Psychic-type Pokémon would later feature as part of the Challenge from the Darkness expansion, but debuted in the Yamabuki City Gym (Japanese: ヤマブキシティジム ナツメ) Deck. The deck includes 64 cards, a coin, a rulebook, and a Pokémon Gym Guide.

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Yamabuki City Gym
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Guren Town Gym Deck

The Guren Town Gym (Japanese: グレンタウンジム カツラ) Deck was also released on February 26, 1999, and is the last of the Gym Leader-centric decks. Blaine and his Fire-type Pokémon are the main focus of the deck, which includes 60 primary cards, four additional expansion cards, a coin, a rulebook, and a Pokémon Gym Guide.

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Guren Town Gym
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How I Became a Pokémon Card volume 1

Main article: How I Became a Pokémon Card volume 1

How I Became a Pokémon Card volume 1, the first volume in the How I Became a Pokémon Card manga, was released on May 22, 1999. It came with a promotional version of Mankey.

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How I Became a Pokémon Card volume 1
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Southern Islands Collection

A collection of eighteen cards called the Southern Islands were made available in conjunction with the initial release of The Power of One on July 17, 1999. These cards could be obtained in two types of product: the Southern Islands Movie Commemoration Pack (Japanese: 映画公開記念パック「サザンアイランド」) and Southern Islands Movie Commemoration Set (Japanese: 「サザンアイランド」映画公開記念セット). The Movie Commemoration Pack comes in six varieties: each a 3-card box set focusing on a particular region from one of the two Southern Islands, packaged with a postcard. The Movie Commemoration Set was sold exclusively at participating cinemas showing The Power of One and comes in two versions: the Tropical Island set and the Rainbow Island set, each of which include nine cards presented in a file.

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Jungle Pack
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Beach Pack
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Sea Pack
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Tropical Island Set
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Sky Pack
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Riverside Pack
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Field of Flowers Pack
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Rainbow Island Set
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Intro Pack

The final product of the Original era to be released was the Intro Pack (Japanese: イントロパック), and was made available first on July 30, 1999. The purpose of the Intro Pack is to introduce beginners to the TCG, allowing them to use cards from the two pre-built Bulbasaur or Squirtle Decks while viewing step-by-step guides and demonstrations on the included VHS cassette, a first for the game. Each deck includes 40 cards, most of which are sourced from Expansion Pack and the Expansion Sheets, including a handful from the upcoming Neo era expansion Gold, Silver, to a New World.... The set also includes two additional Holofoil cards, a set of 30 damage counters, two Poison markers, a coin, a play mat, and a rulebook.

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Intro Pack
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How I Became a Pokémon Card volume 2

Main article: How I Became a Pokémon Card volume 2

How I Became a Pokémon Card volume 2, the second volume in the How I Became a Pokémon Card manga, was released in September 1999. It came with a promotional version of Psyduck.

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How I Became a Pokémon Card volume 2
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How I Became a Pokémon Card volume 3

Main article: How I Became a Pokémon Card volume 3

How I Became a Pokémon Card volume 3, the third volume in the How I Became a Pokémon Card manga, was released in January 2000. It came with a promotional version of Jynx.

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How I Became a Pokémon Card volume 3
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Pokémon Trading Card Game merchandise
Japanese TCG merchandise
Original Era
Neo Era
VS Era
e-Card Era
ADV Era
PCG Era
DP Era
DPt Era
LEGEND Era
BW Era
XY Era
XY BREAK Era
Sun & Moon Era


Project TCG logo.png This article is part of both Project TCG and Project Merchandise, Bulbapedia projects that, together, aim to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon Trading Card Game merchandise. Project Merchandise logo.png