While there have been many expensive, individual Pokémon cards going up for sale lately, and even some boxes of cards, an upcoming auction is going to be listing something far more interesting: a whole sheet of Pokémon cards that never made it to a packet in the first place.
As Dicebreaker reports, the sheet contains 99 cards, and was part of Pokemon’s first ever Western release back in the late 20th century. It’s not a bad selection among the 99, either; there are all 16 shiny cards, including Charizard and Blastoise, and a ton of Mews as well.
There are also 32 Machamps. That’s a lotta Machamp.
I find this whole thing fascinating because:
1. You could, theoretically, cut these up yourself and turn them into 99 old Pokémon cards. I know there are devices which would help you do a pretty good job, but I also want to imagine a grown, wealthy adult sitting at a table with a pair of scissors, tongue slightly out at the side, slicing down each line ever so softly, whispering to themselves “easy....easy”.
2. It’s a rare insight into the kind of percentage generation that goes into card creation. Like, every time you open a packet of Pokémon cards, what are the odds you’re going to get Pikachu and not, say, Machamp? Going by this sheet’s breakdown, you are going to get Machamps.
3. This is some real behind the scenes stuff! There’s text at the very top of the sheet that says “OKAY FOR COLOR + FIT 11-30-98 7:25am”, suggesting it was a test run, while also showing it dates all the way back to November 1998, a couple of months ahead of the game’s wider release in the United States. Making this something of a Pokémon historical relic, especially since it had been displayed on the wall of the office of the CEO of Wizards of the Coast, the company making the cards in the US.
Bidding on the cards is currently at $34,000, with 10 days left on the auction.