EDIT #3: Added two Great Encounters booster pack images to its logo’s news story.
EDIT #2: Corrected some information concerning the history of the TFG in the “New ‘Next Quest’ American Crystal Figures” news story, thanks to Archaic.
EDIT: Added new “Great Encounters” news story below “DP5 on Hold” story.
I’veeeeeee been workin’ on the railllllllroad…
DP5 on Hold? – Usually by now, perhaps even a while ago, we would have information on the next Japanese set, at the very least the set’s name. The last time we first heard about a new set was back in July for DP4: Moon Hunting / Night Dashing, which was released at the very end of October. However, nothing related to the next Japanese set has been released at all, which is extremely unusual.
In Japan, there is a time period for each set block in which a player can earn points from tournaments to redeem for special promo cards, called the “Player Club” program. For the Diamond and Pearl set block (DP1 – DP5), the Player Club session to start earning points from tournaments opened on October 27th, 2006 (the date when DP1’s Japanese entry packs were released), and was originally supposed to end in February, 2008 with the release of the last Diamond and Pearl set (DP5). A Player Club session always coincides with the release of the first set in a block, and ends around the time of the last set’s release. Then, a new Player Club session starts for the next block (such as when you could earn Espeon-star and Umbreon-star for the last EX block, and then a new Player Club session started for the Diamond and Pearl block). For the Diamond and Pearl set block, players could redeem their tournament points for Piplup, Turtwig, Chimchar, Manaphy, Dialga, Palkia, and Darkrai Player Club promo cards.
Recently in Japan, it was announced that the end of the Player Club session for the Diamond and Pearl block will be moved to May, creating a three month extension (an extension has never happened before for the Player Club program). Because of this, many Japanese players have speculated that DP5 will be delayed until around May, since the Player Club program always ends with the last set of a block (which may be why we have absolutely no info on the next set).
What could be the reason for the possible delay of DP5? You may remember from a news story we posted a while ago that the official Japanese TCG website promised every D/P Pokemon would be released in card form by DP5 (this may not mean “hidden” Pokemon like Shaymin and Arceus, but there are still cards who have not been released). This would include Pokemon like Shaymin, Giratina, and Regigigas, which will be in the 11th Pokemon movie (among others). Traditionally, Pokemon that are related to upcoming movies are saved for sets released around the movie’s release date. Since the Diamond and Pearl block WILL end with DP5, as announced a long time ago, these three Pokemon will HAVE to be released in DP5. However, DP5 probably cannot be released in February (when it would have originally been released) because it would be too early for promoting the movie (or that it would be revealing Shaymin early, who will probably not be revealed by Nintendo for a while). Thus, the set may be delayed for the simple reason that as being the last D/P set containing cards related to the 11th movie, it must wait for the general time period of the movie’s release date in theatres to promote it (which is July). If you are confused about any of the above (I confused myself at times when typing it up and revising it), simply ask a question in this story’s news thread and hopefully I can explain it better.
If all of the above turns out to hold true (remember, nothing is for sure, though things like this are usually very likely), DP5 will be released around May. What is known for sure (by official means) is that the D/P Player Club session will end around May and a new TCG block will start soon after. To repeat myself, the Player Club program always ends with the last set in a block, and since there are only five D/P sets (with four having been released), DP5 will more than likely be released around the end of the D/P block Player Club session (which is in May).
Will Pokemon USA stick to the regular schedule of releasing sets every three months and allow us to catch up to Japan if this does happen? We are one set behind, and Japan will have a gap where a set would have been released, so this is the perfect chance! Come on PUSA, if this does happen, let us have simultaneous releases! :D
*breathes a little*
Great Encounters Logo and Two Boosters Revealed! – The logo for Great Encounters was just released, and you can view it below. It’s not very original when comparing it to the first three D/P set logos…
To review what we already know about the English set, Great Encounters will be released in February in the United States and will feature Dialga, Palkia, Darkrai, and Cresselia (the Japanese set was [DP4: Moon Hunting / Night Dashing]). The theme deck names are Endless Night (with Darkrai), Infinite Space (Palkia), and Eternal Time (Dialga).
EDIT: The Great Encounters booster packs have also been revealed (well, at least two of them – there might be four like usual). The two featured here have Dialga and Palkia on the cover of the packs. Click the thumbnail for a larger image.
New “Next Quest” American Crystal Figures – Are you a Target shopper? If you are a hard-core one, you probably know that most Targets have all of their Christmas items 75% off now. You may also even know that there are now new crystal Pokemon Trading Figure Game figures included in several Next Quest packages!
I went to two Targets today and saw the crystal figures at both of them. For those of you who do not know the history of the Pokemon Trading Figure Game, it was originally given a “test run” in
Europe Australia (and then Europe and Southeast Asia later), and there were special crystal and cream-colored figures of every several Pokemon (along with the regular colored figures, of course). For the American release, the crystal and cream-colored figures were not created because they apparently were not popular enough in Europe (the European figures also had rarity on each of the figures, but the rarity system was thrown out for when the figures were released in America). This has now changed apparently, as it seems the new “print run” of Next Quest now includes crystal figures in the packages. The figures are also completely American since they have no rarity, so they are not just crystal figures that were re-packed from the European release into American packs. Click the thumbnails below to see several crystal figures in their packages.
Japanese Worlds 2007 Mini-Site – The Japanese have created a Worlds 2007 mini-site for the Worlds tournament that took place in Hawaii this past summer. The site includes photos from the tournament, player biographies, and other information (it is in Japanese, of course, but the website is still interesting to go through).