Creatures, the company that produces the Pokemon TCG, has shipped a very special 25th anniversary deck to their card illustrators! The deck won’t release to the public, but it’s possible some could make their way to the aftermarket. The deck was first posted to social media by Shibuzoh and Hideki Ishikawa, who both started illustrating Pokemon cards in 2016.
The 30-card deck is named “Creatures Deck: Corporate History (1995-2021).” Similar to Celebrations, it contains reprinted cards from the TCG’s past, each representing a year from 1995 to 2021. Examples include Base Set Charizard for 1996, Rainbow Energy for 1997, and Rapid Strike Urshifu V for 2021. Several of the cards aren’t found in Celebrations.
Each card features a 25th anniversary stamp and is printed on a glossy, starry holofoil paper, which instantly distinguishes them from the anniversary cards released this year. The cards don’t have standard backs either; instead they show historical information about Creatures. This further sets these apart from typical Pokemon cards.
For 1995’s card they’ve printed what appears to be a beta version of Base Set Chansey! They state it’s a “test card” illustrated by Koichi Oyama without elaborating further. Oyama was one of the original creators of the Pokemon TCG, so it’s likely an early draft of his. “Beta Chansey” has 140 HP instead of 120 and Scrunch has 80 recoil damage instead of 50. This is especially noteworthy when you consider the 120 HP barrier wasn’t broken until EX Sandstorm in 2003 — almost eight years later! “Weakness” is also named “WEAKPOINT.”
The Pokemon TCG launched in October 1996, but Creatures was founded in November 1995 — hence the need to find a card to represent their history in 1995.
The deck also includes three Trainer cards: Poke Ball, Switch, and a new Stadium card called History Gate. This brings the deck to a total of 30 cards, the size of a standard mini-deck (though it would obviously be a horrible deck to play).
Each player’s cards in play that were released between 1996 and 2000 have their printed HP and attack damage doubled.
This card stays in play when you play it. Discard this card if another Stadium card comes into play. If another card with the same name is in play, you can’t play this card.
The back of the three Trainer cards contains an interview with Hirokazu Tanaka, the president of Creatures, and Tsunekazu Ishihara, the president and CEO of Pokemon. We skimmed through the deck’s historic information but nothing special was revealed. The information talks about common knowledge and past Pokemon releases.
Creatures sent the deck in a unique wooden box. This box includes a fabric pouch with Energy symbols on the front and back. It also includes a pack of 32 sleeves featuring the original Japanese card back. The sleeves were released at Japan’s Pokemon Centers a few times.
Could this special deck make it to the aftermarket one day? In 2016, Creatures shipped a special leather deck box to their illustrators to celebrate the TCG’s 20th anniversary. It was only last year when one of them surfaced on Yahoo Auctions and sold for over $11,000. So it’s possible a few of these decks could be sold one day for ridiculous prices.
However, Pokemon usually discourages this since it’s supposed to be a special gift. This is why the back of the deck says “Not for Sale.” So if someone does part with them, it probably won’t be for a few years. Fun note: the back of the deck also has a fake barcode: 1 995 2021 2525. You can probably figure out what those numbers mean!
You can see all the 25th anniversary cards in the deck on Shibuzoh‘s Instagram stories, which I’ve re-uploaded here as one video: