“Pokemon GO” Cards Getting Exclusive Artwork in China, Including Charizard and Radiant Eevee!

China’s next compilation set, CS5 Brave Stars, will contain some cards from 2022’s Pokemon GO set. Each booster pack will focus on four Pokemon types and release in 5 or 25-card configurations. The set will release in China on June 18th.

Surprisingly, some of the Pokemon GO cards feature new artwork that hasn’t been seen anywhere else in the world! They also lack the “Pokemon GO” logo over the artwork. Chinese fans have posted some of the cards from a prerelease-style event that took place last weekend:

There’s no official explanation for why the cards are using alternate artwork. However, it could be due to a licensing issue. Pokemon GO is banned in China. Since the original Pokemon GO cards shared a copyright with Niantic, Creatures may have needed to commission new artwork under their normal licensing arrangements to dodge ties to Niantic.

The original Pokemon GO set featured a few cards without the Niantic copyright, such as Mewtwo VSTAR. China is getting those cards with the same artwork. This seems to indicate the aforementioned issues are at play.

Brave Stars will contain cards from a few 2022 sets, including Pokemon GO, Star Birth, Incandescent Arcana, and more. But not every card will release. China spreads the Japanese cards across several releases and sometimes cards are cut. So it’s unclear how many Pokemon GO cards will ultimately release in China.

As posted before, China has been releasing “compilation” sets that combine several different Japanese sets. The TCG officially launched in China in October 2022 and they’ve been releasing their sets at a rapid pace to catch up with the rest of the world. Currently, they’re up to the late Sword & Shield era.

A few Chinese-exclusive cards have released in the past, such as full art versions of Venusaur V and Blastoise V.