An old collectors guide

Found this old collectors guide that I had as a kid. Published in the year 2000 and it’s actually so cool to know people were so avid at collecting back then. Would not be surprised if the authors are lurking in this forum somewhere (if so, thanks for the childhood joy!). When I was a kid I just looked at it because I like the pictures of the cards and seeing what I was missing. As an adult I appreciate the hard work they must have put into it. They included Japanese cards and even had the gym heroes/challenge sets info but no pictures because the set was too new and only out in Japan at time of publishing I guess.

If anyone wants to see any sections let me know and I’ll add some pictures to this thread. They cover base, fossil, jungle, rocket, gym and promos in both English and Japanese.


That’s awesome! What does it say about dragonite?


Here is dragonite from fossil and the dragonite black star promo.

The dragonite from rocket is called “bad dragonite” instead of “dark dragonite”. This guide is so old that it printed before rocket even came out in English. It seems they translated from Japanese and couldn’t even find a picture of the card. They only have a few pictures of the rocket cards and only in Japanese. Considering this is very early days of the internet they must have been really big fans to put this together. Hope they lurk here and see these haha!


:joy: the flavor text on these are hilarious! “Unlike Dragonite from the basic set…”

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I have a similar guide made during the ex era. I needa go find it and compare the prices :wink:


Very cool find! Thanks for sharing!

I have this same book too! Such a blast from the past


I remember this bad boy. What do the cones with numbers around the names mean?

It’s always cool to see old-school Pokemon publications. Thanks for sharing!

I wouldn’t characterize the late 1990s as the “early days of the Internet,” though. The web was in full swing by then, with countless fan sites, mom-and-pop online stores, even music-download services. Indeed, the term “Web 2.0” was coined in 1999.

Pokemon was scorching hot by 2000, the year this book was published, and there were already many unofficial/unauthorized Pokemon magazines and books (including some that I wrote for) on the market by then. They weren’t labors of love for the publishers; they were cash grabs.

Side note: It cracks me up that the team that put together this book decided “pokemon” should be written with a lowercase P.

Really showing my age here haha, I guess when this book was published I didn’t even know the internet existed because I would have been too young. It was certainly pre-internet days for me! :dizzy_face:

Smashing all my illusions of childhood, but it does make sense because they realllly want you to know it is NOT endorsed by WOTC. Must have been a lot of these cash grabs around. Nevertheless I appreciate the authors and hope they used their cash grabs to invest in the first editions they wrote so awkwardly about!


Essentially one is rating how good the card is for actual play in competitive, the other is rating how collectible/popular the card is for collectors.
One rating for those who played, one rating for those who just collected and traded.

Also just want to point out that text in the top left. ‘If you plan on just collecting and not playing, individual card sleeves are not for you’ :sob:
How simple times used to be! Collecting for collectors sake, perhaps this is subliminally why I don’t have any graded whatsoever in my collection haha.


Oh, sorry for the misunderstanding concerning my “cash grab” comment. I was talking about the publishers, not the two gentlemen credited as the authors. They were most likely either paid a modest salary if they were editorial employees of Publications International, or a small advance and royalties if they were under contract. When it comes to editorial work, there’s no cash-grabbing at all.


Interesting how the Japanese prices were higher than English 1st Edition for some of these cards.


Back in the day it was a lot harder to even get Japanese cards. It wasn’t like today where they were all over eBay and you could just order whatever you wanted. Importing in 1999-2000 was really something else. It took an awareness and expertise many collectors did not have.

Specialty shops still sold Japanese cards from Japanese distributors, but they were usually a lot more limited in availability. In my early time with Pokémania, I only opened one Japanese booster pack that I got unexpectedly for Christmas. I was the only one with any Japanese cards, and even then it was only one pack’s worth.

Japanese cards were the rarest of the rare when it came to playground hierarchy. What a time to be alive.


Oddly enough, I actually opened a decent amount of Japanese packs as a kid. I even pulled a Japanese Base Set Charizard (which I never pulled in English). Of course, it’s entirely possible that I also opened up some 1st Edition packs, but I just don’t remember.