Hey there, Citri here!
This thread is going to be a catalogue of my collection journey for my favorite little penguin Pokémon! My collection focuses on raw TCG cards for the binder, but I may also pick up other small, TCG-sized things as well, such as Tosho cards, transport or train cards, sleeves, and other merch that will fit in a binder pocket. Jumbo cards are included in the spreadsheet, and I do have the English ones that exist, but they aren’t a priority at the moment.
Background behind my collection and why I love Piplup
Piplup has been my favorite Pokémon ever since I saw Dawn’s Piplup debut in the anime when I was a child (move over, Vaporeon, a new water type takes your number 1 spot), and I’ve been collecting Piplup, Prinplup, and Empoleon since their release. Piplup was my starter in Platinum (my very first Pokémon game that was 100% mine and not just borrowed from a friend, shared with my sister, or rented from a Family Video for the weekend), and I fell even more in love with the little blue penguin and its family line.
As a result of my Piplup collection starting young, a lot of my older cards are in less-than-ideal condition, and although admittedly, I did take decently good care of my favorites, I also liked holding and handling them a lot, so most, if not all of the edges have some wear and/or silvering. If I’m being honest, that just makes those that much more special to me though!
Over the years, I’ve fallen in and out of collecting consistently, but my love of Piplup hasn’t waned! I started really organizing my collection back in late 2019 and early 2020, focusing mainly on English releases (pictured down below), but I’ve recently decided to start expanding into other languages as well. Piplup cards have been printed in
13 14 (now that we have Simplified Chinese!) different languages as far as I know, and my ultimate goal is to collect all of them. Realistically, I know I’ll never get my hands on some of the more expensive/limited cards (looking at you, SD07 Piplup), but a person can dream!
To qualify for this collection, the card illustration must include Piplup, Prinplup, Empoleon, or Dawn/Hikari/Akari. All of their respective cameos in cards that are not named some variation of the above are also included (such as Michiina Temple or Friends in Sinnoh).
I consider my spreadsheet to be a complete list of all cards that fit into the prerequisites above. I’m only human and I do miss things, so if you know of a card that I seem to be missing, please do let me know! I’m constantly doing research and double-checking myself, but we’re all bound to miss things occasionally!
Live spreadsheet with percentage completion can be found here: Piplup Line Collection Tracker - Google Sheets
Blue: Obtained | Yellow: Ordered | White: Unobtained | Grey: Variant does not exist
Binder Update Collection
06.24.2022: First Binder
These are in order of release date, so first up are Empoleons! While I don’t have a checklist spot specifically for any errors, I do like to pick them up and stick them in the collection and spreadsheet when I spot them, hence the bottom right card. It’s difficult to see in this lighting, but there’s a good bit of holo bleed on it, so I like to take it out to look at sometimes.
The early cards definitely bring back good memories- a lot of these (minus the championship signed cards, of course) were pulled by me back when I was a kid, including the Piplup Burger King promo! My mother was very much against eating out when I was little, but she agreed to buying my sister and I exactly one meal for the promo cards, so I was super, super happy to get my favorite Pokémon!
More childhood cards here- the promo Empoleon LV. X came as part of my first-ever tin, which I still have! The card is a little worse-for-wear, since I used it in my favorite deck for quite some time, but it’s definitely one of my most precious cards. On this page, we also have the Piplup Burger King promo from 2009- another personal pull! I vividly remember my mother’s reaction to my sister and I asking her for Burger King for more cards: “Isn’t that the same thing as last year?” There was a LOT of screaming in that car when I pulled a Piplup and my sister pulled a Chimchar (her favorite at the time).
Nothing too notable on this page besides the POP Piplup- they used to sell the POP packs at our local dollar store, and my mother would occasionally buy my sister and me a pack or two. The magic of pulling your favorite Pokémon as a kid is priceless, I think.
Ahh, the Empoleon FB- I had a deck back in the day that I took to small local tournaments, and that was one of my favorite cards to have in play, next to HGSS Meganium!
RC Piplup on this page was another really cool personal pull- I had been out of the TCG loop for a little while and hadn’t heard of the RC cards at all, so pulling a full-holo of my favorite penguin was super exciting. I had never seen anything like the holo pattern on it before!
These pages are home to some of the only steel-type Empoleon in the TCG! Pretty cool, I think, but I’d love to see more of Empoleon’s second type showcased in the cards.
The Dawn’s Piplup CHR is what actually pulled me back into collecting Piplups when I first saw it- Dawn is my favorite character, and Piplup is my favorite Pokémon, so I knew I had to pick this one up, but my lovely partner bought it for me as a surprise before I had the chance, making it another one of the most special cards in my collection. The promo Empoleon V is from a tin my partner bought me as a birthday gift, as well as the alt art Empoleon V. We also scoured McDonald’s hoping for the promo Piplups (since I find a lot more joy in pulling them myself if they’re in modern packs instead of just buying the singles, however more expensive that may be), and we did get both of them eventually! These pages especially hold a lot of really good recent memories.
And finally, some cameos to round out the end of the binder. I like picking up one ETB to open of new sets when they come out, and imagine my surprise finding a tiny Akari hiding out in this Scyther’s artwork! I have yet to get my hands on a reverse, but it’ll come soon enough.
As an honorable mention, this 3D Piplup card I made with extra Brilliant Stars bulk:
08.02.2022: 9-Pocket Upgrade
Over the past few months, I’ve been working on slowly amassing my collection and getting everything transferred over to the new binder! I decided to go for a 9-pocket this time around, but I may upgrade to a 16-pocket in the far future, depending on how the non-English collecting side goes. With this binder upgrade, I’ve also resleeved all of the cards into ultrafits instead of the penny sleeves I had been using. I just think they look cleaner, but that’s a personal preference.
Most new additions I’ve already posted here in the thread, so I don’t have as many notes for this update as last time, but I hope y’all enjoy the photos anyways!
The main new thing of note is the last card in the last image- it’s a Kansai transport card! I’ve decided to pick these up when I can, along with Tosho cards and phone cards featuring Dawn/Piplup line. Since I’m not actively searching for them, I’ve only added the ones that I own or are on their way to me into the spreadsheet under the “others” section. This will also include Topps and other non-TCG cards as I find them, since I just think they’re neat but have no real desire to collect all of them like with the TCG.