Custom Cards

So I’ve noticed a bit of a rise in custom card making, at least in the Instagram sphere. Now in general I have zero issue with this, and they usually look pretty good if well done.

But recently I’ve seen a lot more “customs” that are basically just other cards with very minor differences to distinguish them.

So basically, what’s the general feeling about stuff like this around here? One guy in particular is making custom Illustrators. And even if they differ somewhat, that still seems like it would be an issue and I cringe a bit every time I see him post pictures of them.

I have no issue with custom cards as long as:

  1. The buyer is only paying for the service, and not a hiked up product price (like charging hundreds of dollars for a fake illustrator rather than, say, $10 for the materials and time it took to alter a card)

  2. It’s made incredibly clear the card is a custom/fake and not the real deal

  3. The artist is not making a profit to a gluttonous degree.

Like, I commission poke-alters every now and then to paint over a few cards and they charge $25 for their labour - which I am happy to pay. That kind of thing I’m fine with.

I wouldn’t be okay with paying a ton more for a fake product, if that makes sense, if it’s marketed as the ‘real deal’.


Definitely has a potential to harm the hobby


Fakes need to be incredibly obvious that they are fakes. That’s the only way I see it not doing damage to this hobby.

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Doesn’t seem right to me if they’re selling them as opposed to making things for themselves or for free to friends.

A makes a fake card for B.
Later B gives the card to C.
C tires of cards and garage sales to D.
D bulks eBays to E.
6 months later E gets around to selling individually, and says card is super rare card he has had for years.

No one is trying commit fraud, but fraud happens none the less.


That’s my biggest worry. Someone down the line will eventually use it maliciously.

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No matter what the quality i see custom aka fake cards a problem. As explained above they may be passed on by several people before they are attempted to be sold as legitimate but it eventually happens. Also there is always going to be someone stupid enough to buy them thinking they are real.

I think custom cards can be really unique and fun if handled in a creative way. In my opinion there’s nothing wrong with opening up Photoshop and creating a custom card that’s unique to your interests, such as your favorite Pokemon owned by you. If it’s a very obvious fake or players having fun creating a fake format, I have no problem with that. What I don’t like are cards that are too close to an official card. Making fake Illustrators is a big no no, because that can damage the market/hobby. I’m also a little iffy on people who take already existing card art and modify it by getting rid of boarders/adding more sparkles. (Taking a base set Charizard and making it “full art”) This doesn’t apply to people who paint pokemon cards to extend artwork, I think that’s a lot of fun, and I have been interested to try it myself.

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Important distinction between artists using Pokemon as a platform to showcase their abilities (e.g. custom painted cards, graphic designers creating fake cards) and people seeking to profit off of others ignorance.

I really enjoy seeing custom cards, and generally those artists don’t pass their cards off as real. Of course there is the scenario pointed out by @omahanime but the blame there lies with the seller/buyer, not the artist. I don’t think people should be discouraged from making obvious fakes/pieces of art because it could eventually be sold as real.

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I see them on eBay auctions regularly, and it surprises me that people will pay quite a bit for them. The ones that keep popping up are usually mostly black and yellow border remakes of expensive cards as base charizard, shinings, gold stars, etc.

I checked if it was legal a while ago because I was annoyed by it and found out it wasn’t, which isn’t too unsurprising really.

Yeah, IF they sold more or became larger, TPC would have a big issue with the luxury custom cards. I will say the full art pretend pikachu eeveelutions were very cool, but not for the price.

Im sure TPC can try clain royalties? im purely guessing so dont hang the messenger ;D
If Im adding value to a product with a tm and known brand, then selling it for 10 20 50 100x more than its market value…surely that has some legal repercushions?
You’re using a brand name that is well know, much like buying into a franchise, paying the company to use their brand and noteriaty.
In this case, its just …well stealing the brand to make money? The argument could be, they can make their own custom cards not related to anything and sell as they look cool…but these are well known, incredibly rare and expensive cards if genuine and they are using that fact to make money.
It is very entreprenurial…but does the above make sense?
They have their own stuff to deal with than these small sales of custom cards I know. However if there was a larger market for it…?

The only time I heard it is illegal to buy a fake, is when the real is illegal to own i.e. drugs. The artist could have trouble based on intent.