Distributor Promos

Yeah, I know, already posted on the Gym. Whatever. It’s you guys’ opinions I value the most anyhow.

Now that it’s a done deal for 2 of the 3, I would really like to know what the collecting community feels about these and their relative value as I’m clueless. All I know is they are extremely rare (estimates as low as 6 of each made) and have never been sold publicly. In short, I would like to see what I have.

This is a great topic!

Honestly, outside of a handful of collectors, I doubt anyone will pay big money for the cards. I like these cards a lot for their story/history, but as far as value goes, they have a lot of factors working against them.

The first factor and perhaps most important is that no one has any idea that they even exist. The other factor is the common illustration. These cards are in a similar situation to the Stadium Challenge Deoxys. They have a very common illustration but with a different stamp.

Also, this is just my opinion but I think it is an opinion that most serious/high end collectors share, if a collector has enough money to buy this card or could purchase a No. 1 trainer/snap promo/japanese promo card/Ultra rare card, they will probably purchase a more well known item.

However, any card is worth what someone will pay. Considering all of the factors, I think it is difficult put a value on the cards. These cards have low quantity but unfortunately even lower awareness.

Which of course I would like to keep that way (aside from these 2 topics which will probably fade soon) at least until I can score the Turtwig to complete the set. How many Deoxys are there? Raichu was a common illustration, but unlike these was well known and sought after for years before one popped up. I think the legacy has alot to do with its price, though only ever being 12 of them has a big part in it as well. Do you think with the right promotion these could ever reach that status? Why or why not?

And thanks by the way!

On a shallow note, I feel like the fact that the cards are holographic and have a gold stamp will do wonders to increase desirability to the general public. Anything shiny and golden has a certain allure to it.

The collectors who know nothing about Japanese cards will flood to the Illustrator and Trophy Pika’s, they will likely shrug off a card such as 9th Lucky Stadium or a SNAP card.

Just my shallow opinion, I can’t offer anything else to answer your questions

Thanks Jason!

As a collector/pokemon enthusiast and a huge Ken Sugimori fan I want every card with low copies such as this to be valuable. However, in my experience, if the story/advertisement is not there, the appreciation or value is not either.

I think expecting it to be on the level of the PreRaichu is unrealistic. That does not mean it won’t demand 1k with a good description on ebay and some patience, but to earn the price tag of the PreRaichu would require the notoriety that the PreRaichu has. That notoriety was built up over a decade of storytelling/advertisement.

I do not know where pokemon will be 5 years from now. I don’t know if prices will stay the same, decline or increase. But in my experience, the factors that help a card sell regardless of the market are: rarity, age (pre 2003), Illustration, condition and publicity/advertisement.

The publicity is greater with the pre 2003 cards which is why they consistently earn more than post 2003 cards.A good example of this are the English pika’s. I wrote an article detailing how difficult it is to own one of them, but even with additional publicity and players and collectors seeing them at worlds, they do not earn as much or have as much demand as the original pikas or pre 2003 trophy cards.

Also, ultra rare cards are difficult to sell as is. If you do not have private connections, or forums such as this ;D it is difficult to sell high end cards to a community that is still not as defined as other hobbies. With that said, the community is growing. I have shipped cards to every country, to military bases, colleges, businesses, grown men and 18 year olds.

Basically, if the market continues to grow as it has/is, time is on your side. But as much as I want every ultra rare pokemon card to contend with other hobbies prices I don’t see these competing with the PreRaichu or other major trophy cards.

Thanks Scott. I had no expectations really. Hopes, sure, but not expectations. I’m trying to get a feel for what people think and you’ve provided a very valuable opinion. So have Daniel and Jason. Hope everyone chimes in. It would be interesting to see where the community regards them.

One major factor going against the value is that the cards aren’t well known. Another is the non-exclusive artwork, and then the fact that it isn’t from the “Golden Age”. The cards will not attain the value of the Pre-Release Raichu or anything, but only time will tell what happens to the value of these cards. I suspect it will increase with awareness.

The thing people don’t understand about the Pre-Release Raichu, is that it is a story, not a card. The story of the Pre-Release Raichu has made it the Holy Grail that it is. It’s almost like a mythical creature; frequently talked about, almost never seen. It’s at the point where it’s an amazing story just to hear someone say that they saw someone who had one! The numbers on Pre-Release Raichu are not what has brought it to grail status (although low numbers helped), it is the story and mystery behind the card.

The hype, the mystique, the rarity, the era, the universal acclaim, the universal knowledge of its existence. That is what makes it worth so much. Only the Illustrator can match or surpass it.

If you would like, I could make expanding the Bulbapedia information on them a higher, sooner priority. I’ve been researching things back from Black & White Series, and I can certainly make an exception for these. It would at least be a start to advertising their existence. (I think we actually already have a bit of stuff about one of them…certainly isn’t acceptable enough for my standards, however.)

Exactly! The card was not supposed to exist. People are paying for that story. Otherwise, the card is literally just a stamped Raichu.

I think if a card has a very common illustration, as in the preraichu, it needs some type of story to enhance the value.

I forgot to add this earlier. The Test cards that I purchased years ago no one knows anything about. Since getting back into serious collecting around 2006, I have never seen another copy of these cards. I have seen more Preraichus, no. 1,2,3 trainers than these cards. In fact, they are called “test” cards because they were assumed to be used to teach kids how to play the game. I have asked multiple sources about them and nothing 100% came back in return. The illustrations are of the Bulbasaur/squirtle vhs deck.

Through deduction of their appearance and condition, the cards were probably used as props and/or used to teach kids at some exclusive event. They might share the rarity and purpose of the Giant Sneasel type cards.

My point in saying all of this is that these cards are extremely rare, but no one knows anything about thing about them. They will earn a solid sum, but as with the distributor cards, they are underrated.

I’ve seen one other set of the test cards on ebay just after I joined the pokegym. There was a thread started about them and there was huge interest at the time. There were a lot of questions left unanswered including origin and exact rarity. For all we know there could be thousands of them that found their way to the bottoms of Japanese kids’ toy boxes. If so, plenty could still be out there in the hands of someone who doesn’t even realize someone would care.

However if those questions were to be answered and the subject of those cards be brought back up in that light I betcha the interest and value would peek, or at least mount. Because those questions haven’t been able to be answered you have no story, origin, or rarity so I don’t think that’s a fair comparison. I do agree they seem very rare, but without anything concrete to back up the claim it’s all just gut feeling and application of experience.

With the distributor promos we know for sure that they were given out to the distributors of the ptcg in executive meetings, they are “extremely scarce” with as few as 6 of each, and they were never intended to be known by or passed on to the public. That’s origin, story, and rarity. Not so sure I buy that number, but if as I’ve always heard there are six distributors is true then it’s plausible.

That sounds like the same set. Dan was the one who posted the link about them and I bought the cards immediately upon seeing it.

There are not thousands out there. If there were you would see at least one other copy. Cards that have under 10 copies have appeared more frequently. People in Japan know that pokemon is valuable. You find trinkets that are worth almost nothing on ebay and YJ! all the time. If there were thousands you would see at least one more copy.

I agree that the story behind the “teach” cards is not verified or identical to these cards. No one knows, but I am pretty sure the assessment of the teach cards is on point.

I think what has not been emphasized yet is the fact that the Distributor cards were given to distributors but this is not represented well in their illustrations. Most high end cards are only available to winners of tournaments or contests and the card represents that situation by its illustration. I think what is going to be difficult for the distributor cards is that they have a vague stamp on a very common illustration that really does not say, “distributor promo”.

The Sample cards remind me of these in a way. I thought of them because the illustrations of the sample cards are released in a set, and are not unique to the sample set alone. They are similar as they were distributed in a meeting, but this was done illegally, which immediately adds to their allure. They also have the japanese backs because they were the sampled copies of the new design. Lastly, the sample cards literally read, “sample”. Thus, the cards clearly represent the story behind them, even at first glance.

If the distributor promos were produced with a unique illustration such as the tropical wind series–perhaps putting the bay in the background for san diego, they would have an immediate impact on collectors. Yes, the story is there, but I think the common illustration with a vague stamp does not represent the story well.

well in my view seeing as what you have said about them having less than 6 is certainly a very low number and to see that they were not suppose to be known by the public or even passed out makes it very rare to find.I would count those as one of the rarest cards besides the preraichu and harder to obtain than any pokemon card in english as of now.Value wise I really wouldnt even know where to begin with it since its one of those cards that was not known many people have even heard of them or would believe its that rare.The card illustration is no different just the stamp and the fact its a holo is what would drive many people into going nuts over the card.its the hype that would determine the value of it.like how the prerelease raichu is the hype makes it go to the amount.any card fans or collectors go nuts over drives the prices on cards up.

I remember couple of years ago you could get shining mew and a few other good japanese promos for cheaper price but now more and more people are on the hype for them and the price for them have increased alot.I do agree that there are questions that arent answered but when found and answered would provide alot more info and price range for the cards

PSA wouldn’t grade them right? I’m just curious…

Or you could spin it that that vague stamp and common art are the proof in the pudding that these cards were never meant for public distribution so there was no need to pretty them up…

As to the Teachers, I agree with you they are most likely as rare as you say. My point was it would be difficult to convince most people of that without definitive, tangible proof. Also, I figured they were the same set, but since you bought yours in 2006 and I didn’t see them for auction until after I joined the Gym in mid 2008 I wasn’t sure.

That’s a great question Geri. I think PSA would grade them if someone like Scott went to bat for them. Otherwise probably not.

Well it might be the same problem as with the PR raichu… PSA doesnt grade cards that werent officially released.
I think the problem with the value is to proof people that those cards arent fake… Maybe people would think the stamps were made after the official printing and not made by Nintendo…

I am not sure if that is true. A card not being pretty does not help its value. The main point is that there is no connection between the illustration and story. In the example of the PreRelease Raichu, the name is self explanatory and is literally on the card.

I like the Distributor cards for their rarity. But I think considering the factors, it is very difficult to convince a serious collector to purchase one when they can buy a more well known Trophy/promo card. I would definitely like to hear what others think on the subject.

The teach cards were purchased in 08-09. Right around when we both joined the gym. :blush: That auction you saw was the same one. I stated 2006 as a reference to when I was in full swing of collecting seriously. Since then, I have only seen that one auction in 08-09 of the cards.

PSA should allow them to be graded. I think in this situation they would grade because the cards were legally distributed. I don’t know exactly why their was an issue was with the raichu since there is an article confirming its existence.

If I have the choice between buying a Distributor card and a No. 1 trainer card (TMB, SSB, or English Pika) I would go for the trainer card. I prefer a card that has unique illustration not just a stamp. I feel that just having a unique stamp does not make the card as important and attractive as a card that someone receives by being the best among his/her peers.

for the turtwig card was it given out at New York Comic Con or at somewhere else?

None of them were given out at Cons. At least not to the fan base. They were only given to the distributors of Pokemon.