International Black Star Promo (Movie Cards)

I’ve been searching around and really wanting to learn more about these cards. Not just for my own selfish sanity, but for documentation purposes for those who care too. I have quite a few questions, and I’m not sure how international this community is, but thought I would try and start a discussion to see where things go. For this I’m talking specifically about Electabuzz, Mewtwo, Pikachu, Dragonite.

My first question is a rather simple one, which I think I know the answer to but wanted to clarify anyway:
-for international versions of these cards (German, Spanish, Korean, Italian etc.) , were they obtained the same way they were in the US and UK, which was to attend a film screening or party at the movie theatre and get given the cards there?

My next question is where I’m hoping people have some answers to the more difficult things I’m curious about. The international versions of these cards do not have the WB stamp on them.

First up, does anyone actually know why they did not have the gold WB stamp put onto them?

Second, during this run of cards in the early days, who printed them for Europe and where?
I’m really curious about the production process for European cards in the early days. Were they imported from another continent or made in Europe. I know the UK were printing cards from base set onwards, but then those were also being sent all over Europe. Did continental Europe have printing places too, and for each country and individual language? This slightly ties into my first question. If they were printed in the same place why would English language be stamped and other European languages not stamped. And if printed in different places, why not stamp them. My hunch based on absolutely no evidence would be either a copyright issue surrounding WB in continental Europe, cost cutting, or some strange European law that prohibited a gold stamp for some reason. Would love to know if anyone has info.

Finish it off with perhaps an easier question again. Why do international versions outside of Europe have different numbers. Eg. Mewtwo Korean promo being no.14 ?

I would love to try and learn more about these before it gets lost to time, and they are some of my favourite cards because they look so pristine without the stamp (if you can find well looked after versions….which is challenging to say the least.) Thanks to anyone who can help.


Let me start by stating which languages these WB promo cards were released in:

  • English: all four, with stamp - Nov. 10th, 1999
  • French: all four, without stamp - Apr. 5th, 2000
  • German: all four, without stamp - Apr. 13th, 2000
  • Spanish: all four, without stamp - Apr. 14th, 2000 (Spain); Dec. 23, 1999 (Argentina); Dec. 25th, 1999 (Peru); Aug. 4th, 2000 (Mexico); ?? (Chile)
  • Italian: all four, without stamp - Apr. 20th, 2000
  • Korean: only the Mewtwo, without stamp, and with different promo number - Dec. 23rd, 2000
  • Dutch: only the Pikachu, without stamp - Oct. 2002

For the German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Korean versions: yes. A.f.a.i.k., those were indeed given at cinemas/theaters of the first Pokémon movie, just like the English ones. The German, French, and Italian promos came sealed like the English ones; and the Spanish promo cards were given raw without plastic seal nor insert. The Korean Mewtwo was also given at cinemas/theaters for the first Pokémon Movie in South Korea.

The Dutch Pikachu came in Dutch DVDs and VHSs of the second Pokémon movie. (There is also a second Dutch version of this card, released inside the Pikachu World Collection 2000 nonet.)

The Korean Base Set was printed in the US by WotC and exported to South Korea, so I assume the same was done with the Mewtwo promo. It wasn’t until 2004 that the Daewon Media Company in South Korea started printing the Korean Pokémon TCG cards, which in 2010 was taken over by Pokemon Korea, Inc. which still prints the modern Korean Pokémon TCG cards to this day.
Why it has #14 I honestly have no idea. Especially since this Korean Mewtwo is the only Korean WotC era promo, so it would have made more sense if it was #1 instead.

European WotC era cards were all printed in Belgium, and then distributed within Europe to their respective countries. Which might explain why the US version does have a stamp, and the European versions do not. The English WB promos distributed in the UK, Australia, and other countries (e.g. The Netherlands and Scandinavian countries) were very likely also just printed in the US by WotC, and then exported to those countries. I’m Dutch, and although I haven’t seen the first Pokémon movie in cinemas, I have traded for a WB Mewtwo as a kid, which was English and with stamp.

Spanish cards that went to Latin American countries (Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Peru) instead of Spain were printed in the US by WotC in the early days, but I’m not sure if they received these promos at cinemas. They probably have tbh, since I do know they have for the legendary birds for the second Pokémon movie.

Why the Belgium factory didn’t put the stamp on the WB promos I don’t know. If I had to guess: the first Pokémon Movie of course has a different name in different languages, so it probably didn’t felt right putting an English stamp on let’s say a French promo card, and it was too much work to make a separated stamp for each separated language.