Misty's Tears Rarity - Hanada City vs Gym Challenge printing

Hi everyone!

I just joined efour the other day. I’m excited to be a part of this community, if you’ll have me, and have my inaugural question all queued up.

Lately I’ve gotten back into the collecting game. I love Pokemon, always have, and very recently said to hell with any stigma out there, I’m gonna do what I love. And, Pokemon has been absolutely crushing it lately, which has been fun to watch!

So, as a starting point for my new hobby, I’ve been looking into completing sets, finding obscure cards, promo cards, and the censored/banned JP → Eng set cards seems like an intriguing place to start. The big card people seem to reference of that pool is the Misty’s Tears card. However, I’ve encountered “three” versions of this card:

  1. Misty’s Tears Trainer as a part of the Hanada City Gym Deck (JP, Apr 1998)

2a. Misty’s Tears Trainer as part of the Leader’s Stadium expansion (JP, Oct 1998)
2b. Misty’s Tears Trainer as part of the Gym Challenge set (JP, Jun 1999)

As far as I can tell, the first one is lacking a rarity stamp and has a slightly lower contrast print, and the latter two are indiscernible from each other.

I’m curious if anyone could offer me advise on which of these is actually the better purchase. As a reference point on PSA 10s for each:

I definitely see more of the “normal” non-Hanada versions, but is there just a lack of education here? Or is the art a factor? And how can I apply some of that wisdom to other, future cards, sets, etc I may look into?

Thanks a ton for your time and your help! I’d appreciate any insight here (or anywhere else)


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Neither card is really that rare. The no rarity theme deck version is probably more rare, but still fairly cheap to buy. They are just interesting because the art got changed for the English release.


I know holistically it’s not particularly rare, but I’m also not currently willing or able to allocate tens of thousands of dollars toward the most rare cards in the hobby. Rather, I’m interested in the relative rarity of the two cards because it’s a card I want from a collection perspective. From a foundation of, I want this card, and ideally I want the best version of this card, and both versions of this card at the highest grade are within my budget: which should I get, and why?

It seems to me, too, that the deck version may be more rare; it’s older and more likely to have been damaged, has no rarity symbol. But it was also a given to get two in each deck, and the art is subjectively “not as good.”

We may be talking about a $50-60 card here, but there’s more to it that I’m interested in

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I really don’t know much about Japanese Cards - so take this information with a grain of salt.

I’ve always enjoyed those 3 “Error / Banned” Cards from the Gym Series. So, whenever I see a good-deal on those, I’ll purchase for re-sale. I’ve always listed the No Symbol and Symbol Version at the same price-point - although, always within two separate listings specifying whichever version. Neither have ever seemed to sell-off quicker than the other. So, I’d assume that the value is roughly the same for either version.

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Interesting – yeah, definitely. There’s a story behind them, and that’s cool. Always adds weight to a card for me. Anyway, I appreciate the insight, that’s very helpful!

I would say the Hanada deck version would be your best bet in this situation. It’s a fairly niche item, but there is a lot of history behind it. I would say its definitely the most popular out of all the banned cards, and it seems like less of them are out there when you factor in the POP and available ebay listings.

just my opinion though!! I love the Japanese gym decks so I may be bias

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I love both of those cards and both are in my collection. Each tells a different story and it won’t cost you “tens of thousands of dollars” to own both;)

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Good point! I started this a few months ago, at first only tiptoeing, buying a few of the newer packs here and there. Every day since, I’ve learned things and discovered new layers to the world I wouldn’t have guessed existed. It’s really been a joy to get back into