Pikachu/Venusaur Coin Prototype

Hi, so I was at a toy convention in Cincinnati this weekend (10/11/2020) and came across something I’ve never seen before. An older man said he use to work for “The Mint” and had a connection with Hasbro when Pokemon came out in N.A. in 1999. He claims that this coin was a prototype for Pokemon Pogs release that was never produced other than the prototype. Below are pictures of the coin, one side of which is Pikachu and the other Venusaur. Anyone know if this is a real thing? There is no trademark on the coin/pog/slammer and I can’t find anything online about it? Please let me know if you find out anything, thanks in advance!


I’m a little confused since this is metal. If it was a prototype for pogs wouldn’t it either be cardboard or (if a slammer) plastic? I have never seen or as a kid used a metal slammer…

I don’t doubt that his story could be a possibility but the information he has given is not verifiable so far at least so I wouldn’t consider them real. I also had a bunch of pogs when I was a kid but they weren’t popular in 1999 so I could see maybe arcade tokens being something.

There is this game that exists.

I believe these are real coins. 2 more just listed on EB.

Seems like the protostoise of coins here for pokemon.

As for real, well thats up for anyone to debate. Official release? Seems to be no. Actual prototype? maybe. How many exist? depends who you ask id assume. The classic case of “well never know for sure” and all thats factual is we have a coin with pokemon on it. Cool for sure, but yeah maybe someone has more info to add to this that could help on its origin.

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I’ve been in touch with a primary source on these coins.

-These coins were produced by Osborne Coinage in Cincinnati. They are the oldest non-currency mint in the country.
-The coins are die-stamped to give them the appearance of currency. Osborne is known for their refined sculpts.
-These coins were produced in 1998 (possibly, they’re not 100% on the year) as prototypes for Hasbro.
-Whatever the coins were commissioned for did not enter production. It is possible they were meant to be pog slammers.
-At least 5 of the coin exists. They are all identical.
-Osborne Coinage also produced the metal deck coins (Lugia from the Neo decks + Pikachu from the Thunderstorm Gift Set).
-They do not believe they have any other undocumented or prototype Pokémon coins. This is it.

My own inference: I do believe the coins were produced as part of a pog line. The person sold me an additional prototype depicting skull and crossbone characters labeled “POI & SONS” - which I can’t find anything about online. However this was a popular aesthetic among pogs and there are lots of poison-themed pogs that this design fits right into. I am not sure if this was an IP that never launched or if the details of this brand are just lost to time.

But in any case this is the alleged origin of the coin. I have one in my possession, as well as the poison-themed coin made of the same material and similar dimensions. They’ve also shared with me other brands and other types of coins produced by Osborne Coinage and I believe the story they’re telling me and the information they’re sharing with me as true. They have the credentials, they have the product, I do not believe it is an elaborate ruse.

I quite like the coin. I like the art used for the sculpt and think its a quality-made item. I know there are collectors who just don’t mess with prototypes and believe they can never be fully verified no matter how strong the provenance is and I respect that. But it was a pleasure to research this coin and I’m pleased to have documented it to the best of my ability.


Wow, they look super cool and super tacky at the same time

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It’s the eyes for me. The eyes are not right.