Set of the Fortnight #52 - Vending Machine Series 2 (Red)

So, it’s been a long time since I made one of these. The last one was of April 2022 apparently, still on the old forum, so more than a year ago. :sleeping: But, here is one, finally again. The random name picker decided to pick Vending Machine Series 2 this time.

For any new members, a short explanation of what Set of the Fortnight is: every time I create one of these threads, I use a random name picker with all the English and Japanese exclusive sets (that haven’t been used yet) to pick one, and give a short explanation of the set. Everyone can then just post their favorite and least favorite cards and discuss how we feel about the set in general.

All the previous Set of Fortnight threads can be found by following the tag: [set-of-the-fortnight].

Vending Machine cards Series 2 (Red)


  • Favorite cards in the set
  • Worst cards in the set
  • How you feel about this set in general

Unlike regular sets with boosters, these cards were available through random sheets from Vending Machines, from which the card were peeled (and all of them are Glossy). This is also the reason why they are called Vending Machine Series by collectors, even though these are not their official name (the translation from Japanese is Expansion Sheet).
There are a total of three Vending Machine Series, all from 1998 (and a ‘series #00’ from December 1997, with just three cards: Pikachu, Mewtwo and Mew). This also means it only includes generation 1 Pokémon. The one we discuss here is the second one, also known as the Red Vending Machine set, released on June 17th, 1998.
With just 36 cards, a pretty small set to discuss this time, but a nostalgic banger nonetheless. :slight_smile:



My favorites of the set are defintely the Aerodactyl and Kabuto. As someone who collected fossils in the past (actual fossils, not Pokémon fossil cards), I’ve always liked these two artworks:

Two other artworks I really like of this small set are the Magneton and Grimer:

And the Raichu is also pretty cute, although its legs look way to big compared to the rest of its body imho.

As for least favorite, I got to go with the Machoke. Never been a fan of very thick lines in artworks, since I tend to like more realistic instead of paint-like artworks in general.



The Vending series is so awesome. The huge variety in art style between them is so nice, compared to Base Set, and Jungle. It always seemed like a more casual set, not as professional for some reason, but that’s part of the reason I like it so much.

Wish vending series sets were still a thing, although I can imagine the logistical nightmare it’d be with 1 person just putting coins in to empty the whole machine.


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Glad to see this topic return.


Great to see you’re still doing these, @quuador ! Personally I never really distinguish between Vending 1-3, so I had to look up first what cards actually belong there.

Along with the fossils you’ve already posted, here are some that always catch my eye when looking through the binder.

The legendary birds are spectacular as well, but let’s be honest, they only really rose to their full potential as holos in the red/green gift set :slight_smile:


One part of only just about about the most masterful set ever produced!

I particularly like that you included the Magneton. This was actually among the first few ‘jp exclusive’ cards that I discovered, before I even knew about vending proper. I will never forget seeing the Magneton on ebay, eyes jutted out, shocked at seeing a card I knew to not exist in english. I couldn’t believe my sight, and it lead to many great things. So I will always be very, very fond of 'ole maggie from this set. Grimer’s fantastic too.

As for mine, Komiya stole my heart away (shocker, I know).


If I had to pick a single, it indeed would be Onix, one of his true greats. Runner up to these would be Nishida’s Dewgong. Love it.

This is one of the few sets ever made where I cannot pick a least favorite. Though I love how you phrase it, as most disliked would be even farther from this. Even just a couple years ago, as I recall stating in my collection thread, I would promptly have said the Habu cards, specifically Shellder. But as this tends to happen, they grow and grow and grow on you, 'til one day you realize the set wouldn’t be what it is, wouldn’t be as perfect without them. I actually adore them all now, including the Shellder. They’re just so whimsical, so childlike, so glorious.



Atsuko Nishida is my favorite artist and she had illustrated a lot of cards in this set (Articuno, Dewgong, Ditto, Lapras). I think my favorite would be Articuno, though it pales in comparison to the holo version from the Red/Green Gift Set.


Vending Series was my first exposure to Japanese. Arcanine88, a fairly large PokeTuber in 2008/2009 showed a peeling of them. I thought they were amazing.

The 6 areas selected are:

Rock Tunnel
Power Plant
Seafoam Islands
Victory Road
Saffron City
Cinnabar Island

My favorite is probably Power Plant and Cinnabar Island. There’s no doubts in my mind what the game location is when I look at the artworks. Especially Power Plant. It’s just Pokémon and machine in every picture.

My favorite artworks are probably Koffing(Komiya) and Omanyte(Kuziki). I enjoy the Omanyte because of the colors and Koffing because I think the abstract art really lends itself to Koffing and he is still relatively proportional.

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A lot of great cards in this set, big fan of the Magneton and the Kabuto.

I prefer the Web version of Venomoth but this version is cool too:

Seel is not a Pokemon I like but Kimura did a stellar job with this. Love the detailing, takes you straight to Seafoam Islands:

And speaking of in-game locations, this screams Victory Road and Indigo Plateau:


Really few sets can capture the original pokemon essence like vendings imho. Look how well pokemon blends with their environment, how the obscure side of kanto is depicted and how it’s cold science and technologies are interacting with them.
When you collect vendings you are not mindlessly placing silly fluffy pokemon in your binder: you really feel on a journey, trying to get through all the different biomes, and solving the mysteries of these odd creatures still not well understood by the human mind.


Honestly I prefer this. Sure, the art can look stellar in other sets but nothing really binds any of the set together.

Which is why the latest 151 set still doesn’t feel very united even though it’s the first 151 and at least one artist is in charge of one line like before.

Bump. Only 12 post?! Cmon Vending Series 2 is better than that!

Something I really enjoy about vending series is how there isn’t a single card that steals the show. They’re all non-holo, and create a sort of safari zone of Pokémon cards. They also do a great job of giving love to basic and middle evolutions(No Charizard, Blastoise or Dragonite). And every card is Japanese exclusive artwork. Discovering Japanese exclusive art is my favorite party of the hobby.

Does anybody have Vending Series on their list of goals to collect?


I feel like the vending series is slept on.
They all have amazing artwork that’s way ahead of the US card artwork - so good, in fact, that it feels like the Japanese were holding out and keeping the best for themselves.
I think vending 3 has the best cards/art, but all of the sets are amazing. The way they were distributed was very novel as well, and it’s a shame that they never got a US release.