Similar looking Japanese releases & release years

I’m currently in the process of re-organizing my entire (general) Pokémon TCG collection. I plan on ordering them by set release year, differentiating between English and Japanese since they’ve been released at different times and usually have small differences, as well as some language exclusive sets like the Korean sets from 2010/2011, or the Thai/Indonesian sets to give some examples. I’m already keeping a chronological list of sets since about a year ago, so I will order all sets in my binders based on this list.

Right now I’ve just finished organizing all WotC era sets, but while putting all the Japanese Unnumbered Promotional Cards in the correct order based on this Bulbapedia list, I had two problems that I’m now curious about (as well as a third other problem below it):

  1. How to differentiate between the Pokémon Song Best Collection CD promos and their earlier releases? I have the Computer Error, Cool Porygon, Mewtwo, and Mew, but I don’t knew whether they are from the CD promo or from their initial release a few months/years prior. I see different PSA-graded versions, but what is the difference between them, if any? If I haven’t unboxed them from the sealed CD promo case itself, how do I know which of the two versions it is?

  2. I have these two Memo cards. I will put them in the Unnumbered Promotional releases as well, but does anyone know when they were released and how? Both of them have ©19995,1996 at the bottom, but I already know the Chansey one is released somewhere in 2000 as part of this magazine:

    But does anyone know in what month in 2000 it was released? And what about the earlier Memo card?

  3. There are six Japanese Gym Decks: Nivi City Gym (Brock); Hanada City Gym (Misty); Kuchiba City Gym (Lt. Surge); Tamamushi City Gym (Erika); Yamabuki City Gym (Sabrina); Guren Town Gym (Blaine). All the cards in these six Decks will have the Japanese Gym set icon, and lack a rarity symbol at the bottom-left (the ones with rarity symbol are from one of the two sets). I have a few cards which are in more than one of these decks, like the Double Colorless Energy or Potion to name two. I know these won’t have any difference between them, but where do you think I should order them by in my collection? The first deck they were part of, the last one, or a separated loose entry?

These are my three questions for now. I’m sure I’ll have some more questions later on while working on re-organizing everything, for which I will use this same thread. I already know I will have some questions about some of the Energy cards (which set / Deck they’re from). But will do so later.


Following, curious about the Memo Cards, I have both (there are only 2 types o f Memo Card?).

I’m trying too to collect all the gym set cards with rarity and without. I’m putting everything together, divided by type (grass, fire, etc), and for example for Bellsprout I put all the possible versions of that gym card with and without rarity, then the same for weepinbel, victreebel and so on. I’ll post a picture once I have them all (surely I’ll miss one…), also sometimes I’m confused when checking on Bulbapedia 'cause I don’t know if the Corocoro promo cards were only released as promos or if the set had also its own release (?)

1 Like

I also order my Japanese collection based on set release date. For question 3, I repeated the cards each time they were part of a set so each set appears complete as it was when it was released. Just my personal preference.

1 Like

If I would go for complete sets I would have done the same. :wink: I have some cards duplicated in both my Pikachu and Full Art Supporter collection or in my Pikachu side collection (containing cards featuring Pikachu) and Mimikyu collection. Since they overlap across both collections.

But for my general collection I don’t go for complete sets. I think the only complete set I have across all releases is the Japanese Vending Machine set 3 (Green), which I once bought nearly complete as a whole and bought the missing card (Bill’s PC) loose. Which is why I don’t know where to put it with. :blush:


The two “My Deck Memo cards” were released in 1997. My Deck Chansey Memo card was included in Vol 2 of the original Japanese Fan Club Magazine(released Sept 5, 1997…The other My Deck Memo card was included in a white Fan Club carrying case released Nov 11, 1997. You can see the dates for the magazine and carrying case if you go to pages 338 & 339 in the Japanese Guide Book 2000(Silver Bible). The book doesn’t show the cards, just the magazine and carrying case with release dates.

2 Likes Wasn’t sure if this was helpful, but since it matches with avalanche1313’s data…

1 Like

Awesome, thank you. I will take a look at the Pokémon Bible later on; I’m currently preparing stuff to go on vacation tomorrow. :blush:

Now I’m mainly curious about the first question left.


Bump. I just finished organizing my entire collection (still have to put them back into the binders).

Does anyone know the difference between let’s say a Pokémon Song Best Collection CD Cool Porygon and Nintendo 64 Cool Porygon? They are graded separately by PSA, how do they know the difference between the two? Is there any difference?

Same question for the other CD Promo cards:

  • Venusaur/Charizard/Blastoise: CD Promo (Jan, 1999) vs Trade Please campaign (Feb. 1998)
  • Arcanine: CD Promo (Jan, 1999) vs Toyota campaign (Oct. 1997)
  • Mew/Mewtwo: CD Promo (Jan, 1999) vs World Hobby Fair Special Sheet / Vending Machine Series 00 (Dec. 1997)
  • Hungry Snorlax/Cool Porygon: CD Promo (Jan, 1999) vs Nintendo 64 campaign (Dec. 1997)
  • Computer Error: CD Promo (Jan, 1999) vs January 1998 CoroCoro Comic (Dec. 1997)
  • Super Energy Retrieval: CD Promo (Jan, 1999) vs Pocket Monster Fan Book (Apr. 1997)

For the Pikachu I know the difference. :blush: The CD Promo is printed on Japanese card stock, and the English Shadowless Base Set yellow cheeks Pikachu on English card stock. But is that the only one with a difference, and all the other Glossy Japanese ones are just exact copies of their earlier releases?

I read in this post by @nine about the non-Glossy Super Energy Retrieval variant (with different text) that the Glossy version of the Super Energy Retrieval from the CD Promo and Fan Club are exactly the same. As @pkmnflyingmaster states as a joke, PSA uses a coin flip to determine which of the two labels to use. I guess this applies to all of the Japanese Glossy promos that were part of the Pokémon Song Best Collection CD in that case?



Awesome** Thank you for the video, I didn’t know they were found inside that Carrying Case. What price range should I expect for a raw My deck memo Card?^^

Really depends, they’re around fifty bucks but nm conditions are really hard to find even from sealed containers.

1 Like