There are different kinds of reprints, but I think the most basic ones are…
- Art Reprints - These are cards that use the same art as older cards, but not necessarily the same function.
- Mechanical Reprints - These cards serve the same mechanical function as older cards, but are not necessarily the same art.
- Full Reprints - These cards are nearly identical in art and function to their original incarnations.
I think reprints are a cool component to Pokémon. In the ancient days of Base Set 2, they were reviled as less-desirable “second edition” cards. But by Legendary Collection, they were popular tournament-ready cards that appealed to lots of different kinds of collectors. Wizards of the Coast planned for more reprint collections that never happened, but since then The Pokémon Company has produced reprints of their own in often meaningful and ceremonial ways. There are still entire sets, like Evolutions and Celebrations, but there’s also a history of more isolated reprints as secret rares. Some cards, like the once infamous Neo Genesis Sneasel, have seen multiple reprints as part of modern sets without any fanfare. But regardless of the context I think it’s cool when old cards show up again and I think there’s way more than people might realize and it’s not the sort of thing that has its own Bulbapedia entry.
So what are your favorite reprints? I’ll start with some of mine, which are easy ones. (I’m stealing all my pictures from Google.)
#1 Japanese Promo CD/Let’s Trade Venusaur, Blastoise, and Charizard
Beautiful, iconic cards we never got in English with the quintessential “starter art” of early Pokémon that defined a generation. But due to the language barrier, a lot of people don’t realize these are reprints of the regular Base Set cards with alternate art. These will probably always be my favorite reprints and I think even if they got released in English somehow someday I will always prefer the exotic mystique of these originals.
#2 Legendary Collection Dark Vaporeon
I think holographic versions of previously non-holo cards is an easy crowd-pleaser but this one always stands out in my memory as a great revision to a really cool card. I mourn that this was #9 and Flareon was #10 in Legendary collection and the two cards didn’t get to be next to each other on a binder page. This is something I wish they did more often.
#3 Supreme Victors Legendary Birds
When the Black Star Promos for the three legendary birds came out for the second Pokémon movie, the cards were revised with (at the time) English exclusive artwork. We didn’t see an English release for the original Japanese artwork, shown here, until all the way in Supreme Victors in 2010. I always preferred this artwork and I’m a sucker for card art that goes together to form one image. Even though I cannot for the life of me find pictures of these cards arranged in the correct order, it should go Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres. Neat cards and I’m glad we finally got this art in English because I always preferred it. Plus they were holo!
So what about you? Lots of promotional cards are reprints of set cards, and lots of Japanese cards saw reprints that other territories did not. I think there’s a lot out there and since they aren’t really all documented all in one place they can be hard to peruse. Do you have a favorite reprint?