What was the first ever Pikachu pokemon card?

Probably obvious but I can’t seem to find a definitive answer on google.

Japanese Base Set came out in 1996 so the No Rarity Error Variant would be the first variant in terms of the TCG.


Topsun 1995, Japanese Base set 1996, Bandai 1997.

1 Like

As far as “trading cards” go it would be either the Bandai Cardass part 1 or the Topsun blue back “no number”.

1 Like

According to a carddass japanese collector and contrary to the legend, the blue/green Topsun carddass were released in 1997 (even if it is only written 1995 on the copyright).

1 Like

Yes I have spoken with Tadashi (Pokeboon) about this in the past, maybe a few years ago now. I don’t know how this translates to Japan’s copywrite law, but typically the copywrite date signifies first year of publication… He thinks that the Cardass Bandai series was the first printed having 1995, 1996 copywrite in Sept 96’. Topsun would be most likely to be printed first given the date in only 1995.

Now if you look at the cards, you notice one thing is missing in Topsun; “Mew”. Since mew was an invention created by Gamefreak during the developement of the GB game in 1995 it was not included in Topsun’s license. It was thus not added to the sets until Bandai took the license and printed them in late 1996. With respect I think his opinion of the Topsun set is wrong, but given the lack of hard evidence I say “either or”.

I will ask to another japanese collector and I hope that I will come back with the answer and more importantly… evidence!


@garyis2000 said they were around in '95.

To @jkanly @cullers @garyis2000 and all the other collectors:

We finally have the evidence that the Topsun blue/green back cards were released in 1997!

You can read the history of the トップ (Topseika) manufacturer here: www.topseika.co.jp/company/index.html#history

There is a line where it is written:

1997年 (株)小学館プロダクションと『ポケットモンスター』のライセンス契約。

That means トップ acquired the license agreement with Pocket Monsters in 1997.

As the Topsun cards were the first cards released by トップ, we can conclude that they were distributed at least from 1997 (and not from 1995!).

I also sent an email to トップ to have the confirmation (I hope that they will answer to me)!

(thanks for the help Maron if you read this ^^)


Here is Carddass history, if anyone is interested. Says 1998 first cards released.

1998 “Sales start of vending machine product “Carddas 20” started! Cardard “SD Gundam” series hits!”


Everyone says 1996/1997 for Carddass, seems like dates aren’t lining up.

It seems like the cards were printed earlier than they were released for both sets.

I collect both sets, though I am biased towards Topsun. Let you guys figure it out.

I’ve stated before they were the first cards ever produced. Yes, they were possibly released after the base set.
So what’s the first Pikachu card? Tough debate:)

The Topsun cards are not carddass, they were distributed in gum packs :wink:
Moreover it is sure that some sets of Pocket Monsters carddass from Bandai were released in 1996 and 1997, so your website is not so good…

No, that is sure, see my message above.
The Tospun cards were released after the japanese base set cards.

The Bandai carddass Red/Green collection were released at the end of 1996.
So in my opinion, the first Pikachu comes from this set or the japanese base set.

1 Like

I linked the Cardass website. Not sure why you think it isn’t good?:thinking:

No argument then on “released”. Pending licensing can delay releases though. My contention is the first “produced” were the Topsuns.

So I checked the website and it says that the first carddass were released in 1988, it is more consitent!

Okay and what are your evidence?

No offence but without evidence, thoughts are useless.
(I am a scientific)

1 Like

The first Pikachu card released is the corocoro magazine promo. It was released alongside the Jigglypuff in the November 1996 issue released 15th October 1996, which is 5 days before no rarity/base set!


My evidence is concrete. Just look at the bottom of every card. What is the ONLY date printed on the bottom?
There’s a lot of conjecture regarding this but unless my memory and eyes are failing me, which may be the case lol, the Topsun are number one.
Now the reason I say memory is because I was involved in an awful lot of talks with Japanese interests in 1998. Keep in mind, that’s only 3 years removed from Topsuns first production. We were even in talks about bringing their vending machines over (that did end up happening but I wasn’t involved in it).
The fruit of that labor was realized in 1999 when over 15,000 Japanese cd promo cards were graded and immediately hit the market through HSN.
It’s actually funny to think that could have been topsun. They just couldn’t out appeal MF who promised to have English language Pikachus ready (unfortunately they weren’t ready but that’s a whole other story).
For those not familiar check the date at the bottom of this Blastoise.

Weren’t there drawings before 95? As in before Pokemon was official and standardized. Next time we see an illustrator, we should ask when their first drawings were produced.