What were the mechanics of a misprint? (WOTC Era)

I’ve been inquiring about a misprint I recently found online, and have managed to find out it’s exact origin. It’s a WOTC Black Star Promo Moltres (21).

These were given out if you went to watch the movie at the theatre way back when. I have managed to learn which city it was and the exact movie theatre that this misprint came from, with said movie theatre still in operation all these years later. This brings me to my main question which is about misprints and how they came to be.

I’ll add the misprint here, as it is a specific type (if that matters to those who are knowledgable in printing processes)

The little black dot was for guidance purposes IIRC. These cards are by no means rare, and black star promos had notoriously bad quality control. They were given out in masses too. Sorry for the ramble, now the main question:

Would this Moltres have been an outlier or would there be an entire sheet (how many) from this batch with the same print error? Also, would it have just been the Moltres affected or would other legendary birds or promos have been included in this batch with similar misprints too? It would have been late in the printing run because it’s the corrected illustrator version.

The main reason I ask is because I know this Moltres is from a childhood collection and I know the city it came from which is quite small. If this would have been part of a greater number of batch misprints I will go searching in online groups, and perhaps in person to yard sale type things, in an attempt to find more that have been hidden away for decades. But if this is just a one off then I won’t go to the effort.

Really have no idea if anyone knows the print mechanics or if they are just random occcuraences we can’t speak definitively about. But would love to have an AMA on here one day if anyone locates someone who worked in the printing process for the WOTC era (if they aren’t NDA’d haha).

thanks for reading and any information you may be able to shed.

The cards are cut well before the theatre, it’s just when the sheet gets misaligned on the cutter.

Imagine shuffling a ream of A4 paper and there just one in the middle thats slightly off

Cutting errors would affect every other card on the sheet since every card would be equally affected by the sheet being misaligned in the machine. Cutting errors are plentiful in this era. Some are minor and just produce a slightly off center card and some are full half and half wrap arounds of two cards mashed together. The amount of those cards affected by cutting errors probably counts in the tens of thousands. For this reason most miscut cards are a minor novelty. This isn’t the coin world where the basis for value is often issues with production. Miscut cards are just an everyday part of the production of these cheap paper toys.

I do not care for this kind of factory error myself, but there are people who collect them specifically. But regardless of where they came from or which card it is, the story or how they got that way is always the same: poor quality control at the printing facility. That’s part of why I don’t like them. Unlike design errors which produce an oddity resulting from a human oversight, these just got chopped up wrong by the chopping machine. That story, and the result, is always the same.

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Thanks for the reply, I know they would have been packed and cut in the factory, but what I’m trying to gauge is maybe impossible to know unless somebody really knows the production process of that era, but essentially is:
-how many Moltres would be on this analogous piece of paper that was slightly off
-would it just have been Moltres on the sheet or would it have been the other birds too
-would everything on this sheet have resulted in the same type of misprint
-what’s the likelihood this sheet is cut, sealed and then the entire sheet ends up in the same box sent to the one theatre this Moltres came from

it’s basically a question about production process, but not sure if there has been a thread on this before or any real info given out. Just a stab in the dark in case anyone knows specifics of this era . :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah it seems they really had some awful quality control in this era! All the value comes from collecting as a weird niche, but really inexpensive and purely for novelty, the Moltres in question is not far off the asking price for just a regular NM/M Moltres anyway. The ocd in me would love a full set of the birds like this but only if it was the exact same printing error haha. It just got me thinking how the sheeting would work and whether I could easily find them because the seller gave enough info that it would be pretty feasible if I thought there is a chance, and would make for a fun little hunt with very little on the line. Pretty much all answered, thanks. The only thing I’m curious of now is the sheet and how it would have looked. Do we know if they were 3x10 or 5x5 or anything for this era?

You can Google uncut Pokémon sheets and get a lot of good results under images, but cards from this era were printed on giant sheets with 9 or 10 cards horizontally and 11 cards vertically. They are massive and produce 100+ cards per sheet.

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I should have probably done that to start, did not realise it would yield results from this era :sweat:

Did just find this sheet of Arcanine which now completely explains all the questions I had. Guessing it was a huge sheet of Moltres that just slipped off the stack a little bit.

something else to add onto the wish list

You’d be surprised what’s both documented and still in circulation from the golden era. So much stuff was produced in such a short amount of time. While not everything is available plentifully enough to be an accessible collectible, you can often find some kind of record or reference for anything from this time period. At least in English. Examples of almost everything have made their way to private collectors. Even if a lot of Google results steer you back to this forum, there’s a lot that’s been documented already!

Japanese is a different story. We still learn new things about Japanese Pokémon every day.

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