Definitely Rocket Abra, which I’ve posted about before: Pokemon Cards With a Story Attached - #10 by stagecoach
But in the interest of mixing it up, I’m really attached to Jungle Vileplume as well.
I did not get many good cards as a kid, so I clung to what few holos I had. None of them were my favorites, or cards I would have chosen, but they were all I had. I would often offer to trade them for other cards I actually wanted but I was rarely taken up on that.
My next door neighbors were two brothers with a lot of cards between them. They had a stack of cards that were specifically for trades and I was sifting through them to see if they had anything I wanted. In truth, they didn’t really. But there was a Base Set Chansey in there. It was not a card I coveted, but I knew it was really rare and not a card I saw often in other collections. It was rarer than any card I had at the time, so I asked what they wanted for it.
They took a look at my cards and one of the brothers said they wanted my Vileplume, which was great. Fine. Take it. Of course I would trade Vileplume for Chansey. I was stoked and made the trade and was really glad I now had a rare card I could show off to other kids for once.
My first chance to do so came soon. Shortly after another boy came over with his cards. We laid on the floor and flipped through each other’s binders discussing trades and his mother, who was far more involved in his hobbies than mine was, reminded him not to trade any of his 1st Editions.
1st Editions? What’s that?
His mother explained to me the concept and showed my how to tell 1st Edition cards from regular prints. I had never heard of this before, and I had never noticed the stamp on the cards, but as we went through my collection we discovered I had a bunch of them mixed in my collection. I was elated. Rare cards! I have rare cards! Woohoo!
But after the shock of this new information began to settle, I thought back to my Vileplume. Now that I knew what the stamp looked like and what it meant, I was thinking back to that trade and was pretty sure mine had been stamped. I was bamboozled. I lost my rarest card.
So I asked the kids next door if I could trade back and they said no. I begged and pleaded and they said no. So I did what I had to do — I cried to my mom, who called their mom, and made them trade me back. I actually got to keep the Chansey, too. These were the perks of being a crybaby.
When I got my Vileplume back it was indeed 1st Edition, so I moved it from the second page of my binder to the first to show it off more prominently. I still would have traded it for a Blastoise or a Charizard or something, but I loved being able to brag about 1st Editions and initiate other kids into that concept.
My memory of most of my childhood cards has faded by now, but not this one.