36 Comments

  • crazy_canuk
    crazy_canuk
    NewbieDotCom.Com
    Comments: 6

    Now I kinda wish I hadn’t thrown out my bootleg copies.

    When I realized the ones I’d been collecting for MONTHS were FAKE, I was rather upset!

    I had the generation one bootlegs that came in little cardboard booster packs.

    • Phelous
      Phelous
      Administrator
      Comments: 601

      Aw, that’s too bad. Were any of them particularly odd?

      • crazy_canuk
        crazy_canuk
        NewbieDotCom.Com
        Comments: 6

        I had them back in the late 90’s. Don’t really remember much about them other than they were smaller than the real ones and colour was a bit off. I think the back of the cards (or the cardboard sleeve) was the backing from the Japanese cards.
        I wasn’t a very perceptive kid, so I wouldn’t have noticed problems until someone else pointed them out to me.
        I mostly wish I’d kept them so I could look at them again and find out if they had weird differences.

  • Dunes
    Robert Cop
    Comments: 190

    Bootleg Girafarig looks like it’s frowning.

  • Dunes
    Robert Cop
    Comments: 190

    I remember when Nickelodeon Magazine had their own Pokemon parody cards you could tear out.

  • astralman
    Old Man
    Comments: 2

    The bad generation 2 art is from the Beckett Pokémon magazine before Gold and Silver got it’s English release. Is it sad that I knew that?

  • kdervaes
    kdervaes
    Old Man
    Comments: 2

    NOOOOOO?!?! The ones I used to buy at Sanrio were bootlegs!? 8 year old me just thought they were super-ultra-rare editions. Also some of them were stickers?…

    PS. Great review!

  • kdervaes
    kdervaes
    Old Man
    Comments: 2

    I believe I definitely had a few versions of the sparkling/shiny ones? That golduck card is so familiar…

  • dabeer
    Old Man
    Comments: 2

    Aw man, now I’m kinda sad that I didn’t get any bootleg Pokemon cards when I was a kid. Hell, the only weird Pokemon card I had as a kid was the Japanese-only naked Misty holding a Staryu behind a waterfall card… might have explained my fascination with her. Only bootleg cards I know I have are from yugioh; mainly the two copies of Obelisk the Tormentor, but those never got as wacky and fun as two grass-type Mewtwo.

  • HazardPunk
    HazardPunk
    NewbieDotCom.Com
    Comments: 7

    I sadly never did get fooled into any bootleg Pokemon cards, BUT I was fooled with some.. Let’s say interesting Yu-gi-yo cards that my local store was selling for a discount, I forgot the name of the pack of I knew once I got a god card Slifer the Sky Dragon that was MISNAMED to Sky-Dragon I knew they were fake, but that made me laugh when I fooled my friends by saying “YO! I got a god card” which they easily figured out I was lying, lol.

  • Bootsmann
    Bootsmann
    Old Man
    Comments: 3

    Hey, Phelan, whould you be interested in some bootleg  Pokemon cards I’ve collected here in Russia as a child? They are not very wierd, but kinda unique in design. They are much smaller, and some of them have normal text and stats and some are just blank white with a pokemon picture. For some reason. Oh, and Cloyster for some reason hase the stats of Ghastly. Apparently bootleggers thought it was the same pokemon.

  • OrdinaryBell
    Old Man
    Comments: 3

    So I had more than one type of pokemon bootleg fun when I was younger. I had a series of cards which I think was just a bunch of the early sets photocopied onto a slightly holographic sticker, and stuck onto the cardboard backing with the pokemon trading card game logos on the back.

    Better than that though, I had bootleg pokemon gameboy carts. The first one of those was this bizzare “Jake Diamond” pokemon which as far as I can tell, was just some other game with a pokemon logo slapped on. It was a 2-in-1 deal, with something else with the “diamond”, but they never seemed to have any differences at all. There’s a chance it might have actually just been the one game that had two ways to load in. You started off in *professor lab*, then instantly fall down a hole into Bootlegmon land. After that, you basically just went around and, like normal pokemon, had your random encounters, but then for some reason instead of catching them you… Added them to your phone. Then you’d get to call them up and they’d battle. I also remember this game being pretty awful.

    Then there was my bootleg Pokemon Crystal. That I probably should’a worked out was bootlegged since it had the totally default grey slab gamecart. Gameplay wise, it ran exactly like crystal really did, with the exception of saying “FUCK” every time you picked up an item. “You found a potion! FUCK”. 8 Year Old Me went back to Gold pretty quick.

  • merrio
    NewbieDotCom.Com
    Comments: 6

    The bad font is actually telling on how they made these cards in the first place. The original files that were used to create the authentic ones would’ve had vectored text, meaning that they would have always printed out clearly. The bootlegs, on the other hand, appear to have been scanned in and then manipulated and the text is how you can tell, particularly on the Electrode card with where they’ve change the amount of HP it has. I can see in close up in the video that the HP is slightly blurred, but the number next to it is fairly clear. This tells me they scanned an original card, removed the number, then added in their own. So, basically, all the text from the original becomes an image when it is scanned in. This means that it will print out blurry. All rasterized text will do this. This is because rasterized means it is made up of pixels and dots, which are less precise than vectors, that is, shapes. (Technical explanation for anyone that is unfamiliar and wants to know: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vector_graphics) This is why the blurry text indicates a bootleg. And even on the less blurry ones, they’re still ever just so fuzzy.

    The images themselves, particularly the borders around the edges are also just very slightly blurry on these cards, blurry enough to indicate that they were scanned from the originals and then changed however the bootleggers felt was necessary.

    • merrio
      NewbieDotCom.Com
      Comments: 6

      I mean, Phelan touches on this near the end, but what I said above was more detail in case anyone was wondering. (No one probably was.)

  • HazardPunk
    HazardPunk
    NewbieDotCom.Com
    Comments: 7

    Do you plan no doing another bootleg on later Pokemon bootleg cards? Because I kinda want to know how insane they get later on.

  • pinkrobotgirl
    NewbieDotCom.Com
    Comments: 7

    I remember that we were all pretty good at spotting bootlegs as kids, but they weren’t completely devoid of value. If they looked cool or funny, people would keep them as curiosities. And if you were an asshole, you could sometimes trade them for legit cards from the younger kids.

    I kinda think it would be fun to attempt to play a real game where both players have decks made exclusively of overpowered bootlegs with mismatched types,  just as a dumb thing to do with friends.

    I think I also remember seeing bootleg energy cards in elementary school. They weren’t funny or anything, just slightly “off.” And nobody ever gave a shit about energy cards, because Pokemon cards are for hoarding, not playing with.

  • OrdinaryBell
    Old Man
    Comments: 3

    I had a read through, and once I was done wiping away tears of laughter, I don’t actually think that was what I had. At least, I remember it being more coherent. Either way, I’ll find out sooner than later when I actually manage to find the damn cart and see what happens.

    Also, I actually tracked down what the other game was, turns out it was a bootleg of something called “Telefang”, and it indeed did have two versions (which were uncannily similar). I guess that the “Jake” bit was just someone schrewing up again with dodgy translations, and meant to say “Jade”. Anyway, here’s a little run down of that for ya if you’re that interested. http://wiki.telefang.net/Pokémon_Diamond_and_Jade

  • Trixie_is_best
    Trixie_is_best
    Bat Hero
    Comments: 83

    I do kinda remember some of those bootlegs, granted most of the bootlegs cards I have seen were Japanese knockoffs. Still though, collecting the bootleg cards seems to be more fun than the official ones.

  • likalaruku
    likalaruku
    Completely Useless Now
    Comments: 763

    You definitely know how to save the best for last. If I had ever picked up Pokemon card collecting, I definitely would have sought out the ones with borked names & original art. They seem more special. The million-plus photoshopped fake cards on the internet cheapen the humor of it all, so it’s nice to see actual physical cards.

    I figure someone at Game Freak leaked Pokemon prototype art onto the internet. If the prototypes end up being renamed, recolored, & redesigned, it just makes the cards based on them even better.

    If you get enough of the over-powered & incorrect-evolution cards, I’d actually like to see to try to play them with a friend.

  • vegepen
    Old Man
    Comments: 3

    Hey! I have that exact lightning Mewtwo, except mine is a sticker bootleg! :O

  • Ottomic
    NewbieDotCom.Com
    Comments: 19

    Why the positively stupid numbers, though? If the bootleggers copied the cards they could have left the original text in there, and if for some reason they thought overpowered units would sell more packs, why didn’t they put a sensible value?

  • tasteless1
    Old Man
    Comments: 1

    The bizarre Gen 2 artwork came from the old Beckett Pokemon fanzine that I used to be subscribed to. http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_luvyxkpbub1r64jmlo1_500.jpg What’s strange about this artwork is that they used it well into Gen 2’s lifespan, even up until Gen 3 came out. They had their own in-house artist, the same guy that did their covers, do these Pokemon. Obviously, he put no effort into these whatsoever, as Entei and Raikou don’t even have their headcrests.

  • Vin
    Vin
    NewbieDotCom.Com
    Comments: 14

    I have a Venomoth without the Jungle symbol, do you think that’s a misprint or a bootleg? It does feel and look very real.

    Also, minor point, it’s Misdreavus, not Misdreaveus.

    • MarxForever
      Old Man
      Comments: 2

      Yeah, it’s a misprint.
      All of the Holographic cards in the Jungle Set had a few runs where they were accidentally printed without the their set symbol. They’re not to terribly uncommon though. The regular holos in that set go for about four bucks each with the “symbol-less” errors going for around $6-$7 if they in good shape.