We’ll be skipping over current affairs, as much as I want to talk about the most recent stories that have surfaced as we speak, I want this to be all about the topic of….
CCG’s or TCG’s!!!!
What are those you ask?
In the words of a tired & disgruntled LAUSD teacher, “I’m not going to spoon feed you all the answers.”
COLLECTABLE CARD GAMES or TRADING CARD GAMES! There’s no difference, they’re pretty much the same, it’s just some companies use ‘TCG’ because most of their catalog is nothing but trading cards, Upper Deck is notorious for using TCG because they’re mainly known for the sports based trading cards. You’ll hear me switch from one to the other so bear with it, TCG + CCG = Card Game. All in all the card companies just use the term TCG or CCG because they feel it will sell more or keep their company looking prestigious; kind of pretentious, isn’t it?
What triggered this topic for me is a few weeks I decided to go to a ‘Target’ store & since I was in no mood to hunt down video games or their book selection, I went into a section I haven’t been in for a while, the ‘Game’ section. I checked out all the starter deck boxes, as well as the Pokemon & Magic: The Gathering booster packs, then I found a ‘DragonBall Z’ starter deck. Turns out the card company called ‘PANINI’ acquired the rights to the ‘DBZ TCG’ license & rebooted the game. The resurrection of a 10 year old card game astounded me. I have a special affinity for card games, ever since (& this was before Pokemon entered the scene) my parents got me baseball cards in hopes of making me turn into a baseball fan boy, little did they know the cards would give me an affection for collecting & my interests would far surpass the likes of Baseball.
Before I go on, here’s some history for all of you. There were always Card Games, but the difference with some card game made pre 90’s & what we see in hobby stores now is card games came complete with everything, like ‘Uno’ or a pack of playing cards. It wasn’t until 1993 when ‘Magic: The Gathering’ introduced the concept of a card game mixed with collecting via Booster packs & Starter Decks. Think of booster packs as DLC or Expansion Packs for video games, except Booster Packs were mysteries, you’d either end up getting the same cards you got on the previous packs or score big with a rarity that you never expected. So without ‘Magic: The Gathering’, we’d still be playing ‘WAR’ with crappy playing cards without any strategy or neat looking art, just a bland game of probability.
As a kid I always thought the game was much too complex & only for High School kids. I got into this game in 2009 or 2010 when I saw a few kids playing it in school. I was interested & got a starter deck. Even if you don’t play the game, you have to admit that the hand painted art in these cards are beyond exceptional, even the most useless cards have the most brilliant artwork! The game itself was easy, nothing complex about it. So your deck consists of spells, monsters & most importantly Land Cards. You have health points & in order to protect those health points you must summon monsters or conjure spells, but before you summon monsters you must pay the price of tapping land cards in play. The system is kinda reminiscent to that of the ‘Pokemon TCG’ with it’s use of Energy cards to pay the price for executing attacks or evolving; but they‘re starkly different.
Overall, part of me wished I got into that game as a child, I would have been one of the cool kids. I’m not about the tournament scene, I just love the cards & the game is just fun. I know there are people that go to their local comic shop or hobby store or whatever & engage on organized games from Wizards of the Coast & win tons of prizes. It’s not for me, I shouldn’t have to keep spending money on cards because of the specific year (Which is where ‘Core Sets‘ come into play). It‘s who I am, I’m a penny pinching old person who doesn’t want to spend cash on anything that doesn’t need an upgrade & also I‘ve never been competitive. If you’re into that stuff, more power to you. It’s astonishing that such a game that originated in 1993 is still running, thus making it the second longest running game, 3rd being Pokemon & 4th being Yu-Gi-Oh & 1st place being Poker or bridge or whatever old boring game people are still playing.
Ahh yeah!!! Pokemon! GERTER CERTCH ERM ERRLLL!!! This was the boost the TCG market needed after Magic The Gathering’s popularity began to wane a little in the late 90‘s. Pokemon is the child version of Magic: The Gathering because it was easy to pick up and play, it’s very colorful & it had both the anime and Game Boy game backing it, that‘s Japanese marketing for ya. And thus was the trifecta which built what the adults in 1999 called the ‘Pokemon Craze’. I remember getting spare cards at the time, so I was always stuck with a 40hp Zubat, but it wasn’t all bad; I got Pikachu & Psyduck, two of the funniest looking Pokemon of the whole series.
I never got the jist of how the game is played, not until recently when I bought the ‘Pokemon Trainer Video’ on VHS which was a nostalgic & cringe worthy experience, full of useful info & horrid performances. In my childhood I just bought the cards I liked, I had no care about power level or how strong each Pokemon was. This resulted in me being the punching bag amongst my group of friends because of the weak pokemon I had, also add in my lack of reading skills I had at the time & you got the worst Pokemon trainer, EVER. I also sucked at trading, looking back I traded away some of the most strong pokemon because of me & my obsession for foil cards, I traded away a Growlithe with a 100hp because I wanted a tediursa which was beyond weak, but the bear looked cute. Speaking of must want cards, I wanted that foil ‘Mew Two’ card that they gave away on opening weekend for the Pokemon movie in 1999. I envied those kids that had parents who took them to the theater on that day & looking for someone who would be willing to sell or trade that card was harder than looking for a needle in a cow turd. Oh man, that’s still on my ‘must want’ list.
I have fond memories of the cards, especially since not all cards had the same art style. Some cards had their typical hand drawn art, others had photographed clay figures as well as paper mache art or late 90’s CG animated art. The corners of the art would contain the artist’s names in small print, which gave us a distinction who drew what. ‘Ken Sugimori’ is one I remember seeing a lot & being one of my favorite artists.
Here’s a sad story here, one day I went with my friend (this was early 2000’s) to a swap meet & this one guy was selling Pokemon Booster Packs , the kind that contained eight boosters & a foil card in a single package. So we both buy them for 5 bucks & we open our packs to find a ton of rarities. Volteon, Eevee, Flareon, all foil cards! A month later my mom goes to the laundry with my pants, not knowing I had those cards were in the pockets &…………………………..let’s just say all those cards mutated into one big sludge pile. To all you kids out there, make sure you clear your pockets of anything important before your parents wash your clothes & double sleeve your precious rarities.
I’m surprised to see that the Pokemon TCG is still up & running, but it’s not for me anymore. I get more enjoyment out of the Pokemon video games than the card game. I did get a few of the recent cards back when my little sister & her friends were into Pokemon, but that’s dead now & I began taking in the little cards she had left. She didn’t mind, she’s now much too busy with I-phone things & fashion. I gave those cards a home, left her all the bootlegs she has, can‘t accuse me of stealing! I have a few of the recent foil cards & my problem with the newer cards is that they’re more about the spectacle of it rather than the game. The original GEN.1 cards were brilliant in their own way with creative art & the attacks/ stats. Now, they’re so busy making the cards look like Michael Bay movies in a foil cardstock with words “XD! DX! OMEGA! SAPHIRE!!! EX!!! SHAPOOPIE!!!” on it. The game is still the same, but it’s not for my old self. This is Pokemon for the current generation & I have to let it do it’s thing. I’m an old school kind of guy & the new cards are for the new comers that weren’t alive in 1999. From what I hear there’s going to be a new Pokemon movie based off of the X and Y series which I hope brings back both the game & series back to how it all began. I know there’s a reboot which pretty much improves on the original animation, I’m none too glad about the existence of that; This is ’Ghost in the Shell 2.0’ again. The new Pokemon is for the new kids & who knows, maybe I’ll get into the game again, but for now I’m hunting that Mew Two card & all the 151 Pokemon from the original first run.
Ah yes, the anime series that people thought was a ripoff of Pokemon, but little did they know this was it’s own thing. Whereas adults questioned what Pokemon are (even though it was clear that they were ‘Pocket Monsters’), Digimon made it clear that they were Digital Monsters, but stupid people still questioned what Digimon were. I haven’t seen the anime in a while, but the premise is still the same from every other incarnation of this anime; a group of kids become stuck in a digital world with their digital monsters, so it’s up to them & their mosnters to make their way out of the digital world, but end up coming across viruses at every corner. Simple enough.
I owned the Digimon starter deck (The first ever starter deck I owned. It was a big deal for me since I painstakingly built my Pokemon decks by buying booster packs. My parents weren‘t the kind to shell out 10 bucks for me just so I can buy a box of cards). The instructions didn’t help (This was before knowing all the card game lingo.) so me & my friends just played it the way we did, we got burned out quickly & that’s why now it isn’t as remembered in this nostalgia-gasm trend today. The Popularity of both Pokemon & Yu-Gi-Oh pushed it into the sidelines, despite releasing different types of expansions to coincide with the new series. It may make a comeback now since we are getting a new Digimon series in which the original characters of the first series have grown up. So expect a card company like ‘Panini’ or Bandai (if they aren’t too busy making cheap mediocre games) who wants to cash in on nostalgia.
The card game was convoluted & uninspired, but those handheld LCD ‘Digivice’ games they released were the most awesome toys of the 2000’s. So pretty much they were like a ‘Tomogachi’ virtual pet, but in this case you upgraded, earned XP & evolved your little digimon pets. Just like the pokemon video game, you can fight other creatures & go into public places with your digivice to hunt & fight against wild viruses. My guess of how that featurette worked is the antenna on the digivice grabs both Television or radio signals & comes up with a random monster for you to battle; Similar to the soldier grab feature from ‘Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops‘ for the PSP which grabs any internet signal & uses that to give the player a random soldier for enrollment. It was pretty cool, making you feel like you’re in the digital world & you’ve come across a wild virus. The graphics were very minimal, but still a step above that ‘Tiger Electronic’ junk of the time. I had one & I believe my mom threw it away, which still saddens me today. I’m checking E-bay & they’re going for 70 to 200 dollars boxed or unboxed. I miss my blue D-3 DIGIVICE!!!!
If you can find one cheap & used, it will be worth your money & time, but I have no clue how far you can level up your Digimon or if there’s an end to that LCD game. Digimon happened in the 1999/2000 & would only happen in that time.
Yes, the franchise is still in it’s popularity due to the tournaments & new tweaks to the game that keep the franchise fresh (I hope Konami doesn’t screw that game over like they are with Hideo Kojima).
Before I go on with my nostalgia, I got to tell some of you who aren’t in the know of the history of Yu-Gi-Oh. In 1996, Yu-Gi-Oh was first published in Weekly Shonen Jump Magazine in Japan. The manga & the animated series, which was given the subtitle Season 0, focused on Yugi & his adventures as he comes across the ilk of society & handles these problems with his mystical alter ego (Yami Yugi) who loves to engage in shadow games that result in severe (non-violent) punishments. It wasn’t until it’s second incarnation when the manga & anime took advantage of the Duel Monsters card game which was talked about in one episode of (Titled in the U.S) Season 0. Yugi’s adventures furthered in the series we all know (Season. 1) when he begins dueling against other duelists in an island wide tournament, hosted by somewhat ‘flamboyant‘ Maximillion Pegasus. In the U.S, Season.1 of the anime premiered on Kids WB in 2001, it wasn’t until 2002 when both the hype & the release of a Yu-Gi-Oh card game have strucked the chords of everyone my age & older.
I remember talking to kids at the time about the card game, wondering if we’ll be able to get ’Exodia: The Forbidden One’ in physical card form. I am proud to say that this was one game I knew all the rules to & I still to this day know how to play; the problem was everyone else had their own ‘ways’ of playing & half assed every game I engaged into. It pissed me off, I wanted to play by the rules using life points & special summons (Which meant sacrificing a specific number of monsters in play in order to summon a strong monster), but everyone wanted to play it their way where anything goes & they pulled rules out of the butt because they were too lazy to read up on the rules. One thing I remember is at the time my parents used to force me to go with them to their ‘Parties’ which were always hosted by people who I knew nothing about & most of the time they were ‘Quinceneras’. Most of the kids my age at the time weren’t blood related, but we were (you can say) Card Related. While everyone was busy getting party wasted or whatever adults named it, we were in desks in the corner of the salon playing a card of Yu-Gi-Oh. I don’t know if kids today do that at parties, just hold clandestine tourneys & pretty much bond that way. I don’t know, I’m not a kid & I rarely go to any parties (Don’t ask.).
The game is still going strong with it’s new card creations & rather than coming up with annual core decks (MAGIC!), there’s a ban list for tournaments. Yes, rather than making players pay for reprints to use in a tourney, Konami cuts the middle man & posts a list on what cards they can’t use in official tournaments. Now that’s how you do it.
Despite the many incarnations of the anime there are (Dueling on motorcycles, what the fudge?), the card game stayed the same. Now you got something called Synchro Summon which is a much simpler version of a ‘Fusion summon’, then there’s Xyz summons which is much more easier than a Synchro summon. Overall, it’s gotten simpler & more strategy based, which is why you still got teenagers & college kids playing the game. Yu-Gi-Oh was & has always been sold as the bigger, cooler, edgier brother of ‘Pokemon’, thus the reason why many where quick to jump ship in 2002. The art satisfied the Otaku crowd, but along with that bred a species beyond that of a Weeaboo. We shall not speak of them, not on this blog.
Besides the four I mentioned, there were other cards games that were released, but either they never got the attention they deserved, or they were just plain TERRIBLE.
Adventure Time: Card Wars
This card game came out recently, I don’t know if it’s a trading card game or just a plain card game where you get everything in a box. Recently there have been a lot of complete in the box card games for sale based on both ’The Walking Dead’ & ‘Hunger Games’. I saw a Card Wars box at my local ‘Target’, didn’t buy it since I was saving some cash, then came back with the cash & no longer can find a box. Freaking Target, they stock up on something they believe will sell & when it sells, they discontinue it. It happened with the Adventure Time cards & it happened with the D&D merchandise I desperately wanted. Then they have other Target stores in other cities that sell better stuff than the Target store near my home. Target is starting to piss me off, along with the people who shop their; upper middleclass folk, BAH!
The Adventure Time series, I believe, is much more suitable for a pen & paper RPG medium rather than a card game. But then again I have no clue whether the game works or not. I’m not seeing anyone talk about the card game, instead I’m seeing more buzz around the IOS app game.
Austin Powers: The TCG
Yes, that Austin Powers, the Mike Myers one. No, I shan’t quote Austin’s quotes or Dr.Evil’s lines……….”GET IN MAH BELLEH!” Okay, so I knew there was a film (everyone knew of the movies, you had to be living under a rock to not know about the films.), there was a very terrible video game for the Game Boy Color in 2000, but a card game? A card game, based off a film franchise that is a parody of 60’s spy films & hit pop culture in the late 90’s; ALRIGHT, magic in the making. But the card game was anything but magic. Only releasing a few boosters & two expansions titled from the movies ‘The Spy Who Shagged Me’ and ‘International Man of Mystery,’ the game was cancelled due to low sales. The cards are easy to find now & inexpensive, so that might be a card game I’ll be on the lookout for; I’ll see if any of my two sisters are down to play this very bad looking game.
Bakugan Battle Brawlers
This isn’t that old of a game, only a few years old but it’s a game I distinctly remember seeing. I had no interest on it, it’s a game that I never saw any kids play. I know it’s a card game crossed with a small sphere toy which transforms into this battle robot. It was ingenious, but I didn’t see it really take off, or maybe it has gained a cult following amongst today‘s youngsters. I’ve seen the knockoffs at the local liquor store so I assume it sold. My last opinion for this game is.. It’s for the kids. I’m still confused by it’s lack of popularity.
Why does this have a card game? Beyblades are nothing but spinning tops, badass spinning tops might I add. They were cool because the original Japanese Beyblades required assembly (Just like those Model Gundam figures. The American ones were sold already built) & you put them in an arena & battle against other spinning beyblades. It was a neat (DANGEROUS) trend & I dug it, but why a card game? It’s like if someone made a card game based off Nascar, it doesn’t make sense. I had no recollection of seeing Beyblade as a card game & I was better off knowing it as just a cool spinning top toy from the mid 2000’s. I guess if you’re scared of a spinning top &….NO! THERE SHOULDN’T BE A BEYBLADE CARD GAME!
Just like I said in Adventure Time: Card Fight, I saw it once at Target, & that was the only time I saw it. What I find interesting is the anime is only found online, it’s not a show that’s being aired on TV, but it managed to release a card game here in the states. Whoever is in charge of marketing sure knows who the audience for this game is, they’re targeting the teen, internet surfing, CCG otaku demographic. I had no time to check out the anime, but the card game looks very interesting & I’ll see if I can get to both the game & the anime.
Oh this was way past my time, this was popular when I was busy going to Saturday School & missed out on a whole season’s worth of Saturday morning cartoons because middle school was too stupid to teach me any better. So ‘Chaotic’ was a Danish card game which blended both a physical TCG & an online card game where players input the codes from their cards to upload their deck into the Chaotic website & use those virtual cards for online play. Sounds good on paper, but it didn’t last long. Here’s a question I got about the game, if someone input the card’s code into their account, will it still work if someone else input that same code into their account? Also, if every card has the same code, then wouldn’t it be easier to take the card codes from card scans found on Google Images? How many licks does it take to get to the center of an egg roll? If the same code can’t be put in on different accounts, then they just screwed over their used market for that card game.
I’m questioning & judging a card game I’ve never played, I should stop. Luckily, the starter decks aren’t that expensive. So if you want to party like it’s 2007, then it will cost you $17 at Amazon.com (Plusshippingandhandling).
Oh man, I very much remember buying a booster pack & thinking this was a strange & complex game. Little did I know that the game had a very big following amongst fans of the anime. The card game was released in 2000, around the same time DBZ began gaining mass popularity from Cartoon Network Toonami airings. This was the height of DBZ & with a video game due in two years, a card game released by ’Score Entertainment’ is what was needed to make hold the fan boys while the greatest fighting game was in development. I discovered a ‘Burger King’ promo that issued promo cards that I do not recall getting as a kid. Mind you, my parents ate at Burger King weekly at that time (Back when they were good before Mayonaise & GMO’s) so I knew what I expected for a ‘Kids Meal’. Either the stark raving, year 2000 weebs got the cards before I can get my hands on them or California never got the cards. I remember getting a Vegeta figure as a kid, but no card. Curse you weebs.
From what I remember about the card game, there were too many statistics, I had only a few cards at the time & had not a clue whether I stumbled upon some rarities. Along with friends who were burnt out on the TCG scene, I had no use for the DBZ cards. It was not until 2008 the game was rebranded using a new system (Similar to the ’Naruto TCG’) & in short, the game was hated by the fans of the original. It wasn’t until last year when Panini gave the fans what they asked for. I picked up the Starter Deck & I can say I ‘kinda’ know how to play, I’m still lost with the lingo of this specific game. I can say that this is a major improvement of original game, for starters the cards no longer contain the wrong artwork .In the original you would have a card with the Z-Fighters standing in a cool pose with the title ‘Super Punch.’ No one’s punching, they’re just standing there; Card, you is high on drugs!!
Overall, I got no one to play with , but I’m still interested in buying some boosters. One thing I dig is each starter deck doesn’t show you what personality you get, only when you open your box is when you find out which character you paid for & I got Krillin. PANINI is cashing in on nostalgia, hopefully this makes TCG hip with the cool kids again.
Or as I used to call it ‘The K-Mart version of Yu-Gi-Oh’. There’s no denying that this was a cash-in on the success of ‘Yu-Gi-Oh’. With a name such as ‘Duel Masters’, of course we wouldn’t be suckered into such a ripoff. I only knew one kid who was stupid enough to buy into it & we treated him like the token Duel Masters kid. They even released an Anime for Cartoon Network & a few games for the PS2 and Game Boy Advance, but the game was still driven to obscurity. Now I feel I’m obligated give the game a chance since it did come from Japan & the cards had this pop-art, 2000’s Mark Ecko type of artwork. Watching the card game demo wasn’t similar to Yu-Gi-Oh, instead it had it’s own way of playing using a shield system where face down cards would be set on the field & served the purpose of a shield protecting the player’s life points. This is one game I may need to reevaluate.
I remember seeing the card game advertised during Saturday mornings & weekday afternoons (KIDS WB!). To all of you younger kids, you have to remember that this was in 2001, the time when the Harry Potter craze had people waiting in line around the block, just to see or buy the newest Harry Potter installment. Not only that but you also got the return of the religious zelousy that we thought we left behind in the 80’s, deeming Harry Potter as a tool of Satan. Everytime I heard that, I always thought of some guy in red with a pitchfork working the ink presses that published the cards. Heehee! Back on topic, Harry Potter had a card game that wasn’t related to the film, but was more related to the book since it copied that art style all the Harry Potter books had. Think of it as the family friendly version of ‘Magic The Gathering’, you have your spells & creatures to play. Pretty simple, summon whatever you please & follow what the cards did. I always saw the game was full of potential, but everyone in my crowd was either busy with Yu-Gi-Oh or Pokemon. I’ll always remember that card game as the game with that booster pack that’s always sat behind the cashier at my local Liquor store along with unsold Football trading cards from 1991. What a sad fate.
Monty Python & The Holy Grail TCG
Yes, there was a Monty Python card game based off the Holy Grail. It was released in 1996 & it was a massive failure, only releasing one starter deck with boosters. I’m willing to shell out the money if there is a ‘NI!!’ card, I want the Ni card. NI!!!! Though, I’ve got a bad feeling this game sucks. A card game based off a British sketch comedy show. Here’s a better idea, SNL: The TCG & two cards will be rarities, Kristen Wiig’s unfunny monologue & John Belushi’s coke attack.
My Little Pony CCG
Just to assure everyone, I’m not a brony, but at the same time I find the cartoon pretty harmless. How do you make a card game out of ponies? How? They’re magic ponies, I know, but do they fight in a arena with ‘Razor’ playing in the background? If so then my interest has increased, if not then forget it!
Just like Duel Masters, I had one friend who had the cards & the only card I had was a Kakashi card that I got in an issue of ‘Shonen Jump’. Never played the game, but noticed a niche following.
Star Trek: The Next Generation TCG
You ever go to the Flea Market or Thrift shop & stumble upon a Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh bin, only to find it’s full of Star Trek: The Next Generation cards? If yes then you’d see how much you hate those god forsaken cards. They made a mockery out of me & I’m much too busy enjoying Classic Star Trek. Screw this mediocre card game! Also, I don’t understand Wil Wheatons’ popularity, I don’t get it, is he the Joss Whedon of Star Trek?
Star Wars: PocketModel TCG
I bought a pack out of curiosity at the time & it was a strange mix between a card game & a construction set of a 3D model made out of durable 2D pieces of plastic. They were neat, but I had no effin clue how to play the game. Hopefully these make a comeback, because making ships was a neat endurance test.
Star Wars TCG (Wizards of the Coast)
I had no intrest in this, but I had major interest in was the Star Wars TCG game made by Parker Brothers from 1996 to coincide with the Special Edition release. That’s the one I want to play, not this Wizards 2000’s junk with bad photoshop & horrid mention of those horrid prequels.
I’m a Star Wars fanboy, but I also know when enough is enough.
VS System (DC Comics & Marvel Comics)
I had no clue that DC had cards, but I sure know Marvel had a big upper hand on this game, so much that there’s a PSP game based on it. There was a short time in the mid-2000’s when ‘Walgreens’ stocked Marvel comics, but they weren’t your average marvel comics. They were double sided comics where the front side would be Fantastic Four story, then when you flip the issue over, it would be a Spiderman comic. They were meant to be for children to get them into comics, but one issue it came with a VS system card. The card game was just around everywhere, but I knew no one who played the card game. Lasting six years from 2004 to 2009, the game had a following, especially since artists like Jim Lee, Bill Sienkiewicz & the always awesome Alex Ross did art for the cards. Looking at the cards, I see that this isn’t just another half-assed CCG, but Marvel & DC actually invested on this. In my opinion it brilliant marketing, comic book fans & card game aficionados are pretty much in the same boat. Many comic book shops sell cards, it was printing money, like selling cookies in front of a medical marijuana dispensary. I missed the boat on that one.
I remember a 90’s political war card game called ’Illuminati’ that is infamous for a card that ‘foreshadowed’ 9/11; Also there’s a card game based off ‘Sim City’ that managed to work, but is not as fondly remembered today. They’re out there & whether they were great or crap is up to the one who steps up and plays it.
To think that all the tournaments & deluge of TCG’s began after 1993 when ‘Magic’ hit the scene. Almost every trading card company went willy nilly on buying the rights of an existing franchise & made a card game, just to sucker players into giving them money. Some of them lived on to grain mass popularity, cult popularity or just vanish off the earth. Not only that but this was around the time of Trading Cards packaged in comics, the comic book speculator boom & pogs; the TCG craze could only happen in the 90’s & early 2000‘s.
‘InQuest’ was a gamer magazine that dealt in TCG’s & Roleplaying games. I read through an issue this week & found that it was full of tips for making that ‘Perfect Deck’ as well as card game news. Along with InQuest you had magazines that specifically catered to one specific TCG. In the early 2000’s a magazine company ‘Ghostmasters’ sold fanzines based on Pokemon (Without Nintendo’s approval) which was mainly targeted to younger kids, which explains why it was full of coloring book styled mazes, games & the print was big enough to be a Dr.Seuss book. On that note, they also made a Yu-Gi-Oh fanzine (Without Konami’s or 4Kids’ appoval) which also served as a price guide. How they determined what card costs what is a mystery & a scam to me. Then you had ‘Breckett’, now this was the brand everyone I knew went to for determining how much cards were worth, especially those sleazy Card resellers. They dealt in Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh & Anime (The trifecta of goodness). How these unofficial fanzines got away with being stocked in national big chain pharmacies is still a mystery. If I make a Marvel Comics fanzine, not only would it not make store shelves but I would get lawsuits up the butt, I do not see this ever happening in this time & age where everyone’s sue happy. On the official side of the woods you had ‘Shonen Jump’ that put the Yu-Gi-Oh manga in regular publication & not only provided tournament news & tips, they also gave away free Promo cards. $5 for 300 pages full of Manga & a free promo card that proves useful in a match, what a steal!
All in all I dig collectable card games & I still see a market for it. I agree that the younger generation doesn’t really dig it as much, but for every hunching I-Phone dweller, you get the kid that watches the live Magic tournament & feel that they would like to give it a try. What I will recommend to all you young readers is if the instructions are too vague for you, then play the video game version of the card game if it’s available. Magic The Gathering & Yu-Gi-Oh have diluted the market with their card game adaptations on consoles & PC. The video game version gives you a pretty simple rundown on what to or what not to do in the game. They provide a perfect playing ground to try everything without having some smelly weeb judging your every move because you’re a beginner. That’s one of the many problems as to why people are often intimidated by playing any TCG with someone at a local hobby store. My problem is I’m terrible at explaining people how to play a specific card game. Most of the time you’ll come across someone who’s down to earth & experience, but yeah those weebs, man.
Card games are a great way to learn math, strategy & imagination, which always leads me to question why Schools ban them? Experiencing elementary school in the 90’s, I never grasped it. I always hear the response of “We don’t want to be responsible for anyone’s missing, stolen or damaged cards.”
Alright then, don’t be responsible & if some kid comes nagging at you about their missing cards, then dismiss them as idiots. I understand that parents will go to great lengths, like spending 20 dollars on some rare foil card, & when something happens to that card, then the parents get on the defensive since that was 20 dollars that was just damaged or lost. Still, it’s the kid’s problem & the kid should still be held responsible for his own problems. Why ban a card game for everyone? Card games help kids learn math, tests strategy & builds character as well as social skills? I kid you not, back in the 2000’s we had school administrators search our bags to check if we had Pokemon cards. Do you think teachers & school officials hate TCG’s because they don’t want kids to learn? That’s just one of my conspiracy theories, but sometimes they contain an iota of truth. It wasn’t until High School when principals didn’t care what card game you played during lunch or ‘Nutrition’, but at that point in time everyone was ‘too old’ or too cynical to bat an eye on the current card game. I don’t know if schools still have that ban on card games, I bet now it’s a ban on smart phones or something stupid.
No one is too old for TCG’s, the mystery of opening booster packs is still alive & well. I own a small folder of Pokemon cards, I still have my old deck of Yu-Gi-Oh & I’ve got a boxload of Magic: The Gathering with enough cards to make 5 decks. The charm is still there & if everyone just played by the rules, no one would have been burned off as quickly as they did. If you love TCG’s, show your love loud & proud. If they feel the need to mess with you because of the fact……….FUCK THEM.
It’s not just a piece of card stock, it’s a ticket to a world beyond fantasy.