Trading Card Game

Top Business Summary Trading Card Game

Taking the fun of battle and collecting to the real world

Pokémon TCG, which recreates the battle aspect of the “Pokémon” video games, is Japan’s first full-fledged trading card game. Players use a deck of 60 cards of their own choosing, and they are challenged to create a deck they think will give them a strategic advantage over their opponent. An element of luck enters the picture, though, because the cards are continually shuffled. Players also have fun collecting many different cards, and even with the same character, their illustrations come in great variety. Players also have fun collecting many different cards, and even with the same character, their illustrations come in great variety. There are even ”shiny” (foil) cards which adds to their appeal as collector items.

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An open competition to attract exciting new illustrations

The first Grand Prix illustration by Yuu Nishida.

An open competition to attract exciting new illustrations

Pokémon TCG illustrations are remarkably varied in mode of expression and artistic touch, the result of their being designed by many illustrators. The high quality and vivid expressiveness of Pokémon cards is their greatest charm, and new additions are always being sought. To attract them, starting in 2018 an illustration contest “Pokémon TCG Illustration Grand Prix” was introduced to discover new talent. Anyone anywhere is eligible to enter, and truly outstanding entries open the door to potential designation by Creatures Inc., the planner and organizer of the competition, to become an active member of the family of Pokémon illustrators – a dream come true!

Vital Backup SupportGameplay is fostered by many businesses and volunteers behind the scenes
Vital Backup Support
Gameplay is fostered by many businesses and volunteers behind the scenes

To ensure that the Pokémon TCG will be enjoyed by everyone, from beginners to competitive gamers, it’s necessary that the optimal “battleground” is available for every level and purpose of play. At The Pokémon Company, we directly organize official competitions that lead up to the Pokémon World Championships. Also, with cooperation from Pokémon Centers and card shops throughout Japan, official competitions are held at in-store battle spaces. In addition, local community events are conducted by our “Event Organizers”: individuals who have passed certification testing administered by The Pokémon Company. Our Event Organizers work as volunteers who lend behind-the-scenes support vital to the expanding popularity of the Pokémon TCG.

Across country and regional borders and cultures

Convenience store-jacking

When the Traditional Chinese version of Pokémon TCG was launched in Taiwan in 2019, a great transformation took place at one of the island’s convenience stores. Outside, the exterior of the store was wrapped in Pokémon cards, while inside, the eat-in area was transformed into a TCG play area: its walls decorated with Pokémon cards and its floor designed like a playmat. The store bustled with Pokémon fans, and some actually engaged in battle. The scene was a rare one: people going about their shopping while TCG players were engrossed in their game.