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#1
Old 10-10-2013, 09:05 AM
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My kid is into Pokemon cards and I need help.

So my kid is just getting into Pokemon cards and I could use a quick rundown on the basics of buying cards. He's not playing games yet but once his reading improves I imagine that'll come as well.

As a former Magic player (circa 1999) I'm familiar with buying decks versus boosters. I see that there's lots of different decks for sale at around 15 dollars for 80 cards. I assume these are pre-made themed decks. Are you better off buying boosters after that? If I bought my son a themed deck do I need to buy the same themed booster or will any booster work with his deck?

Also how feasible is it to buy used cards? With Magic you can use cards from 15 years ago (obviously tournament rules may apply). Is Pokemon the same way? If I buy a lot of cards of an unknown vintage from a yard sale will he be able to use them or will they be fundamentally incompatible with the cards being sold today?
#2
Old 10-10-2013, 09:07 AM
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Edit - ah crap. I meant for this to go to The Game Room. A little help please?
#3
Old 10-10-2013, 09:09 AM
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Done.

-Adminachu
#4
Old 10-10-2013, 09:18 AM
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For the most part you will be able to use cards from any source. What will screw you up is that many of the Pokemons evolve from basic to stage one and stage two, so if you buy a random mix that has a stage one or two card without the corresponding basic, it is useless. Also, different types of pokemons use different types of energy, so if you don't have the right combination, and the right ratio in your deck it will be also be useless.

They sell a lot of variations, but the easiest thing to do would be to buy two of the pre-made theme decks with 60 cards each - you need a 60 card deck to play. These are ready to play out of the box, and have a nice mix of pokemons, energy, trainer cards, etc. Then you can play a few games with your son, and get a feel for it before investing in boosters and other cards to improve a deck.

If you buy random lots of cards they will be compatible with modern decks, but you run the risks I mentioned above. I would probably feel better about buying someone's old deck at a yard sale that was probably built in some manner, rather than an Ebay lot where they could just be a fistful from the vat 'o pokemons.
#5
Old 10-10-2013, 12:14 PM
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Great. Thanks!

He came home yesterday devastated that he lost some cards at school that were apparently good ones. Since he's not playing yet I think I'll get him a card binder so he can look at them without getting them mixed up with cards from other kids.
#6
Old 10-10-2013, 12:25 PM
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There's also something called a deck box which he can put his deck into for traveling to school and home.

My kids had the same problem with lost cards when they first started taking them to school. Either it was neglect, sticky fingers or basic malice they at least learned to take care of their cards.
#7
Old 10-10-2013, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anonymous Coward View Post
So my kid is just getting into Pokemon cards and I could use a quick rundown on the basics of buying cards. He's not playing games yet but once his reading improves I imagine that'll come as well.
Don't be too sure about that. When the Pokemon CCG first came out, the mindset among the kids was almost universally, "Gotta collect 'em all!", without too much thought about the game itself. ("Playing a Pokemon game? That's why we have Nintendo GameBoys!")

Also, they have the same common/uncommon/rare status that Magic cards have; you might want to make sure he understands that, and how those last few cards he needs for his collection are almost impossible to get. (I know it used to be, there was one rare in every booster pack, so even if you bought a box of 36, which costs about $90 wholesale, there's little chance of getting a complete set).
#8
Old 10-18-2013, 12:58 PM
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I wouldn't worry too much about assembling playable decks--kids are much more into collecting the cards than they are playing the game. Random garage sale purchases are awesome.
#9
Old 10-18-2013, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anonymous Coward View Post
Also how feasible is it to buy used cards? With Magic you can use cards from 15 years ago (obviously tournament rules may apply). Is Pokemon the same way? If I buy a lot of cards of an unknown vintage from a yard sale will he be able to use them or will they be fundamentally incompatible with the cards being sold today?
If he's playing for personal enjoyment, old cards are fine. There are restrictions in officially sanctioned tournaments. Generally you are limited to cards from sets released within the past 2 years or so. (Gotta sell 'em all!) For example, for the 2013/2014 tournament season, Black & White Next Destinies from Feb. 2012 is the oldest set you can use. (Tournament season runs September - August.)

For a beginning player, I'd start with one of the pre-built theme decks. Comes in a box with 60 cards, a playmat, damage counters, coin to flip for deciding random elements of the game and a rulebook (sometimes the rules are simply printed on the playmat). Then he can get a feel for the rules and gameplay, and not be frustrated that he has unplayable cards. Buying only booster packs could stick you with cards that aren't playable until you acquire some other card. Of course, if he's just collecting,which is how most kids start out, then playability doesn't matter.
#10
Old 10-18-2013, 01:44 PM
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Forgot this:
You don't need to match theme desks and booster packs. The sets are all compatible with each other. You do see power creep over time though, i.e. the newer cards are higher powered (have higher HP and attacks) which tends to make older cards less desirable. Then they reset when the next generation comes out. Pokemon has just gone to another generation with the release of the X&Y video games last weekend. The first X&Y card decks are supposed to show up in the US in Feb. 2014. (Japan always gets them a few months earlier).
#11
Old 10-19-2013, 12:06 AM
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Do Pokemon cards ever get reprinted in new sets? If so, is an old card that's been reprinted in a new set tournament-legal? That's how it is in Magic: If you have Alpha basic lands, and they're still in good enough condition to not be considered "marked", you can bring them to a tournament if you want (and some folks do as a show of prestige).
#12
Old 10-19-2013, 01:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Do Pokemon cards ever get reprinted in new sets? If so, is an old card that's been reprinted in a new set tournament-legal? That's how it is in Magic: If you have Alpha basic lands, and they're still in good enough condition to not be considered "marked", you can bring them to a tournament if you want (and some folks do as a show of prestige).
Yes and yes. The rule is older cards that have been reprinted in a legal set are tournament-legal, but if there is any difference in the card text, the newer card's wording takes precedence.

Correction to my post above: The first X&Y booster packs come out in Feb. 2014. The first X&Y theme decks will be released next month.
#13
Old 10-26-2013, 09:10 PM
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My oldest son has expressed an interest in getting some Pokemon X/Y cards and I was considering getting him a set.

Where does one buy these decks at retail these days? When I was a kid, you'd get trading cards at the grocery store or convenience store, but that doesn't seem to hold true today. Walmart's trading card section seems outdated and disorganized to me. (But correct me if I'm wrong.) I don't recall seeing ANY trading cards for sale at Target or Best Buy. Would a comic book store sell them? Would I need to have preordered by now?

Should I just order them online?

Any recommendations welcome.
#14
Old 10-26-2013, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarabellum1976 View Post
My oldest son has expressed an interest in getting some Pokemon X/Y cards and I was considering getting him a set.

Where does one buy these decks at retail these days? When I was a kid, you'd get trading cards at the grocery store or convenience store, but that doesn't seem to hold true today. Walmart's trading card section seems outdated and disorganized to me. (But correct me if I'm wrong.) I don't recall seeing ANY trading cards for sale at Target or Best Buy. Would a comic book store sell them? Would I need to have preordered by now?

Should I just order them online?
If you're looking for a "deck", the most likely place would be a game store ("toy" stores like Toys R Us may have them as well).

If you're looking for packs of boosters, I would buy a box of 36 packs - and I would go online, although my "go to" distributor (Potomac) has a minimum order.
#15
Old 10-26-2013, 09:32 PM
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I used to buy and resell these in the Pokemon prime days. I've probably sold over $100k in Pokemon cards (those were the days). Kids were like crack addicts.

At the time WOTC (Wizards of the Coast) stores were the only places that were getting a decent supply, once the shortage cleared up - Target & Barnes and Noble definitely had the cards. That was over 10 years ago - so not sure if they still do.

One cool thing a lot of kids liked - was I bought Japanese Pokemon cards (which say "Pocket Monsters" on the back (my theory is THEY think English is cool just like we think Japanese is cool).). The front is in Japanese, but he majority of kids still loved them. I got some people on a military base in Japan and the sent them FPO/APO to me - so it was cheap shipping. I sold them here and made a killing. No one in the stores had seen them (at the time) and I had one woman who owned a few toy stores in the area that was giving me probably around $5k a week for them.

Kids loved the cards - you could see their little aspergers/add brains turning and they would get SO excited.

Back when they were hard to get - I would set up shop at a flea market (I did mostly wholesale/eBay, but was having a blast) - I'd guess maybe 5 - 15% were actually playing the game - it wouldn't surprise me if it was less than 5%. Even if they didn't play the game - plenty still liked the moves & point values. "Oh this one has such and such". I'd set them all out individually. Some kids only cared about holos - some just wanted promo cards (was only a few back then). Girls seemed to like Pikachu. Both boys and girls liked Charizard (which at the time was considered the most valuable English version card (I think I was selling it for like $12-$25). I don't remember many others.... Mew, Blastasaur?

Many seemed to know from the TV show. The movies came out (if memory serves during the shortage) - once fossil came out - they had gotten their supply back up and I couldn't just buy everything up in the area and resell it. Yes I know I am going to hell for my Pokemon market cornering. Sorry if you couldn't get cards in the Baltimore Area during that time I couldn't help it - I was addicted to buying - it was some of the most fun I ever had.
#16
Old 10-28-2013, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarabellum1976 View Post
My oldest son has expressed an interest in getting some Pokemon X/Y cards and I was considering getting him a set.

Where does one buy these decks at retail these days? When I was a kid, you'd get trading cards at the grocery store or convenience store, but that doesn't seem to hold true today. Walmart's trading card section seems outdated and disorganized to me. (But correct me if I'm wrong.) I don't recall seeing ANY trading cards for sale at Target or Best Buy. .
Well, X/Y cards have not been released yet, so you won't find those. The first theme decks are to be released Nov. 8th. Booster packs don't hit arrive until 2014.
My family always buys ours at either Toys R Us or Target. Target is a little cheaper, but Toys R Us sometimes has buy-2-get-1-free sales. The Targets in Southern California tend to put all their trading cards in the front of the store near the cashiers. Not in the impulse buy racks in front of each cashier, but at a rack usually on one end of the row of the checkout stations. Presumably so the cashiers can keep an eye on them.
#17
Old 11-10-2013, 12:49 PM
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WalMart had the XY cards the day of release.

They had all 3 decks for sale - for FIFTEEN BUCKS EACH! That seems like an awful lot for maybe, what, 60 or 70 cards? That did include a booster pack from Black/White I believe.

Anyway, we got the Fennekin set since that is the starter he picked in the 3DS game Pokemon X.
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