RARE and COMMON English Pokemon Card Errors: Base Set through the Neo Sets
Last Updated: March 20th, 2013:
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After collecting Pokemon cards over the years, I have found many error Pokemon cards that aren’t listed or just aren’t widely known in the Pokemon collecting world. Below I am going to rank what I consider the TOP 16 rarest/most valuable of the English Pokemon error cards. I ranked them based on how many I have seen on eBay over the past year (scarcity) AND how much they actually sell for (value).
1. Prerelease Base Set Raichu Holo Error:
- Newly confirmed 1/21/13! Originally the Raichu prerelease was thought to have happened during the production of the Clefable prerelease, the card printed to showcase the upcoming Jungle series. In fact, the Raichu prerelease was accidentally printed on a full sheet of 121 duplicates and 100 were destroyed however 21 were saved. Only 21 exist! For those who don't know, the word PRERELEASE was printed on the right lower portion of the holo to state that it was a card printed before the release of the upcoming set.
2. Black Star Movie Promos #2-4 Inverse Gold Stamp Error:
- Newly confirmed 1/21/13! - Confirmation has been received that there were 3, possibly 4 sheets accidentally printed with this error. Each of these sheets had 121 cards; 30 Pikachu, 30 Dragonite, 30 Mewtwo, 30 Electabuzz, and 1 blank inverted card. All of the sheets were discarded but 1, leaving 120 of these cards (plus the blank) in existence. So there were 30 of each card ever printed! The error was that they were accidentally printed with the Pokémon the First Movie logo upside down and in the lower left corner and the normal placement of the stamp is missing (see pictures). Without the facts I originally thought that this card would surface a lot more and the value would go down. After learning that there was only 30 of each card, you should see these up there with the hardest Pokemon to find on the market.
3. 1st Edition Dark Dragonite 5/82 Team Rocket Non Holo Error:
- A few 1st Edition Dark Dragonite cards from the Team Rocket Set were numbered 5/82 and were printed without the holo making it look like just a regular non holo. The 1st Edition version is significantly harder to find than the unlimited version, listed at #7.
4. Ninetales Missing Damage Base Set Holo Error:
- Newly updated 3/20/13! - This error comes from the Shadowless Base Set. This error did not exist in the Unlimited Base Set. During production, the Ninetales card was printed without the damage for the second attack. The damage is supposed to read “80” for the “Fire Blast” attack and instead the 80 is blank.
5. Blastoise Base Set Holo Missing “Stage” Error:
- During production some Blastoise holos from the Unlimited Base Set were printed missing the word “stage” on the upper right of the card where it is supposed to read “Put Blastoise on the Stage 1 Card”. Instead, these rare holos read “Put Blastoise on the 1 Card”.
6. Dark Persian “No HP” Error Promo Card #17:
- During production this card was printed without the red HP in the upper right hand corner. The card is supposed to read 60 HP and instead is blank. This card was part of the 53 card Black Star Promo series (large star as its symbol with "promo" written across).
7. Unlimited Dark Dragonite 5/82 Team Rocket Non Holo Error:
- Just like the 1st Edition Error (listed above), the unlimited error is a little easier to obtain but still tough. A few of the Dark Dragonite cards from the Team Rocket Set were numbered 5/82 and were printed without the holo making it look like just a regular non holo. These cards can easily slip past anyone unless they knew of this error. Hard to find! Please refer to the 1st Ed Dark Dragonite picture above for reference (listed at #3).
8. Pikachu E3 Promo Shadowless Base Set Red Cheeks Error:- The regular Shadowless red cheeked Pikachu is a pretty common card, as described below. The E3 Shadowless promotional red cheeked Pikachu had a very limited print run. The "E3" was printed in gold to the lower right of the picture of Pikachu.
9. Pikachu 1st Edition Base Set “E_ITION” No Stamp Error:
- This is an error not widely known to the Pokemon collecting world. During production of the Shadowless set, some Pikachu cards were printed with some letters of the 1st Edition symbol but the rest of the symbol is missing. All that shows on these errors are light shaded letters of “E_ITION” and the card is missing the “1” and the black circle around the 1. Some call this card the “Ghost Pikachu” or the “Phantom Pikachu” because of its ghostlike 1st Edition symbol. Its hard to tell in the picture below but look to the lower left of the picture of Pikachu and you can see the ghostlike letters.
10. Wartortle Unlimited Base Set Evolution Error:
- Newly updated 1/21/13! - On most Wartortle cards from the Unlimited Base Set, the picture in the top left corner shows Squirtle in the evolution box and instead the error card shows a picture of Wartortle in the evolution box. Cards printed with this error are in many different languages including English.
11. Pikachu 1st Edition Black Star Promo #1:
- During the production of the 1st Edition Jungle Series, some Black Star Pikachu #1 Promos got ran through with the Jungle Set. The actual Pikachu Black Star Promo #1 is not supposed to be 1st Edition. Some people might think that this card belongs higher in the list but I see them on eBay all the time and they are fairly easy to find.
12. Diglett “Sideways Fist” Base Set Error:
- During production some Diglett cards from the Unlimited Base Set were printed with the first attack’s energy symbol tilted sideways instead of up and down. This card doesn't get as much credit as it should, its pretty rare! The following information was given by Rusty at the CharizardAuthority: "The sideways fist issue, the cards originally are done 2 up on the sheet landscape direction. Then after the 1st round of revisions they are printed as "1 ups". 1 ups are done in the portrait direction. That is how the symbols ended up being printed sideways."
13. Pikachu 1st Edition Base Set Red Cheeks Error:
- The Shadowless “red cheeked” Pikachu is actually more common than people think. They are all over eBay and you can buy one for a few bucks. The 1st Edition red cheeked error is a lot rarer, and thus more valuable.
14. Butterfree “d” 1st Edition Jungle Set Error (Misprint):
- Some consider this card more of a misprint than an actual error but I have included it here because it’s a very popular and sought after card. During production of the 1st Edition Jungle Set, some Butterfree cards were printed with a bubble over the “1” in 1st Edition, making the appearance of a “d” rather than a 1.
15. Jungle Holos Missing Symbol Error:
- During production some of the Jungle holos were printed without the Jungle symbol. These holos sell for higher than the amount normal Jungle holos sell for. All 16 holos from the set all have the "no symbol" error.
16. Pikachu Base Set Shadowless Red Cheek Error:
- Just like the 1st Edition error, this card is the Shadowless red cheeked version and is worth much less than the 1st Edition Red Cheek Pikachu. This card could almost be a common error just because there are so many out there however they are still rare and worth more than the common cards below.
The errors above are examples of cards that were corrected immediately after the error was discovered, making the card very rare. On the flip side, some cards took a while before the error was caught, making the error card pretty common. There were a few cards caught by Wizards and corrected however they are VERY scarce. Below are a few examples of corrected errors that are extremely hard to find. These cards are ranked in the order of their rarity, just like above.
1. Blaine's Charizard - Gym Challenge Set Corrected Energy Symbol:
- The Blaine's Charizard error, found below in the common errors, was printed with a fighting energy symbol within the paragraph of the 1st attack instead of a fire symbol. This error went unnoticed for some time and many were printed making this error very common. When they caught and corrected the error, there were a VERY scarce amount of corrected Charizard's printed with the fire energy symbol within the paragraph instead.
2. Rocket's Minefield Gym Trainer - Gym Challenge Set Corrected Damage Counter Amount:
- The Rocket's Minefield Gym error, found below in the common errors, was printed with the original statement at the end of the paragraph, "If tails, put damage counters on that Pokemon". Well how many damage counters? It took a while for them to correct this error therefore making the card very common. They finally corrected the card by adding the number 2, "If tails, put 2 damage counters on that Pokemon".
3. Legendary Birds - Zapdos, Articuno, Moltres #21, #22, and #23 - Black Star Promos Corrected Artist:
- The Legendary Birds from the original 1-53 Black Star Promo set, #21, #22, and #23, were originally printed with the incorrect artist's name at the bottom, "Illus. Toshinao Aoki". These error cards were not corrected for some time, making the card very common. The corrected cards were printed with the correct artist's name, "Illus. Naoyo Kimora" and are much more rare than the original error.
Below is a list of what I believe to be common errors and they usually don't sell for much on eBay. Cards marked with "ALL" next to them were never corrected and ALL were errors. Please don't get upset here if you just found out that your HP50 Vulpix is actually worth just about nothing, they are very common as most cards on this list are. This list was found on Bulbapedia.
Base Set: Gyarados: ALL - A few Base Set Gyarados were printed with the "6/102" too far to the left.
Kakuna: ALL - This card has the word "length" repeated twice.
Bulbasaur: ALL - This card has the word "length" repeated twice.
Caterpie: ALL - A number of these cards cards have their HP's listed as "HP ##" instead of "## HP".
Metapod: ALL - A number of Metapod cards have their HP's listed as "HP ##" instead of "## HP".
Sandshrew: ALL - Sandshrew's attack says "this attack does nothing" while it's supposed to say "that attack does nothing".
Voltorb: ALL - This card refers to Poké Balls as their Japanese counterparts the Monster Balls.
Vulpix: ALL - A number of these cards have their HP's listed as "HP ##" instead of "## HP".
Water Energy: A number of these cards have no space between the margin and the water symbol, along with "ENERGY".
Select Base Set cards: Some Base Set cards had their Energy symbols not centered.
Jungle: 1st Edition Electrode: ALL - A number of Jungle Electrode have the image of Base Set Electrode.
Rapidash and Seaking: ALL - Seaking and Rapidash are Stage 1 Pokémon but the text tells the person playing the cards to "put XXX on the Stage 1 card".
Fossil: Holo Zapdos: A number of Fossil Holo Zapdos cards have a space for the evolution box punched out of the holographic foil, even though Zapdos is a Basic Pokémon. All of the 1st Edition Zapdos have this error, only some of the unlimited Zapdos have this error.
Team Rocket: Dark Golbat: ALL - Reads as "Pokémon.Apply"
Dark Arbok : ALL - Dark Arbok was first printed with extra zeros and the number three was accidentally entered so it was written as "©1999-23000 Wizards".
Holo Dark Dragonite: ALL - The attack cost symbols for Holo Dark Dragonite are not centered
Dark Golbat : ALL - The English Pokémon Power mentions "Apply Weakness and Resistance", while in the Master Rules Document, the Japanese Dark Golbat's Pokémon Power says "Don't apply Weakness and Resistance." There is also a lacking space between the words "Pokémon" and "Apply". (Reads "Pokémon.Apply")
Non-Holo Dark Vileplume: ALL - Non-holo Dark Vileplume have a weakness to Fighting instead of Fire.
Dark Rapidash: ALL - Dark Rapidash's stats lacks the word "Length".
Grimer: ALL - English Team Rocket's Grimer's Poison Gas attack puts Pokémon to sleep, although the Japanese version Poisons them.
Dark Raichu:ALL - Dark Raichu's Evolution Box is colored light gray instead of dark gray. Additionally, the card reads "Put Raichu on the Basic Pokémon" instead of "Put Dark Raichu on the Basic Pokémon". This wording error was fixed for the Legendary Collection reprint.
Gym Challenge: Misty's Seel: ALL - All prints of this card have a transparency error; there should not be a white space around Seel's tail.
Blaine's Charizard: A number of these cards have a Fighting-type symbol instead of the Fire-type symbol. (See "corrected errors" above)
Giovanni's Pinsir:ALL - Pinsir's "Snapping Pincers" attack is supposed to do 20+ damage and not 10+ damage.
Rocket's Minefield Gym: Early prints of this card do not mention how many damage counters are needed to put on a Pokémon. (See "corrected errors" above)
Neo Genesis: Focus Band: ALL - has a white bar below its picture, due to a presumed misalignment.
Meganium: ALL - The Pokémon Power title text is black instead of red.
Slowking and Typhlosion: ALL - These cards' damages are off the center.
Horsea: ALL - One of the attack cost energy symbols for its attack is oddly off.
Focus Band: ALL - The picture on the Focus Band has a white bar beneath it, apparently due to being improperly positioned during the card's design process.
Neo Discovery: Scizor: ALL - The attack's damage done is "20+" while it's supposed to be "20×".
Umbreon: ALL - The Psychic symbol in Umbreon's resistance is bigger than normal.
Kakuna: ALL - The copyright text of all other Neo Discovery cards is "©1995-2001", but for an unknown reason, this card's copyright is "©1995-2000".
Neo Revelation: Delibird: ALL - The energy cost for Delibird's attack is off the center.
Raichu: ALL - For an unexplained reason the "Put Raichu on the Basic Pokémon" text on the card is unnecessarily bold and italic.
Zubat: ALL - Zubat's resistance lacks the "-30".
Neo Destiny: Dark Croconaw: ALL - The card's Pokédex entry states that Croconaw has 49 teeth, but it only has 48.
Dark Exeggutor: ALL - There is an unnecessary letter C in Exeggutor's name.
Dark Haunter: ALL - Dark Haunter's "Call Back" attack's clause leaves out the word "opponent's".
Light Flareon: ALL - The "b" in "benched" is not capitalized.
Togepi: ALL - The "before applying Weakness and Resistance" text should be in italics.
Unown C: ALL - Unown C's "Chase" Pokémon Power adds an unnecessary "Apply Weakness and Resistance" even though the attack does not inflict damage.
Unown P: ALL - There is an extra space in the Basic Pokémon title on Unown P.
Gligar: ALL - The energy symbols on Gligar are not in the correct position.
Shining Tyranitar: ALL - The word "just" is spelled wrong. It is written as "hust".
Wizards Black Star 1 - 53 Promos: Meowth #10: ALL - The HP is nudged too far over to the left, and the attack cost symbols are much smaller than the normal cost.
Eevee #11: ALL - Promotional Eevee's Pokémon Power text lacks the accent mark (it's e instead of é).
Team Rocket's Meowth #18: ALL - Team Rocket's Meowth species is listed as "Scratchcat" instead of "Scratch Cat".
Marill #29: ALL - Its "Length" stat is listed as "Height" instead of "Length", its Water Gun attack is missing a Water energy symbol and its 20+ damage done is off the center.
Scyther #45: ALL - Scyther's game text in the parenthesis isn't in italics.
Mew #47: ALL - Mew's attack: "Psyshock" inflicts confusion instead of paralysis.
Celebi #50: ALL - The art is credited to "Hajime Kusajim," a misspelling of Hajime Kusajima.
SPECIAL THANKS TO RUSTY AT THE CHARIZARD AUTHORITY FOR YOUR GREAT INPUT!!!
FOR OTHER MISPRINTS, ONE OF A KIND ERRORS, AND OTHER VARIOUS CRAZY CARDS, CHECK OUT MY OTHER GUIDE BY CLICKING THE LINK BELOW!