Bad news for collectors and pop star fans, as The Pokémon Company has clarified that the three special cards featuring animated versions of musicians Post Malone, Katy Perry and J Balvin only exist as promotional gifts and will not be released to the public.
As reported by Bleeding Cool, the website for the 25th anniversary of the trading card game was recently updated to state that Post Malone V, J Balvin V and Katy Perry V - which features the artists performing alongside a Dragonite and Butterfree, Charizard and Pikachu, respectively - would not be normally printed.
That doesn’t mean they weren’t printed. In fact, one of each card was gifted to their real-world counterparts to thank them for their collaboration on Pokémon 25: The Album, another part of the Pokémon Trading Card Game’s anniversary celebration.
“This special Pokemon TCG card is for promotional use only. J. Balvin was gifted with a printed version of this card as a special thank-you for her collaboration and contribution to the program. Currently, there are no plans to print this card for consumer use or purchase,” the site reads. Identical text can be found below Perry’s and Malone’s cards, as well.
Fans first spied the cards in October of this year, and the images of the card trio were accompanied by photos of the printed version. This led many to speculate whether or not they would be included with the album’s physical release or through some other promotional method during the year-long celebration. Keen-eyed players remained skeptical due to the disparate set numbers along the bottom-left of each card, which matched each musician’s birthday but not any existing or planned batch of trading cards.
This means the pop artists hold the only existing versions of the cards bearing their likeness, for now. The Pokémon Company can always decide to reprint them later, but until that point they’ll likely remain coveted items for collectors. Hard-to-find cards, such as first edition and limited printings, make up a big chunk of the most expensive Pokémon trading cards. The past two years has seen an uptick of these treasures popping up at auctions, where they are regularly sold for ludicrous sums of money.
Pokémon’s 25th anniversary has been rolling out celebratory cards and events all year, from classic starters packaged in First Partner Packs and the return of the (far superior) chunky Pikachu to reprints of classic legendaries and a Pikachu V-Union card with 25 of the iconic yellow rodent stuffed into a single frame.
Pokémon 25: The Album launched on October 15th and obviously did not include the pop star V-cards, meaning players will have to hope one of them hawks it online or offers to trade it for, say, a shadowless first-edition holo Charizard. Good luck!