The Pokémon card game’s upcoming 25th Anniversary Collection set will include new variants of some of the TCG’s most popular Pikachu cards.
The Japanese expansion is due for release this October as part of the 25th anniversary celebrations, and will feature a number of brand new Pikachu cards as well as returning favourites. (Thanks, PokéBeach.)
Three of the newly-revealed Pikachu cards are remakes of iconic cards from the game’s long history, including promo cards Surfing Pikachu and Flying Pikachu, along with the Pikachu from the earliest first-edition Base Set - often fondly referred to as “chubby Pikachu” by fans.
The variants will showcase brand new artwork based on the original cards, with the new chubby Pikachu featuring full-body art from the card’s original illustrator and veteran Pokémon TCG artist Mitsuhiro Arita. A number of bug Pokémon now make a cameo in the card’s forest background.
The cards’ HP and attacks have also been updated to reflect the card game’s shift in power over the years. For example, Surfing Pikachu’s Surf move has increased in cost from two to three water energy, but now deals 150 damage rather than the original 30. Its health has similarly been multiplied from 50 HP to 200 HP.
Meanwhile, Flying Pikachu - who appears suspended by balloons - has seen the damage of its Fly move multiplied up to 120 from 30, with its HP rising to 190 from the earlier 40. Base Set Pikachu remains the closest to its original form, only seeing its HP rise by 20 points.
Both the new Flying Pikachu and Surfing Pikachu will be Pokémon V cards - indicating their increased power and health, but rewarding two prize cards to an opponent when knocked out. The two cards will also see accompanying VMAX variants - based on the super-sized Gigantamax and Dynamax Pokémon in recent video games Sword and Shield - featuring full-card artwork and even stronger stats.
Joining the three remakes are two brand new Pikachu cards. Pikachu V-UNION is a celebration of the electric mouse featuring 25 different Pikachu variations illustrated by 25 different artists from across the Pokémon TCG. The artists include Arita and Atsuko Nishida, credited as the original designer of Pikachu (as well as Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle).
The second new card to be confirmed for the set is Pikachu V, a more powerful version of standard Pikachu featuring full-body art.
An extra Pikachu will make an appearance in the 25th Anniversary set’s promo booster pack, given to those who buy four 25th Anniversary Collection boosters from Pokémon Center stores in Japan.
The promo pack will feature one of 25 different cards, all of which are reprints of famous Pokémon cards from the game’s lifetime. The Pikachu included will be Birthday Pikachu, a promo card designed to be given as a gift - it even features a space to write the recipient’s name and features a unique ability that does more damage on the player’s birthday.
If that wasn’t enough Pikachu for you, a separate Golden Box releasing for the set will include four more Pikachu (Pikachus? Pikachi?), including a variant of Pikachu V with alternate artwork and reprints of three other cards.
The 25th Anniversary Collection is due to release for the Pokémon TCG in Japan on October 22nd. If the card game’s current state is anything to go by, expect these cards to be fetching ridiculous prices at auction before the year is out.