What Was the First Pokemon Card?

By Natalie David

Although he is Pokemon No. 65, Alakazam graces the first Pokemon card in the American version of the Pokemon Trading Card Game. Numbered 1 of 102 cards in the original Base Set, Alakazam is the first card in the American version of the Pokemon card game. An original, near-mint card from the first edition is valued near $35, though the card has been reprinted twice in later expansions of the game.

History

The Alakazam 1/102 card from the Base Set was released by Wizards of the Coast in December 1998, well prior to Nintendo's takeover of the game in 2003. The card was also reprinted outside of Japan in the Base Set 2 and Legendary Collection card sets. The Base Set 2 edition was released in 2000 and the Legendary Collection edition was released in 2002.

Features

A Psychic type, stage 2 card, Alakazam is a level 42 Pokemon with 80 health points and an attack of 30. Its main attack is the Confuse Ray, which is dependent on the player flipping a coin. If the coin lands heads up, the defending Pokemon is "Confused."

Identification

Alakazam is card number 1/102 from the base set. The card features a yellow border and an illustration of Alakazam by artist Ken Sugimori.

Benefits

Using the Alakazam card's Pokemon Power ability, the player can move one damage counter from one of the Pokemon as long as that Pokemon is not killed by that damage.

Misconceptions

Although Alakazam is the first Pokemon card in America, there were earlier editions and versions released in Japan. The Vending Machine cards, released by the Media Factory in Japan, were released in March, June and November of 1998. These cards, however, are unnumbered.

About the Author

Natalie David is a freelance writer and music journalist living in Atlanta. Since 2002, her work has appeared online or in print for SPIN, Beautiful/Decay, Athens Blur, StereoSubversion and Lost At Sea. Before pursuing freelance work full-time, David was also the assistant editor for The AutoPILOT, a magazine for general aviation enthusiasts.