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Pokémon TCG Pocket Quietly Fixes a Longtime Pokémon Card Error

A new game called
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, allowing players to open booster packs, collect cards, and play a simplified version of the game. While the cards shown in the flashy new trailer look just like real-life Pokémon cards, there’s one key difference: the card back is finally fixed.


If you take a look at the card-back design of any US Pokémon card, you’ll notice that the Poké Ball is opening from the wrong side. The button is supposed to be attached to the upper, red half of the ball, but on Pokémon cards it’s the opposite. But in Pokémon TCG Pocket, the Poké Ball now opens the way it should.


Back in 2019, this observation went viral on social media when
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. It seems as though most people never noticed it despite seeing the card back countless times over the years. TAHK0 speculated on why the error may have happened, writing, “Poke Balls went through a lot of early variations, with everything from the button placement changing, to how it opens differing, to even being depicted with the white on top.” It could be that an early Poké Ball design actually did open like it does on the card back, but when the design was eventually changed to the opposite way, they forgot to update it on the card back before going to print, and it remains that way to this day.

Curiously, that’s not the story for the Japanese version of the Pokémon card back, which sports a different design than the US one. As TAHK0 points out in his thread, the error was fixed on the Japanese card back in the early 2000s. Why it wasn’t also fixed for the US version is anyone’s guess. Perhaps they wanted to keep all Pokémon cards uniform to ensure tournament legality, as a deck with both designs would be considered marked cards.


While the physical Pokémon card back remains reversed, Pokémon TCG Pocket shows us what a corrected version looks like. The new iteration appears to be a mix of both the US and Japanese designs. It has the swirling background of the US version and the centralized Poké Ball and different colors of the Japanese one.

What do you think of the new, corrected Pokémon card back design? Did you even notice it was wrong to begin with? Admit it in the comments.

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