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Prime's Thoughts

Forget Beckett, TPCi Knows How to Make a Pokemon Magazine!

Rating: 2 votes, 4.50 average.

Pokemon Official Magazine: Special Edition
Premiere Issue - 66 Pages

I've been a fan of Pokemon since the release of Red and Blue and I've seen and read every Pokemon-related magazine on the market. There have been good ones, bad ones, and just pure ugly ones. After the eventual drop in popularity of Pokemon, most of those magazines disappeared, especially any having to do with the Trading Card Game. The only Pokemon related magazine I can find in my area is Beckett's Pokemon magazine. To sum up my thoughts on the magazine quickly, the magazine is poorly designed, poorly constructed, has a price guide that takes up half the magazine, and has pages of non-Pokemon content near the back of the it. Simply put, the only reason I give the magazine any time of day is because it is the only Pokemon Magazine on the market (at least in my area).

Not anymore.

I'm kind of lying, because I did have to buy this magazine online, but it was sold in stores in the United States, so I think my area just didn't get any.

Now there is a new Pokemon Magazine on the market, and this one isn't created by some washed up company that produces magazines for every kiddie game, this magazine is produced and created by the company that makes the Pokemon TCG outside of Japan, The Pokemon Company: International. If anything, that gives the magazine some credit before even looking at it. You know that the magazine isn't going to contain Yu-gi-oh or Chaotic stories and images. This magazine will contain 100% Pokemon TCG related content. It's fantastic to see a company care about the game so much to produce their own magazine. I don't see Yu-gi-oh or Magic: The Gathering doing that.

Before even opening the cover, I notice that the magazine comes with 2 cool items: a pack of the newest series of Pokemon TCG cards and a fullsize poster for the new set. I absolutely love that the magazine comes with a pack of cards. The magazine is only $6.99, and a pack of cards is roughly $4, so you're only paying $3 for the magazine, which is a STEAL. I want to buy another magazine just to get another pack and possibly give the extra magazine and poster to a friend, especially since the magazine has another super useful element to it inside of it, but I will get to that area in a second.

The cover is beautiful and made out of a nice paper stock. There is so much content in this issue that there is something interesting in every nook and cranny on the cover. For some reason, the magazine seems larger than regular magazines, but it may just be my eyes playing games on me.

I open up the cover and straight away there is interesting content, the content being about the reveal of Arceus, the Pokemon. I notice a lot of interesting and unique information as I read through the magazine. There is information and pictures about what happened at the Pokemon TCG World Championships in California in 2009. The winners of each age group and all of the WC theme decks being produced were showcased along with some pictures of the TCG and VG events.

There is a section that showcases all of the different Arceus cards in the Platinum: Arceus set. I'm not as interested in the cards, but I know many younger players who will die when they see that section. They already explode when they pull a new Arceus out of a pack. This article showcases ALL of them!

A competitive article is showcases after the Arceus article; the topic being the top 5 cards from each of the Platinum sets. At first, I had my doubts about the accuracy of the choices, because all the Beckett Pokemon magazines BUTCHER the choices. No, I don't think Slaking is one of the most popular cards from Platinum, Beckett. No elaborated explanation will change my mind. TPCi's choices were much more closer to the truth and in some cases, spot on. For Platinum, the top 5 are Shaymin Lv.X (land form), Weavile G, Palkia G (both regular and Lv.X), Broken Time-Space and Cyrus' Conspiracy. For Rising Rivals, the top 5 are Flygon, Flygon Lv.X, Gallade 4 Lv.X, Luxray GL Lv.X, and Infernape GL Lv.X. For Supreme Victors, the top 5 are Blaziken FB Lv.X, Charizard G Lv.X, Absol G Lv.X, Rayquaza C Lv.X and Cyrus' Initiative. For Arceus, the top 5 were Gengar lv.X, Charizard, Tangrowth Lv.X, Expert Belt, and Spiritomb. I think the choices for all the sets, perhaps excluding Supreme Victors were very good choices. Supreme Victors had one good pick, which was Blaziken FB Lv.X, but I think the rest weren't great choices and perhaps were just popular (collecting) cards. Overall, a fantastic 4 page article that puts any list Beckett created to shame.

What follows this article is something I was hoping would be created since the release of the Platinum gallery booklet that came with the Toxicroak G promo. The next article showcases a scan of every single card from every Platinum set. The original Platinum booklet was super useful, but this is 4 sets, not just 2, so this is super duper useful. I kind of liked the size of the booklet better, and the larger scans of the images, but I can still read the attacks on these scans and it's still very useful to have all these scans together in a printed document that I can take to my local Pokemon League and whip out if I ever need to speak about a card but don't have it right in front of me. SUPER useful content here.

The scans take up a good portion of the magazine, roughly 35 pages, but at least there isn't a lame and often out of proportion price guide taking up that space. I'm very happy to do that trade.

Closing in on the end of the magazine, there are a few random articles. The new Pokemon Mystery Dungeon DS game is explored with some pictures and information. Pokemon Rumble for the Nintendo Wii is shown, and an interesting history of the Pokemon handheld video games is showcased.

After that, there is an informative and useful pokemon tcg card breakdown page, where each area of a Pokemon card is broken down and explained. HP, Retreat Cost, etc. This is useful information for the Pokemon fans that may not know how to play the Pokemon TCG, but I think it deserves it's own section possibly along with other useful TCG information needed to learn the game.

There is a "rare treats" page that showcases all of the super rares from the platinum sets. It mentions the shiny pokemon, the rotom forms, and the arceus forms. For all the people that try to "collect 'em all", this is very useful information.

There is two pages about the Global Trading System (GTS) found in the Pokemon DS games, and the last page is a Pokemon Arceus and the Jewel of Life trivia quiz. I personally didn't watch the movie, so I fail horribly here, but this is a great addition to the magazine for the fans of Pokemon that may not be a fan of the TCG, even though the magazine is primarily TCG based.

For conclusion, I will rate the magazine by what I felt was good, what could use some work, and what I personally felt was left out of the magazine that I'd like to see.

  • Most of the content. The articles were informative, and I enjoyed even the articles that weren't directed exactly at my level of player.
  • The design of the magazine. I really like the design of the magazine minus a few borders or text boxes. The magazine is easily to skim, and flip through. The quality of the paper and images is great.
  • Provide better decklists, or provide advanced levels of decklists. There is an Arceus decklist in the magazine that is quite plain and very beginner-based. This is fine for beginners but I feel left out because there isn't an intermediate or high level decklist listed along with it. A beginner decklist is great to show a new player how to start out, but we also need to tell them how they can improve their deck over time and what kind of decklist they should work towards completing to become more competitive in their area.
  • Possibly double-check your top picks. I think for 3/4 of the sets, TPCi picked some great cards as their top 5 cards, but for Supreme Victors, I feel the ball was dropped. Charizard G Lv.X, Absol G Lv.X, Rayquaza C Lv.X, and Cyrus' Initiative really didn't leave much of a mark on the game unlike influential cards like Gengar Lv.X, Luxray GL Lv.X, and Palkia G Lv.X which were chosen from the other sets. I think a great tool for future articles would be to utilize information about what decks did well at premier events. Once you know what won the majority of events, you can trace back which sets they are in. I think this would give a better idea of which cards were the most influenctial cards from each set.
  • A flyer to subscribe to the magazine! I know I would instantly drop 100% retail price for a year's subscription for this magazine if TPCi let me. I am sure I am not alone and I know TPCi could make some decent money off of this magazine. I really hope there are more isses of this magazine because I totally loved it, and I don't like to see a good idea tossed aside.
Overall, I am completely, utterly blown away by this magazine. Were there areas I would improve? Sure, but this was a step up on any Pokemon-related magazine to come out within the last 5 years...EASILY. Thank you TPCi for designing and distributing a magazine to the fans. I know I am not alone with I say, THANK YOU, we appreciate it a lot!


  1. gallade's Avatar
    Seriously though, everything is repeated twice, like all the card lists and such. Beckett is getting better.
  2. WittyNameHere's Avatar
    Beckett STILL doesn't give free packs. I'd like Pokemon in SCRYE back more. This is Ok, at least I'm not loooking at ridiculous prices for Charizard G X.
  3. gallade's Avatar
    What? They only priced charizard as >9000$ (bet you did not see that one coming).
  4. Meesie6x6's Avatar
    cool, the dutch official pokemon magazine, is also pretty cool:
    - a lot of puzzles.
    - scoop of the new set or existing set cards (they had HGSS scans in the magazine before they were on line!!!)
    - how to catch certain pokemon or something of that sort in the VGC part.
  5. bulbasnore's Avatar
    Was there a second issue? Can you subscribe or do you have to hunt it down at newstands?
  6. drpokey's Avatar
    You're SSSSSSOOOOOO right. say good buy to BECKETT POkemon, and Hello to TPCI