See How POKÉMON Cards Are Designed and Made

Pokémon is the world’s most popular trading card game, inspiring fanatics around the world. A video showing the making of the cards is a rare look at the process from start to finish. Who knew so many people and steps are involved? It starts with spreadsheets, artwork, and editors making sure everything is correct. Then there’s designing the packaging, the logo, and the naming. The printing process requires color checks, foil lamination, and cutting. And people have to sign off on things at every step along the way. It’s a lot of work for small pieces of paper, but Pokémon fans have long known that the cards are much more than that.

We learned about the video on Kotaku. Apparently it was intended as an internal video for employees of The Pokémon Company and the printing shop. Luckily they knew better than to include any proprietary information in it that could help forgers make better cards. Highlights from the assembly line video include seeing discarded names for the “Ultra Prism” set. It could have been “Prismatic Parallels” or “Prism Prison,” among many other options.

Two hands rest on a sheet of Pokémon cards on a desk

The massive printing press can make 26.62 million cards per day. The video ends with a shot of the warehouse, stacked deep with those millions of Pokémon cards ready for shipping. It gives real arc of the covenant vibes from Indiana Jones. Indeed, something valuable is hiding among all those boxes.

The warehouse full of millions of Pokémon cards boxed up and ready to be shipped

Millions of people around the world covet Pokémon cards. When McDonalds included them in Happy Meals, things quickly got out of hand. A rare Pikachu card recently sold at auction for $900,000.

Featured Image: PokeBeach

Melissa is Nerdist’s science & technology staff writer. She also moderates “science of” panels at conventions and co-hosts Star Warsologies, a podcast about science and Star Wars. Follow her on Twitter @melissatruth. 

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