e-Reader Protos

From ChainSwordCS's website, the mostly one person -driven video game encyclopedia.
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Crap how do I start... Uhh hi! I'm ChainSwordCS. I'm an avid Pokémon fan.
For some reason I'm interested in the e-Reader in particular, so I'm gonna write this stupid thing blog-post style!
But first...

What this page is not

What is outside the scope of my research this time?
Well, recently there was a multi-thousand dollar Kickstarter-ish campaign for a team to begin archiving e-Reader cards like these.
So why this page? Well I may have different scope than they do.
For one I have a lot less money. For two........

These stupid things are mostly out of my scope. Anything released to the public in an official capacity is off the table!
Also, I'm still working on the best way to do things in HTML...
So click on the image thumbnails to see / download the full resolution versions.

Let the games begin!

"For Position Only"

This time I stole info from unlimited_spaghetti aka @hazard24
and churlocker aka @funmonkey54
From the Elite Fourum
And this is not all the information, please check out the thread for yourself if you're interested!

History of the FPO cards

Just introduced to the Pokemon world in 2013 are the For Position Only (FPO) Test cards. Prior to the release of the Expedition E-Reader expansion, WOTC ran some of the rares through the printers and inserted them into unreleased packs for internal use only. The packs had the same artwork as the LEGENDARY Collection packs, as this was the most recent set and Expedition was not out yet, but they were never distributed outside of the design team. As these test packs were being destroyed, a former WOTC employee saved them from the shredder and kept them in his personal collection. He opened a few of the packs and left the rest sealed. They sat in storage for over a decade until he decided to sell off some of the extra stuff he had lying around. When this happened, a whole new collectible was introduced into the Pokemon community. The cards inside are much different from the cards that were eventually released within the Expedition Base Set expansion. Below is a video of the cards inside the packs:

Description of FPO cards

Below are 600 dpi scans of each of the FPO cards. Within the FPO set you can note many differences from the official releases. In the bottom-left corner of each card is the word "Medium" printed in small, black type. "FOR POSITION ONLY" is obviously printed across the art of the card as well. On the Charizard FPO, "HP" is missing after the "100" value in the top-right corner. While the former two differences relate strictly to the testing stage of the prints, the absence of "HP" could have been an error if it made it to print, similar to past errors with missing values and text.

Regarding Manhole

After selling some of the original sets, The Charizard Authority realized that the For Position Only set had an eighth card: the manhole. Originally thought to be curious additions and nothing more, the manhole sports a traditional Pokemon card back making it a novelty in its own right. Upon further examination, the key "For Position Only" white lettering can be found across the card, just as it is present on each of the other Pokemon included in the set. Because the art does not provide a high contrast background, as in the case of the other cards in this set, it is much more difficult to identify the bold, white FPO lettering. This is the reason for The Charizard Authority originally neglecting the card as he marketed the sets.

Count of the cards

Total FPO cards: 237 (10 still probably in sealed booster packs as of 2016)

"Sample" Set

These may have weird release history... Here's a list of what's turned up.

Pre-March 2001 Proto Set

Not a lot of info to put here yet... Not a lot of solid sources other than photos we have our hands on.

Sold on Yahoo! Auctions Japan in 2014:

Numbered Cards
These have a pink number below the artwork.
They each have 4 dot codes.
They all use Neo Genesis artwork. Gold Bordered Cards
These each have 2 dot codes. The background for the dot codes is yellow, in contrast with the gold border.
These all use old artwork
Press Conference Cards
These cards are more finalized, with two dot codes and unique artwork.
These were shown off at the GBA press conference in Tokyo March 7, 2001.

Space World 2001 Sample Set

These cards were used as demonstration at Space World 2001.
These cards have not resurfaced since the event.
Some have a hole punched in thr top right corner.
They all look pretty final, but have "Sample" printed in the bottom right corner of the card.

"Match Prints"

There are a lot of them, they are near identical to the final product, they're easily faked, etc.
They are proper prototypes of the cards, but they are honestly not too special beyond that.
But mainly there are a lot of them which makes them less special in my eyes...
So let's do a rollcall of how many legitimate ones are known to exist!

[To be continued lol]