Hello everyone! Welcome back to the collecting article series here at ChannelFireball, written by yours truly. In my first few articles I covered some important topics ranging from grading cards all the way up to a nearly million-dollar Pokemon trade! While those were very informative and fun to write, today is going to be a more casual topic. In these unprecedented times, the holiday season is truly something I think everyone needed. Despite not being able to come together as people normally would, that holiday cheer is very much alive and a nice way to end the pretty disappointing year that 2020 has been. With that being said, I am going to cover some of the best winter themed Pokemon items, including cards and more! These have some of the most breathtaking and unique artwork that Pokemon has to offer – getting to review them will make for a nice, relaxing piece. Without further ado, let’s get things started!
Best Winter Themed Pokemon Items
Time to take a look at some of the best Winter themed Pokemon cards out there!
This is the first card on the list and a great way to start things off!
While this is simply an uncommon card to come out of Expedition, its artwork is extremely unique and it takes some Japanese promo cards to contest its quality. That being said, the Flaaffy is old and has sought after artwork, but it is not expensive nor hard to obtain. This makes it even easier for Pokemon fans around the world to appreciate the artwork as much as possible, which is a nice thing to see.
This has got to be the best English card for representing this time of year. It shows Flaaffy sitting next to a Christmas tree with presents under it, something none of the other English artworks have come close to. It could be even better with a snowy background, easily done via window or simply an outdoor setting. Despite that, this card has got to be on this list and I am a huge fan of the artwork.
Terrakion Legendary Treasures
This card is unique for two reasons. For starters, it is actually the only regular holo card on this list! The rest of the cards can only achieve a holo by being a promo card with an irregular holo pattern or the reverse holo version of an otherwise non holo card. Secondly, this is the only large Pokemon in this article! Terrakion is a big and tough Pokemon, while the rest of the Pokemon in this article are smaller and more playful looking. It is just cool to see Pokemon of all kinds out there enjoying the snow. Terrakion is out in a blizzard, but it seems to be happy about it because it’s smiling in the artwork!
Delibird HeartGold & SoulSilver, Boundaries Crossed and Great Encounters
This is the first of two Pokemon in this article that are clearly come of the most prolific cards Pokemon when it comes to winter themed artwork and while each artwork is similar, they are all incredible examples of what this article is looking at.
All three of these are fantastic examples of very low-cost cards spouting some amazing artwork, as generally artwork like this is going to be on older cards.
These are the same Pokemon and part of Delibird’s shtick is that it is always carrying a sack of presents, which makes it very easy to place on this list and also quite difficult to have large difference’s in the artwork of each card. With that being said, all three of these Delibird cards feature Delibird outside in the snow, carrying the aforementioned sack of presents. Delibird looks very pleased with himself doing this, so I think everyone should take a page out of his book when the holiday season rolls around again, it is the most wonderful time of the year after all!
One way to upgrade the Delibird from Boundaries Crossed is with the League Challenge promo versions! You can get yourself a first place stamped holographic version if you’d like. Not only does that version have a little bit of prestige to it, but holographic artwork tends to look nicer as well. This is certainly up to the eye of the beholder, but I wanted to mention that there are trophy card versions of Delibird from his snowboarding days are out there.
My favorite of the three is the HGSS version, as the artwork takes up the entire allotted space and just consumes you. It is just very well done, especially in comparison to the other Delibirds here, which are just very simple pieces.
One final note on Delibird is that there are cards out there featuring Delibird in areas with no snow, meaning that not every Delibird would make for a good inclusion in this article. In fact, I think I got a majority of the ones that would!
Snowy Castform Delta Species, Hidden Legends and Legends Awakened
Following up the first winter favorite, these variations of Castform are also great examples of beautifully done winter related artwork. These are also very similar in look, but they do have a bit more variance between them in comparison to the Delibirds.
These cards are a tad more valuable than the cards we have discussed thus far, especially in reverse holo, but they are all still very affordable, especially in comparison to the more sought-after cards from their respective eras.
Each artwork features the Castform posing outside in the snow, all of which have slight differences to them, but the snow is still coming down on all three cards. This is a pretty unique feature to have, as even the Delibird cards discussed earlier cannot make that claim! Unlike some of the other cards on this list, the attention to detail in the background of the cards is very apparent, as each card leaves nothing to be desired.
I just wanted to mention that my personal favorite of the three is the one to come out of Legends Awakened, which is a huge achievement for the card due to the age difference in these sets. While there are some exceptions, such as this one, older sets tend to have much better artwork in my opinion and I know a lot of collectors agree with me. This is especially true with the WOTC era, as that is generally regarded to have the best artwork.
I have to say that the Delta Species and Hidden Legends versions have reverse holo forms that add to their eye appeal even further, so those is worth taking a look at as well. The Delta Species reverse holo features golden text for the card’s name, which is always an upgrade when it comes to appeal and collectability. As for the Hidden Legends card, the reverse holo pattern means a very nice foil pattern on the holo, something that really boosts the artwork, along with a holographic water droplet in the background of the text portion of the card. These are not necessary to appreciate the fantastic artwork each of these cards have, but they certainly don’t hurt the experience either.
Another thing I wanted to mention about these Castform is that their other variations are great for different times of the year as well! This means you will almost certainly be hearing about them in future articles, as I expect to be doing other articles like this one in the future.
Alolan Vulpix Guardians Rising
Here we finally have something a little special about this card. Just like the cards before it in this article, the original release of this card was just as a normal set card. However, it was later released as a Toys“R”Us promo card, featuring a holo pattern and a Toys“R”Us stamp on the card. The artwork is absolutely incredible and Alolan Vulpix is honestly a cute Pokemon on its own, but I have to say that the Toys“R”Us promo takes it the extra mile.
Floatzel Great Encounters (Countdown Calendar Promo)
Wrapping up the English cards I am going to discuss the entire line of the countdown calendar promo cards. These were released in 2008 as part of the Pokemon countdown calendar, which is the only official advent calendar ever released. It was somewhat difficult to find right off the bat, as it was only available for purchase in Canada and some countries in Europe. This means finding one nowadays is next to impossible, unless you want to give up one of your arms or legs.
Anyways, you would receive one of the promos for each day of the calendar, until the last day where you would get to open a regular Diamond & Pearl booster pack. As you may have already predicted, due to the cards being stored in a box like they were, the cards are very difficult to find in near mint condition, as they often came out of the box with damage.
These cards are all cards that were released in a regular set and have the same artwork, but each card features a holographic snowflake stamp! This turns even the most basic artworks into winter themed cards, though I will say that some of the cards had pretty nice artworks to begin with, as shown in the Floatzel above. With that being said, there are indeed 22 other cards in this set, so feel free to take a look at those online!
So, as shown above, there are a few great English artworks for the winter season, but the real winners here are the Japanese cards I am about to discuss. These Japanese promos just have absolutely incredible artwork and I am sure you will agree with me once you take a look at them.
Falkner’s Delibird (Japanese)
Here we have another Delibird card, certainly a winter favorite at this point, but this time in Japanese! This is also the rarest of the bunch, as it is not just a common card to come out of a heavily distributed English set.
The VS Series that this card came out of was meant to be a Japanese exclusive release, but some English variations did pop up. These are error cards and are extremely rare, but they do exist. Anyways, as for the set itself, it was released 2001 and was considered to be an extension of the Gym Heroes and Gym Challenge sets. This is because it featured similar artwork, Johto Gym Leaders, updated artwork for the Kanto Gym Leaders and the Elite Four from the video games Gold and Silver.
Not only is Delibird carrying a sack of presents in the snow, but the artwork on this card is very well done. It has a cartoonish yet classy look to it and I am a fan of that.
Pikachu Jumbo Promo (Japanese)
Unfortunately, this card was only available as a jumbo card, which is weird because it was already a Japanese exclusive. That has got to make it the most unique card on this list, as that is pretty strange. Though, if anyone says they don’t like the card being so big, just tell them it is easier to appreciate the artwork this way!
This card, as previously mentioned, is a Japanese exclusive that was only released in Jumbo form. It was given out as a promo card at Toys“R”Us in December of 2014, which explains its stamp.
This card has got to be the rarest and most valuable out of the ones in this article, as it is currently selling for around $65!
Pikachu is not alone here, though, as the artwork also features Treecko, Torchic and Mudkip! All of them are holding presents and clearly excited about the holidays. In my opinion, it is always cool to see other Pokemon show up in a card’s artwork, as it feels that is not done nearly enough and it tends to be well done when it does happen.
This is one of two winter themed Pikachu that I was able to locate when doing my research, though I am sure more exist out there.
Sapporo’s Pikachu (Japanese)
Following up the first Pikachu of the article, here we have the second one! Though this Pikachu is an especially popular one, as the card also features Popplio and Alolan Vulpix in the forefront of the artwork. In the background, Eevee, Fennekin and Piplup are hanging out as well. You already know I am a fan of other Pokemon appearing in the background and this card does it well!
Continuing the artwork discussion, this is the only card I know of where Pokemon are actually playing in the snow. Not only are they playing, but they are actually building other Pokemon and Pokemon related items out of the snow!
Another note, this card features a Pokemon Center stamp on the right side! It has the three mainly featured Pokemon on the stamp as well, which is a cool thing to see. This is because it was released as a promotional card in Japan for the opening of Pokemon Center Sapporo in December of 2016. Anyone in Japan who made a large enough purchase during the promotional period received one.
This card has a lot going on, but it is very festive and well done. It is my personal favorite of the two Pikachu cards on this list and definitely a contender for my overall favorite.
- Plasma Freeze – The entire set has solid artwork for wintertime, as every Pokemon in the set are surrounded by frozen ice and similar scenes.
- Cryogonal, Glaceon and the Vanilluxe evolution line are all great Pokemon for this time of year as well! They are all some sort of frozen. Cryogonal is literally a snowflake.
A couple notes I wanted to wrap up the card section with here, just to help tie a nice bow on it.
- There are plenty of other Pokemon cards that feature a snow background of some kind and those might be some people’s favorites and that’s okay! I just wanted to include the ones I felt had the best artwork or were otherwise connected to this time of year.
- As already expressed above, certain Pokemon have multiple cards with artwork that is great for this time of year. Some of which I felt needed to be included due to how perfect there are, but I am sure you could find some other artworks for Pokemon like Alolan Vulpix that could have made their way in here.
Other (Official) Merchandise
Now that we have covered the card portion of things, there are some other items that I wanted to include in this article. They are still official Pokemon merchandise and are certainly worth discussing.
Pokemon Center Holiday Greeting Cards
The Japanese greeting cards I have seen in the past are actually what inspired this entire article! Ironically, I was unable to find any of those that I could confirm as authentic, but I know they are out there. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Pokemon Center sold greeting cards themselves that matched the artwork quality of the ones I remember. Japanese exclusives tend to have unmatched artwork, so it was very nice to see high quality artwork on the very accessible holiday greeting cards on the Pokemon Center website.
The card shown above is the 2020 card, which I chose because I like the artwork and wanted to use the most current year for my current example, just so that everyone could get a feel for what is currently available. When it comes to their greeting card line, they actually release several different designs each year, so you will have a plethora to choose from. Older years may be more difficult to obtain, as they are not readily available on the Pokemon Center website, but I am sure one could still do it without much of a hassle.
Yearly Pokemon Center Christmas Poster
These are similar to the greeting cards in terms of artistic style, but there are some differences. Obviously, the art is going to be appreciated in a different way, as they are intended for different uses and different in size. Past that, though, they are actually very similar!
Despite their different in size, both the posters and the greeting cards are packed edge to edge with beautiful Pokemon artwork. It is a refreshing feeling as well, because these are truly artwork that can be appreciated for what it is and not just a part of a Pokemon card.
Each year, the Pokemon Center releases their official Christmas poster, which means there are several to choose from. There are less options available than the greeting cards, though, because there is only one released each year. They are all absolutely incredible though and I am sure you could obtain the previously released ones without much of a hassle.
I chose the 2018 one as my example because it is my favorite one and it is cool to be able to compare the difference in style over the years, as you can compare It to the 2020 Christmas card above.
2017 Pikachu Pokemon Center Christmas Plush
Wrapping up the merchandise section and the article as a whole actually, we have the 2017 Pokemon Center Christmas Pikachu Plush.
This is a different item than the rest of the list, as it is not just an artwork to appreciate, but it still fits nicely into the article and everything I wanted to cover. It is, in fact, a Pikachu dressed for holiday season success!
This Pikachu is clearly in the holiday spirit, as he has actually turned into a Christmas tree himself! This is just the theme of this Pikachu and there are other Christmas themed plushies from over the years out there, so don’t worry if this one is not your favorite! There are plushies released for each season every year.
To my surprise, there is actually a lot of winter themed Pokemon merchandise! With that being said, there are plenty of additional items out there, but I wanted to draw everyone’s attention to some of my personal favorites that I discovered when looking around.
One final bonus point I wanted to include here, is that there are a lot of unofficial winter themed Pokemon wallpapers, posters and things of the like available online. They would not be a collectible like the items shown above, but they would still make for a great way to get in the holiday spirit and enjoy the world of Pokemon.
That is going to be it for today, everyone! I know this article was a change of pace from the more informative tone I was going with for my first few pieces, but that was intentional as I believe fun content can be just as valuable for some readers. It is the holiday season after all and the perfect time for this article to be written. Speaking of which, if this article seems to be well received, I intend on doing similar articles for summertime and Halloween, as both of those have a nice array of artwork as well! With that being said, feel free to let me know your thoughts on this article, as feedback does affect my future topics. In addition, if you have anything you really want to read about, you can drop a comment down below and I will most likely add it to my long list of future article topics. I will be back next month with some more collecting content, but until then I hope everyone enjoys the holiday season and the world of Pokemon!