During the Sword & Shield era, the Pokémon TCG has released at least one special expansion every year. A special expansion is a set of cards that does not include the current era's title in its name and is often directly themed to a certain topic. Another feature of special expansions is that they come only in set-specific products rather than booster boxes and individual packs. For example, a main series set would be Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance and Sword & Shield – Lost Origin, while a special set would be Shining Fates, Celebrations, and the topic of this new spotlight series, the Pokémon GO expansion. Released on July 1st, 2022, this special set was made in partnership with Niantic Labs, the mobile developer behind the iconic game Pokémon GO. The set adapts and pays homage to certain elements from the game while also continuing current elements of the TCG, including VSTARs, Radiant Pokémon, Alternate Arts, and more. Follow me through a journey through this set as we appreciate the artwork, discuss the card's place in the set, and talk about what certain elements of the expansion may imply for the future of the Pokémon TCG. Today, we focus on a special card featuring Ditto.
Artist Misa Tsutsui illustrates this holographic Ditto which recreates the screen in Pokémon GO in which Ditto reveals that it has disguised itself as another species. The Pokémon TCG took this homage to the game a step further with a truly creative idea. Ditto cards are actually disguised as other cards. If you open a pack of this set and pull a reverse holo Bidoof, Numel, or Spinarak, look in the bottom left corner of the card. If you see a Ditto icon, you can peel the front layer of the card off… because it's a sticker. The holographic Ditto card will be revealed below it. This is the only way to obtain the Ditto from this set, which I think is perhaps the coolest thing that the Pokémon Company has done in 2022.
Stay tuned for the continuing journey through Pokémon TCG: Pokémon GO. Next time, the spotlight continues with more cards from the main section of this themed expansion.