Shortly after the October 1996 of the Pokemon TCG in Japan, Nintendo began to release official accessories to facilitate playing and collecting of the game. In 1997, two such products were released: an official playmat, and an official card binder (known as a “card file”). Each of these products were also bundled with an exclusive promo card.
Due to the loose nature that these promo cards were packaged, it is difficult to find mint condition copies.
1997 Official Playmat
The 1997 Official Playmat was one of the first official Pokemon TCG accessories ever released. It was packaged together with a guide on how to play the game, as well as an exclusive Slowpoke promotional card. It retailed for 1,300 yen (approx $13 USD) in select toy stores across Japan.
This Slowpoke card was later reprinted in the Pokemon WEB expansion in an updated e-Reader card frame.
The playmat quality is made of higher-quality foam material, and is formatted for 2 players. It came in 3 colors: red, green, and black. All 3 colors came with the same Slowpoke card.
1997 Official Card File
Similar to the official playmat, the 1997 Official Card file was also released in select toy and hobby shops across Japan. It featured an Electabuzz promo card.
This card file featured 2×2 pages of transparent card sleeve pages for players to store their cards in. It stored up to 104 cards, meaning it had 26 of these pages. It retailed for 500 yen (roughly $5 USD).