| Sample Set|
5 card e-Reader Sample Pack
| Release date
|| August 2002 (EN)|
March 7, 2001 (Initial JP demonstration)
August 24, 2001 (Later JP demonstration)
The Sample Set (Japanese: アプリケーションパック Application Pack) is a small collection of promotional cards created in order to demonstrate the functions of the e-Reader at the various events held prior to the device's release. The English collection contains 10 cards, all later released in the Expedition Base Set, while the Japanese collection consists of two sets of 3 and 10 cards respectively that were not released otherwise.
The Sample Set is a small release of cards created in order to show the functionality of the e-Reader prior to the device's widespread release on December 1, 2001 in Japan and September 2002 in the United States. The English collection of cards contains 10 cards later released within the Expedition Base Set that were featured during media pre-launch party at the New York Pokémon Center in August 2002. This group is known in Japanese as the Application Pack (Japanese: アプリケーションパック). The Japanese collection is split into two groups. The first group consists of 3 cards utilized during the Game Boy Advance product announcement meeting (Japanese: ゲームボーイアドバンスプロダクト発表会) held during a press conference in Tokyo on March 7, 2001, with the demonstrations given by Tsunekazu Ishihara. The second group consists of 10 cards utilized during the Nintendo Space World event held on August 24-26, 2001 at the Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba. English versions exist for some of the Space World cards and were used to demonstrate the e-Reader's functionality at E3 2002; unlike the Japanese cards, however, these do not feature the 'Sample' set logo in the bottom right corner. These cards were not intended for distribution, but the English cards from the August 2002 press conference and the 3 cards used at the March 2001 press conference have made their way out to the public. The group of Space World sample cards have not yet surfaced.
All 23 cards feature Japanese backs, and all but the initial 3 have the word Sample written on the bottom right-hand corner. Like Japanese cards, the 10 English cards were created by MEDIAFACTORY in Japan, resulting in alternate translations and exclusive numbering based on the e-Reader card ID number, as none of the e-Card expansions had been released by Wizards of the Coast before the release of the e-Reader. The Expedition Base Set prints of Machop, Machoke, and Machamp were later produced and released as part of the Sample Pack 5 Card Set bundled with copies of the e-Reader outside Japan.
3 months before the unintended English Sample card distribution, alternate versions of the English Hoppip and Pichu had been released at E3 2002. Unlike the Sample-stamped cards, however, these were more like the final version of the card as they featured the Wizards Expedition Base Set layout and translations but maintained the Japanese back. These E3 releases all didn't feature the Sample logo on the card fronts. Later on, much glossier versions the same Hoppip and Pichu cards were used to demonstrate the e-Reader at promotional kiosks. These cards had been further updated to use the English back and were hole punched to prevent them being separated from the e-Reader.
The initial 3 Sample cards, Pichu, Pikachu, and Eevee, used at the March 2001 press conference are all illustrated by CR CG gangs and contain various elements of the Neo Era card design, due to their creation and display before the end of Neo related releases. For example, the three cards all feature a level, none of them have Sample written on the card, and the Baby Evolution rule on Pichu features the Neo Era artwork for Pikachu in the e-Card design. The 10 Sample cards used at Nintendo Space World 2001 all feature artwork by Ken Sugimori and feature the normal e-Card template. Also distributed to those who attended the event was P Promotional Celebi, which was included within the Nintendo Spaceworld 2001 Official Guidebook. The 10 cards were all hole-punched and kept on chains in kiosks set up for demonstrations. Two prints of each card were also on display in a glass case hanging on the wall showcasing the next eras of Pokémon cards.