1997 TOMY Pokemon Cards

The scarcest set in all of Pokemon, 1997 TOMY Pokemon Scratch cards are seriously cool. Gameplay required the scratching off of boxes to reveal moves in battle. As a result, they’re TOUGH to find in mint “unscratched” condition.

Tomy Scratch cards were released in May of 1997, just after Japanese Base, Carddass & TopSun, to become the 4th ever set and the 2nd playable trading card game (TCG). Amazing OG art, too.

UPDATE! – PSA now grades TOMY Scratch!!



1997 TOMY Facts

These cards put 1999 1st Edition Base Pokemon cards to shame (in terms of scarcity).

Think your PSA 10 shadowless Charizard pop is limited? Red Cheeks Pikachu?..

Ha! Pops of these amazing TOMY cards (in all grades) are often in the single digits. PSA, BGS and CGC all grade these cards.

With original Ken Sugimori artwork (some of which would later appear on other sets), Pokemon character and Japanese vintage Pokemon collectors covet this set.


Tomy Scratch Setlist

Series 1 has 36 total cards, including six holos (Charizard, Pikachu & more). Click here to view them all.

Pop Report & Grading

The Tomy Scratch cards all have single digit populations, if any. View pop reports here.

Where to Buy?

I’ll show you how to search for these cards, whether domestic or from Japanese platforms and proxy buyers.

Tomy Scratch FAQ / details

Released in May of 1997 in Japan, view the historical ads and details of Pokemon Scratch cards here.

Series 2 Pokemon Scratch

You thought series 1 of Tomy Scratch was scarce. Series2 is even tougher, with another 36 characters w/ 6 different holos.

Share yours!

I am always seeking fellow collectors of Scratch to chat with and happy to answer questions here or on Insta!

Videos – TOMY Pokemon Scratch Openings & Information videos


Stay tuned, I’ll be posting box and pack openings of 1997 Tomy Scratch cards as well as information videos in this location.

Selling 1997 TOMY Pokemon?

I am always buying collections, cards and sealed packs or boxes of 1997 Pokemon / Tomy Scratch cards. If you have any for sale, especially unscratched cards and holos, please get in touch. Send photos and a brief description to me via email by clicking the button below!

More Pre-99 Japanese Pokemon

I collect pretty much all of the “FIRST FOUR” of Pokemon cards, including 1996 Carddass, 1996 Japanese Base and 1997 TopSun. These are the true “vintage” cards of Pokemon, the Honus Wagners, Mickey Mantles and Babe Ruths of the hobby.

1999 1st Edition Shadowless Pokemon

Hey, I’m not too good for the USA cards. The first US release comes long after the “First Four” out of Japan, including 97 Tomy Scratch, 96 Japanese Base, 96 Carddass and 97 TopSun (blue backs, green backs and no number) cards. I collect vintage US cards, too!

Questions? Cards to sell?

Get in touch!