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Pokémon TCG now includes peel-off Ditto cards, throwing collectors into disarray

Looks may be deceiving

Ditto in Pokemon anime Image: 4Kids Entertainment
Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

Ditto is trolling everyone in the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG). If you aren’t familiar with the Pokémon, it’s literally a one-trick pony: All it can do is mimic and transform into other Pokémon. In a nod to its powers, there is a new card that you can peel the top layer off of to reveal that Ditto had “transformed” into it. But now, the new peel-off card for Ditto has thrown the community into chaos, as collectors and fans hash out what would actually be the best way to collect the card.

The card will come as part of an expansion to the new line of Pokémon cards inspired by Pokémon Go. The line was unveiled in March and is scheduled to be released to the wider public on July 1. Here’s how the Ditto card works: You might get a card that shows a Pokémon like Bidoof, but then, if there’s a little Ditto icon in the bottom left corner, it means it’s a peel-off and you can pull the top layer off to reveal a Ditto. You can view a video of it from Reddit below.

The official announcement of the expansion noted that the Pokémon layered on top can’t be used in competitive play. However, collectors have already brought up a flurry of questions in response to seeing the card. Mainly, folks are debating if they should collect it and keep the card peeled or unpeeled. Unpeeled would seem to make sense, if you’re just trying to preserve a card in its original state, but then one Redditor brought up that the glue might degrade and warp the card.

Being a Pokémon TCG collector is serious business. Certain cards, like a holographic Charizard, can fetch exorbitant prices that reach as high as $300,000. During the pandemic, the demand for Pokémon cards shot through the roof and sent card grading agencies into an absolute death spiral. Now, we have the great Ditto debate.