So really... what
is Gym Challenge? Here are the facts:
132 in the US, at least 128 in Japan (94
avaliable in packs + 34 fixed cards)
Order: 7th set in the US, 7th set in
Date: October 16th, 2000 in the US, June
1999 in Japan.
Challenge was originally planned to be released on
Oct. 16th. Then it was pushed up the 7th. Then back to the
16th. It didn't matter much in the end, Sears released it on
the 4th. :)
Like Gym 1 in Japan, Gym 2 was
also focused on preconstructed decks more than the actual
And like Gym 1, Gym 2 was based on
the last four "Kanto" Gym Leaders; Koga, Sabrina, Blaine,
And also like Heroes, Challenge was a
mix of Gym 1 and Gym 2.
The Japanese title of Gym 2 was Challenge
From The Dark. Obviouly a long title like that doesn't
exactly fly in English speaking countries, so it was
shortened to just Challenge.
The cards Imakuni?'s Doduo and _Your_'s Chansey from
Gym 2 didn't make an appearence in the US release of
Challenge. Besides the part about how your average
Western player knows diddly squat about some Japanese pop
artist, neither of those really fit in a "serious" card set.
The chances of them being made into promo cards are slim as
The art for the card "Misty's Tears", which was
orignally in Gym 1 but pushed to Gym 2, was
changed for its US release. Reason? The Japanese version had
an apparent "nude" image of Misty on the card. Now although
the Japanese (and frankly the rest of the world as well)
take nudity lightly, Americans in general don't share their
opinions, and therefore Wizards had to change the card art
to avoid people from getting offended. Other art changes
include Sabrina's Gaze (people considered her to be
giving the viewer "the finger"), and Koga's Ninja
Trick (which had a swastika on it that could have been
mistaken for the Nazi's logo of choice).
"Common rares" didn't make an appearance in
Challenge, to the relief of many players.
It was with this set that resident wise-guy Nick15
realised that the Japanese pack format more or less sucked.
When you get 2 rares (1 holo and 1 nonholo), it's hard to
not understand why the secondary market in Japan is horiffic
at best. (For those who can't put 2 and 2 together, it
means that "rare" cards in Japan have almost no resale
value, which may come to the shock and horror of many
seasoned retail stores in the US.)
Japanese Gym 2 Pack
Gym Challenege Advertisement
Gym Challenge Misty's Tears
The symbol for Gym Heroes was a "dark" stadium. The
symbol for Gym 2 was a bird's eye view of an arena
with the word "Gym" in it.