What’s up ChannelFireball readers! TrainerChip here with another collecting article. It’s been a little over a month since Pokemon’s 25th anniversary Celebrations set hit store shelves. I spoke on the craziness that was the release of this set in my last article, and what I wrote there remains true. It does appear like the production level has increased greatly over the last few months. It is not uncommon nowadays for me to walk into a big box store and see shelves full of Pokemon TCG products (including Celebrations) But if I walk into those same stores even just a couple days later, those same shelves are completely empty. Now this could be because one or two people coming along and wiping the store out, but the main takeaway is that the demand for Pokemon TCG cards still outweighs their heavily increased production.
In this article today I’m going to look at where Celebrations singles and sealed product stands right now, and some cards with potential that I think you should keep your eye on for the future!
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With Celebrations being the 25th anniversary set, it should be no surprise at all that Pokemon is printing as much of it as they possibly can. This has been evident to me by the numerous times I have seen restocks happening in stores across the country, on almost a weekly basis it seems. Distributors have also continued to receive new stock of this set, and many local game stores have been given more and more opportunity to purchase Celebrations at wholesale prices. Even the kids in my neighborhood who collect Pokemon cards have told me how happy they are to be able to walk into a store and easily find cards, something that they could not do a few months ago. So, there is a ton of this set being printed even still, and I expect this set to continue to be printed through the end of this year.
The high amount of printing being done puts sealed collecting in a weird spot. On one hand, it would seem like there being so much more production of this set would decrease the value of sealed products. But on the other hand, so much of this set is being opened that it could make sealed items much more valuable in the future. The reality is this is a collectible set. The Pokemon brand is one of the most popular and most beloved in the world, so out of print items will continue to accrue value.
That brings up an interesting point, when exactly will this set be “out of print.” Usually main sets (such as Fusion Strike or Evolving Skies) will continue to be printed for months, and sometimes years after their initial release wave. Booster boxes will still be able to be stocked by local game stores, and packs will be found in new collection boxes long after that first release. But mini sets and collector sets are (such as Celebrations, Shining Fates, and Champion’s Path) usually different. Packs for these sets can only be found in the specific collection boxes and other products that came out around their initial release. I will say that I have seen lots of Shining Fates products restocked in stores over the last few months, long after a collectors set would normally be out of print.
Will Celebrations continue to have its products reprinted for months and months to come? I personally don’t believe so, and here’s why. Celebrations is the 25th Anniversary set, and the end of the 25th anniversary is in December of 2021. To me, it just wouldn’t make sense for Pokemon to continue to print 25th anniversary products after that anniversary is over. This is of course all speculation, but I also believe there is precedent for this. Generations was the 20th anniversary set, and it saw many different product releases throughout the year of 2016. But no new Generations products were made after that first year concluded.
So, if you are someone who enjoys collecting sealed products, but has been hesitant to pick up Celebrations for whatever reason, the next time you see some on store shelves, may be the last chance you have to purchase any at MSRP.
The singles market for Celebrations is extremely volatile right now. As mentioned above, a ton of this set is being opened. As such, stores and collectors alike have swarmed the market with cards from both the main set, and the Classic Collection. But surprisingly, many cards have seen consistent average sale prices over the last couple of weeks. Some cards have dipped a bit more than others, but not quite as rapidly as I would normally come to expect based on past set releases.
After my personal experiences opening over 200 packs of Celebrations and based on the various charts and reports I have seen online, there are a few cards from the Classic Collection that seem to be quite a bit harder to pull than the rest of the cards. You would expect cards like Charizard, Umbreon Star, and maybe even Shining Magikarp to be hard to pull. But some other cards that may be a bit rarer include Tapu Lele-GX, Mewtwo-EX, Xerneas-EX, and M Raquaza-EX. I was a bit surprised that these cards are so hard to pull! It feels a little odd that the cards which are the newest of the 25 Classic Collection selections, would be the rarest.
There are less copies of these four cards available on many of the public marketplaces than of any of the other Classic Collection cards. Mewtwo-EX is a fan favorite, and I would expect for this card to hold its value well. M Rayquaza-EX is in a similar boat, a fan favorite Pokemon that will always be sought after. Tapu Lele-GX is a little different because this card is very playable in Pokemon’s Expanded format. So if the expanded format sticks around, the Classic Collection version of Tapu Lele-GX is going to be a great option for players who want to bring a little of that Celebrations flare to their decks. Xerneas-EX is an interesting one for me. I don’t really think of Xerneas as being the most popular Pokemon, but oddly it’s very hard to pull from Celebrations. For me personally, it was the last card I needed to pull to complete my set. And I finally did, but it took me 200 packs to do it. I can see this card holding value well based on rarity alone, but to me that is really the only thing it has going for it as far as collectible value is concerned.
It has been a joy to collect Celebrations. I’ve personally completed the set and picked up a couple products to add to my sealed collection. I do think that the initial hype of the sets release is dying down a bit, and I do still expect prices of most items (singles and sealed) to dip a bit more before they begin to increase again. If my theory mentioned above is true, that this set will not be printed anymore past December of 2021, then I think it won’t be too long before collectors begin to see the value of their items rise.
I think the long-term potential for this set is great. I would expect sealed product specifically to drastically increase in value over the next five-plus years, as we move towards the eventual 30th anniversary of Pokemon.
If you have always thought about trying to complete a Pokemon TCG set, but the idea of hunting down a dozen secret rares and full arts has always felt too daunting, then Celebrations is a great set to scratch that collectors itch! The main set is very easy to collect (except for the golden Mew card,) and many of the Classic Collection cards are super cheap right now. Maybe you have started to collect the set, but you are holding out before buying the last few singles you need to complete your Celebrations set. I think that now is a great time to pick those cards up! Many of the cards are very cheap, and only a few cards from the set are currently selling for over $20.
If you are a Pokemon fan, Celebrations is an amazing set to collect, and a complete set is a very realistic goal.
The future looks bright for collectors and investors of this 25th anniversary set. Personally, I still get excited at the thought of all these sweet retro cards that were reprinted in this set, and what this could mean for future products that could be released down the road.
I hope you found this piece informative and helpful as you navigate your collecting journey. If you would like to read more, please check out the collection of articles here on ChannelFireball all about investing and collecting the Pokemon Trading Card Game.