Hello everyone, I hope you are doing well, and welcome back to part two of my Shining Fates review. I always recommend checking out my previous articles, but I cannot stress that enough this time, as the predecessor to this is crucial for getting a full understanding of my thoughts on Shining Fates. In part one, I covered all the cards in the set in some manner, with a larger focus on cards I believe have potential in the collecting scheme of things. In this article, I will look at the Shining Fates sealed product, talk about the logistics of the release, and compare Shining Fates to Hidden Fates. Let’s get ready to rumble!
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- The Shining Fates Pokemon TCG Investopedia — The Cards
- The Shining Fates Pokemon TCG Investopedia — The Products
- The Top 10 Pokemon Cards from Hidden Fates & Shining Fates
- The Ultimate Guide to Collectible Card Game Grading
- Pokemon TCG News — Latest Shining Fates Takes, Grading Updates & Logan Paul
- How To Identify Fake Pokemon Cards
- Money Talks — A Financial Set Review of Battle Styles
- The Top 10 Pokemon Cards from Battle Styles
- Errors Everywhere! — Exploring the Many Mix-Ups of the Pokemon TCG
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- NEW Battle Styles & Shining Fates Top 10 — Analyzing My Predictions
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Shining Fates releases on February 19th – we are just under two weeks away from the release of one of the most hyped Pokemon sets of all time. It is being compared to Hidden Fates, prices are already quite high, demand is out of control, and it has been the main discussion point for the community for a while now.
While there is a lot to cover, I am confident we will get through all of that today, and you will leave this article with a great understanding of my thoughts on all of this. I am going to break it down into sections like I did with part one, as each point of discussion is a valuable one that deserves its own attention.
One thing I wanted to mention before getting started is that I heavily encourage you to do your own research and make your own decisions if you are reading this with the intention of purchasing Shining Fates, in any form, as an investment. While I try my absolute best to be on top of things like this, I would hate for someone to act upon my words without thinking about it and then regret that decision down the line. For full disclosure, I have no plans to invest in this set now, as it feels too risky to do so when all the information is not out there. I would rather determine later that I missed the boat than jump in early and realize I made a poor decision, and that goes for pretty much all my decision-making.
It is no secret that some products will be more appealing to the market and public, especially with how great sealed product has been doing lately. There are short-term flipping opportunities that everyone is awfully familiar with at this point. Additionally, sought after products such as these have long-term potential as well, which further increases the demand for it.
I want to start by providing a general overview for these products. Even though they all have different things about them that might make them better or worse, all these products contain Shining Fates packs which is really all that matters for the average person. With, if you are opening the products, I would not turn your nose at any of these products, especially if you can get a good deal on a particular item. It matters a lot more if you are planning to keep the product sealed as an investment, but even then, it is more so just attempting to optimize your return, as the sealed product will either increase or not.
With, let us jump into a review of the sealed products and what the differences between them are.
Shining Fates Elite Trainer Box
This is the pinnacle of sealed products for sets like this. It is always the most sought-after item, it is generally the best value when release occurs, and has historically outperformed the sealed products alongside it. This is because it has many packs, comes with a promo that is sought after which remains true in this case, and averages out to the same price per pack while also giving you some other contents. This box comes with the normal 10 packs, Gigantamax Eevee sleeves, an Eevee VMAX promo card, and some other less important items. For starters, 10 packs is quite a few, the greatest amount you would get out of any of these products. Past that, the Eevee promo will almost certainly be sought after. Not only is it a popular Pokemon with great artwork, but when a sealed product like this gets expensive, its contents naturally do as well. In a similar manner, Elite Trainer Box sleeves are highly underrated, and generally ones from the expensive ETBs sell for around $10 a pack later in their life, which could recoup five percent or more of your initial cost depending on how you acquire the product.
If you are planning to keep product sealed for the long run, this is personally what I would focus on, as it tends to be the safest option while also having a solid amount of upside. If you want to have a good idea of what you are getting into, I will look at popular Elite Trainer Boxes from the past, such as Generations, Hidden Fates, Shining Legends, and Champion’s Path. While all of these acted differently, and some of them have not really reached maturity yet, these are a decent comparison for Shining Fates. You could even go one step further and look at how Elite Trainer Boxes have performed as a whole, as that could also help to give you an idea of what your worst-case scenario might look like. It would be best to focus on percentages and not the actual numbers as each product is valued differently upon release. This kind of stuff is a great example of doing your own research, as after doing this you should have a solid opinion on the matter. I am sure there are some other things you could do as well.
Much of the information I included here can be applied to the other products – keep that in mind as you continue.
Shining Fates Tins
These have got to be the second-most hyped product a set like this releases, right after the Elite Trainer Boxes. This time around, the promos are a very nice selection, as they are exclusive to these tins in their shiny forms. Competitive players know them very well, as all three of these promo cards are used in decks at the moment. Despite this not being directly relevant to the collectors out there, it means the demand for these tins will be higher, which will likely affect the price of the sealed product and the price of the promos inside. Like any of these other products, I would not be picky if you found these on a shelf in store, but I do have some general advice if you are thinking about what product to buy.
Generally, the prices of the promo cards will influence the price of the tin, and even though the products are under the same umbrella, you might start to see a difference in price between them. If you are someone looking to buy these with the intent of opening packs, you should just figure out the price per pack for your situation. This means factoring in the price of the promo and if you are going to sell that or not, and then just comparing the three boxes.
In the long run, I have never seen a competitive factor stick with a product and cause it to be noticeably higher due to that alone. For the most part, a tin would only outrank its classmates due to having a strictly stronger featured Pokemon, such as a Charizard card. So, if you want to keep these sealed, I recommend just targeting the cheaper ones if there is a price difference when you go to buy. It will make your exit strategy a little slower because you won’t be able to list multiple variations at once for sale, but it will provide you the benefit of a lower cost basis and expose you to further price increases as your stock dwindles.
Overall, these tins are a solid product. I would probably place them second behind the Elite Trainer Boxes, but the Premium Collection boxes give them a run for their money as well.
Shining Fates Pikachu V Collection
Honestly, I don’t know if this is just me, but this product was disappointing. The contents are fine, but Pikachu being shiny would have just been so much better. I am not much of a Pokemon video game participant, so I did learn when writing this article that shiny Pikachu does not differ much from regular Pikachu. However, the artwork could have portrayed it well, and the whole aesthetic of a shiny card is far more attractive than a regular art one.
With, despite not being as great as it could have been, this one is still fine regardless of what your goal is. In the short term, it means getting to open packs and having some fan favorite promo cards as well. With that being said, I personally would not go out of my way to obtain this specific product, as I do feel some of the other ones would be better options. That is entirely based on price, though, so just keep your eye on that.
With this product being a Pikachu one, and containing such a ridiculously popular set, I believe this one will be a good choice to hold onto. A lot of this depends on how well the set does, as Pikachu alone is not going to carry this product to the finish line. With though, that is something I am confident in, and having such a recognizable fan favorite to go along with it certainly does not hurt.
This was not a very exciting product, and I was personally a little disappointed, but it is still Shining Fates and offers another opportunity for Pokemon fans to participate.
Shining Fates Mad Party Pin Collection
The Mad Party Pin Collection is your standard pin box, as it comes with three packs, a promo card, and a pin. In the past, these types of boxes have been the ones I feel most people have the most success finding in store, but perhaps that is just my personal experience. In this case, there are four different pin boxes, one for each member of the Mad Party squad. I don’t think any of them will be more sought after than the others because none of them are particularly desirable, despite Bunnelby being one of my favorite Pokemon. In the short term, this means that a lot of these will be opened, and in the long run, the price of this box will correlate directly with the price of the sealed packs, along with a slight premium for being a sealed product. Not a whole lot else to say about this one unfortunately.
Shining Fates Mini Tin
One interesting thing about this product, and the next one on this list, is that they have a later release date than all the other products (March 5). I have a feeling this will have minimal effect on them, and that demand will remain about the same, since these release dates are only three weeks apart. If there was a larger gap between them, demand would be more likely to increase or decrease, thus effecting this product, but that is just not the case with this one. It is possible these products are more sought after simply because people got a taste already and want more, but that could also go the other direction and people could be less excited for them because the first wave was just enough. I think both possibilities are extremes of each direction, meaning demand is likely just going to stay the same.
Unfortunately for this product, it is the worst one by far. It comes with only two packs and not much of anything else. If you can find this in store and pick it up for MSRP, go for it. Otherwise, I would not recommend purchasing these whether you intend to open them or keep them sealed. The fact of the matter is that they are going to be more expensive than two sealed booster packs, but not provide anything extra. This likely also means you could just as easily put your money into another product and get more bang for your buck. I appreciate Pokemon trying to have a large array of options for a set like this, as this would be a cheaper option on the shelf of a Walmart than any of these other products, but it just does not convert well to the secondary market.
Shining Fates Premium Collection
I talked about the gap in the release date between this product and most of the others in the section above, so definitely take that into consideration when thinking about this product.
As you already know, most of the products in this Shining Fates line have at least one promo card, but this product takes that one step further, and contains three promo cards and a whopping seven packs. These are a shiny Crobat V and VMAX, along with a jumbo shiny Crobat VMAX. Crobat is not a particularly attractive Pokemon, which means the box could certainly be better, as a fan favorite would increase the appeal of the box. However, Crobat V is a very playable card, and the box brings a decent amount of value, nonetheless.
Okay, so I talked about two things earlier in the article. Price per pack, and the fact that just getting to open Shining Fates in general is somewhat of a privilege. While I think anyone looking to open product will open this if they find it in store, it feels like this product will be less appealing for someone to buy with the intent of opening it. Currently, this box works out to having each pack be $2 more than if you bought the Elite Trainer Box. Especially because the additional contents of the Elite Trainer Box stands up very well to the additional content of this box and offers more packs overall. With that being said, I am curious as to how the price of this box moves around soon, especially because it is one of two with the later release date. Historically, though, Premium Collection Boxes such as this one have done well for themselves in the long run.
At the end of the day, every product contains what all the fuss is about here, the Shining Fates packs. While some might be more ideal than others, all the products are great, and present the opportunity to participate in the set release.
How/When To Get Product
There are some factors that play into this, as each person has different plans and such. For this section, I am going to split it into intending to open the product obtained and planning to keep the product obtained sealed. I feel each situation can be handled differently.
You have the chance to find these products in store, but that has proven to be very difficult with sets like this one, so I would certainly not bank on hitting that lottery. Outside of being connected with a distributor and being allocated product upon release, finding the product at MSRP in store is basically the cheapest it is going to get. Past that, prices off the release are going to be high, as that tends to be when the demand is at its peak. People want the new cards right away, and while the set will have some staying power, even over time, the demand will certainly reduce as the hype dies down a bit and people lose interest. While how hard this affects the price varies, there tends to be at least a small dip in price when this happens, as we even saw that with Hidden Fates.
So, if you are planning to open the product, it comes down to what you value more. If you just want to get in right away and open the cards, even if that means potentially paying a higher price than if you waited, that’s your prerogative and there is nothing wrong with that from a collecting standpoint. You also have the potential to be fortunate enough to find the product in store, which would mean you are getting the product at basically the cheapest price possible.
If you are interested in opening the cards up but want to try to get the best deal possible, you have some options. You can either go hunting out the wazoo when the release date rolls around, giving yourself a better chance at getting the product at cost, and refuse to pay the increased prices that the secondary market will have to offer. This does not guarantee product in the slightest though, and you could be left with nothing but disappointment going this method. Past that, since you want to get as good of a deal as possible, your best bet would be to wait for the slight dip and hope to acquire some that way. There is also no guarantee of this happening, but you also shouldn’t miss the boat completely waiting for this either, meaning you could likely still snag the product at a similar price regardless.
As you can see, trying to get the best deal possible can save you some money, but it also means potentially waiting to have the product and there is no guarantee you get the discount of sorts that you were hoping for. This whole section really comes down to that tradeoff, so you have a decision to make for yourself.
How/When To Get Cards
While it is very fun to open packs, this section is about single cards. I will discuss how packs play into this, but for the most part I want to focus on the cards themselves.
So, just to get it out of the way, I am going to cover opening packs first. If you are strictly looking for cards for your deck or collection, or even cards to invest in, opening the packs is not the way to go. If you want to crack packs, that is totally fine, but that is not something I would label as a good method of obtaining cards. If you are just looking for certain cards and don’t care about opening packs, this section is for you. To go along with that, you can participate in some short-term flipping of this product, assuming you are able to obtain some at a solid price, and that will help fund your card purchasing activities.
So, this section will also have two major sections. People who are casually collecting or deck-building, and people who are looking to make money off their purchases.
If you are just looking to get some cards for your personal collection, this whole process is going to be a lot less stressful for you. You always have the option of trying to get a good deal somewhere along the line but buying the cards shortly after release hype dies down is a solid way to go. You still get the cards in a reasonable amount of time, and this time tends to be when single cards are the cheapest as competition for sales forces prices down. The supply is just quite high in this period, and the delay is not as high as it is at other points. I want to note that this is regarding a relatively small collection, and if you are attempting to complete the set or do anything very substantial, I would refer to the next section for better advice.
If you are looking to place a lot of money into this set, whether that be for collecting goals or investment plans, you are going to have to be a bit more methodical with your approach. I would not recommend purchasing cards right when the set releases unless you are extraordinarily confident that you have found a good deal or that a card is undervalued. This is certainly possible, but often you can end up getting a better price down the line. I have been burned by this several times, so I am speaking from the heart and with great experience when I say that. Anyways, I would monitor prices to the best of your ability, do your own research as the lifespan of the set plays out, and make informed decisions as you disperse your money. I do think that the time mentioned above is a great time to buy when it rolls around, but that does not mean you have to go all in when that time comes. Additionally, there is no guarantee that will happen, so you should keep that in mind as well. Really this just comes down to patience and good decision-making, as that is pretty much always how you will end up saving some money on a purchase, regardless of what you are buying. While collecting goals are locked into place, one advantage of this for investors is that while you might be eyeing a particular card or product, you can always shift your focus if you see a better opportunity. As always, you are not committed to following through on an investment you are interested in, and it is totally fine to sit something out. You may miss the boat on some opportunities thinking this way, but you never go broke taking profits or playing it safe.
Similarly, to the last section, this one has a tradeoff that presents itself as well. While this situation is very normal for investors and hardcore collectors, as they are always playing the waiting game, your average collector is left to decide between time and money. They can wait time to get a better deal, and spend time completing that process, or they can spend some extra money and get the cards right away. Everything has an opportunity cost.
Shining Fates Versus Hidden Fates
Honestly, despite the sets being quite similar in release logistics and set contents, drawing a comparison here is not really something I would value very highly. Size of print run, market strength upon release, and other factors outside of these set similarities have a huge effect on how things like this perform. While there are a ton of similarities, I am mostly doing this because I have seen it be discussed a ton in the community and less because I think Shining Fates will follow the exact path that Hidden Fates did. That is certainly possible, but I think it is too early to make that call, and that is something I think everyone should decide for themselves when more knowledge is available. Everyone said Champion’s Path was the next Hidden Fates, and while it was a great set and one that I believe has long-term potential, it is currently not doing very well at all, especially in comparison to Hidden Fates.
I just wanted to provide some quick thoughts on this in bullet point form. I could sit here and talk about small discrepancies and theoretically debate how things might go, but that just does not feel valuable or reasonable.
- Hidden Fates contained a lot of sentimental and historically popular Pokemon. It is my opinion that the featured Pokemon in that set are overall stronger than the Pokemon featured in Shining Fates. This is the most significant thought I have to offer, and I am curious to see how things play out.
- The market is much stronger now than it was when Hidden Fates was released, and price increases right off the gate are much more normalized now.
- Both sets contain a huge chase card in the form of an Ultra Rare shiny Charizard card.
- Both sets have great long-term potential in my mind.
- Both sets have a very large amount of Ultra Rares, and I think the experience of opening a bunch of shinies will be the same with this set as it was with Hidden Fates.
I am sure there are other similarities and differences that you could come up with, but I just wanted to provide my thoughts on the matter and give you something to think about. Here’s a great video for even more:
If you have any comments, questions, or article topic requests, feel free to leave a comment down below! I am always interested in hearing from you guys, and I know this is a topic that has pretty much everyone’s attention. I will be back next week as Shining Fates is releasing. Enjoy the release, I will see you then.