Hello Pokemon fans! Trainer Chip here, back with another collecting article on Channel Fireball. There’s a lot going on in the world of collectible Pokemon TCG right now. Ton’s of new products have just been released around Pokemon’s 25th anniversary set “Celebrations.” This set features 25 new cards, including the incredibly sought after Gold Shiny Mew. But within the Celebrations main set, there’s also the Celebrations “Classic Collection” which features reprinted cards from varying past sets, all the way back to the original Base Set! As expected, this has players, collectors, and Pokemon fans in general incredibly excited. So, let’s break this set down! In this article, I’m going to write about the craziness that has been around the release of this anniversary set, scalpers and my opinions on the future of this set from a collectible standpoint.
First off, just getting Celebrations in the first place has been a nightmare for many fans. Websites selling out in minutes and empty shelves at big box stores have left many on the outside looking in when it comes to this highly anticipated set. For me personally, I was only able to find Celebrations product at two of the six stores I went to on release day, and I have seen zero Celebrations in stock anywhere after that day. The crazy thing is, there has been a ton of stock for this product compared to the last few set releases. Pictures I have seen online show shelves absolutely jam packed at opening, local game stores had most of their allocations for this set filled and even still, shelves sit empty. That’s because the demand for Pokemon TCG product still exceeds the heightened supply. People like to blame the lack of available stock solely on scalpers, but in reality, the overall demand and interest in collecting Pokemon cards is at an all-time high.
So it really makes sense that Celebrations is hard to get your hands on. It’s selling out as soon as it hits store shelves. Pokemon has released multiple statements now, recognizing the lack of product, and they have said they are doing their best to address the situation:
We’re aware that some fans are experiencing difficulties purchasing certain Pokémon Trading Card Game products due to very high demand and global shipping constraints impacting availability. We understand this inconvenience can be disappointing for fans, and we are working to address it where it is within our control.
In situations where there is limited availability, we are actively working to print more of the impacted Pokémon TCG products as quickly as possible and at maximum capacity to support this increased demand. Reprinted products are expected to be available at retailers as soon as possible.
For new Pokémon TCG expansions launching in the future, we are maximizing production to increase product availability upon release, and we will continue to reprint the products to replenish stock at retailers as soon as possible.
We’d like to thank the community for their continued support and patience as we work to deliver more Pokémon TCG products to fans.
I love the transparency coming from the Pokemon Company on this issue, and it really does feel like they are recognizing a problem that they want to correct. However, this post is extremely similar to a Tweet that Pokemon put out much earlier on this year.
We’re aware that some fans are experiencing difficulties purchasing certain Pokémon TCG products due to very high demand. In response, we are reprinting impacted products at maximum capacity to ensure more fans can enjoy the Pokémon TCG.
More info here: https://t.co/sClZo3BXsp
— Play Pokémon (@playpokemon) February 10, 2021
This was Tweeted on February 10, so I’m sure the products we’re seeing released currently are being made with this mentality in place. Even still, product is very scarce. This just goes to show that the demand for Pokemon TCG, really is that high.
So what does all this mean for the collectible value of this set? Well for starters, the Classic Collection is one of my favorite things that Pokemon has done in a very long time. It sort of takes me back in time when opening a Celebrations pack, crossing my fingers and hoping that I’ll see a beautiful holo Charizard in the pack, just like I hoped for when I was a kid. That’s what is special about this set in a way that is unlike any other modern set.
Because of this, a lot of the product being bought right now is being opened up. People are chasing that feeling of pulling that crazy rare card. Prices are all over the place right now for singles, and I still think they will come down slightly as a whole. In the long term though, once this set is out of print, I think many of the chase cards will hold their value really well.
I expect all three of the Base Set starters, the Gold Star Umbreon and the full art Golden Mew to all dip a little bit in value in the coming months, but long term, these cards will retain their value fairly well. I haven’t personally gotten my hands on quite enough cards to make a full judgement on overall print quality, but I imagine getting cards graded in a PSA or Beckett 10 will still be quite hard. As such, graded copies of these five cards specifically seem like they have a lot of potential to be very desirable down the road. Also, I’m sure any of these cards would look absolutely incredible encapsulated in any grading company’s case.
If you’re wanting more information about grading your cards, be sure to read Jimmy Pendarvis’s guides to all of the major grading company’s.
I believe that most of the cards in the main set will just end up being bulk value. None of the four regular Pokemon V stand out to me as amazing. Zacian V is probably the most playable of the bunch, and it’s honestly just mediocre overall. The two VMAXes in the main set have one main thing going for them, and that’s that they’re both Pikachus! Neither has much competitive value, so I wouldn’t expect either to jump much in value for that reason. Like I said, they are both Pikachus, so don’t be surprised if down the line these cards become much more desirable.
Speaking of Pikachu, one of my absolute favorite cards in the set is the full art Base Set Pikachu! It’s such a nostalgic and iconic art, something that anyone can recognize right away. From what I have seen, this card is extremely easy to pull. I personally haven’t even opened that many packs yet, and I already have several extra copies of this card. This isn’t a bad thing by any means, I think a lot of collectors would be happy to fill a whole page of a binder with copies of this card! But it does make me unsure about its future value. Only time can tell!
The cards I’m most keeping my eye on are those that are really popular in retro formats. Garchomp C Lv.X, Luxray GL Lv.X and Claydol are all extremely popular in the 2010 World Championships format, which is a favorite format of many retro players. Rocket’s Admin and Cleffa are also cards that I think will eventually become more desirable, seeing as they’re staples in their respective formats, and the original prints of these cards are quite expensive.
The bulk of my personal Pokemon TCG collection is in the form of retro Pokemon decks, so the fact that so many playable cards from past eras have been reprinted has me very excited. This is something that I hope gets more people to explore past Pokemon formats, and learn more about the history of the game. For example, the barrier of entry to the Neo-era formats used to be pretty high, due to the fact that nearly every deck plays four Cleffa and Cleffa has normally been around a $20 card. Now, these new Celebrations prints can make it much easier and much cheaper for someone to construct a deck from a past format.
There is one specific card that I do want to cover a little more in depth, and that is Mew. No, not the super sweet golden, secret rare Mew that everyone is already talking about. I’m talking about just plain ole Mew, the regular holo rare.
From a playability standpoint, this card is arguably the best new card from the set. Even so, it’s not great. It’s very reminiscent of Jirachi from Team Up, which was a very heavily played card. But there’s a key difference. While Mew does let you see the top six cards of your deck as opposed to just the top five, you can only take an item card from it’s ability Mysterious Tail, as opposed to any trainer card like you could with Stellar Wish. This means you can’t grab supporters like Professor’s Research or Marnie, so it’s a little harder to find a place for this card in decks.
I have experimented with this card a little bit, and the best place I have found for it so far has been in Stage 2 decks that rely on Rare Candy to get Pokemon in play. While it has actually been a great consistency booster for those decks, sadly attacking Stage 2 Pokemon are basically nowhere to be found in this current metagame. However, if there ever comes a really strong attacking Stage 2 deck, I think that Mew is a very viable support option. Right now on the ChannelFireball Marketplace, you can pick this card up for less than $1, and I actually expect that price to drop a bit lower still. So if you’re a player who hates paying $5 to $10 for random holo cards like me, I would say this is a card definitely worth picking up.
Also from a collectible standpoint, if this card drops just a little bit more in value, I think it is a great investment option too. Mew is a super popular Pokemon, a fan favorite for sure. And don’t forget this is the 25th anniversary set, which I think could also add to the future value. Looking at holo rare mews from the last few years, like Mew UNB and Mew EVO, these cards are worth around $5 right now. In fact, there are very few Holo Rare Mews ever that currently sell for less than $5. So I do believe this could be a great option if you’re someone who likes to invest in mass quantities of singles.
There’s a lot to be excited about in Celebrations, but there are still a lot of unknowns. I’m hoping with increased production coming, it will be much easier for any Pokemon fan out there to easily be able to walk into any store and find themselves some Pokemon product to open up!
In the meantime, ChannelFireball’s new Marketplace has had some of the best pricing on both sealed products and card singles for Celebrations that I have seen just about anywhere. They easily have the best price I could find anywhere on Elite Trainer Boxes, which are one of the best ways to get yourself a lot of packs of this set! Also, during the whole month of October, for every $10 spent on the ChannelFireball marketplace, you’re automatically entered into several giveaways including a chance to win a 1st Edition Base Set Charizard! There’s a lot going on with the new Marketplace, so I would encourage anyone reading to check it out. And if you enjoyed this article and want to support me, using my Affiliate code “CHIP” at checkout is a great way to do that! I’ve bought myself several things on the marketplace already from this new set, and I’m sure I will keep checking back for more!
Thanks so much for reading! If you want to see more content from me, the best place to do that is on the ChannelPokemon YouTube channel where I have new videos coming out every Friday! You can also find me on my personal YouTube, Twitter and Twitch channels. All of those things are @TrainerChip! Until next time, keep playing, keep collecting and take care!