When the Pokémon franchise was born in 1996, a colourful cast of 151 Pokémon were unleashed unto the world. Each one had their own unique style and appeal, and despite the Pokédex ballooning to more than 1,000 entries with Scarlet and Violet, many fan favourites can still be found in Professor Oak’s original database. Pikachu, Eevee (and the Eeveelutions), the original starters, Mew, Lugia, the mythical birds and many more have all been around since the start of the series. Unfortunately, despite all of them having countless iterations in TCG sets, no set, not even Base Set, has included all the original 151 Pokémon.
On the same day it was released in Japanese, the aptly named Pokémon 151 was revealed in English. It will be the first special set of the Scarlet and Violet era, and core products such as the Elite Trainer Box will be released on September 22nd 2023. There will be a LOT of products to choose from, with products we currently know about including:
- Elite Trainer Boxes and Pokemon Centre Elite Trainer Boxes
- Booster Bundles (NOT Booster Boxes)
- A Mew Ultra-Premium Collection (think back to the Pikachu and Charizard UPC’s)
- A Binder Collection Box
- A Poster Collection Box
- Mini Tins
- Pokemon ex Boxes
As with all special sets, there are no Booster Boxes (which contain 36 packs and nothing else) available, but the 6-pack ‘Booster Bundle’ is a first for such a set. Since the start of the Scarlet and Violet era, each set has had a Booster Bundle available, but the inclusion of this product in the 151 line-up is the first time that you can buy packs of a special set outside of some form of collection box or tin.
The set itself doesn’t just feature the original 151; it features them in the order that they appear in the Pokédex. Bulbasaur will be 001, Pikachu will be 025, Mewtwo will be 150 etc. This means that you can place all the cards in a binder and have them in the correct Pokédex order, without the card numbers being very annoying! Beyond the first 151, the set will also feature gorgeous illustration rares of some of the most popular Kanto Pokémon, full-art trainer cards, hyper-rare gold cards and much more.
There is even a special kind of reverse-holographic card for this set. Rather than the standard reverse-holo design, there is a holographic Pokéball design. On lucky occasions, the Pokéball will be replaced with the iconic Master Ball, with the top half of the ball glistening brilliantly as you rotate the card. Master Ball reverse-holo cards depicting popular Pokémon will be quite rare, and may become some of the most valuable cards in the set (despite not being full-art). Several cards in this set are also expected to affect the TCG meta, making it an important set for players of the card game.
As you would expect, these unique factors have come together to create a set that everybody wants, and the extreme demand for pre-orders led the Pokémon Centre UK site to sell out of ETB’s and Booster Bundles just hours after the announcement; whilst I was on holiday, and couldn’t place an order :’(
Despite this, I am confident that The Pokémon Company will have anticipated this immense hype and will print plenty of product for everyone who wants it! The great variety of products available ensures that, whether you are a hardcore Pokémon fan who wants to catch em’ all, or a parent who wants to buy small products for the little ones, there is something for all interests and price points. Personally, I am hyped for the binder collection, so I can house my completed 151 in a beautifully on-brand binder! I would also love a Mew Ultra-Premium Collection, but that will depend on whether I can stomach the £120 MSRP...
Of course, before Scarlet and Violet 3.5 must come Scarlet and Violet 3! Obsidian Flames will be released on August 11th, the same day that the Pokémon World Championships will begin in Yokohama, Japan. Much to the relief of top-level players (and to the disappointment of me and my love of absolute chaos), it will almost certainly not be a legal set at the event. Its main mascot is Charmander, and it will feature a tera-ex Charizard among its impressive 190+ card list.
Obsidian Flames products, including the Elite Trainer Box, 3-pack blisters and more are currently available to pre-order on Zatu!