A Mini Step Into Scarlet & Violet
In the Sword and Shield era, ‘Mini Tins’ became a mainstay of the Pokémon TCG line-up. With a couple of packs, some fun accessories and a small price tag, these tins serve as good entry-level products, designed with younger children in mind. Moving into the Scarlet and Violet era, they are continuing to feature, albeit with some slight alterations.
What’s In The Tin?
With these new tins, players can make some new Paldean friends by opening a Scarlet and Violet base set (SV1) booster pack, as well as a pack from the final Sword and Shield main set, Silver Tempest (SWSH12). As is the case with mini tins, you will always receive these same two packs (which I think is good here, since these are two very strong sets for new and experienced players). Each tin also includes a cardboard slip that features the tin artwork and some Pokémon information on the reverse, as well as a sticker with the same artwork. By collecting all 5 tins, you can complete the entire strip of artwork, which can look excellent on display!
Noticeably absent from the Paldea Friends tin is a coin, which has previously been standard for mini tins. The phasing out of coins has occurred across the board, and they are now only available in single-pack blisters and the occasional larger collection box. Although some coins look brilliant, they don’t really serve a purpose in the TCG anymore; all coin flips have been replaced by rolling dice in official Pokémon tournaments. The ‘sticker sheet’ seemingly replaces the coin, although I was hoping for more than one sticker in a ‘sheet’. The sticker is also stamped with the TCG logo and some copyright information, which does spoil the artwork a little. Personally, I just line up the tins to look at the artwork, and they make for handy storage systems!
A Tight Squeeze
Unfortunately, the corners of the tins tend to crumple the edges of the packs a little. I also had a bit of a job getting them out, but the cards inside were unharmed. While the crumpling wasn’t as bad as it can be in Poké Ball tins, it can still make opening them more difficult and take away some of the magic of a freshly opened product.
I can confirm that my pulls, except for the uncommon reverse holo Drakloak, were the worst possible pulls I could’ve gotten from these packs. I pulled a non-holo rare in Silver Tempest, then 2 common reverse holos and an average holo rare from Scarlet and Violet. If Drakloak were common, then it would be the worst technically possible pulls, but does that uncommon marking of the Drakloak really matter? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating on the little guy, but Drakloak is only uncommon because it is a stage 1, and a mediocre one at that.
The bad luck here really staggered me, since there are SO many amazing cards I could’ve pulled! I could’ve gotten a card from the Silver Tempest Trainer Gallery, or something from the multiple rare card slots in Scarlet and Violet. Even a rare reverse-holo might have been good. Just, something!
At least I was able to pull the characters on the front of the tin; with a Capsakid, it’s evolution Scovillain, as well as a Poundland Pikachu (gosh, I’m being savage today). To be fair to Pawmot, the ‘Electrogenesis’ ability probably makes it the most playable card I pulled, and Pawmo (which is stage 1 in the evolution line of Pawmot) has its own tin artwork with Lechonk. I’m sorry Pawmot, we love you really.
The saving grace here is that most cards, even commons, have excellent artwork these days. If you like what you see in the images, then you are almost certainly going to do even better!
Are Tins The Right Pick?
With the huge array of Pokémon products on the market these days, picking the best product for your needs can be a bit tricky. If you are purely after packs at the cheapest price per pack, then there are more efficient methods (booster boxes/bundles, Elite Trainer Boxes etc.) Some products, like the seasonal lunchbox tins or stacking tins, offer larger storage methods too, but at higher price points. Apart from buying individual packs (which I don’t recommend unless you are buying from a trusted retailer), these mini tins are the cheapest way to get Pokemon card packs for yourself and your family. The stickers and collectable artwork cards are great for children, and the tins are affordable enough to give TCG gifts to multiple children without the costs mounting too quickly.
Getting lucky and unlucky packs is all part of the TCG experience, and I have had far better luck with similar products before. Either way, I believe that the joy of opening packs (and the anticipation leading up to it), is way more important than the exact contents of each pack. Paldea Friends Mini tins are a very affordable way of getting this experience, and the cheapest way to experience opening a product.
Just bear in mind that it all goes out the window when someone pulls a triple gold star Miraidon from a £10 tin… Have sleeves on standby!