Perhaps not the best news to receive, the Pokemon TCG will be gaining a price increase now officially moving into its ninth generation of products. Within this article my aim is to help bring my insight and speculation to the forefront, and perhaps allow some collectors to be able to see this price change as a not entirely negative outcome.
This topic was already discussed in one of our previous articles, but to quickly summarize the basic idea, Pokemon card packs will now retail at $4.49, a $0.50 cent increase from where it was previously at. This price increase may seem bad on the surface, but its cost implications get worse the further you look at them. For example, a Scarlet/ Violet base set ETB on the Pokemon Center website costs $59.99, which is ten dollars more than what it was the previous generation. While it certainly seems bad on paper, this increase in price may not be too bad however, especially if we analyze why exactly the price has been increased.
An unfortunate example of what this price increase is effecting are the booster boxes this generation. If you look at the Pokemon Center website, you can preorder a base set booster box for $161.64. A booster box contains 36 packs of a given set, knowing these two numbers we can quickly calculate that the price per pack would be exactly $4.49. The main reason behind buying a booster box in the past was because you would be purchasing in bulk, meaning you would be getting a substantial discount for every pack, but now it seems that this may not be the case. Relying on outside companies and websites may become the new norm, due to the increase in prices.
The price increase in Pokemon card packs may be partially attributed to an increased cost in production, perhaps due to a global inflation in the dollar, but its reasoning may not be as complicated and disheartening as that. In generation nine, Pokemon packs will have a different way their pulls will work. Moving forward, every pack will now have a guaranteed holographic card inside of it, meaning that these cards will no longer be considered rare by any means. This means that there won't be any more 'dud' packs, and now fans can actually get more rare cards that they're after, instead of the same holo duplicates.
Another reason speculated behind this increase in price would be due to the influx of scalpers, which seems to have peaked during the COVID-19 pandemic. Scalpers would seem to purchase whatever products they could get their greasy hands on, and then proceed to resell those same items at a large percentage more than the initial price. The increased price tag behind Pokemon TCG products now may be able to deter scalping to some extent, because it will lead to their "hustle" becoming less profitable. Summarized, the increased MSRP would lead to scalpers just making a smaller return, which is always something nice to hear.
While having to have our wallets drained even further is never a fun thing to see, at the very least the Pokemon Company is not doing this mindlessly. Specifically referring to the changed pull rates of packs, the next generation of cards will certainly be different to collect. While we may have the ability to purchase as many packs as before, more than likely we will not have to purchase as many in order to obtain the cards that we are most seeking. By far, the most interesting thing will be how the increased pack cost will effect the prices of individual cards, as well as their rarity on the marketplace.