The hype for Pokemon 151 has been unreal recently; its a set which has had consumers on the edge of their wallets like no other set. Due to reasons such as nostalgia, it being a special holiday set, and Charizard, Pokemon 151 became one of the most popular sets in recent history, a title it held even before its official release. Additionally once other components of the set, such as the Master Ball holographic rare, were discovered, hype only continued to grow. In order to match what was already seen as a surge in popularity, manufactures heavily printed this set in order to attempt to meet demand; however, they failed to recognize the sheer quantity of people who wanted this set. Vendors were left having sold more product than they could acquire and now the Japanese TCG market is going haywire. This is the current problem of Pokemon 151.
Rise of Pokemon Card 151
In order to begin to understand why Pokemon 151 is in this predicament, we first need to understand why it is so popular. To state again, it is a set with numerous things making it alluring to fans, collectors especially. Primarily, since it is a set centered entirely around generation one, it is drenched in nostalgia. Anything Pokemon puts out which is reminiscent of their earliest years does well, look at sets such as XY Evolutions to see this being the case. The card list for this set is brilliantly executed as well, making full use of the different rarity types used in the Scarlet and Violet series. Because of these, and other factors listed earlier, Pokemon 151 quickly became the hottest new thing in the TCG community, and thus demand rapidly started to run high.
The Paradox of Undersupply and Price Hikes
At this point, one can only wonder why manufacturers didn't increase production in order to match the demand for Pokemon 151; unfortunately, even though they did, it hardly did anything to stop the artificial inflation they wanted to prevent. In order to attempt to meet up with the demand and avoid the set falling into severe scarcity, Creatures made the same call they did with Snow Hazard and Clay Burst, and chose to make the set 'made to order'. Essentially, in addition to whatever they were providing to vendors, manufacturing had ramped up to meet to customers. It also goes without saying, but due to the high demand of the set, vendors were already selling Pokemon 151 booster boxes at a higher than normal price. The combination of a set being this heavily printed, next to sky-high prices of booster boxes and individual cards, quickly became an unfortunate occurrence.
Due to the astronomical demand for Pokemon 151, Japanese vendors have now found themselves in an extremely unfortunate predicament. A large amount of shops are now having difficulty meeting the demand and orders they received for this set. Vendors, who had received figures for a set amount of product they would receive, were shortchanged by suppliers and thus can no longer fulfill all of their orders. Vendors are now stuck, knowing that they cannot fulfill orders which they had previously thought they could, and consumers are left wondering why their booster boxes won't ship. This whole shortage situation, while at no fault to the vendors, could cause harm to vendor-customer relations, and might cause some to lose trust in their favorite stores.
Fruitless Hunt for Product
Pokemon Card 151 has become even more elusive now, after having been out for a week, even more so than it was during its first day of release. The lengths many collectors will go through in order to acquire products for this set is truly something else. Seemingly this set has no price ceiling, and has just become a buying frenzy. Vendors are attempting everything they can in order to meet the orders they have, although this doesn't seem like it'll happen anytime soon. With no price ceiling, growing demand, and current dwindling supply, we can only expect prices to continue to hike upwards.
Words of Advice
If you or a loved one are still searching for Pokemon Card 151 amidst this calamity, I do have some help to offer you. Firstly, understand that getting your hands on any sealed booster boxes right now is no easy feat, so potentially consider purchasing cards you like individually or purchasing individual packs for box break events. Sometimes this is a better alternative because it allows you to not drop as much money and instead get something you know you want. At TCGStadium, we do have live box breaks happening for Pokemon 151; if having packs of this set ripped is what you desire, look no further than our website. Similarly, we sell cards for this set as well, so if you're looking for anything specific we may have it in stock.
Even with these options though, your best bet would be to hold off. The artificial, inflated bubble that Pokemon Card 151 is currently in will eventually pop in due time. It is a trend seen in almost any set upon release, with prices for anything related to it being much higher during its first few days when compared to two weeks later. Once supply finally reaches up to demand, and vendors finally have some card product they can allocate, prices should return to a normal state. This is even more true once the initial hype for this set has died down as well.
We've seen other sets in the recent past be placed in similar situations to this, albeit not to this extent. For a while, VSTAR Universe was in this same predicament, where vendors simply didn't have enough supply to meet demand. Crown Zenith at the beginning of its print run was also in this same situation as well. The key point is that once more product had been put into circulation, prices were able to return to normal, and products became more affordable.
A set artificially being supported by the fear of missing out and miscommunication is currently what we're looking at. Pokemon Card 151 will certainly go down as one of the greatest sets in modern history, with products which will certainly appreciate greatly overtime. Currently however, it is only known for being a set which is infamously difficult to acquire, for both customers and vendors alike.