Hands-on: Pokémon’s new Celebrations TCG gets in on the 25th anniversary fanfare

Throughout all of 2021 so far, 9to5Toys has been detailing the excitement surrounding the 25th anniversary of Pokémon. Tomorrow will see some of the year’s most highly anticipated releases themed around the festivities debut, the new Pokémon Celebrations TCG. Breaking down what’s new, what to look out for, and our all-around thoughts on the releases, you can head below for all of the details as well as our unboxing experience of the limited-edition releases.

Pokémon Celebrations TCG arrives tomorrow!

So far 2021 has been dominated by a string of Pokémon announcements that seem to be getting more and more exciting as time goes on. And for good reason too! The Pokémon Company is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the franchise with all of the fanfare you’d expect. In January we reported that the TCG would be reprinting old-school cards that got fans invested back in the day, and now that is coming to fruition with the launch of the most exciting expansion yet – the Pokémon Celebrations TCG.

This time around, the name of the game for the Pokémon trading cards is all about getting in on the 25th anniversary action with a series of themed packs, bundles, and all-new cards. Everything will be launching tomorrow on October 8, but in the meantime let’s breakdown all the ways to score some of the new releases.

Celebrations Elite Trainer Box

Headlining all of the new Pokémon Celebrations TCG releases is the Elite Trainer Box. If you’ve been out of the game for some time and are looking to dive right back into the action, this is a great package. You’re getting 10 of the Celebrations booster packs, which come with four all-new cards each alongside five packs from the back catalog of the Pokémon TCG. There’s also a player’s guide, dive, coin, and a box to store your cards in. As one of the more expensive releases from the Pokémon 25th anniversary lineup, the Elite Trainer Box sells for $49.99.

Celebrations Collector Chest

Packed within a collectible metal chest, there’s another bundle that includes six of the new Celebrations booster packs alongside two Pokémon TCG packs and some promotional foil cards. This one joins the lineup at the $24.99 price point.

Celebrations Mini Tins

As one of the more affordable ways to get in on the Pokémon Celebrations action, there will be eight different mini tins. Each of these include two of the new Celebrations booster packs alongside one addition TCG pack and an anniversary-themed coin. All of course packed inside of the metal tin that comes in a variety of designs showing off different starter Pokémon. Each of them is priced at $8.99.

Collection packs

Some of my favorite releases from the Pokémon Celebrations TCG are the new collection bundles, which include several of the 25th anniversary packs on top of jumbo cards, binders, pins, and even figures. Pricing on these varies on which of the five different packages you choose from.

  • Pikachu VMAX: $49.99
  • Deluxe Pin Collection: $19.99
  • Dragapult Prime: $14.99
  • Pikachu V-UNION: $29.99
  • Lance’s Charizard V: $19.99
  • Dark Sylveon V: $19.99

Unboxing the new 25th anniversary cards

Ahead of hitting store shelves tomorrow, the Pokémon Company sent over a collection of the new Celebrations TCG for me to check out. I was able to go hands-on with many of the 25th anniversary releases, and I have to say that all of the hype around the new expansion is absolutely well-deserved.

As per usual with new runs in the TCG, there’s a new collection of cards to score from the series; starring both remakes of classics as well as first-time debuts.

Some of the packs offer better value for expanding your collection than others, but there’s definitely something to be said for everything. This has been my first real primer on what to expect from the recent TCG, and so everything from the jumbo cards to tins have been exciting in their own right. Though I will say that older collectors just looking to dive in may find that going with one of the Collection packs are the best options in my book.

It seems like all of my favorites this time around are centered around Pikachu, which is pretty fitting for the whole Celebration festivities. It’d be hard to pick a favorite of the entire lot, but there are a few inclusions that really stand out to me. First and foremost is the Pikachu VMAX pack, which includes a figure of the mascot. I’m already a sucker for collectibles, and the pairing of the new 25th anniversary cards and the adorable figure is hard to beat.

Another one of my favorites is centered around a pin, which depicts Pikachu either surfing or soaring amongst the clouds. Of course the pack still includes some Celebration boosters alongside other cards, but the special item is a real standout for someone who is a general Pokémon fan first and a TCG collector second.

I also have to mention the Pikachu V-UNION collection pack as another highlight, too. The spit artwork of the featured card makes for a perfect display piece and a great entry point that’s more affordable than some of the other releases.

9to5Toys’ take:

Earlier this summer the Pokémon company filled me in on what to expect from the Celebrations TCG, and from the press event alone I could tell that there was a lot to be excited about. You know that when the PR reps are just as giddy about the new unveils as you are that the release is going to be a good one. And now that I’ve gotten my hands on the releases, that’s been proven and then some.

Sure, I haven’t been into the Pokémon TCG over the past few years, but getting to unbox all of the new Celebration cards has reinvigorated all of the nostalgia I had for the collectible cards from back in the day. There’s clearly been no shortage of fanfare over the cards with packs pretty much disappearing from store shelves, but now it’s thrilling to be in on the action.

If you’re like me and a general fan of Pokémon all-around, the Celebrations packs make for a perfect time to get into the hobby for the first time or pick up from where you left off. Even if you’re not trying to fill a binder with the complete collection, there are so many cards and inclusions that are downright enjoyable that it’s hard for Pokémon lovers to not be interested.

All of the new Pokémon Celebrations TCG packs will be available on store shelves starting tomorrow, October 8.

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