Party like it's 1996? That's certainly what it feels like when it comes to Pokémon's recent popularity surge -- and not just for the video game franchise, either. Since the start of Fall 2020, the Pokémon card game has been experiencing perhaps its biggest spike in interest since its initial inception in the late 90's. One of the reasons for this resurgence is popular YouTuber Logan Paul, who spent $200,000 on a first edition box of Pokémon cards from the original English set. Paul sold off each of the packs and then opened them during a livestream on his YouTube channel; he then shipped the cards from each pack out to their respective buyers after the stream. This raised a bunch of attention, as millions of people have since viewed the replay of that broadcast. Many of those people have taken notice as to just how valuable some of these cards are in today's world. While Pokémon has always been extremely popular, this recent publicity bump couldn't have come at a better time for the Company, as it's getting ready to celebrate the brand's 25th Anniversary all year long!
Pokémon Day is celebrated each year on February 27th, which is the official Anniversary of the series' first game release back in 1996. Every year on this day, the Company does something special for its fans, such as dropping exclusive merchandise or revealing in-game events for the most current iteration of the franchise; this year is no different than years past. With different events planned throughout the duration of this year and potential surprise game announcements expected as well, 2021 is sure to be exciting for fans of the franchise. Rumors of a special Pokémon Direct (a special video presentation with news and surprise announcements) set to potentially take place the week of February 21st (aka THIS WEEK) have been swirling for a while now -- the leading rumbling is that remakes of the 2006 titles Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl (one of my all-time favorite games) will be announced for release on the Nintendo Switch later this year. This is just one example of the surprises planned for 2021, with others including clothing items, special cards and packs.
In celebration of all this excitement, I recently bought a booster box of packs all the way from Japan (images below); the series has since been released worldwide. The box contained 10 packs overall and was one of the coolest things I've ever opened my entire life. Some cards in the set are worth at least $500, if not more. None of the cards in my box were worth anything near that amount, but needless to say, I still had so much fun opening them in celebration of the 25th anniversary for the franchise of which I've been a lifelong fan. For admirers of the Pokémon franchise, both past and present, I highly recommend buying a box like this at least one time, especially now with all the increased hype surrounding the trading card game. These cards could be held onto for years and could also wind up becoming quite valuable.
Here's one of the packs from my booster box, which recently arrived from Japan!
So, with Pokémon's 25th Anniversary officially happening this week, there are sure to be a ton of reveals that fans of the series should anticipate seeing for the rest of 2021. Whether you're a fan of the games, the anime or just the cards, there's sure to be something special released for everyone. I have my fingers crossed that the rumors of previous games being re-released are correct and, like the rest of the fan base, look forward to seeing what else is revealed.
- Cameron (@Cameronv1124)