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24th April 2024 EDT FEATURES

Not “Just Another Pokémon TCG Set”: Why Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] Matters

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Not “Just Another Pokémon TCG Set”: Why Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] Matters
Not “Just Another Pokémon TCG Set”: Why Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] Matters

What if we told you that one of the most highly-anticipated sets in the history of the Pokémon TCG wasn’t even one of its generation’s main expansion sets?

Pokémon TCG Pokémon Card 151

Well, that’s what has happened—we’re talking about Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a], a set that has already developed such a reputation that it’ll undoubtedly be talked about within the Pokémon TCG community for years to come.

“Just a moment,” some of you might say, “what’s so great about Pokémon Card 151? It seems to be just like almost any other set.” While on the surface that may appear to be the case, it’s clear by now that Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] is more than “just another set”. This is evident not only via the buzz surrounding its initial launch back in June 2023 but even more so regarding its recently-launched reprints which many had been eagerly awaiting for almost a year.

Perhaps you still don’t understand just why this particular set is such a massive deal. If so, let’s look at the main reasons why Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] is “all that and a bag of Poffins”.


By far the biggest reason why Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] is the draw is that it has to be the nostalgia factor. Although Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] is a ninth-generation set, it’s so named because it features new cards depicting each of the original 151 Pokémon from the first generation. No other Pokémon are included.

For many who have been into Pokémon since the very beginning, this is not just another set. It’s a way for them to indulge their inner child and bask in the nostalgia of almost three decades.

Now, some of you might be thinking “Isn’t nostalgia a thing for everyone regardless of the Pokémon generation they grew up with?” That sentiment is certainly true—however, Gen 1 nostalgia is different compared to nostalgia for subsequent generations.

For one thing, since it was the first generation, there were no other Pokémon in existence. The first 151 ‘mons were all there existed for several years—and this even led to the number 150 (not 151 because of Nintendo’s desire to conceal information about Mythical Pokémon Mew) itself being featured heavily in Gen 1 promotional material. In fact, until the announcement of the second generation, a large number of Pokémon fans assumed that the first 151 (or 150) would be all that there would ever be—and that has given Gen 1 a mystique that no other generation can even hope to match.

It must also be kept in mind that Gen 1 was from 1996 to 1999. This was an era that predates social media. Some of you might be thinking “That doesn’t sound right. Shouldn’t things have more hype with social media to push them?” While that may be true, social media has also splintered pop culture to a point where it’s easier for something to gain a degree of public traction—but also vastly more difficult for something already well-known to explode into a global phenomenon. “Global phenomenon” perfectly describes Pokémon during that era—pretty much every kid ever seemed to be into it at the time. It’s these shared experiences and memories that only serve to make nostalgia even stronger.

Long story short: as insufferable as they may be, there’s a reason “Genwunners” exist but not other generations’ would-be equivalents.

Resale / Investment Value of Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a]

Pokémon TCG Pokémon Card 151

The potential resale and investment value of cards in Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] is another major reason why this set ought to be on every Pokémon fan’s radar. Pokémon TCG sets that come with this level of hype almost never come around—so much so that for both the original print and the reprint, purchase quantities were restricted because demand far outstripped Creatures Inc.’s ability to print new copies of the cards.

As one of the most sought-after Pokémon TCG sets ever, the eventual value of cards from Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] is likely to continue to trend upward over time. Expect the value of fan-favorite cards such as the starter trio and their final forms (NOT their middle forms), Pikachu, Mewtwo and Mew, and Eevee and the three Eeveelutions to continue to top the charts as time passes.

But it’s not just about the ‘mons themselves. One card which already ranks among the set’s most expensive and is likely to end up a solid investment as well is Erika’s Invitation card. This goes beyond the usual “female character value boost”—the Celadon Gym Leader embodies a specific archetype of female character that’s historically been of particular appeal to the Pokémon TCG’s main demographics.

In addition, each card’s Japanese version also comes in a Master Ball Mirror version featuring a background covered in Master Ball prints. Much rarer and more valuable than their ordinary counterparts, Master Ball Mirror cards are far and away this set’s most prized pulls—especially if they’re any of the aforementioned cards.

There’s something for those seeking English cards too. The English-sealed versions of both the Elite Trainer Box (ETB) and Ultimate Pokémon Collection (UPC) are expected to see major value increases over time. This is because they come with unique promotional Full Art illustration cards; the ETB’s is a Snorlax card while the UPC has two: a Mewtwo and a Mew ex card.

Cultural Impact

Pokémon TCG Pokémon Card 151

The cultural impact of Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] has to be mentioned as well. To prove this, try out this thought experiment: think of ANY 10 Pokémon. Just any 10 will do.


If you’re like most Pokémon fans, most or even all of your list consisted of Gen 1 Pokémon—even if you first got into Pokémon during, for example, Gen 6 or 7, or even if you weren’t even born when Gen 1 came out. Why?

Let’s go back to the earlier point about how the lack of social media helped Pokémon’s popularity explode during the actual Gen 1 era. Because it was able to take off in such a way, that helped the Pokémon themselves accrue a cultural cachet that, with a few notable exceptions like Greninja, Lucario, and Zoroark, almost no Pokémon since have been able to match. As mentioned earlier, this near-mythical (the actual word, not as in “Mythical Pokémon”) status of the original 151 has only grown with time. Since Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] includes all the first-generation Pokémon, it stands to reason that its cultural impact would be as large as that of a Pokémon TCG set could possibly be—at least, this deep into the social media era.

Not only that—from a TCG perspective, Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] is the only set in Pokémon TCG history to feature every single first-generation Pokémon. Not even the original Gen 1 TCG sets were that way—they were spread out over various sets. This further enhances the cultural impact of Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] because it gathers the vast majority of the most well-known Pokémon in just one set, giving it a unique place in the Pokémon TCG’s entire lineup.

The Human Factor

Pokémon TCG Pokémon Card 151

Finally, we come to arguably the most important point: Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] has brought countless lapsed fans, players, and collectors back to not only the Pokémon TCG but to the Pokémon franchise itself. Hop onto any Pokémon TCG message board and one will see countless stories of people who had not even thought about Pokémon in years or even decades—but the sheer hype of Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] coupled with its nostalgia factor brought them back. After that, many retained their rekindled interest and continued to delve further into the Pokémon universe, be it the TCG, video games, anime, manga, or a combination thereof.

In this way, the effect of Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] is similar to that of the augmented reality (AR) mobile game Pokémon Go in 2016—especially during the now-iconic “Pokémon Go summer”—the weeks immediately following its release. Like Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a], Pokémon Go was first launched with just the Gen 1 Pokémon. If Pokémon Go had been released with all six (at the time) generations of Pokémon, it would not have had nearly the impact that it did—not only among serious Pokémon fans but among casual and lapsed fans as well.

After the initial release of Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a], the Pokémon TCG experienced an uptick in general popularity for this same reason. A similar effect can be expected following the reprint—many have already mentioned how the sensation of opening up a Pokémon TCG pack gave them a rush they hadn’t felt in years or decades. It’s this sense of joy and adrenaline combined that has kept these “reverts” with the Pokémon TCG—and all because Creatures Inc. dropped the most nostalgic set ever.

Finally, on a heartwarming note, many who grew up with the original 151 Pokémon and have since become parents have used Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] as a way to bond with their children who may be into Pokémon themselves but are too young to truly grasp the impact that the Gen 1 ‘mons had. Other Pokémon-loving parents, meanwhile, were able to pass on their decades-long fandom to their kids through this set.

That just about covers all the reasons why Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] is the Pokémon TCG’s most significant set in quite some time. There’s no doubt that Creatures Inc. has truly raised the bar with this one.

In other TCG-related news, check out the Charizard GX card from GX Ultra Shiny [SM8b]. Alternatively, you can also head over to the SNKRDUNK App via the banner below and find the top trending and latest single cards and boxes.

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