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2nd May 2024 EDT FEATURES

The Story of Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a]: How An Epic Pokémon TCG Set Came to Be

A lot went into making Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] the megahit that it was. Here's a run-down of everything that had to happen behind the scenes to make things happen.

Pokémon TCG The Story of 151

At first glance, the overwhelming success of Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] might seem to be an instance in which Creatures Inc. captured “lightning in a bottle”. However, in reality, years of planning went into making this remarkable Pokémon TCG set a reality.

The Gen 8 Era

Pokémon TCG The Story of 151

Our story begins back in 2019, when the eighth generation of Pokémon kicked off with the launch of main-series video games Pokémon Sword and Shield.

Pokémon TCG The Story of 151

During Pokémon’s eighth generation, both the video games and anime were loaded with shout-outs to the first generation. In Pokémon Sword and Shield, the Dynamax and Gigantamax mechanics were introduced. Both turned a Pokémon giant and greatly increased all of that Pokémon’s stats; however, Gigantamax was only accessible to a select few Pokémon.

Of all the Pokémon that could Gigantamax, a whopping 12 of them were Gen 1 ‘mons. Many Gen 1 Pokémon also received regional variants for the Galar region where Sword and Shield were based.

Pokémon TCG The Story of 151

Gen 8 also saw the end of the Pokémon anime’s original run, culminating in Ash’s iconic showdown against Leon, the most skilled Trainer of the Galar region, with the world championship on the line.

Shortly before the climactic finish, Ash’s Pikachu had a mental flashback showing the other five of Ash’s first six Pokémon—and that gave Pikachu the fortitude to defeat Leon’s Charizard, clinch the championship, and send off the series on a high note.

By this point, it was clear that a pattern was emerging. The powers that be were adding more and more Gen 1 references into the franchise as a whole—largely to appeal to older fans’ senses of nostalgia. Thus, the question then came about: “what about the TCG?”

Throughout the Pokémon TCG’s eighth generation, while cards depicting Gigantamaxed and Galarian versions of first-generation Pokémon were released, there was never a specific release of any sort intended to spotlight Gen 1 Pokémon in general and bring them into the present day.

However, at this point the wheels were definitely in motion—it was obvious that at some point, Creatures Inc. would be planning a tribute to Gen 1 in some way. This was especially so with the 25th anniversary of the Pokémon TCG to arrive in 2021.

This is where the story takes an unexpected turn. Keep in mind that Gen 8 lasted from 2019 to 2022. What do we think about when we think of those years?

The Pandemic

Pokémon TCG The Story of 151

That’s right—Covid-19.

While the pandemic caused hardships to so many all over the world, one group of people to whom that certainly didn’t apply was the folks at Creatures Inc. Why?

While everyone was holed up at home due to lockdown restrictions, many used the opportunity to take up or revisit collecting and/or playing Pokémon TCG. Demand for Pokémon TCG cards and sets soared over the duration of the pandemic.

On multiple occasions over the pandemic’s peak, demand exceeded supply to the extent that The Pokémon Company and Creatures Inc. sometimes weren’t able to produce cards in sufficient quantities to match buyers’ newly-increased desires.

Pokémon TCG The Story of 151

In October 2021, the 25th Anniversary Collection [S8a] was released. However, in spite of the grandeur of its title, this was not the set that years of anticipation seemed to have been building towards. That said, despite containing just 30 cards, this set was nevertheless well-regarded by many owing to its status as a commemorative set. By now, those who had been carefully keeping track of things over the prior few years would likely have figured out that the wheels were in motion for something really big.

In hindsight, it could very well have been the case that Creatures Inc. had been waiting for a post-pandemic environment before releasing Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a]. They knew what they had and might have been awaiting a time at which the cards would not only be bought online, but also in-person with hordes of buyers flooding physical stores all over the world.

The Lawsuit Retraction

The eighth generation made way for the ninth in 2022—but “that TCG set” was still nowhere in sight. In reality, there was one last thing needed to make the magic happen—in this case literally.

Pokémon TCG The Story of 151

In 2000, illusionist Uri Geller sued Nintendo, alleging that Kadabra, a first-generation Pokémon, was a misuse of his likeness. This was for two reasons: Kadabra’s Japanese name of “Yungera” was similar to Geller’s own name spelled in Japanese characters, while Kadabra’s spoon-bending psychic powers were supposedly a reference to Geller himself.

The lawsuit was dismissed in 2003; however, it wouldn’t be until 2020 that Geller formally retracted his complaint. This along with several fan petitions laid the groundwork for Kadabra’s return to the Pokémon TCG, ultimately leading to the final piece of the Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] puzzle falling into place.

The Big Release

Pokémon TCG The Story of 151

In April 2023, the upcoming release of Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a]—now confirmed to include every single Gen 1 Pokémon—was announced. The set would drop in Japan in June 2023 and internationally in September 2023; the international version would be known as 151 [MEW]. More than likely, Creatures Inc. waited for some time to pass after Gen 9 began before the announcement so as not to distract from the buzz around the new generation that already existed.

Not surprisingly, the announcement just about “broke the Internet”. Pre-orders for the set came in at an absolutely blistering pace—first in Japan, then elsewhere. After Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a], the Pokémon TCG’s ninth generation continued as normal. Set after set was released—but none even came close to matching the nostalgia-fueled Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] that was likely the culmination of more than three years of planning.

Such was the overwhelming success of Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] that at the conclusion of its original print run, Pokémon TCG enthusiasts clamored for a reprint for many months. Finally, that reprint arrived in Japan in April 2024—and once again, demand was at an apex.

Such was the fanbase’s interest in the Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] reprint that purchase limits were put in place in many stores. While the English version is yet to receive a reprint of its own, it’s safe to assume that the same will be the case once that arrives.

Even if excessive demand for Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] precludes anyone from buying the actual cards in-store, it’s always possible to buy it online as well—including right here on the SNKRDUNK App. In particular, we recommend purchasing Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] cards and boxes by way of the App when we have discounts on shipping fees as well as during other promotional campaigns when these cards go on discount.

Do stay with us for the latest information on such promotions and discounts. By doing so, any potential buyers can easily remain ahead of the curve and land anything from Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] at outstanding value for money.

The story of how Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] came to be is almost as compelling as the cards themselves. Everything had to be perfectly in place before Creatures Inc. could unleash a set that even in less than one year has already become among the Pokémon TCG’s most iconic ever. There’s never been an expansion set like Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a]—and more than likely, there won’t be for the foreseeable future.

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