Evolutionizing Pokenomics : Is the Newest XY Set Worth the Hype?
There seems to be quite a bit of questions regarding the release of Pokemon’s newest TCG Set: XY Evolutions, which is being released officially on November 2, 2016. This past weekend, many trainers were able to participate in this set’s first round of prereleases, showcasing what appears to be possibly Pokemon’s most desired set to date. From a competitive standpoint, let’s face it, this set is quite underwhelming. Sure Dragonite EX could be some fun and cards like Mewtwo, Beedrill, Starmie, and M-Pidgeot EX may see some sort of competitive play; but nothing jumps out of the booster packs screaming “meta shattering.” However; from a collector’s standpoint, I personally cannot recall a more highly anticipated set and pre-order sales are providing evidence of just that.
Now that we have had the release of some of the physical product itself, people are jumping at the opportunity to attend prereleases, crack open their kits, and sell the product at ridiculously high prices. Complainers and cynicism seems to be crawling out of the woodwork attacking these individuals for price gauging and arguing that these individuals are being ridiculous with their astronomical values…but are they? In this article I want to break down a little information on what I think to expect from this set as it pertains to investing side of things.
First, I think it is important to take a step back and look at where Pokemon has come in just the past 6 months. With the change this year in Regional Championships structure and higher cash payouts being offered at events, Pokemon is booming. The first couple of regional events alone are seeing triple digit growth numbers in terms of attendance and many other competitive TCG players are jumping ship over to Pokemon simply because of the updated prize structure. This impact alone tied into XY Evolutions being the first “new” set to be released in format should immediately impact demand.
Second, and this is probably the most important point, we need to look at the nostalgia factor. XY Evolutions is an extremely fascinating and unique set. Coming off the heels of the most successful gaming app in history with Pokemon Go, this set is being released at the perfect time. Pokemon Go turned millions of lost trainers back into casual fans. These “Millenials” and “Gen Xers” thrive off of the nostalgia factor. Pokemon Go brought back their fondest childhood memories and turned them into reality. These trainers started day dreaming of the joy they received from opening packs and pulling their favorite card from the original Base Set almost 20 years ago. Pokemon made the ingenious decision to release this set as more of an homage to that original Base Set. The card designs are extremely similar, the cards feature the original Pokemon, and the Megas are 3 of the most popular Pokemon of all time (M-Charizard EX, M-Blastoise EX, M-Venusaur EX). The nostalgia factor alone compounded with “Millenials” and “Gen Xers” now having money should indicate that demand for this set will be through the roof.
Finally, but still somewhat relevant, we need to look at the upcoming release of Pokemon Sun & Moon. With the upcoming release of a brand new format featuring brand new Pokemon, the general interest in Pokemon has never been higher. Sun & Moon features a completely new generation of the game which always means old trainers returning and new trainers forming. It has been almost 2 years since the release of the last Pokemon Video Game and 3 years since the last generation of Pokemon appeared. In such a dynamic and ever changing society like the one that we live in, these changes and updates will greatly impact the demand of all things Pokemon.
History alone tells you that pre-orders are somewhat inflated and I think that holds true for this set. Here is a breakdown of what some of the more popular cards are currently selling at 1 week before release date:
Some of the prices we see are simply too high to believe that they will hold true. In fact, I think the only card on this list that will continue to hold its value (and probably even rise in value over time) would be the Full Art Mega Charizard. We can point back to XY Flashfire and XY Generations as evidence to this where all of the Mega Charizards still hold quite a bit of value despite being virtually unplayable.
The rest of the cards in this set will for certain see a dip in value over time. While I do suspect the dip will not be as severe as we have seen in previous sets, I do expect many of these cards to float around 70% of their presale value, with some exceptions having more significant drops over time.
With all of that being said, long term possibilities are endless with this set. We are basically rewinding time 20 years to the original Base Set release and mint condition cards from Base Set are extremely difficult to come by currently unless you are willing to spend a pretty penny. It is my assumption that XY Evolutions will be a set that will start out with a bang, fall slightly to the waste side, and then grow significantly back up in price without notice. My advice is to ignore the valleys and buy as low as you can when the valleys hit. Overtime, I expect this set to be extremely profitable and very much worth the hype that has been surrounding it.