This past Saturday saw the release of the latest Pokemon card game expansion pack, “Emerald Break”, as well as several limited card sleeves only available for sale at the Pokemon Center and the Pokemon Center Amazon store.
The last time Pokemon Center limited card sleeves were released was back near the end of January. Partly because of the inclusion of a Pikazard design in honor of the opening of the Mega-Tokyo Center, people went a little nuts. I refer to that day as “Card Sleeve-mageddon: The Apocalypse”. Because of the amount of scalpers (and their goons), the Pikazard design disappeared almost like magic within a minute after opening, and the rest of the sleeves quickly followed. People were pushing and shoving, grabbing as many sleeve packs as possible, and I would say within 5 minutes, everything was gone.
Because of how horrible it was at Tokyo, the Pokemon Center decided to impose a restriction on the number of card sleeve packs one person could buy at a time for the March 14th release. This restriction was apparently only enforced in Tokyo, however, as I heard rumors that scalpers were not having any issues buying as many as they wanted in other locations. Even in Tokyo, it only helped a little; although you could only buy up to 10 packs of each design at a time, it wasn’t that difficult for people to buy as many as they could and then simply go back into the Center and buy more.
I decided it would be safer if I arrived at the Center as early as possible, so me and Adam caught the first express train of the day, bright and early at 5:30 am.
We were not the first in line, but we were close enough that we were able to easily get everything we needed.
The kind of silly buying restriction didn’t stop scalpers from dominating the sleeve buying market, but it helped to keep the sleeves from selling out as quickly as last time. Even with that said, by the time we got in line to pay, two out of four of the Pokemon Center exclusive designs were completely wiped out, never to be restocked. Moral of the story: when it comes to card sleeves, do not wait and if possible, bring goons with you.
As part of the “Emerald Break” release promotion, these Rayquaza Mega Battle shopping bags are currently being handed out. They were still in stock when I went back to the Center on Monday, so there is a good chance they will stick around for another week or two, at the very least. I have a small collection of limited shoppers, and I always enjoy adding to it, even if it’s a Pokemon that’s not necessarily my favorite.
Here are the four Pokemon Center exclusive sleeve designs. Of the four, I thought Pikachu would sell out first, but the Center must have been prepared for this because it seemed like that was the only sleeve they had enough extras of to keep restocking. I had a feeling Dragonite would be popular and it, along with Goomy, were the first two to sell out.
Rayquaza was available on-line, but the design is still neat.
On a closing note, it’s officially Wednesday, which means only a few days until Saturday, and you know what that means…
The first installment of the newly reinstated Monthly Pikachu! I affectionately refer to him as “Tanaka-Pika” because he looks like a Tanaka to me. It’s the glasses.
If you visit the Pokemon Center and buy something, not only will you get the Rayquaza shopper, but also one of three Tanaka-Pikachu business cards (while supplies last). Between going to the Pokemon Center on Saturday and Monday with Adam, I was able to get all three designs! I am super excited to have my very own Tanaka-Pika.