25 years after it’s initial release, the 2021 Pokemon Celebrations Elite Trainer Box looks at the best that the TGC has to offer with cards that will complement almost any collection.
Some of the most popular Pokemon cards have been re-released as part of the set, and boxes have been flying off the shelves during the holiday season.
We’ve cracked open a couple of boxes as we take a look at what to expect from the 25th Anniversary Edition, along with discussing the overall investment potential for graded versions of the best 2021 Pokemon Celebrations cards.
Pokemon Celebrations Elite Trainer Box: Key Stats & Info
Here’s a breakdown containing key stats and info about the 2021 Pokemon Celebrations Elite Trainer Box.
- Initial Release Date: The Pokemon Celebrations Elite Trainer Box was released October 8, 2021 in the United States
- RRP: $50 in the United States, £42 in the UK
- Resale Options: eBay and StockX, along with many others
- What they say: “Every Pokemon TCG expansion is unique, but the Pokemon TCG: Celebrations Collection takes extraordinary to another level. Featuring a Classic Collection in addition to other exciting cards, this expansion features a celebratory parade of cards you won’t find anywhere else. Celebrate 25 years of Pokémon with a collection that highlights some of the game’s most memorable moments and Pokémon.”
- How Many Packs: 10 Celebrations 4-card booster packs, 5 additional booster packs
Pokemon Celebrations Elite Trainer Box: What to Expect
Most collectors are purely interested in the Celebrations packs, which contain a number of elusive re-released cards. (We’ve listed five of the very best Pokemon TCG: Celebrations cards in a separate section below.)
However, you do get a wide range of accessories which does sweeten the deal, especially if you enjoy playing the trading card game.
- 10 Pokemon TCG: Celebrations 4-card booster packs
- 5 additional Pokemon TCG booster packs, each containing 10 cards and 1 basic Energy
- 1 special foil card featuring Greninja ☆
- 65 card sleeves featuring the Pokemon 25 logo and lightning tail design
- 45 Pokemon TCG Energy cards
- A player’s guide to the Celebrations expansion
- A Pokemon TCG rulebook
- 6 stamped damage-counter dice
- 1 metal Pokemon coin
- 2 acrylic condition markers
- A collector’s box to hold everything, with 4 dividers to keep it organised
- A code card for the Pokemon Trading Card Game Online
It’s a great asking price if you’re looking at RRP, and could be justifiable at resale depending on what’s inside the box.
We found that the supplied ‘Pokemon 25’ sleeves weren’t great, and seemed to be bending our cards ever so slightly.
It’s not ideal if you’re planning to send them off for grading in the future. They might look great, but you’re better off sticking with the tried and tested combination of a Toploader and a penny sleeve.
Meanwhile, we found that the collector’s box was just too small to fit a toploader sideways, which seems like a bit of an oversight.
Overall, it’s still a great deal for anyone with an interest in the Pokémon TGC.
Pokemon Celebrations Elite Trainer Box: Best Cards
As the collection focuses on the best Pokémon cards released over the past 25 years, there are many cards which could have made the list. Generally, they’re like-for-like reprints, although there are a few differences depending on the card you’re looking at.
The Pokemon Celebrations versions can be distinguished thanks to a large Pikachu stamp found on the lower left corner of the card image.
It was the final EX Series promotional set released for the Pokemon Organised Play program and featured some of the last Japanese promotional cards to be released in English.
Known as the Umbreon Gold Star, the original is a non-holo. (‘Gold Star’ Pokemon are some of the rarest released, and that’s certainly true for the Series 5 card that was released between March 2007 to September 2007.)
2021 Celebrations has brought Umbreon back, this time with a sparkling holo background that arguably makes it look better than the rare original. It might be worth wrapping in a graded sleeve.
The Dragon-type Mega M Pokemon-EX was the only card with a printed move damage value of 300 that is not a variation of Charizard when it first came out, and wasn’t matched until 2021.
As with all Pokemon Celebrations cards, you’ll find a Pikachu-shaped stamp, this time on the bottom left corner of the image.
Mew is a popular Pokemon found in 2021 Celebrations packs, while the card is marked as a ‘Secret Rare’.
Gold Secret Rare versions have been a staple in sets released over the past few years, and it catches the eye immediately thanks to an alternative colour scheme.
It’s another hit, and will currently pay for the box if you’re not bothered to send it off for grading.
As we continue down our list of the heavy hitters, there’s no forgetting Blastoise.
The water-type is the final evolved form of Squirtle, and should sell for a decent sum if it’s wrapped in a graded sleeve.
However, it is reasonably plentiful, especially if you’re looking for copies on the likes of eBay. (For example, they’re currently going for roughly $10 at the current time of writing.)
However, we think that there’s a good chance that it’ll begin to creep up in time.
The most coveted card from the original set by a wide margin, Charizard is back in all of his glory for this re-release, breathing a familiar plume of orange and yellow fire.
As a like-for-like reprint of one of the most popular cards in existence, even ungraded versions will attract a lot of interest.
After all, the majority of collectors can’t afford a Shadowless original holo version, never mind a graded copy of the card.
It’s far cheaper than the original, but still goes for a significantly higher fee than any of the other cards from the Celebrations collection.
That’s doubly true if the Charizard Celebrations card has been graded by the likes of PSA or BGS.
Pokemon Celebrations Elite Trainer Box: What Did We Pack?
We’re massive fans of the Pokémon TCG: Celebrations set, so we grabbed a trio of boxes when they came back into stock during the holiday period.
If you just want a rundown of the best Celebrations cards we got out of three boxes, the list is as follows:
- Umbreon: x1
- M Rayquaza EX x1
- Venusaur x2
- Secret Mew x1
- Blastoise x3
- Charizard x0 🙁
We’ll be honest. It’s disappointing not to see a Charizard staring back at you after opening a box, but that’s the luck of the draw.
We did pack a number of the original starter evolutions in the form of Venusaur. A faithful reproduction of the original holo card, it’s a pleasing sight for anyone who collected the originals 25 years ago.
The same goes for Blastoise, which was found multiple times.
We also opened a number of cards from the additional booster packs, with a few in the $10-$30 dollar range if ungraded.
All in all, we made our money back easily, but would it have been better to keep the box to resell at a later date?
Pokemon Celebrations Elite Trainer Box: Box Prices
Pokemon boxes are a valuable commodity heading into the beginning of 2022.
The trio of boxes we picked up would likely have sold for double the price if we held onto them for a month or two, but we decided to take a chance and see what was inside.
If you have good impulse control they could be a canny investment, although you’re throwing away the chance of packing a Charizard.
There are also the 5 additional booster packs which are included, and they could also hold a valuable card or two.
We expect the average price of unopened boxes to head north over the next 12 months.
Lucky fans got their hands on the Ultra Premium Collection, which is unbelievably scarce in terms of unopened stock.
The Ultra Premium Collection includes a massive set of Pokemon TCG: Celebrations boosters as well as commemorative Pikachu and Charizard cards made of solid metal, showing these characters as they first appeared in the Pokemon TCG.
They go on to explain;
“There’s also a guide to game mechanics through the history of the Pokemon Trading Card Game, playable promo cards featuring Poke Ball and Pikachu V in glimmering etched gold, additional surprises with even more Pokemon TCG booster packs, and more.”
The Pokemon TCG: Celebrations Ultra-Premium Collection includes:
- 2 commemorative metal cards featuring Base Set Pikachu and Base Set Charizard
- 1 special gold version of Pikachu V
- 1 special gold version of Poke Ball
- A stunning Charizard and Pikachu enamel pin
- 1 metal Pokémon coin
- 17 Pokemon TCG: Celebrations 4-card booster packs
- 8 additional Pokemon TCG booster packs
- A player’s guide to game mechanics through the history of the Pokemon TCG
- 3 storage boxes to keep everything together
- A code card for the Pokemon Trading Card Game Online
Commemorative solid gold cards are always going to be tempting for fans of the series, especially if they’re in good condition. The Ultra Premium Collection is likely to hold the most value long-term.
Pokemon Celebrations Elite Trainer Box: Investment Potential
Investing in new Pokémon cards is always relatively risky. You can never tell what prices will be like in the long run.
On the other hand, there are numerous reasons why it could pay off.
It’s a 25th anniversary celebration for one of the biggest and best loved trading card sets of all-time, and that’s before you account for the popularity of the games, as well as the anime.
Then there’s the fact that the set is priced at an affordable entry point for lots of newer collectors, who have seen prices for the very best original base cards rise out of reach.
The set focuses on Charizard and Pikachu, two of the best loved Pokemon of all-time.
We’ve already sent off a range of Celebrations cards for grading, and plan to hold onto them for the time being until stock begins to run out.
Will copies of the Charizard and the Secret Mew hold their value? It’s difficult to be sure, but it would be worth picking up the original trio of Charizard, Blastoise, and Venusaur.
Pokemon Celebrations Elite Trainer Box: Final Thoughts
We might not have found a Charizard, but that’s the point of an elusive chase item which is wanted by almost every Pokémon card collector.
Even the Mew was a lucky find, covering the price of a box easily. With that being said, we only just broke even if we were to sell the cards ungraded today.
(We figured it makes sense to send them off, as graded copies do sell at the right price point.)
Results will vary, but it’s a worthy addition to the TGC, and should be a popular legacy collection in years to come.
The same goes for the boxes, which are starting to thin out after the current round of reprints made their way to collectors after the holiday period.
Do you think the current crop of Celebrations cards will hold their value in the long-term? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!