Why we didn’t think of doing this earlier is unfortunate, but somewhere between 2 basketball seasons, dance practice and recital, a parade and recent City Championships, the Fincastle Gym Leaders have been just a little busy. One of the things we’ve learned over the years is a more economical approach to buying Pokemon cards and merchandise. Some of this info may have been more useful a few weeks ago, but if you’re like me, you’ve still got some shopping to do. So, here are a few helpful tips.
The best value out there right now as far as buying cards go are the EX Pokemon tins. These include Reshiram, Zekrom, Kyurem, Mewtwo, Darkrai and Rayquaza (all EX versions). Each of these tins feature the EX shown in the display window and four additional booster packs. Of these tins, we recommend the newer three (Darkrai, Mewtwo and Rayquaza), as they feature better EX’s (Darkrai and Mewtwo both sold for over $40 each until the tins came out) and a better selection of booster packs. These three come with 2 Dragons Exalted packs, 1 Emerging Powers and 1 Black & White pack. We recommend these because the pack from Emerging Powers, in addition to what you already get, opens the possibility that you may get a “Pokemon Catcher” Item card. These cards have become very expensive and are a must-have in competitive play. If you get lucky, you may hit an EX in one of the Dragons Exalted packs. Regardless, a guaranteed EX, plus 40 additional cards for around $15 is hard to beat.
There are a variety of collector’s boxes available. There are Mewtwo, Keldeo, Tepig, Oshawatt, Snivy, Zoroark and Binder Collection boxes. These items are not as high on our list. These boxes are usually centered around a promo item, like an over-sized card or a figure of the character on the box. They contain a few booster packs (each box is different, so be sure to read the back). Boxes tend to be in the $20 dollar range. They are great if you are looking to collect other items, but not if you are going after cards.
The only other value we’ve seen recently are the Boundaries Crossed blister packs. These come with either a promo Empoleon or Haxorus (only available in these packs), three booster packs and a coin. These are priced at less than $15 ($12.99, maybe). However, they may be Wal-Mart exclusives, as the Bonsack store is the only place we’ve seen them. There is also a Dragon Vault set which is a mini set consisting of all dragon Pokemon. These come with a featured card and 3 5-card packs of this set. Valuable in this set is the Rayquaza (one of the featured cards), which is a reprint of a secret rare from Dragons Exalted that went for about $80 a piece when it came out. It also is the only set to get the trainer item “First Ticket”. These are also around $12.99.
Here’s our best advice. Stay away from Toys r Us. Everything we’ve mentioned above is about $4-$5 higher there. Your best bets are Target, Wal-Mart and K-Mart. Prices are pretty much the same at all three. Most of these items are found near the checkout lanes at these 3 stores. Target keeps most of their stuff by the checkout lanes, but they also keep overstocked items on the end of one of the toy aisles in the back. While its best to avoid Toys r Us, keep your eyes out for sales, because every once in a while they do a “buy 2, get 1 free on” all of the Pokemon merchandise (which just puts their items slightly cheaper than the everyday prices at the other locations). Also check Walgreens from time to time too, as they did a buy 2, get 1 free sale on booster packs at Christmas time last year.
We wish we could have done a little more looking around and kept you up to date on deals in our area…. maybe we’ll get our act together for next year. We hope this helps with any last minute buys this holiday season. As always, feel free to email us with any purchase questions and we’ll do our best to answer you quickly. See you at the Gym!