It's been a month since The Pokémon Company released Celebrations, the 25th anniversary set for the Pokémon TCG. Like other sets released during the pandemic, Celebrations has come out in waves, with sealed products appearing and disappearing from retailer's shelves at a predictable pace. Now that most products are easy to find for close to MSRP (with one major exception), we can see what the rolling release has done to card prices.

Let's start with the most expensive card in the set, Charizard (cel25c-4_A).

As you can see, there were two significant sales spikes: one on October 8, when Celebrations released, and another on October 26, when TCGplayer offered 10% back on all orders (marked in red). Both bursts of demand raised prices, as the cheapest copies available sold out. But the price rises were short-lived, and overall, Charizard (cel25c-4_A) price has sunk since early October.

It's not hard to understand why. As fans have opened more packs of Celebrations, they've found more copies of Charizard (cel25c-4_A) and listed more on the secondary market. At the same time, hype for Celebrations has cooled as the set has had more exposure and players have begun focusing on the upcoming set Fusion Strike. Higher supply and lower demand naturally lead to lower prices.

The other chase cards from Celebrations have a similar downward trajectory.

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If you bought any of these cards with the intention of reselling them, your best bet is to wait until Celebrations falls out of print and the supply dips again. That said, a select few cards beats the odds and are actually worth more now than they were on release day.

Xerneas-EX (cel25c-97_A) is the prime example. After preselling for $5 and releasing at under $4, this Legendary Pokémon quickly shot up in value to over $8. Now it's bouncing between $9 and $11 depending on how much demand there is on any given day.

M Rayquaza-EX (cel25c-76_A) and Mewtwo-EX (cel25c-54_A) also had impressive comebacks.

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Both cards hit their peaks much sooner than Xerneas-EX (cel25c-97_A). In the following weeks, Rayquaza and Mewtwo have fluctuated by a few dollars, but always above their presale and release-day values.

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Tapu Lele-GX (cel25c-60_A) and Shining Magikarp (cel25c-66_A) charts aren't so dramatic, but they've both also managed to outdo the prices they had on the 8th.

Why did the market misjudge these cards? While sellers can roughly gauge how popular different Pokémon are, they can't really predict how common or uncommon their cards will be. That's because The Pokémon Company International likes to print cards of the same rarity at slightly different rates.

This problem was exacerbated in Celebrations since the set effectively has only two rarities: one rarity for the 25 cards in the main set, and another for the 25 cards in the Classic Collection. TPCI doesn't publicize print rates, so the only way to find out how product-hover id="250319" and product-hover id="250321" compare is to open a huge number of packs and hope to get statistically significant results.

According to Australian retailer Card Supply, cards from the Classic Collection had pull rates between 3.59% and 0.38%.

Cards Pull Rate (Fraction) Pull Rate (Percent)
Claydol (cel25c-15_A4) 1/27.8 3.59%
Imposter Professor Oak (cel25c-73_A) 1/32.4 3.08%
Team Magma's Groudon (cel25c-9_A) 1/33.8 2.95%
Here Comes Team Rocket! (cel25c-15_A2) 1/35.4 2.82%
Dark Gyarados (cel25c-8_A) 1/38.9 2.57%
Rocket's Zapdos (cel25c-15_A3) 1/41 2.43%
Rocket's Admin. (cel25c-86_A) 1/45.8 2.18%
_____'s Pikachu (cel25c-24_A) 1/55.6 1.79%
Cleffa (cel25c-20_A) 1/55.6 1.79%
Venusaur (cel25c-15_A1) 1/59.9 1.66%
Blastoise (cel25c-2_A) 1/64.8 1.54%
Mew ex (cel25c-88_A) 1/77.8 1.28%
Donphan (cel25c-107_A) 1/77.8 1.28%
Garchomp C LV.X (cel25c-145_A) 1/77.8 1.28%
Charizard (cel25c-4_A) 1/97.3 1.02%
Luxray GL LV.X (cel25c-109_A) 1/97.3 1.02%
Zekrom (cel25c-114_A) 1/97.3 1.02%
Reshiram (cel25c-113_A) 1/97.3 1.02%
Gardevoir ex (cel25c-93_A) 1/97.3 1.02%
Umbreon ★ (cel25c-17_A) 1/111 0.90%
Shining Magikarp (cel25c-66_A) 1/111 0.90%
Xerneas-EX (cel25c-97_A) 1/111 0.90%
M Rayquaza-EX (cel25c-76_A) 1/111 0.90%
Mewtwo-EX (cel25c-54_A) 1/130 0.76%
Tapu Lele-GX (cel25c-60_A) 1/259 0.38%

In other words, all the cards that went up in value since October 8th are allegedly more rare than product-hover id="250320". They're not nearly as popular as everyone's favorite non-Dragon type dragon, so they're still not close to Charizard's price. But the market may have initially overestimated how many copies would be available for the people who wanted them.

While this discovery seems to validate Card Supply's numbers, it's possible that sellers adjusted their prices in response to Card Supply, "correcting" a market that might have broken differently. Card Supply's infographic hit Reddit on the 9th, and most of these cards hit their peaks in the days immediately following. Without independent verification of these pull rates, it's tough to say how much movement was due to actual scarcity, rather than perceived scarcity.

Either way, the fact that cards of the same rarity can appear in dramatically different quantities has a major impact on prices. Prices on release day may be more accurate than presale prices, but it takes weeks for the market to fully account for real-world supply and demand… assuming it ever does.