Pokemon TCG Celebrations, the much anticipated 25th Anniversary set has now been revealed and we have an insight into what to expect with the biggest expansion of recent times. Pokemon TCG Celebrations will take us on a trip down memory lane with new iterations of some classic and most-loved Pokemon card types. In this series of articles, we’ll be looking back at the card types that 2021’s hottest set will bring back to the forefront, starting with Gold Stars.
As of writing this article, we know of two Gold Star cards that will make their way into Pokemon TCG: Celebrations. The first is a brand new card with the incredibly popular Greninja. This card will be the promo included with Celebrations Elite Trainer Box and will become the first new Gold Star release since POP Series 5 in 2007. Speaking of POP Series 5, the press release from the reveal of the new set states, “Celebrations will introduce a special subset of 25 cards that are close remakes of iconic cards from the history of the Pokémon TCG, including Base Set Charizard, Umbreon ☆, and Tapu Lele-GX.” – This means that we’ll be seeing some form of a reprint of Umbreon Gold Star!
So what exactly are Gold Stars and why is it such a big deal that they are coming back for Pokemon’s 25th Anniversary?
The cards themselves launched in 2004 during the EX era and EX Team Rocket Returns as an even rarer secret rare for the set. The cards show a small gold star, hence the name, next to the name of each Pokemon in their shiny variant, the first time since Neo Destiny in 2002. These cards were also tied in with Delta Species, a mechanic which shifted the typings of traditional Pokemon types.
Disregarding the new cards coming to Celebrations, there are currently 27 English Gold Star Pokemon cards all illustrated by Masakazu Fukuda who used different angles and the EX style of art to give a 3D effect to the Pokemon as they protrude the card frames.
Gold Stars are incredibly rare, with a pull rate (depending on the set) of one Gold Star every two booster boxes. Taking into account that sealed booster boxes of the EX era of Pokemon currently sell for tens of thousands of dollars it’s no wonder Gold Stars are so expensive to obtain.
After the highs of Pokemon TCG’s boom over the last year, Gold Star Rayquaza in a PSA 10 now sells for over $40,000, and just last month a BGS 9.5 Japanese Umbreon Gold Star sold for $70,000 on PWCC Auctions. The Japanese versions of the Eeveelutions (Flareon, Jolteon, Vaporeon, Espeon, and Umbreon) are the hardest cards to obtain due to their release as tiered prize cards to members of the Pokemon Players Club in Japan. Flareon, Jolteon, and Vaporeon would later be reprinted in Japan although Umbreon and Espeon did not.
To originally receive a Japanese Eeveelution, players would need to attend weekly events to rack up points that could be exchanged for promotional cards, five of which were the highly sought-after Gold Stars.
With new Gold Stars announced alongside the Pokemon TCG: Celebrations reveal, the hope for many to finally own some kind of Gold Star Pokemon card looks set to end. Whilst the cards themselves will never compete with the originals, having artwork of the classics in a more accessible 2021 reprint is a massive selling point to October’s set. I can’t wait.
Got a story? Let us know
John-Anthony Disotto – Ludkins Media Editor-in-Chief