Marnie, Sword & Shield’s beloved rival that becomes the Galar region’s Spikemuth gym leader by the end credits is probably the most popular character from this generation. Last week, The Pokemon TCG: Marnie Premium Tournament Collection was released worldwide and has since started selling online for nearly double its MSRP. In this article, we take a look at the product and ask ourselves what is the fascination with Marnie all about?
When Shiny Star V launched at the end of 2020, Marnie’s Full Art Trainer card quickly overtook the Shiny Charizard VMAX to become the most expensive chase card of the set. When the set was translated over to English for 2021’s Shining Fates expansion fans were left disappointed not to see Marnie anywhere within the setlist.
For context, raw copies of that Shiny Star V Marnie sell for over $300 and PSA 10s have reached above the $1000 mark in recent months.
That was until the release of Pokemon TCG: Marnie Premium Tournament Collection which includes that beloved Full Art Trainer card as SWSH121 promo card, alongside three Marnie holos with her signature, originally released last year in Japan, seven booster packs, and some other Marnie themed accessories for playing the game. One could argue that the product itself, which retails for $39.99 is well worth its price for the Full Art promo alone. That being said, the milk carton collection boxes are currently selling for around $80 on eBay due to a lack of supply and very high demand for Pokemon’s dark type heroine.
From a play perspective, Marnie is used in many decks in the current rotation thanks to her ability to get players out of a tricky situation whilst providing a disruption to your opponent. There is however another factor that comes into play that leads to her incredible popularity: Japanese Waifu culture (an anime character that is considered a wife). From Twitch streams focused on finding the next female Trainer in a box opening to collectors who spread their TCG collection across multiple franchises purely dedicated to Waifu characters, the concept can be a little difficult to comprehend. Essentially, the popularity for female Trainer cards and Marnie, in particular, is partially driven by the concept of sexualising female anime characters which can be seen as particularly disturbing when you realise Marnie is meant to be a 10 or 12-year-old girl.
The idea behind Waifu isn’t exclusive to females either. Husbando (the male equivalent), are also popular but in a primarily male-dominated hobby, there’s no surprise that if you look at recent sets it’s the female Full Art Trainer that is more sought-after than a similar male counterpart.
There’s no reason not to want to collect Trainer cards, the Marnie Premium Tournament Collection is a fantastic product with great playable cards and fantastic promos. If you can pick one up for the retail price, then it’s a no-brainer based on the content included in the box. It does beg the question, however, and I will be going further in-depth with this in a future article: At what point do we question the ideologies behind specific cards being worth a higher amount due to the clothes, position, facial features of a female anime character within the hobby?
John-Anthony Disotto – Ludkins Media Editor-in-Chief
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