Sitting at home, staring out the window into rain and wind. There’s a feeling of FOMO as I patrol the internet looking at shiny new Pokémon cards and the chase card, Rayquaza VMAX from Evolving Skies all over my social media feed. Left scratching my head, I’m wondering where I went wrong and why I feel so disheartened by the chase?
Pokémon TCG release new sets every few months, the latest being Evolving Skies, a brand new set filled to the brim with awesome Pokémon. On paper Evolving Skies appeals to everything I want in a pack: cool full arts, popular Eeveelutions, and an awesome Rayquaza VMAX chase card that stands out alongside Alternate Art Eeveelutions such as Umbreon and Sylveon. So why is it after opening a few packs I feel that sense of emptiness that every pack opening seems to leave behind?
As a child, that feeling of opening a pack and pulling that card you wanted more than any other is the nostalgic feeling we’re constantly chasing. The difference is, when you’re a child you don’t have the stresses of life and the knowledge of value related to the Trading Cards you hold in your hand. It’s almost as if as we’ve grown older and delved into the investment/collecting side of the hobby a small part of our innocence has been left in the shadows.
There’s a lot to be said about why opening packs in the current COVID-19 climate can lead to such immense feelings of disappointment. First of all, things suck just now leading to the excitement of waiting for the mail to come being more exciting than ever and the dismay of a non-holo rare the lowest of lows. On top of that, there’s the value of sealed Pokémon TCG products shooting for the stars. We no longer live in a time where you can easily obtain packs to open whenever you please, every purchase nowadays comes with the knowledge of general scarcity and the extra pressure of potential value loss if you don’t get anything of note.
There’s also the important subject of our social media feeds, and this doesn’t just ring true for Pokémon, everyone is running marathons, painting masterpieces, or pulling Charizards. Our lives are constantly diminished by the success of everyone else we see on Instagram and Facebook – This feeling taps into the what ifs of opening booster packs via YouTube box breaks or at home with your significant other. When all is said and done you’re left with the longing for that last big pull or a sense of regret that your pack opening experience doesn’t match up to your favourite YouTuber’s 1000 pack opening highlights.
Don’t get me wrong, the feeling of what if is what drives that pack hunt. In current times, that feeling has adapted to the what if of finding a pack in your local supermarket or a good deal on eBay. It’s this hunt that keeps us going as collectors. Financially it makes sense to just buy the cards you want and grade them, emotionally however, we all want that feeling as we shake to put a card into a penny sleeve.
I’m nostalgic for that feeling I had 2 hours ago – the what if, the not knowing. Now I’m just coming to terms with the regret. This feeling is replicated throughout life at the moment, nothing feels enough and that’s ok because at the end of the day we’ll all have that moment again of holding that card we oh so want. And when that day comes, the FOMO disappears, you upload a picture to Instagram, and the cycle repeats itself.
As I stare out the window into rain and wind, I realise the feeling of anticipation as you wait for that amazing pack to come is the same feeling you get finishing work for the weekend ready for the chill time you’re about to have. Just like your weekend, remember the fun is in the process. It’s the anticipation of that one pack, it’s the anticipation of a Friday night that has kept us all chugging along through the last 18 months. That’s why we all must remember: enjoy your weekend pack pulls, appreciate the journey, and accept the outcomes.
John-Anthony Disotto – Ludkins Media Editor-in-Chief
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