Shining Fates, releasing February 19th, will be filled with shiny Pokémon variants. Initially released as Shiny Star V last year in Japan, the set has proven incredibly popular due to the variety in collectible cards and the prospect of a Shiny Charizard VMAX.
Last week, The Pokémon Company revealed a trailer for their 25th-anniversary celebrations, including the initial reveal of Shiny Charizard VMAX in English. Following on from its predecessors, Shining Legends and Hidden Fates, this new set is likely to be a huge success for Pokémon. Why? Shiny Pokémon.
What is so appealing about shiny Pokémon?
To understand the relevance of shiny Pokémon in the hobby, we must look towards the gaming side of the franchise. Initially introduced in the year 2000 in North America, Pokémon Gold and Silver were released during Pokémon’s peak. These games launched new game dynamics such as nocturnal Pokémon, a game clock, and a post-game revisit to the Kanto region. On top of these major improvements, Pokémon Gold and Silver had an encounter with a Shiny red Gyarados – sound familiar?
Pokémon Gold and Silver also introduced shiny Pokémon encounters where any Pokémon in the wild had a 1 in 8192 of having the specific DV (diversification values) to be shiny. Playing Pokémon games my whole life, I’ve only ever encountered one shiny Pokémon, a Raticate on route 16 in Pokémon Leaf Green. It’s these insanely low odds of finding a shiny Pokémon that make them so desirable, no matter what medium they come from.
In the game, you encounter a red Gyarados at the Lake of Rage – a notable moment for anyone that played Gold or Silver at the start of the millennium. How does this relate to TCG? The first-ever shiny Pokémon in card form was released in North America in 2001 when, you guessed it, Shining Gyarados released as the secret rare in Neo Revelation. Alongside Shining Magikarp these cards built on the ideas from the video game and laid the framework for the shiny hysteria, we see today.
Nowadays, shiny variants have a large impact on the popularity of sets. Neo Revelation with Shining Gyarados and Shining Magikarp, Neo Destiny with 8 different shining cards including Shining Charizard, and more recently sets like Hidden Fates with its dedicated Shiny Vault. Collectors want alternate, rarer versions of the Pokémon they love – whether that’s a Swablu or a Mew the different colour and shine is enough to peak interest.
Shiny Star V has 127 shiny Pokémon cards, ranging from Rowlet to Charizard VMAX. If Shining Fates has a remotely similar number of shiny cards in its setlist then we are all in for a massive treat. The popularity and impact of shiny Pokémon will always linger in the minds of children that either picked up a GameBoy in 2000 or packed a Neo shining Pokémon in 2002. These children are now adults wanting to replicate the thrill from their childhood, and their children have grown up packing Shining Legends cards like Shining Rayquaza.
Shiny Pokémon will always hold a place in the heart of anyone that passes through the franchise. By producing hard to pack cards and hard to capture pixels, The Pokémon Company has created incredibly desirable creatures that we all want in our collections.
John-Anthony Disotto – Ludkins Media Editor