The upcoming Pokémon TCG high-class set VMAX Climax, which will be released in December 2021 in Japan, was previously shrouded in mystery. Very little was known about how this set would show up for English-speaking collectors and players until the Pokémon TCG revealed that their February 2022 set, Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars, would feature a subset of 30 cards called the Trainer Gallery. News has come out recently that VMAX Climax will also be the set that Japanese collectors will finally get a selection of cards that, contrary to the normal Japan-first release order, came out initially for English-language collectors. VMAX Climax will include the Japanese versions of Sword & Shield-era pre-release promos. Let’s get into the details.
Pre-release promos are holographic Pokémon cards that can be found in Build & Battle boxes. When these boxes are released, they include four packs of the new Pokémon TCG set and one of four new Black Star Promos stamped with the set’s logo. Up until now, Japan has yet to receive its versions of these cards. Now, the above image shows a Japanese version of the Charizard Black Star Promo that came in Sword & Shield – Vivid Voltage Build & Battle Boxes. Note, though, that this will be a standard holo and lacks the Vivid Voltage stamp. This will likely prevent the original English-language Charizard promo with the stamp from losing value even though the Japanese version of the card will be widely available.
If you collect Japanese-language Pokémon cards, this is major news. While most of the pre-release cards don’t retain that much value, the Charizard from Vivid Voltage boxes has risen in market value, making it more difficult for international buyers to purchase it. Currently, it sits at just over $81 USD compared to other pre-release promos that generally go for under $10 USD. Now, it will be able to be pulled in VMAX Climax packs.