We can now reveal another special Sword & Shield set will release on February 19th, 2021!
The name hasn’t been revealed yet, nor do we know what will be included in this set. The set has a placeholder name of “SWSH 4.5” in internal catalogs. Special sets are always given a “.5” codename by TPCi because they release between normal sets.
The set’s booster packs will release exclusively via an Elite Trainer Box, pin boxes, V boxes, and two different sets of tins. Individual packs will not be sold. No product descriptions have been released yet. As usual, this information is preliminary and subject to change.
Pokemon’s 25th anniversary is on February 27th, so this set will obviously be celebrating that landmark in the same way Generations celebrated the 20th anniversary in February 2016. We already know TPCi is planning a 25th anniversary promotion with McDonalds to give out holo promos of the 25 Starter Pokemon; to the right you can see an exclusive photo of Chimchar.
What could our 4.5 set contain?
A promising candidate is Japan’s Shiny Star V, which releases on November 20th. It’s a 190+ card set that will mostly contain reprints from the Sword & Shield era. But most notably, it will contain shiny reprints of Pokemon V. The shiny Charizard V from Champion’s Path likely came from that set. These types of Japanese sets are usually reserved for our special sets.
Thanks to Japanese trademark listings we also know the names of upcoming dual sets, Single Strike Master and Rapid Strike Master, which will likely feature Urshifu. Those will probably release in December judging by when their trademarks were discovered. In October there’s a product featuring alternate arts of Rilaboom VMAX, Cinderace VMAX, Inteleon VMAX, and a new Cramorant VMAX. In December there’s products featuring Blastoise VMAX, Venusaur VMAX, and shiny Crobat V. All of these could be candidates for our 4.5 set or our regular SWSH 5 set.
This is all assuming our 4.5 set doesn’t pull cards from a future Japanese set that is currently unknown to us. Trademark listings are usually discovered five months in advance, so there’s still time for us to learn about a Japanese set that could become part of our 4.5 set.
For example, our Generations set was based on Japan’s BREAK Starter Pack. Both Generations and BREAK Starter Pack were released simultaneously in February 2016. But we first learned about the BREAK Starter Pack in October 2015. So if we apply the same scenario to 2020, there’s still time for us to learn about a Japanese set that could ultimately become part of our 4.5 set. Making this even more likely, it would be odd for Japan not to release something in February to celebrate the 25th anniversary, especially when TPCi is making a special set for us. So more news is probably on the way!
And for completion’s sake, Evolutions was released at the end of 2016. It was not released as part of the 20th anniversary month. In Japan it hit store shelves on September 16th, 2016 as Expansion Pack 20th Anniversary. In English it was released a few weeks later on November 2nd, 2016.
Over the next week we’ll have news of at least two new TCG products coming in 2021. Stay tuned!