Grass-Type Gym Leader
A new story has just been posted to PokéBeach's front page:
As a fan of the Pokémon it’s honestly exhausting and discouraging how many times they’re doing this. I’ve been collecting since BW and XY, and while really the most we got back then was Flashfire, it was still manageable. BW had three different Charizard prints, while XY had a good amount. Most of them were cheap though, as they were decently commonplace EX cards that you could either pull rather easy or just purchase in products. But now, since we’re not only having millions of Rainbows and all that that are harder to pull due to massive set sizes and oversaturation of ultras, the main set ones are hard enough to get, let alone the special set ones they keep on using as a crutch to sell sets.
Thats the problem I have. Not with Charizard like many people instantly go to the blame for, but the way Pokémon keeps using it to sell things, and the way that they become nearly impossible to get unless you’ve got deep pockets. I get cards having value, that’s part of the TCG, but because of the way these are being released, artificial inflation is rampant. There’s no reason the regular VMAX should be close to 00 when it’s really not that rare in the first place.
But the most egregious thing is that they’re so obviously using the Pokémon to sell things that otherwise wouldn’t, I.e. Champions Path. it’s a mix of that and just how over saturated our sets are nowadays-Did we ever need rainbows? Did we need a set every month in Japan? Did we need gargantuan sets that are larger than some main sets with reverses included? No! We didn’t. But they did it and it makes everything harder to collect than it ever was before. Sun and Moon is what made me quit being a completionist because it was just too much.
And, in case there’s a misconception out there that every Charizard fan is just jumping for joy every time there’s a new Charizard out, at least I’m personally just more disappointed. I’ll never be able to find it, I wasn’t able to find the last million of them, and in the case of special sets, it makes them that much harder to find. I want this Pokémon to be manageable to collect, not an entire ordeal, and I want my special sets to be easy enough to find to enjoy them enough. It’s exhausting as a collector and it just kind of makes me miss the older days where set sizes were normal. There’s too much too quickly these days.
The 'Charizard Craze' has dangerous implications about the game. Because collectors are willing to buy into it, it enters the curse of the mainline lines: "They will sell anyways, so why should the games ever improve at all?"
In terms of the TCG, it means there's little motivation at all to improve the product. No more storyline based art like in Legendary Treasures/Breakthrough, little mechanical innovation, even more mindlessly designed filler cards, and a metagame that is forever overcenteralized.
I hope some sort of recession happens in the TCG, and that the whales snap out of the charizard craze - so that the franchise sells more because the games are actually well made.
I said it before, I'll say it again.
Imagine the only thing keeping your franchise afloat is catering to people who thought your series peaked 20 years ago.