The Marnie Premium Tournament Collection is one of the most anticipated Pokémon TCG releases of 2021 and I have one to open and discuss with Bleeding Cool readers. Let's crack into it.
Going into this box is almost a relief. Unlike a standard V box, where the promo card is pretty much just something to check off of your list as you move to the booster packs, the promos here are actually incredible. We get three copies of a holographic Marnie trainer card which has a cute appearance from Morpeko and beautiful galaxy foil. The main feature, though, is the Full Art Marnie. This card is perhaps the best Full Art Trainer Supporter of the Sword & Shield era thus far, with its Japanese equivalent still valued as a major chase card. The Japanese version of this card was only available to pull in packs of Shiny Star V, the basis for Shining Fates, and its value eclipsed that of even the Shiny Charizard VMAX in Japan. I count English-language collectors as exceptionally lucky that this card was cut from Shining Fates and put in this box instead. This is exactly the kind of promo that can elevate a product beyond just a vehicle for packs. Folks who buy this box are buying it for this card.
In addition to the promos, this box also includes a cute deck box (you can actually see the artwork of it up above), a Marnie coin with a shattered ice holo pattern, and Marnie sleeves featuring the same art as the deck box. Now, unfortunately, the sleeves are still using the horrible quality matte we've seen introduced with Shining Fates and subsequent sets. These sleeves create a thick, blurring fog over any card put inside and I cannot recommend them for collectors or players hoping to read the text on a card. However, the artwork on the sleeves is gorgeous.
The Pokémon TCG Packs
The pack selection lacks the diversity of other recent products. Essentially, the Pokémon TCG has left out the staple of having an older pack in here and instead gives us one Darkness Ablaze, one Vivid Voltage, two Battle Styles, and three Chilling Reign. I think it's a perfectly fine selection and, while an older pack would've enriched the box a bit, again — we're here for the promo. In opening the packs, I had two decent cards: a Flapple V from Battle Styles and an Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX from Chilling Reign. Overall, I hope others have better luck on the pulls than I did.
My bad pulls aside, this is a box that I can't see anyone taking issue with. While I'd change out the quality of the sleeves and perhaps lose the Darkness Ablaze pack for an older Sun & Moon era set, this box gives us two of the best promo cards of this and perhaps any era along with a deck box that'll come in handy. I hope we see more products modeled after this in the future, as this has the legs to become a staple of the Pokémon TCG. Personally, I also prefer the compact nature of this over the bulky Elite Trainer Boxes.