The new program will begin with the Guardians Rising set in May. Stores that host a pre-release event will be allowed to release the product four days early, on the Monday before the official Friday street date. The Pokemon Company will provide distributors with a list of stores that hosted pre-release events, which will then be shipped early.
Pre-releases on the Pokemon TCG began in 2015 (see “’Pokemon TCG’ Pre-Releases”). The company has developed a Pre-Release box that includes an Evolution Deck, a stable platform for starting off a deck. It allows for competitive sealed or draft-style events. And with four boosters, the player can do swap-outs to get a better 40-card deck. The reception on the Pre-Release boxes has been “huge,” a Pokemon spokesperson told ICv2.