As many people know, special Pokémon card sleeves come with almost every Elite Trainer Box in the Sword and Shield series. These sleeves are usually very good quality, as they provide great protection to your valuable cards and they are very clear, so your cards still look just as good as they do outside of sleeves. They’re also colorful and feature a VMax Pokémon on the back. Collectors have been using these sleeves for their collections for a long time and some even go out of their way to buy more of these limited edition card sleeves, instead of normal ones, because they like them so much. But something about these collectable items changed this year that hasn’t went unnoticed by many collectors and TCG players.
New Sleeves vs Old Sleeves
The sleeves that come in ETBs were unchanged until the Shining Fates set came out. This set of Pokémon cards featured many shiny Pokémon in it, so naturally everyone wanted them. ETBs were selling out everywhere but the people that got their hands on them noticed the sleeves that came with it looked different from the ones they’re used to. These sleeves had a matte, frosted, or rough finish over the front of the plastic. The old sleeves were smooth and you could see the card very clearly, but with this change shiny cards and rare holographic cards look dull and clouded. They just don’t shine in the light as much as they used to. At first many were confused and thought it could have been a misprint or an error, but this would quickly become the new normal. All sleeves that have been included in ETBs since then have had the same rough texture on the front.
Why The Change?
This change from smooth to textured was purposeful. Even though not everyone likes this new style, it does have it’s benefits. For starters, the most noticeable change is the feeling of the sleeve. This texture you feel allows players of the TCG to shuffle and move their cards around more easily with out them getting stuck to each other. Other people also realized this new material feels more durable and prevents your cards from getting bent, adding even more protection than before. People that play the trading card game generally enjoy this new texture, while people that only buy Pokémon cards for collecting don’t like that they make the cards look weird. Luckily, there are alternatives as a collector.
If you’re someone that doesn’t like the change and you want sleeves that show off the card better while providing the best protection, read about the best products to protect your Pokémon cards with.