Chilling Reign is the sixth expansion set in the Sword and Shield series. It is due to be released on 18th June 2021. The two previous 2021 expansion set releases have been heavily allocated. Some stores are now beginning to offer products for presale but how much stock will be offered. Will Chilling Reign be allocated in the same way as Shining Fates and Battle Styles?
What is allocation?
Towards the end of 2020, demand for Pokémon cards outstripped supply meaning that sealed products sold out as soon as they hit the shelves. Despite Pokémon promising to increase supply, it is still very difficult to find sealed products, especially booster boxes.
The highly collectible Shining Fates expansion, released in February 2021, was offered for presale by most suppliers in December 2020. This is standard practice for suppliers. They place an order with their distributor then pre-sell their expected supply. This ensures a good turnover of stock for suppliers and helps with cash flow since money from the pre-sales can be used to pay for that stock.
At the beginning of February 2021 it was revealed that Pokémon did not have enough stock to fulfil orders of Shining Fates. Instead, it was announced that the supply of stock they had would be allocated to distributors based on a percentage of their original order. Distributors then allocated their supply to stockists and retailers who allocated their supply to customers. A second wave was promised which would allow presale orders to be fulfilled but as of April 2021 some customers are still waiting.
Battle Styles, released in March 2021, was also allocated but to a lesser extent.
Will Chilling Reign be Allocated?
The simple answer to this question is yes, it is highly likely that Chilling Reign will be allocated. However it is unlikely that the overselling of product that happened with Shining Fates will happen again.
Suppliers appear to be much more cautious when offering stock for presale. Some have chosen to wait until they know the exact allocation they will receive before making them available for presale. Others have restricted purchases to a certain amount per household thereby ensuring more customers get some product.
With two months to go until the set is released, distributors, suppliers and customers eagerly await notification of whether Chilling Reign will be allocated and if so to what extent.