Fusion Strike is the eighth expansion set in the Sword and Shield series. It is due to be released on 12th November 2021. Over the last few days there have been rumours from various sources that Fusion Strike will be allocated, with booster boxes likely to be affected the most.
What is allocation?
Allocation happens when there is not enough product produced to meet the orders placed by distributors and stockists. Instead of receiving the quantity of product ordered, distributors and stockists receive a percentage of their order. If merchandise has been over sold on presale then customers may have to wait until a second or third wave is released to receive their orders.
Allocation has been a big feature of 2021 badly affecting the first two releases – Shining Fates and Battle Styles.
Towards the end of 2020, Pokémon saw a massive increase in demand, due to several factors. The Covid-19 pandemic and global lockdowns meant factories were closed and cards were not being produced in the quantities needed. Also, there were a number of high profile sales of Pokémon cards for large sums of money reported by the media which led to a rise in collecting and people buying and selling.
Demand for Pokémon sealed products is still high as of Autumn 2021, and most new products sell out on pre order. But stockists are now more cautious and either offer less stock for presale or allocate products to a small number per person.
The two previous expansion set releases, Chilling Reign and Evolving Skies have faced delays to product release but seem to have been much less affected by allocation. It was hoped that Pokémon had increased supply and people would be able to find product more easily. But suddenly the question ‘will Fusion Strike be allocated?’ is being asked.
Will Fusion Strike be Allocated?
Over the last few days there have been rumours from a number of sources that Fusion Strike will be allocated. Of course, there are always rumours but we have now heard the same thing from commentators in the UK, Europe and the United States so it seems likely to be true.
From what we have heard it seems that the allocation will only affect booster boxes and that other Fusion Strike products will be largely unaffected.
Pokémon have given no explanation for this and from what we have learned it seems that they have simply decided to produce less booster boxes than normal.
There is much speculation about the reasoning behind this. It may be that Pokémon feels there is too much product available at present. Many stockists are still trying to sell off previous sets for which demand has fallen greatly. This affects their cash flow and ability to afford new products. For smaller stockists and hobby shops this can be severe and may lead to bankruptcy.
Another thought is that Pokémon may feel that due to the exceptionally high demand for Celebrations products, consumers will not buy into Fusion Strike which releases one month later. Fusion Strike is a huge set 260+ cards which includes cards cut from Evolving Skies. Larger sets are less appealing to collectors due to the cost and difficulty in compiling a master set. The set also introduces a new mechanic – Fusion Strike which will appeal to players of the TCG but demand is then focussed on those cards that will enhance a player’s deck.
There is no information on allocation numbers as yet, and, as always, the rumour may remain just that – a rumour. If new information is available we will update this page.