Toy Fair 2023: The Original 151 Pokémon Are Back!

The Pokédex grows bigger each time a new Pokémon game or series is introduced, but as I found at Toy Fair this year, the original 151 still holds a special place in the hearts of fans around the world. As one of the biggest licensed brands in the world, it was exciting to see what’s on the horizon for these lovable, trainable creatures that have never gone out of style.

Second only to video games, the Pokémon Trading Card Game is a core part of the Pokémon fan experience. Whether you’re playing or just collecting, completing the Pokédex and collecting rare foil variants is one of the reasons this craze has never stopped entertaining. And if you’re feeling nostalgic, the original 151 are back in the latest collection.

Not since the original launch have the first 151 Pokémon been available like this, in Pokédex order, through the trading card game. The new Scarlet & Violet 151 series reimagines the classic characters from the Paldea region (instead of Kanto). Rare cards contain alternate illustration artwork.

Among the cool ways to collect the series are the Ultra-Premium Collection, Elite Trainer Box, Poster Collection, Binder Collection, Booster Bundle, and Mini Tins.

New to the Pokémon Trading Card Game? There’s no better way to learn how to play than My First Battle, new box sets that come with two ideal starter decks and clear instructions on how to play. There’s also a nostalgic factor, going back to the original starter Pokémon from the game’s launch. One collection comes with Charmander and Squirtle, while the other one comes with Bulbasaur and Pikachu.

With Halloween just around the corner, if you’re looking for a non-candy option for Trick-or-Treat, you might be excited to learn about Trick-or-Trade Pokémon card packs. The package comes with 50 mini packs to hand out to Trick-or-Treaters, each containing 3 cards in a “Mini BOOster” pack featuring some of the most ghoulish Pokémon characters.

Pokémon Center, the premiere online shopping destination for all things Pokémon, is also where you’ll find some exclusive Halloween home decor, like plush characters in costumes and figurines.

There are also fun ways for parents who grew up with Pokémon to introduce these colorful characters to their children. Board books teach kids about the different types of Pokémon, full of interactive flaps they will love lifting up. The newest release focuses on Electric Types, which includes the brand’s mascot, Pikachu.

Pokémon Dream Plush are inspired by the new Pokémon Sleep app and are the ultimate bedtime snuggle buddy. Pikachu, Slowpoke, Cubone, and Chikorita are the first characters available in the collection.

Pokémon Puzzles are a nice way to get the whole family involved, with new styles for the holidays, including one inspired by the original Pokédex.

Serious Pokémon fans will already be familiar with The Wand Company’s line of premium collectible replica Poké Balls. These die-cast metal spheres have touch and proximity-sensing technology, causing the button to illuminate. Pressing the button triggers a Pokémon-catching illumination sequence. Aimed at collectors, they not only come with a display case, but each one is also individually numbered by a unique hologram. Be on the lookout for the next release, the Luxury Ball.

Mattel’s MEGA Construx gives Pokémon fans the ability to build and animate some of their favorite characters or bring to life locations from the game and anime series. On display was the new Mega Motion Charizard and the Poke Center.

And Jazwares offers lots of cool ways to play with Pokémon in the real world, including the new interactive Train & Play Pikachu and a trainer backpack that unfolds into the ultimate play set. No matter your age, there’s never been a better time to be a Pokémon fan.

Click here to see more fun finds from Toy Fair.

Alex Reif
Alex joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and has been a lifelong Disney fan. His main beats for LP are Disney-branded movies, TV shows, books, music and toys. He recently became a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA).