Pokemon Scarlet & Violet ex TCG card prices skyrocket thanks to “Waifu” tax

pokemon tcg misty irida cards headerThe Pokemon Company

With Pokemon Scarlet & Violet’s first TCG set released in Japan, fans are becoming increasingly aware of the price hike surrounding cards and sets that include female characters.

Though fans outside of Japan are no doubt excited to get their hands on Pokemon Scarlet & Violet’s first TCG set, they’ll have to wait for more than a month longer than Japanese TCG players.

The Pokemon Scarlet & Violet ex set, which was released as two separate sets in Japan on January 20, will release as one set on March 31, 2023, outside of Japan. This means those who want to get an early look at some of these new cards will have to import them from overseas.

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Unfortunately, players wanting to import the Violet ex set specifically have started to notice an odd difference in importing pricing, which some collectors have dubbed the “waifu” tax.

Pokemon TCG prices rise thanks to “waifu” tax

According to reporting by Kotaku, a clear example of this price hike comes from the well-established TCG importing site Japan2UK. Comparing the price of the Scarlet ex set to the Violet ex shows a £40 difference.

When asked about the cause of the price increase, a representative for the importing site told Kotaku, “Violet has multiple cards in the set which are being chased hard by collectors and hence has driven [the] price up.”

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Of course, some fans may wonder why the Violet ex set is more desirable than the Scarlet ex set. According to one European collector, the answer is clear when looking at the Violet ex’s cards. “Girls. In the Scarlet set, there is no waifu. With the Violet set, you have Miriam.”

pokemon scarlet violet miriamThe Pokemon Company
Miriam appeared as the school nurse in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet.

This isn’t just a problem with the Scarlet & Violet ex sets either. Fans can see evidence of this “waifu” tax in many sets that feature female characters with detailed card art.

Another somewhat recent example of this phenomenon can be seen in the Crown Zenith expansion. Comparing Adaman’s Ultra Rare full art card to Irida’s Ultra Rare full art card on many different pricing websites reveals Irida’s price is—more often than not—more expensive than Adaman’s.

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While collectors in any hobby certainly have the right to collect their favorite items, it’s undeniable that this “waifu” tax disrupts Pokemon TCG collecting in unavoidable ways.