List Of Pokmon Trading Card Game Sets
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This is a list of Pokémon Trading Card Game sets which is a collectible card game first released in Japan in 1996. As of April 2022, there are 98 card sets released in America and 91 in Japan, including special sets. As of September 2017, Collectively, there are 6,959 cards in the Japanese sets and 9,110 cards in the English sets. The large difference stems from non-holofoil duplicates of rare cards included in English sets that are not printed in Japanese sets. As of March 2017, 23.6 billion cards had been shipped worldwide.
Pokemon Trading Card Game Base Set Basic Game Play
The 1999 Pokémon Trading Card Game consists of 60 playing cards of three categories: Pokémon, Energy, and Trainer cards.
The cards show bold, royal blue designed backs with the fronts displaying cartoon characters with their name, powers, and move instructions.
Seven cards are dealt with each player with each move geared to improving the power of your Basic Pokémon card, improving it with energy, and then attacking your opponent.
There are three ways to win:
1.) By taking all six of your prize cards which are accumulated each time you knock out a Pokémon, you take a prize card
2.) If your opponent has no more Pokémon in play
3.) Decking-out: if your opponent cannot draw a card at the start of their turn.
The Pokémon phenomenon took the world by storm and the trading card avenue proved to be extraordinary.
Psa 10 Torchic Gold Star Holo Ex Team Rocket Returns: $50000
In the early-to-mid 2000s, popularity in Pokemon was waning. “Pokemania” was on the way out, and that meant a lot of the Pokemon TCG expansions at the time suffered from lower sales and smaller print runs. With Pokemon back on top again now, cards from that era often see higher values than cards older than them. A great example of this is the Gold Star Torchic from EX Team Rocket Returns.
Gold Star Pokemon showcase Pokemon in their shiny forms and have the Pokemon breaking out of the frame as an early example of the many alternate styles the TCG would later experiment with. Why Torchic specifically is worth so much is anyone’s guess, but with only 17 verified PSA 10 grade copies out there, the PSA values them at $50,000 each. Actual auction prices are a bit lower though, as in 2020 PWCC Auctions sold a copy for $25,400.
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Pokemon Base Set Theme Decks
Now we cant talk about Base Set without talking through the theme decks!
Back in the day they were called Preconstructed Theme Decks and specially designed for players of the TCG in mind.
As the name suggests, each deck had a theme and players could use the decks with a specific strategy in mind for gameplay.
How To Identify Base Set Pokemon Cards
Every set of Pokemon cards has whats called an expansion symbol. This is some kind of small visual identifier to help you assign a card to a particular set.
However! As Base Set was the first ever set, it doesnt have an expansion symbol.
This is how you can identify Base Set Pokemon cards!
- Here is a really useful list of all the sets and their symbols.
- Here is a handy visual guide to all the Base Set cards if you want to cross-reference your cards.
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What Are Shadowless Pokemon Cards
The Shadowless cards are the very first print runs that Wizards of the Coast produced for the Pokemon Base Set. WOTC did not like the look of the original Pokemon Cards. So, they changed several things on the cards to make them look better. The most obvious was putting the shadow around the box which had the art of the Pokemon character. The HP font was also changed and the colors were made to pop.
All 1st Edition Character cards are Shadowless. There is a very small print run of Unlimited Shadowless cards that followed the 1st Edition cards. The bulk of Unlimited cards have shadows. Shadowless Unlimited cards are generally worth more than shadowed versions of unlimited cards due to their scarcity.
Here are the releases of Base Set Pokemon Cards, in order:
- 1st Edition All Shadowless
- Unlimited with shadows ©1999
- Unlimited with shadows ©1999-2000
Prices are all based on Near Mint Condition. We highly recommend you get 1st Edition Holofoils cards from this set graded! .
The PSA 10 Column shows actual sold prices for 1st Edition cards on eBay. As Base Set cards are graded more and more, we have decided to show only PSA values for 7s and 10s.
Pokmon Japanese Base Set No Rarity Symbol Holo Venusaur
A very rare Pokémon card made ever more valuable by its artists autograph
Sold for $55,000 in November 2021
Many of the rarest Pokémon cards date from the trading card games early days, with first edition cards released in the 1990s ranking as among the most valuable Pokémon cards today.
While the first edition stamp on cards is highly sought-after in the English edition of the Pokémon card game, the rarest Japanese Pokémon cards are instead identified by their lack of a stamp. Specifically, a missing black star in the bottom-right of a Japanese-language card is whats known as No Rarity – meaning that the card is missing the common symbol used to signify a Pokémon cards rarity.
No Rarity Pokémon cards are among the rarest Pokémon cards in existence, and few come rarer than the Venusaur Pokémon card from the games first print run in 1996. Just five copies of the Bulbasaur evolution – famous for appearing on the original video game Pokémon Green – have been graded at a perfect Gem-Mint 10 by PSA, making a flawless copy of the card extremely rare.
While a No Rarity Venusaur card commands a high price by itself, a copy sold in November 2021 set a new record for the rare Pokémon card by fetching $55,000 at auction. Helping the record sum was the signature of the cards illustrator Mitsuhiro Arita – the legendary artist behind many Pokémon cards from the last 20-plus years – on the cards case, making the already rare Pokémon card truly one-of-a-kind.
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Most Expensive Pokemon Cards In 2022
It should be noted that top lists are almost always up for debate. A cards value can be determined by the highest its ever sold at auction, or what it sells for on average.
A Pokemon cards value can also wildly fluctuate with the market and are largely dependent on the items grading and condition. Our list is based on what the collectible has sold for in the latest auctions, and its position will be updated if another card outsells it and makes a new record.
Pokemon Trading Card Game Base Set My Story
The Pokemon Trading Card Game hit America and I did not know what it was. I remember seeing the commercials and asking what the heck is a Pokemon? Well, it happened, in the summer of 1999, my oldest daughter came home from her cousins with some Pokemon Cards and wanted me to be her Personal Pokemon Advisor. The journey began.
I first bought a couple of starter packs and then I started buying Pokemon Card Booster Packs and single cards. I decided that I wanted the complete set. Unfortunately, I was too late for the 1st Edition of the Pokemon Trading Card Game Base Set. I did complete my set using the Unlimited version of the Pokemon Game Base Set.
All the data above was compiled from the following sources:
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What Are The Base Set Theme Decks Called
There are 5 theme decks in Base Set, they are called:
- 2-Player Starter Set contains fire and fighting Pokemon. The holographic card is Machamp.
- Overgrowth contains water and grass Pokemon. The holographic card is Gyarados.
- Zap! contains lighting and psychic Pokemon. The holographic card is Mewtwo.
- Brushfire contains fire and grass Pokemon. The holographic card is Ninetales.
- Blackout contains water and fighting Pokemon. The holographic card is Hitmonchan.
A Note On Pricing And Condition:
The examples throughout this text all utilize the Pokémon Charizard, which typically fetches the highest prices of any Pokémon from these early sets. Those looking to sell their collections should not expect Charizard-level pricing for other cards from these sets. While other Pokémon, like Blastoise and Venusaur, carry decent value, none usually approach the level of Charizard.
The pricing examples all note that the estimated retail pricing reflects a card in Near Mint condition. Finding cards from this era in Near Mint condition can be quite difficult. Pokémon cards are essentially pieces of a game, and many became treasured possessions of children who took them to school in their pockets to show off and trade. As a result, cards frequently show significant wear, which significantly affects their value. Unless exclusively stored in binders and played with in card sleeves , there are few Near Mint examples in circulation. In addition, cards that came from a household with heavy cigarette smoke, or that were stored in a damp attic or garage in the intervening years, can have a lowered value, even if the card physically appears otherwise Near Mint.
If you are considering selling your cards to a store, expect a much lower price than the retail price as stores would typically only pay between 30% and 60% of the retail value of an item.
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Variations Between English And Japanese Editions
- The Japanese variations of the cards did not have a numbering system till the release of Pokémon VS, and the number featured on the cards before that represents the Pokémons Pokédex number.
- The English numbering is based on an alphabetical sorting, with descending rarity, a sorting that would stay the same till the release of Black & White. The Japanese order is based on type, and ascending rarity, and stayed this way until the release of e-Card 2.
Psa 10 Holo Rayquaza Gold Star Ex Deoxys: $37420
If Charizard is the king of Pokemon, Rayquaza is definitely up there in the royal family. It tends to value highly in any set it appears in, but none are as rare as EX Deoxys’ Rayquaza Gold Star, which only has 56 verified PSA 10 quality cards in circulation, putting it on par with the famous Holo Base Set Shadowless Charizard.
The PSA values PSA 10-grade Gold Star Rayquazas at an incredibly high $40,400. Auctions can swing wildly either side of that price, too. In 2021 alone, there were three up for sale by Goldin Auctions, with the highest selling for $44,280 and the lowest for $34,440.
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Japanese Tropical Mega Battle Promo Tropical Wind: $147633
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, an annual Pokemon Trading Card Game tournament was held in Honolulu, Hawaii. At the 1999 event, just 12 of these Tropical Mega Battle cards were produced to be distributed to some of the lucky 50 players who attended the event , meaning the remaining number of mint copies is especially low all these years later.
Showing a Psyduck having a nap in a hammock on a tropical island, this legendary Trainer Card sells for a whole lot of cash thanks to its rarity. Though it has sold for up to $65,100 at auction, PSA estimates the card is worth vary more than that, at a whopping $147,633.
Charizard Gold Star Holo Dragon Frontiers
- Release Date: 2006
- Grading: PSA Gem Mint 10
- Pokemon card value at auction: $25,405
Prepare to see more Gold Stars in the list, as the specially marked Pokemon cards will continue to make their appearance throughout the top 20. Next up is Charizard from 2004s Dragon Frontiers.
It should come as no surprise that the marked item would be a massive hit with fans, considering it features artwork depicting a Shiny Charizard. The rare variant of the Kanto mon looks stunning with its artwork depicting it scorching fire all around it.
According to PWCC, one of these scarce collectibles went up for bidding in a February 2021 auction. When all was said and done, the unique item fetched an eye-popping $25,405 which is makes it one of the rarest Pokemon cards of that generation.
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Pokemon Card Base Set Information
Cards featuring different Pokémon lead off the 1st Edition series . These cards boast yellow borders with the Pokémons name and HP at the top above the artwork. The 1st Edition stamp, Pokémons vitals ensue, followed by the applicable Trading Card Game information. A sentence describing the Pokémons special abilities will be found in the lower portion.
The art is just phenomenal in this set, which hasnt carried through in the Pokémon sets. Some of the current cards, for example, are 3D and computer-generated. They have eye-catching graphics and theyre going for shock value, but theyre not beautiful in the same way.
Cards #70 to #95 in the 1st Edition series are Trainer cards, while #96 to #102 are Energy cards. These cards are also yellow-bordered, but they are not as detailed as the Pokémon cards .
The card backs flaunt the Pokémon branding and have blue borders.
How To Spot Fake Base Pokemon Set Booster Boxes
Its a shame we have to even include a section like this, but the reality is there are people out there looking to scam the community and make a quick buck.
If youre serious about investing in sealed vintage Pokemon products, I implore you to educate yourself on how they should look and feel.
Study the colours, the wrapping, key identifiers on the box. Then cross-reference that with item your considering. If anything doesnt add up, err on the side of caution.
Because of the different box variants its hard to provide specifics, but here are my general rules for spotting fake Pokemon booster boxes:
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Pokemon Base Set Booster Boxes
Once upon a time, a Pokemon Base Set booster box cost around £144. Now, 1st Edition boxes sell for north of £300k!
Wheres that time machine hey?!
Aside from the cards themselves, sealed Base Set booster boxes are some of the most desired items in the hobby.
Lets explore some of the different variants, estimated values of how you can spot fake copies.
Pokmon World Championships Promo No 2 Trainer
One of the rarest Pokémon cards of all time, with only 3 known to exist
Sold for $110,100 in February 2021
Like its equally rare and expensive Trainer trophy cards, the 2006 No. 2 Trainer is one of the rarest Pokémon cards of all time, with only a small handful of cards ever made.
Given as a trophy card to finalists of the Pokémon World Championships held in Anaheim, California during August 2006, in order to claim the card, players had to gain entry to the tournament by collecting enough points to qualify and then make it into the finals of their divisions.
Just three copies of the 2006 No. 2 Trainer are believed to exist, easily making it one of the rarest Pokémon cards in existence. Its rarity also means it commands a high price, with a copy graded at Mint 9 condition by PSA selling for just over $110,000 in February 2021.
The card itself features fan-favourite Pokémon Pikachu holding aloft a silver trophy, finished with a holographic pattern. The card reads: If you won this card at the 2006 Pokémon Trading Card Game World Championships, you may return to battle the best in 2007.
No. 2 Trainers rarity and value put it close to the legendarily expensive No. 1 Trainer in terms of rare Pokémon cards – making it one of Pokémons most sought-after cards.
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Pokmon Blastoise #009/165r Commissioned Presentation Galaxy Star Hologram
A two-of-a-kind card that suddenly became one of the most valuable Pokémon cards of all time
Sold for $360,000 in January 2021
One of only two such Pokémon cards in existence – making it extremely rare – this Blastoise suddenly became one of the most valuable Pokémon cards of all time after it sold at auction in January 2021 for a whopping $360,000 .
The ultra-rare Pokémon card was created in 1998 as a presentation piece by Magic: The Gathering maker Wizards of the Coast to convince Nintendo of Japan executives to allow it to handle the TCGs English-language release. The game would eventually make its international debut one year later in 1999.
While two Blastoise Presentation cards were produced, this is the only one that has been seen publicly. Even more impressively, it has been graded at a NM/Mint+ 8.5 level by certification website CGC, meaning that the 20-plus-year-old card is in near-perfect condition. The location and state of the other Presentation card remains unknown – meaning that this may well be the only such card of its type left.