The Pandemic Renewed Interest In Pokmon
During the pandemic, trading card values increased tremendously, and Pokémon led the way. In fact, according to Bloomberg, Pokémon averaged five trading card sales a minute during 2020. With more time on their hands and nostalgia for the past, many people decided to sell their collections.
Like most trends that boomed during the pandemic, some of this activity has declined. But Pokémon cards remain popular. Purchasing collectibles like Pokémon is not a bad investment. In fact, its quite the contrary. As long as a Pokémon investment is held with a long-term view, it is still viable. However, you must first consider your investment horizon, the liquidity of the investment, and how much you are willing to risk at one time. Furthermore, the allocation of your Pokémon card investments should be diversified, just like any other type of investment that you would consider.
Pokmon Game 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Alakazam #1
The psychic-type Alakazam is next up, thanks to a great card found in the original 1999 release.
As you might expect, its another holo shadowless 1st edition card, ticking all of the boxes for serious collectors.
Alakazam might seem weak by modern standards, but he was a fearsome prospect in the original TGC. The evolution of evolution, you would start with Abra, followed by Kadabra.
Once again, there are fewer than 100 PSA 10 copies on the registry, with 88 graded at the last count.
Pokmon Card Value Guide
Like most collectives, such as coins or Beanie Babies, many factors contribute to the value of a Pokémon card. This includes the original number released and the numbers left, condition, special features, card details, as well as misprints or errors. As such, some cards are worth little more than a few dollars, while others will set you back hundreds of thousands of dollars!
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Espeon And Umbreon Gold Star Pop Series 5
A pair of Gold Star Pokémon cards from one of the most valuable Pokémon sets of all time
Sold for $22,000 in February 2021
Gold Star Pokémon cards are among the most valuable sets of Pokémon cards in existence and command an incredibly high value as a result. The cards are named after the gold star that appears next to the Pokémons name at the top of the card, which signifies that the card features alternative-colour artwork different from the common version. Only 27 Gold Star cards were released from 2004 to 2007, making them some of the rarest Pokémon cards available.
While all of the Gold Star Pokémon cards are rare, only appearing once in approximately every 88 booster packs for certain Pokémon TCG expansions, the very rarest are the Eeveelutions – the many evolutions into which basic Gen 1 Pokémon Eevee can evolve. And the rarest of the rarest are the original Japanese-language versions of the cards offered to members of the Pokémon Players Club, who could spend points earned by participating in official organised play and tournaments to obtain exclusive cards.
While Eeveelutions Flareon, Jolteon and Vaporeon could be acquired in the EX Power Keepers set released in 2007 via the Pokémon online store, their psychic and dark elemental siblings Espeon and Umbreon could only be picked up by players who collected enough Pokémon Players Club points. The Espeon 025/PLAY card required 40,000 EXP points earned, while Umbreon 026/PLAY was even most pricey at 70,000 points.
Venusaur 1999 Pokmon Base 1st Ed Shadowless 15/102
The total population of the 1999 Pokémon Base Set Shadowless 1st Edition Holo Venusaur is only 142. As such, this is one of the most rare and expensive Pokémon cards and doesnt come up for sale very often, meaning fans are willing to spend big. A 2021 sale of a PSA 10 Gem Mint example fetched a considerable sum of $60,000. Venusaur is considered one of the original big 3, which also includes Charizard and Blastoise. Consequently, it has nostalgic appeal in addition to the rarity that makes this an incredible addition to any serious collection.
Grade: PSA 10 Gem Mint
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How Do I Know What My Pokemon Cards Are Worth
There is a lot that goes into determining whether you have valuable pokémon cards. Even if you have some of the rarest Pokémon cards sitting in your collection, it takes more than just Pokémon card rarity to know the expected value of your pokemon TCG cards.
Lets go through some of the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to figuring out Pokemon card prices.
In general, Pokémon cards from the original Pokemon base set printing are worth more money than cards printed in recent sets. This is due to supply and demand economics as obtaining older cards no longer in print is much harder. However, the condition of a card is key in determining its value.
A card that is still in print is not likely to rise to an extremely high value soon. On the other hand, older cards that are not being printed anymore, especially limited editions or promo cards, generally have a higher value.
This can be a great place to start when trying to decide which of your Pokémon cards may have some value Check your oldest cards first.
However, you will need to know more than the cards age if you are truly hoping to find out if there might be gold stashed in your card binder collection.
How To Cash In On Your Pokemon Cards
Now that youve gone through your cards and identified which may have value, its time to see how much theyre actually worth and put them up for sale.
As you might expect, one of the easiest ways to check the value of a card is to look it up on an auction site like eBay. Make sure to look at completed listings to see how much the card actually sold for.
Other useful sites are ones like TCGPlayer and TrollAndToad, which act as digital storefronts for game shops and individuals selling cards. Once you look up a card, you can check the Market Price for an idea of how much its currently worth. Like eBay, these sites allow you to sell your cards for a fee.
A snapshot of Charizard cards on TCGPlayer.
Once you know how much your cards are worth, you can either make a listing on one of these sites to sell them, or you could visit a card shop or flea market to haggle in person, whatever it takes to get the very best price for your Pokemon cards.
Joshua is a Senior Editor and Producer of Features at IGN. If Pokemon, Green Lantern, or Star Wars are frequently used words in your vocabulary, youll want to follow him on and IGN.
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Pokmon Base Set Shadowless 1st Edition Holo Charizard #4
Even though theres a somewhat healthy population of the 1999 Pokémon Base Set Shadowless 1st Edition Holo Charizard #4, they still fetch an incredible price. There are actually over 3,000 cards available however, only 122 of them have a PSA 10 Gem Mint rating. The top selling price for one of these rare Pokémon cards is $420,000 in 2022, while the average sale price is high-$200,000. Charizard has long been a fan favorite with excellent strength and the highest attack power of the original Pokémon cards. This nostalgia, combined with the fierce artwork from celebrated artist Mitsuhiro Arita, makes it one of the most recognizable and valuable Pokémon cards. Its a coveted addition to any serious collection.
Grade: PSA 10 Gem Mint
Top 15 Most Rare And Expensive Pokmon Cards
Strategic depth: Medium
Publisher:Wizards of the Coast
What do Shadowless Charizard, Masters Key and Prerelease Raichu cards have in common? Theyre some of the most rare and expensive Pokémon cards in existence right now. While the value of cards have been dropping recently, the TCG isn’t going away, the team behind the game recently launched a Pokémon Go set, and now they are apparently even creating a reality TV show.
Within this list we are going to focus on the most valuable Pokémon cards. Cards are typically found in this elite category because very few of them were released or they were part of special events and promotions. You may be surprised to see which cards have made this list, so without further ado lets look at the top 15 right now.
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First Edition Shadowless Holographic Blastoise
Blastoise has always been a fan favorite from the first generation, so its no surprise that any early, rare prints of this Pokémon are worth big money. Shadowless cards are similar to their regular First Edition counterparts minus the inclusion of the 1st Edition logo. Their name stems from the lack of drop shadows for the illustration window and they are more valuable than the prints that followed. Blastoise was incredibly rare in 1999, which means its considered a novelty today. It would be difficult for the untrained eye to differentiate the many versions of these initial Blastoise prints. Quite a few can be found on eBay, but coming across the real First Edition Shadowless Holographic would be quite an impressive feat.
Pokmon Trophy Card Neo Summer Battle Road Number 2 Trainer
Fukunishi Tomoki was the 2nd place Junior Division winner of the Kanto region tournament of the 2002 Neo Summer Battle Road. As such, he received this Number 2 Trainer card, which was the last year that displayed both the region and winners name, making this an extra unique piece of history. It also has artwork from Pokémon legend Ken Sugimori. Being a trophy card, there was only ever a minimal number given out, so its surprising that such a one-of-a-kind example ended up for auction in 2021, achieving an extraordinary price of $34,100.
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Pokmon Jungle 1st Edition Holo Snorlax #11
The 1999 Complete 1st Edition only covered about a third of the original Pokédex, with a number of heavy-hitters left out.
One such Pokémon was Snorlax, who played a large role in the first Game Boy games.
64 cards were released in the series, which added a number of interesting holo shinies to the original collection.
These cards featured different illustrators who brought their own ideas to the fore when designing the images.
Snorlax is found in the jungle expansion, as the eleventh card in the 99 release.
Only 71 copies have earned gem mint status so far, and the lazy Pokémon features on a difficult card to seek out.
The Condition Of The Pokemon Card
Pokemon card collectors really care about the condition of the cards they buy.
Even just a few minor scratches on the card, or minor edgewear on its borders, can reduce the value of a Pokemon card significantly.
Pokemon card conditions are described in terms of how close to mint condition they are. Here are some common Pokemon card grades and what they mean.
Mint: flawless, looks like it was just pulled from a booster.
Near Mint: near to mint condition, except the card may have minor edge wear or surface scuffs from being stored in plastic sleeves.
Excellent : slightly worse than near mint, card may have more extensive edge wear or scuffs, may also have other marks. Still playable and collectable. No creases will be on the card.
Good : card may start to have creases, more damage or more major damage in extensive areas.
Played: card will have folds, splitting, peeling, big creases or major damage to many areas of the card.
This Base Set Charizard Pokemon card is in played condition due to the scratches on the front of the card and the edge wear visible on the borders.
Collectors are looking for near mint or mint condition Pokemon cards. If your card is in worse than near mint condition, this will reduce its value.
This isnt to say it isnt worth selling Pokemon cards that have been played with. Since old Pokemon cards are often slightly worn due to their age, these types of cards in particular can often still sell for decent money even if not in perfect condition.
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Pokemon Neo Summer Battle Road #3 Trainer Trophy Card
Sold in July, 2020 for $18,600
As an award for finishing in third place in the 2001 Neo Summer Battle Road Tournament, contestants would receive this number 3 trainer card that came in a special case.
Trophy cards like this one are some of the rarest and desirable Pokemon cards in the hobby.
Just under the “No. 3 Trainer” text is a fantastic image of the main protagonist of the Pokemon anime, Ash Ketchum, flanked by Growlithe and Pikachu.
Below the image is a text box that reads: “The Pokemon Card Game Official Tournament “BattleNeo Summer Road” third place winner is recognized here, and this honor is praised.”
Mew Victory Orb Trophy
The Victory Orb trophy card was handed out to the top 3 players of each age group during the Japanese Battle Road Summer 2003 and 2004 tournaments. Although the card was reprinted with different artwork for subsequent events, the original unnumbered promo card is incredibly rare and highly sought after.
It’s for this reason that one collector was willing to part with $60,000 to get their hands on one in late 2020. Only 14 copies of the card have been graded by the PSA, 12 of which were given the highest possible rating. There are certainly rarer cards out there, but not too many of them sell for quite this much.
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St Edition Shadowless Chansey
The popularity of the base set is one of the driving forces behind the skyrocketing prices of Pokemon cards. It may be Charizard leading the charge, but plenty of other holographic cards from the west’s very first set have sold for staggeringly high prices over the last year or so including this GEM-MT 10 Shadowless Chansey.
It was auctioned off by PWCC towards the end of 2020 and sold for more than $35,000. This makes it the most expensive Chansey sold to date and is great news for anybody else currently sitting on a mint-condition copy of the card. According to the PSA webpage, there are at least 47 of them out there.
Do You Have Any First Editions Pokmon Cards: Set Prices
First edition cards tend to be worth more than other cards, so if you have some of those in your collection you might just be in luck.
For the most part, first edition cards are easy to spot as you will often see Edition 1 printed next to the bottom left corner of the cards art frame.
For example, take a look at a first-edition holographic Charizard that can get you, depending on the condition, anything from $2,000 USD to several hundreds of thousands of dollars.
While other editions still may get you around $100 USD on average, having a good condition 1st Edition card is always a good place to start if you are looking to sell cards from your collection.
What more information on how to find out if your Pokemon cards are First Edition? Check out my other post Identifying 1st Edition Pokémon Cards
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Pokemon First Edition Chansey
Sold in November, 2020 for $36,877
Fewer than fifty examples of the First Edition Holographic Chansey have received the elusive PSA 10 distinction, making it one of the most difficult First Edition Holos to find in that grade.
Chansey is a lovable pink, normal-type Pokémon that uses the egg held in its pouch to complete its signature move known as “Soft-Boiled” to help heal people and other Pokémon.
Many believe that Chansey can bring joy and happiness to those who catch it in the Pokemon world, while this card in high grade will bring lots of money to those who own it in the real world.
Pokmon Japanese Design Promo 4th Grade Winner Illusions Zoroark
To coincide with the theatrical release of the Ruler of Illusions: Zoroark movie, CoroCoro Comics ran a competition to design a Pokémon card. Entrants had to submit a design for a Zoroark Pokemon card, and the winners each received 100 printed copies of their creations. As such, each one only had an original population of 100. This majestic scene, designed by a fourth grader, has only 42 cards remaining, with 23 PSA 10 and 18 PSA 9 and one PSA 7. Because they were distributed privately, there have been very few sales however, the latest one in 2022 fetched a massive sum of $40,800 a significant increase on previous sale amounts of around $800.
Grade: PSA 10 Gem Mint
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Japanese Promo Master’s Scroll Daisuki Club 8600 Points
Sold in March 2021, for $35,200
This holographic Master’s Scroll card is one of several item cards that were part of the L-P Promotional cards released between September 2009 and August 2010.
Once a player accumulated 8,600 action points, he or she would earn the Master Rank distinction and a prize in the form of this Master’s Scroll card.
Given the difficulty of acquiring such a massive amount of action points, not many members ever received one of these cards, making it one of the rarest promotional Pokemon cards in the hobby.
University Magikarp Tamamushi Univ Prize 1998 Nintendo Pokmon Japanese Promo
Magikarp might be a common Pokémon however, this University Magikarp promo card is a rare gem. In 1998, fans could enter a special competition held by Tamamushi University and published in the Shogakukan magazines. If they passed, they could then attend a special two-day event in Osaka. Players who reached the top were rewarded with this exceptionally rare card. PSA has graded only 68 cards, with just 12 achieving a PSA 10 Gem Mint designation. The card itself showcases the iconic artwork of legendary Pokémon artist Ken Sugimori, making it incredibly recognizable.
Grade: PSA 10 Gem Mint
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