Most Valuable Pokemon Cards
This article shows you the most valuable Pokemon cards in the world; cards that come from packs and prize cards from special events.
Pokemon » Most Valuable Pokemon Cards
Its not just the 1st Edition Base set cards that are worth big money. Valuable Pokemon cards are released every year. There could be cards hiding in your collections that are worth thousands of dollars!
Pack rippers like me know the chance of getting a common or uncommon card is much greater than getting a full art Pokemon GX card so the GX cards are worth more, fewer were printed.
Another factor to consider is the Pokemon itself some characters are more popular with collectors and in demand. For example, Charizard cards always seem to fetch a higher price.
And then there are trophy or prize cards given out at tournaments and events. These cards are the most valuable because there are so few in existance.
Here is a list of the most valuable Pokemon cards:
What Are Pokemon Cards
For the uninitiated, Pokemon Cards are part of the Pokemon Card Trading Card Game that originally launched in 1996. Back then, the original set contained just 151 cards one for each OG Pokemon.;
In simplest terms, Pokemon cards are baseball cards but for adorable Japanese Pocket Monsters.;
Since then, Pokemon has exploded into the worlds most valuable media franchise, valued at over $100 billion worldwide. For comparison, thats more than Star Wars, Spongebob, and James Bond combined.;
Fueling two decades of meteoric growth was a steady stream of new Pokemon creatures and thus new cards to collect. There are around 898 total Pokemon and over 9,100 Pokemon cards to collect in the English market.;
Not all 9,100 cards are available on store shelves at once, of course. The Pokemon Company International, the folks who make Pokemon cards, publish and release cards one generation at a time, with each generation lasting about two years.;
In total, there have been eight generations of Pokemon cards since 1996. And as the next generation of cards begins appearing on store shelves, the previous generation tends to sell out. At that point, its no surprise that certain cards begin shooting up in value!
Pokemon World Championship Master Key Trophy Card
Sold in August, 2020 for $26,900
The Pokémon World Championships are where the best of the best meet each year to battle it out for money, prizes, and the title of Pokémon World Champion.
Players who earn enough points in qualifiers and smaller tournaments receive a special invitation to compete in the three-day event held in rotating locations.
The first tournament kicked off in 2004 in Orlando, Florida, but in 2010 the competition made its way to the Hilton in Waikoloa Village, Hawaii.
Just thirty-six contestants participated in the 2010 event and each received a copy of this beautiful foil card in a special case.
With so few of them ever produced, they are among the rarest Pokemon cards, and command huge prices if and when they do surface for sale or auction.
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Most Expensive Pokemon Cards Of All Time
Initially released in Japan in the 1990s to accompany the Pokémon video games, the Pokémon Trading Card Game has transformed into one of the most popular trading card games of all-time.
Because of the red-hot popularity of the franchise, some of the most expensive Pokemon cards can sell into the six-figure range…
That may sound shocking, at first, but given that Pokémon is a worldwide phenom, there is a vast, passionate collector base around the globe just waiting to get their hands on these prized cards.
From trophy cards, to First Edition Pokemon cards, to lesser-known rarities, the value of these cards is quite impressive.
And in this guide, we take a look at the 50 most valuable of them all.
Let’s jump right in!
Black Star Ishihara Signed Gx Promo Card
A card featuring the Pokémon Company’s President himself.
Sold for $247,230 in April 2021
The most recent card to make headlines for pure value, this card sold for nearly a quarter of a million dollars at auction on April 26th 2021. You can find the full details at our story here, but this card depicts Pokémon Company founder and current president Tsunekazu Ishihara, and was given to the company staff as a celebration of the man’s 60th birthday in 2017.
That makes the card rare, but this specific version is even rarer, as Ishihara actually signed this near-mint card to boost its price even further. The “2017 P.M. SM Black Star #TPCi01 Tsunekazu Ishihara Signed Pokémon GX Promo Card”, to use its full title, is a testament to the raw power apparently held by the Pokémon president. The ability “Red Chanchanko” is in reference to the red vest traditionally worn on 60th birthdays in Japan, and prevents the effect of any attack, ability or trainer card against Ishihara. Meanwhile, its GX move “60 Congratulations”, tells you to flip 60 coins, and take a present for each one. A truly legendary card.
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Pokmon Japanese Promo Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind
An ultra-rare promo card – one of only a dozen ever made
Sold for $65,100 in October 2020
Only 12 Tropical Wind cards were produced as promo cards for the 1999 Tropical Mega Battle, a precursor to the Pokémon World Championships, making it one of the most valuable Pokémon sets around.
The Tropical Mega Battle saw 50 players from around the globe take part in a tournament for the trading card game in Honolulu, Hawaii. The only way to participate was to win a battle in your local region and earn an invite, making it an exclusive event for the best Pokémon trainers in the world – and the cards offered as prizes some of the rarest Pokémon cards in existence.
This particular Tropical Mega Battle promo card, the 1999 Japanese-language copy of Tropical Wind, has sold at auction for as much as $65,100 in PSA Gem Mint 10 condition, with the most recent record-breaking sale taking place in October 2020. PSA estimates its value to be as high as $148,482, making the ultra-rare card a contender for one of the most expensive Pokémon cards ever made.
Japanese Promo Pikachu Illustrator
Sold in February, 2021 for $375,000
During the late 1990s,;CoroCoro Comic, a Japanese manga magazine, held a series of illustration contests in which entrants submitted their own unique Pokémon designs and attacks.
Little did they know then that these contests would give rise to one of the rarest and most valuable of all Pokémon cards: the Pikachu Illustrator.
Not only did contest winners receive multiple copies of a card that featured their very own winning design, which was exciting in its own right, each of them also received a copy of the Pikachu Illustrator card as an additional prize.
On the card front, contestants received a special message:
“We certify that your illustration is an excellent entry in the Pokémon Card Game Illust Contest. Therefore, we state that you are an Officially Authorized Pokémon Card Illustrator and admire your skill.”
Just 39 copies were distributed to the contest winners, but anyone is welcome to guess how many still survive today.
Considering this example graded PSA 7 sold for $375,000, it’s highly likely we’d see a price tag north of $1 million for the one example in the hobby graded PSA 10.
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Pokemon Pop Series 5 Gold Star Umbreon
Sold in December, 2020 for $20,000
To help boost participation in Pokemon leagues and Pokemon Organized Play events, players were treated to exclusive POP series cards released on a regular basis over roughly a five-year span.
POP Series 1 kicked things off around September 2004 with POP Series 9 bringing things to a close around September 2009.
Released between March 2007 and September 2007, POP Series 5 was the last EX Series promotional set and featured Espeon and Umbreon, two of the eight Pokemon that evolve from Eevee.
The POP Series 5 checklist contained seventeen cards in total with Epseon and Umbreon being the most elusive of them all, noted by the gold star distinction next to their name on the card fronts.
As of this writing, just fifty examples of this Umbreon card have achieved PSA 10 status.
Tropical Mega Battle No 2 Trainer
- Release Date: 1999
- Grading: PSA Authentic
- Pokemon card value at auction: $50,300
Interestingly, this is the first Pokemon card in the top 20 that is so poor quality-wise, it didnt even receive a grade. In situations like this, PSA will still give it an official Authentication. Dont let the grading fool you, though, as the Tropical No. 2 Trainer card is pristine except the back which has color loss and fading due to the sun.
Given out originally at the 1999 Mega Battle tournament in Japan, only the top players received this Pokemon card. In total, PSA has only seen five of these, making it one of the rarest Pokemon cards in existence. Its so scarce that its still worth a jaw-dropping amount despite its quality setbacks think about that.
According to PWCC, one of these green Exeggutor prizes was sold at an auction in October 2020 for $50,300. Its fascinating to think that even a damaged card can sell for as much as a sports car. And this Pokemon cards value will only continue to climb given that they just dont exist.
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Southern Island Card Set
In release with the second Pokémon movie in 1999 in Japan and 2001 in the USA, the southern island card set features artwork from the two regions of the two southern islands: the tropical island and the rainbow island. This set is rare because it is one of the few card game sets were the art style had nothing changed about it after localization.
While the price of these cards isnt that high, its still worth taking a look at your old cards. Even these cards have some solid value given to them.
Magikarp Tamamushi University Promo Card
Released only in Japan as a promotional card for the Tamamushi University Hyper Test in 1998. The contestants were separated in Pokémon gyms, then they competed with each other and the winners went on to the next day. Then, if they won during the second day, they would receive the Magikarp card.
This card can be worth at anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000, and only around a 1,000 were ever made for distribution. Its unknown if all 1,000 were distributed or if there are 1,000 left. So heads up if you have it.
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Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind Trainer Card
Sold in October, 2020 for $65,100
Just a bit ago, we saw how expensive the number two trainer card from the 1999 Pokemon Tropical Mega Battle could be even without a numerical PSA grade assigned to it.
And now we get a look at how expensive the trainer card given to all players who participated at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in 1999 can be if it’s graded to be in PSA 10 Gem Mint condition.
This card, featuring Psyduck and Jigglypuff laying sleepily in a hammock in a tropical setting, has become a hobby icon and one of the most sought-after trainer cards.
The “TRAINER” text across the top denotes the card type while the text below reads:
“Flip a coin. If heads, remove 2 damage counters from each active Pokemon . If tails, each active Pokemon is now asleep.”
Holographic Shadowless First Edition Venusaur
Every cool kid on the block had a Venusaur, but only the coolest kid had a holographic shadowless Venusaur. Considered to be extremely rare, even at the time of release, you might find a value of around $6,500 for this special card. That is if you have it, considering it was incredibly rare.
Of course, who would ever want to give up this amazing card? It has a certain quirk to it and makes a neat story. However, it would make an even better Holiday bonus.
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Holo Gold Star Rayquaza: $4500
Rather than many cards on this list, this Shiny Rayquaza from the EX Deoxys set is a rare Pokemon card thats mostly just mythical pull from a standard set. During this expansion, Pokemon with a Gold Star in your deck, making them just as powerful as they are gorgeous with unique colors and art exiting the frame.
Costs can vary massively, but spaces like Troll and Toad price the card at just under $4500. It simply combines all the great aspects of a standard card in the perfect combination, and the rarity of it in packs of this small expansion set make it one of the most valuable original Gen 3 cards, and one of the first major shiny cards to hit record prices before other shinies would catch up.
Shiny Secret Rare Charizard V: $500
If you want to get into Pokemon pack opening, but dont want to shell out for the older packs, there are tons of new cards with similar record-setting prices that have come out in just the past two years. One of the recent premium TCG sets in the game was Champions Path, and certain cards in it were especially rare since you could only get packs through special products like Elite Trainer Boxes and Pin Collector packs.
The absolute highest value cards in this set are both Charizards, one being a rainbow foil V-Max card and the other being a shiny Charizard V with black scales. Both quickly reached prices around $500, and sites like TCGPlayer still remain at the same $500 price tag.
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Pokemon Japanese Promo Family Event Holo Kangaskhan Trophy Card
Sold in October, 2020 for $150,100
Another holy-grail trophy card, the 1998 Japanese Promo Kangaskhan Family Event card, continues to be one of the rarest and most desirable of all Pokemon cards.
This card is especially interesting compared to other trophy cards because teams consisting of a parent and child battled each other to obtain it, which was an admirable effort to build family bonding.
Fittingly, the tournament organizers chose none other than Kangaskhan, a kangaroo-like Pokemon with a baby Kangaskhan in her pouch, as the trophy card mascot.
Just 47 examples have made their way across PSA’s grading table, with eleven assessed in PSA 10 condition.
Pokmon Topsun 1995 First Edition Charizard
The Pokémon Topsun cards are slightly different from all the cards mentioned above. Back in 1997, you were able to purchase a pack with gum that included two cards featuring Pokémon. These cards are the first-ever Pokémon cards printed.
The reason Charizard is the most valuable is due to its cracked ice pattern holo background and its rarity. PSA has seen 79 of the cards and graded only 16 as being PSA 10 condition. According to PSAcard.com, the cards are known to go for up to $10,000.
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Tropical Mega Battle: $10000
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, an annual Pokemon Trading Card Game tournament was held in Honolulu, Hawaii. At this 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. In fact, according to the Telegraph, a mint-condition version of the card once sold for $10,000, making it a prime example of how valuable Pokemon TCG prize cards can eventually be.
Pokemon Trainer Deck B Blastoise
Sold in March, 2021 for $20,000
This Blastoise card is one of the rarest in existence that was originally part of the Trainer Deck B or “Misty’s Deck” given out as a promotional piece to Pokemon League members ahead of the official launch of the Pokemon TCG in North America.
The Trainer Deck B theme deck contained sixty base set cards in all, with the most desirable of them being Blastoise.
Had Charizard been included in the Trainer Deck B set, it would have been the most desirable, but that’s beside the point.
An easy way to recognize a Trainer Deck B Blastoise is that it is the only non-holographic base set Blastoise.
And, if you’re still not 100% sure, you can flip the card over and you’ll see that the card’s reverse is printed with a distinct red border and “Misty’s Deck” verbiage.
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Blastoise 1st Edition Shadowless Base Set
- Release Date: 1999
- Grading: PSA Gem Mint 10
- Pokemon card value at auction: $45,100
Not only is Blastoise one of the most beloved characters in the Game Freak RPG, but the Water-type starter has also become one of the most valuable Pokemon cards currently on the market.
Those who grew up with the 1999 Base Set easily equated the turtle on the same level as the highly sought-after Charizard, so it makes sense that decades later, many are willing to bust out their wallets for the iconic mon.
While its 1st Edition Shadowless Pokemon card from 1999 has always brought in good money, the popular item has seen a massive jump in value recently. In a PWCC auction held in November 2020, the rare Base Set Blastoise sold for $45,100.