Competitive Play Under Wizards Of The Coast
Tropical Mega Battle
On August 26 – 27, 2000, forty-two Pokémon trainers from around the world united at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu for the Tropical Mega Battle, an international communication event for the Pokémon Trading Card Game. Jason Klaczynski, 14-year-old Orland Park, Ill., resident, was honored as the Master Trainer of the Tropical Mega Battle after winning the final round of the World Communication Match against fellow Pokémon trainer Toshiya Tanabe of Sapporo, Japan.
In an effort to transcend language and communication barriers through entertaining game-play, the Tropical Mega Battle brought together children, aged 14 and under, from the United States, Japan, France, Italy, Canada, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, for two action-packed days in scenic Honolulu, Hawaii. Children participating in the Tropical Mega Battle received invitations through Qualifier tournaments, DCI rankings, and other events in their respective countries. Creatures Inc., Media Factory and Wizards of the Coast Inc. sponsored the Tropical Mega Battle.
Events throughout the weekend included competitions facilitated by translators for groups of children representing two different languages in each group a group photo and an opening ceremony featuring remarks from Hawaiian government officials and a harbour cruise awards ceremony for the winners of the World Communication Match.
Super Trainer Showdown
Most Expensive Pokemon Cards In 2021
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 it sells for less or more.
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.
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Holographic Shadowless Venusaur: $3260
Just like its Kanto starter counterpart Charizard, Venusaur’s Shadowless, holographic, first edition version is a coveted card among Pokemon fans. It doesn’t quite reach the heights of Charizard’s $500,000, but Venusaur always was slightly less popular compared to the other Kanto starters anyway.
Nonetheless, these cards were rare even in their original late-1990s heyday, so you can imagine how sought-after they are now. Buying one through Troll and Toad right now can cost you as little $390, but the compilation site Pokemon Prices has records of them selling up to $3260.
Pokemon World Championship Masters Key
- Release Date: 2010
- Grading: BGS 9
- Pokemon card value at auction: $26,900
In 2010, the best pokemon cards players around the world were flown into Waikoloa Village, Hawaii for the World Championships. Upon arrival, contestants were given a Master Keys Pokemon card.
Because the item was only printed for participants at the tournament, only 36 of these in total were ever created, making it technically one of the most rare Pokemon cards to ever exist in the hobbys nearly 25-year history.
Despite only being intended for those at the event, one of these made there way out to the public and was sold for an astonishing $26,900 in August 2020. A pretty sweet reward to receive 11 years later.
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The Original Pokmon Base Set
Where it all began, the original English base set collection was release in 1999 and consists of 102 cards. 16 of which are holos.
Now at this point its worth mentioning 1st Edition and Shadowless cards. These are considerably more valuable.
1st Edition is pretty self-explanatory they are the first ever print-run of the cards.
Shadowless cards, you guess it, dont have a shadow!
Specifically, youre looking to see if theres a shadow around the rectangle box containing the Pokémon illustration.
But there are also some other clues like a lighter HP font at the top of the card and the date including 99 at the bottom.
Now to throw something else in the mix, its also worth pointing out that graded cards are more valuable too if the grading is good of course.
PSA tend to get the majority of the Pokémon grading market and are most commonly use by collectors.
However, because its generally harder to achieve GEM MINT 10 status from Beckett, if you do, your cards will be worth more.
At this stage though, all of this is very hypothetical for a beginner collector.
GEM MINT 10 Base Set Cards go for hundreds of dollars on eBay, and if theyre 1st Edition or Shadowless, were talking thousands sometimes tens of thousands!
For example a 1st Edition Base Set GEM MINT 10 Charizard can expect to sell for upwards of $50,000. Maybe even in the $60k-70k range.
First Edition Shadowless Holographic Charizard #4
A very valuable version of a classic fan-favourite
Sold for $369,000 in December 2020
Shiny Charizard has been one of the Pokémon card games most popular cards since it first released in 1999, so theres no surprise that 20-plus years later, it remains one of the most sought-after cards for collectors and fans alike.
While a number of first-edition cards from the Pokémon TCGs early days are worth some money – assuming theyre still in good nick – due to their limited availability and age, this specific version of the holographic Charizard absolutely stands out as one of the rarest and most valuable Pokémon cards ever released.
A PSA 10 Base Set 1st Edition Charizard just sold at auction with an ending bid of $183,812.00 via . Including the 20% buyer’s premium, the total transaction value exceeds $220k. As of now, this is the highest known sale of the card.
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What Makes Pokemon Cards Valuable
Over the past year, online personalities such as Logan Paul have propelled Pokemon card collecting back into popularity. With some cards being valued at over $100,000, its understandable why theres so much excitement around the hobby.
But what makes Pokemon cards valuable? It all comes down to the rarity of the card and what condition the item is in. These two factors determine how much collectors are willing to pay and why some cards go for mind-boggling amounts of money.
Rayquaza Gold Star Holo Ex Deoxys
- Release Date: 2005
- Grading: PSA Gem Mint 10
- Pokemon card value at auction: $45,100
An early favorite of Ruby & Sapphire, Rayquaza has seen an uptick in popularity over the last decade. So it makes sense then that its cards would also start to climb up in value over time. In 2005, The Pokemon Company released the Ex Deoxys TCG expansion featuring the Flying / Dragon-type.
As a gimmick to get Pokemon card collectors interested in the set, the Japanese company introduced Gold Star Pokemon cards into the hobby. As mentioned earlier, the incredibly rare Pokemon cards featured a special symbol next to the name of the mon. Of course, the king of these marked collectibles is the Hoenn Legendary itself.
In December 2020, a perfectly graded Gold Star Rayquaza sold at auction for $45,100. Given the Legendarys continued popularity in the franchise, and just how little of the gold Pokemon cards were actually produced, we expect this item to increase in value as time goes on.
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Holographic First Edition Machamp: $6000
The Kanto starters and legendaries aren’t the only original Pokemon to boast high-value shadowless holographic cards. Nearly any holographic first edition rare card from the original set can grow immensely in price compared to other rare Pokemon cards, but since they arent as actively hunted, their prices can vary far more wildly based on their quality.
Machamp is one of these. According to PSA Cards range of auction prices based on the cards quality classification, perfect mint condition Machamps of this kind can land between $800 and $6000, while dropping just one rating down will result in prices around $200 and $900. This card in particular truly proves how important it is to keep your trading cards safe through the years, as you never know just what will become valuable twenty years later.
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, its highly likely wed see a price tag north of $1 million for the one example in the hobby graded PSA 10.
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Base Set Booster Box Variations
1st Edition Base Set Booster Box
- Estimated current value £300k £350k
The boxes are easy to spot as they have a 1st Edition Stamp on them and the text 1ST EDITION LIMITED PRINTING.
Important 1st Edition boxes do not have the Wizards of the Coast logo printed on the cellophane wrapping. Stay well clear if you spot a box being sold with this its fake.
Shadowless Base Set Booster Box
- Estimated current value £50k £100k
Still very valuable and ultra rare, Shadowless booster boxes are harder to identify as there is no shadowless labeling or anything of that nature.
Instead characteristics of the box , and very carefully being able to identify the packs within is the way of identifying whether a box is shadowless or not.
FYI Green winged Charizard boxes dont necessarily mean its shadowless there are other factors too.
This guide goes into great detail on identifying a shadowless Base Set booster box.
Unlimited Base Set Booster Box
- Estimated current value £15k £20k
Although this is the most commonly found Base Set booster box variant, its still no chump change!
As more and more boxes are opened on YouTube etc, Id expect the value to continue to creep up long term as supply dwindles.
How Many Pokmon Are There As Of Now In : Complete List
Originally starting with 150 different Pokémon, the franchise has now expanded to incorporate a whopping 896 Pokémon as of 2021. Pokémon have been classified into different Generations, mainly based on the video game titles they are featured in and the different regions they are found in.
This guide will list all the Pokémon featured so far in the franchise, along with their Generation and Pokédex numbers. So without any further ado, lets get started.
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How To Determine Pokmon Card Values
Whether youre just getting into Pokémon card collecting, or youve been collecting for a while, its only natural to want to know how much your Pokémon cards are worth!
Thankfully, the internet has provided and there are three useful resources we recommend checking out.
Naturally, these Pokémon card value databases are predominately made up from historical eBay data, as its the biggest Pokémon card marketplace online.
Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind Promo
- Release Date: 1999
- Grading: PSA Gem Mint 10
- Pokemon card value at auction: $65,100
While not the most flashy Pokemon card on the list, the Tropical Mega Battle promo is an absolute holy grail for Psyduck fans. It doesnt get more adorable than seeing the Water-type mon playing the ukulele while chilling in a hammock with Jigglypuff.
Long before The Pokemon Company solidified the TCG competitive scene into the World Championships in 2004, one of Japans earlier iterations of the contest was known as the Tropical Mega Battle. In 1999, the tournament was held in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Only 50 players from various countries around the world were invited to compete against one another. Because various Trophy Pokemon cards were given out at the event, the Tropical Wind iteration is incredibly unique. The collectible resurfaced in a PWCC auction in October 2020 and sold for a mouth-watering $65,100.
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Which Pokmon Card Expansions & Sets Are Worth The Most Money
The Pokémon Trading Card Game is filled with card sets and expansions, and monetary values have spiked since their initial releases years ago.
The Pokémon Trading Card Game has been releasing card sets since 1996 in Japan when the first edition of Pokémon cards was released for fans to collect. Since then, the industry has continued creating and releasing new sets and expansions, bringing the total number of Pokémon sets to 74 in America and 68 in Japan. Throughout the years, the Pokémon franchise has only been growing larger and more influential with more Pokémon species, games, manga, shows, and movies. This influence has brought elevated value to merchandise considered like select rare Pokémon card sets and collections.
There are a few variables that determine the value of Pokémon card expansions and sets, though there have been some exceptions throughout the years. A set or expansion’s age, rarity, Professional Sports Authority grading, and demand have all been known to affect the appraisal value of various collections.
While the monetary worth of these Pokémon TCG sets and expansions is subject to change with the market and demand, these are the Pokémon collections that currently have the highest monetary value.
What Was The Very First Pokemon Card
Pikachu Illustrator // $250,000
One of the earliest cards to come out of the Pokémon franchise was this promotional card of Pikachu that was given out to winners of an illustration contest in 1998. An estimated 20 to 39 copies were issued. In late 2016, Heritage Auctions sold one for a whopping $54,970.
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Any Other Pokmon Sets A Beginner Should Consider Collecting
Wizards of the Coast, who produced the early Pokémon card sets, had a collection of promotional cards called the Wizards Black Star Promos. These would be used at special events, films, tournaments, etc.
In total there are 53 cards, containing a nice mixture of card designs and illustrations. Again, its quite a fun set for a beginner to collect, and may even bring back memories of your first Pokémon movie!
After Fossil and before Team Rocket, we also saw the introduction of 130 card Base Set 2.
It wasnt particularly popular at the time though, and was probably a bit too similar to the original Base Set, considering it was only released a year later.
With that being said, some collectors like to go for the full sweep of vintage Pokémon cards. Ill leave that up to you though!
At this stage, I also want to mention some other popular vintage sets like Gym Heroes, Neo Genesis, Legendary Collection and the e-Card Series. All of which are great options as your collection builds.
However, as a starting point, I think the four sets mentioned above are perfect for beginners.
Theres also one last set Id like to mention Evolutions from the XY Series. This is the 20th anniversary set released in 2016.
If you want a nostalgic throwback, without the price tag, this is the set for you.
It only contains the first generation of Pokémon, but mixes in some modern full-art card designs, a reverse holographic in each booster, and even five secret rares!
Gamble On Modern Pokemon Cards
Lastly, you could always gamble on pulling hyper rare cards from modern sets.
With multiple sets being released each year, how do you make sure Pokemon cards stay valuable?
You make the top cards harder to find of course!
Secret Rare cards like the Charizard VMAX Full Art from Darkness Ablaze or the Charizard VMAX Rainbow Rare from Champions Path are currently being sold on eBay for hundreds of pounds! And these arent even graded!
Its of course a gamble, but If you want the thrill of opening loads of packs, combined with the potential for a big payday, modern cards are the way to go.
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Base Set Pokmon Booster Pack With Black Triangle Error
This one is not actually an individual card, but rather an entire pack. Wizards of the Coast accidentally printed some Base Set packs with the first edition logo on the front, so to avoid wasting these packs, the logo was covered with a black triangle.
The cards inside these booster packs are far less rare than the packaging, so collectors recommend leaving them sealed to maintain value. The packs can be found inside standard Base Set booster boxes, but there is no way of knowing if you have a rare pack without opening the box.
A PSA 10 condition booster pack with the black triangle error goes for around $2,500 on eBay.