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.
Is Your Pokmon Card Professionally Graded
Once you have performed all of your checks and you are confident that the card you are holding is worth a decent amount of money, it may make sense to think about getting your cards graded by a company such as Professional Sports Authenticator .;
One final check that I would recommend before sending your Pokémon cards off to be graded is to do an eBay search for the card you are thinking of selling.
Even if have heard about the card you have going for wild amounts of money, its best to check what the average sale price for your card is currently by searching for it on eBay.
Pro Tip: eBay has a handy feature that lets you see auction listings that have already sold for items that you are searching for. The sold auctions will give you a much better idea of what you can expect your card to realistically sell for.
The PSA grade assigns trading cards to a condition standard from Gem Mint to Poor and makes notes of qualifiers like an off-center print or staining.
PSA grade scale also contains half points. For example, a card may come back graded as a 6.5.
Pokemon Players Club Shiny Espeon: $2000
If you ever wanted proof about how much a Pokemon cards price can change just because of the Pokemon on it, you need to look further than the Pokemon Players Club Shiny Espeon. This card is almost identical in story to the Umbreon card you saw just a moment ago, but required only 40,000 experience points instead of 70,000.
Despite being more available, Troll and Toad has this card for a slightly higher price of just under $2000. This is likely because Espeons shiny form is more noticeable than Umbreons, since the bright neon-green fur is a lot more distinctive and Espeon has its own unique degree of popularity.
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#10 Stormfront Charizard, $489.46
Prepare to see a lot of Charizard on this list. As the series’ most popular Pokémon, it appears on almost all of the cards here in some form or another.
Stormfront was released in 2008 under the Diamond & Pearl umbrella. While not one of the set’s many rare Lv.X Pokémon, Charizard was still a highly coveted Secret Rare, putting him as the most valuable card from the entire set.
The Pokémon Company/Wizards of the Coast
#9 Aquapolis Lugia, $490
Aquapolis came from that weird e-Card era of the Pokémon Trading Card game, where cards could be scanned into the e-Reader peripheral for the Gameboy Advance. While the whole thing was a total failure , some of the cards from that time are still pretty valuable. Lugia is the most expensive card from Aquapolis, coming in at around $490-$500.
FireRed & LeafGreen’s Charizard ex
The Pokémon Company
#8 FireRed & LeafGreen Charizard ex, $500
The return to Kanta in the GameBoy Advance era also saw the TCG follow suit, with a set entirely featuring Pokémon from the original 151. To give it that Advance generation flair, a number of Pokémon also received an ex form, a new feature that was first introduced in EX Ruby & Sapphire. Of course, the #1 card was Charizard ex.
Charizard VMAX from Shining Fates
The Pokémon Company
#7 Shining Fates Charizard VMAX, $510
Base Set Charizard. Note the drop-shadow on the right side of the art frame.
The Pokémon Company/Wizards of the Coast
The Masked Royal Prize Promo: $18000
This is undoubtedly one of the most recent rare cards, featuring the Masked Royal character from Pokemon Sun & Moon and released as recently as 2017. This is essentially a promotional card that was given out to players in an invitation-only prerelease in Tokyo for the new Shining Legends set, where only 100 copies were made.
Even though this is a relatively normal card by most standards, this short print run means its incredibly hard to get, especially since it was handed out in such a restrictive event. As a result, there are actually preserved tweets of players first opening it in places like Pokeboon, while Japanese trading sites like Miyabi Hobby have past listings of the card at ¥2,000,000, which currently is equal to around $18,000 USD.
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Pokemon French First Edition Dracaufeu
Sold in February, 2021 for $37,300
The First Edition Dracaufeu, or the French name for Charizard, is also relatively easier to find in PSA 10 condition than the English version.
Though only 28 examples have achieved that grade, PSA has only graded 382 overall, meaning that roughly 7% of them are PSA 10s.
The Age Of The Pokemon Card
As a general rule of thumb, old Pokemon cards from the Base, Jungle, and Fossil sets are often quite valuable, especially the rare holographic ones.
Also, there is often a lot of hype around the newest Pokemon sets. If you pull a brand new ultra rare card from a booster pack, it will likely be worth money because of demand for new cards.
This isnt to say that cards from 2002-2020 are worthless. Many of the most expensive cards of all time were produced during this period. Its just important to know that extremely old and extremely new cards can often be more valuable.
This is what an old first generation Pokemon card looks like.
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Lugia 1st Edition Neo Genesis
- Release Date: 2000
- Grading: BGS Pristine 10
- Pokemon card value at auction:;$144,300
Similar to Mewtwo, Lugia was an iconic Legendary for many children who grew up with the series in the 00s. So it should come as no surprise that its debut as a Pokemon card was a major hit.
While a 1st Edition Lugia broke records by selling for a mind-blowing $129,000 in 2020, a Beckett graded 10 version of the item sold for $144,300 at a PWCC auction in May 2021. BGS grades a lot harder than PSA, making this pristine Pokemon card one of only three in the entire world.
Pokmon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Mewtwo #10
Psychic cards were also fairly rare at the time, while Mewtwo is considered to be a legendary Pokémon-type. The holofoil looks like rays of power emanating from the genetic anomaly.;
This time, the number of gem mint copies that appear on the PSA registry is 81. Its a tiny bit rarer and more expensive than any of the cards discussed above. That makes sense due to the sheer popularity.;
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Pokemon Korean First Edition Charizard
Sold in March, 2021 for $40,000
Unlike some of the other first edition Pokemon cards distributed in different regions and languages in 1999, the Korean version did not debut until a year later in 2000.
Still, they can fetch colossal price tags on the open market just like the other first edition sets.
Not surprisingly, the Charizard is the most desirable of the Korean first edition series.
Reasons To Invest In Pokemon Cards
Here are four compelling reasons why a small investment in Pokemon cards this year may pay off down the road:;
- Supply is dwindling and demand is rising. Economics 101 tells us that when demand for an asset outstrips supply, prices rise. Nobodys making new 1st Edition Pokemon cards and demand is rising at the moment, so its reasonable to suggest prices will rise in the short term as well.
- Theyre easy to buy and sell.Compared to real estate or rare cars, Pokemon cards are among the easiest forms of property to buy and sell. No surprise leaks or expensive brokers you always know exactly what youre buying or selling.;
- Theyre easy to store. Similarly, trading cards are perhaps the single easiest physical investment to store and maintain. Pokemon cards dont need cleaning, climate-controlled storage, or even insurance just a plastic sleeve and a safety deposit box.
- The upside could be huge.In 2017, if youd invested $500 in an S&P 500 index fund youd have about $1,500 now. If youd put that money into a PSA 9 Charizard instead, youd have $5,500.;
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Tamamushi University Magikarp Trophy Promo
- Release Date: 1998
- Grading: PSA Gem Mint 10
- Pokemon card value at auction: $66,100
In 1998, Shogakukans Magazines in Japan offered a contest for school students. Fans that took the various tests offered in the publication could send them back to the company to have them graded.
Those studious enough to pass with high scores were then invited to a special conference held in Osaka of that year. Once there, the children got to participate in a unique Pokemon card battle tournament. Winners of the rare contest ultimately received the Magikarp Trophy Pokemon card Promo.
Due to the insane obscurity of how the TCG item was given out, its easily one of the rarest Pokemon cards on our list. It was not very surprising then when the Trophy collectible went up for auction in February 2021 and sold for $66k at PWCC.
Crystal Charizard Holo Skyridge
- Release Date: 2003
- Grading: PSA Gem Mint 10
- Pokemon card value at auction: $25,100
In 2003, interest in Pokemon cards had started to wane among core fans who had been collecting since it launched in 1999. As a result, production of the Skyridge set was considerably lower compared to past expansions.
This would also be the last release printed by Wizards of the Coasts and features the iconic e-reader designs meant to be a tie-in for the Game Boy Advance. Its low production has made the retro set one of the most expensive Pokemon cards products to hunt down from the era.
The crown jewel of the expansion is none other than Charizard. Its rare Crystal Holo design variant was extremely limited even at release. In November 2020, a perfectly graded version of the collectible sold for $25,100 at auction.
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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.
Pokmon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Hitmonchan #7
Back to the 1999 base set, where were looking at one of the greatest fighting Pokémon ever.;
A homage to the quick fists of Jackie Chan, this humanoid monster sports a pair of boxing gloves, and even throws a jab as a basic attack.;
The rarest card weve seen so far, there are just 56 gem mint copies at the current time of writing.;
This has translated to sky-high prices, even when compared to many of the other holos seen above.;
In any case, its definitely deserving of a place on the list.;
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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.
Whether The Card Is A Promotional Item
Some Pokemon cards were not released as regular cards that you can find in Pokemon booster packs in shops. Instead, they were given away as promo cards, for example to Pokemon TCG tournament winners, or to people going to see a Pokemon movie in cinemas.
Some Pokemon promo cards are worth a lot of money, but many arent.
Often, promo cards are completely unique, which makes it easy to find their value. However, some promo Pokemon cards look the exact same to their non-promo version.
To see if you have a promo card, look for a big black star on the card next to the card number. This is why promo cards are often known as black star promos.
This Charizard card has a large black star in the corner, demonstrating that it’s a promo card.
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Not Worth Much: Pikachu Latios Trainer Kit
There is nothing visually compelling about this card. It doesn’t even have descriptions for either of the moves. It just exists, and that’s really all we can say about it.
The lowest you can obtain this card is;$2. Unlike other cards, there are really no price inconsistencies. What you see is what you get.
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.
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Recently Updated Pokemon Card Values
The following is a list of all Pokémon cards that have recently had their price values updated. Clicking on a specific Pokémon card image will take you to that card’s listing. Selecting the card’s name will bring you to the individual Pokemon listing pages which are further broken down by TCG set.
Not Worth Much: Pikachu Furious Fists
It’s always great to frolic in the flowers, and Pikachu seems to be enjoying itself. You’ll note, however, that Pikachu is pacifistic, resorting to a bland Thunder Shock if any conflict arises. Not very furious at all.
This card is sometimes sold for as low as;$0.50. That is absolutely nothing compared to our other Pikachus.
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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.