/27 Trade Please: $1900
It wouldn’t be unreasonable to think this was a prank or a fake card, but nope. This is a real card that was part of 1998 promotion for the Pokemon-themed album Trade Please by Suzukisan. By sending in the flier that came with each album, entrants could receive an evolved Kanto starter of their choice as well as thisâ¦uniqueâ¦trainer card.
The starter Pokemon that came with are also quite rare and valuable cards, but sites like PSA Card show that the original Trade Please card can reach prices as high as $1900 if itâs been preserved at a high enough quality. This card actually did get a reprint just a few years ago for a similar event in Japan during Pokemonâs 20th Anniversary, but these were printed in much higher amounts and arenât nearly as high-value.
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.
Ex Deoxys Gold Star Rayquaza
Sold in December, 2020 for $45,100
Among the most powerful of any Pokémon, Rayquaza is a large, serpentine creature that gained a considerable boost in notoriety after serving as the box art mascot for the Pokémon Emerald video game.
EX Deoxys was the 24th set in the Pokémon Trading Card Game, and its symbol is that of a shooting star.
The set consisted of 108 cards, three of which come with a gold star variant, including the Rayquaza Holo.
You’ll notice that next to the “Rayquaza” name in the upper-left, there is a foil gold star that sets it apart as the gold star variant.
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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.
Nintendo Pokemon Game 1st Edition Venusaur
|Estimated Average Market Value||$7,322|
|Estimated Copies Worldwide||1670|
Im sure no one is surprised to see at least one Venusaur card on this list with a high price tag attached to it.
Its value can be attributed to the enduring popularity of the original Pokemon trading card set that helped kick-start the collecting craze in the United States.
Of the Pokemon featured in the set, Venusaur should continue to be a hot commodity thanks to the powerful nostalgia it holds as one of the final evolutions of the three starter Pokemon from the original video games.
Update!: This card has now sold for $60,000!
We have already seen Blastoise on this list and so it shouldnt be too long again until we see
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Poliwrath No Rarity Symbol Base Set
- Release Date: 1996
- Grading: PSA Gem Mint 10
- Pokemon card value at auction: $25,015
Rounding out the top 21 of the most expensive Pokemon cards list is Poliwrath from the Japanese version of the Base Set. While the Water-type mon has traditionally been one of the weaker valued cards from the 1996 and 1999 releases, this item is actually special.
Similar to the English version having a 1st Edition run, the very first print of the Japanese set featured no markings at all. Due to there being extremely limited amounts even printed, barely any of them survived three decades later.
Consider this THE earliest version of the iconic card, and you can see why its value has skyrocketed in recent years. In 2020, one appeared in a PWCC auction selling for $25,015. If you think that is a lot, we are only getting started!
Gold Star Holo Rayquaza
A part of the Ex Deoxys expansion pack, this Rayquaza card is highly valuable because of its gold star status, holographic image, and the fact that it’s one of the legendary Pokemon from the Hoenn region. Legendaries are just as popular with enthusiasts as shiny Pokemon are, as this gem mint 10 card’s $45,100 payout at a 2020 auction attests.
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/27 1999 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 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 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.
The Gold Star Espeon Card
The Gold Star Espeon Card is a trading card that was given out to participants of a 2005 Nintendo World Championship Qualifier tournament. What makes it so special is that it is one of only six “Gold Star” cards in existence – meaning that it has a gold foil-stamped image of the Pokemon Espeon.
These cards are extremely rare, and this particular one is estimated to be worth $5,000. The card itself is made of high-quality paper, and the image is printed in full color.
The back of the card features the official Nintendo logo, as well as the tournament information. This card is a must-have for any serious Pokemon collector.
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Neo Genesis First Edition Holographic Lugia
Sold for: $144,310
Lugia is one of the most popular legendary Pokémon of all time, but the circumstances around this run of cards is what makes it so valuable. When the first edition was being made, there were a number of errors and misprints that led to this card only having an estimated 44 that are in a good enough condition to get a perfect 10 appraisal. If you have one of those greatly scored cards, you are looking at a card that is bound to become more valuable in the future.
The Holographic Dragonite Card
The Holographic Dragonite Card is one of the most valuable Pokemon cards in existence. Released in the Legendary Collection expansion, it is one of the first cards to feature the Pokemon Dragonite.
It is also holographic, which makes it quite valuable – there are thought to be around 200 copies in existence, making it slightly less rare than some of the other cards on this list. It is currently valued at $3,500.
While this may seem like a lot of money for a piece of cardboard, collectors and investors believe that the value of the card will continue to rise as time goes on. After all, there are only a limited number of copies in existence, and the demand for rare Pokemon cards shows no signs of slowing down.
For those lucky enough to own one of these elusive cards, the Holographic Dragonite Card is sure to be a treasured addition to any collection.
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What Makes A Pokmon Card Valuable
Pokémon cards are a lot more complex than they appear. Plenty of small details that might seem insignificant could be the difference between a card being worth a few bucks or the down payment on a new house.
While there are a lot of factors that go into how collectors value a Pokémon card, you dont need to be as clever as Professor Oak to understand them.
Heres a basic breakdown for newbies.
Japanese Promo Tropical Mega Battle No 2 Trainer
Trophy cards from Pokemons heyday are always very desirable, but this card takes things to a whole new level!
The 1999 Mega Battle Tourament was a big deal in Japan, with the winners from each player level invited to the finals in Hawaii.
Only the best of the best TCG players from each region were awarded this beautiful Exeggutor trophy card, a design quite fitting to the location might I add!
Makes me want to crack out my Southern Islands set come to think of it!
Anyway, what we have here is the No. 2 Trainer trophy card, a timeless collectors item, where in fact only 6 graded copies exist.
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First Edition Holographic Zapdos
Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $1,400
Together with Articuno and Moltres, this electric and flying creature is one of the three Legendary birds of Kanto.
Only seen during thunderstorms, Zapdos will create lighting bolts and loud cracking sounds as it flaps its wings when airborne alerting everyone in the area to its presence.
The yellow and black spiked feathers that surround its body make Zapdos look just like the blasts of electricity it creates.
Gold Star Holo Umbreon
Eevee fans are another breed of Pokemon fans, and they obsessively collect any merchandise relating to Eevee and its various evolutions. To grab the gold star holographic version of the dark type evolution, Umbreon, players had to accumulate 70,000 XP points . In 2021, the first ever of these cards came to auction with a BGS grade of 9.5. It sold for a shocking $78,000.
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No Holo Dark Dragonite: $8100
While most cards benefit from being holographic, this cards value comes from the lack of it. It is easy to identify as it is numbered as a holo card but it was printed as an uncommon card.
High-graded first edition cards are the big money cards, but lower-graded ones can still go for a few hundred.
First Edition Shadowless Holographic Charizard #4
A very valuable version of a classic fan-favourite
Sold for $420,000 in March 2022
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 @IconicAuctions. Including the 20% buyer’s premium, the total transaction value exceeds $220k. As of now, this is the highest known sale of the card.
Extremely expensive, extremely rare – the Holy Grail of Pokémon cards
Sold for $5.275 million in July 2021
The most expensive Pokémon card is the Pikachu Illustrator which sold for $5.275 million in July 2021. Its the true Holy Grail of Pokémon card collecting and only one PSA 10 is known to exist.
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The Pikachu Illustrator Card
The Pikachu Illustrator card is the rarest and most valuable Pokemon card in existence. Only 39 of these cards were ever made, and they were only given out to participants of certain Pokemon illustration contests.
In 2014, one of these cards was sold at an auction for $100,150 – making it the most valuable Pokemon card ever sold. The Pikachu Illustrator card is so valuable because it is incredibly rare and because it is a highly sought-after collector’s item.
Collectors will pay a premium for a card that is both rare and desirable, and the Pikachu Illustrator card fits that bill perfectly. If you’re lucky enough to own one of these cards, you can be sure that it is worth a small fortune.
Blastoise First Edition Shadowless Base Set
Card sale date: November 2020
Card selling price: $45,100
The beloved Blastoise turtle could command a hefty sum just on cuteness, alone. But, obviously, theres more to it for collectors. The 1st Edition Shadowless version of cards like this, including Charizard, which also made our list, are rare, and this one is in Gem Mint 10 condition. It sold for $45,100 in a PWCC auction.
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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.
/30 Ex Team Rocket Returns Gold Star Torchic
It’s not all that often that a starter Pokemon card that isn’t Charizard sells for big money, particularly a first-phase one from as recently as 2004. Gold Star Torchic from the EX Team Rocket Returns set is something of an exception, however, with a copy having sold for an eye-watering $50,000 towards the end of 2021.
The card in question was one of only 17 to have been given the PSA’s perfect GEM-MT 10 rating and 322 to have been submitted to the company for inspection. A few of the other cards in the set have also sold for high prices over the years, but none have fetched anywhere near as much as the little fire Pokemon.
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Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind Japanese Promo Trainer Card
An ultra-rare Pokémon card created exclusively for participants of a 1999 tournament in Hawaii. A mint condition copy of 1999s Tropical Mega Battle, Tropical Wind Trainer Card sold for $65,100 in October 2020. Part of a set of only a dozen cards, its now estimated that the value of this collectible has gone up to nearly $150,000.
With simple artwork featuring Psyduck chilling with Jigglypuff on the beach, this card hints at the kind of holiday wed all take if we were lucky enough to sell one. Of course, if youre a passionate Pokémon card collector, owning this piece of history would be better than any vacation!
Look For These Valuable Characteristics
If you’re flipping through cards on the fly, you don’t have the time or tools to give the cards a serious once-over. So, the best tips for finding valuable Pokemon cards help you sort quickly. You’ll want to keep a cheat sheet ready with all these money-making tells.
- Check for the Gold Star. Gold Star cards come with an off-kilter star perched beside the Pokemon’s name. Since they all come from a limited run, they’re worth a lot of money.
- Look for a signature. If you find a card with a signature at a good price, drop the money and run. Most often, cards were signed by the artist or a champion competitor, and since signatures always add to the price tag, it’s worth doing a little research after you’ve secured it for yourself.
- Check for rare and super rare symbols. Pokemon card rarity is illustrated with a symbol on the bottom right corner. The symbol you should look for is a black star, as it means it’s considered a rare card. Really valuable rare cards come with out-of-range numbers or extra letters in front of the symbol. While these letters change depending on the deck, it’s a safe bet to collect any black starred cards you find.
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