Super Secret Battle No 1 Trainer: $90000
These cards were so cool. Awarded to regional champions in 1999, they served as both the prize for winning a regional heat and as the ticket to enter the Super Secret Battle finals held in an undisclosed location in Tokyo on August 22, 1999.
There are estimated to only be seven of these cards in existence, all of which have been graded by the PSA. A PSA 10 copy of the card sold at auction in 2020 for a massive $90,000, but the seller is hoping to get even more for it, as it is now up for offers from a starting price of $198,000.
The Most Valuable First Edition Pokmon Cards Of All
Its amazing to think that a set that is barely 20 years old will sell for millions if youre looking at a complete collection of pristine graded cards.
The original 1999 release is definitely the pinnacle for now, and they look unlikely to be beaten anytime soon.
There are a couple of decent options from 2000 onwards, but they just cant compete with the popularity of the original 151.
The Charizard was always the chase card, but its still insane to think that it could be bought for less than $10,000 back in 2016. What will the value be in 2026?
Why Are Pokemon Cards Suddenly Popular Again
Pokemon card collecting has always been popular, as evidenced by the 34 billion cards now in circulation.
But even the makers of Pokemon cards were caught off guard when demand began skyrocketing in mid-2020. In addition to being fun, addictive, and nostalgic, collecting Pokemon cards during the pandemic even promised a potential form of economic relief each $4 booster pack could contain a Charizard GX SV 49 worth $1,800.
Soon, celebrities and influencers picked up on the resurging popularity of Pokemon cards. In early October, Logan Paul live-streamed an event where he opened a rare box of cards worth $200,000 in front of his 22 million subscribers. Pokimane and other influencers quickly followed suit, offering a Pokemon-flavored version of the ever-popular unboxing videos.
Things came to a head on October 13th, 2020 when rapper Logic bought a first-edition, holographic Charizard for an eye-watering $220,574.
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Most Old Pokemon Card Collections Arent Worth Anything
The only rare Pokemon card I can distinctly remember having was a holographic Blastoise, which I destroyed in the YMCA pool.
I cringed when that memory resurfaced. Surely that card is worth more than a used car today
Turns out, you can actually buy a collector-condition Blastoise on Amazon for about $100.
In fact, holographic Charizards arent selling for much more than that:
So what gives? Why are some Charizards worth $100 and others worth $200,000?
Well, unlike the $110 eBay Charizard, Logics prized Charizard is a:
- First Edition.
- PSA Gem Mint 10.
Any card falling short of those high standards wont be worth even 5% as much. So whether youre looking to start investing in Pokemon cards or simply selling your old collection, lets cover how to spot and appraise valuable Pokemon cards!
Alakazam Base Set Shadowless
Alakazam is a Psychic-type from the original first-generation, that not every kid was able to acquire due to it only evolving via trade. As a card, it was unique because the Base Set itself didn’t feature many outstanding Psychic-types outside of Mewtwo.
The Shadowless version of the Base Set drives up the value on every card in the set, and for Alakazam that means that it now sells for a whopping $200 raw.
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Search For Your Card On Troll And Toad
Head over to the search bar on Troll and Toad, then type the Pokémon name and corresponding set number, which is found on the bottom right of your card. In this case, you would search ‘Vaporeon 12/64’.
Image via Erik Mclean/Unsplash
And there you go, a NM Vaporeon from the Jungle Unlimited set has a value of around US$26 .However, do note that this applies to an almost perfect condition card, and prices on Troll and Toad tend to be on the higher end. Nevertheless, it’s a good starting point to gauge the value of your cards.Pro-Tip: What is TNTx4? This is one phrase you’ll often see when people buy or sell Pokémon cards. What it means is that people are willing to buy or sell cards based on four times the dollar amount listed on Troll and Toad .However, not everyone will pay TNTx4 for a card. For example, assuming the Vaporeon card above is in lightly played condition, someone may offer TNTx2, which means they are willing to pay 26 x 2 = RM52.
Raichu Base Set Shadowless
Pikachu is the face of the Pokemon franchise, so having any attachment to it simply drives up popularity. For Raichu, that mostly didn’t happen due to the anime making it cool for trainers to not evolve their Pikachu.
Thankfully that didn’t hurt its Base Set card, or more specifically the Shadowless version, as it still holds a valuation of around $55. Now, that isn’t close to what Charizard or some Pikachu cards sell for, but it’s more than honorable for a creature as disrespected as Raichu is.
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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!
Condition: Did You Take Good Care Of Your Cards
The second important factor in a cards value is the condition. If you do happen to have a first-edition, holographic base-set Charizard, youre not guaranteed thousands of dollars. The selling price depends on how well the card has been taken care of.
If you have a card that you expect is worth more than $100, Pratte recommends getting it graded by Professional Sports Authenticator .
Despite its name, the PSA grades all kinds of trading cards, including non-sports cards like Pokemon. PSAs 10-point grading scale is accepted as the industry standard, and the company also publishes price guides to help you determine a cards worth.
According to its current valuations, first-edition cards in perfect condition are valued at a minimum of $40. Those arent rarer, holographic cards either. A first-edition holo in mint condition can rake in between $1,000 and $24,000.
So why Prattes $100 limit? Well, the number isnt a hard-and-fast rule, but the card-grading services offered by PSA will cost $20 or more per card, meaning a lower-value card doesnt always merit the cost to get it authenticated.
Its a process, says PSA spokesperson Terry Melia. But its something that could reap big rewards in the end.
In addition to grading the condition of the card, PSA ensures the card isnt a forgery by using high-powered lights and magnifying equipment to check for tampering.
There are a lot of forgeries and bogus merchandise out there, says Melia.
Especially so online.
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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.
Trophy Pikachu Trainer Card: Between $75000 To $100000+
Trainer cards are extremely rare. They were awarded to three winners at the Pokémon tournament in Japan in 1997. It is believed that only four copies of each card were given to each of the winners. The front of the cards has a picture of Pikachu holding a gold, silver, or bronze trophy. In Japanese, it says, The Pokémon Card Game Official Tournaments champion/runner-up winner/third place winner is recognized here, and the honor is praised. By presenting this card, you may gain preferential entry into the Pokémon Card Game Official Tournament.
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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
First Edition Holographic Machamp
Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $1,000
The final form of Machop that evolves from Machoke, Machop is an intimidating fighting-type Pokémon who looks like the last thing you’d want to fight.
Known for its brute force and strength, Machamp is nothing but solid muscle and its four arms allow it to strike opponents from multiple angles at once.
And not only is Machamp overpowering, it also possesses incredible speed making it capable of throwing as many as 500 punches in one second.
Wearing a championship belt around its waste, the aptly named Machamp is frequently on the victorious side of the fight.
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Examples Of Valuable Pokemon Cards
The table below includes the values of some of the rarest Pokemon cards in the world, i.e. ones that were acquired as prizes for winning competitions in the late 90s and early 2000s.
These types of cards were never available to the general public, and they make headlines every so often by selling for six figures at auction. The table also includes some cards that were available publicly as part of the original base set prints. According to Pratte, these are the most commonly sold cards among hobbyists. And if you do have a rare card in your collection, its likely to be of this type. Note how the condition drastically changes the value.
How Much Are Your Pokemon Cards Worth
Use Mavin to see how much your Pokemon cards are worth. Mavin tells you what its worth based on similar cards that have recently sold online.
Youll need these details:
For example Dragonite 52/108 foil
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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.
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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Pokmon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Chansey #3
Another Pokémon who featured heavily in the cartoon, Chansey is a basic holo with a difference. It has a massive 120 HP, while its Double-edge attack hits for 80.
However, the stats arent the reason why gem mint shadowless first edition versions have sold for over $36,000.
As a normal-type Pokémon, the card is wrapped in a white background which contrasts heavily with the yellow border. Chansey is essentially a pink blob, while the holo that surrounds it will flake away instantly.
Its exceedingly condition-sensitive, and there are only 48 copies that have earned gem mint status.
The First Pokemon Movie Misprint
The very first Pokemon movie, Mewtwo Strikes Back, provided players with multiple promo cards including The First Movie Pikachu. That one’s worth an okay chunk of change to this day, but the real money is in the rare misprints early on in which the company stamped their name upside-down.
We call these sorts of cards misprints, or if we’re feeling mean-spirited, misfires. Whatever happened to the stamp location, hey, mistakes exist. It’s fine. What’s less fine is that, if you want this card, youl’l need to shell out thousands.
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Should I Get My Pokemon Cards Graded
Getting your Pokemon cards graded can take a while, and it can cost you about $20 per card. With that in mind, you should consider getting your card graded so long as its value exceeds about $20.
Some exceptions apply. For example, if you own an entire base set that youre looking to sell , getting each card graded may be worth it even if an individual card is worth less than $20 as having the entire set graded would enhance its overall value.
Chansey Base Set Shadowless
It’s a travesty that Chansey still has yet to be converted to Fairy-type despite its design being the poster child for the type. It isn’t the type of Pokemon fans rushed to catch and train, and certainly isn’t a powerhouse, but thanks to the anime fans fell in love with it as it was always by Nurse Joy’s side.
The Base Set Shadowless card for the adorably rotund pink Pokemon is selling at $80 on the open market.
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Summer Battle Road Mew Victory Orb Trophy
- Release Date: 1999
- Grading: PSA Gem Mint 10
- Pokemon card value at auction: $60,000
The second tournament Trophy Pokemon card on the list, the Mew Victory Orb Trophy was given out during the 1998 Summer Battle Road competition. Spanning nine regions across Japan, only the top three Trainers in each bracket scored the rare Pokemon card.
According to PSA, only 16 of them have been given the coveted Gem Mint 10 score. One of these pristine collectibles popped up at a PWCC auction in December 2020 and ended with 51 bids for a final price of $60,000. It even came with the original plaque handed out at the finals.
As we dive deeper into this list, prepare to see more of these trophy Pokemon cards dominating the top spot. Since they were awarded at tournaments, they are intricately more scarce population-wise, and thus more valuable.
Take The Time To Study Their Worth
As Pokemon re-enters mainstream culture with the release of new video games and movies, expect to see an uptick in buying and selling activity of old cards. But interest doesnt pick up overnight.
Its not binary in that sense, Pratte says.
Instead, its a more gradual process where each new Pokemon-related release reminds twenty- and thirty-somethings of their childhood: the crinkling sound of ripping open a new pack of cards followed by a strong whiff of ink as they shuffle through the set, hoping to find something rare.
But as you rummage through your collection, remember that theres no rush to purge now. Spend some time with your cards. See if theyre valuable. Consider getting them authenticated. Then decide if theyre worth selling.
After two decades, Pokemon and its card-collecting hobbyists arent going anywhere anytime soon.
Adam Hardy is a former staff writer for The Penny Hoarder and specializes in stories on the gig economy. Hes a University of South Florida graduate, who studied magazine journalism and sociology.
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