Fake Pokemon Cards That Arent Fake
Before you start tearing up all those fake Pokemon cards. There are a few things that you should be aware of. You should keep the following in mind before making a final decision about the authenticity of a Pokemon card.
- The tips and tests in this guide are for the English version Pokemon cards. Japanese Pokemon cards are different. The Japanese Ninetails Pokemon card
- Promo cards are different from normal Pokemon cards. Theyre not fake but theyre not tournament legal. Always keep that in mind. Pikachu Poke Card Creator promo for Warner Bros.
- Printing errors do happen and it doesnt always mean that a card is fake. A good example of this is the shadowless Pokemon cards from the early set. Shadowless and normal Pokemon cards
- You can check if a specific card was misprinted with a quick Google search. You dont need to guess, as you can easily verify.
How To Spot Fake Pokemon Cards
Do you want to learn how to spot fake Pokemon cards like a pro? This guide is for you.
Since the release of Pokemon cards back on October 20, 1996, much has changed. Except fake Pokemon cards!
Theyre still around, and you still need to learn how to spot them.
Since some super-rare Pokemon cards are worth a small fortune, this encourages lots of dishonest people to flood the market with fake cards.
If you dont know how to tell real from fake Pokemon cards, youll have a hard time surviving in the Pokemon TCG world.
Fake Pokemon cards can cost you lots of money. Not to mention the frustration of finding out that your favorite cards are fake. And thats why weve created this step-by-step guide.
Instead of nonsense advice like ripping the cards to check the material, this guide gives you a practical, 3-step process that you use to determine the authenticity of a Pokemon card in less than 2 minutes with a systematic process that you can easily follow. Also, make sure to check out our recommended Pokemon card binders list. Gotta keep those authentic Pokemon cards in good shape!
You can tell if a Pokemon card is fake or genuine by verifying the cards information, then inspecting its design and the material its made of. Heres what you need to do in detail:
Tamamushi University Magikarp: $50000
The Tamamushi University Magikarp card is so rare that despite the fact that it depicts a frankly awful Pokemon, it’s worth ridiculous sums of money. Why the high price? Well, the University Magikarp was a promotional card that saw very limited distribution at a Japanese tournament in the late 1990s.
In total, 1000 of the cards were produced but far fewer were actually awarded and many were just stowed away forever. Barely any of these rare Magikarp cards are still in circulation today, and its incredibly rare to see new ones show up. At the moment, PSA Cards Price Guide chart lists perfectly-preserved cards to have sold for around $50,000, while copies with NM-MT 8 ratings still sell for amazing heights of $12,000.
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Pokemon Players Club Shiny Umbreon: $1900
If you’ve got a soft spot for the blue and black shiny version of the Dark-type Pokemon Umbreon, then be aware that you’re not the only one. The Japanese version of the Shining Umbreon Pokemon card is pretty highly desired, with its unique coloring and gorgeous frame-piercing artwork making it fittingly beautiful as one of the first shiny Pokemon to appear on a card.
However, its price is so high because of much more than just its looks and popularity. The Shining Umbreon card only saw a very limited release through the Japanese Pokemon Players’ Club for hitting the maximum number of experience points through the club between 2005 and 2006, making it one of the rarest cards out there. For this reason, Troll and Toad has had it listed at just near and impressive $1900.
Common Ways Of Fabrication
Some players create their own proxy cards by editing original cards. Ideally, they take a cheap original card that shares as many characteristics as possible with the card that should be proxied. Editing includes
- partially erasing the original print using a rubber or chemicals . However, this will most likely carve and damage the material, and thus affect the stiffness, balance and transparency characteristics.
- writing, painting or printing on the surface, preferably using a thin fine-liner.
- Adhesive labels attached to the front of the original card. However, this will most likely create a relief that can be read like braille. It will also affect the stiffness and balance characteristics .
Cards can also be created from scratch, using an imaging software or specialized program , printer and scissors. Special attention needs to be paid on the choice of paper and the accuracy of the cut. Usually, a card back can not be printed in a way that would be indistinguishable from the original, however.
In some cases, proxy cards can be acquired from third-party manufacturers. For copyrighted card games, however, these will usually not be allowed to reprint original artwork – so the back side will not look like the original cards.
Difficulties with the back side are often dealt with by using card sleeves with an opaque back. This also allows to put more than one piece of paper in one sleeve.
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Indistinguishable On The Back
The main issue to guarantee fair play in a card game is that all cards in the deck must be indistinguishable for any player who does not view the front side . Ideally, all cards should be indistinguishable in the following characteristics to effectively prevent cheating.
- Card size and shape, including the typical rounding cut on the edges.
- The card’s total weight, its center of gravity and, ideally, the moment of inertia .
- Overall and local stiffness and elasticity – all cards should behave equally on bending.
- Overall and local thickness.
- Feel and relief of the card, especially elevations and cavities on the surface on both sides.
- The image printed on the back side, including its shininess.
- Overall and local transparency, when examined with a light from behind.
Besides these physical implications, it should be considered that someone will need to control the validity of the cards – which may prove difficult with some of the above points.
Therefore, the use of proxies is sometimes further constrained to only one method of fabrication, for instance.
The difficulties of control can also be an argument to totally prohibit the use of proxy cards.
Pokemon Snap Trainer Magazine Pikachu: $900
If you were a Pokemon fan back in the days of the Nintendo 64 console, you might just remember the classic spin-off game Pokemon Snap. The object of this Pokemon spin-off was to snap creative in-game photos of various creatures, and there were several tie-in cards in Japans Pokemon Trainer Magazine to help increase the hype among fans to try this new game.
This card was a Pikachu card with the model from Pokemon Snap as the art, making for a relatively hilarious-looking card that only could be found within this magazine in 1999. Miyabihobby has a record of an unopened magazine being sold for 100,000, or about $900 USD, but PSA Card has records of auctions ranging between $300 and $1000 for perfect condition grades.
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Pokmon Base Set 1st Edition Shadowless Holo Gyarados #6
This spot on the list could easily have been taken by the likes of Zapdos or Poliwrath, who are a duo of holo cards from the original set of 102 that just missed out.
The base Gyarados gets the nod instead, as one of the most powerful evolutions from the original trading card game.
Evolved from the otherwise useless Magikarp, the blue foil surrounding the Pokémon gives a nice water effect.
As of now, there are 86 gem mint copies on the PSA registry, so its not especially rare even when looking at pristine copies.
Shining Charizard 1st Edition Pokemon Card 107105 Proxy
Shining Charizard 1st Edition 107/105 Proxy Pokemon Card. Brand new hand made proxy card. I use official Pokemon cards as my base which gives it a great feel Comes with card sleeve. We accept returns: if you dont like it, return it no risk. Not holographic. Brand new hand made proxy card. I use official Pokemon cards as my base which gives it a great feelComes with card sleeve.We accept returns: if you don’t like it, return it no risk.Not holographic
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Make Your Own Pokemon Proxy Cards
For this instructable, I’ll show you how I make high quality proxy cards for the Pokemon TCG. This technique can be used to make other proxies for other trading card games like Magic or Yugioh. You can also use this method to make cards for custom board games as well.
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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Check The Cards Front
When youre checking the front of a Pokemon card to find out if its real or fake, youre looking for anything abnormal. Before fake cards got better, you could easily identify them with a distinctively offset yellow frame.
While original cards have a frame thats equally thick on all sides, which is not always the case with fake Pokemon cards. They usually have a misprinted frame thats much thicker on one side.
Something like this would never pass the strict quality checks of The Pokemon Company. So, if you find a card with such an error, its definitely fake.
In the case of the fake Pokemon card below, there is nothing wrong with the yellow frame. However, the colors and thin material of that card give it away immediately.
Another thing to pay attention to when examining a Pokemon cards front is the font. All genuine Pokemon cards use the same font. If you find a card with a different font or bold text that shouldnt be, this card is fake.
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?
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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.
Misprinted Fossil Krabby: $2200
Yes, you read that right. Krabby is the star of one of the rarest Pokemon cards of all. By all accounts, this crab-based Water-type isn’t exactly a battling superstar. The fact that one version of its Pokemon card is so rare is a bit of a fluke, as its price comes down to a relatively simple misprint of the card.
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The difference between these multiple miscuts and a normal card is that part of a fossil symbol to the bottom-left of its art is missing. This seemingly minor difference has driven up the price of these cards immensely, and despite going for under two dollars in its normal state, Pokemon Prices has the card record of a misprint selling for over $2200 dollars.
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Pokmon Neo Genesis 1st Edition Holo Lugia #9
Lugia appears on the box of Pokémon Silver, its remake Pokémon SoulSilver, and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, as a legendary god of the sea.
As with Blissey and Chansey, it has a white background, and silver foil surrounds the image.
Released as part of the 2000 Nintendo Neo Genesis set, a gem mint first-edition copy sold for $129,000 in 2020.
If you need an explanation for the price tag, its because there are only 42 gem mint copies, the Pokémon itself is exceptionally popular, and it was released a year after the original set.
Holographic Shadowless Mewtwo: $20000
While the other Kanto starters dont come close to Charizard in the realm of First Edition cards, its hard to ignore the second-place winner off of its fame in the series. Most Pokemon fans are plenty aware of Mewtwo from the original Pokemon movie, and as a result cards featuring the character will often go for record-high prices in any set.
Much like the First Edition Charizard mentioned earlier, Mewtwo has its own Holographic and Shadowless version that PSA Collector has seen sold for at least $20,000, putting it far above Venusaur and Blastoise but still far below everyones favorite Fire-type tyrant of the skies.
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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.
Rules When Playing With Proxy Cards
Players who do not trust each other blindly will usually agree on common rules, defining which kind and number of proxies, if any, is allowed for each player. These rules may vary drastically depending on the participants and the occasion. However, some restrictions are implied naturally by common sense and plain physics.
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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.
Inspecting The Size And Weight
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