The Best Cards Are Worth More Than Youd Think
In 2018, a man named Gary made digital headlines after appearing on Pawn Stars with a series of Pokémon cards, which he claimed were worth half a million dollars.
While this claim initially astounded both the audience and the shows experts, its perfectly true that rare first edition cards can hold immense value. The cards brought in to Pawn Starsby Gary were just a small fraction of his assets, too Garys entire collection was later revealed to be worth approximately $5 million.
Earlier this month, the YouTuber Logan Paul bought a first edition PSA-graded 10 Charizard card from Pawn Stars Gary for a whopping $150,000. And thats not even close to the highest price ever fetched by a Pokémon card this honor went to The Pikachu Illustrator card, which sold for $233,000.
Though the average price of Pokémon cards is much lower, there are many rare, highly collectible cards with values upwards of $200,000. A 1999 Holographic Shadow-less First Edition Charizard, for instance, is currently worth between $150,000 to $200,000.
Even more common cards can be worth several thousand dollars, depending on their condition. For example, Charizard Holo cards from the 1999 base set have been known to fetch over $5,000 to $10,000 despite the fact that there are over 10,000 of them in circulation.
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.
Important Questions To Ask Yourself To Determine How Much Your Pokemon Cards Are Worth
- How many cards do you have?
- How old are your cards?
- What set/s are they from?
- Do you have a completed set/s?
- Are any of your cards 1st edition?
- How many holographic cards do you have?
- What condition are your cards in?
- Are they all English or do you have cards from other languages?
- Could you add value by getting them graded?
- Do you have any products that are sealed, such as booster boxes or packs?
- Does their sentimental value outweigh any money you could get for them?
Now lets get into some more specifics
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Pokemon Cards Prices Are Skyrocketing: Everything You Need To Know
Modified date: Jul. 6, 2021
On October 13th, 2020, rapper Logic shocked the world when he paid $220,574 for a Pokemon card.
Thats right he paid the price of a new Ferrari or a three-bedroom home in Ohio for a shiny picture of a lizard.
And yet, perhaps the most amazing part of the news is how little young people judged him for it. Rather than react with memes or mockery, people our age got excited:
Are any of MY cards worth anything??
Even if they werent familiar with Pokemon cards, many young investors instantly perked up:
Wow, $4 in 1999 to $220,574 today is it time to start investing in Pokemon cards?
Both are totally fair questions that Im going to address in this feature!
Ex Dragon Frontiers Gold Star Charizard
Despite being printed in 2006, a Gold Star Charizard managed to bring in an incredible $60,066 at auction not too long ago. The Delta Species card was sold through eBay in October 2020 and attracted interest from a number of interested parties before the final sale price was finally confirmed.
According to the PSA website, there are just shy of 1,500 graded copies of the card in existence, although only 59 of those have been awarded the coveted GEM-MT 10 rating. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the record-setting sale was of one of these 59 cards. Others regularly sell for between twenty and thirty thousand dollars.
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You Dont Need To Know The Franchise
Serious investors are sometimes put off by the seemingly childish nature of Pokémon cards, and the idea that they would need to delve into the franchise in order to make informed decisions and allocate their assets well.
In fact, neither of these assumptions hold true. Although the franchise was aimed primarily at teenagers, there are plenty of adult enthusiasts and a community of serious collectors, as well as professional Pokémon card players taking part in worldwide tournaments. In any case, investing in valuable Pokémon cards is no different than collecting stamps if anything, the former makes more sense, because Pokémon cards were intended to be collected and traded.
Knowledge of the franchise certainly helps if you want your Pokémon card investments to turn into a hobby. However, its by no means necessary especially because there are plenty of resources online to identify and assess every card.
How Much Is A Complete Set Of Pokemon Cards Worth
If youre holding a complete set of Pokemon cards , then you definitely have an asset collectors will be interested in.
For some, gotta catch em all literally means owning every card, from every set ever produced!
Now the actual value of your complete set will be determined by its age, condition and set popularity.
But whats interesting is that even newer full sets can be worth quite a lot of money. Sometimes as much as the older ones!
This is because, the regular introduction of reverse holographic cards, and secret rares, means full/master sets can contain over 300 cards.
The cost of pulling all of these cards naturally could cost £1000s in booster boxes. So for some, buying a full set outright simply works out cheaper.
Ultimately though, whether your complete set is old or new, is absolutely has value, and most likely, a market of interested buyers.
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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.
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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Pokemon Ex Team Rocket Returns Torchic Gold Star
Sold in December, 2020 for $25,400
Released in 2004, the EX Team Rocket Returns set marked the seventh expansion from the EX Series and featured 111 cards in its checklist.
Three of the cards, #107 , #108 , and #109 , are special holographic shiny rare cards noted by the gold star next to their name.
First introduced in the third generation of Pokemon games, Torchic is one of the three starter Pokemon that originate in the Hoenn region.
This orange and yellow chick may look cute and cuddly, but make no mistake, this fire-type Pokemon can shoot fireballs at its enemies that will instantly leave them burnt to a crisp.
Will Pokemon Cards Go Up In Value
Pokemon is the biggest entertainment franchise in the world with a fandom of its size, there are many hardcore memorabilia collectors amongst them. Easily the most sought-after items are the rarest Pokemon Trading Card Game cards. Knowing this, anyone with a childhood collection of trading cards lying around probably has one question in mind: Will Pokemon cards go up in value? Heres the need-to-know on whether or not holding onto that old card collection is worthwhile.
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Pricing Or Selling Your Collection
Card Condition Is Important
The condition of your Pokémon cards is a vital part of whether they have any value. Collectors arent interested in ripped, stained, or otherwise defaced cards, and such wear can severely tank a cards value even if it is a rare one.
Youve probably heard of mint condition cards before. If youre wondering whether or not a card qualifies as mint, youll need to get it graded by a PSA representative. Your card could be worth more if you have its condition officially graded. However, it costs money to get your card graded by a professional, so you should only do so if you are sure that your card is worth at least the money it will take to be professionally graded.
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Pokemon Play Third Season Promo 70000 Points Holo Umbreon Gold Star
Sold in June, 2021 for $70,000
From 2003 to 2006, PLAY Promotional Cards allowed Pokemon Players Club members to obtain exclusive cards by earning experience points when completing various tasks.
For example, if a player started a battle, won a battle, placed in a tournament, he or she would accumulate points that could earn certain prize cards.
The five Gold Star cards are the most difficult to obtain because of their high EXP thresholds, with the Umbreon being the hardest with its 70,000 point requirement.
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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St Edition Shadowless Blastoise
It might not be quite as popular as Charizard, but Blastoise comfortably beats out the likes of Venasaur and Chansey for the second spot when it comes to valuable base set cards. A mint condition copy of the card was sold for a little over $45,000 just last November, once again through a PWCC eBay auction.
It’s one of 100 copies of the card to have been given the GEM-MT 10 rating by the PSA making it one of the more common base set holographic cards in perfect condition. As with Charizard though, the relatively high population doesn’t seem to have impacted its value all too much most probably because so many of them are already in the hands of collectors.
Are Your Pokmon Cards Rare
With regards to most Pokémon cards, there are 4 levels of standard rarity that are worth mentioning for now.
Its also important to note here, when we are talking about Rarity or how Rare a card is, I am not referring to the actual scarcity of the card or hard it is to fine.
Pokémon cards have different rarity classifications that are assigned by the Pokémon company themselves and can often be identified by the symbol printed on the card.
This can be somewhat confusing to those new to the trading card scene as most people will use the term rare interchangeably between the Classification rare and Monetary value rare.
This isnt something you should worry too much about as often a card that is Monetary value rare will also have the classification of Rare, hence why many players will use the term interchangeably.
You can figure what classification level a card has by looking for a small symbol in one of the bottom corners of your card:
- Common: A small black circle
- Uncommon: A diamond shape
- Rare: A tiny star
Promotional: A black start with the word PROMO written across it
As a general rule, the rarer the Pokémon card classification the more money it will be worth. However, this isnt always the case, so its best to be vigilant when evaluating your Pokémon collection.
There are certainly some Uncommons, and possibly even commons, that exist from much older Pokémon sets that might be considered more valuable than modern-day Rares.
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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.
Pikachu Trainer Trophy Cards
The Pikachu trophy trainer cards are holographic promotional cards handed out to the winners of the Pokémon World Championships. They are in three different types No. 1 Trainer card, No. 2 Trainer card, and No. 3 Trainer card and are given to those that finish in the 1st, 2nd, and third place respectively in each year tournament. This gives the winners direct entry into the following years world championship, making the card valuable and rare to find.
Surprisingly, the Pikachu trophy trainer cards have been sighted for sale online on very few occasions. In July 2020, a No. 1 Trainer card that was in perfect shape, having been graded by the Professional Sports Authenticator as Gem Mint 10, was auctioned by the Heritage Auctions for $90,000.
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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.