Pokemon Japanese Bandai Carddass Vending Prism Red Charizard
Sold in January, 2021 for $30,100
Founded in 1950, Bandai is a Japanese toy maker that produced a series of Pokemon cards in September 1996 that pre-dated the official launch of the Pokemon Trading Card Game that followed in October 1996.
To distribute the cards, Bandai utilized a network of vending machines, or carddass, as they called them.
There are hundreds of Bandai carddass Pokemon cards to collect, but the most desirable of them all is the prism Charizard.
In one of the earliest appearances of the iconic character, Charizard roars and breathes fire, creating an image that really pops.
Pokemon Japanese Promo Wonder Platinum Trophy Card
Sold in November, 2020 for $25,100
Held at the Prince Park Tower Tokyo on May 4, 2009, the final round of the 2009 Japan World Championship pitted finalists against each other in fierce competition.
Each of the twenty finalists across three different age divisions received one of these Wonder Platinum cards, so one can assume that only twenty of these cards made their way into collectors’ hands.
How many still exist today is unknown, but finding one graded in a BGS 9.5 holder is incredibly rare.
What is known is that this trainer card is one of the most highly coveted DPt-P promotional cards, and its imagery makes for an incredibly well-designed card.
Rarity Symbols On Pokmon Cards
All Pokémon cards have a symbol that indicates how uncommon they actually are. You can find it in the bottom right corner of the card. The three main rarity symbols are:
- Circles: This symbol means the card is ordinary.
- Diamonds: This symbol means the card is pretty uncommon.
- Stars: This symbol means the card is rare and more valuable.
If your cards collector number is higher than the actual number of cards in the deck, its probably a secret card, which means it will sell for more money.
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St Edition Neo Genesis Lugia
It’s rare for a card released in the West to sell for crazy money unless they happen to be part of the base set. For that reason, the original owner of this 1st edition Lugia card was probably a little surprised when it was sold by PWCC Auctions for nearly $130,000 in November of 2020. Six months later, and the price rose higher still when a copy of the card sold for $144,300.
There are 41 copies of the card to have received the PSA’s GEM-MT 10 rating, although the current record holder was actually graded by Beckett and received a 10 Pristine rating. Whether or not this sale will lead to other Neo Genesis cards skyrocketing in value remains to be seen, but – prior to the recent movement – the average sale price of a 1st Edition Neo Genesis Lugia had been just $70,000.
Charmander 1st Edition $330
Charmander’s value has been all over the place in the last 12 months. After the 2020 summer of record sale after record sale, baby Zard’s value has taken a dip recently, but don’t be surprised if Charmander rebounds due to the power Charizard yields on the market.
PSA Pop: 1521 – 652 – 661
Current Value: PSA 10 $1186 PSA 9 $330
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Japanese Promo Pikachu Illustrator
Sold in February, 2021 for $375,000
During the late 1990s, CoroCoro Comic, a Japanese manga magazine, held a series of illustration contests in which entrants submitted their own unique Pokémon designs and attacks.
Little did they know then that these contests would give rise to one of the rarest and most valuable of all Pokémon cards: the Pikachu Illustrator.
Not only did contest winners receive multiple copies of a card that featured their very own winning design, which was exciting in its own right, each of them also received a copy of the Pikachu Illustrator card as an additional prize.
On the card front, contestants received a special message:
“We certify that your illustration is an excellent entry in the Pokémon Card Game Illust Contest. Therefore, we state that you are an Officially Authorized Pokémon Card Illustrator and admire your skill.”
Just 39 copies were distributed to the contest winners, but anyone is welcome to guess how many still survive today.
Considering this example graded PSA 7 sold for $375,000, it’s highly likely we’d see a price tag north of $1 million for the one example in the hobby graded PSA 10.
Pokemon First Edition Venusaur
Sold in December, 2020 for $22,615
Venusaur, notorious for the large flower that protrudes from its back, is the final evolved form of one of the original starter Pokémon, Bulbasaur.
That flower serves more than just a decorative purpose, though, as Venusaur uses it to absorb energy from the sun’s rays.
Like Charizard and Blastoise, who derive extra notoriety for appearing on video game box art, Venusaur was the mascot of the Pokémon Green video game released for the Nintendo Game Boy in Japan in 1996.
As one of the most recognizable Pokémon, collectors are willing to pay hefty price tags for 1st edition examples of this card in high grade.
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Pokemon Japanese Champion’s League
Sold in April, 2021 for $30,000
Beginning in 2000, Champion’s League and Battle Roads tournaments offered contestants throughout Japan the opportunity to battle it out amongst the best of the best.
In 2000 and 2001, there were two Champion’s League tournaments, one in the Spring and another in the Summer.
From 2002 to 2006, however, there was a reduction to just one Champion’s League tournament per year.
And before the 2005 tournament held in Tokyo, no trainers received any kind of promotional card.
However, the top four ranking players in each age division of the 2005 tournament received this promotional stadium card, making it the first Champion’s League promo stadium card.
What Are My Pokemon 1st Edition Base Set Cards Worth
If you own any of the cards listed below, condition is the biggest factor in figuring out what your cards are worth. The prices below illustrate what these cards are worth after grading in mint condition as PSA 9’s & 10’s.
Important to note: It is very unlikely that your cards will grade this high if they have been played with. If you have these cards laying around in less than mint condition, it still may be worth getting them graded as long as they are in pretty good shape.
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Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind Trainer Card
Sold in October, 2020 for $65,100
Just a bit ago, we saw how expensive the number two trainer card from the 1999 Pokemon Tropical Mega Battle could be even without a numerical PSA grade assigned to it.
And now we get a look at how expensive the trainer card given to all players who participated at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in 1999 can be if it’s graded to be in PSA 10 Gem Mint condition.
This card, featuring Psyduck and Jigglypuff laying sleepily in a hammock in a tropical setting, has become a hobby icon and one of the most sought-after trainer cards.
The “TRAINER” text across the top denotes the card type while the text below reads:
“Flip a coin. If heads, remove 2 damage counters from each active Pokemon . If tails, each active Pokemon is now asleep.”
Why Are Pokmon Card Prices Rising
About two weeks ago, 34-year-old Oregon resident Kalvin Foley wanted to buy a rare Pokémon card on eBay. It was a rainbow Vmax card featuring Charizard, one of the most popular Pokémon. He was attempting to win it at the end of an auction, one of the most adrenaline-inducing parts of bidding. The card, which started off at $100, began to steadily increase. It jumped to $250. Then $300. Then $375.
Im just watching it throughout the day, Foley recounted. When the 1-minute countdown began, he entered in his max bid of $425. And as soon as I did that, I think everybody else did, because it went from $375 all the way up to, like $550, he said.
Now, he thought, hed never be able to get the card. Foley said that only a year ago, it might have been worth around $250-$300 roughly half the price.
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Pokemon German First Edition Glurak
Sold in January, 2021 for $37,000
If you come across a First Edition Charizard from the German release, you’ll notice that Charizard’s name is instead “Glurak.”
Also, unlike the English version, you’ll notice the First Edition German version is not shadowless.
That’s true of the other non-English first editions as well.
Of the 900 German first edition Gluraks that PSA has graded at the time of this writing, 50 have received the lofty PSA 10 distinction.
That’s about a 5.5% success rate compared to around 3.7% for the English first edition Charizards, making it relatively easier to find in that condition.
Pokemon Japanese Tropical Mega Battle Number 2 Trainer
Sold in October, 2020 for $50,300
Held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village from 1999 to 2001, the Pokemon Tropical Mega Battle gave the best players from the United States, Canada, Latin America, and Europe the chance to test their skills against each other.
To be invited, players had to first win a local tournament in their respective regions.
During the final match of the Tropical Mega Battle, each player received the same 90 cards that they would use to make their own 40-card deck to battle for the championship.
If a player were fortunate enough to make it far enough through the competition to finish in second place overall, he or she would receive this number two trainer card.
Sticking with the tropical theme for the cover art, an image of Exeggutor, a dual-type grass/psychic Pokemon that resembles a palm tree, sits in the middle of the card with text below it that reads:
“The Pokémon Card Game Official Tournament’s runner-up winner is recognized here, and this honor is praised.”
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Th Anniversary 24k Gold Ginza Tanaka Japanese Pikachu Card
Sold in November, 2020 for $28,100
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the storied franchise, the Pokemon Company partnered with Japanese jeweler Ginza Tanaka to produce this stunning card made from 11g of 24k gold.
Technically not a playing card, the imagery features none other than one of the most lovable Pokémon of them all: Pikachu.
Available for order for just twenty days, the cards were housed in impressive acrylic stands and shipped in beautiful boxes.
Given that 11g of 24k gold is worth around $600 or so by today’s standards, there’s no risk of anyone buying one of these to try and turn around and melt it.
Neo Genesis First Edition Holo Lugia
Sold in May, 2021 for $144,300
The 2000 Neo Genesis set was the first to feature second-generation Pokemon from the Gold and Silver video games that built off the massive success of the Red and Blue games.
And Lugia had the great fortune of being chosen as the character to be featured on the box art of the Pokemon Silver game.
Considering the massive boost in notoriety that Charizard and Blastoise received for being the box art characters for the Red and Blue games, respectively, the same is true for Lugia.
However, the difficulty of finding this card in top condition propels it even further into the upper echelons of expensive Pokemon cards.
Print issues are a problem for the entire Neo Genesis set, and the Lugia card is no exception.
Around 2% of the Lugias graded by PSA have received the PSA 10 grade, while even fewer BGS have received the BGS 10 Pristine label.
PSA 10 Lugias have sold for $76,000 and $129,000 before, but the BGS 10 brought home an even bigger price tag in May 2021 at $144,300.
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Pokemon Japanese Summer Battle Road Mew Victory Orb Trainer Card
Sold in December, 2020 for $60,000
The Battle Road Summer 2005 tournament spanned across nine different Japanese cities between July 10 and August 14, 2005.
As a prize, the top three competitors from each age division of the regional tournaments received one of these Victory Orb cards that feature Mew and the artwork of Takumi Akabane.
Previous Victory Orb cards from the Battle Road Summer tournaments in 2003 and 2004 did not feature Mew so many hobbyists believe this one to be an aesthetic upgrade.
The Japanese text below the artwork translates to:
“Victory Orb can only be used by official tournament winners. Look at the top 7 cards of your deck, then return them to the top of your deck in any order.”
Tropical Mega Battle: $10000
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, an annual Pokemon Trading Card Game tournament was held in Honolulu, Hawaii. At this 1999 event, just 12 of these Tropical Mega Battle cards were produced to be distributed to some of the 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 whole lot of cash thanks to its rarity. In fact, according to the Telegraph, a mint-condition version of the card once sold for $10,000, making it a prime example of how valuable Pokemon TCG prize cards can eventually be.
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Pokemon Japanese Promo Daisuki Club 7200 Points Holo Umbreon
Sold in June, 2021 for $18,100
The Pokemon Daisuki Club started in 2004 and provided many benefits to its members, such as mini-games, contests, and special offers.
One of those cards was this holographic Umbreon card, and to earn it, the player needed to acquire 7,200 action points, which was no easy task.
Umbreon is one of eight different characters into which Eevee, a normal-type Pokemon, can evolve when leveled up with high friendship during the night in certain areas.
Its red eyes and the yellow markings on its slender black body give the dark-type Umbreon an unmistakable appearance giving this card tremendous eye appeal.
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.
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Pokemon First Edition Chansey
Sold in November, 2020 for $36,877
Fewer than fifty examples of the First Edition Holographic Chansey have received the elusive PSA 10 distinction, making it one of the most difficult First Edition Holos to find in that grade.
Chansey is a lovable pink, normal-type Pokémon that uses the egg held in its pouch to complete its signature move known as “Soft-Boiled” to help heal people and other Pokémon.
Many believe that Chansey can bring joy and happiness to those who catch it in the Pokemon world, while this card in high grade will bring lots of money to those who own it in the real world.
Black Star Ishihara Signed Gx Promo Card
A card featuring the Pokémon Company’s President himself.
Sold for $247,230 in April 2021
The most recent card to make headlines for pure value, this card sold for nearly a quarter of a million dollars at auction on April 26th 2021. You can find the full details at our story here, but this card depicts Pokémon Company founder and current president Tsunekazu Ishihara, and was given to the company staff as a celebration of the man’s 60th birthday in 2017.
That makes the card rare, but this specific version is even rarer, as Ishihara actually signed this near-mint card to boost its price even further. The “2017 P.M. SM Black Star #TPCi01 Tsunekazu Ishihara Signed Pokémon GX Promo Card”, to use its full title, is a testament to the raw power apparently held by the Pokémon president. The ability “Red Chanchanko” is in reference to the red vest traditionally worn on 60th birthdays in Japan, and prevents the effect of any attack, ability or trainer card against Ishihara. Meanwhile, its GX move “60 Congratulations”, tells you to flip 60 coins, and take a present for each one. A truly legendary card.
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Pokemon First Edition Hitmonchan
Sold in November, 2020 for $23,100
Packing tremendous punching power, the fighting-type Hitmonchan is another collector favorite who can strike with extreme quickness and precision.
Ken Sugimori delivered an excellent design for this card as Hitmonchan’s boxing gloves, shoulder pads, and five protrusions on the top of its head create an aura of a Pokemon that you don’t want to face.
Hitmonchan cards were some of the most commonly used cards in competitive play, making them tough to find in top condition.
Pokemon Japanese Play Promo 50000 Points Espeon Gold Star
Sold in June, 2021 for $25,700
Earlier, we had a look at the 2005 Pokemon Japanese Play Jolteon gold star card that required 20,000 EXP Points to redeem and explained how difficult it was to achieve.
As Pokemon Players Club members completed specific actions, such as attending an event, winning a battle, or placing in a tournament, they could accumulate experience points.
As if accumulating 20,000 EXP points for the Jolteon wasn’t hard enough, those who had the endurance and capability to press on even farther could unlock the Espeon after earning 50,000 EXP points.
The holographic element mixed with the gold star designation and incredible design from Masakazu Fukuda resulted in a breathtaking card that few ever have the chance at holding.
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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.