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.
Most Expensive Pokemon Cards Of All Time
Initially released in Japan in the 1990s to accompany the Pokémon video games, the Pokémon Trading Card Game has transformed into one of the most popular trading card games of all-time.
Because of the red-hot popularity of the franchise, some of the most expensive Pokemon cards can sell into the six-figure range…
That may sound shocking, at first, but given that Pokémon is a worldwide phenom, there is a vast, passionate collector base around the globe just waiting to get their hands on these prized cards.
From trophy cards, to First Edition Pokemon cards, to lesser-known rarities, the value of these cards is quite impressive.
And in this guide, we take a look at the 50 most valuable of them all.
Let’s jump right in!
List Of Pokmon Trading Card Game Sets
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This is a list of Pokémon Trading Card Game sets which is a collectible card game first released in Japan in 1996. As of September 2017, there were 74 card sets released in America and 68 in Japan. Collectively, there are 6,959 cards in the Japanese sets and 9,110 cards in the English sets. The large difference stems from non-holofoil duplicates of rare cards included in English sets that are not printed in Japanese sets. As of March 2017, 23.6 billion cards had been shipped worldwide.
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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.
Pokemon Japanese Base Set Holo No Rarity Symbol Holo Charizard
Sold in November, 2020 for $57,877
The 1996 Japanese “No Rarity” Charizard card is a true piece of hobby history as it marked one of the first appearances of the iconic character.
Most Japanese base set cards will contain a “rarity symbol” in the lower-right corner of the card that varies based on the card type.
Holographic cards in the set feature a star symbol, so if you find one without the rarity symbol, then you know you’re looking at the more rare, first-print “no rarity” Charizards.
The “no rarity” Charizards are much more difficult to find as PSA has graded 3,634 regular base set Charizards compared with only 273 “no rarity” Charizards.
Furthermore, roughly 14% of the regular base Charizards have achieved a PSA 10 grade compared to less than 2% of the “no rarity” Charizards.
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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.
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.
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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.
An Issue Finally Worthy Of Its Name
It’s like a greatest hits compilation of early Pokémon cards.
But it was still pretty bold of Wizards of the Coast to include the word “legendary” in the title of a set that was released just three years into their run of Pokémon issues.
However, judging by the prices unopened packs and boxes from the 2002 Pokémon Legendary Collection series are now garnering, WOTC’s confidence was well founded. Sure, this 110-card offering has its critics who bemoan its lack of originality, but there’s also a large and passionate group of hobbyists who do, indeed, consider it “legendary.”
“Some people really love the set – they’re really into it – and then there are people that hate the set,” noted Zack Browning, who owns the No. 1 Current Finest, 2002 Pokémon Legendary Collection set on the PSA Set Registry. “There aren’t many people in between.”
Well-known Pokémon trading card expert Scott Pratte agrees. “It is very much that cliché of love it or hate it,” he says.
Both Pratte and Browning note that the 2002 Pokémon Legendary Collection set was not highly successful when it was initially released.
“Until the past couple of years, nobody really talked about Legendary Collection,” noted Pratte.
WOTC also introduced significant improvements in the Legendary Collection set. If you think of it as a “greatest hits” compilation, you could say that some “bonus tracks” were added to make it more desirable.
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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.
Pokemon Play Third Season Jolteon Gold Star 20000 Pts
Sold in June, 2021 for $20,000
Beginning in 2003, the Pokemon Players Club replaced the Pokemon Fan Club and with that change came the release of several exclusive Pokemon PLAY cards.
As players completed certain actions, such as attending an event, hosting an event, winning a battle, or placing in a tournament, they could accumulate experience points.
Once a player had acquired a certain number of points, he or she could receive a prize promotional card
Between January 2003 and January 2006, there were just four seasons in which players could participate, so time was of the essence in working to obtain these special cards.
If a player accumulated 20,000 points, he or she could earn this exclusive Pokemon PLAY Jolteon Gold Star.
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Legendary Collection Set List
Complete list of cards in the Pokemon Legendary Collection set. Click on the card to see how much theyre worth.
The Pokemon Legendary Collection set was released in May 2002, and only in the US not Japan. The set contains 110 cards and is mostly made up of cards from previous sets, carefully selected so players could build tournament decks. The Legendary Collection set was also the first set to introduce reverse holographic cards, something that continues to this day.
The following table is a complete list of cards in the Pokemon Legendary Collection set. Click on the cards to see what theyre worth.
Pokemon First Edition Raichu
Sold in March, 2021 for $17,100
As Pokemon skyrocketed in popularity over the years, one character became almost synonymous with the franchise as its de facto mascot.
Much of Pikachu’s popularity originates from the first episode of the Pokemon anime series entitled “Pokemon – I Choose You!” when the main protagonist of the series, Ash Ketchum, a trainer, receives Pikachu as his Pokemon from Professor Oak.
However, when exposed to a Thunderstone, the lovable, yellow, furry, rodent-like creature evolves into the final form of Raichu.
Raichu looks quite similar to Pikachu, but with a few distinct characteristics, namely its tail, ears, and dark coloration of the tip of its paws.
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Pokemon Japanese Promo Family Event Holo Kangaskhan Trophy Card
Sold in October, 2020 for $150,100
Another holy-grail trophy card, the 1998 Japanese Promo Kangaskhan Family Event card, continues to be one of the rarest and most desirable of all Pokemon cards.
This card is especially interesting compared to other trophy cards because teams consisting of a parent and child battled each other to obtain it, which was an admirable effort to build family bonding.
Fittingly, the tournament organizers chose none other than Kangaskhan, a kangaroo-like Pokemon with a baby Kangaskhan in her pouch, as the trophy card mascot.
Just 47 examples have made their way across PSA’s grading table, with eleven assessed in PSA 10 condition.
Topsun Charizard Blue Back No Number Error
Sold in January, 2021 for $493,230
As with the other Topsun cards mentioned earlier on this list, Top-Seika didn’t distribute them until 1997, even though their copyright date reads 1995.
And since they weren’t part of the official Pokemon Trading Card Game, they are considered more in the realm of novelty collectible cards.
Still, an early Pokemon card is an early Pokemon card…
And, whether you’re talking about the prism holos, green-backs, or blue-backs, collectors are willing to pay thousands of dollars for several of the Topsun cards when graded in PSA 10 condition.
But a price tag of thousands of dollars turned out to be quite an understatement in January 2021 when Goldin Auctions sold the most desirable of them all, the only “no number error” blue-back Charizard on record in a PSA 10 holder, for a whopping $493,230.
The blue-back checklist contains 150 numbered cards in total, but for some reason, about 50 of the characters were also printed with no number on them by mistake.
So, while the standard blue-back Charizard should contain a “006” on it in the upper-left of the front of the card, the “no number error” will be blank.
If you can find one and are lucky enough to have it graded PSA 10, you could be looking at life-changing money.
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Lava And Turmoil Theme Decks
Lava and Turmoil are two Legendary Collectiontheme decks. Both 61-card pre-constructed decks come packaged with a metal Pikachu coin, a random reverse-holo Legendary Collection card, a Legendary Collection card checklist, a Pokémon TCG rule book, a Poison marker, a generic marker, and several cardboard damage counters. They were originally released in stores with Legendary Collection on May 24th, 2002 for $9.99 each, but are now long out of print.
Both decks were the first to not feature a specific holographic Pokémon card. Instead of the usual rare holo and rare included in previous theme decks, they now contain three rares and one reverse holo card, a trend that continued until Skyridge. The reverse holo is a random bonus card, so each deck comes with 61 cards instead of the normal 60.
The decks were also the first to feature theme deck variants, or cards that are of different rarities than their original set appearances. Charizard, Dark Raichu, and Dark Blastoise are printed in the theme decks as non-holos when their set numbers mark them as the original holographic cards. This did not occur again until EX Ruby and Sapphires theme decks when Nintendo took over the TCG.
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.
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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 Topsun Holofoil Charizard
Sold in October, 2020 for $37,600
The Charizard is the most desirable Topsun prism holofoil card.
You’ll notice it features the same imagery used for the cover art of the Pokemon Red videogame released on the Nintendo Game Boy in Japan in 1996.
As mentioned earlier regarding the Topsun prism holofoil Blastoise, these cards feature a 1995 trademark date.
Still, most believe Top-Seika didn’t distribute them until 1997, after the official Pokemon Trading Card Game launched in 1996.
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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 Pop Series 5 Gold Star Espeon
Sold in February, 2021 for $22,100
Like its Umbreon counterpart that we covered a little bit ago, the 2007 POP Series 5 Gold Star Espeon is one of the two most-desired cards in the 17-card promotional set.
The Gold Star symbol next to the character’s name in the upper-left side of the card denotes the increased rarity of the card.
Masakazu Fukuda mixed an intense color scheme with a striking outline of Espeon to deliver a fantastic card with tremendous eye appeal.
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Pokemon World Championship Master Key Trophy Card
Sold in August, 2020 for $26,900
The Pokémon World Championships are where the best of the best meet each year to battle it out for money, prizes, and the title of Pokémon World Champion.
Players who earn enough points in qualifiers and smaller tournaments receive a special invitation to compete in the three-day event held in rotating locations.
The first tournament kicked off in 2004 in Orlando, Florida, but in 2010 the competition made its way to the Hilton in Waikoloa Village, Hawaii.
Just thirty-six contestants participated in the 2010 event and each received a copy of this beautiful foil card in a special case.
With so few of them ever produced, they are among the rarest Pokemon cards, and command huge prices if and when they do surface for sale or auction.