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.
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.
First Edition Holographic Gyarados
Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $1,800
This serpentine creature is an extremely temperamental and destructive Pokémon that relies on both its water and flying abilities to unleash its wrath.
Its tough scales are practically impenetrable while its sharp fangs are capable of crushing rocks.
Because it lives in both fresh and saltwater, it’s best to stay clear of water in general if you want to avoid Gyarados.
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How Value Is Determined
The surge in Pokémon card prices doesnt necessarily mean every card is worth a lot of money or will be.
I think prices will rise for some cards, but obviously not all cards, which is what some people dont get, Caitlin Sidhu explained. If cards are still in print, they wont rise in price. Once the card is out of print it may go up in price, but its not guaranteed.
Jason A., a collector from East Tennessee who declined to give his last name, compared it to the stock market: You can take a bet on a cards value. Is it going to increase? Is it going to flop? Or is it just gonna stay steady?
There are plenty of cards out there that when they first got released are still the same price that they were back then, he said.
A cards scarcity, condition and the actual Pokémon on it all play a role in its value. First edition;holographic cards released as part of Pokémons first print in 1999 command high prices especially Charizard.;;
Why is he always so coveted? In that first set, he was objectively the most powerful, with both the highest HP and the strongest attack. But maybe the reason for his appeal is more obvious than that.
I mean, hes a dragon. Kids love dragons, Garcia said. In the cartoon show, he was kind of rebellious, did whatever he wanted.
Kalvin Foley, after losing his eBay bid, said he was able to finally obtain his Rainbow Vmax Charizard in a private sale.
Only 39 were initially released through a Japanese comic contest in 1998. ;
Beware Of Pokmon Fakes
High valued cards often get counterfeits made. Watch out for ones that don’t have the plastic center, faded or smudged graphics, or show other signs of being a counterfeit.
If you are unsure, it may help to compare the card to another. Don’t forget to check the back, often there are slight differences in color or position of the graphics. There are also some that are produced by others as pranks or April Fools jokes. These could be a great collection themselves.
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Holographic Shadowless Blastoise: $2475
Out of the three final-evolution Kanto starters, it’s Blastoise who has the least valuable Shadowless holographic card, reaching heights of $2475 on Pokemon Prices. We say “least valuable”, but that’s still a lot of money for just the one card, and its hardly far behind its sibling Venusaur.
That’s if Blastoise is still in mint condition, of course, which is a big ask considering these cards are over 20 years old. Carrying the powerful Water-type move Hydro Pump, this version of Blastoise was a pretty impressive card to carry in your deck back in the day, but at this point its still a solid collectible card.
First Edition Holographic Raichu
Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $2,500
Raichu, the rodent-like evolved form of Pikachu, is an electric-type Pokémon that uses its tail to gather electricity from both the ground and atmosphere.
As it charges, the creature stores the electricity in those circular, yellow sacs on its cheeks and once fully charged, Raichu’s ears will point directly upwards.
Raichu also uses its pointed tail as a ground to prevent itself from being electrically shocked.
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Valuable: Pikachu 2005 San Diego Comic Con
This is a sadly pathetic card. If you compare it to the base EX Emerald card, it is virtually the same. The only difference is the inclusion of the San Diego Comic Con logo. The real difference? An increase of one thousand dollars or more.
For example, if we take a look at this listing for the Comic Con version it is;$16,999.99. Other listings are priced at;$4,599.95;and;$3,750.00;respectively. The EX Emerald card is;$30. In retrospect, the sheer amount it has come to cost couldn’t have been predicted, but it sure looks fishy now.
Pokemon Players Club Shiny Espeon: $2000
If you ever wanted proof about how much a Pokemon cards price can change just because of the Pokemon on it, you need to look further than the Pokemon Players Club Shiny Espeon. This card is almost identical in story to the Umbreon card you saw just a moment ago, but required only 40,000 experience points instead of 70,000.
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Despite being more available, Troll and Toad has this card for a slightly higher price of just under $2000. This is likely because Espeons shiny form is more noticeable than Umbreons, since the bright neon-green fur is a lot more distinctive and Espeon has its own unique degree of popularity.
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What Makes A Collectable Valuable
The value of collectible items depending on how many of the items there are and the number of people that desire to acquire it.
A collectible item that is too easy to obtain rarely has the value that an item that is difficult to obtain may have.
Items that are too rare may not have enough people that desire it to create a competitive market and the item may not be as valuable as it may have been in the past.
First Edition Holographic Blastoise
Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $5,500
A water-type Pokémon, Blastoise first appears in the Pokémon Red and Blue video games as the final evolutionary stage of Squirtle, one of the original three starter Pokémon.
Relying on twin water cannons that retract from the shell on its back, Blastoise is capable of delivering powerful blasts of water with superior accuracy.
And just as we saw Charizard’s boost in popularity stemming from its appearance on the cover art of the Pokémon Red video game, Blastoise was the center of attention on the Pokémon Blue video game:
Rightfully considered one of the coolest-looking of all Pokémon, Blastoise remains a collector favorite and this card can bring thousands of dollars in high grade.
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Holographic Shadowless Charizard: $500000
There are a lot of factors that make the Holographic Shadowless First Edition Charizard card worth so much compared to any other Charizard card. Firstly, it’s a first edition version of the undoubtedly most popular Kanto starter, which already makes it extra valuable to most pokemon fans. Alongside this, the card is also shadowless, which essentially means the card lacks a shadow between the box containing the image of the Pokemon, and the rest of the card.
This “Shadowless” effect is not a misprint or a mistake. It’s actually the original Pokemon card design, as the foiling process has changed and provided a different look to modern holographic and foil cards. These Charizard cards have become one of the prime reasons for the Pokemon Card trend of the past two years, with YouTuber Logan Paul opening one as recently as February 2021 that was estimated by auction site owner Ken Goldin to sell for upwards of $500,000.
The Most Valuable Pokmon Cards
As a teenager, Pokémon creator Satoshi Tajiri was so fond of collecting insects that classmates called him Mr. Bug. While it might not have been an affectionate label, Tajiri had the last laugh: His Pokémon video game, originally released for the Nintendo Game Boy in 1996, has become an enduring multimedia success, selling billions in games, merchandise, and phone apps.
The goal of collecting and pitting monsters against one another has been particularly appealing for trading card collectors, who have created an entire secondary market for the low-tech version of the game. The all-time sales record as of May 2021 might be this Blastoise card sold at auction for a whopping $360,000, but it’s not a card you ever would have found in a pack. Wizards of the Coast, which manufactures the card game, printed just one to show to Nintendo.
Fortunately, other cards are a little more accessible, though first editions, misprints, and other characteristics all affect value. If youre curious, take a look at 10 of the most valuable Pokémon cards according to Heritage Auctions, eBay, and other sources.
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First Edition Holographic Charizard
Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $24,000
The #4 Charizard is by far the most desirable of all the first edition Pokémon cards.
Charizard made its first appearance in the Pokémon Red and Blue video games released for the Nintendo Game Boy and Game Boy Color back in the mid-90s and trainers have been relying on the character’s overpowering fire and flying abilities to win battles ever since.
Just how powerful are its fire abilities?
Well, simply refer to the bottom of the card’s front and you can see that Charizard is capable of melting boulders and starting forest fires with ease.
Charizard’s appeal as a dragon and one of the more rare cards certainly adds to its popularity but I think where this card gets an extra boost in value comes from the fact that Charizard appeared on the cover art of the Pokémon Red video game:
That additional exposure greatly increased the character’s notoriety and has driven up the value of this card similar to the effect we see with the Garbage Pail Kids card, Adam Bomb, and its status as the original cover art for that series.
Regardless of why this card is so popular, its value will continue to soar just like the lovable flying dragon creature itself.
Not Worth Much: Pikachu Xy Evolutions
A few years back, Pokémon decided to release a throwback set where they updated the stats of their first couple of sets. There were a few new cards too, particularly Mega Evolutions, and they had retro printings produced for them as well.
Pikachu received a reprint of the original Pikachu Pokémon card, but it wasn’t worth much and hasn’t risen much since then. You can still pick this one up now for about $.20.
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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.
Not Worth Much: Pikachu Latios Trainer Kit
There is nothing visually compelling about this card. It doesn’t even have descriptions for either of the moves. It just exists, and that’s really all we can say about it.
The lowest you can obtain this card is;$2. Unlike other cards, there are really no price inconsistencies. What you see is what you get.
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How To Determine The Value Of A Pokmon Card
The value of any specific Pokémon card may fluctuate depending on the number of people there are that desire to obtain it. Fortunately, it’s much easier to determine the value of a collectible item than it once was thanks to the internet.
There are several places to do research to find out the value of a Pokémon card:
Graded Pokémon Cards Usually Sell for Much More
The condition of a Pokémon card has a huge impact on the cards’ value.
Having your Pokémon card professionally graded helps others know the true condition of a Pokémon Card.
The two companies, most recognized that grade Pokémon cards are PSA & Beckett.
The Masked Royal Prize Promo: $18000
This is undoubtedly one of the most recent rare cards, featuring the Masked Royal character from Pokemon Sun & Moon and released as recently as 2017. This is essentially a promotional card that was given out to players in an invitation-only prerelease in Tokyo for the new Shining Legends set, where only 100 copies were made.
Even though this is a relatively normal card by most standards, this short print run means its incredibly hard to get, especially since it was handed out in such a restrictive event. As a result, there are actually preserved tweets of players first opening it in places like Pokeboon, while Japanese trading sites like Miyabi Hobby have past listings of the card at ¥2,000,000, which currently is equal to around $18,000 USD.
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Electabuzz #3 Mewtwo #4 Pikachu And #5 Dragonite Misprint
There were four cards that were specially stamped for release of Pokémon The First Movie. Each of the special release promos had a stamp that read Kids WB presents Pokémon the First Movie“. These were #2 Electabuzz, #3 Mewtwo, #4 Pikachu, and #5 Dragonite. A few of these were accidentally printed with the gold foil stamp upside down and in the opposite corner. It is estimated that only 30 of these were ever released to the public.
Valuable: Pretend Magikarp And Gyarados
Unless you were in Japan to witness the grand opening of the;Pokémon Center in Hiroshima, we doubt you’ve seen these cards recently. This is a rarer XY-P card, but throughout the collection, you can see a common thread: be there or be square.
As a set of two, listings suggest a ripe;$2,000. That is pretty hardcore for some cute looking cards!
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First Edition Holographic Alakazam
Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $2,800
With its psychic powers that stem from its extremely powerful brain, Alakazam can bring massive headaches to those unfortunate enough to be nearby.
The evolution from Abra to Kadabra to its final form of Alakazam is one of the more fun name transitions of the series while this card itself is one of the more fun to own.
Pikachu Illustrator // $250000
One of the earliest cards to come out of the Pokémon franchise was this promotional card of Pikachu that was given out to winners of an illustration contest in 1998. An estimated 20 to 39 copies were issued. In late 2016, Heritage Auctions sold one for a whopping $54,970. In July 2020, a card graded by Professional Sports Authenticator as a 9 out of 10 fetched $250,000.
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First Edition Item Finder
Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $750
The intent of the Item Finder is exactly as it sounds: it aids players in locating items.
While its name and how it helps players find items greatly changed in later Pokémon games, the first edition card merely instructs the player to discard two cards from his or her hand and replace them with a trainer card.
Valuable: Pikachu Vmax Rainbow
A more recent example, Pikachu VMAX Rainbow has ascended the ranks to stardom. This;smirking, tubby wall of flesh;is quite a strong card on its own, but it’s the shimmering secret quality that’s got everyone going bananas.
The decided median for this special card is around;$270.99. Since it is so new, it is likely going to fluctuate compared to the other cards on this list.
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