Identifying And Categorizing 1st Edition Pokemon Cards
Before we get into our top ten most valuable 1st edition Pokemon card list, its essential to understand how the trading cards are categorized and what you need to look out for.
It gets a little complicated because of the different editions and versions, but well break it down as easily as possible.
Pokmon World Championships Promo No 2 Trainer
This coveted card was awarded only to winners of the Pokémon World Championships in 2006, and there are only three of these cards in the world. This particular Mint 9 Grade card sold in February 2021 for $110,000, making it one of the most valuable cards.
Everyone’s favorite Electric-Type Pokémon holds up a silver trophy on the holographic card, with an English inscription about the 2006 champion returning to the 2007 battles.
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.
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Pokmon Neo Genesis 1st Edition Holo Lugia #9
A legendary Pokémon on a legendarily rare Pokémon card
Sold for $144,300 in May 2021
Lugia is one of the most iconic and popular Pokémon in the entire series, having starred on the front of early Game Boy game Pokémon Silver and its Nintendo DS remake SoulSilver. A legendary bird Pokémon from Gen II, Lugia is one of the most powerful and hard-to-find Pokémon that players can catch in the video games – so its only fitting that its Pokémon card is also extremely rare.
The Neo Genesis 1st Edition Holo Lugia #9 Pokémon card is described by auction house PWCC as one of the most difficult Pokémon cards to grade, as the result of a number of errors and misprints that were included in the early runs of the Neo Genesis set for the Pokémon TCG. Later print runs were corrected, but many of the cards from the expansion remain more common in their earlier uncorrected forms.
As of May 2021, PWCC claims that only 41 Gem Mint 10 condition Neo Genesis 1st Edition Holo Lugia #9 cards have ever been graded by PSA, with just three earning the maximum BGS 10 Pristine rating from grading company Beckett Grading Services. The Lugias rarity means that it ranks almost as highly as the legendary first-edition Charizard when it comes to the most valuable Pokémon cards.
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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An Unopened First Edition Set Of Pokmon Cards Deemed The Pinnacle Of Pokmon Collecting Just Fetched $408000 At Auction
It turns out playing with your Pokémon cards was a big mistake.
Sarah Cascone, January 22, 2021
Did your mother make you throw out your old Pokémon cards? Now you have an opportunity to show her that they really could have been worth a lot of money one day. An unopened first edition set of Pokémon cards just fetched a world record $408,000 at the Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction sale at Heritage Auctions in Dallas.
Released in 1999 by game publisher Wizards of the Coast, the original run of US Pokémon cards featured 102 cards, including the coveted Charizard, the powerful dragon-like final form of the fire Pokémon Charmander. The record-setting auction lot is a sealed box of first edition cards featuring 36 booster packs of 11 cards each, or 396 cards total, all of which are in gem mint condition , according to the auction house.
Due to their low print run, these box sets have become extremely scarce, especially those still in the original sealed state, wrote Heritage. It is considered the pinnacle of Pokémon box collecting.
The auction featured 16 lots of Pokémon collectibles, collectively accounting for more than $1.3 million in sales.
This Pokémon First Edition Base Set Sealed Booster Box set a world record with a $408,000 sale at Heritage Auctions, Dallas. Photo courtesy of Heritage Auctions.
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.
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What Is The Rarest Card In Pokmon
The rarest Pokémon card to date is the Japanese No. 1 Trainer Pikachu trophy card given to the winners of the first official Pokémon TCG tournament. With only four copies in circulation, netting one of these can cost you millions of dollars, as the only listing online is asking for two million USD.
Back To Kanto And Onward To The Battle Frontier
On January 29, 2004, two new games were released in Japan: Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen. They arrived in North America on September 9, 2004, and were remakes of Pokémon Red and Green which brought the games up to Generation III standards, as well as adding wireless connectivity and a new region the Sevii Islands. These games also gave the event PokémonDeoxystwo additional forms, which could only be obtained by moving Deoxys to a FireRed or LeafGreen cartridge.
Not yet finished with the Hoenn story, Game Freak developed a third version to complement Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, Pokémon Emerald. This game was released in Japan on September 16, 2004, and in North America on May 1, 2005. Emerald featured the same wireless connectivity as FireRed and LeafGreen, as well as an updated version of Hoenn with many new features, including the Hoenn Battle Frontier, the ability to re-battle Gym Leaders, an altered plot, and animations for all Pokémon, as in Crystal.
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Pokemon First Edition Blastoise
Sold in November, 2020 for $45,100
One of the coolest-looking of all Pokémon with its twin water cannons that retract from the shell on its back, Blastoise received a massive boost in popularity after serving as the cover mascot of the Pokémon Blue video game.
1st Edition Blastoise cards feature a first edition stamp to the lower left of the holographic image and no shadowing effect behind its right and bottom borders.
Out of the 2,070 first edition Blatoise cards submitted to PSA as of this writing, 100 of them have been given the PSA 10 distinction or roughly 4.8% of them.
Pokmon Art Academy Winner Card
Were going to start this list with a consideration of Pokémon collectible culture and a card that isnt yet on the high dollar list but will absolutely become one. Its one of the newest and one of the recently rare. You see, back in 2015, a Pokemon Art Academy Competition invited fans of the game to submit artwork using their Nintendo 3DS. Winners of the contest saw their art made into an official Pokemon trading card, and each artist received a 100 card pack of custom design cards displaying their artwork.
I begin here as it exemplifies much of what becomes valuable and ultra rare in the latter half of this list. Pokémon has a long history of releasing special cards, usually in response to an event or tournament, which become incredibly collectible over time. In this case, each winner began with the only 100 copies that exist for their card. Collectibility of each of these winning cards only increases at the whim of the recipient, and you can already hear the drumbeat of collectors on the hunt for any of these that make it to the open market. That is how many a collectible card is born and for Pokémon, its happening still today. Within this article detailing the rarest Pokémon cards, youre going to read many stories like this. But first, well cover the broader runs of cards that are picking up value and then move on to the holy grails of Pokémon cards.
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Rayquaza Gold Star Holo Ex Deoxys
- Release Date: 2005
- Grading: PSA Gem Mint 10
- Pokemon card value at auction: $45,100
An early favorite of Ruby & Sapphire, Rayquaza has seen an uptick in popularity over the last decade. So it makes sense then that its cards would also start to climb up in value over time. In 2005, The Pokemon Company released the Ex Deoxys TCG expansion featuring the Flying / Dragon-type.
As a gimmick to get Pokemon card collectors interested in the set, the Japanese company introduced Gold Star Pokemon cards into the hobby. As mentioned earlier, the incredibly rare Pokemon cards featured a special symbol next to the name of the mon. Of course, the king of these marked collectibles is the Hoenn Legendary itself.
In December 2020, a perfectly graded Gold Star Rayquaza sold at auction for $45,100. Given the Legendarys continued popularity in the franchise, and just how little of the gold Pokemon cards were actually produced, we expect this item to increase in value as time goes on.
Pokemon Japanese Neo Summer Battle Number 2 Trainer
Sold in November, 2020 for $20,105
Just a bit ago, we had a look at the number 3 trainer card from the 2001 Neo Summer Battle Road Tournament.
And now we are looking at the card that contestants would receive for finishing in second place in that tournament.
The card has pretty much the same look and feel as the third-place card, but Chancey and Doduo have joined Pikachu and Growlithe in posing with Ash Ketchum, as he holds a silver medal.
Even in a PSA 7 holder, this card will sell for thousands of dollars to give you an idea of just how coveted these trophy cards are.
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Best Pokemon Card Ever 2020
Have a kid whos a hardcore fan of Pokemon? You wont believe how excited he can be when you give him one of the following Pokemon cards
The anime Pokémon was so famous more than 20 years ago that even today it has a great number of fans around the world, from adults to kids, and it is still airing in some countries while also having an incredible set of video games anyone can play. Apart from this, the anime also offers a fantastic card game where you can play with the creatures you like the most, resembling the original battles from the animation. Yet, there are tons of cards out there to choose, and if you want to pick the perfect one for your kid you may need to know more.
As we know not every parent is well-versed on the stuff their kids like, weve made a list with some of the most valuable and exciting cards from this game. Take a peek and choose the one you think will make your child happier
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.
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First Edition Holographic Mewtwo
Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $2,000
A member of the exclusive and powerful Legendary Pokémon group, Mewtwo is considered to be one of the best Pokémon of all-time.
Instantly recognizable, the psychic-type Mewtwo was created when a scientist altered its original DNA via gene-splicing techniques that transformed the creature into one of the most vicious and savage of all Pokémon.
Harnessing its psychic energy, Mewtwo unleashes physical damage on its enemies via its signature more, Psystrike.
Tropical Mega Battle Legendary Bird Phone Card
How can you be a collector without including a bit of the stranger side of Pokémon in your collection? This one isn’t just a playing card, it’s also a phone card! Though its origins remain a bit of a mystery, this promo card is slightly longer in size than the normal Pokémon cards, and the print is also closer in size to what is used on traditional Japanese phone cards. The image on the card serves up Articuno as depicted by Ken Sugimori.
What’s it worth? Want to add it to your Pokémon cards collection? You should expect to part with roughly $1,200 based on past sales.
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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.
First Edition Cards In Review
Whether you are a fan of them or not, there’s no debating that first edition Pokémon cards are some of the hottest cards in non-sports card collecting.
The video games, television shows, and the cards themselves transformed Pokémon into a worldwide phenomenon with an enormous fan base.
And many of those kids who grew up with these cards are now adults with more spending power able to pay big bucks for them in top condition.
It doesn’t look like that trend will slow anytime soon as these cards have found their place as one of the most popular non-sports sets in the hobby.
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Holographic Shadowless First Edition Charizard
Number in existence: Its unknown how many there are in total. Its not as wildly rare as others on the list, but in perfect condition its quite rare and valuable.
Where they came from: Booster packs.
Significance: Charizard is a very popular Pokémon, and this is the first edition, and holographic, and shadowless.
Estimated value: $11,999 for a PSA 10.
When people hear about a 1st edition Charizard being worth a fortune, this is usually the one theyre hearing about.
Many will remember owning this card as kids, and might be kicking themselves for not taking better care of it. The good news is that the shadowless version only existed in very early print runs, it is a design choice that was soon changed after the initial release. Statistically speaking, that Charizard youre remembering from your deck probabally isnt this one, but was likely worth a decent amount of cash nonetheless.
What Makes Pokemon Cards Valuable
Over the past year, online personalities such as Logan Paul have propelled Pokemon card collecting back into popularity. With some cards being valued at over $100,000, its understandable why theres so much excitement around the hobby.
But what makes Pokemon cards valuable? It all comes down to the rarity of the card and what condition the item is in. These two factors determine how much collectors are willing to pay and why some cards go for mind-boggling amounts of money.
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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.