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Everything You Need To Know

On October thirteenth, 2020, rapper Logic shocked the world when he paid $220,574 for a Pokemon card. 

That’s proper – he paid the worth of a brand new Ferrari or a three-bedroom house in Ohio for a shiny image of a lizard. Pokemon Cards Prices Are Skyrocketing: Everything You Need To Know - Most valuable Pokemon card

And but, maybe probably the most wonderful a part of the information is how little younger folks judged him for it. Somewhat than react with memes or mockery, folks our age obtained excited: 

Are any of MY playing cards value something??

Even when they weren’t accustomed to Pokemon playing cards, many younger buyers immediately perked up:

Wow, $4 in 1999 to $220,574 as we speak – is it time to start out investing in Pokemon playing cards? 

Each are completely truthful questions that I’m going to deal with on this function!

Why are pokemon playing cards abruptly fashionable once more?

Pokemon card amassing has at all times been fashionable, as evidenced by the 34 billion playing cards now in circulation.

However even the makers of Pokemon playing cards have been caught off guard when demand started skyrocketing in mid-2020. Along with being enjoyable, addictive, and nostalgic, amassing Pokemon playing cards throughout the pandemic even promised a possible type of financial reduction; every $4 booster pack might include a Charizard GX SV 49 value $1,800. 

Quickly, celebrities and influencers picked up on the resurging recognition of Pokemon playing cards. In early October, Logan Paul live-streamed an occasion the place he opened a uncommon field of playing cards value $200,000 in entrance of his 22 million subscribers. Pokimane and different influencers rapidly adopted swimsuit, providing a Pokemon-flavored model of the ever-popular “unboxing” movies. 

Issues got here to a head on October thirteenth, 2020 when rapper Logic purchased a first-edition, holographic Charizard for an eye-watering $220,574. 

Are any of your previous Pokemon playing cards value something? 

Like many Millennials of their 30s, I had a binder stuffed with Pokemon playing cards that my household and I held onto for years. Upon listening to the information that a few of them may be value a 401(okay), I instantly referred to as up my mother. 

Mother – do you’ve gotten any thought the place my previous Pokemon playing cards are??

Sadly, she didn’t. Our shared conclusion is that we seemingly donated them to a child down the road years in the past, together with my previous airsoft stuff. 

This deflating revelation instantly made me really feel just like the man who paid 10,000 bitcoins for pizza. 

Nonetheless, when you’re additionally fretting over the placement of your previous Pokemon card assortment, I even have some “good” information for you: 

Most aged Pokemon card collections aren’t value something

The one uncommon Pokemon card I can distinctly keep in mind having was a holographic Blastoise, which I (satirically) destroyed within the YMCA pool. 

I cringed when that reminiscence resurfaced. Absolutely that card is value greater than a used automotive as we speak…

Seems, you’ll be able to really purchase a collector-condition Blastoise on Amazon for about $100. 

Let’s go in order, starting the big, fat Phanpy in the room: are you currently sitting on a treasure trove of old Pokemon cards? - Blastoise

Actually, holographic Charizards aren’t promoting for rather more than that: 

Let’s go in order, starting the big, fat Phanpy in the room: are you currently sitting on a treasure trove of old Pokemon cards? - Charizard

So what offers? Why are some Charizards value $100 and others value $200,000?

Properly, in contrast to the $110 eBay Charizard, Logic’s prized Charizard is a:

  • First Version.
  • Shadowless.
  • PSA Gem Mint 10.

Any card falling in need of these excessive requirements gained’t be value even 5% as a lot. So whether or not you’re trying to begin investing in Pokemon playing cards or just promoting your previous assortment, let’s cowl how one can spot and appraise helpful Pokemon playing cards!

How you can spot uncommon Pokemon playing cards

Pokemon Cards Prices Are Skyrocketing: Everything You Need To Know - Gem mint

On this part, I’m going to concentrate on playing cards printed from 1996 to 2000 for 2 causes. Not solely are the rarest playing cards from this period probably the most helpful, however they’re additionally the trickiest to determine. 

So whether or not you’re trying to promote your previous assortment or just put money into the suitable playing cards, let’s cowl Uncommon Pokemon Playing cards 101. 

The “Base Set” of Pokemon playing cards, or the OG playing cards from 1996 to 1999 that everyone knows and love, really got here in three flavors: 1st Version, Shadowless, and Limitless. 

1st Version

1st Version playing cards are fairly self-explanatory – these have been among the many first wave ever printed and distributed, and because of this, carry the very best collector worth. 

1st Version Base Set playing cards are inclined to fetch values starting from $250 to $24,000, with the median hovering round a number of hundred bucks. In accordance with Previous Sports activities Playing cards, probably the most helpful 1st Version Base Set Pokemon playing cards are: 

  • Alakazam: $2,800.
  • Clefairy: $2,500.
  • Raichu: $2,500.
  • Venusaur: $2,200.
  • Mewtwo: $2,200.
  • Charizard: $24,000.
  • Blastoise: $5,500.
  • Chancey: $3,500.
  • Hitmonchan: $3,250.
  • Ninetales: $3,000.

For those who’re questioning why Logic paid 10x what a 1st Ed. Charizard is supposedly value, it’s just because card values are exhausting to foretell. Your previous uncommon Gyrados could also be appraised at $1,500, however it might promote for $15,000 or $150, relying on the demand that day. 

Even so, both state of affairs is value a couple of minutes of rummaging by your previous assortment. Fortunately, 1st Editions are simple to identify. 

Wizards of the East Coast, the corporate that made Pokemon playing cards till 2003, left a stamp on every of their 1st Version playing cards – so when you see this, you’ll need to encase the cardboard in protecting plastic ASAP. 

Investing in Pokemon Cards (Yes! Really!): Everything You Need To Know - 1st edition stamp

First Version Base Set Pokemon playing cards are simple to identify because of their useful stamp. Picture courtesy of Skilled Sports activities Authenticator (PSA).


Shadowless playing cards are the second rarest breed of Pokemon card from the 90s. These have been the playing cards produced proper after the first Editions, and are visually an identical to their earlier counterparts save for a lacking stamp. 

Investing in Pokemon Cards (Yes! Really!): Everything You Need To Know - Shadowless

Other than a lacking stamp, a “shadowless” Base Set Pokemon card is visually an identical to a 1st Version. Picture courtesy of Skilled Sports activities Authenticator (PSA).

They obtained the nickname “shadowless” just because they lack a shadowy background launched within the subsequent wave of playing cards, the Limitless. 

Shadowless playing cards aren’t the rarest, however they nonetheless fetch some stable beer cash. In accordance with TGGplayer, costs for shadowless playing cards vary from $1 to $3,000, with the median being round $100. This makes them roughly one-tenth as helpful as their 1st Gen counterparts, and probably the most helpful 1st Gens are additionally probably the most helpful shadowless. 


Limitless playing cards make up the majority of the printing run for the Base Set. These are by far the commonest and thus carry a lot much less worth for collectors nowadays. There’s a 95% likelihood the Blastoise I ruined was a Base Set Limitless value nicely beneath $100, so I’m not too bummed out about it. 

You possibly can spot a Base Set Limitless card by the a lot thicker font and iconic “shadow” behind the body of the Pokemon. As an example, listed below are all three editions from the Base Set, back-to-back: 

Investing in Pokemon Cards (Yes! Really!): Everything You Need To Know - Charizard

A 1st Version, Shadowless, and Limitless Charizard, value round $24,000, $3,000, and $100, respectively. Picture courtesy of Bulbagarden.internet.

The final set value mentioning from this period is Base Set 2. These playing cards have been launched within the yr 2000, and have been basically a recent run of Base Set Limitless playing cards. You possibly can spot them by the quantity “2” with a Pokeball emblazoned on it, positioned subsequent to your Pokemon’s weight. 

Investing in Pokemon Cards (Yes! Really!): Everything You Need To Know - Base set 2

Collectors are inclined to worth Base Set 2 playing cards at or barely beneath Base Set Limitless playing cards. 

For higher or worse, over 90% of the Pokemon playing cards from the 90s aren’t value a lot. So when you’re panicking over your misplaced assortment, fret now not – it’s in all probability value little various good reminiscences. 

Nonetheless, when you do discover a 1st Version or shadowless card in your previous assortment, right here’s what to do subsequent. 

How you can promote your uncommon Pokemon playing cards

Get the cardboard’s situation graded by the PSA

Let’s say you discover your previous playing cards and are available face-to-face with a 1st Version Chancey card value as much as $3,500. Candy! 

Now, how do you promote it? 

Your first step can be to mood your expectations. Though public sale websites will record “estimated values” of 1000’s of {dollars}, the resale worth at that second in time could possibly be 10x roughly than that. 

Along with checking TCGplayers, a great way to quickly appraise your card’s worth is to browse just lately bought listings on eBay. You are able to do so by looking for your card, clicking Superior, and checking the Offered itemizing field. 

Investing in Pokemon Cards (Yes! Really!): Everything You Need To Know - Advanced search on eBay

Appears to be like like one just lately bought for ~$1,875 CAD, or roughly $1,500 USD. Not dangerous. 

Investing in Pokemon Cards (Yes! Really!): Everything You Need To Know - PSA graded Chansey

This explicit Chancey was each encased and graded by an organization referred to as the PSA, or the Skilled Sports activities Authenticator. The PSA grades the situation of uncommon buying and selling playing cards on a top quality scale of 1-10, with 10 being generally known as “Gem Mint.” Playing cards graced by Gem Mint standing aren’t simply freed from artifical scuffs – they’re freed from probably the most microscopic manufacturing facility defect. 

Usually talking, most playing cards dealt with by kids earlier than retiring right into a shoebox will rating a PSA of seven or decrease, promoting for about 5% to 10% of Gem Mint worth. 

Sadly, the information will get worse – any card value over $500 will seemingly want PSA grading, and the PSA is at the moment so overwhelmed that they’ve quickly suspended most companies. 

Due to this fact, you’re left with three choices:

  1. Roll the cube on PSA’s $300 Tremendous Categorical service.
  2. Wait till they resume fundamental companies.
  3. Promote your playing cards with out a skilled appraisal for ~10%-40% of their PSA-graded worth.

No matter which choice you choose, how and the place do you have to promote your uncommon Pokemon playing cards? 

Promote your playing cards

There’s no proper or improper place to promote your uncommon Pokemon playing cards. Listed below are a few of the hottest choices, sorted by their execs and cons: 

Market Execs Cons
eBay Most visitors and views 10% vendor price
PWCC (buying and selling card public sale home) Attracts wealthier consumers 8% – 15% vendor price, requires third-party appraisal
Fb Market Zero vendor price when bought regionally Much less visitors, in-person gross sales carry danger
Etsy Low vendor charges (5%) Much less visitors

Is it value investing in Pokemon playing cards now? 

With the costs of uncommon Pokemon playing cards rising quicker than many cryptocurrencies, many buyers are left questioning: is it time to purchase a Blastoise? 

Now that you know the way to successfully spot a uncommon, helpful Pokemon card, listed below are some causes you must (and shouldn’t) purchase it: 

Causes to put money into Pokemon playing cards

Listed below are 4 compelling the explanation why a small funding in Pokemon playing cards this yr could repay down the highway: 

  • Provide is dwindling and demand is rising. Economics 101 tells us that when demand for an asset outstrips provide, costs rise. No one’s making new 1st Version Pokemon playing cards and demand is rising in the intervening time, so it’s cheap to counsel costs will rise within the brief time period as nicely.
  • They’re simple to purchase and promote. In comparison with actual property or uncommon automobiles, Pokemon playing cards are among the many best types of property to purchase and promote. No shock leaks or costly brokers – you at all times know precisely what you’re shopping for or promoting. 
  • They’re simple to retailer. Equally, buying and selling playing cards are maybe the one best bodily funding to retailer and preserve. Pokemon playing cards don’t want cleansing, climate-controlled storage, and even insurance coverage – only a plastic sleeve and a security deposit field.
  • The upside could possibly be big. In 2017, when you’d invested $500 in an S&P 500 index fund you’d have about $1,500 now. For those who’d put that cash right into a PSA 9 Charizard as a substitute, you’d have $5,500. 

Causes not to put money into Pokemon playing cards

There’s a possible upside to investing in Pokemon playing cards, however as with all distinctive investments, the cons should be heard: 

  • “Pokemania” could finish quickly. As with every funding, hype, and influencer advertising and marketing drive up the worth of investments. So, costs could rapidly deflate.
  • Appraisal is tough and costly. For those who plan to put money into a card value $5,000+ in the future sooner or later, you’ll need to pay PSA $300 simply to reappraise it – and if the market’s sizzling sufficient to promote it, there’s an opportunity the corporate will grow to be overwhelmed once more and droop companies, jeopardizing your timing.
  • Playing cards might get misplaced, stolen, or broken. Pokemon playing cards solely maintain their worth if they continue to be in 100% pristine situation. If a PSA 10 Charizard drops to PSA 9 whereas it’s in your possession, it loses 80% of its worth. 
  • Demand for uncommon collectibles is extraordinarily fickle. Certain, demand for uncommon Pokemon playing cards could also be excessive proper now, but it surely might simply disappear in a single day as younger buyers and collectors flip to one thing else. The identical factor occurred with Beanie Infants, a few of which bought for $10,000 within the late 90s and are value lower than $10 now. 

What are Pokemon playing cards?

For the uninitiated, Pokemon Playing cards are a part of the Pokemon Card Buying and selling Card Recreation that initially launched in 1996. Again then, the unique set contained simply 151 playing cards – one for every OG Pokemon. 

In easiest phrases, Pokemon playing cards are baseball playing cards however for lovely Japanese “Pocket Monsters.” 

Since then, Pokemon has exploded into the world’s Most worthy media franchise, valued at over $100 billion worldwide. For comparability, that’s greater than Star Wars, Spongebob, and James Bond mixed. 

Fueling twenty years of meteoric development was a gentle stream of latest Pokemon creatures – and thus new playing cards – to gather. There are round 898 whole Pokemon and over 9,100 Pokemon playing cards to gather within the English market. 

Not all 9,100 playing cards can be found on retailer cabinets without delay, in fact. The Pokemon Firm Worldwide, the parents who make Pokemon playing cards, publish and launch playing cards one “technology” at a time, with every technology lasting about two years. 

In whole, there have been eight generations of Pokemon playing cards since 1996. And because the subsequent technology of playing cards begins showing on retailer cabinets, the earlier technology tends to promote out. At that time, it’s no shock that sure playing cards start taking pictures up in worth!


Pokemon playing cards have made a welcome resurgence throughout the pandemic, offering 90s and 2000s infants an exciting type of nostalgic escapism. For a few of us, the rise in previous card values may’ve even offered a pinch of financial reduction!

Nonetheless, regardless of some high-profile gross sales and hypothesis of tolerating recognition, uncommon Pokemon playing cards stay a doubtful funding at greatest. Other than excessive appraisal and public sale charges, there’s merely no assure {that a} future purchaser exists. 

For those who’re searching for simple methods to multiply your cash, we now have loads of different options.

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