Pokemon cards has been the basis of many generations’ childhood. It used to be a card trading game, video game, and television show. As recently as 2016, a mobile game version of Pokemon Go was released that has captured the interests of millions around the world.
But now, it is more than just a game; it is a lucrative investment. In this article, we will look at the factors that led to the skyrocketing of Pokemon card prices and the different types of cards that you could invest in.
Back in 1999, a deck of Pokemon cards can be found for $4. Admittedly, $4 is worth a lot less now due to inflation, but with single cards going for $200,000, something must be up.
As recently as the beginning of 2020, some Charizards (one of the most popular and highly valued cards) were sold for $500. Just months later in October 2020, rapper logic bought a Charizard card for $220,000. Most recently, Logan Paul splashed $3.5 million dollars on a first-edition base case. What happened during those months?
Reasons behind the rise
2020 was a year to be remembered or forgotten. The global pandemic took over, and people were forced to isolate themselves at home. In order to entertain themselves, people rediscover things that they have once forgotten. One of these was Pokemon cards as they make their ‘re-entrance’ into the world.
The hype factor with the assistance of social media has been the driving force of many trends in recent times. Pokemon cards are not an exception. Most internet influencers are millennials, and their childhood was surrounded by pokemon. Therefore, this was a trend that resonated strongly with many of them, specifically Logan Paul.
Image 1: Logan Paul’s Pokemon YouTube Hits
The contentious YouTuber has been a leader in the NFT and Crypto field. Therefore, when he started purchasing Pokemon cards, people started paying attention. He paid upwards of $100,000 for boxes of cards. All of his Pokemon videos averaged out at around 8 million views. People started FOMO-ing and bought into the craze. As a self-fulfilling cycle, more hype will lead to more inflated prices.
Which cards are worth something?
Sadly, most of the cards that you own are not worth too much. The OG Pokemon cards are the most valuable, and they come in three main forms: 1st Edition, Shadowless and Unlimited.
1st Edition cards are self-explanatory, they are the very first cards that were created and distributed. Their values vary from $250 to $24000. According to Old Sports Cards, the prices of the first edition of each card are:
Image 2: 1st Edition Charizard
1st Edition cards can be spotted easily with the ‘1st Edition’ sign on the left-hand side of the card. It is placed beside the golden strip labeled “Flame Pokemon” in image 2.
The descendants of first edition cards are the Shadowless. They do not have shadows in the background and can go for anywhere from $1 – $3000, but you could expect around $100 in today’s market.
Image 3: Shadowless Charmeleon
The shadowless card does not have a 1st Edition stamp on it, and there is no shadow behind the character.
Unlimited cards make up the final parts of the base-set. However, they are generally not worth much (<$100).
How to make money off Pokemon cards?
If you happen to have one of the following cards, first, you need to get PSA graded. They are the Professional Sports Authenticator and will rate the condition of your card from 1 to 10. If it is rated a ten and you have a Charizard, it is possible that the card you are owning could be worth more than $200,000.
After obtaining a certification from the PSA, you will need to find an exchange to sell it on. At the moment, eBay is your best bet unless you have connections with collectors that are willing to buy them directly off you. Cards on eBay generally go for less than if you can find a credible collector.
Is this the right time to invest in Pokemon cards?
Yes and no. If you have large capital and are willing to take a risk, Pokemon cards are an amazing investment. You can ride on the hype created by large influencers that boost the demand. Supply is also running low as collectors such as Logan Paul are buying up all the ‘rare’ cards. Low supply and high demand naturally mean higher selling prices.
Pokemon cards are also very easy to store and exchange. Unlike Crypto or NFTs, where you have to be proficient with different wallets, Pokemon cards are physical objects that you can store in your cabinet. There are many different forums you can buy and sell them including the aforementioned eBay, or even Facebook Marketplace or Etsy.
On the other hand, Pokemon cards are an extremely high-risk investment. It is based on hype – one that is slowly dying down as we return to normalcy. Cards are also easily damaged, and you can lose 80% of the value if, when in your possession, the card drops from a PSA10 to a PSA9.
The global pandemic has brought back one of our favorite childhood memories. Pushed along by famous influencers, it has become one of the most attractive forms of investment. The risk of trading Pokemon cards is extremely high. But the same can also be said for the reward.