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Pokémon is an ongoing phenomenon that has been popular since 1996. For the most part, school-age children all over the world play and trade Pokémon cards from the back of school cafeterias, on school buses, in parks, and at home. However, for the serious collector, Pokémon is more than a game.

The Price of a “Pocket Monster” and How They Work

Pokémon is short for “pocket monster” and you must catch more than 900 of them. The cards are part of a game that a trainer (person who owns the cards) uses to build a strategic 60-card deck. Today, the prices can range from 50 cents for common cards to $1 million for rare cards with Pokemaniacs obvious errors.

Are Pokémon Cards an Actual Investment?

You may be asking yourself, sure Pokémon cards are fun, but are they investments worth the effort? Or are they just for kids and fun? Notably, in April 2021, a rare Pokémon card featuring the popular Charizard sold for $183,812 at an auction reported by Cardhop. In that case, it is the highest known price for that card! For one thing, the buyer of that rare card was also surprising. The buyer was the rapper, Logic. Logic recalled growing up he couldn’t afford Pokémon cards. As a matter of fact, he even tried trading food stamps for cards. Consequently, buying this card and, for him, being able to buy any cards is more than just getting cards. It is an experience.

Who Collects Pokémon Cards?

There are two types of Pokémon collectors: Those who collect for happiness and pure nostalgia and those who collect and then sell them to make a profit. Collecting cards for happiness and nostalgia is simply that. Many people love the thrill of opening a new booster pack and finding that holographic Charizard card! However, for people who collect Pokémon cards as an investment, it is a whole different card game. With this in mind, these types of collectors follow certain processes to find out if a particular Pokémon card is a “true investment”:

Grading Pokémon Cards

Grading is the process of rating conditions and storing them appropriately in a case. The better the grade, the higher its value. Different organizations grade Pokémon cards differently. PSA and Beckett are two big grading markets. For example, PSA will look at the condition of the cards and the detail of the images. On the other hand, Beckett has a high-security procedure where cards are graded based on centering, corners, edges, and surfaces. These scores are individually weighted for an overall value outcome. Likewise, eBay looks at corners, that the back is centered, and for scratches in the holographic under a light.

Flipping Graded Pokémon Cards

You may get more money than what you originally bought the card in the first place.

Gambling on Modern Pokémon Cards

If you buy new from a store or purchase eBay items, you may get that rare card worth a lot of money. Not only do you get the thrill of the home, but some of these cards aren’t graded.

What are the Best Pokémon Cards to Collect?

When looking for the best Pokémon cards to collect pros suggest starting with the 1999 Base Set. In addition, the following Wizards of the Coast collections are great starting collections:

  • 1999 Base Set
  • 1999 Fossil
  • 2000 Base Set 2
  • 2000 Team Rocket
  • 2000 Gym Heroes
  • 2000 Gym Challenge

You may also wonder as a collector if newer cards are worth investing in. There are some very limited cards in the newer sets that help their value. However, rare and older Pokémon cards are really where the most value is found. With this in mind, it is never too late to collect Pokémon cards.

Proper Care and “Feeding” of a Pokémon Collection

These “pocket monster” cards do need care. Therefore, to keep your collection pristine, you need to invest in the following storage items:

  • Penny Sleeves
  • Semi-Rigid Card Savers
  • Binders
  • Top Loaders—Card cases that prevent cards from bending
  • Display Cabinets
  • Graded Card Stands
  • Fireproof Cases

I choose you Pikachu!

If you have decided to become a Pokémon Collector—please be wise and educate yourself on the cards, stay within your budget, and decide on your collection goals of going modern or vintage. By all means, it is most important to have fun!

Auctions are a great venue to find cards to add to your collection. Not only might you find single cards in personal property auctions, but also you might find that rare gem. All in all, it’s a fun treasure hunt for collectors of all sorts!

LAWSON & CO can help advise you on collections of all sorts, from the expert collector to the beginner collector. Call us at (317) 745-6404 and see how we can help you add to or sell any gaming collection, including your Pokémon card collection.

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