7 Tips for Collecting Pokémon Celebration Collection Cards
The Pokémon Trading Card Game celebrated its 25th anniversary by launching its newest expansion: Pokémon Celebrations.
This expansion is the best way to get your hands on some of the rarest cards the game has to offer. It features a handful of reprints of the most treasured and popular Pokémon collection cards in The TCG's history. Plus, all the cards are holographic and showcase spectacular artwork you'll love.
Before jumping in, you need to know what you're looking for and how to go about collecting them.
Keep reading to learn our 7 tips for collecting Pokémon Celebrations cards that you can use to increase the value of your collection.
What to Know About Pokémon Celebrations
Pokémon Celebrations is the most recent expansion in the Pokémon Trading Card Game. It contains 50 cards broken up into 2 different sets.
The base set contains 25 of some of the hottest cards on the market. This set of brand new cards features Legendary Pokémon, recreations of the most famous Pikachu cards, and a few others.
The Classic Set features 25 true reprints of some of the most esteemed cards in the game's history. These include Birthday Pikachu, Base Set Charizard, and even cards that fall into the competitive meta like Claydol and Umbreon Star.
Cards in the Celebrations expansion are marked by the 25th-anniversary logo of Pikachu's face with the numbers "2" and "5" on each cheek. When collecting cards from this expansion outside of official booster packs, be sure that this logo is prominently displayed and accurately designed.
7 Tips for Collecting Pokémon Celebrations Collection Cards
The Pokémon Celebrations expansion has loads of cards you need to grow your collection. To learn how to collect cards from Pokémon Celebrations, we've put together a few tips.
#1 - Identify the Rarity of Your Pokémon Cards
Every Pokémon card has a specific level of rarity that determines how likely you are to find it in a booster pack. This isn't the only thing that determines the value of the card, but it is the most important.
In the bottom right corner of the card, you'll find one of three symbols: a circle, diamond, or star.
A black circle indicates that the card is common. Cards like this are found all the time and oftentimes hold little monetary value unless printed prior to the year 2000.
A black diamond at the bottom of the card means the card is uncommon. These are also found regularly and hold the same value as a common card.
A black star shows that your card is rare. Similarly, cards with 3 black stars or a little black H next to the star, indicate the card is very rare. These are the cards that are almost always worth something and should be well taken care of to keep their value.
#2 - Learn to Identify Fake Pokémon Cards
It isn't uncommon to be scammed into buying an ultra-rare card that ends up being worthless. If you find yourself buying cards outside of Pokémon booster packs, it's important to know how to identify fake cards.
Fake cards are not manufactured the same way as authentic Pokémon cards. To identify fakes take a look at the methods used to make the cards.
Look at how they cut the card. If it looks like it was cheaply printed onto a cardboard chit and punched out, it probably was.
To find manufacturing defects, check out the edges of the card. White dots, thick edges on one side and thin edges on the other, or off-center artwork are all signs that the card is fake.
In addition to manufacturing differences, collectors often find that there are many aesthetic differences as well.
Look out for cards that use weird fonts, spell character names incorrectly, or leave a lot of grammatical errors in the description. The most common grammatical mistake is writing "Pokemon" instead of "Pokémon."
When it comes to imagery, look at the coloring of the card. Fake cards sometimes have over or under-saturated images. If the image looks faded or too bold, it likely isn't real.
It's also wise to take a look at the Energy symbols. On fake cards, they look distorted, offset, or improperly sized.
Like we mentioned above, cards from Celebrations packs are marked with a little Pikachu head. Check to see if this logo is warped, distorted, or inconsistent with authentic cards in the deck. If it's missing the symbol entirely, this doesn't necessarily mean the card is fake, just that the card isn't from the Celebrations expansion.
Finally, if you're buying a rare holographic card, inspect the foil. Oftentimes scammers use cheap foils that shine differently. Before buying, look into the officially released holographic versions of the card and compare them to what you are being offered.
Get comfortable evaluating genuine cards and fake cards as much as you can. Once you're ready, check out some more advanced techniques like the "rip test" and "light test," then learn to evaluate the texture of the cards.
#3 - The Best Cards to Collect in the Expansion
There's a lot of great Pokémon cards in this expansion, but some are significantly better than others.
Generally speaking, cards in The Classic Collection hold a higher value than other cards in the expansion. If you're looking to turn a big profit from Celebrations, keep your eyes peeled for cards in this set.
The absolute most valuable card in The Classic Collection right now is the Base Set Charizard which currently holds a price tag of a whopping $300.
Out of all the Base Set Starters, Charizard is rarest to encounter with a pull rate of 1 in 97. The other Base Set Starters, Blastoise and Venusaur, are also valuable and go for around $100.
Another key card is the reprint of the Shining Magicarp. This Ultra Rare is a reprint of the first Shiny Pokémon introduced to the TCG. The value of the cards sits around the $30 mark.
The only Secret Rare card you'll find in the deck is the Shiny Gold Mew. This full-art gold card is incredibly detailed and aesthetically pleasing. It's a true rarity to pull and is valued at $150.
#4 - Packs to Buy for Better Odds
The Celebrations expansion is the most desired expansion of the year and for good reason. There are tons of awesome cards and a variety of pack sizes available to fit everyone's needs. Unfortunately with this expansion, Pokémon reduced the number of cards per booster pack from 10 to 4.
The best pack to buy is the Pokémon Celebrations Ultra Premium Collection Box. This is the largest and most expensive pack, but it is worth it!
It comes with 17 Celebrations packs, 8 other expansion packs, 2 gold promotional cards, 2 metal promotional cards, and an anniversary-themed coin. More packs mean better odds, which is why this is the best set to get to make a huge dent in your collection.
The expansion also offers the Celebrations Elite Trainer Pack. Elite Trainers are generally the best bang for your buck. They come with 10 Celebrations booster packs, 5 other booster packs from other sets, a foil promotional card, and some other collectible goodies.
Additionally, there are a handful of specialty packs that feature specific Pokémon. They include cards, coins, and in some cases figurines.
These packs and boxes don't necessarily include more rare cards than other packs, nor do they guarantee better odds of finding them. They do offer the most cards for the best price.
#5 - Choose a Reliable Storage Option
There are many storage options available to Pokémon collectors. When it comes to storing your new Pokémon Celebrations cards, it's important to invest in the option that best suits your needs.
Before sending their cards to be graded, many collectors keep their cards in binders and albums. They're also great for casual collecting and storing sentimental common and uncommon cards.
Other collectors store their cards in penny sleeves and stack them in a top-loading box. The protection from the box helps prevent damage to the edges of your cards and other areas. If you don't want to buy a top-loading box, using the tin your expansion pack came in works too.
Once your cards are graded by companies like PSA or Beckett, they're shipped back to you in a clear, hard case. Many collectors store their graded cards in a top-loading or shadow box to display.
#6 - To Grade or Not to Grade
Believe it or not, getting your cards graded might not add any value to your cards. In some cases, it might even make it less valuable.
Having a Pokémon card graded generally increases its value by up to 600%. Cards with a grading of 9 or 10 are bound to be the most valuable. Cards with a grade of 8 or lower either maintain or lose their value when graded and slabbed.
Before sending your cards to a grader, be absolutely certain that it's worth something. Check with the PSA database to see cards that have been graded and recorded.
Search through their records to find cards of the same type that were recently graded. The record will tell you the number of cards that were graded and the grades they got. Use this information to help you decide whether it's worth sending off.
Another thing about grading that is less than ideal, is the length of time it takes to get your cards back. Because of the recent spike in 2020, many grading agencies are slammed with backlogged collections to grade.
It takes weeks, months, and in extreme cases over a year to have cards graded. Be sure that you are willing to wait that long before sending your cards.
#7 - Choosing the Strategy for You
When it comes to collecting Pokémon Celebrations cards there are a few different strategies you can use depending on your goals.
Many collectors practice long-term investing. They've been collecting since the original release of the Pokémon TCG and are focused on the classics.
Other collectors that fall into this group are those that focus on buying graded cards from the years 1999 to 2000. These are generally the most expensive and rarest cards to collect. If you're looking to hold on to your cards so they'll increase in value over time, these are the best cards to collect.
Another type of collector is known as a flipper. For collectors that flip Pokémon cards, their whole game is finding the most valuable cards and selling them for profit as quickly as possible.
If this is your style of collecting, the Pokémon Celebrations expansion is perfect for you. Because it's full of all sorts of rarities, many of these cards carry a high price tag.
These high price tags often mean a lot of work for those interested in flipping. You need to know the various sets, sales stats, population reports, and a general understanding of the trading market. Flipping Pokémon cards is hard work, but it is very rewarding in the long run.
The last strategy is casual card collecting. Pokémon cards are a nostalgic part of the early 2000s. Many collectors are true fans of the TCG that like to complete the sets and treasure their cards forever.
Pokémon regularly releases new packs and collector's items that make collecting that much more exciting. The Celebrations expansion is possibly the easiest set to collect due to its size. While finding packs in this expansion is a little competitive, it's a great start for a beginner Pokémon collector.
Expanding Your Pokémon Card Collection
Cracking open a fresh pack of Pokémon collection cards is one of the greatest feelings ever. Pokémon Celebrations is the latest expansion and offers incredible goodies for fans everywhere.
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