Top Reasons to Start Investing in Pokemon Cards
The market for Pokémon cards is anything but child's play. In fact, Pokémon cards went up almost 575% in 2020 alone.
Numbers like that may have you wanting to dig up your old Pokémon cards out from your parent's basement, and with good reason. This card game has rapidly grown in popularity through the years. Many sets and individual cards can fetch you a large sum of money if you know what you are looking for.
Are you thinking about investing in Pokémon cards but aren't sure where to start? This guide goes over everything you need to know to get you started.
History of the Pokémon Game
Pokémon was born in 1996 to a Japanese company called Media Factory. Satoshi Tajiri and his illustrator friend Ken Sugimori are the masterminds behind Pokémon. This pair started designing games for their company, Game Freak.
As a boy, Satoshi loved exploring nature and the forests. Inspired by this love, he created a game that he first called Pocket Monsters. He pitched this idea to Nintendo, who were lukewarm about the game, but took it on.
Nintendo then put Pocket Monsters into the hands of Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of games like Mario. Under his guidance, Nintendo released the first version of Pocket Monsters for Gameboy.
Players would grow their characters and go into battle. The players could also use a tether cable to trade Pokémon characters.
The game was an instant hit, and by 1998, the United States got in on the action. Over the years, Pokémon characters grew, and today there are close to 900 characters.
Pokémon Card History
The first set of Pokémon cards came out in 1996. This set of 102 cards saw great success in Asia. By 1999, they had found their way to America and, after that, globally.
People would use these Pokémon cards to battle between their Pokémon characters. There is even a world championship tournament for Pokémon!
Pokémon Game History
To play the game, each player starts with a 60 card deck of Pokémon, trainer, item, and energy cards. You shuffle the deck and draw seven cards from it, and the top six are set aside to be prize cards.
Each player puts a basic Pokémon card on the table facing down. This card is your active Pokémon card. Your active Pokémon is the card that can attack during your turn.
During your turn, you will flip cards over from your deck. You can make moves like evolve a Pokémon or play an item or trainer card.
Your goal is to attack your opponent and get rid of their six Pokémon characters to get to the prize cards. You've won the game if you pick up all six prize cards.
Types of Pokémon Cards
Each type of Pokémon card has a different level of rarity. This is one of the reasons why Pokémon cards are so much fun to collect. Collectors are looking for the rarest of the bunch to add to their collections.
When you rip open a pack and look at the card, take a look at the bottom right corner. A symbol there will reveal how rare that particular card is.
If your card is common, it will have a black circle on it. Uncommon cards get marked with a black diamond. The rarest of the cards will have a black star.
This symbol is the basic way to tell rarity. You can break down the rare cards into several different categories.
These rare cards have a holo picture. If you look at the image on the front of the card, it will sparkle and shine.
If you look at a reverse holo, everything except the picture is shiny. A reverse holo card can fetch a higher price than a regular rare version of the same card.
EX/GX/V Half Art/Half Body
You'll be very excited if you pull one of these cards from your booster pack. These ultra-rare cards have artwork covering half of the card face.
The rarest of the bunch are full art Pokémon cards, which are cards that have a picture that covers the whole card. These full art cards come in VMAX, ultra-rare, secret rainbow rare, and gold secret rare forms.
Finally, you may pull a secret rare card, and you can tell this by looking at the card number. A secret rare is a card with a higher number than the number of cards in the set the card belongs to. For example, if your card number says "117/115," you've got yourself a secret rare.
If you pull a very rare and expensive card, it's a good idea to get it professionally graded. When you grade a card, you will send it to a professional who will inspect your card for defects. The higher the grade, the more money your card is worth.
A card grader will look at several different aspects of your Pokémon card. The following is an example of some of the things that your card grader will search for.
- surface scratching
- off-center image
- sharp corners
- solid edges
- dents and dings
- un-even color
A graded card ranges from a 1, or poor score, to a 10, or pristine score. You'll get a detailed report with your grading, which can help you sell your card.
If you pull a rare Pokémon card, immediately put it in a protective sleeve. These sleeves can keep fingerprints and other damage from happening to your card. Protecting your card right when you get it increases the chances of getting a higher grade.
Why Investing in Pokémon Cards Is a Smart Move
Although the Pokémon game is a lot of fun, Pokémon cards can be a lucrative side hustle. There are many different reasons you should make a move to invest in Pokémon cards.
Pokémon cards have many different uses. Some people want to buy rare Pokémon cards to add to their battle decks. Other people want cards to complete a collection.
No matter what your end game is with Pokemon, the cost of the cards remains the same for everyone. The harder it is to find a card, the more money it will sell for.
Increase in Demand
The demand for certain Pokémon cards overtakes the supply. When demand is more than a supply, the desired product will increase in price. As the popularity of Pokémon gets bigger, so does the need for specific cards.
Social media has significantly influenced the new demand for Pokémon cards. Influencers on platforms like Youtube and Instagram video themselves opening packs of cards. As people see their idols pulling rare cards, they want in on the action.
Increase in Price
Nowadays, people know Pokémon cards more as collectible items than for the game they were first marketed for. When these cards first came out, kids were the ones who bought them. They had no idea how valuable they would become.
Many kids played with the original cards as a card game. As a result of this heavy play, you can usually only find original cards with lots of damage.
The original set of cards, and many other sets, are not printed anymore. When the printing stops, they become limited edition cards and are much harder to find. The longer you hold onto a limited edition card, the more it will be worth.
Pokémon is a worldwide established brand, meaning you won't run out of people who want to buy your cards. People buy Pokémon cards in many different ways. They sell face-to-face, online, and at card shows.
With the internet, people can buy and sell cards worldwide. Having such a large market will help you sell your cards faster.
Large Starting Value
Many Pokémon cards start right out of the gate with a high price tag. Once a set is released, people will flock to certain popular cards. Your return could be substantial if you pull that card from a pack!
Inexpensive Investment to Make
If you are hoping to get started investing but don't have a lot of cash, this venture is perfect for you. You can start building your collection by buying a few packs at a time.
You can find Pokémon cards in one of three different ways. Each of these options fits different price points, so there is something for everyone.
The most inexpensive form that Pokémon cards come in is in booster packs. A booster pack will run you about four dollars depending on the set and where you're buying your pack from.
These packs come with ten random cards. Booster packs typically have six common cards, three uncommon cards, and at least one rare card.
A booster box is worth the investment if you don't mind spending a little more money. Booster boxes have 36 booster packs in them. You'll get about 220 cards per booster box.
You'll have a much higher chance of pulling something valuable when you get a booster box. Each booster box has about 70 rare cards in it, some worth a ton of money.
Finally, you can get yourself a display box set. These sets come with four booster packs and a promo item. The promo items are typically things like pins. These boxes can be more expensive than other packs but are worth it if you like the promo item.
Getting Started Investing in Pokémon Cards
So, you've decided it's time to take the plunge and invest in Pokémon cards. You may be wondering how to begin your collection.
Search Your Basement
Some of the best Pokémon cards could be hiding right in your basement! If you or your parent were a packrat, you might have an old binder of cards hidden away in your childhood home.
If you come across these first edition cards, they could be worth a pretty penny. You're in even more luck if they are in good condition. Take a deep dive into your basement or attic and see what you can come up with.
Research Card Packs
When you buy a booster pack, you will need to research which set you want to buy from. Some sets are more valuable than others, so it's worth it to research which ones are the best to invest in.
New Pokémon sets get released an average of four times each year. Each set has a name and around 200 new cards.
Research Selling Platforms
Making money on your cards is half the fun of collecting them. To get the most money, do your research on where to sell them.
The internet is a great place to start as you'll be able to reach the largest market. You can also sell in smaller card shops, and trade shows to other enthusiastic buyers.
Grade Valuable Cards
You've pulled a rare card, and you are ready to sell it! First, you need to take a look at the card. If it has any damage, its value will go down.
If it looks to be in pristine condition and can bring you triple-digit money, consider getting it graded.
Pokémon Cards: Gotta Catch Them All
Investing in Pokémon cards is a fun pastime for people of all ages. You'll have fun working towards finding the cards you need for your collection.
If you're ready to start your Pokémon investment, there is no better place to get your cards than Breaking Bangers. Check out our selection of Pokémon cards today to get your collection started!