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Is It Too Late To Invest in Pokemon Cards Now?

Is It Too Late To Invest in Pokemon Cards Now?

2021 is said to be the year when Pokemon cards skyrocketed, and it has attracted attention as an investment asset. Even now, there are many “Pokemon Investors” on social media, but will investing in Pokemon cards still lead to profits?

If you’re a Pokemon fan and interested in card investment, scroll down to this post and we’ll dig into how to start, risks, and precautions for beginners. 

What is a Pokemon Card?

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Pokemon cards are trading cards with the theme of the popular game “Pocket Monsters”. In addition to the illustrations, the cards also describe the character’s unique skills and strengths and can be enjoyed as a two-player battle game.

As of October 2022, there are more than 15,000 types, and those with particularly high rarity are traded at high prices. There are many cases where one card is traded for 10,000 yen or more, and in August 2022, famous YouTuber Mr. Hikakin bought a 50 million yen card, which became a hot topic.

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Is It Too Late To Invest in Pokemon Cards Now?

If you start catching up on information and trends, it’s not too late. Although the price of Pokemon cards soared in 2021, it is said that the Pokemon card bubble has collapsed since October of the same year. The cause is said to be an increase in circulation, and the prices of various cards have fallen.

However, since the beginning of 2022, there are many cards whose value has doubled or tripled. There are still collectors of expensive cards all over the world, so it is quite possible that the price will rise again in the future.

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* SR card of “Lilier (119/114)” with a value of 800,000 yen or more as of October 2022. In early 2021, it was trading for about 100,000 yen.

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* SR card of “Acerola (056/049)” whose transaction price has increased 7 to 8 times from 2021 to 2022. As of October 2022, it is traded at 350,000 to 400,000 yen.

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However, the rarity and transaction price of trading cards fluctuates greatly depending on the distribution volume. It depends on the trading market as well as the trends of manufacturing companies, so be sure to collect and analyze information before you start investing.

Which is the Mainstream for Investing in Pokemon Cards and Yu-Gi-Oh Cards?

Yu-Gi-Oh cards are also attracting worldwide attention as a target for trading card investment. Yu-Gi-Oh cards are trading cards released by domestic game maker KONAMI, and as of October 2022, there are over 12,000 cards.

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Then, when considering investment targets, which is the mainstream, Pokemon cards or Yu-Gi-Oh cards? Let’s start with a quick comparison of the main differences.

Comparison ItemPokemon CardYugioh card
Manufacturing CompanyThe Pokémon CompanyKonami Group Co., Ltd.
Kinds15,846 sheets12,033 sheets
Specialty Shop
Online Transaction
Record High646 million yen998 million yen
Rare Card PriceTens of thousands to 3 million yenTens of thousands to one million yen
As of October 2022

The Highest Amount Ever for Pokemon cards and Yu-Gi-Oh Cards

Pokemon Cards

1st place: Pokemon illustrator (approximately 646 million yen)

2nd place: Shadowless version of Charizard (approximately 439 million yen)

3rd place: Pack Less version Blastoise (about 45 million yen)

4th place: Pokemon Snap Best Photo Contest winning promo card (about 34 million yen)

5th place: Ishihara GX (about 31.4 million yen)

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Yu-Gi-Oh Cards

1st place: Chaos・ Soldier (approximately 998 million yen)

2nd place: Blue-eyes ultimate dragon (approximately 45 million yen)

3rd place: Legendary white dragon (approximately 2.8 million yen)

4th place: Demon summons (approximately 2.5 million yen) )

5th place: Stardust giant (about 2 million yen)

This rank is based on 2022 data.

Both trading cards have a large market scale, and there are many used card specialty shops dotted around the country. Yu-Gi-Oh cards have the highest transaction amount ever, but there are many Pokemon cards with more than 100,000 yen per card.

In addition, new Pokemon games are released every few years, and depending on the sales, there is a possibility that it will attract even more attention. In the current situation, both cards are highly liquid, so they will be viable as investments.

Advantages and Benefits of Investing in Pokemon cards

From here, I will focus on investing in Pokemon cards. First, let’s take a look at the appeal and benefits of investing in Pokemon cards.

1. You Can Start with Little Money

Official Pokemon cards are sold for a few hundred yen per pack. The enclosed card is random, but depending on your luck, you can get a rare card with a small amount of money.

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Also, due to the collapse of the Pokemon card bubble in 2021, it is said that the supply of rare cards has increased since the beginning of 2022. In other words, there are more opportunities to buy used rare cards, so even Pokemon card beginners will have a chance to invest.

2. Unopened Boxes and Packs are also Eligible for Investment

Pokemon cards are not only cards with high rarity but also unopened boxes and packs are eligible for investment. For example, the “Sword & Shield Expansion Pack Ichigeki Master Box” was released in 2021 for about 5,000 yen, but as of October 2022, it is priced between 8,000 yen and 15,000 yen.

Unopened boxes and packs allow people who don’t know the value of single cards to invest. However, it is difficult to increase the value of items that are always on sale, so be sure to check the sales information on the official website.

3. You Can also Enjoy it as a Game

Pokemon cards are highly regarded for their gameplay, and official tournaments (champions) are held where players from all over the world gather. Pokemon card investment is perfect for those who want to balance their hobby and investment because they can be enjoyed not only as a collection but also as a battle game. 

Also, if it becomes popular as a trading game, it is conceivable that demand will grow further.

Examples of Soaring Pokemon Card Prices

Pokemon cards are celebrating their 25th anniversary and there are already many examples of soaring prices. Among them, let’s introduce three soaring examples that attracted attention in 2021.

Lillie (397/SM-P)

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This is a promo card (*) distributed at the official event “Extra Battle Day”. Since there is no way to obtain it other than participating in this event, the transaction price has skyrocketed since the beginning of 2021.

(*) General term for cards distributed for promotion.

In the past, there have been cases where it was traded for 300,000 yen or more, and as of October 2022, trading cards in good condition are priced at 2.98 million yen.

Mary (198/190)

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As a rarity, it is a card included in the expansion pack “Shield”, which corresponds to SR (super rare). This pack has already been sold and there are no plans to resell it.

The cute design has become a hot topic, and the transaction price has gradually increased since it first appeared in December 2019. When it was first released, it was 165 yen per pack (* randomly enclosed), but as of October 2022, it is priced at over 50,000 yen on mail-order sites.

Lucia (104/096)

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This is an SR card included in the expansion pack “Charisma of the Sky” released in June 2018. It has been very popular since it was first released, and the ones in good condition sell for over 300,000 yen. Unopened expansion packs are also traded at high prices, with prices soaring about 10 times from 2018 to October 2022.

How to Start Investing in Pokemon cards

Looking at SNS etc., many people have already started investing in Pokemon cards. So, what kind of investment methods are there for beginners? Here’s how to get started for beginners.

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When to buy Pokemon cards

There are three main ways to start investing in Pokemon cards:

○ How to invest in Pokemon cards

[1] Sell opened rare cards

[2] Sell unopened boxes and packs

[3] Purchase used rare cards and sell them after the price rises

If you start with methods [1] and [2], the sales period of the box or pack will be the timing of purchase. Once the sales period has passed, you won’t be able to purchase it from the official website, so if you find the box or pack you’re looking for, check the sales schedule early.

As for method [3], “Buy when the price is low and sell when the price is high” is the basis of investment. Specialty stores collect transaction prices, so let’s decide when to buy while gathering information on the Internet and in stores.

Suppliers and buyers of Pokemon cards

Next, we will introduce the main suppliers and buyers of Pokemon cards.

Supplier of Pokemon cardsWhere to sell Pokemon cards
・Official shop (Pokemon Center ONLINE)・Available card shops and toy stores・Pokemon card specialty store・Mail order sites and online auctions・Flea market app・Professional purchaser・Net auction・Flea market app

Boxes and packs on sale can be purchased at the official shop or at a store near you. If you want to purchase out-of-print items or single rare cards, use Pokemon card specialty stores, auctions, flea market apps, etc.

There are three options for how to sell Pokemon cards, but the transaction price varies depending on the seller even at the same time. There are differences depending on the contractor, so it is important to collect and compare information firmly, especially when selling.

Risks and Precautions for Investing in Pokemon Cards

One of the risks of investing in Pokemon cards is the “resale” of boxes and packs.

Even if the product has been discontinued, it may be resold with the same content at the manufacturer’s discretion. In other words, as the circulation of recorded cards increases, the transaction price of even rare cards will drop.

For example, the expansion pack “Eevee Heroes” released in 2021 was resold in August 2022 due to its popularity. Although it is a lottery sale, the transaction price of some cards has dropped as shown below.

Cards that fell due to the resale of “Eevee Heroes”

  • Blacky VMAX: 120,000 yen → 78,000 yen (July 2022 to August 2022)
  • Nymphia VMAX: 85,000 yen → 50,000 yen Yen (July 2022-August 2022)
  • Gracia VMAX: 55,000 yen → 34,000 yen (July 2022-August 2022)

The price of Pokemon cards is determined by the amount of circulation and demand, so even popular cards may not crash. Investing in used cards alone is particularly risky, so if you are unsure, consider investing in unopened boxes or packs.

Pokemon Cards are Trading Cards that Can Be Invested In

Pokemon cards have already seen a lot of high prices, and even unopened packs and boxes are being traded. Considering there are collectors and players all over the world, it will continue to be a viable investment.

However, since there is a risk of the boom ending or resale, it is important to focus on gathering information when starting an investment.

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