Almost every millenial alive today remembers the Pokemon Trading Card Game. When it was first introduced in 1999, the trading cards took the world by storm at the height of the Pokemon craze of the late 1990s, with fans collecting and battling each other in the school yard with packs of cards at their disposal.
Now, over twenty years later, the Pokemon Card Game is not only still going strong, but becoming incredibly valuable in the secondhand market. The sale of a first edition, shadowless Charizard card for over $220k is proof enough of that, but what if you had access to a whole 1st edition box of Pokemon cards from 1999?
Well, a recent auction put a price on that nostalgia trip, where a box of unopened, first edition Pokemon cards was sold for a record-breaking $300,000, with a total of $360,000 including buyer's premium.
Part of the reason for the high price of the sale is that this 1st edition booster box of cards had a very low print run in 1999, before Wizards of the Coast produced multiple prints runs of the first edition set of cards. The 102 card set has become immortalized since then; with some of the rarest cards in the game being 1st edition stamped versions of the base set. Even the common Pokemon like Pikachu and energy cards can fetch pretty high prices by collectors. Earlier this year, in September, a 1st edition box sold for $198 000, over $100k less than what it sold for today.
This particular box is still in its original shrink wrap, and contains 36 booster packs of 11 cards each, totaling 396 cards; more than double the chances to gain a full base set in one sitting. For those looking to Charizard hunt, there is a 1 in 48 chance of it being in a booster pack, giving decent odds of finding one of the holy grail of Pokemon Cards.
The sale of sealed booster boxes is actually not uncommon, and can sometimes fetch pretty good prices. This Pokemon-e Skyridge booster box - which contained cards that functioned for the now long forgotten Game Boy E-Reader - sold for $41,000 (50k with buyer's premium) on being the last set that tied in with that peripheral. More traditionally, the second Pokemon set Jungle had a 1st edition box of its own up for auction going for $24,000 ($28,800 with buyer's premium), while the third set Fossil had a first edition box go for $15,000 (18k with buyer's premium).
Even with all these older cards going up in value, the original set holds the most value by a longshot. Where the cards will go from here in value is unknown, but this seems to be a booming market.