Why did this Charizard Pokemon card sell for over $300,000?

Olivia Richman • March 29, 2021 7:49 pm

The Pokemon TCG market is a mess thanks to famous YouTubers doing pack opening videos and scalpers wiping out entire lines of product before families and more casual players can get their hands on them. And nothing exemplifies Pokemon TCG’s messy market more than the Charizard card that sold on eBay for over $300,000. 

An auction on eBay resulted in a Charizard card selling for $311,800. The card in question was a Shadowless 1st Edition Holo from 1999’s base set, which already made it pricey. But on top of that, it had a PSA rating of 10, meaning it’s in as good a condition as it possibly could be. This further increased the price. 

The Charizard card received 124 bids, with Pokemon card collectors scrambling to add this rare piece to their collection. According to the seller, this card is one of only 122 copies of this card to be given a PSA 10 Gem Mint. Over 2,600 copies of the card have been submitted to PSA. 

The problem with the Shadowless 1st Edition Holo Charizard

This is not even the highest card to sell within the Pokemon TCG scene recently. A graded Blastoise card from the same set sold for $360,000 in January. A first edition Pokemon box sold for an even higher $408,000 because it was unopened. 

Recently, these cards were not worth anything near these amounts. Before YouTubers like Logan Paul started opening packs and lying about the cost of cards to excite viewers, even the rarest of Pokemon cards cost way less. The Charizard that recently sold for over $300,000 was only worth $2,000 to $3,000 on average, maybe $5,000 at most. 

Pokemon TCG

As Pokemon cards continue to trend upwards, more fans will begin collecting as a hobby or to jump into the hype. And while the previously small Pokemon TCG community welcomed the new members, scalpers within the scene realized that buying up product in mass could make them a hefty profit off of new card collectors who didn’t know the actual price of the cards before the hype. 

Now the Pokemon TCG community is riddled with scalpers who buy out all of the packs and boxes as soon as they hit shelves. They even drained McDonald’s of the Pokemon anniversary cards that came in Happy Meals. Since the product is now scarce, they are able to boost up the price to extreme amounts in the hopes that collectors will give in and buy the cards at the new prices, since it’s the only option left.

And it clearly has been working. A Charizard selling for over $300,000 is proof that the Pokemon hype isn’t slowing down any time soon. And Pokemon collectors and new Pokemon fans will keep overpaying for products as long as YouTubers keep spreading false information about the cards. Blinged out, high-rarity decks might become a lot rarer when in-person locals and regionals return. 

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