Are Pokémon Cards A Good Investment?

Pokémon is one of the biggest and well known tv shows known to Japan. It is such a popular franchise that even people who have never watched an episode would recognize the name.

Not only is Pokémon recognized as a show, but the franchise has gone on to making Pokémon cards, plush toys, children’s books, and games available on multiple gaming platforms.

The Pokémon franchise was created in 1996 and since then has sky-rocketed in popularity.

Are Pokémon Cards a Good Investment

It tells the story of a boy named Ash and creatures called Pokémon (translated in English to ‘pocket monsters’) in which he goes on many adventures to collect more – He’s “gotta catch ‘em all!”.

But with all the hype of the franchise, how much is it really worth? Are Pokémon cards a good investment?

The Pokémon Card – What Are They?

Pokémon cards are cards which can be collected by fans of the franchise.

These cards are used for the purpose of collecting as many Pokémon as you can or can be used as a trading game in which you trade cards with other players in order to develop your deck.

The aim is to gain as many Pokémon as you can with strong abilities. To this day, Pokémon cards are still being collected and traded. As of 2017, 74 card sets were released in the US.

In 2021 this number has risen rapidly as new Pokémon are always being made.

What is important to recognize is Pokémon is not as black and white as you may think. There are multiple generations of Pokémon stemming from the late 90s to the 2010s.

  • Generation I – (1996 – 1999)
  • Generation II – (1999 – 2002)
  • Generation III – (2002 – 2006)
  • Generation IV – (2006 – 2010)
  • Generation V – (2010 – 2013)
  • Generation VI – (2013 – 2016)
  • Generation VII – (2016 – 2019)
  • Generation VIII – (2019 – present)

It is clear by the multiple generations the success of this franchise. They have made a universe for Pokémon which fans around the world can play and collect using trading cards of several generations.

The Pokémon cards are split up into three categories: character cards (this gives an indication of how evolved your Pokémon is and displays their type, for example, fire, water, metal, dragon, or psychic) energy cards (cards which supply your Pokémon with the power it needs in the game), and trainer cards (cards used during battle for supporters and items).

It is clear that much work has gone into the development of the Pokémon card.

It has become a phenomenon, and even though Nintendo have worked hard to create other games (such as Pokémon Go), the trading cards have not failed them yet.

Are Pokémon Cards Worth Investing?

The Pokémon card is an item for everyone, both young and old. Children love the cards for playing and trading with, and adults love the cards for the nostalgia it brings them and for the purpose of collecting.

So, you want to know if Pokémon cards are worth investing? It is safe to say that Pokémon cards are premium cards and are selling now for prices much more than double their original selling price.

Depending on how rare a card is and the quality of the condition it is in has an impact on its worth. For a collector, this can be good or bad.

Some people want their cards to be pristine and of an unopened quality, whilst others purely get a thrill from collecting the cards no matter its condition. As Ash says, the main goal is to “catch ‘em all”.

Why Invest?

Investing in any product is a great way to gain money and reach your financial goals, and if you have a product worth investing which you know will make money then that is any excuse to do so.

But why should we invest in Pokémon cards? Surely, it’s only a children’s game? Pokémon cards are something of nostalgia and of history, built by a company who are now one of the most well-known names in the world, the company hitting $105 billion.

Pokémon cards can be hard to find depending on how rare they are. It can also be difficult to find cards in perfect condition. But when you do have cards of a good condition, investing can go a long way for many reasons.

  • Pikachu – the original Pikachu cards have increased over 1000% and is the go-to character for the majority of collectors. This is a card which many people want for themselves and with the demand rising, this makes the card even more alluring.
  • 25th Anniversary – the cards came out in 1996 making 2021 their 25th anniversary. This is, naturally, a big deal and means many 25th anniversary editions have been released which many collectors want to get their hands on.
  • Sales – trading card sales for these have topped an amazing $10.25 billion showing its high demand.
  • Record breaking purchases – the 1st Edition Charizard in PSA 10 Gem Mint sold for an incredible $225,000 in 2020, one of the most rarest and valuable cards known.
  • Global market – Pokémon cards are a worldwide phenomenon. No matter where you are in the world someone is bound to know about the franchise. With that knowledge, it is obvious that there are a lot of people out their willing to invest and collect. It is not a niche market but a global sensation.

These examples highlight the extreme demand for the Pokémon card and show how much money people are willing to spend to add a card to their collection.

If you have some cards which you have stored away or are collecting dust, you may want to know if they are worth investing and how much they are worth, but to know that you have to be able to analyse your card’s quality.

Your Card’s Value

  • What year is it? At the bottom of each Pokémon card is stated a year. This year indicates what year the card was printed and published.
  • What edition is it? First edition cards tend to have a small symbol with the number ‘1’. First edition cards are the most popular and of highest demand.
  • What is the card number? Noting the card number is another way to discover the card’s value. Once known you will be able to compare this number to other cards selling.

How To Sell

Many people look at Pokémon as a childish franchise aimed at children and young teens, and don’t appreciate its evolution in terms of popularity. Pokémon is something everyone can enjoy, young and old, and if you are looking to invest in something popular don’t skip over Pokémon.

Know Your Audience

Pokémon cards have a global market which anyone can use as a means of investing in.

You don’t even have to be a die-hard fan of the franchise – anyone can invest if it benefits them. It is only important to know what you are putting your investment towards in order to grow financially.

Because of the high demand for Pokémon cards you will easily find them anywhere, whether that is at your nearby store or online. eBay is the best known and one of the most successful marketplaces which is great for investing.

On eBay you are able to use a bidding system to get the best deals and have people complete, optimising their prices to receive their product.

Although ‘buy it now’ is an option on the site, the popularity and high demand for these cards make the bidding system a more attainable option. Pokémon cards are also sold at in-person auctions if valuable and rare enough.

Final Thoughts

Pokémon is a major franchise which blossomed in the late 90s as a simple children’s show into a worldwide phenomenon. 25 years later, this franchise is still as popular as it was to start off with, creating investment opportunities for many.

The great thing about the Pokémon card is that it promotes diversity – anyone can use the cards for their own needs no matter age, gender, race, nationality. As a parent you may see your kids begging you for a Pokémon card or see them trading cards with their friends, but it is amazing how much those simple cards are worth.

Are Pokémon cards a good investment? The simple answer is yes. Pokémon cards are an amazing thing to invest in and to sell to that global audience of collectors.

However, it is important to recognise what you are investing your money into. Most people are known to invest their finances into traditional forms such as Bitcoin, but to invest in something tangible can come with it risks.

For example, Pokémon cards can easily get water damaged or lost and this in turn can be a waste of an investment that you can’t get back.

When deciding to invest, think logically and learn all the pros and cons of doing so. Pokémon plays a big role in people’s lives. For some, it is a hobby. For others, it is a childhood memory. Pokémon will always be a growing sensation, loved by all worldwide.

Matt Roberts
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