If you grew up in the 90s or early 2000s, there is a good chance you went through a Pokémon phase. For the few of you uninitiated, Pokémon is the highest-grossing media franchise of all time, with an estimated value of $92 billion. That is much more than some of your favorites, beating out the likes of Harry Potter, Star Wars, or even Marvel. But what is Pokémon? An abbreviation for Pocket Monsters, the media franchise was created in Japan back in 1996 by Satoshi Tajiri.
These Pocket Monsters are meant to be trained, cared for, and battled, with "Gotta Catch Em All!" becoming the slogan of the series. Now, Pokémon is still very much part of the meta, with Pokémon Go still pulling in numbers, the anime series still going strong, and new games popping up each year.
Nonetheless, for many of us, one of our first interactions with the Pokémon franchise came from its widely popular trading card game. Everyone and their mama were collecting Pokémon cards in the 90s, with the cards easily becoming the social currency of its time. I was in backyards, on playgrounds, and in the back rooms of garages trading Pokemon cards with people as a kid. It was just what you did back then — brag about your kickball skills and try to barter your way up to that holographic Charizard.
Today, Pokemon cards are more popular than ever, becoming some of the most valued and desired collectibles of all time. Over the past years, people have discovered that those Pokémon cards they are holding onto are worth a pretty penny. Some cards have gone on to be worth hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. But I am getting ahead of myself.
Will you get rich off your Pokémon cards? Probably, not. However, there are some solid ways to check how much your Pokémon card are worth in 2023.
Why are Pokémon cards worth much?
This is a bit of a loaded question. Call it the perfect storm, a wide range of events have led to the recent jump in demand for Pokémon cards and their worth. Let's start with what I call the "Age of Collectibles." Factors ranging from the pandemic and alternative investment opportunities to social's media obsession with flexing and FOMO have spawned a tremendous interest in collectibles. This market includes trading cards, art, NFTs, classic cars, comics, autographs, sports memorabilia, vintage, sneakers, fashion, and timepieces, just to name a few.
In a report published by Market Decipher, the Market Size for collectibles was estimated to be $360 billion in 2020, jumping to $402 billion in 2021, and is expected to cross $1 Trillion by 2032. One of the areas seeing the largest amount of growth and feeding this valuation? Trading cards.
Pokémon Cards and their seemingly ever-growing hype can be boiled down to a renewed nostalgic interest in vintage trading cards and their value as financial assets. Furthermore, the decreasing supply and wild demand for mint condition cards from the limited 1999-2003 printing run, and social media influencers, like Logan Paul, making money off Pokémon cards are also fueling the fire. The dude wore a $5,000,000 Charizard around his neck during his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather. Even Justin Bieber was dropping $400,000 on Pokémon cards at some point.
So, how much are my Pokémon cards worth in 2023?
Going out and buying a pack of Pokémon cards at your local Target will not make you the next Pokémoncard millionaire. However, if you have any cards from 1999-2003 that happen to be first editions, it might be worth checking their value. Most of the rarest and most desired card comes from this era. Though most cards probably won't get you more than $15-$100. But, you could be one of those people who have "Blastioise Galaxy Star Hologram" and sell it for $366,000.
For the sake of argument, let's say you have this rare Blastoise in your midst. Additional factors determine its value, but its condition is the most important. Collectors will not be interested in defaced, damaged, or stained water cards. Using things like Penny sleeves or Toploaders are excellent starting point if you have any mint condition cards you want to preserve for the next couple of years. If you want to check the prices of your cards, we highly recommend looking at Pokemonprices.com and TCGPlayer. Both of these places can provide with most up-to-date prices for your Pokémon card collection.