In the late 90s, early 2000s, Pokemon Cards were in schoolyards all around the world. Twenty years later, the Pokemon trend has reappeared, highlighted by the media, collectors and various YouTubers.
Over the past decade, the value of Pokemon cards has exploded.Some cards that originally cost just a few dollars are now worth tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Discover through this TOP 20 which are currently the most expensive cards in the world.
The price of a Pokemon Card can fluctuate wildly with the market price and depends on the rating and condition of the item. It can be determined by the highest value ever sold at auction or by its average price. For this listing, we will base ourselves on the price at which the item sold in the last auctions.
Number 20 : Charizard Crystal Holo Skyridge
Estimated value : 24 800$
We're starting this top off with one of the franchise's most beloved Pokemon. Few Pokémon have been as popular as Charizard. It's one of the most recognizable Pokemon in the series and has consistently been voted one of the most popular of all time.
Prices for the first generation fire starter cards have been steadily increasing in recent years, regularly breaking new records at auctions. This Crystal Charizard from the 2003 Skyridge expansion is no exception, going up to 25 000$ for a card in perfect condition.
If you also want to complete your Charizard collection, you can take a look at this Wizard Obscur Card which is also a magnificent card!
Number 19 : Torchic Gold Star Holo Team Rocket Returns
Estimated value : 25 000$
The EX Team Rocket Returns 2004 cards are one of the most desirable EX expansions ever produced. Indeed it included many holographic cards.
It was also the first expansion to feature Gold Star cards, aimed at rekindling the interest of collectors. They are distinguished by a gold star next to the card name and rarity symbols. The most valuable is by far the Gold Star Holographic Torchic card, already difficult to obtain when it was released and for which demand is only increasing.
Number 18 : Charizard Gold Star Holo Dragon Frontiers
Estimated value : 25 300$
Let's continue in the Gold Stars with this superb Holographic Charizard from the Dragon Frontiers expansion of 2004. A sublime illustration featuring the Pokemon in its Shiny form has earned this card its popularity with fans.
If you are specifically looking for Charizard Shiny cards, the VMAX Shiny Charizard card released in 2020 is for you!
Number 17 : Master’s Key 2010 Pokemon World Championship
Estimated value : 26 000$
In 2010, World Championship participants were offered the Master Key card, making it one of the more recent limited distributions.
Only 36 copies are said to have been made and their owners rarely choose to sell them, making this card almost impossible to obtain. However, one of them was sold in August 2020 for the equivalent of 26 600$.
Number 16 : Chansey First Edition Holo & Shadowless 1999
Estimated value : 36 000$
In November 2020, a first edition and shadowless copy sold at auction for the equivalent of 36 500$. But why shadowless ? The value of these cards is linked to a printing error, with missing shadows on the background of the card.
Indeed, in 1999 the company Wizards of the Coast was then responsible for the translation and distribution of Pokemon cards. She starts selling this first version, then eventually decides that the cards would look better with a shadow in the background. Shadowless cards were therefore the first version of the base set. Their history and limited number make them popular cards for collectors, Chansey being no exception.
More accessible, you can easily get the Unlimited Edition Wizard Chansey card.
Number 15 : Rayquaza Gold Star Holo 2005 Ex Deoxys
Estimated value : 44 000$
In 2005, The Pokemon Company released the Ex Deoxys expansion introducing the Dragon type and in which we can find the Rayquaza Gold Star card.
In December 2020, a copy in perfect condition sold at auction for of 44 000$. Introduced in the third generation and on the cover of the Emerald version, Rayquaza is one of the most charismatic and popular Legendary Pokemon in the franchise. It is even in 2021 the Pokemon of the Blue Sky Stream series.
If you are also looking for this Pokemon, you can get the Secret Rare Rayquaza V S7R card.
Number 14: Blastoise First Edition Holo and Shadowless 1999
Estimated value : 45 000$
It's no secret that the first edition cards are the most sought after, with Charizard remaining a fan favorite.
The first generation water starter is not to be outdone. The Blastoise card of the first edition, has seen its value increase considerably in the last years. Why ? Surely a touch of nostalgia. An iconic Pokemon and a card reminding collectors of their first games in the playground. The holographic and shadowless version is the most sought after given its rarity.
On the occasion of Pokémon's 25th anniversary, you can get a reissue of this card in the 25 years promo booster packs.
Number 13 : Ishihara GX
Estimated value : 49 000$
On the occasion of the 60th birthday of Tsunekazu Ishihara, president of the Pokemon Company, the latter offers his employees and lucky guests the Ishihara GX card. Between 30 and 60 cards would have been distributed, but the employees having been ordered not to sell the card, it is almost impossible to obtain.
At the very least, in April 2020, a Ishihara GX card in perfect condition was sold for the equivalent of 49 700$. It is therefore not impossible to see this collector's item reappear on the market in the years to come.
Number 12: 1998 University Magikarp Tamamushi University Prize
Estimated value : 50 000$
This card was the prize awarded to the winners of the Tamamushi University Hyper test, organized by the Japanese publishing house Shogakukan in 1998. It was a series of tests offered to children and relating to their knowledge of Pokemon cards.
Thus, 1000 winners obtained the University Magikarp card. Despite the large number of cards distributed at the time, few seem to have survived the years retaining their original state. Our dear Magikarp can therefore reach a high price, in impeccable condition of course.
If you also want to get a card of this Pokemon but without emptying your bank account, you can get the Shiny Magikarp card released to mark the 25th anniversary of Pokemon.
Number 11 : 1999 Tropical Mega Battle Trainer No. 2
Estimated value : 50 100$
Trainer No.2 was one of eight limited edition cards given to participants in the Tropical Mega Battle, an annual event held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu between 1999 and 2001. There are only 5 copies of the card registered with PSA. and only two of them are in perfect condition, making this one of the rarest cards ever printed.
Although Noadkoko cards are not common, he is making his return in 2019 in the Sun & Moon Dream League Series, where you can find a card of this Pokemon.
Number 10 : Summer Battle Road Mew Victory Orb Trophy Holo
Estimated value : 59 500$
The Mew Victory Orb Trophy was awarded during the Summer Battle Road competition in 2005. Covering nine regions across Japan, only the top three coaches from each division were awarded this card depicting Mew illustrated by Takumi Akabane.
There are an estimated 162 Victory Orb cards available. Adding to the rarity of this card is the fact that Mew is a popular Pokemon with collectors. So it's no wonder that one of these collector's items appeared at a PWCC auction in December 2020 and sold for 59 500$.
If you like this Pokémon too, you can get the Mew card released to mark the 25th anniversary of the franchise.
Number 9 : Tropical Wind Tropical Mega Battle
Estimated value : 64 000$
Tropical Wind is another of the eight cards given during the Tropical Mega Battle event. The Pokemon Mega Tropical Battle took place from 1999 to 2001 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The tournament, which brought together the best players from several countries, was an invitation-only event that rewarded participants with a limited set of eight cards, including Tropical Wind.
This card represents a Psyduck resting on a beautiful tropical beach and playing the ukulele. Particularly rare are Wind Tropical cards in mint condition. One of them was however sold in new condition on Ebay in October 2020 for 64 800$.
If you are also looking for an atypical card to add to your collection, we recommend the Psyduck Munch Promo card released in 2018.
Number 8 : Umbreon Gold Star Holo
Estimated value : 69 000$
Eevee and its evolutions are among the most popular characters in the Pokemon franchise. So it's no surprise that Gold Star Umbreon has become one of the most coveted Pokemon cards. Released in Japan in 2005, it features truly breathtaking illustrations.
In order to get their hands on a copy of the map, players had to be members of the Pokemon Player's Club and then accumulate 70,000 EXP points by the end of the fourth season. Since players were only given 100 points for attending official events, few of them were ever handed out. This led to the sale of a copy for 69 600$ in June 2021.
On the occasion of Pokémon's 25th anniversary, a reissue of this card can be obtained in 25 year promo boosters.
Number 7 : Trainer Super Secret Battle No.1
Estimated value : 90 000$
This card was given to one of the winners of the Pokemon Super Secret Battle tournament series in 1999. The location of this tournament was kept secret from the Pokemon company, hence the name of this card. Depicting the silhouette of Mewtwo using a holographic pattern, this card is particularly sought after by collectors of this Pokémon.
If you too are a fan of this Pokémon, why not complete your collection with the Japanese Mewtwo CP6 card..
Number 6 : World Championship 2006 Trainer No.2
Estimated value : 109 000$
No.2 Trainer cards have always been in high demand by collectors and this is again the case with the 2006 World Championship variant. The card was initially given to participants in the 2006 World Championships and allowed players to return to the next year's event.
Winning it however was not easy, the players had to reach the finals of their division. A classified copy PSA 9 was sold by PWCC for around 109 600$ in February 2021.
Number 5 : Lugia Neo Genesis First Edition Holo
Estimated value : 120 000$
There has been a huge price increase recently with sales of Lugia cards. Specifically, Lugia's first appearance in the Pokemon Trading Card Game: The First Holographic Lugia Neo Genesis Edition released in 2000. Some collectors specifically look for the spiral in the holo, which is totally random among Pokemon cards. It was a 1000$ card in mid-2019 and now one copy has sold at auction in November 2020 for around 128 000$.
Lugia is more and more popular and in 2018 becomes the image Pokemon of the Sun & Moon Lost Thunder series. You can also complete your collection with the Lugia card released to mark the 25th anniversary of the franchise.
Number 4 : Trophy Kangaskhan
Estimated value : 150 000$
This card was the reward for a Japanese Pokemon tournament. The specificity of this tournament was that a child and one of his parents participated together to win the victory, the Kangaskhan and his little one symbolizing the family spirit of this tournament.
Although it is quite easy to get other Kangaroo cards, like this Wizard Jungle card for example. The Kangaskhan Trophy is another story. Indeed, there are only 11 copies of this card, enough to attract collectors even more.
Number 3 : Blastoise Galaxy Star holo- Print test Wizards of the Coast
Estimated value : 358 000$
These Tortank cards were printed as a test print by the Cartamundi company for Wizards of the Coast in 1998. The latter wanted to show these prints to Nintendo before the launch of the English version of the card game. It can be noted that modifications were necessary in order to arrive at the version that we know today. Very rare, only one was auctioned in January 2021 for around 358 000$.
If you too are a fan of this Pokemon, you can get the Blastoise Obscur Wizard Card to complete your collection.
Number 2 : Charizard First Edition Holo & Shadowless 1999
Estimated value : 365 000$
As almost any kid who grew up in the '90s can attest, Charizard was always the go-to card among early editions. While not the rarest card featured in this top, early editions of this card can sell for absurd amounts. They still have to be among the Shadowless cards mentioned above.
In a PWCC auction, a bidder would have shelled out the amount of 365 000$ for the famous Charizard, making it the second most expensive Pokémon card ever sold.
On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Pokemon, a reissue of this card can be obtained in the 25 years promo booster packs.
Number 1 : Illustrator Pikachu CoroCoro
Estimated value : 370 000$
In 1997, the Monthly CoroCoro Comic magazine organized a drawing competition in Japan. The winners were presented with this adorable card featuring the game's mascot and illustrated by Atsuko Nishida, the creator of Pikachu. According to the sources, only about 20 exist, making the Pikachu Illustrator recognized as the most expensive and the most difficult to obtain in the franchise.
The adorable electric mouse being the flagship Pokémon of the license, many promotional cards have been created over the past 25 years.
For example the Pikachu Munch Promo card, released in 2018 for an exhibition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, the result of a collaboration between Pokemon and artist Edvard Munch.
What can we conclude from this top? To begin with, it should be noted that the order of ranking is almost always a subject of debate, as prices are constantly changing. The many lockdowns and social networks have rekindled a wave of nostalgia. So this craze around Pokémon cards is unlikely to die down anytime soon.
New series are regularly released by the franchise which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. If you too want to get started in the collection of Pokémon cards, do not hesitate to find out about the different collections, old or more recent. It is always interesting to discover cards that you never knew existed. Also stay on the lookout for new releases! Who knows, maybe they will be very valuable possessions in the years to come.