2004 Pokemon EX Dark Dragonite Questions

Hey all - started to get back into TCG during the beginning of the pandemic, and I’m just finally getting some graded cards back. I’ve got two of this guy coming back in a PSA 8 - 2004 Pokemon EX Team Rocket Returns 15 Dark Dragonite-Holo James Theme Deck.

I started looking into selling one because I don’t need both, and am feeling a bit lost. Here’s where I’m at

  • The only holo version of this card according to PSA is the “James Theme Deck” version, which I would assume is signified by 1) the holo portion (duh) and 2) the team rocket returns logo on the bottom right of the artwork - I assume this because my version was identified as James Theme Deck but it has the TRR logo
  • If so, why does this card appear to be a holo without the Team Rocket Returns logo? Or this PSA slabbed version, which doesn’t have the Team Rocket returns logo?
  • It looks like a CGC reverse holo with the logo in CGC 9 sold for $445? This card looks most like mine…maybe mine is mislabeled by PSA?

Essentially would love to hear a) what the heck is going on with this Team Rocket Returns logo and how it affects value and b) a realistic price to expect for it.

Sorry for all the confusion - hopefully this is a simple question to one of you guys

There are three versions of the Dark Dragonite for the EX Team Rocket Returns Set:

Cosmos Holo version, no EX Team Rocket Returns Logo - This was exclusive to the James Theme Deck, not something that could be pulled out of packs
Non-holo version, no EX Team Rocket Returns Logo - This is the standard version of the card, pulled out of packs
Reverse Holo (energy symbols comprise the holo for this set) version, with the EX Team Rocket Returns Logo - This card is pulled out of packs, each pack has one reverse holo card and can be any of the non-ex, non-Gold Star, non-secret rare cards.

I am not on the complete up and up as far as how these versions compare in price, but I imagine the Cosmos Holo version is slightly more valuable than the Reverse Holo, although Reverse Holo EX series cards are highly desirable and have great eye appeal, so they are pretty even. The non Holo version is worth much less than those two versions.

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This matches up with how I was understanding it, but did you check out those links of holo copies (not reverse holo) that didn’t have the TRR in the bottom right? Am I wrong for assuming that if my copy is the James Theme holo (thus the only non-reverse holo) and has the TRR logo, then all copies would have that logo? Or maybe those were just incorrectly listed reverse holos and I’m overthinking this…

If it has the TRR logo, it’s not the James deck exclusive, it’s the Reverse Holo. It sounds like an identification mistake by PSA (happens all the time with them, subtlety is not their specialty) if yours is labeled as the James deck exclusive but has the TRR logo.

@hypernova’s answer is entirely correct except for one thing: the reverse holo version is significantly more valuable than the cosmos holo version. In order of value it goes: reverse holo, cosmos holo, non-holo.

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Thanks for helping me piece this together. Doesn’t really matter, but kind of frustrating that if I want the label fixed it’ll be months of waiting for PSA. As if this isn’t confusing enough without PSA throwing in labelling errors…

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This is a fun thread for me; I always love seeing this card pop into discussion! Definitely one of my favorites OAT

I’d be curious to see the sales data you pulled that from @zorloth if you happen to have any!

The Holo version is lower pop & notoriously hard to grade because of the packaging. I would agree that the Rev Holo might be more sought-after, but I don’t think we have enough data to say the reverse holo is the one that’s more valuable, or frankly, which version is more valuable to begin with. The Cosmos Holo version in PSA 10 has only risen in population by 2 in the past 3 years, with the Rev Holo PSA 10 population more than doubling in the same time frame. I even had a friend send me this snapshot this week from their bulk sub:

I haven’t seen a public sale for either version in PSA 10 form in over a year, and I think it really started gaining traction and attention around that time frame. There are always other factors to consider, but from personal experience grading about a dozen TRR Dark Dragonite last year, a PSA 10 Theme Deck Holo is the only one I’ve yet to acquire, and I would consider it a much tougher grade. Obviously that doesn’t go hand in hand with market value, but I think we still don’t have enough to declare one more expensive than the other.

Now, that being said, a lot of folks, myself included, prefer the “stamped” Reverse Holo over it’s counterparts, and it is quite uncommon to pull from a loose booster pack. Personally, I’ve tracked this card longer than most other cards cards in my collection and have never found an EX TRR box or loose booster opening where the reverse holo Dragonite has been pulled, but they have to be coming from somewhere! Lol I would say the scarcity of the Reverse Holo and poor packaging of the Theme Deck Holo put them on a similar pedestal, it might just come down to personal preference. I’d be curious to see a comparison to the Dark Tyranitar and Marowak with identical release of the Dragonite; One version exclusive in the Theme Deck and two versions obtainable in the main expansion. As always, I’m sure others have a lot more information than I, and if you do have any recent sales data (for any of the three versions) please correct me and put me in my place :wink:


@poketapp, OP asked about PSA 8s, not PSA 10s. For PSA 10s, I have no clue which is more valuable. For PSA 8s, the reverse holo is without question much more valuable.


@Tapp, thanks for this good read. I’m curious, from your grading experience, what’s the PSA 9:10 ratio for a freshly pulled theme deck dark dragonite?

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I believe the reverse holo variant is more expensive in all PSA grades (even 10), despite being higher pop and maybe easier to grade. TRR reverse holos have a lot more demand than the holos due to the aesthetics. Also, theme deck holos are lot less rare than normal rare holos. I have received an offer of $3k for my reverse holo 10 dragonite (which I declined as it’s not for sale).