COVID & Pokemon- Your POV

I’m going to start this off with that I am not the best at articulating what I am trying to say, haha.

What is everyone’s thoughts on how the majority of people are directed by Youtube speakers in this new demand? Obviously, the GaryVee’s of the world bring a huge following, but the huge surge in 1st Edition Base (I believe was undervalued) but doubling in cost within 2-3 weeks is hard to believe these are informed buyers.

Early on in Covid the Southern Island set was a talked about subject, yet now they are silent. I understand there is little English for sale, but seems weird that a well known promo set dried up. Scott has noted that it’s his favorite set for years, hard to grade and low pop overall. That didn’t push sales up until Covid, so the knowledgeable community doesn’t seem to be the buyers who moved the MEW from $1800-$200- card to $4500+.

Neo Genesis was pushing forward with the T17 & Lugia, yet now I don’t see anyone talking about them and they are pretty consistent with their settling prices now. I see the PWCC cards btw, but they are still right in their wheel house. The other cards that I like are very slowly adjusting (I am not the best at tracking besides what I like).

Booster Boxes surged up too, and those seemed to have mellowed out (besides the Base Set). I know they are growing, so don’t attack me as I am just stating the curve has slowed. It’s like there is a 1 month surge on a focal point, then the majority of people’s focus is pulled somewhere else.

After my most likely wordy rant, I want to hear your opinions on what you BELIEVE is cranking certain sets up, and who you think is buying. There is no wrong answers, I just want to hear your POV.

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oh there are wrong answers for sure haha


But we don’t know which ones are wrong :wink:

Supply and Demand and Competition.


Yeah I’d say this quite simply.

Further, I don’t believe it’s a result of just uninformed buyers. I think we just have a lot of people trying to complete sets and not enough supply at the moment. That could change, but what I’ve found interesting is the demand for even played to LP cards. I listed about 35 auctions that ended Sunday, mostly LP WOTC holos and what surprised me was not only the prices they sold for, but the fact that every single buyer paid. I almost always have a few auctions that go unpaid. What that tells me is there are an extensive amount of genuine interest right now.


I think it’s entirely demand, not supply and demand. More PSA 10 1st Edition Base Set Charmander cards sold between the start of May and the end of July than they did in the entirety of 2019. 16 different copies have sold this month alone on eBay’s US website specifically.


demand doesnt work without supply lol

What I mean is that it’s demand that’s driving the prices up rather than a lack of supply. Supply itself if anything has increased since the prices have started rising.

Suddenly these cards are in the spotlight and it’s driving people to think it’s a great idea to invest buy now before they miss the boat.

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Okay, we all know it is supply and demand. But, what are your opinions on what is in demand? I was more so looking for your opinions on what your ideas were on why Charmander/Squirtle/Pikachu are in demand right now, yet Southern Island was 3-4 months ago.
@teraz, That’s a good point on the focus of completing sets before it is too late in their minds.


So, while I see this as a talking point, the one thing I can touch on with a solid answer would be the question asked here: “I want to hear your opinions on what you BELIEVE is cranking certain sets up, and who you think is buying”

As most things in life, its never one thing. And even after all the pinpointing we could do on matters, I dont think there will ever be a solid answer which would satisfy any of our questioning desires. So much has happened in this year alone which will constantly keep us searching, but the most that could be said in so little words is that demand is high, the game and product are in very healthy spots, and pokemon is continuing to dominate as a franchise worldwide. There are influencers for sure which does help drive eyesight onto matters, but genuine demand too is present in that equation leading people to chase things maybe once slept on.

All and all, did covid aid in this spark? sure, but i think that was only icing on the cake to a much larger perfect storm of events.


This topic has been discussed in the giant market thread but in separate waves.

But since you are asking for personal opinion, as Dizzle mentioned, i think there are too many factors that congregated to brew the perfect storm. A natural desire for a lot of pokemon cards (covid, pokemon popularity, etc), new/old collectors coming to the hobby, lots of flippers, lots of artificial “investors” and uninformed buyers.

When you combine so many factors i think you can start getting a vague idea on why some sets that were uninteresting for more “seasoned” collectors just skyrocketed this year, just a new influx of collectors with new perspective who are willing to pay more plus a lot of people who really has no nostalgia/collection desire attached and just buy everything because investments.

You can see the dozens of new YT pkmn investment channels sprawling just in the past months, that alone is just a popularity index but when you see everything as a whole, one can start having a vague idea on why the market is all over the place.


My personal belief is that a lot of people have been encouraged to invest in Pokémon cards by parties who strongly believe specific Pokémon cards/sets will soon have their value shoot up (as if they haven’t already). Those parties were swayed to that belief by a smaller number of parties who were hyping those cards/sets shortly after Covid hit.

These people are likely in a position where they believe the current prices are very low (some will be oblivious to how much certain card prices have gone up recently whilst others will be using this as a data point to justify their belief that the value will only increase (Quuador shared a great XKCD the other day on a completely different subject which I’ll repurpose for this: They are throwing as much of their money as they can at very specific cards (likely cards they’ve been told about or are familiar with) in the hope that they will be able to make a fortune from it.

Covid has definitely had an impact - Covid will have likely been the trigger for the initial price rises and will have likely been the trigger for the initial hype, but I can only imagine the continued price rises are people jumping on the bandwaggon.

Who are the people hyping up the cards in the first place? We all are. It’s not some guy on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or wherever else. It’s all of us. Anyone who has said in passing to anyone else “wow I can’t believe x is selling for y right now” has driven up this hype. What I believe is happening now, 6 months on, is that the people who listened to those statements to begin with from us lot are now telling their friends about it - people who were not interested in Pokémon 6-8 months ago are now interested enough to now be making the same remarks we were back when this all started.

I definitely do not believe this to be a correction as a lot of people here were speculating back when this originally started in February - we’ve gone well beyond that point now. I do believe that an awful lot of Pokémon cards are very much experiencing a bubble right now - that isn’t a bad thing and I certainly do not believe the deflation of said bubble will have any impact on those of us who at the end of the day view the TCG as a hobby (I feel the need to clarify this as the Beanie Babies thread recently kinda gave me the impression that some people think a bursting bubble will be the end of Pokémon - there is no chance of that happening).

I will stress that this is of course entirely my opinion (I’d like to at least consider it an educated one). I’ve not been to the future and have no idea what the future holds, so for all I know this value growth could continue exponentially and in 10 years time we’ll all be trading our childhood Base Set Weedles for new cars and whatnot, but I’m very sceptical.


theres a new buyer pool in their mid 40s driving prices up for high end stuff, you can observe this on the forums. their earnings power and bank account is completely different from the prior buyer pool in their late 20s.

theres also a new buyer pool of presumably younger earners driving prices up for low end stuff (charmanders, lightning energy), guys who follow ppl on insta etc. Someone buys a psa 10 zard and says pokemon is a great investment, the follower sees it and buys sth lower end as he/she wants to participate after being influenced. obviously this buyer pool is disproportionately larger, and hence we see a much bigger price increase for lower end stuff

the high end stuff dont seem to be in a bubble. the low end stuff? B.U.B.B.L.E

Somewhere out there, someone bought mint bulk base set commons from Gary a year or two ago and is now a multi-millionaire.


That’s why my no rarities are still cheap.


I am a mid 20s guy who was stuck at home during the initial quarantine here in the US. I had just been playing some Call of Duty Warzone to pass the time and would occasionally watch videos on YouTube of streamers matches. One day I was randomly recommended some leonhart opening and that brought back some memories. After that I started getting recommended more videos including smpratte and pokerev and tca and those reminded me all about the original wotc sets so I started collecting again based on that. Had the cards prices not exploded in that april- may time, I would have been able to collect what I want much quicker, but the fact they could also be thought of as an investment was very fun to me! It’s something I feel a lot more connected to than my stocks and is fun to work toward a goal. I believe there are many more like me who were exposed to the hobby again during this time through some form of social media and that there is a lot of genuine surge in demand.


Now THAT is what I was looking for. Thank you! :blush:

@greenpotatoes, I appreciate the input from a newer collector. Stoked you’re in it with us! :blush:


@pichufan , I don’t think it’s true that every set / card in the hobby is still going up and up and up right now. I would say most sets that saw explosive growth early in the pandemic have already leveled off to a large extent. Base Set has been going on some kind of run right now and is seemingly still trending upwards, but at some point I would expect this will level off as well.

As for the factors driving up prices… as others have said, it’s a whole bunch of things. Pandemic giving people more free time to need new hobbies. More people considering the value of cards as an investments. (I think it would be silly to give too much weight to any one person in this regard). Keep in mind the trend we’re seeing in Pokemon is not exclusive to Pokemon. It goes across collectibles. See the Mike Trout card that recently sold for $4 million.

Why has Tesla gone up 500% in value since March? It’s not like the fundamentals of Tesla have changed much since March. It’s that more people began to recognize its value. And then the increase in price draws attention to it which leads to more people interested in buying shares. Now, is Tesla overvalued or undervalued right now? Are Pokemon cards overvalued or undervalued right now? If I knew the answers to such questions I’d be rich.


Oh definitely. My comment was that I believe the majority of people who have bought the inflated-value Pokémon cards in the past 2 months or so are buying in with the expectation that their value will continue to go up.

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Explosive growth of course only happens when people are driven by FOMO / the mindset that they need to buy the cards now because the cards are only going to get more expensive later and people who are buying expecting that the price will continue to increase as an investment. Really, they’re the same thing. Growth that’s driven purely by interest with no intention of making a profit doesn’t happen so suddenly.

But for a more complete picture, it’s important to understand that many of the people who are investing in Pokemon do it for the *combination* of investment interest and genuine interest in the cards. I’ve spoken to some of these “investor” types over the last few months and by and large they have had interest in Pokemon cards at some point in their life before (I would say someone like GaryVee is more the exception than the rule).

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