im really curious to know what you guys think about the future price development of pokemon vintage cards. I am personally really uncertain about the possible price development of vintage cards, but i have the feeling that prices will stay high, even with demand getting lower over time, since the “Big-Hype” is dying of at some point in the future.
What are your thoughts on this?
Down from where? It feels like everything has decreased since the highest highs of the COVID boom and the ultra hype is over. Modern is easily accessible at retail stores, and the fervent scalping was a clear indication of the chaos at the time. Will vintage drop even lower? Personally I doubt it.
EDIT: I forgot to add - PSA has gotten through a lot of their backlog, but there are still outstanding orders from late 2020/early 2021. Most of the grading hype went into bulk orders and people finding their old collections/investors sending everything they could get their hands on. The outstanding question is how much of the remaining backlog will impact populations of vintage enough to impact prices? At the end of the day; older, rarer, minter, better
The people that had returned in 2022, say if they had been out of the hobby since childhood; will have entered the hobby with the current price point. Knowing that the prices of vintage cards were only a fraction of what they are today in 2017 wouldnt stop most of them from spending since anything remotely sold in the recent 2 to 3 years are way higher; and the new point of price stablisation will surely be higher. However if ure talking about reaching 2020 peak prices or even exceeding it, only time will tell.
Has there been any collector market where an established collectible with organic demand has eventually collapsed long-term?
That’s not a hypothetical, I genuinely wonder. Pretty much everything I think of as a hallmark collectible has continued to have demand and continues to appreciate over time.
I think the big hype is already dead and prices are leveling out nicely. Every time there’s a hype, the prices settle down after. But that is the new “floor” as far as low price. I think we’re at or close to the new floor and these will be the lowest prices we see for a while, although it could last a while.
Though there are cards still coming back which was said above. Cards still coming back in high volume could still see a little more pull back over the next 6mo
The market has changed significantly the past couple years. Prices have come down on NM condition vintage by a lot recently, which is what I’ve mainly been focusing. I really don’t know if we’ll go back to pre-2020 price levels, but even if we do I’ll just keep buying more. Some things though have actually continued on a higher trajectory, like the later Neo and E-Reader sets from what I’ve seen. 1st Ed WOTC in general remains fairly stable at this point.
Any of the really desirable or scare offerings continue to hold value or increase for the most part from what I’ve seen. The increase in supply from PSA combined with the economic conditions has put some pressure on stuff, but I’m feeling pretty optimistic about the market all things considered.
So personally, I would just buy whatever you are comfortable with price-wise. I really feel there’s been some deals out there lately, and I’ve been buying quite a bit more than usual as of late.
Tons of examples of that:
These didn’t die overnight, though. The primary demographics are just now retiring age (or dead). Probably going to eventually happen to Pokemon, but will take 25-30+ years given the age of the current demographic. Not something I’m personally concerned about lol – way too distant.
There were so many people that have been holding out on buying since the pandemic started. Now that prices are dropping, collectors are finally buying again. Example, I missed out on buying Eevee Fan Club for around 1k right when the pandemic started. I watched it climb all the way up to 2k, 3k, 4k, 5k. I recently bought one pretty close to pre-pandemic levels. Since I bought one, the next available copy is much higher than what I paid for mine, so the floor will not get to pre-pandemic levels.
I totally get this but now this brings up the question of whether kids are entering the demographic or not which will hypothetically keep the hobby going till the end of the human race. In my observations kids are pretty excited for Pokémon cards/toys and even those knock offs but are they as excited as us when we were children? who knows.
To that end, if kids are the future (which they are), are they going to want vintage cards or the cool alt arts they are growing up with now?
I think the sheer volume of cards being printed today, as well as how different the collecting world is compared to 1998, completely changes the landscape. In 20 years time, when kids today are nostalgic for the cards they grew up with, they’re likely going to very very easily obtainable. I think vintage cards will continue to be a harder chase and the pokemon continue forward. A kid entering the pokemon world today may have the same favorite that existed 20+ years ago, and that’s where I kind of see the difference between a pop culture phenomenon like pokemon vs. a sport. I never saw Micky Mantle or Babe Ruth play and am certainly not nostalgic for them, but if I was a sport card collector, they’re the cards to have (this example probably shows my complete lack of knowledge when it comes to sport card collecting).
I can attest to the low demand for a lot of Atari games currently. I found my family’s old Atari 800 system and some games last week. I thought we probably had some gems to possibly hold or sell being how old the games are. However, I was surprised at how low the prices are for many cartridges.
To my point below, I think all of those are good examples of collectibles, but not even close to the media, entertainment, and money powerhouse that Pokemon is. Atari games, toy trains and pez dispensers depend solely on the love of the fans, while Pokemon has really big bucks behind it.
If Pokemon remains relevant for the next 50-100+ years, it’s possible that it could end up like comic books where the more desirable early issues demand continue to demand high prices.
I think the difficulty is maintaining relevance for that amount of time. There are very few pop culture properties that have remained relevant for that long. That said, Pokemon probably does have a real shot at it. Far from guaranteed, though.
A better example, then, might be some of the original Disney properties like Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck. Those were hugely popular properties at one point and still have tons of money behind them, but they have much less relevance and interest now. Young people today aren’t collecting Disneyana.
There are plenty of brands that have certain similarities, but I don’t think there is one quite like Pokemon. The unique combination of strategic business + organic interest is what every brand dreams of achieving. Plus the added perk of additional generations having a similar experience.
Most of the other hobbies mentioned don’t have depth. Stamps is a great example; I remember a few E4 members joined one of the largest stamp collecting discords, back when the pokemon stamp promo released. The total amount of posts in a day on the stamp discord were equal to 15 minutes on the E4 discord.
The bottom line, the Pokemon market could return to what it was 10 years ago and still be more than fine. There are just too many people that genuinely enjoy collecting.
I will echo what others have said here.
Pokemon is a unique corporation with one of the world’s most identifiable intellectual properties. Like other CCGs, Pokemon also has a growing player base. Unlike other CCGs (e.g., namely Magic the Gathering), Pokemon regularly expands into the entertainment world with animated series, full-feature movies, and video games. Because of this, Pokemon will continue to capture the minds and hearts of children and adolescents, while still maintaining a sizable adult fanbase.
As others have mentioned, we have seen major retracements from the highs of 2020 and 2021. Yet, most vintage product, raw cards, and graded cards have maintained quite well above historical data (e.g., 2018 and prior).
TL;DR: Have vintage cards/product come down from their “to the moon” prices? Yes, absolutely. Have they maintained levels far above historical levels? Yes.
All of this said, don’t go “investing” in 1st ed Jungle Pikachus anticipating massive gains. Not all vintage cards are equally rare/scarce (e.g., 1st ed vs unlimited, holo vs non-holo, increased rarity of gold stars and crystal Pokemon) nor carry the same potential for growth.
I’ve found that if I don’t “invest” in pokemon and just buy and collect what I enjoy, I’m never dissapointed
I feel as time goes on and the incomes of people grow, we could also continue to see prices grow in vintage at some point or another again. I feel most WOTC collectors are in the mid-late 20s to early-mids 30s range now, which is still quite a bit younger than the average MTG collector/investor type and our incomes on average is slowly creeping up. I remember back in 2011/2012 when I first got back into looking at old Magic cards again that I thought prices were ‘crazy’ and yet now it all looks like a bargain.
I also think the mentality of our demographic in terms of investing is also much different. Less focused on stocks like the boomers, and more into alternative investing like collectibles & cryptos and many other items. I own stocks and trade them off and on, but I have way more fun with collectibles.
In some ways, it seems kind of crazy to be talking about stocks and cryptos alongside collectibles, but the reality is all of these things have become an investment with some type of risk involved. I think the key thing is, collect what you enjoy, but also what you know. I can’t stress this last part enough. I tried exploring sports cards but got burned a bit and sold them off for a small loss, whereas with my Pokemon and Magic stuff I could sell for a profit easily because I understand it much better from my youth as well as the overall market. I took the leftover money and put it into recently discounted Pokemon & MTG cards instead.