One more wrench to throw your way - people are having kids later in life in general now. Instead of early 20s to start a family, you see it more at around 30. Will we start seeing people who are collecting big today, start saving their excess funds for their families tomorrow?
That’s a good question and is yet to be fully determined. My personal feeling is it will depend on each individual. I feel most will learn to strike a balance with all these things, like past generations. For example, many decades later boomers have been willing to drop $100s of thousands on old classic cars that they couldn’t acquire in their youth, yet they still raised families and eventually made other things a priority.
I just think now that people are more willing to put money into many other assets and that the investment attitudes have continually shifted since the 2008 crash, in particular towards traditional investments like stocks and to an extent real estate as well. The landscape has changed a lot I feel.
For myself personally, I’ve been lucky to continue working from home and have saved $1000s on travel and car expenses the past 2 years. This has allowed me to accumulate larger positions in all my investments. At the same time, I could have been irresponsible and blew my money on lots of other things, but I’ve stayed the course because I am still trying to build a better off future long-term.
At the same time, my goal is not to become filthy rich off collectibles or even stocks or any other investment for that matter. I just feel good enough about my Pokemon & MTG that I have confidence in it to be a potentially good long-term risk at this point. If these cards excite me, I know that they excite tons of other people as well, and we continue to see this play out as time goes on.
Prices coming down from where?
This is too broad of a question.
Also not all vintage is the same, there are too many “mini markets” within the whole vintage, even within the same sets. You cannot compare something like Fossil to let’s say Neo Destiny or Neo Destiny with Vs series in Japanese.
Something that is 100% sure is that as time passes, the less likely you are to nail a mint copy ungraded of a vintage card (at least from more niche sets/promos) so you will have to go for slabs, even then minter copies will be harder to come by.
If people have kids at all. More and more Gen Ys are not even thinking about kids, ever… I’ve worked with them my whole life, and I definitely understand the hesitation. haha. Little gremlins…
It’s a complex situation and outlook, to be sure, and “ever” and “vintage” are broad questions. It’s certainly safe to say, prices will fluctuate. But, I think the question that should be asked has to be about a specific time or point: whether prices will ever return to “X” level or “X” time.
I wonder more, is vintage becoming something that new, young entrants to the hobby in say, 10 years, simply won’t be able to afford without some significant expendable income? If that happens, will the vintage market be carried only by the older and current members? Can it? I’m sure there are answers from people who have more experience and knowledge than I.
I don’t have experience or much knowledge of other collectible markets outside of Pokemon, unfortunately. I’m genuinely curious how and if the kids/new collectors currently opening the new products will ever transition to vintage.
I started opening Pokemon cards at the end of the ex-era and through Diamond and Pearl. The only reason I had an interest in WOTC was that my older cousin gave me her binder when she grew out of Pokemon, so I always put the “old cards” on a pedestal. But then again, I also had never liked Japanese cards as a kid and now my collection is probably 1/3 full of them.
My other friends who still have an interest in Pokemon have no interest in collecting vintage, given the prices, and would much rather just have fun ripping packs, or buying the chase cards from the Diamond and Pearl era to fill out old binders. If I asked them to drop the price of a booster box on a vintage card they’d laugh.
Also, it was easier to go back and finish an LP set of unlimited WOTC or DP than it was/is to get all the new modern full arts/alt art. There are just so many cards now you’d kind of have to pick a niche or end up spinning your wheels for a while.
So assuming people start collecting where they began, how long would it take it to finish the modern sets and move on to the next thing?
I didn’t grow up collecting Japanese, but that is now 50% of my collection. It’s a good point that vintage might always be cool and desired, even for the kids growing up in Sun & Moon, Sword & Shield, and Violet & Scarlet eras of the TCG.
The only thing I can picture down the road is people who have a favourite Pokemon that is from an earlier generation but is featured in something modern may want to collect those card(s). For example, my niece really likes Jigglypuff, Eevee and Clefairy despite being exposed mainly to more modern Pokemon media. So I could see a time when modern/younger collectors would potentially seek out certain individual cards/characters for collecting.
Another comparison I can make is in vintage Magic. I started playing MTG in the early 2000s and had no real experience or attachment to the early 90s sets or cards. I did however understand the appeal and value of them and always heard how expensive they were and how much collectors liked them. As I got older I grew more interested in that era and began collecting them more both for the artworks and historical significance to the game.
So I don’t think modern Pokemon collectors will necessarily try and collect complete sets of vintage, but I could see them chase down certain individual cards at the very least to go with their modern collections at some point, knowing that they are the ‘originals’ and what not.
I think people lowering their spending on Pokemon due to having kids is an interesting point to consider. As someone who is still in my twenties now who has kids, I can tell you my mindset about collecting hasn’t really changed much. Granted I was never throwing everything I have at the hobby, but if anything I think having kids has put things into perspective and made me feel fortunate that I’m bringing more people into this world who can also enjoy Pokemon (if I’m lucky). That and I feel like most people’s overall discretionary income increases with age, so having kids later would kind of balance out.
100% agreed. Go with what you like and you’ll never be disappointed. Investing comes with a lot of extra stress
i started collecting with late ex era, so although i saw some vintage cards around, i didnt open any packs are experience the wotc era in the way others did. that being said, as I’ve gotten older, i’ve started collecting old games I’d never heard of or played before this year, or finding old cards i never had any childhood attachment to. it may not be as large a volume of people filing into wotc, but i think so long as Pokemon remains relevant, there will always be a group of people who end up going down the rabbit hole. there’s plenty of people who enjoy movies, music, games, etc. that were made long before they were born. there’s a vintage kinda vibe that just meshes with certain people and think that will remain to be so; it’s essentially niche history. people are enamored with the past
The art is the best it’s ever been now though.
I can definitely go back and appreciate a fair few of the holos from EX onwards (where I had stopped collecting so didn’t know much about) but the chase cards that people love (ex) don’t look particularly good without the nostalgia glasses. That’s the problem with using CGI for card art.
I mean, I can admit that your Alakazam and Blastoise and most holos from Base have basically no effort put into them, but because I grew up then, I can’t get rid of the nostalgia. But, when people in the future look back to the SM/SWSH era with alts, it will be very different. Most of those, if not all of them, will stand the test of time. The normal, full art and rainbows of these eras won’t though.
I mean, even now, since I only returned last year, I have no interest in any rainbow from SM or SWSH. It’s probably more that the popularity of Pikachu and Charizard transcend the card style as opposed to it being genuinely good art.
Like others said, Pokemon is interesting because it is a powerhouse in relevancy. I have no worries about pokemon in the next couple of decades. Just as pokemon games sold like crazy and most of us are adults who enjoyed pokemon as kids, kids are playing pokemon games now. Pokemon games are still selling gangbusters and I feel there is a bit of a resurgence in popularity in all facets of pokemon from games to the cards in kids. I work with kids and hear pokemon/pokemon cards get mentioned frequently.
I think a large factor in pokemon and subsequently the tcg staying relevant and not dying off is the people playing the games. Those are the source of all the other media and as long as those stay popular, I feel the rest of pokemon will as well. Its when the games start really dipping in sales that I would start worrying about the longevity of pokemon as a whole.
Idk if id say they have no effort put in! The original sugimori art is still great, those are the original cards. That art may have been reused a ton, but thats kinda where it started. I think every era has its own charm thats representative of its time. I personally like the normal full arts. Im sure these eras will become nostalgia for whoever was collecting at this time, probably including us. Im nostalgic over XY and i wasnt even collecting it that long ago. Its just a snapshot of my life at that time, it was a lot of fun
I find with artwork a lot of things can be subjective. I definitely agree with you that across the board the artwork has improved a lot compared to many older sets. However, I also think that a lot of the vintage artwork is fairly unique and a lot of people find beauty in its overall simplicity compared to modern artworks. Combine this with the nostalgia, and they are sort of uniquely positioned in the Pokemon TCG compared to later sets.
As far as the Rainbow rares and other flashy cards, I feel the same. They don’t really do much for me, and definitely no where close to things like the Alt Art cards. However, I do wonder if the perception could change in the long-term when people go back and collect certain cards or sets. For example, if the Rainbow types are only found in SWSH or SM eras and don’t come back in later sets… they may gain a unique collector appeal long-term as they’ll sort of stand out more.