Hardest set cards to buy as a single due to rarity or prboth

Hey guys so I’ve been making a huge collection and I’m curious what the hardest cards to find are for everyone for either rarity or price or both. So far here’s my hardest ones I’ve found or are currently looking for. 1. 1st edition Shining Charizard I can’t find a copy cheaper than $700-$1000 even in moderate played condition but I’m only a few months into my search. 2. 1st edition Shining Tyranitar I just got a PSA 8.5 for $300 but it’s actually worth more like $500 plus so this was a great find and very hard one. My best card so far. 3. Skyridge Crystal Charizard. I have 3 leads on this and should be picking one any day. My options are a $300 not graded light played with slight crease. A PSA 7 for $400 or a “mint” ungraded for $450. There is others but higher price point. So far PSA 7 is winning and which is what ill probably buy. Obviously the big 3 1st editions from base set would beat any of these but sadly I skipped those for now but will double back soon for them but with 1st edition Charizards price point it might not be a reality anytime soon haha.

1st ed Lugia from Neo Genesis would be expensive too. Some Skyridge holos, Crystals, etc

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Yup they sure are. I actually have a lead on all the Crystal cards. I bought Crystal Golem. Crystal Kabutops. And Crystal Ho-OH already. Once I have the Charizard the other 5 I have in my cart for only about $500 I also don’t always go for PSA graded. Most of my cards are excellent condition binder collection that eventually I might grade. 1st edition Shining Mewtwo is also about $240 on the low end but another one I’ll have to get soon. I’m trying so so hard to find the 1st edition Shining Charizard

Most set cards are not hard to find, but certain ones are hard to find for a good price. You named some heavy hitters, but these are not really rare, but rather expensive. They might not have a ton on the market, but that’s just due to popularity.

Similar cards desired in high grades, but can be tough to find a nice price for include first edition neo discovery umbreon and espeon, first edition fossil dragonite, legendary collection reverse holo charizard and many first edition base set holos.


I already have the Dragonite but mines ungraded light played which is fine but I got it for $35 not long ago. But completing the Neo 1st edition holo’s that aren’t shining will be somewhat difficult but I’m up for the challenge. The Star cards are others that I’m looking forward to collecting but also not looking forward to the cost haha. But at least the Charizard from that Gen is expensive but not too bad the one I’m looking into is about $250. It doesn’t get bad in my opinion until a card hits over $300 which there is a bunch in that category

Id agree with @joer, that mainly its that a lot of older set cards now come with a price tag due to popularity as opposed to rarity. The popularity of certain cards creates almost a pseudo scarcity, or could even be defined as a market scarcity, which will lead to a higher price tag among certain staples, many of which were touched on such as Shining Charizard, the crystal cards, High cards in certain neo sets (ie lugia, the eeeveelutions, could even throw in the dogs, etc). That being said, chasing the cards will become costly, since many people tend to hold onto these cards as opposed to selling for that exact reason.

Which then clearly marks this as an issue of affordability as opposed to actual availability. A few months back, Lugia !st edition psa was selling around 300-400. I bought mine at 500, and now I havent seen one cheaper than 700. These price fluctuations occur not necessarily due to them being “rare”, but moreso due to demand being high and not many being available for purchase. If tomorrow everyone said, hell, lets sell our psa 9 lugias or raw copies and they popped up everywhere, prices would lower as sellers would then be competing. But without that heavy competition, the high prices will sustain so long as someone is willing to pay that.

So, that being said, anything Charizard comes to mind with this nature. That Charizard “tax” if you will is heavy across the market, thus Charizard has a heavy price tag and id say those would be the rough cards to collect among all sets. I was lucky enough to get a 1st edition raw copy myself of the Shining Zard (which would probably hit a psa 6-7 with my best guess) a while back and now its nearly doubled in price since and probably wont drop back down due to these reasons. Best way to find out the other high cards as I like to call them are by going on tcgplayer, clicking onto each set, and having it show you the highest priced ones to lowest. Just be aware the market price there isnt really accuarte per say, but more and estimate among all conditions of the card and what it goes for, but typically the top few are the ones which most are after.

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Yup i use Tcgplayer for almost all my cards and that’s another reason why I’m trying to hurry and find the 1st edition Shining Charizard now. I just put the money aside for it but budgeted myself to $500 but I might go over that just because it’s so hard to find. I seen a $700 ungraded one pop up which is tempting but out of price range. I’m trying to chop off all the Charizard heads for my collection haha knock those out than most of the challenge is gone. I’m definitely proud and lucky to pick up the PSa 8.5 Tyranitar as well. That card was being so annoying to find below or even at the $300 I paid

Tcgplayer only has 3 1st edition Shining Charizards listed. A damaged one for $400 or $500 I forgot which but I don’t buy damaged or heavy played. Than a German for same amount. A $1100 near mint ungraded. And a $1300 moderate played. None of which I plan to buy. So expanding my search past tcgplayer for this card

@mcorey777, Sadly 700 would be a great price though depending on condition of course. Thats just why its so rough. Honestly though, ill be upfront about this but id say collect what you like as opposed to rarity. Not saying thats not the case here, but for me it was with Shining charizard. i wanted it so bad because I felt really sad and upset that i couldnt afford to buy any of those that I pushed to buy the non graded and now, it just sits in my collection and I barely look at it because it moreso isnt something i truly love. I highly appreciate my holo japanese promo cyndaquil psa 10 more than it and that card is a fraction of the cost of shining charizard (40 bucks as opposed to the 700-800 price tag). So yeah, maybe id say try to take the best offers you can find so long as condition is good enough (for me, im ok with a little whitening, but i want the holo to be almost scratch free) just because i dont see prices dropping any time soon, but they could most definitely go higher and higher

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Oh yeah, I wouldnt recommend tcgplayer for the zard personally. Those prices are high, and the 1300 for moderately played is way too much imo. Id say keep searching, see if anyone here would have one to sell (i myself am debating selling mine, but I havnt really decided yet as im torn) but somewhere im sure something will pop up, but i wouldnt bet on something coming in thats below 600-700 at this point. 500 maybe if really played and worn, but mostly 600-1000 is about right for what youll see

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@drizzle24 Drizzle24 trying to learn how to tag you maybe that will work. And i definitely get your point but the Shining Cards are actually some of my favorites but i do like the Steelix or the Kabutops or Mewtwo or even Raichu a little better. But regardless I’m stubborn. So I should just buy this one or wait for different deal? www.ebay.com/itm/Shining-Charizard-1st-Edition-EX-Condition-Pokemon-Card/184138315274?hash=item2adf7fb60a:g:k0gAAOSwZedeNLrr

And I’m not trying to be to picky on it. I just want a first edition. I don’t want a ripped or ruined copy or anything below PSA 5 but I’d be open to a 5 or any decent ungraded

@mcorey777, on the bottom of the page it says “simple tagging” at least on a desktop for me, and just hit my user name and youre good! (its dizzle24 though not drizzle haha, and use the @ sign to make it work). But yeah just letting ya know there!

Ya it doesn’t show it but I’m on a phone

Wow I just started to look into the Neo and Skyridge holo’s and everyone almost is so beautiful a lot are also very hard to come by none are generally much more than $100 but the availability being so slim will make things challenging but I’m always up for a challenge :slight_smile:

Great collection!! The cards you mentioned aren’t difficult to find but rather more expensive, except maybe the tyranitar psa 10 that’s sometimes difficult to locate. The cards that are truly difficult to find are the ones that pop up maybe once or twice a year and maybe not even that. Low population (40 of a certain grade and under) cards are usually the most difficult and sought after cards. Examples would be a 1st edition Jungle Vaporeon psa 10, you never really see that come up for sale and if it does it goes for $2,500 now. Compared to the $500 it was selling for a little over a year ago. I have seen Jungle Jolteon psa 10s slowly disappear to where you cant find a 1st edition holo psa 10 jungle jolteon anymore. No symbol Jungle cards are extremely rare in psa 10 now especially because theyre considered to be error cards.

Other rare to find and expensive cards are cards that have A LOT of Holofoil on them. For example, Sabrinas Gengar from gym heroes psa 10 is an expensive card because you don’t see many in psa 10.

Blaines Moltres psa 10 (super diffuclt to find on the open market)

Sabrinas Gengar psa 10

Slowking psa 10

Shining gyarados psa 10

Dark Magneton psa 10

Vaporeon jungle (any edition) psa 10

Those are just a few examples of cards slowly becoming impossible to scoop up and that are very difficult to obtain in PSA 10.

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Great point but I’m not personally going for 10s of anything or even much PSa cards in general but i definitely appreciate how rare and perfect they are. Looking at the backs of half of my old wotc cards you automatically see the horrible off centering but it’s because they just were bad at printing cards back in the day haha. But yes I’m noticing even some regular holo’s from neo-skyridge are scarce ungraded which will be a new challenge for me :slight_smile: if I could afford it I’d buy only PSa 10s but sadly I can’t. What I can afford is to eventually complete a master collection of a best of series I’m doing. So I’m going to buy the best cards in my opinion from almost every set except base set 2 and other reprints which isn’t needed to me

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If you’re ever going to grade and hope for psa 10s, I wouldn’t worry about back centering. Psa’s rules are that the back needs to be at least 25/75 which is really lenient. I’ve seen a few videos from this guy named LootboxTV or something along that line on his PSA returns and him and his friend keep saying they aren’t getting 10s because of centering(even when the cards are like a nanometer off centered lol.)

Just for reference, as long as your card’s front is 60/40 centered and 75/25 centered on the back then you are still within PSA’s gem mint parameters :blush:

Perfect :slight_smile: and thanks so much for the info I actually didn’t know that about PSA centering and now I feel better about my cards :slight_smile:

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