Have you ever dreamed as a kid of living in Japan, where all the cool Pokémon stuff is? I know I have : I remember getting stars in my eyes whenever I got to glance at sellers’ Japanese cards collections at the collectors’ market in Paris, back in 1999 when the Pokémon hype was really huge. Japan seemed like a holy place, and the Pokémon Center store sounded like Valhalla itself.
Now the little kid in me can be happy, as his grown-up version is living the dream in Japan ; and there is not a month when I don’t go to the Pokémon Center. Twice.
But the Pokémon Center is not where the coolest stuff is : getting the latest products on their release day is neat, for sure… but what about the really, really old stuff? By that I mean first-print-base-set and nineties-promo-cards old stuff. Well, that you might find in other, dustier places. And you do find them, if you know how to look.
That’s my latest hobby: finding specialty stores in Japan, and looking through their old stock to dig up hidden gems. Here I will share with you passionate people my latest finds, sometimes with a little story to go along with it.
For starters, here are the No-rarity Blastoise and Zapdos I was able to spot thanks to this community’s articles and insight. I knew nothing about No Rarities one month ago, but with the right guidance (and sheer luck) I was able to find these two gems:
The no rarity hype seems to be catching up in Japan too, judging from some Japanese listings online and prices I have seen in specialty stores. Yet, not everyone seems to have heard the word yet, which makes such finds possible for the time being. What’s more, even specialty stores get a card’s value wrong from time to time ; which might lead to complete rip-offs, or to incredible deals.
Next time: Why sometimes the best place to find a rare promo card is anywhere but in the cards section.