Newer Collectors - BE AWARE (Market Research Brillant Stars)

Today I decided to go 1 year back in time right after VMAX Climax opened the floodgates to Alt Arts and character Arts in the scene in a massive wave. Our "Vmax climax was Brillant Stars and to say people were hyped for this set is an understatement.

I find myself caught up watching numerous people rip product and show off all their pulls. I get really excited about the newer arts, alt arts, and in retrospect, shiny cardboard. Saying all this, it is easy to get wrapped up in all the hype and FOMO of a set just like we are seeing now with Crown Zenith.
Now that all the “dust has settled” with Brilliant Stars and all the packs have been opened, lets look at this eye opening video by TwiceBakedJake about devastating outcomes of buying into the hype:
[Watch before reading on]

So after this video what did we learn?
Jake’s top 10 list was all data pulled from the pre-Release Market. He stats these prices are over valuing the cards, but by how much?

Card Pre-Release Price Current TCG Player Buy it Now ROI
Umbreon V $75 $15.95 -78.7%
Charizard V (Full Art) $80 $23 -71.3%
Arceus VStar (Rainbow Rare) $80 $15.69 -80.4%
Umbreon Vmax (Trainer Gallery) $85 $24 -71.8%
Marnie’s Pride $90 $10.91 -87.9%
Arceus VStar (Gold) $105 $19.84 -81.1%
Arceus V Alt Art $115 $40 -65.2%
Galarian Moltres V (Gold) $125 $15 -88%
Charizard V Alt Art Card $250 $171 -31.6%
Charizard VStar Rainbow Rare $350 $76 -78.3%
Total Average ROI -73.4%

When talking about the Charizard VStar RR, Jake says this:
“I don’t really think it’ll drop that much from that price”
“How low can this card actually go? At it’s absolute lowest, it’ll go for around $200.”

Now this post isn’t to shine a negative light on Jake, his content I personally love and all his showcases of Japanese cards and promos is great to watch. Where I would like to showcase is the hype and FOMO around newer sets and how there isn’t a set “floor price” with all these collectable cards, no matter how many people yell at you.

Personally I own 2 Brilliant Stars booster packs that I got some some tins and that’s it.
I own a bunch more Vmax Climax then any set, but again:
this post’s purpose is to WARN everyone and especially newer collectors about the dangers of FOMO and hype.

Because what if a newer collector opened a TON of Brilliant stars, got a bunch of good cards, spent $500+ to ship and grade them at PSA? Then most likely majority of them come back as 8-9’s? Well let me just show you…

Obviously everyone has to be responsible to what they choose to put money into, but some newer collectors may just not know the risks, especially with English sets.

Just a friendly PSA to be careful out there…


Twicebakedjake. Lol


This goes for any set speaking generally. Pre-order prices are when supply is low. Then after the set comes out, supply increases and prices fall.

I wouldn’t buy set cards before official release unless you love the card and don’t really care about value.


Thanks for putting this together, @Slade.

I think most collectors know that cards will retrace by 60%-90% after 6-12 months. This has been the case since the beginning of shiny cardboard collecting. Most local game stores in my area do not buy newly released chase cards until the dust settles for this reason.


Yes, but I am still wanting to share this to the masses. Even I was surprised at how far these prices have fallen. So I couldn’t guess the average collector would know this information either.

I can’t imagine how a newer collector would feel if they bought a Golden Galarian Moltres for $125 off eBay only for it to fall to $15 after a year. I personally would be devastated…

I feel like we should have threads for each new set showing the prices for big hit cards at 1) prerelease, 2) like a month later and then 3) about a year in or something. Maybe just the first two for peoples info sakes but also as a price time capsule? That could be fun


@Slade Fair enough, I am sure that many do not understand these trends as you suggest.

@cyberurchin TCGFish shows graded card trajectories over time and TCGPlayer shows raw card trajectories over one year at most. If you wanted, you could combine these two sources of data to watch price erosion in ultramodern chase cards.


@Slade great post.

I’d say any YouTuber putting prices on their openings is being irresponsible. Even though PokeRev now says “These are pre-order prices” etc. that isn’t enough. Just don’t put them there.

$90 for Marnie lmao.

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Great info. I think the phenomenon was obvious, but it’s nice to see the actual data from even just one set. I wonder how this pattern is sustained with every release though. Wouldn’t the people that got burned learn to not FOMO for the next set, and if so, who keeps sustaining these crazy early sales? I somewhat understand jumping on things like the Charizard alt art with the hopes that it becomes the next Moonbreon, but not so sure about the other cards.

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As other people have pointed out, it’s not just Brilliant Stars. This happens, like clockwork, with every Pokemon release. It was happening in 2014 when I got back into the hobby in the XY era, it happens with English and Japanese sets alike, and with very rare exceptions like recent alt arts, it’s continued to happen for years.

All the time, the prerelease/day 1 prices are astronomically high compared to where they settle a few weeks/months later. Look at VSTAR Universe, many of the more expensive special arts have dropped by half just in the couple weeks since release. Prerelease prices are even more volatile because there’s literally no supply. Often these prices are quoted just as what people have things listed for on eBay.

Oftentimes, people just want to be the first to own something, and are willing to pay for it. It’s not just in cards, it’s everywhere. Why are people paying double MSRP for a new Corvette Z06 right now? They’ll eventually make enough, it’s not a limited production car. But people want to be the first to own it. Why do people wait outside the Apple store overnight to buy the newest iPhone? Sure, people get caught up in FOMO and get shitty advice from C-tier Pokefinance youtubers looking for clicks, but this is a much larger phenomena that will not go away soon, as much as us more experienced collectors look down on it.



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I haven’t been in the hobby long, but I am a bit surprised it was happening in 2014. I thought it would’ve been a result of the post-2020 growth with the large influx of new people in the hobby. Like you said, I guess it’s just a general phenomenon that will always exist.

It has happened since back then but at “lower scale”. If something hit over $100 it was like a huge anomaly, there are a couple of exceptions but yeah.

Of course price of the boxes have increased from distributor and a lot of other factors nowadays but paying so much for freshly released products its always bonkers to me.


What a collapse! This is why I’m patient and picky with any of my more modern pickups, especially post-2020 products. I still love a lot of the cards and the idea of collecting more of them, but I know there could be and will be a ton of new supply hitting the market for a long time to come. No need to “FOMO” into it all for sure.