I know there are some threads relating to the market of Pokemon Cards themselves with the prices shooting up to all time highs.
A lot of the responses seem to be:
-Consumer spending increase
-Online sales increase due to lockdowns
-People are bored and getting back into their hobby
-PSA being a bottleneck
My question then is this, a lot of the responses to explain this trend should equally apply to other collectables like Magic yet from my understanding those values are actually worse off since the lockdown?
What are peoples thoughts, not on the market itself but how it is performing against others? Do you think too much of an increase in card values is a good or bad thing? Do you think the values were abnormally low previously?
We have been lucky because of new pokemon collectors. I’m just wondering, could it be the opposite with Magic? The difference may be in just 10 rich people. Magic has had a big decline recently and pokemon not. Are those 3-4 months enough to write a theory? Isn’t it just a lucky moment?
It seems pretty simple: when people can no longer play paper Magic (as is more-or-less the case right now and for the foreseeable future), people don’t buy cards for decks. This has affected casual, non-rotating formats, and more static formats much less than it has formats like Standard/Pioneer (Pioneer is obviously not rotating, but the meta is in constant flux).
On the other hand, the desire for Pokemon cards is mostly for personal, collecting purposes. Something that people have a lot more time to be involved in right now.
The whole crisis has put into motion a set of circumstances that are very favorable for Pokemon and much less so for Magic.
I’m long on pokemon, and magic is indeed very linear by comparison. but I wouldn’t necessarily bet against magic. i would tell someone looking at it to look in the same places I am placing my bets in pokemon. Older, rarer, higher grade cards. Magic alpha will always be something special. There’s a floor for those cards and they can only fall so hard even if everything else crashed. They were almost mythical when magic came out in my area (grew up in indiana). We got a tiny distribution of beta as the first cards and it sold out really quickly. No one I knew had any alpha cards. There were only 1100 copies ever made of each rare. There was no ebay or anything like that. I found some at a comic book shop, probably in 1995, and still remember the “wow” moment. They even looked different from the other cards. Wouldn’t expect any deals on alpha anytime soon. They are scarce to begin with and there are a lot of highly sentimental collectors for those cards. If I went back to collecting magic, that’s the only place I would go. And when I first re-started collecting magic as an adult it was the first place I went.
I think anything ABU is relatively safe. Correct me if I’m wrong, but from my understanding Beta and Unlimited also very quickly sold out and that most early players were introduced to Magic through Revised. Regardless, Beta and Unlimited are basically the budget alternatives to Alpha. In a way I almost think Beta is in a more awkward spot than Unlimited since someone who has the money to collect a Beta set probably will stretch for Alpha. Whereas Unlimited is now really the only collecting option for the average person who doesn’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars at their disposal. Arabian Nights/Antiquities/Legends are also affordable and highly collectible, but at that price point I think Unlimited is a better bet since the cards are far more iconic and important to the history of the game.
And I agree with Magic being special. It has such a unique feel and aesthetic that’s never been captured by any other game. It was the TCG to spawn all other TCGs. And the game is actually good, unlike most other TCGs (including Pokemon, which while I absolutely love, has nothing on Magic gameplay-wise). I’m generally more confident in the future of Pokemon as a collectible, but Magic is still highly collectible – we’re never going to see $100 Beta Underground Seas again, as much as people desire for that to happen.
I never even remembered magic as a kid or anyone who played it; but pokemon will eclipse magic cards value wise. Magic was always in its own world. I’m 30 id say a lot of the price drives is because most people start to hit that "peak’’ career wise around this age and will start having buying power/having kids. In the next 10 years the prices are going to get disgusting. And more so when my gen hits “mid life crisis.” And i genuinely believe the wizard sets are just starting their run
I’m not an expert i just pop by these forums once every few years, however if card values are anything like stocks, this might be that “price frenzy” before the crash/dip. Just my opinion. After all we are going into a recession, so just be patient
In the short-term it is anyone’s guess. Probably all of the factors listed above play into the market to varying degrees.
Long-term, what I see is simply boomerang collectors who collected pokemon TCG as kids coming back into the hobby. I wouldn’t be surprised if we do a demographic survey and find most people on this forum are 25-35 years old, male.
Magic vs pokemon TCG. I see pokemon TCG as stronger simply because the cartoon, movies, video games create a pipeline for children to get introduced to the hobby. A certain amount of these children will boomerang back into the hobby as adults, I’m sure.
Magic, I don’t see the same thing happening but prices could still run up higher as collector’s incomes improve from career progression. Very long-term though I see it becoming something like stamp collecting. Supply of stamp collections going up for sale increase while the inflow of money declines…overall lower prices.
If you “invest” in collectibles, be sure to study the other collectible markets very closely and understand why those items became valuable and why they declined in value. Stamps and pokemon cards have more similarities than many think.
IMO, a lot of us just read these forums and take the majority of what is written as fact. I love reading these forums throughout the day, don’t get me wrong, but I doubt many of us asking about MTG prices are scanning eBay for any prices as we do with Pokemon. I am guessing if you start looking up MTG on eBay from Jan-Apr that the prices are up too.
Once again, just my opinion, but I also think Pokemon (as everyone states) is much larger in popularity. I imagine many people are at home with their kids who have cards, watching the show, renting movies, or something popped up to ignite their interest. Once you google a card you had as a kid, see it on eBay, and realize you could have been rich… the quick-buck thought blasts through your brain. I am someone who did this with POGO, so I am describing myself, haha!
Even my mother knows what pikachu is and looks like. She has never even heard of MTG. As mentioned before MTG is heavily reliant on the TCG while pokemon has world wide brand recognition. If no one played the pokemon tcg and just collected I think pokemon would be fine, I don’t think the same for MTG.
A nice comparison for trading card games like Pokemon, MTG, YGO, DBS is they are like sports cards as a category. Some people collect baseball cards, some basketball cards, some hockey and some soccer. While some sports cards sets stand out than the rest (T206, 1952 Topps, 1986 Fleers), other sets are never even heard of by collectors today but are still collected by fans.
Same thing will happen eventually where some sets will stand out in the trading card game world like Base 1st ed, Alpha, LOB 1st ed and some sets never even heard of.
Instead of comparing Pokemon to MTG, why not compare Pokemon/MTG to Sports cards since I believe it is a generational thing and MTG is here to stay especially the iconic sets.
Re: star wars I still scratch my head. Because Disney paid something like $4bn for star wars and is spending go s of money building our dedicated theme parks. But star wars fans are older having been around since 1977. So more generations have been exposed to it. I think pokemon will be much bigger but people like you (no offense!!) and me (42 - not so young but not quite as “distinguished” yet as you) are not the fat part of the curve of pokemon fans. Yet. Feels to me like 25-35 and younger are where things are really juicy for pokemon. As those people and younger age I think the sky’s the limit.
Maybe off-topic. But I read there used to be a pokemon theme park. I hope this concept is revived someday. Also I hope they keep making movies. I liked detective pikachu, and my kids LOVED it. Right now pokemon’s catalog are mainly animated non-hollywood releases. My son watches them all religiously on his ipad.