The Stage of WOTC Cards - Early 2015

Hi Guys

So i’ve been out of the loop somewhat over the past few months. Checking ebay every so often, but nothing “regular”. I’ve not uploaded any opening or collection videos over on my youtube channel for ages either. I hadn’t lost interest in collecting, but for whatever reason, I wasn’t actively looking at buying/selling or keeping up to date with things.

Since returning to collecting in around 08/09 Ive seen prices for what I collect, which is mainly WOTC sets, promos and Japanese sets change. Up’s and downs, however things are currently the most expensive i’ve seen.

I live in the UK, so all booster boxes are a bit more expensive than what you can find on (even without the import fees).

I certainly don’t anticipate or foresee any price drops soon. Base set Charizards are going for roughly around £17+ and thats even “ok” condition cards from what im seeing.

A “cheap” booster box would be £235 now.

Just wondering if any of you have seen more of an uptake or interest in people collecting the older cards, hence the price hike, or if there are other reasons for it?

Look forward to hearing from you.!

A bunch of things:

The kids who grew up during the phenomena are all around my age now (23) which means more $ to buy cards for nostalgia. With older age comes more maturity which means people aren’t afraid to collect pokemon. When people my age were in high school, we had to hide that stuff until about 2007 when the Pearl/Diamond games came out. You see the more successful the games the more people start to talk about Pokemon and it becomes “socially acceptable.”

Add that plus

Now kids who are seniors/graduating high school grew up during the EX set days. Since they’re getting older as well now getting part-time jobs = more $. (see the trend) with the remakes of ORAS and now the card set coming out, nostalgia level for these kids are sky rocketing. This is why EX sets are selling hot and rising in price, and that should continue now with the new set coming out.

Youtube is also continuing to be a big reason for the increase in prices. With the technology of phone video recording it is so convenient to upload to youtube in HD now and everyone wants to capture a pack opening to show the world just in case they pull something nice. Pokemon trade groups are spreading to Facebook now as well, which only expands its name either further. Combine that with all the other social medias, and to reiterate the success of the remakes of R&S Pokemon’s name is out there.

Collecting seems to heat up around spring/summer time as well when school lets out.

One other thing to mention is that with a lot of younger people moving out whether it be to a college dorm, apt., house, etc. you start to find old items. Specifically people are finding their old cards wondering what they are worth. If you google search for Pokemon card prices an eBay guide may come up with someone mentioning how they have made thousands in a year by selling pokemon cards. Some young college kids reading this may make their eyes turn into $$. Then they get into the hobby for re-sale and start to learn about PSA and the best way to PSA grade is essentially from pack fresh cards. Then I think you get where the rest is going.

As a disclaimer, everything I typed is purely my opinion from insight on my experiences personally and around me on why I think Pokemon prices have increased dramatically since 2010 (or even before that)


One main thing that has caused the huge spike in prices…PSA.

Since grading added sooooo much to the value of a card…sellers of ungraded, nice condition cards started demanding more.

17 years ago only Steve Gordon(rip), Ed B. and I graded Pokemon cards. Slowly that number increased until 2010 then it went crazy. Now we’ll get up to 100,000 Pokemon cards a year for grading.


Very good point, Gary. I hadn’t really thought of it that way before.

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You’re not alone with your thoughts.

I feel we have discussed this same thing some time ago, but youtube openings are indeed big factor that has reduced wotc/ex-series box quantities. The sheer amount from last 5 years is rather large but lately it has been dropping for some reason. Ofc it is everyone’s own business what you do with your stuff, but every time you do it some other person starts jumping for joy because their box just came a bit more rare.

And yes, people who were juniors during launch of Pokemon tcg have now better income etc. which makes the return for this great hobby possible. Some do it for nostalgia rush, some for money, maybe both ?

Answer to original question, I can’t imagine prices will go down from this point forward. 1st ed. base set will be always king of the hill for many good reasons, Legendary Collection/Neo series have gained really steep price increase during 2 last years. Other boxes will follow soon.

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I know first hand just how much the Legendary boxes have jumped by. I bought 2 boxes a few years back £280. (140 each). Now im seeing them for stupid amounts.

I’ve luckily since acquired 2 full legendary collections, and 1 complete reverse holo collection.

I used to do youtube opening videos, but then when i bought boxes,started to keep them sealed, instead opting to buy single cards, partial complete sets or full sets etc. I will start doing my youtube video again over on

But geared more around collection show off videos, and maybe card facts in an entertaining way.

My collection “goals” are only focused around the older sets. Luckily I grabbed a 1st edition base set, complete, years back for a lot (lot) less than the one i saw sell for on a few days ago. Ungraded, £922

My next goals are going through the other sets to complete the first edition sets, then ultimately maybe try and collect unsealed booster boxes.

Yep you’re right! I think almost a year ago that discussion happened, and since then the prices still keep rising!

Here is another thing to think about:

Yes every time a sealed box is opened someone else is definitely jumping for joy. For every person buying a sealed box to open it, I would bet now there are two buying the box, keeping it sealed, and storing it in anticipation that the price will rise in a few years (which isn’t a dumb move, that is the trend after all). So what I think will happen is eventually the amount of people buying the boxes to keep them sealed and store will out buy the box breakers, meaning at some point you will see a decrease in boxes listed on eBay for sale. And then enter the “hoarders” (im loosely using that term). Once the people saving their boxes for future profit see less boxes listed you may see a bunch of them list at ridiculously high prices, if they all do it at the same time then there is no telling what could happen to the market. Then the fun begins haha

Again, this all opinion, but fun to discuss!

There is some great points above guys, it’s a very interesting discussion.

I’m 26 now, and was part of the very first wave of pokemon in the western world. So from the year 1999 days. Red Blue etc.

So that means collectors from this era are going to start having some real dough soon… there getting close to 30!!!. People’s lives are settling, and there going to be saving enough to afford quality collectibles.

And in Japan if these cards / games we’re released in 1996 ish, there would be hardcore collectors in their 30’s already. So with the general assumption that the older you are = the more money you’ve saved, and the higher expenditure people have; it’s just quite scary to think of where prices will go.

Also the fact this genre is not spaning over one generation, it spans over a gen y and gen z currently, and very well the alpha generation also. So eventually there will be a demand from three generations of births.

Furthermore, there was that comparison raised here recently about the different toy and game collectibles and there highest value items.

I.E Barbie, Vs Star Wars, Vs Hot Wheels Vs Skylanders Vs Pokémon etc

And pokemon was the most expensive, and still one of the youngest genres out of the entire list. Even stuff from the 60’s or 80’s isn’t fetching the prices pokemon is today.

Awesome discussion. Let’s not forget that the older people get, the more responsibilities and expenses they get also. There may be hardcore collectors who will pay above top dollar for what they want but at the same time these older people are adults who some of which will be weighing up whether to spend that $500 on an ultra rare piece of cardboard or put it towards a family holiday, or school fees, or their hot water service that packed up, or new tyres, or mortgage repayments etc.

Just a though that MAYBE prices wont continue spiralling upwards forever and ever. Either that or peoples collections will need to start decreasing in size.