Tracking 1 Year of PSA Pop Growth for Base Set Charizard

**1st Edition Charizard PSA Population Growth since September 3rd 2019 (1 year)**PSA 10: 120 → 120 (0% pop growth)
PSA 9: 621 → 640 (3% pop growth)
PSA 8: 467 → 495 (6% pop growth)
PSA 7: 284 → 324 (14% pop growth)
PSA 6: 307 → 366 (19% pop growth)
PSA 5: 212 → 256 (21% pop growth)
PSA 1-4: 191 → 263 (38% pop growth)
Total: 2,202 → 2,464 (12% pop growth)

**Shadowless Charizard PSA Population Growth since September 3rd 2019 (1 year)**PSA 10: 51 → 53 (4% pop growth)
PSA 9: 511 → 561 (10% pop growth)
PSA 8: 516 → 602 (17% pop growth)
PSA 7: 351 → 460 (31% pop growth)
PSA 6: 324 → 462 (43% pop growth)
PSA 5: 225 → 301 (34% pop growth)
PSA 1-4: 276 → 423 (53% pop growth)
Total: 2,254 → 2,862 (27% pop growth)

**Unlimited Charizard PSA Population Growth since September 3rd 2019 (1 year)**PSA 10: 403 → 430 (7% pop growth)
PSA 9: 4,088 → 4,568 (12% pop growth)
PSA 8: 2,576 → 3,308 (28% pop growth)
PSA 7: 1,257 → 1,855 (48% pop growth)
PSA 6: 852 → 1,312 (54% pop growth)
PSA 5: 439 → 735 (67% pop growth)
PSA 1-4: 550 → 1,083 (97% pop growth)
*Total: 10,165 → 13,291 (31% pop growth)*All of this data comes from .

What do you guys make of these trends?

I think the data is mostly unsurprising. Growing pop among the lower grades reflects increasing awareness that Charizard doesn’t have to be Mint to be worth grading, while at the same time the higher grades remain stable because people have long since recognized the value of sending in Mint Charizards for grading (particularly 1st edition) along with the fact that the sealed product has increased exponentially in price, making it so that booster packs are rarely opened.

Nonetheless, I still think the data is interesting to look at, and although I made it for myself I thought I might as well share it just in case anyone else found it interesting. Cheers.


500 mint 9s of the most popular holo card in a set added to the pop report in a backlogged year two decades after release date would keep from from purchasing at some of these record prices.

Are there 500 people willing to buy a PSA 9 unlimited charizard at one thousand? Sure, that actually seems reasonable to me. And if another 2000 get added to the pop report over the next 3 years I still think that $1k would hold. But when people are speculating on $3-4k for this card, I have to think about who their potential buyer is? Someone who has been collecting for years and is willing to fork over 10x the price for a card they casually wanted? A new collector who just wants Charizard? An investor hoping to profit?

$1k is a pretty good entry point to have a mint condition copy of your favorite childhood card. But at the $3k range, there are a lot of other Charizards in PSA 10 that may look more appealing, or the Legendary Collection 9 may be worth saving the money on, if you’re re-entering the hobby and just want Charizard.


Interesting to see that high grade 1st edition raw copies are almost non-existent, whereas high grade unlimited raw copies are still out there.

How far back do you have data? Are these percentages decreasing each year?

@qwachansey , For the people who are just trying to capture their childhood nostalgia and theoretically had a $1k budget, I think more of those people would go for an Unlimited Charizard in a lower grade before they went for something like a Legendary Collection or Evolutions Charizard.

If anything I see the idea of alternative Zard for those who just want the artwork appealing more to people who didn’t grow up with Base Set but want the artwork regardless just because of its notoriety. But my gut tells me that this sort of collector wouldn’t be looking to spend big money on the card anyway.

I could be dead wrong, I don’t know. But that’s what my instincts tell me.


You heard the man, invest in 8s before they hit $1k (only half kidding…)

1 Like keeps track of all the population data going back to September 2017. It’s probably its most useful feature, much more so than its price tracking feature IMO (which can have incomplete and unreliable data).

It would have been great to have this data going all the way back to the beginning of time but we’re not so blessed.

But as an anecdote, I can tell you that when I got my PSA 10 1st ed Base Charizard back in 2009 the PSA 10 population was 30. In the 8 years after that there were another 84 that were added to the population, which isn’t surprising given how much PSA grading as a whole took off during this time (don’t have any other specific data for that 8-year period). Since September 2017 a total of 6 more have been added to the population, with the most recent one being added in March 2019.

My guess is that most of the slowdown is due to booster box prices being as high as they are. In early 2010 there were only 30 PSA 10 1st Edition Charizards yet by September 2017 - the point where Pokémon Price goes back to - there were 114 of them. Between then and now only 6 have achieved PSA 10 grades.

Likewise Beckett has increased in popularity as well. There are 49 9.5-grade copies and 2 10-grade copies - 39 of those 51 have been since February 2016.

With the recent price rises for common cards, I can only imagine by the end of next year we’ll have seen another handful of PSA 10 copies appear as opening boxes will be more affordable.

What are the odds we never see a psa 10 zard added to the pop report ever again? :eyes::eyes:



Base wotc (overall) psa 4-7 are getting graded more then before as people are starting to realize those are still great grades for such old cards. People within budget can now pursue PSA 4-7 sets, 1st or unlimited.

Haha just being facetious but really truly incredible that only 90 have been added since Bulb’s purchase in 2009 and less than 10 since Pokemon Go boom

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Worst case scenario Gary can crossgrade a BGS 10. LOL!


Especially the PSA 4 Clefairys are in high demand recently, dblast you are truly ahead of the curve!


Over-time, they will shine brighter.


I don’t have any official data, but I have my rough memory of tracking the data in the months following the Pokemon Go boom. I believe the PSA pop around the time of Pokemon Go’s release was about 95, so it jumped from around that number in mid-2016 to the 114 we see in September 2017. It was definitely a major event that led to the price of Charizard increasing from around $5k to $20k within a few months and then to $40k in about a year.

The real reason the population grew by 20 during that period of time is because people were actually opening the boxes back then to grade the individual cards. There was a period of time in which things were pretty illogical, because the price of the individual cards in the box were much greater than the price of the box itself. Some people took this as an opportunity to open boxes and grade the cards.

Eventually the market corrected to the point where it no longer made financial sense to open the boxes anymore and since then the pop growth for 10s has slowed to a halt.

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Are we at “illogical” again depending in what the next box sells for?

I also agree that people will buy a lower grade base or 1st edition and upgrade in the future as funds become available. Otherwise you would just buy a newer reprint and play pretend?

In terms of expected value for boxes vs cards, I (and the market for almost all sealed products) am of the opinion that the box should always be worth more than the expected value of cards inside, unless there is something that damages the integrity of the box. I think the recent issues with fake 1st ed base boxes scared a lot of people away from buying, but with authentication and major auction houses stepping in, that issue has been more or less remedied.

If it makes financial sense to crack a box for opening outside of something like a box break, that is an imbalance in the market that signifies that either the sealed box is undervalued, or the cards are overvalued.

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please add shadowless

Done. I just added this to the OP.

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Went in on base unlimited zard at $1100. Feels like a safe price