What the Heatran is going on with japanese alt art cards prices

Hello E4!

As the title says… What the Heatran is going on with japanese alt art cards prices? Why are prices of specific alt arts so expensive (Giratina V is a great example). Also now the Lugia alt art.
Not saying that these cards look bad, i personally love the artworks, but still why do these cards sell for hundreds and hundreds of dollars? I understand the concept of chasecards and stuff but outpricing really rare and hard to come by vintage cards within few month seems confusing to me.

Is this rapid price increase just a hype for these rare cards, due to Umbreon rising in value so much and people hope for the same thing to happen for these new alt arts?
Is demand so incredibly high and pullrates so incredibly low for these so people go crazy for them selling their cars & grandma? Will demand and prices even out? All these questions but i dont have the answer… Maybe someone in this forum knows.

Best Regards, Sven

because magi said so


because cardrush says so


Oh no, is my topic a meme?


I wish it is tbh, a lot of JP cardstores are marking chase special art cards new and old up to ridiculous heights

Ok now i am even more confused (Edit: not so confused anymore) :sob:

I am usually not one to cry “market manipulation” or accuse cards of being in bubbles. But a lot of what I am seeing and hearing on newly-released Japanese alt arts gives me pause. The market prices for these cards are set in Japan. So you have to look there to the big sources of information for understanding what’s going on.

Two of the largest sources for card pricing information for Japanese collectors/sellers are mercari sold listings and buylist prices for large Japanese card stores. For mercari sold listings, it’s easy to see what cards have sold for, however it’s very challenging to see if the transaction was actually made. On mercari there are no repercussions for sellers cancelling orders, and feedback cannot be left for cancelled orders. So sellers can list their alt art card for a price, if it sells, they just cancel it and relist higher. This creates an upward pressure on prices.

Japanese card store buylists are another main driver of pricing information and by extension card cost. I have heard anecdotal reports of card stores posting high buylist prices, and constantly increasing these buylist prices, to justify the high prices which they themselves are charging. However, if you actually bring a card to them to sell, they will find a million things wrong with it and offer you a much lower price because it’s not in “mint condition.”

Alt arts are absolutely amazing cards. They are very challenging to pull and are some of the best chase cards we’ve ever gotten. However to see newly released alt arts going for $600, $1000, hell Umbreon VMAX is even $2000 now, is shocking to me. There is a massive amount of demand for these cards, but parts of it very much seems shady to me. Even if I’m completely wrong about some forms of manipulation increasing prices, to see modern alt arts immediately challenging vintage cards is nuts. A raw Umbreon VMAX costs more than almost every set-card PSA 10 Japanese Umbreon.

I love these cards, but I am buying none of them.


It seems ironic now that my reasons on why I chose to collect Japanese was that it was cheaper to get into and had the biggest bang for your buck. Can’t believe that you might have to sell vintage to buy modern. Its hard to see a lot of people who love collecting alt-arts get so heavily priced out like this.

Just to keep it positive, I personally am happy that I am sticking to my collection goals, even more so now. I don’t think I will ever have FOMO regarding not collecting alt-arts. Also, doing the 5USD challenge really reinforced the fact that there are so many older cards, very reasonably priced and just flying under the radar waiting to be picked up. Usually I feel like I am chasing these higher value cards to tick them off and ignore the cheaper cards which go unnoticed. There is still a lot of value in Japanese on a frugal budget.



Man this exactly what it i was hoping someone would apply! Thanks for the Input man :grin:

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If you are feeling intense FOMO, something unusual is typically going on. :upside_down_face:

I agree with @fourthstartcg’s points. There is also a lot of “opportunity” for those who are first to snag a PSA 10.

Also the pull rates are insane. I opened a case (12 boxes) and didn’t get a single alt Art.


Pull rate is definitly a Factor i guess. But fourth hast made a good Point i think. Just sad to See These high prices… i was debating to buy the Gira alt Art for 270 usd a Week ago… now it’s Up to 400 plus Just insane


The waifu cards are just as crazy as the alt arts in Japan right now, surely not sustainable but it’s frustrating for people who want these cards!


There’s an interesting phenomenon with collectibles that doesn’t happen in other markets. The emotional attachment to these items exceeds the logical conclusion of real value. Someone who wants this image in their collection knows if they sell it at any price, they may not be able to obtain it again without paying much more. As people see this trend a self fulfilling prophecy of holding the card no matter the price movement up or down is common practice.


Very anecdotal but FOMO is strong in Japan right now after Covid too. Just the other day people were queuing up for 3 hours to get into the Yokosuka Naval Base Friendship Day, It’s just a small part of the naval base opened for the general public with some food stalls and live music but the queue to get in stretched across town lol I noped the F out. Just my amateur psychologist speaking but I think people have been super frustrated for three years and are and putting a lot of their frustration into consumerism and the like and that is making things hyper competitive.


I have been able to get Japanese cards cheaper (not just Waifu cards) via eBay than Yahoo Japan. Quite an interesting situation.

I think it’s a combination of the fact that a lot of people seem to be hoarding/speculating on modern English, and less on the Japanese side. So the supply factors are a bit out of whack when combined with the low pull rates for Alt Arts. At the same time, I think a lot of people are preferring Japanese cards more and more for a variety of reasons which is increasing the demand.

Personally, I like a lot of the Japanese reverse holo types and the silver borders compared to English in modern. In addition, the card stock quality as well as some of the Japanese exclusive cards really set a lot of the cards up for being collectible compared to English sets.

Recently, I’ve begun collecting more pre-2020 Japanese in particular. I think a lot of them are undervalued still, especially compared to the price of the sealed product & available supply. Some of the sets I’m collecting I can barely find any booster boxes for sale, and if they are for sale, people want a huge price.

Like fourth said, it is really baffling to see modern cards more expensive than some of the most expensive vintage set cards. I truly feel bad for collectors in japan and am even more thankful for being an english collector during these times.

Yeah Pull rates for alt arts in both Japanese and English is ridiculously hard.

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