Back in the day, I had a full set of original Pokemon cards that I was really rather proud of. They were organised by number, and smartly arrange in an official Pokemon binder. It was my pride and joy.
I have no idea where that binder is now, but I desperately wish I did, given that someone just sold a mint-condition set of 103 first-edition Base Set Pokemon cards for an eye-watering $107,010, including a first-edition holographic Charizard. You just can’t tax that kind of inheritance, can you?
That wasn’t a rhetorical question, I’m genuinely asking. I have no idea if you can or not.
Before you spit out your tea and scramble up to the attic to dig out your old cards , I should point out that there’s a reason the set sold for so much, and that’s because ever single card in the set had been kept in “Gem Mint 10”, according to TMZ. Basically, this means they’re pretty much as fresh as the day they were printed.
Even if you do have a full set somewhere, how many of you can honestly say that every card in it has been kept in pristine condition since 1999? Not many, I’d wager. We’ve all got a few frayed Pikachus and sun-damaged Charmanders in our collections.
Apparently it’s incredibly rare for a card to receive a perfect Gem Mint rating, as even those fresh out of a booster pack could be slightly damaged or imperfect in some way. For an entire set to have been rated perfectly after 20 years is really something. $107,010 worth of something, to be precise.
Over $100,000 for a set of 103 mint cards is certainly nothing to scoff at, but this is far from the first time a Pokemon card has fetched a high price. Back in August last year, an unopened booster base set sold for $56,000.
More recently, an incredibly rare card sold on eBay for $60,000. Unfortunately, this limited edition No. 3 Trainer card, which boasts a holographic image of Mewtwo on the front, went missing in the mail and has still yet to find its way to its new owner.
The aforementioned card was the prize for placing third in a 1999 Secret Super Battle tournament held in Japan, and there are thought to be between just nine to 18 sets of it in existence. The buyer has since offered a $1,000 reward for the card’s return and safe passage home.
While some have argued that taking a $1,000 reward for a card worth $60,000 is a stupid thing to do, despite clearly being the right thing to do, it’s worth pointing out that the Trainer No.3 card’s rarity would make it impossible to sell for the right price without an expert realising exactly which card it was and where it came from.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.