Oh, Pokemon cards. Sweet, sweet memories of my childhood collecting more than I knew what to do with or trading them for some good cash. Well, I’m here to burst your bubble on that one and inform you that the first edition holographic Charizard is not worth the stack of cardboard it’s printed on (most likely).
Well…at least it isn’t worth as much as you think it is.
I was around ten years old when the new Pokemon craze began flooding elementary school hallways nationwide. Kids were rushing home from school to play with their freshly opened packs of cards, flipping through their binders to compare which card they needed most for their decks and the newly found youth sport known as “trading.”
My generation has now grown up. E-commerce has become more prominent than ever, and the internet is the perfect platform to trade Pokemon cards. Here’s why Pokemon cards are an awful investment, but you should collect them anyway.
Pokemon has survived the decade and is still going strong is a testament to how popular it is.
This is especially true in the trading card game industry, where Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, and even Munchkin (yes, you read right) have come and gone like the wind. While Pokemon may not be as widely known in adult circles as these three, there is no denying kids love it just as much, if not more.
While we can’t deny its popularity, we also must apply common sense into thinking whether or not buying them would be a good investment. Just because something was printed doesn’t mean it has a value attached to it. If this were true, then Beanie Babies could be worth an arm and a leg.
Speaking of Beanie Babies, they were unbelievably popular once as well. In 1999 it was estimated that around 48 million Americans alone collected this stuffed plush toy at some point during its ten-year reign as a fad. The problem is, now those Beanie Babies aren’t worth anything except the fabric and beans they were filled with.
So why would Pokemon cards be another short-lived fad? Well, quite simply – because the same thing happened to every other card game before Pokemon ever existed.
The reality of trading card games can be shown through Yu-Gi-Oh, where thousands of kids spent all their money on packs for these mythological beasts named “Blue-Eyes White Dragons” only to find out there are close to twenty different Blue-Eyes White Dragons.
In the end, Pokemon cards are nothing short of a piece of paper with some ink on it. There is no value inherent to the cards themselves other than what we can derive from them. I mean, even if you do find a holographic Charizard in your pack, it’s going to be worth around five dollars at best.
So before you jump onto a hot new fad, make sure you know the facts and with all due respect.