Pokémon Go app sparks boost in vintage trading cards

DALLAS — Parents, is it time for revenge? If you had kids in the 90s, you’re still scarred from the shouting, begging, and hair pulling induced by Pokémon.
These mystical creatures sailed to the United States from Japan in 1997, and as trading cards hit the shelves a year later, Pokémon became a craze. Children worldwide were ruthless in efforts to enhance their card collections, bartering and pleading with friends and family for the chance to buy another card pack to quench their obsession. Prices soared, with common cards often trading for $10-50 or more online and in school playgrounds. But like an open bottle of soda, the Pokémon cards fizzled out of popularity in the mid-late 2000s.
A new Market Report by Heritage Auctions, the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer, shows the new Pokémon Go app is sparking a sales boost in vintage trading cards. Heritage drafted an exclusive Market Advisory that discovered:

  • eBay’s vintage cards have doubled since the app’s debut.
  •  Vintage cards are being traded for upwards of $100,000.
  • Pokémon cards span two generations (if kids collected cards in the 1990s they are likely worth a few hundred dollars!).

Nintendo, the consumer electronics company, owns a substantial stake in the Pokémon franchise. In response of the app’s popularity, Nintendo’s market cap doubled to over $40 billion, as reported by Reuters. Nintendo — and the entire world — are reawakening existing collectors, and creating many more.
Despite the decline in sell-through percentages and negligible rise in individual prices, cards continue to sell for thousands online, with the most expensive card, Pikachu Illustration Card, priced at $100,000 for one of the best surviving examples out of only 39 made. While most cards in this category go for far less, there could be outliers in your child’s old collection, such as a 1st edition Charizard. For more information, examples, and links, please go to www.ha.com/pokemon.

Pokémon Go app sparks boost in vintage trading cards