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Top 20 Best Pokemon Cards

Hey folks we're diving into the wild world of Pokemon cards, specifically the ones that can make your wallet cry. These aren't your everyday cards; we're talking about the creme de la creme, the holy grail of Pokemon TCG. Buckle up, and let's explore the top 20 best Pokemon cards!

The Essentials

  • Introduction to the World of Pokemon Cards: Dive into the captivating universe of Pokemon cards, exploring the excitement and value behind these collectibles.

  • Top 20 Best Pokemon Cards: Unveil the most coveted and valuable Pokemon cards, ranging from classic First Editions to exclusive trophy cards, and understand why they stand out in the TCG world.

  • Historical Significance and Rarity: Delve into the history and rarity of each card, understanding their origins, significance, and the reasons behind their high market value.

20. First Edition Blastoise

Picture this: the year is 1999, Pokemon cards just hit North America, and there's this OG card – the First Edition Blastoise. If you happened to snag this bad boy back then and kept it in mint condition, congrats, it's now worth over twenty grand. That black stem on the left? It's the first print run indicator, and collectors love it.

19. First Edition Chansey

Chansey might not be the Pikachu of the first-gen crew, but its original card from the base set is a hot commodity. Despite multiple reprints over the years, the OG Chansey cards still command prices well into the thousands. Who knew being Nurse Joy's assistant had such perks?

18. Torchic Gold Star

Fast forward to 2004 – enter Torchic Gold Star, a slick-colored variant introduced to boost card sales. This Hoenn starter, especially in its gold star form, is a rare pull. If you want one in mint condition, be ready to shell out around 25k. This fire type can burn a hole through your wallet if you're not careful.

17. Delta Charizard Gold Star

The Dragon Frontier set brought us the alternate-colored Delta Charizard. Its value skyrocketed past a grand, then 10, and 20, sticking around there for decades. If you're eyeing one, consider snagging it now because Charizard cards don't get cheaper with age.

16. Rayquaza Gold Star

From the ex Deoxys set, the Rayquaza Gold Star is a powerhouse. A PSA 10 graded version sold for a jaw-dropping 48,000 in 2023. If you miss Rayquaza, there's still the Latios Latias Gold Star, a mere 1,500 bucks. It's the creme de la creme of Gold Star cards.

15. Crystal Series

Enter the Aquapolis expansion and the Crystal Pokemon – a whole new level of rarity. Only nine Pokemon got the crystal treatment, turning already rare ones like Ho-Oh and Charizard into gold mines. Since the Crystal series retired, finding one nowadays costs thousands. If you want all nine, prepare to write a check with lots of zeros.

14. University Promo Magikarp

If a seemingly useless fish can turn into a hot collector's item, then anything is possible. The University Promo Magikarp was a tough catch – live in Japan, grab a specific mag, and ace a tricky Pokemon trivia quiz. Only 1,000 copies were made, and an auction saw one selling for a whopping 66,000.

13. Shining Series

Inspired by the shiny Pokemon from the games, the Shining series added a sparkle to the TCG. Finding a shiny card now takes cash, lots of it. Whether it's a Magikarp or a Mewtwo, these shiny cards demand astronomical prices due to their scarcity.

12. First Edition Lugia

Just as rare as the legendary Pokemon it depicts, the First Edition Lugia starred in The Beloved Pokemon the Movie 2000. Over 20 years later, this card's demand is still through the roof, with highly graded copies fetching over 50 grand. That Lugia, though!

11. Masters Scroll Promo Card

Want something without an actual Pokemon? Enter the Master Scroll, distributed only to members of a Japanese fan club in 2010. Participation in activities and mini-games earned you this specialty card. Its exclusivity has propelled its price into six figures.

10. Autographed First Edition No Rarity Symbol Venusaur

This Venusaur is not your regular Kanto starter. With no traditional rarity symbol and an autograph from Pokemon illustrator Mitsuhiro Arita, only five of these signed cards exist. The scarcity has driven prices to absurd heights. Get ready to empty your piggy bank if you want both the card and the autograph.

9. Master Key Prize Card

Tournament prize cards are a different breed, exclusively for the champions of international Pokemon events. The Master Key Prize card, distributed at the 2010 Pokemon World Championships, is a rarity with only around 30 in existence. If you're lucky enough to get one, it could be worth upwards of 20 large.

8. Number One Trainer

The Pokemon Trading Card Game champions of 1997 received the Number One Trainer Prize card – a secret super battle print featuring holographic Mewtwo. Little did they know it would be worth a whopping ninety thousand dollars. In 2020, one sold for nearly six figures in PSA 10 condition.

7. Umbreon Gold Star Promo

This promo Evolution wasn't found in random packs; you had to accumulate points through Japanese-only TCG events. The English versions are cheaper, but the original Japanese promos can sell for as much as seventy thousand dollars. Imagine the value before more Umbreons entered circulation.

6. First Edition Charizard

Back when the base set dropped, the First Edition Shadowless Charizard was the holy grail, with a ballpark price of 50,000. Rapper Logic set a new record with a winning bid of 226,000 in 2020. While the price dipped, it remains the crown jewel of Charizards.

5. Magic: The Gathering First Edition Blastoise

Before the official English release of Pokemon TCG, Wizards of the Coast made test cards. One such rarity is the Magic: The Gathering First Edition Blastoise, fetching 216,000 in 2021. If there's another one out there, it might have a three in front of the price.

4. Ishihara GX

Pokemon GX cards are a variant introduced in the Sun and Moon era, but the Ishihara GX is one of a kind. Given to select people at a private birthday celebration for Pokemon International CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara in 2018, this unique card recently sold for an unbelievable 247,000.

3. Kangaskhan Family Event Trophy

Now we're entering six-figure territory. The Kangaskhan Family Event Trophy card was a prize for participants in the 1998 parent-child mega battle tournament. Papa Kangaskhan and baby made for a unique card, and there are under 50 in existence worldwide. One sold for a cool 150,000 in October 2020.

2. Trophy Pikachu

The trophy card to end all trophy cards – presented to winners in the very first Pokemon TCG tournament in 1997. The trophy Pikachu exists in first, second, and third place forms, each remarkably valuable. In 2019, a third-place iteration sold for 100k. In 2020, the price soared, and it's currently listed on eBay for a whopping 1 million.

1. Pikachu Illustrator

History was made in 1997 when winners of the Koro Koro comic illustration contest received the Pikachu Illustrator card. Only 39 exist, and its value has climbed over the years. An auction in October 2019 saw it go for 195,000, and Logan Paul reportedly dropped a whopping 5 million on a gem mint 10 copy.

How can I protect my Pokemon cards from damage?

Now that you're stacked up with some of the most valuable Pokemon cards out there, protecting them from damage should be your foremost priority. Safekeeping these rarities not only helps keep their aesthetic appeal intact but also maintains their value. In this section, we’ve pooled together some hacks that can make your card-care game strong. 

  • Card Sleeves: Yes, they are as basic as they sound. Card sleeves are an ideal method to safeguard your cards from everyday threats like dust, scratches or spills. Typically made of plastic or similar materials, they create a thin yet efficient protective layer around your cards.
  • Toploaders: These are another fantastic way to ensure the longevity of your collection. Toploaders are rigid plastic cases, often used in conjunction with card sleeves for an added layer of protection. They're excellent for preventing bends or folds on your beloved cards.
  • Collector's Album: Albums are a classic method of storing card collections. They provide adequate protection and make the collection easy to view. However, remember to ensure that the album pages are of high quality and free from harmful acids that can ruin the card material over time.
  • Storage Boxes: A dedicated storage box can offer a sturdy home for your deck. You can fit larger quantities of cards, and it protects against extensive physical damage. Also, if your collection is growing, it's an ideal option to keep things clutter-free and organised.

About the author

Thomas Branderhorst

Just a guy passionate about web design. This hobby also includes 3D modeling, logo making and creating impressive business cards. What begun as a simple pastime, has now transformed into my main gig. 

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