Original 1990s Pokemon Cards Are Selling For Shocking Amounts Online

If you were a true 1990s kid then the original Pokemon cards should hold a very dear place in your heart.

Picking up a pack of these cards, carefully selecting your choice from the always-basically-empty box, ripping open the foil and sifting through your prizes is now just a memory for most. But, if you happen to be super super rich, then you can once again experience this pure childhood joy.

Since the base cards first released there’s been a million and one new versions featuring all the new Pokemon that extended past the original 150, but if you’ve still got your hands on your original collection, you might be in for a surprise…

On eBay, someone recently paid an eye-watering $40,000 for 11 unopened and heavy 1st edition shadowless base set booster packs. (Note, someone bought this. It’s not someone listing it and getting no interest. Someone actually bought this.)

Now, depending on your financial situation, this could have turned out to be a pretty worthy investment, if you’ve got the $40k to start with and you don’t mind taking a serious gamble.

Being “heavy” packs mean they’ve been specifically weighed and pretty much guaranteed to include a rare shiny card. If one of these turned out to be, say, a first edition Charizard then you could easily sell this for around $5,000, going off the most recent eBay sales.

Credit: Pokemon Trading Card Game


With 11 packs, your chances of pulling Charizard are pretty good, and even if you pull a lesser-sought-after Pokemon, there’s still a chance you’d make your money back. If you’re lucky.

First Edition and mint condition shiny shadowless cards including Blastoise have recently sold on eBay for over $1000, whereas the same condition Chansey and Poliwrath also recently sold for around $300/$400 dollars.

Unopened single packs of the original cards are currently selling for around $100 if you’re lucky.

As for your average job lot? You can find some decent bargains out there, but you’re almost definitely not going to get any particularly decent cards.

Now, don’t expect your old cards dug out from the attic to automatically pay off your student loan. The price you can successfully sell your cards for depends highly on the rating it’s given for quality by places like PSA.

PSA’s standards according to their website:

“GEM-MT 10: Gem Mint
A PSA Gem Mint 10 card is a virtually perfect card. Attributes include four perfectly sharp corners, sharp focus and full original gloss. A PSA Gem Mint 10 card must be free of staining of any kind, but an allowance may be made for a slight printing imperfection, if it doesn’t impair the overall appeal of the card. The image must be centered on the card within a tolerance not to exceed approximately 55/45 to 60/40 percent on the front, and 75/25 percent on the reverse.

“MINT 9: Mint
A PSA Mint 9 is a superb condition card that exhibits only one of the following minor flaws: a very slight wax stain on reverse, a minor printing imperfection or slightly off-white borders. Centering must be approximately 60/40 to 65/35 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the reverse.

Credit: Hugginsandscott


“NM-MT 8: Near Mint-Mint
A PSA NM-MT 8 is a super high-end card that appears Mint 9 at first glance, but upon closer inspection, the card can exhibit the following: a very slight wax stain on reverse, slightest fraying at one or two corners, a minor printing imperfection, and/or slightly off-white borders. Centering must be approximately 65/35 to 70/30 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the reverse.”

See? There’s a lot more to these cards nowadays. If you do happen to have some ’90s shiny cards and the time to check their value, you could be sitting on a cash cow. Or a cash Blastoise…


Featured Image Credit: Pokemon Trading Card Game