Evolving Skies stood out from the crowd last year as the best main Pokemon TCG expansion of 2021. A mix of alternate art Eeveelution cards alongside the hugely popular legendary Rayquaza made for one of the best sets we’ve seen in years. In this article, we’re going to take a deeper look at the market performance of the chase card from Evolving Skies, Umbreon VMAX Alternate Art 215/203 which not only topped the list of our most expensive English booster card of 2021 but also our Reader’s Ludkins Media Card of the Year.
This market analysis should provide some insight into the market performance of one of the most popular cards from 2021 indicating the short term value of a real 2021 chase card.
Evolving Skies was released on August 27th 2021 bringing Japan’s highly popular Eevee Heroes and Blue Sky Stream/Skyscraping Perfect expansions to the English game. The set would prove to be a huge success thanks to the fun experience of chasing your personal chase card based on whether you fancied a Sylveon or a Rayquaza.
When the set was initially released, Rayquaza VMAX Alternate Art led the race out of the gate as the most expensive card and number 1 pull from the set. Yet over time, Umbreon’s popularity would reign supreme thanks to amazing artwork by Keiichiro Ito. At the time of writing, Umbreon VMAX 215/203 is pulling away from the pack on the raw card market.
Let’s begin by taking a look at the raw value of Umbreon VMAX Alternate Art. If you wanted to pick up a near-mint copy via eBay in the UK, a near-mint Umbreon VMAX 215/203 would set you back around £200-£250 at the time of writing this article, a steep increase from the £110 – £130 price range from February this year. Alternatively, TCGPlayer shows the current market price for a near-mint copy as $332 (roughly £260) a huge jump from February’s $195 (roughly £140). Some may find the sudden price increase surprising yet Umbreon VMAX Alt Art is the perfect storm between collectibility, playability, and art – It’s no surprise to see a whopping 67% increase in price since the beginning of February 2022 (according to TCGPlayer).
Throughout 2020 and 2021 grading companies have thrived to new levels of never-before-seen demand ultimately leading to the closure of lower-tiered services like PSA’s bulk submission closure in April which is yet to resume. These closures before the release of Umbreon VMAX Alternate Art means that the graded value could be viewed as much higher than it would regularly be if bulk services were readily available. As it stands there are 893 graded copies at PSA with 751 PSA 10s, which means 84% of copies submitted to PSA have gained the Gem Mint grade. It’s worth noting that anyone willing to submit a modern card at a higher graded value is more than likely expecting a high grade, often grading as soon as the card releases to gain the most value possible with a quick flip.
Recent eBay US sales show PSA 10 Umbreon VMAX Alternate Art’s price from anywhere between $750 and $850. In the UK, prices are surprisingly slightly lower PSA 10 copies valued at around £550 ($700). It’s fair to assume that once bulk services reopen there could be a huge hit to the value of modern chase cards released after April 2021 as a whole. Long term, however, a card of this beauty and popularity could be worthwhile.
In terms of other grading companies, BGS (Beckett Grading Services) has 101 in their registry with 26 BGS 10 and 10 copies of their elusive BGS 10 Black Label – the last recorded sale from December 2021 shows a BGS 10 Black Label Umbreon VMAX 215/203 selling for an incredible $3050!
If you’re a regular reader of Ludkins Media then you’ll know just how popular Umbreon VMAX Alternate Art was last year. The card topped every list we released and was voted by our Instagram followers as the best card of 2021. Now, whilst none of that stuff really matters it does show the popularity of a card that doesn’t have the easiest pull rate. As it stands, bulk services are closed which means fewer copies are appearing on the market than if this wasn’t the case. Once PSA/BGS etc open their bulk services then we are likely to see the price of graded copies trend downwards, that being said Umbreon VMAX Alternate Art is hugely popular and playable, which could make for a great collection piece for the future. I’m a huge fan of this card and I love the artwork so it’s a must-own for my collection – in terms of investment, only time will tell.
John-Anthony Disotto – Ludkins Media Editor-in-Chief
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