For the first time in well over a year, it appears that stability is returning to the Pokemon card market. The past year and a half has been marked by massive price increases, some sharp decreases, and seemingly unending market movement. However, indicators in the past month seem to show that things are starting to get back to normal. The June PWCC auction has just concluded, and with it, we can gain insight into the larger Pokemon market. Overall, there was limited change from last month in ending prices, as past trends appeared to even out.
WOTC-era cards like 1st edition Base Set remained steady after dropping significantly over the past few months. A PSA 8 1st edition Charizard ended at $13,300, virtually the same as last month’s $12,700 sale. Less popular PSA 9 1st edition Base Set holos like Ninetales, Zapdos, and Nidoking ended in the $700-1000 range. These prices are still significantly up from where they were in early 2020 but are far down from the peak of the market in November-December 2020. However, while 1st edition Base Set seemed to be on a perpetual rollercoaster for the past year, these prices seem to have settled in. Similar prices were seen for 1st edition Base Set PSA 9 holos in the last PWCC–some slightly higher, some slightly lower, but still broadly the same. In some cases, significant corrections appeared to be present, like PSA 10 Legendary Collection Reverse Holo Gengar. However, last month’s $12,800 sale was shilled, and it was relisted and auctioned for $5,800 this time around.
EX series cards have been much less volatile than WOTC-era but also showed relative stability. PSA 10 Charizard ex dropped to $3000, but other popular EX Fire Red Leaf Green cards sold for similar to last sold prices: PSA 10 Blastoise ex sold for $1975, while Gengar ex sold for $2300. Japanese ex cards also had a strong showing with Rulers of the Heavens Dragonite ex selling for $560, and PLAY Mew ex selling for $4150, virtually in line with last month’s sales of $3650 and $4000.
More modern cards also stayed stable: PSA 10 Pikachu VMAX Hyper Rare sold for $780 and $790, virtually the same as last month’s $740 sale. Hidden Fates and Shining Fates PSA 10 shiny Charizards were slightly down from last month’s sold prices but within a 10-15% range of normal variation in card prices. Semi-vintage cards seemed to even out as well, with many PSA 10 English XY-era EX Full Arts like Kyurem, Malamar, and Ampharos selling for between $100 and $200.
Even the biggest cards on the auction block appeared to sell for reasonably expected prices: PSA 10 Rayquaza Gold Star sold for $40,200 (after last month’s $40,400 sale went unpaid) and a BGS 9.5 Japanese Umbreon Gold Star sold for $70,000. The Umbreon was certainly an eye-popping price, but not unexpected given that raw copies in japan have sold for near $50,000.
All things considered, June’s PWCC auctions seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel for tired Pokemon collectors hoping for price stability before pursuing their next collection goals. Prices can always fluctuate quickly, but with more PSA-graded supply being introduced in the market and waves of new interest stabilizing, the Pokemon hobby appears to be back on track for a more “normal” price distribution.
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Ethan Pohl – Ludkins Media
Follow Ethan on Instagram and Twitter @fourthstartcg
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