A report from Vice opened my eyes to how big the market for Pokémon trading card collecting is getting – apparently to the point where card review companies have waiting lists of between six and ten months, with one company claiming to review over 500,000 cards a week. The card sorters that evaluate the terms of trading cards to determine how collectable (and therefore valuable) they are are so crowded that even people who want to evaluate their Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh, or sports cards have to wait for line ( or pay off the nose to skip it).
A card valuation company apparently needed employees so urgent they offered $ 1,000 startup bonuses – and then she came across $ 2,500. Another company had to buy two Warehouses that keep all the cards they got into. Apparently, even the most basic original Pokémon cards can fetch up to $ 40 in excellent condition, and graded cards can be worth 20 times their value in perfect condition.
Of course, we’ve also seen the boom affect the market in other ways – eBay adds a feature to its app specifically to scan cards and pre-populate lists with information (although that’s not the card’s state), which makes it a little faster to list them. The Vice Report also mentions that plastic card protectors are completely sold out.
Most of these effects appear to be associated with older Pokémon cards as they are rare – as the author of the Vice Article advises people want to see if they have any that have escaped the havoc after seeing them be a kid’s toy Collectors like Logan Paul Buying original cards or packs at incredibly high prices.
But it also appears that some of OG Pokémon’s glitz has influenced the market for new collectibles with unproven value: some Target stores have threatened to call the police to people out there looking for new Pokémon cards and the Pokémon card company has hurried to pumping as many new cards as possible.
Perhaps the pandemic has awakened people’s inner magpies and sparked an insatiable desire to collect without really considering the value of what we buy (just look at it NFTsthat feel like a collector’s item). Of course, there are those really rare Pokémon cards that are very valuable – but it can’t just be the rare cards that hit these card review companies with “an avalanche of cardboard,” as one CEO put it.
In all fairness, this news left me with a burning question on top of everything else: where this devil people get enough money to spend $ 660K on a Mario cartridge or $ 300K on a Pokémon card?