Pokémon Cards Value: Rare, Limited Edition, Legendary, & More

20+ Valuable Pokémon Cards And Card Sets That Are Worth A Small Fortune

December 7, 2020 Updated April 2, 2021

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Janis Fasel/Unsplash

So, you just discovered your partner has a giant collection of Pokémon cards. Or, maybe, your mom found your own old stash of cards in a fit of Marie Kondo-inspired decluttering. Originally collecting the bulk of those cards didn’t require much effort, just most of your allowance. Continuing to collect, though, was practically a sport — and cost as much, too. For a very long time, those cardboard Charizards and “friends” were your (or your partner’s) most prized possessions. But then you got a car. Or a guitar. Or a significant other. Suddenly you had other things to spend money on each week. They ended up in a box under your childhood bed and then possibly shuffled to a basement, attic, or storage unit. Now? You have even more bills, you’re three kids deep, and nothing made of paper is safe in your house. You did your part to “catch ‘em all,” but what do you do with those colorful Pokémon cards now? Before you get rid of them (or hand them over to your little heathens), you’re going to want to go through your collection one more time with Pokémon cards value in mind. Based on the condition of the card, some can be worth up to $100,000. Being a nerdy child can truly pay off, so don’t ditch your Pokémon cards just yet.

Unlike your beanie babies, some of those cards might actually be worth a pretty penny! That’s the advantage some of us more, ahem, seasoned fans have over new collectors — we’ve been at this long enough to have racked up some rare and valuable older gems. These are some of the cards with the highest Pokémon card value. You know, in case you’re looking to cash in.

Pokémon Cards Released to the General Public

Pokemon Cards: Charizard
4 Kids Entertainment/Disney XD

Unsurprisingly, most of the cards you collected probably weren’t that valuable. Of the cards you might have in your possession, though, you can generally expect them to have value if they’re sparkly… or were mistakes. Here’s what we mean.

1. 1995 Charizard Holofoil: $15,000

What is it that makes this Japanese Topsun #6 so valuable? Well, it’s a special edition — and it looks nothing like traditional Pokémon cards, with its oversized Charizard set against a holographic background. Yours would need to be in mint condition to fetch the full value, of course.

2. First Edition Holographic Shadowless Charizard: Approx. $12,000

Think you might have this sucker? Keep in mind that you have a lot of boxes to check. Not just any holographic Charizard will do in order to fetch your best buck. You’ll need a first edition, shadowless print.

3. Pokémon Snap Cards: Up To $8,000

The Pokémon Snap cards were created based on real snaps players captured while playing Pokémon Snap, the game for Nintendo 64. Very few cards were ever printed, literally a handful, so finding them (and affording them) can be nearly impossible.

4. Holographic Shadowless Venusaur: $6,500

Listen, first-edition cards are always going to be a bit more valuable than their reproduced counterparts. But this Shadowless, holographic first-edition Venusaur is additionally sought after because it was considered hard to get even back in the ’90s.

5. Misprinted Fossil Krabby: $5,000

Who knew a mistake could make something more valuable? With this card, part of the fossil symbol on some of the original Krabby cards was inadvertently left off. Since that’s now considered a unique selling feature, this little guy is super-rare.

6. Shining Charizard: $3,500

Part of the Neo Destiny set, this Shining Charizard was the first version of its kind. And since it wasn’t as mass-produced as other Pokémon card sets, well, it’s harder to find. The price tag reflects that.

7. First Edition Holographic Shadowless Mewtwo: $1,500

This card was so wildly powerful that owning it made you basically unbeatable. As such, it’s still highly sought after. If you have one, expect to make a nice chunk of cash (as long as it’s still in good condition).

8. First Edition Shadowless Holographic Blastoise: $1,500

Sure, the Shadowless holographic Blastoise won’t yield as nice of a return as the other Kanto starters. But, y’all… this guy could still help you pocket $1500. That’s nothing to sneeze at!

9. First Edition Holographic Shadowless Chansey: $1,000

See a pattern yet? Most first edition shadowless holographic cards are worth somewhat more than you paid for them. The degree of how much seems to depend largely on the Pokémon’s popularity and the condition of your card.

10. Stamp Error Promotional Movie Cards: $800

Without their stamp-printing mistake, these cards aren’t really worth anything. They were little more than promotional items printed when the first Pokémon movie was released. But therein existed the issue — on some of the cards, the “Kids WB Presents Pokémon: The First Movie” stamp was printed upside down. Look for the error on Dragonite, Electabuzz, Mewtwo, and Pikachu cards.

Valuable Sets/Boxes of Pokémon Cards

Pokemon Cards: Pikachu
4 Kids Entertainment/Disney XD

Sometimes cards are more valuable if they’re part of a set. Individually, they may not be worth much, if anything, but combined you can often fetch a pretty penny. These are some of the highest valued sets.

1. A Full Set Of Crystal Cards: $9,875

Considering only nine Pokémon were ever given the Crystal status, it’s little wonder that it’s considered quite the feat if you can snag a set of these early 2000-era cards.

2. Black Triangle Error Booster Box: Up To $8,700

When a bunch of boxes of cards were printed with the “first edition” marker, even though they weren’t first edition, the printer looked for a quick fix that wouldn’t cost much money. The answer? A black triangle over the “first edition” claim. If you have one of those boxes and are willing to part with it, you could earn enough to just about buy a new car.

3. A Full Set Of First Edition Holofoils: $8,500

By now, you probably have a pretty good idea of what makes these so valuable, right? They’re first edition, and they’re holofoils. Bam, bam.

4. Original Southern Islands Complete Set: $300 Per Card

Here’s another valuable set that originally started as a marketing gimmick. When the second Pokémon movie hit Japanese theaters way back in ’99, this set of special edition cards was released to commemorate it. Since they were eventually reproduced, the originals have gained considerably in value.

5. 1997 Trophy Pikachu Trainer Card: Between $75,000 to $100,000+

Trainer cards are extremely rare. They were awarded to three winners at the Pokémon tournament in Japan in 1997. It is believed that only four copies of each card were given to each of the winners. The front of the cards has a picture of Pikachu holding a gold, silver, or bronze trophy. In Japanese, it says, “The Pokémon Card Game Official Tournament’s champion/runner-up winner/third place winner is recognized here, and the honor is praised. By presenting this card, you may gain preferential entry into the Pokémon Card Game Official Tournament.”

What is a Pokémon card value scanner?

Do you think you may have some valuable cards in your deck, but aren’t sure how to determine their value? There’s no need to take them to a gaming store or find an expert. All you have to do is download an app so you can price your cards from your phone or iPad. You can download the BigAR – Poké Card Scanner or TCGplayer App, which analyzes your cards and tells you their value.

At a glance, if you’re trying to find the cards worth scanning, the money makers usually have a star on the bottom right corner. You may also see a circle or diamond in that space. A circle means the card is common, while a diamond means that it is uncommon. A star means that the card is rare, but keep in mind that circle and diamond cards can also be valuable if they were printed in 1999 or 2000. 

Rare Pokémon Cards Given As Prizes or at Events

Pokemon Cards: Ash
4 Kids Entertainment/Disney XD

The most valuable cards aren’t in a typical card collector’s binder. The truly valuable cards were given to tournament winners or convention attendees. Unless you were competing in Japan or attending parent/offspring games with your parents, you probably don’t have any of these cards. Even if you attended or competed, there’s no guarantee that any of these have wound up in your collection, as they were often only handed out at random or to big winners.

1. Trophy Pikachu Trainer No. 1: Priceless

Since this has never been sold, it’s hard to tell just how valuable it could be. Given that it was presented to a tournament champ, though, the price is likely to be very high… that’s if they’d even be willing to part with it.

2. Numbers 1, 2, and 3 Trainer Cards: Priceless

Honestly, these bad boys are so rare that you basically never even see them come available. For that reason, it’s unclear how much they’d even go for — but suffice it to say, it’d be a lot.

3. Pikachu Illustrator: $90,000

Only 39 of these cards were ever handed out. Good luck getting one!

4. Tamamushi University Magikarp: $15,000

Listen, no one really cares about the Magikarp. Yet, this circa ’90s promotional tourney card is so rare (only 1000 were printed, and even fewer remain) that it has managed to become one of the most valuable cards out there.

5. Pre-Release Raichu: $10,000

Speaking of misprints and mistakes, the Pre-Release Raichu is a great example of this. The card was printed as an error and handed out to employees. Not exactly a retirement package, but it’s definitely going to help someone’s college fund.

6. Tropical Mega Battle: $10,000

For about a decade, a tournament was held in Hawaii. Only about 50 people competed, and 12 of those players were lucky enough to receive a Tropical Mega Battle card, featuring a Psyduck decked out for vacation.

7. Promotional Kangaskhan: $10,000

Produced in 1998 for a parent-child team tournament, the Promotional Kangashkan was produced in very limited numbers. And as we all know by now, rarity equals a higher value! Personally, we like this card because it’s so darn cute.

8. Master Key Prize Card: Approx. $8,800

Brace yourself for what we’re about to tell you. The Master Key card fetches a hefty sum because there are only 34 in existence. But what makes this card even more special is the fact that if you somehow manage to find another limited-edition one-off card to turn it into a set with, you could net up to — wait for it — a whopping $80,000.

Pokémon Cards Value Chart

Curious about whether your cards hold any value? Check out our value chart from TegPlayer to see how much your cards are worth!
Card Rarity Market Price
Abra Common $1
Alakazam Holo Rare $52
Arcanine Uncommon $3
Beedrill Rare $2
Bill Common $0
Blastoise Holo Rare $205
Bulbasaur Common $5
Caterpie Common $1
Chansey Holo Rare $30
Charizard Holo Rare $576
Charmander Common $5
Charmeleon Uncommon $3
Clefairy Holo Rare $25
Clefairy Doll Rare $3
Computer Search Rare $4
Defender Uncommon $1
Devolution Spray Rare $3

Rarest Pokémon

We all know what Charizards and Balthazars look like, but how many times have you seen a Feebas? Some of these Pokémon are so rare, this may be your first time hearing about them!

1. Feebas

Feebas is the rarest. In the Ruby and Sapphire games, it was only in six tiles!

Feedbas
Feedbas Image via Game Freak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Dragonair

This Pokémon is incredibly hard to catch and come in contact with.

Dragonair
Dragonair Image via The Pokemon Company

3. Female Salandit

The male Salandit is pretty common, but when it comes to the female Salandit, only 12.5 percent of the species is female.

female Salandit
Female Salandit Image via The Pokemon Company