LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Pokemon is all grown up, and so are its prices.
Two decades after the Japanese trading card game became the biggest thing in schoolyards around the world, Pokemon cards are fetching six figures at auction in a boom that appears to have been fueled by coronavirus pandemic lockdowns.
“When COVID-19 hit, a lot of Gen X and Millennials were looking for things to do and we found a lot of these guys and girls started playing Pokemon again because they grew up with it,” said Joe Maddalena, executive vice president at Texas-based Heritage Auctions.
Maddalena said boxes of the 1999 U.S. first edition base set had sold for around $400,000 at auction in recent months. A single card in mint condition for the popular fire-flying character Charizard sold for $300,000 in January, whereas in late 2019 asking prices for a Charizard card were around $16,000, he said.
Once stuffed into pockets or thrown into toy boxes, Pokemon cards have become so sought-after that long lines form outside stores when new batches are released.
“It’s crazy, because I know just a few years ago you could go anywhere and there were walls of Pokemon cards and it’s just …read more