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The 25 Most Expensive Pokémon Cards of All Time

You might be surprised how much certain cards are worth

expensive pokemon cards hero
eBay

I used to see kids around me trade Pokémon cards like they were candy. They cared about winning the game and not the financial worth of a card. What they and I didn’t know was that years later those cards would be worth a lot of money. So much money that I’m sure some of those kids who are now adults wish they still had certain cards.

 

In the last few years, I have noticed more coverage on how much the cards are selling for all over the world. What I and I’m guessing other people have wondered is what makes certain cards more valuable than others and more popular to buy. Does an error add or decrease value? The 25 most expensive Pokémon cards have many factors that go into deciding what is most expensive. Factors such as eBay sales data, popularity of characters, card condition and the Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) grading system number determines what makes a card expensive.

 

The 25 cards below are the most expensive Pokémon cards of all time. Though the price listed does not include shipping costs or insured value. Remember as demand changes so does what a seller can make on the market. These numbers can change daily depending on what a buyer feels like paying. 

25. Metagross - EX Delta Species Singles - $119

MegatrossCard
eBay

Every year there are multiple expansion packs but the EX packs take pre-existing items and update them to match the current generation. The EX Delta Species consists of 114 cards. Of the 114 cards, Metagross is the one that can sell for more and is usually sold on the market for three figures.

24. Deoxys Ex - Promo Card - $149

DeoxysEX pokemoncard
eBay

To earn this card in 2005 players had to compete at the "Pokémon The Card Game" World Championships and defeat the champion, Tsuguyoshi Yamato. Winning that battle gave players the right to open a POP Series four-pack. After some time, the expansion saw a limited release. In the set, there were 17 cards and none of them rare. Though the Deoxys EX card is the one that has sold the best of the pack.

23. Treecko Gold - EX Team Rocket Returns - $171

TreeckoGold PokemonCard
eBay

The trading card game grew quicker than many people might have thought possible. This led to there being some cards that aren’t that valuable in the game but sell well on the market. The Treecko Gold is a card that is not very useful in the game but sells for more money than other cards.​​

22. Mudkip Gold - EX Team Rocket Returns - $189

Mudkip Gold PokemonCard
eBay

The rarest cards in the game are those that are made for special events or tournaments. These cards are so limited in supply that sellers are able to set high prices. The Mudkip Gold card is one that is so hard to find that the card's worth can greatly rise depending on market supply.

21. Rayquaza Gold - EX Deoxys Singles - $204

Rayquaza PokemonCard
eBay

The EX Deoxys has three Rayquazas but they do not all sell for the same price. What you might call the "standard card" sells for a few dollars, the Rayquaza-EX sells for around $40 and the Rayquaza easily sells for over $200. The condition of a card also plays into the market value. The standard model sells for a low price but the uniqueness of this edition of the card has it selling for a higher value. 

20. Umbreon Gold: Pop Series 5 - $450

Umbreon GoldStar PokemonCard
eBay

In 2007, the final promotional set associated with the competitive program was released. Pokémon organized play gathered players from all over the globe to compete with their best cards. The "Pop Series 5" was one of the last times the Japanese promo cards had English translations, which added to their value. The "Pop Series 5" Umbreon card is one of the best sellers of this set.

19. Championship Arena - $499

Championship Area PokemonCard
eBay

This card was one of Nintendo’s black star promos. It was exclusive to tournament events, and unless a player participated in the 2005 Pokémon World Championships or a few other specific competitions it was virtually impossible to acquire the card. When Wizards of the Coast’s run of bringing Pokémon cards to an international audience ended, Nintendo of America took over the distribution in the West.

18. Machoke – Expedition - $699

Machoke PokemonCard
eBay

This card was only for Game Boy Advance owners and due to the large design, booster packs were decreased from 11 to 9. In order to work with the 2002 e-reader, the Expedition cards were larger than their precursors. Though they had less immediately readable data. All of this added up to a big enough difference to add to the rarity of the card. Within two years the original design was back.

17. Hoppip – Expedition - $799

Hoppip Expedition
eBay

With this card, Nintendo had Media Factory publish 10 from the Expedition expansion as a sample set. The art for the Western versions of cards was often altered by Wizards of the Coast. Though this sample set kept the art. This set just had the Japanese originals translated, which added to the card value. The word sample is on the card’s bottom right-hand corner and adds to the rareness of the card.

16. Black Star Movie Promotional Cards - $800

BlackStarMovie PokemonCards
Mercari

An error helps add to the value of this card. Promotional cards from the first Pokémon movie aren’t valuable in the seller’s market but 120 cards were printed incorrectly. These 120 cards were printed with the logo upside down on the bottom left corner of each card. Of the 120 cards printed incorrectly are Dragonite, Mewtwo, and Pikachu. An upside-down logo and the small amount of availability of each card makes it valuable to certain buyers.

15. Gastly – Expedition - $999

Ghastly Expedition Pokemon Card
eBay

Apparently no one uses Gastly in a match, but a card’s competitive value does not always have a direct connection to a monetary value. The Gastly card is one of the sample set’s best sellers. The demand on the market helps increase card value for this Ghastly with little competitive value.

14. Holographic Shadowless Mewtwo - First Edition - $1,500

Holographic Shadowless Mewtwo
eBay

This Mew card is part of a base set, which is holographic and shadowless has been sought after for many years and is still high in market demand. The Mewtwo card can be hard to find for sale which makes it worth more to certain collectors.

13. Pikachu - Expedition- $5,999

Pikachu PokemonCard
eBay

Depending on how long you have been collecting cards and playing the game you know the value of Pikachu. While all Pikachu’s are not created equally in terms of worth, the Pikachu Expedition has a high value because of its minimal inventory on the market. 

12. Holographic Shadowless Venusaur – First Edition - $6,500

Venusaur PokemonCards
eBay

This is a card that is in high demand for a few reasons. First, it’s shadowless, which is a unique subset, compared to other cards. Add the holographic element and its high PSA number, and you have a high-value card. 

11. Black Triangle Error Booster Box - $8,700

BlackTriangleError PokemonCard
eBay

This booster box was actually printed as a mistake. Factories were supposed to stop printing first edition packs. Instead, what happened was that the first edition symbol with a black triangle was printed. These cards were only printed for a few hours. The black triangle booster pack is so valuable because you don’t know what kinds of cards are in the box. These cards have an especially high value, especially when they are in a sealed booster box.

10. Computer Error - Kamex Mega Battle - $9,999

ComputerError PokemonCard
eBay

This card was originally included with an issue of the CoroCoro comic and later was given to players who competed in the 1998 Kamex Mega Battle tournaments. During this time, the Pokémon trading card game had yet to see an international release. Because of the limited availability, not many had access to this card. The Computer Error card has seen a couple of reprints, but this version of the card has a higher market value because of the difficulty of finding it. As with many of the cards, the Japanese version is more valuable on the market than the Western version.

9. Articuno - Tropical Mega Battle - $9,999

Articuno Tropical Mega Battle PokemonCard
eBay

Fossil put out three Articuno cards, and each of them had their own artwork. The standard model is easier to find and worth less than others on the market. This card was awarded as a prize during the 1999 Tropical Mega Battle tournament. The difficulty of earning the card at the tournament has made the value increase even more.

8. Tropical Wind - $10,000

TropicalWind PokemonCard
eBay

Tropical Wind has had several cards but the 1999 participation card, given at the "Tropical Mega Battle" tournament, has become the most valuable version sold. From 1999 to 2009 Tropical Wind had six different cards. The market value of the 1999 card far exceeds the value of the cards that came later.

7. No. 3 Trainer Promo Card - $32,499

No3Trainer PokemonCard
eBay

This card was given to the third highest-ranked player at the annual World Championships. The difficulty of earning this card by a player makes the value so high. Because of that difficulty, the inventory is obviously low so sellers are capable of setting a very high asking price.

6. Tropical Mega Battle No. 2 Trainer Card - $60,000

TrainerNo2 PokemonCard
eBay

Tropical Mega Battle cards are hard to find because of how difficult the original cards were to obtain. The Tropical Mega Battle was seven tournaments in Japan split by player level. The winners earned an invitation to the finals in Hawaii. The top three players from each region were awarded trainer cards with an Exeggutor on the cover. If they chose to, the champions could present their card to benefit from preferential treatment at a Tropical Mega Battle event. Having to do so much to get the card adds to its value. If the PSA of the card is a 10 it can add more to the value of the card.

5. No. 1 Trainer Promo Card - $70,000

No1Trainer PokemonCard
eBay

In 1997, the Pokémon Card Game Official Tournament began and the No. 1 Trainer card was created. It was only given to winners at the world championship. There have been multiple reprints in competitions that followed. But the difficulty of winning this card in 1997 makes this edition of the card have an expensive purchase price.

4. Kangaskhan - Parent/Child Promo Card - $133,000

Kangaskhan ParentChild PokemonCard
eBay

This card was awarded as a prize at a 1998 tournament for parent and child teams. It was retired instantly after the competition. The card has a set symbol on it which identifies it as a rare card. In addition to having the card retired immediately after the competition, this makes the card attractive to many buyers.

3. No. 2 Trainer Promo Card - $200,000

No 2 Trainer Card  Pokemon
eBay

The No. 2 Promo card sold for more than the No. 1 Trainer card because of the rarity in the market at the time. While the No. 1 Trainer card might be more valuable in sentiment, the No. 2 Trainer card was able to sell for more because of buyer demand. It is important to remember that buyer demand doesn’t always equate card value.

2. The Pikachu Illustrator – Over $200,000

Pikachu Illustrator Rare PokemonCard
eBay

This card is so rare that fewer than 40 are rumored to exist in the world. It is so valuable it can be hard to find one for sale. With such limited cards in circulation, the seller can easily profit over $200,000. Some background on the card is that in the late 1990s CoroCoro Comic had three contests. These contests invited readers to design their own artwork. The artists who won received a pack of cards that were branded with their own drawing and with a Pikachu Illustrator card. So few of these cards are still in existence that a buyer must be careful of authenticity if one is seen for sale on the market.

1. Prerelease Raichu – Practically Priceless

PreReleaseRaichu PokemonCard
eBay

Prerelease Raichu refers to an estimated eight cards that all have a stamp that says “Prerelease” on the card. Created by Wizards of the Coast, the Raichu card looks exactly the same as the Base set standard version but the stamp on the artwork is the difference. The word prelease makes such a difference in value that many fakes have come out in the market. The Prerelease Raichu is so rare and limited in stock that the price estimate is practically priceless. If one is sold it has the capacity to sell for an amount that not many can afford.

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