Today we will discuss investments in Pokémon cards that pay off in the long term for collecting and reselling, and the focus will be on the most expensive Kanto starters (Venusaur, Charizard and Blastoise, respectively) today.
Let's use the PSA as a reference and grading basis with the values in this list — that is, the card fulfilling all the company's test requirements with the maximum grade, which is 10.
For those who aren't familiar with what the Grading System is, here I explain the process of classifying and categorizing cards.
Today's theme will be Venusaur.
Top 10 Most Valuable Venusaurs
10th) Mega Venusaur EX Full Art (X/Y - 100/108)
Being one of the first starter Pokémon from the Kanto region to debut in the X/Y block along with Blastoise, it was in this block that Mega Evolutions debuted - that is, catching the stage 2 Pokémon (which would be considered a "baby" card) but categorized as a base to its normal form, and its Mega Evolution as a "stage 1", but losing a turn if it did.
Years later, in the Evolutions set, there would be the Venusaur Spiritual Link card, which would circumvent the turn loss effect.
Its current value is US$ 169.96.
9th) Radiant Venusaur (Pokémon GO - 004/078)
Like the other Kanto starters, Venusaur has had its due in the recent special set of Pokémon GO, and even though it is the least playable of the three, it adds value by being one of its first “shiny” cards.
Its current value is US$ 200.00.
8th) Erika's Venusaur (Gym Challenge - 004/132)
Within the Gym expansion overall (whether it's Gym Challenge or Gym Heroes), it is marked by the Kanto region's Gym Leaders and a few Rockets personalities with their signature Pokémon, as well as a few Pokémon in their arsenal bearing their name.
In Erika's case, despite her signature Pokémon being Gloom and Vileplume, in the TCG she has more card versatility, and one of them is Venusaur, which is a coveted card.
Its dollar value is US$ 289.99.
7th) Venusaur “Base Set” GBC Japanese Promo (Unnumbered Promotional cards)
This card came out as a gift and was made available unnumbered in copies of the Pokémon Card GB Official Guidebook, released January 28, 1999.
This card has the symbol "GB" in place of an expansion symbol, referring to the Game Boy's game title: "Green". The English version of the card (also rare to find) was included in copies of the Pokémon Trading Card Game: Official Nintendo Player's Guide, released on April 28, 2000.
The difference between the cards and the original Base Set (even though they have the same attack and ability) are the illustrations, which in this promotional version are made by Ken Sugimori (one of the main illustrators of the Creatures company) while in the Base Set it was the legendary Mitsuhiro Arita.
Its dollar value is US$ 398.00.
6th) Venusaur-EX Secret Full Art Japanese Promo (Expansion Pack 20th Anniversary - 088/087)
One of the cards that came in celebration of 20 years of Pokémon in block X/Y: Evolutions (along with Charizard, Blastoise and Pikachu as featured Pokémon), this Venusaur came in promotional form in the west in a special box with an action figure. But in Japan, it came in an exclusive booster pack as one of the secret cards. Below, I show what this booster was like:
Its value is US$498.69.
5th) Dark Venusaur e-Card Japanese Promo (Pokémon Web - 041/048)
In Japan, this card was first distributed as an unnumbered Foil Holo promo alongside Dark Ivysaur and was included in volume 10 of Pokémon Card Trainers magazine, released March 1, 2001. This edition uses the layout of the Neo Series expansion and features the aesthetic differences common to the "dark" type cards that were typical in the "Team Rocket" expansion.
It also features a "GB" symbol in place of the expansion symbol, referring to the Game Boy Color title game "Pokémon Card GB2: Here Comes Team GR!" (which never made it to the west, just had a fan translation in English, accessible by non-legalized means). It was later reprinted in the Japanese Pokémon Web expansion — and this print uses the layout of the e-Card series.
The Pokémon Web print was available outside of Japan as part of the Best of Game collection, being distributed at BattleZone events in May 2003. A version with a gold foil "Winner" seal in the lower-right corner of the artwork was awarded to those who had won a certain number of matches in the event. A Jumbo-Size version of the "Winner" card print was also distributed, and the "Winner" stamp is not Foil Holo on this Jumbo-Size version.
Its current value is US$ 549.99
4th) Venusaur e-Card Japanese Promo (P Promotional cards - 012/P)
This card was included in the American version in the Expedition Base Set expansion, but in the East, it was first released in the Japanese Pokémon-e Starter Deck. There, the card was reprinted as a Cosmos Holofoil P promo card and was one of three cards available as part of the Starter Triple Get
Its price tag is US$899.99.
3rd) Venusaur ex (Ruby/Sapphire: EX Fire Red/Leaf Green - 112/112)
Featuring the Kanto cards in the Ruby/Sapphire block within the EX: Fire Red/Leaf Green expansions (as the expansions' initials would be identified), it is named after the Game Boy Advanced game of the same name ("Fire Red / Leaf Green"), where the Kanto starters would have their “ex” versions, as well as Charizard and Blastoise.
Its current price tag is US$ 2,000.00.
2nd) Venusaur (Legendary Collection - 018/110)
The Legendary Collection is a reprint of the Base Set at its core and the cards have a different type of Reverse Foil effect, where the edges are crystallized silver, and the body of the card has a silver glitter-like effect.
Being a special expansion, the cards of this set are highly coveted and collectible in good condition from SP, NM and M preferably.
It is worth US$5,000.00.
1st) Venusaur Shadowless First Edition (Base Set - 018/110)
On first place, you couldn't miss the Base Set cards, because of their rarity than any card in this expansion, but even more so for two reasons:
1) For being the first edition printing.
2) The “Shadowless” factor.
What is a "Shadowless"?
Do you know the golden border that cuts the image of the card? For those who are observant and detail-oriented with these micro details, you can see that in this portrait, in this yellow mosaic, there is always a shadow projected between the image of the card, in a common impression.
The “Shadowless” is exactly as the name implies, the absence of this projected shadow, which many consider as a printing error, which makes the card even more rare.
Here's an image showing this subtle difference:
Its current price tag is US$ 25,250.95.
Of the Kanto trio, Venusaur has the fewest cards in terms of collecting, but it is worth noting that it has a high value, even more so with its recent return with the expansion of Celebrations and Pokémon GO (mainly Celebrations), which showcased it a bit (along with Blastoise), getting on the podium along with Charizard.
What other cards do you believe will be valued in the market in addition to those mentioned? Leave it in the comments below.