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.
The 10 Most Valuable Charizards Based on PSA
10th) Charizard (Expedition - 6/165)
Within the era of the e-Cards series, this card has a side bar code that would serve to be read in one of the Game Boy Advanced accessories, the e-Reader, which unlocked extra content for the Pokémon games.
But in this era-focused expansion of the e-Cards series, it had a different rarity system than what we know today with foil rarities. On the lower left edge, we have an image with the symbol of a Poke Ball, which defined the change in the rarity of the cards at the time, and circled in white, you will notice this difference:
Note that in the image on the left, the Pokéball's image is blue while on the right it has shades of bright gold. The golden tone is what characterized the rarity of the card, usually as "foil" (this when it didn't have the numerical classifications with an alphabetic acronym of H before, as was common in the period of E-cards).
Its dollar value is US$ 21,000.00.
9th) Blaine's Charizard (Gym Challenge - 2/132)
Within the Gym expansions (whether Gym Challenge or Gym Heroes), it is marked by the Kanto region's Gym Leaders and some Rockets personalities with their signature Pokémon and some Pokémon in their arsenal with their name. And in this case, we have Blaine, although his signature Pokémon is usually Magmar, in the TCG he has more card versatility, and one of them is Charizard, which has been in very high demand lately.
Its current price tag is US$30,000.00.
8th) Charizard (Celebrations Metal Card - (4b/∞)
This card came as a promo, just like the metallic Pikachu, in a premium box only in the US during the Celebrations event, in the 25th anniversary of the Pokémon franchise, few had access to the card.
It is a card that, with a few years, will certainly change its position on the podium and will become even more expensive.
It has the current price tag of US$ 32,000.00.
7th) Shining Charizard (Neo Destiny - 107/105)
The first card in its “shiny” version, which appeared in the era of Neo expansions, as well as Celebi, Kabutops, Mewtwo, Noctowl, Raichu, Steelix and Tyranitar (not forgetting Mew in the Japanese version of the set).
It was rated as a raw card for 100 damage, but its energy cost was high, for 3 fire and 2 electrical energies, and it still had the recoil damage setback, which wasn't good in terms of assembling for a deck.
Its dollar value is US$36,000.00.
6th) Charizard ex (Fire Red/Leaf Green - 105/116)
The first card in its ex version in the Ruby/Sapphire block, in the late EX: Fire Red/Leaf Green expansion, thus starring with Venusaur and Blastoise to close the Kanto trio with this rarity. Said to be one of the most powerful and aggressive raw Pokémon of its era.
Its current value is US$40,000.00.
5th) Charizard “Crystal” (Skyridge - 105/116)
The first card in its crystal version in the e-Cards block, the expansion is also highlighted using mixed energies. In addition to Charizard, cards that shared the “crystal” type in this expansion were Celebi, Crobat, Golem, Ho-Oh and Kabutops. There were other expansions that would still adopt this “crystal” type in the future.
Its price tag is US$75,000.00.
4th) Charizard Star (Dragon Frontiers - 100/101)
The first card in its Star (or Gold Star) version in the Ruby/Sapphire: EX Dragon Frontiers block. Dragon Frontiers is similar to the Holon Phantoms, that is, the Delta Pokémon that change their typing because of radiation on the island of Holon, according to the game's lore.
Its price tag is US$90,000.00.
3rd) Charizard (Legendary Collection - 3/110)
In the Legendary Collection expansion, it is a reprint of the Base Set at its core and the cards have a different type of Reverse Foil effect, where the edges are crystallized silver and its layout, the body of the card, has a glitter-like effect of silver. And being a special expansion, the cards of this release are highly coveted and collectible in good condition preferably.
And, of course, the Charizard in this reprint is one of the most sought after card in the set.
Its price in dollars is US$ 100,000.00.
2nd) Charizard (Legendary Treasures - 3/110)
Within the Legendary Treasures expansion, it was a celebration of some playable cards within the entire Black/White block and with unreleased cards within the expansion.
And these within cards, Charizard from Boundaries Crossed was reprinted and had a significant increase in demand in two years, being an absurd change because in 2012, in my personal experience, I bought this card for like $5 without grading.
Its current price is $ 410,000.00.
Charizard Shadowless First Edition (Base Set - 4/102)
And we have the podium champion that it was not to be expected less that the Base Set version would be here, even more so in the “Shadowless” version, where the edge of the image's cropping frame doesn't have the shadow line (as we explain in Venusaur article ).
Its price tag is US$ 503,125.00.
Of the Kanto trio, it is the one with the most collectible cards, and with the overvaluation coming from the 2020 pandemic, cards were inflated that until 2019 could be accessible to the public, but today people can hardly buy the oldest Charizards.
And the Pokémon Company knows that Charizard sells, being the second most wanted Pokémon (losing to Pikachu), which leads them to invest heavily on them in upcoming releases.
What about you? Which other cards do you believe will be valued in the market in addition to those mentioned? What advantages do you believe with this potential market? Leave it in the comments below.