Pokemon collector cards are shown in Pelham, N.Y. Wednesday, April 14, 1999.(STEPHEN CHERNIN / AP)
Everyone is talking about Pokemon again many thanks to the enormous mainstream success that Pokemon Go on smart phones. The collection never actually went far — video clip games starring bag monsters come the end every year, as perform animated movies and cartoon episodes — yet there"s nothing choose a an international phenomenon to make human being stand up and say, "Can ns make money off of this?"

A hopefully hot commodity in this case? Pokemon cards.

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The Pokemon trading Card video game debuted an ext or less alongside the video clip game series it"s based upon (1996 in Japan, 1998 in phibìc America), and it was a hit best off the bat, spawning tournaments and also clubs anywhere the world. Its popularity has kept approximately this day. In fact, the 2016 Pokemon human being Championships, i beg your pardon incorporates card game tournaments in addition to its video game tournaments, simply wrapped increase in mountain Francisco earlier this month.


Contestants complete during the 2016 Pokemon human being Championships on respectable 19, 2016 in mountain Francisco, California. End 1,600 contestants from an ext than 30 countries are contended in tournaments.(Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

If you"ve been on society media lately, friend may have actually seen web links being passed around to an AOL.com story native July titled "Here"s exactly how much her old Pokemon cards are worth now," which includes a video clip that flashes high, enticing prices across the display screen for you to salivate over.

But before you go digging v your garage looking for your old cards (like ns did), girlfriend should understand that the AOL story is exceptionally misleading in ~ best, and horribly inaccurate in ~ worst.

This is straightforward to examine first-hand. AOL"s story claims that a first edition holographic Machamp card — which came in at an early stage Pokemon trade Card video game starter sets and is therefore a card that many civilization might still have — is precious $2,500.


Larry Lopez, 11, man Armijo, 4, and also Jaime Lopez, 10, look at at rare Pokemon cards v a glass case at Cosmic Comics in cool Prairie in 2000.(2000 document photo)

I have two that them, among which is tho sealed in its initial plastic packaging. Time for me come pay off my car, right?

Not therefore fast. One fast trip to eBay and also you"ll find plenty of Machamp cards being auctioned off. The highest-priced one I could find to be sealed, like mine, and had a "Buy the Now" price that $24.99. Yet it"s crucial to keep in mind that this is simply the price the seller wants. A an in similar way mint condition card (also sealed) freshly sold because that a just $7.10.

I"m not an excellent at math, however I think $7.10 is a lot much less than $2,500.

A viral AOL story cases this Machamp #Pokemon card (which i have) is worth $2,500.Real price top top eBay: favor $8 pic.twitter.com/2cdY52aenj

— Britton Peele (

The difficulty with AOL"s story is the they only looked for exceptionally high questioning prices on cards. They reportedly didn"t bother to view what cards were actually being purchased, or for what price.

PokemonPrices.com, which remains up-to-date with what Pokemon cards are worth, does perform the Machamp base set card as having a "highest" price of just much more than $5,000, but the lowest marked price is $3.29, and also there is no shortage of locations where friend can easily grab the map for less than $10.

So go that typical that every one of your old cards room absolutely worthless? Well, not necessarily.

Dallas-based auction residence Heritage Auctions actually ran some numbers top top Pokemon cards in late July, once Pokemon Go was very first taking off. They found that the popular of Pokemon Go caused eBay"s daily number of Pokemon map sales to nearly double. And there are, in fact, still some cards that can be precious hundreds if no thousands. Heritage Auctions has a page on their website committed entirely come Pokemon Cards.

The famed Pikachu Illustrator Card, for example, is still very coveted. A only 39 duplicates of this Japanese-only card exist, and they were offered to contestants in an arts contest. One of those offered for $90,000 in 2014, follow to heritage Auctions.

Other high-value cards include "error cards" (misprints and also cards with mistakes), certain an initial edition cards (like Charizard) and also "shadowless" cards. It"s unlikely, but you can still be able to make a couple of hundred bucks off of a single card, or thousands indigenous a arsenal of hard-to-find cards.


Me in ~ a Dallas-area Pokemon mall occasion at some suggest in the old past. If friend can't tell, ns was method into Pokemon.

But the fact is the the vast bulk of Pokemon cards space worth a few bucks each at most. And also when you factor in eBay"s cut and also the expense it would require to individually list, sell and also ship each of those cards, the value in selling them probably doesn"t make it precious it.

So what can you do? Well, why no play with them again? 

As stated before, the Pokemon trading Card game is still going strong, and as long as you"re no planning on start a expert tournament any kind of time soon, you deserve to play with your old deck similar to it"s 1998 again. If you have kids that space nearing a prime Pokemon age, it might be a great way to present them to something girlfriend were right into when you to be younger.

The Pokemon company even has a digital variation of the Pokemon Card game that deserve to be played online for free on Windows, Mac, iPad and also Android. And also if friend buy any new Pokemon cards? They"ll give you password to gain digital cards together well.

So your invest in Pokemon cards may have actually been as financially useful as Beanie Babies were, yet don"t throw them away, either, because not all value comes in the form of disagreement bills.

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Britton Peele, employee Writer. Britton Peele is the News Product Manager at The Dallas Morning News and also is an occasional critic and also columnist that all things geeky.