How Much Money Is Pokemon Worth

How Much Money Is Pokemon Worth: Catching Profits (2023)

Pokemon was a massive hit in the 90s and early 2000s. People all over the world became fascinated with these “pocket monsters,” who were not only cute but also extremely powerful.

The Pokemon craze took the world by storm and secured the title of the highest-grossing media of all time, with an estimated value of $92 billion (even more than Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Marvel).

This article will dive deeper into how much money Pokemon is worth so you have a clearer picture. Let’s begin.

Pokemon Cards: Overview & Statistics

  • Pokemon has established itself as the leading media franchise worldwide, with a mind-boggling estimated worth of $92 billion.
  • The Pikachu Illustrator card from 1998 is the scarcest Pokémon card in existence, with a mere 39 copies issued solely to the contenders in a Pokemon card design competition.
  • The record for the highest price paid for a Pokémon card is an incredible $5.275 million, although the majority of premium cards fall within the $1,000 to $100,000 bracket.
  • Getting a Pokemon card professionally graded can exponentially increase its value, sometimes even by a factor of ten, particularly if it scores a flawless 10.
  • Per Market Decipher's analysis, the collectibles market sized up to $360B in 2020, jumped to $402B in 2021, and is expected to break the $1T milestone by 2032.

Pokemon Cards: Worth, Facts, & Statistics

1. Pokemon has secured its place as the highest-grossing media franchise in history, amassing an astonishing estimated value of $92 billion.

Pokemon as the highest-grossing media franchise

While Harry Potter, Star Wars, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe might be having a field day nowadays, the title for being the highest-grossing media franchise still belongs to Pokemon. It has an estimated value of $92 billion. [1]

Check out our favorite Pokemon gifts here

2. According to Market Decipher, the market size of collectibles was $360B in 2020, surged to $402B in 2021, and is projected to surpass $1T by 2032.

According to Market Decipher, a market research and consultancy firm, Pokemon collectibles are expected to surpass $1 trillion by 2032.

The biggest chunk of market value and growth goes primarily to trading cards, which can go up to $1 million depending on their rarity.

3.To date, TCG has sold over 30 billion cards worldwide and has been constantly expanding with new cards since its release. 


Pokemon TCG, which stands for Pokemon Trading Card Game, has sold over 30 billion cards worldwide since its launch in 1996 and is constantly updating its database on new card releases.

Players got to live their dream of becoming Pokemon trainers and battling one another even before the game had adopted a multiplayer feature.

Besides the game itself, collecting Pokemon cards in-game is also considered an exciting feature. The cards’ value varies depending on their rarity, with some being extremely expensive.

Pokemon TCG is one of the most successful spinoff products of the entire franchise.

4. Logan Paul acquired the 1998 Pikachu Illustrator card, the rarest Pokémon card, with a PSA grade 10, for a staggering $5 million.

Ask any Pokemon fan, and they’ll probably go gaga over one mention of the Pikachu Illustrator card. Legend says that only 41 copies of the Pikachu Illustrator card exist, and 23 of them have been graded at PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator).

Logan Paul, a professional WWE wrestler, broke the news in June 2021 when he purchased a PSA 10-graded Pikachu Illustrator card for a jaw-dropping $5 million. [2]

Top 10 Rarest Pokemon Cards in 2023

Pokemon Card Release Date Price
  Pikachu Illustrator   1998   $5.28 million
  Topsun Charizard   1997   $493,230
  Shadowless Charizard   1999   $420,000
  Presentation Blastoise   1996   $360,000
  Trophy Pikachu No. 3 Trainer   1997   $300,000
  Ishihara GX Promo    2017   $247,230
  Kangaskhan Family Event Trophy   1998   $175,000
  Holographic Lugia Neo Genesis first edition   2000   $144,300
  No.1 Trainer   1999   $90,000
  Gyarados Pokémon Snap best photo contest   1999    $87,500

5. It is advisable to evaluate the value of your cards from the 1999-2003 period, especially first editions, as this era gave rise to a significant number of the rarest and most sought-after cards.

The value of Pokemon cards has gone up mainly due to the nostalgia for vintage trading cards. It is also widely known that from 1999 to 2003, there was a limited print run on cards, and there is a high demand for these cards in mint condition nowadays.

Famous stars have also fueled the Pokemon cards frenzy. Justin Bieber has an insane Pokemon card collection and was said to drop $400,000 for a rare Charizard card in 2019. [3]

6. The value and desirability of water cards are significantly diminished if they are defaced, damaged, or stained.

value and desirability

However, this isn’t to say everyone will pay top dollar on all Pokemon cards. The prices mentioned above were for rare Pokemon cards in mint condition, as their value will significantly diminish if damaged.

If you are the proud owner of Pokemon cards still in mint condition, we suggest using Penny Sleeves or Toploaders to keep their quality intact.

We also suggest checking or TCGPlayer to find out the current market value of your cards.

7. The 1998 Pikachu Illustrator card holds the title of the rarest Pokémon card, with a limited production of only 39 cards distributed exclusively to participants in a design-your-own Pokemon card contest.

The Pokemon Illustrator cards were initially given away as a prize in a promo contest for a Japanese magazine (CoroCoro Comic). These say “Illustrator” at the top (instead of Trainer), with the artwork drawn by none other than the graphic artist who originally designed Pikachu, Atsuko Nishida.

Nowadays, these cards have become the most sought-after “unicorns” in the market. We've got out recommended Pikachu gift ideas here

8. eBay is the world’s largest trading card market.


eBay is the world’s largest trading market, Pokemon cards included. It has a vast pool of buyers and is a trustworthy site worldwide. However, it does take a ten percent commission from each sale, so that’s that.

Other platforms users use to buy and sell rare Pokemon cards include Facebook Marketplace, TCGPlayer, and Cardmarket.

9. Grading a Pokemon card can double, triple, or even 10X its value, especially if it is a perfect 10.

If you believe you have a card worth something, consider getting it graded. This card authenticator will grade your card (based on its condition) and seal it inside a tamper-proof case.

In any case, getting your Pokemon card authenticated and graded successfully will increase its market value.

Top 10 Expensive Cards To Look For 

Pokemon Card  Date Released  Grade  Price  Rank
 2002 First-Edition Mysterious Mountains Crystal Charizard  2002  PSA 10  $40,800 10
 2004 Pokemon EX Team Rocket Returns Holo Torchic Gold Star  2004  PSA 10  $43,200 9
 2005 Pokemon EX Deoxys Gold Star Holo Rayquaza  2005   PSA 10  $45,100 8
 1996 Pokémon Japanese Base Set Holo Venusaur  1996  PSA 10  $55,000 7
 1999 Tropical Mega Battle No. 2 Trainer  1999  PSA 10  $60,000 6
 2003 Victory Orb Mew Trophy  2003  PSA 10  $60,000 5
 2000 Pokemon Topps Chrome Series 1 Tekno Charizard  2000  PSA 10  $60,000 4
 2006 EX Dragon Frontiers gold star Charizard  2006  PSA 10  $60,066 3
 1999 Japanese 64 Mario Stadium Best Photo Contest Chansey  1999  PSA 10  $63,000 2
 1999 Pokemon Japanese Promo Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind Trophy Card  1999  PSA 10  $65,100  1

10. The Charizard card from the 1999 Base Set is considered to be the most Iconic Pokemon trading card of all time.

Charizard Card

Charizard was the most sought-after card in the 90s. If you didn’t manage to get one in your pack, buying another blister pack was always worth it in the hopes of finally getting it.

That said, the Charizard card from the 1999 Base Set is an iconic trading card that costs top dollar.

It is even more valuable if it is the “Shadowless” version, an early “misprint” version that didn’t have a shadow around the border.

You may also want to check out our top Charizard gifts here

11. Investing in Pokémon cards has become highly profitable due to their limited supply and surging demand. 

One of the primary factors contributing to the profitability of Pokémon card investment is the limited supply of certain cards.

Over the years, older sets of Pokémon cards have become increasingly rare and difficult to find, especially those in mint or near-mint condition. [4]

12. The worth of Pokémon cards is influenced by various elements such as sentimental value, rarity, market demand, and availability.

One of the most powerful forces shaping the value of Pokémon cards is nostalgia.

Rare cards from earlier sets or those featuring iconic Pokémon from the franchise's early days speak dearly to fans, leading to increased demand.

13. Pokémon cards can be a profitable investment due to limited supplies creating scarcity and increasing demand throughout the global market. 

Pokémon cards

Pokémon cards, especially those from earlier sets, are produced in limited quantities. The key to their profitability lies in the limited supply and scarcity, which drives the ever-increasing demand across the market.

14. The most money ever spent on a Pokémon is $5.275 million, but most of the top cards are in the $1,000 to $100,000 range.

Logan Paul spent $5.275 million to purchase a Pikachu Illustrator card in a private sale. However, this number is the exception, not the rule — most of the top cards you’ll get today are around the $1,000 to $100,000 price range. [5]

15. PSA 10 graded Pikachu Illustrator remains the most expensive Pokemon card sold.

_PSA 10 graded Pikachu Illustrator

If a card is graded a PSA 10, it means in uber-mint condition. The Pikachu Illustrator PSA 10 is the most expensive Pokemon card ever sold, costing over $5 million. [6]


What makes a Pokémon card worth the money?

A Pokemon card is worth the money if it is rare and in mint condition.

Are old Pokémon cards worth money?

Yes, old Pokemon cards are worth money, especially if they are rare and in mint condition. Those printed in 1999 are considered Old Pokemon Cards or Vintage Cards and are worth a lot of money.

How do you check the value of a Pokemon card?

The TCGPlayer app is a great way to check the value of a Pokemon card. It has a scanner feature to check the cards.

How much is the Pokémon company worth?

The Pokemon company is said to be worth around $92 billion. It is the highest-grossing media franchise of all time.

What’s the average Pokemon card price?

The average Pokemon card price is less than $1, especially for those commonplace ones. However, vintage cards can go up to $1,000 or $100,000, depending on their condition and rarity.

Are Pokemon cards worth buying?

Yes, Pokemon cards are worth buying if you’re a fan of the franchise. Some may even make you money in the long run but do note that not all Pokemon cards have the same value.

In Summary

Pokemon cards have become a hot commodity in the collector’s space. Nostalgia, rarity, and demand have made their prices skyrocket to unimaginable heights.

The rarest and most expensive Pokemon card is the Pikachu Illustrator card, as there are only 41 of them in existence. Twenty-three of those have been graded by the PSA.

These cards are rare because they were initially sent out as a prize to a promo contest in Japan in the late 90s. Atsuko Nishida, the original artist of the Pikachu design, drew the artwork for the Pikachu Illustrator card.

Logan Paul bought his very own Pikachu Illustrator card for a whopping $5 million — more money than most of us will ever see in our lifetime.

If you think you have cards that may be worth a fortune, you can check out the TCGPlayers app to see what grade level they fall under.

Toynk carries 100 percent authentic Pokemon merch for all you diehard fans. We offer fast and free shipping to all orders within the contiguous United States with a 30-day money-back guarantee.



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