You will not believe the prices that old Pokemon Booster Boxes are selling for!
I have been playing/collecting Trading Card Games (TCG’s) since the mid-1990’s. I started playing Magic: The Gathering (MTG) in 1996. I was playing in local MTG tournaments, state championships, qualifiers, etc. I remember seeing a Black Lotus card from MTG selling at my local game store for $300 back then, and I thought the $300 price tag for a single card was crazy! In 2017, someone paid $100,000 for a Perfect 10 graded Black Lotus. So what did I know?!
While playing in a large MTG Tournament in January 1999, representatives of Wizards of the Coast were demonstrating their new Pokemon Trading Card Game. I played the demo, and enjoyed it. The Base Set of Pokemon had just been released. My kids and I had been playing the Pokemon Red/Blue games on the old B&W GameBoys, so I picked up some booster packs to teach them a TCG. Booster packs sold for $3.29 each back then. And Booster Boxes of the Base Set retailed for about $118. The real Pokemon Craze started in the Spring/Summer of 1999, about 2-3 months later.
Had I known in 1999 what I know now!
Cut to 2017 and Pokemon still has legs! There are a lot of Pokemon Collectors/Investors with money to burn. And there a lot of readers out there sitting on small fortunes.
There were a lot of moms & dads playing in Pokemon Tournaments with their children in 1999/2000. Some parents would buy two boxes of Pokemon cards: One box of Pokemon cards to open with their kids; And another box stored away for a rainy day. Well, that rainy just might be here for them!
One particular parent I know would buy a couple of Pokemon Booster Boxes when they came out. He’d give his kids a pack a day if his kids had good days at school. Luckily (or unluckily) this was a rare occurrence for him. Now he has some unopened old booster boxes still sitting in his closet.
I’ve been scouring eBay lately, looking at past sales of Pokemon Booster Boxes, and basically freaking out. There are over two dozen booster box expansion selling for more than $1000!
So without further adieu, let’s have a look at Crazy Pokemon Booster Box Prices!
Note: When i mention single card values in the article, I’m specifically mentioning cards graded Gem-Mint by an Independent Grading Service. Card Prices and Booster prices are based on Actual eBay Sales in the United States!
Pokemon Base Set, 1st Edition, 1999 – $50,000 The Holy Grail of Pokemon Booster Boxes! 1st edition Pokemon Cards sell for ridiculously high prices. In October 2017, this booster box sold for $54,200 on eBay – receiving over 80 bids in the process. Why is this going for $50k? Basically, every card in this box is still mint, and could sell for great prices. Charizards in this box can sell for $20,000 to $50,000 all by themselves. All holofoils in this box will sell for over $1,000 each. Even basic energy cards can sell for $60 a piece! Based on this sale, each individual booster pack would be worth $1,500! Yowza!
Pokemon Base Set Unlimited Edition, 1999 – $10,000 If you can’t afford $50k for a 1st edition base set box, I guess you go for the next best thing. Wizards of the Coast printed a limited supply of First Edition Base Set Pokemon Cards. The unlimited edition cards came out immediately after 1st Edition sold out. All the cards in this box are same as the cards in the 1st edition box, except that they lack 1st Edition symbols. This booster box sold for $10,100 in September 2017. Gem Mint Charizards in this box can sell for $2500 each.
Pokemon Skyridge 2003 – $5,600 It’s funny how one rare card can essentially make the price of a booster box skyrocket in value. What’s the one rare card in this one? You guessed it … another Charizard! This time it’s Crystal Holo Charizard. A Pristine “10” Crystal Holo Charizard sold for $6,450 in November 2017. This helps these boosters boxes sell in the $5,000 price range. That makes each booster pack in this expansion worth about $150 each! Crystal Ho-oh is in here as well, which can sell for about $1,700.
Pokemon 1st Edition Neo Destiny Booster Box, 2002 – $5,500 You would think that boosters like Jungle or Fossil would be here next, but they’re further down the list. 1st Edition Shining Charizards from Neo Destiny can sell for $2400. Shining Mewtwo can fetch $1300. There’s also Shining Raichu, Shining Kabutops, Shining Steelix, Shining Celebi and Shining Tyranitar. This box has quite a few good cards inside.
Pokemon Legendary Collection Booster Box, 2002 – $5000 – Some folks call this Base Set 3. The Legendary Collection was a 100 card set that featured cards from Base Set, Jungle, Fossil and Team Rocket. There was no “1st Edition” version of this set. The set contains Reverse Holographic cards and Box Toppers. Reverse Foil Charizards from this expansion can sell for over $2,000. The other reverse foils like Blastoise and Venusaur can sell for over $500 each as well.
Pokemon EX Deoxys Booster Box, 2005 – $3000 – The main reason this box sold for $3k in November 2017?? These boxes can contain a Gold Star Rayquaza ($6500), a Gold Star Latios ($2700), or a Gold Star Latias ($630).
Pokemon neo Revelation Edition Booster Box, 2001 – $2,950 – I’ll admit it … this one threw me off. Who knew this thing sells for $3k?! After researching, I see why now. Raikou sold for $2425 in October 2017. Ho-Oh just sold for $1995 on December 5th, 2017. Suicune sold for $1100 in October. Shining Magikarp sold $1026 in September. Celebi sold for $995. Entei sold for $960. Shining Gyarados sold for $699. The $2950 price tag is looking a little clearer now.
Pokemon Jungle 1st Edition Booster Box, 1999 – $2,200 – This was the 2nd Pokemon set printed in the U.S. Even though this is an older expansion, there are quite a few of these available for purchase on eBay. I think the speculator supply is keeping the price down. Basically, all holofoil rares from this box can sell for hundreds of dollars in this expansion if graded high. Vaporeon and Kangaskhan both can go for over $700.
Pokemon Aquapolis Legendary Collection Booster Box, 2003 – $2000 – Why $2k? Crystal Lugia’s can sell for $1,000. Crystal Nidoking’s $500. Espeon, Houndoom, Kingdra, Zapdos and others can sell for $100-$300 as well.
Pokemon Dragon Frontiers Booster Box, 2003 – $2000 – Why $2k for this one? Basically two reasons: Charizard Gold Star can sell for $4,000. And Gold Star Mew can sell for $2,000.
Pokemon Neo Genesis 1st Edition Booster Box, 2000 – $2000 – Why $2k for this booster box? This set actually has a few cards that can inside that sell quite well individually: Meganium – $1300, Slowking $1100, Lugia – $1,000, Heracross – $380, Pichu – $380, Kingdra – $380, and Typhlosion $225.
Pokemon Team Rocket Returns Booster Box, 2004 – $2000 – Team Rocket Returns booster boxes are 4 years newer than the original Team Rocket expansion, but they go for more money. Why? I think the Pokemon craze had died down some by 2004, and speculators had left the market. Wizards of the Coast was no longer involved in the game, and a lot of folks really liked the way Wizards of the Coast had handled the TCG. You don’t see nearly as many Team Rocket Returns Booster boxes on eBay as Team Rocket boxes. Gold Star Mudkip is a hot card in this set. I haven’t seen any PSA 10 Mudkips actually sold on eBay recently, but PSA 9’s are selling for over $500. I’d guess PSA 10’s would sell for $1,000 to $3,000.
Pokemon Base Set 2 Booster Box, 2000 – $2000 – Base Set 2 reprinted cards from the original Base Set and Jungle. This just sold for $2000 in December 2017. I guess People are chasing down: Charizard, Blastoise, Venusaur, Zapdos and other popular cards. A PSA 10 Charizard can sell for over $400.
Pokemon Gym Challenge 1st Edition Booster Box, 2000 – $1825 – The hot cards in this set include: Blaine’s Charizard $700, Giovanni’s Persian $610 and Blaine’s Arcanine $400.
Pokemon EX Team Magma vs Team Aqua Booster Box, 2004 – $1799 – Not quite sure why this booster set goes for so much. Maybe supply and demand? I have a feeling there’s a low population of these boxes available. There are not a lot of high value collector’s cards in the set. Jirachi can go for $200 though.
Pokemon Expedition Booster Box, 2000 – $1650 – This booster box sold for $1650 in September 2017. There’s not really a killer card in this set that sells for over a $1,000. But there are several cards that can fetch a few hundred: Charizard Reverse Foil, Pichu Reverse Foil, Mewtwo, Ampharos, and Charizard Holo.
Pokemon Fossil 1st Edition Booster Box, 1999 – $1625 – This was the 3rd set released in the United States (After the Base Set and Jungle). In November 2017 these were selling for about $1600 a box. The hot collector cards in this set are Lapras, Dragonite, Aerodactyl, Zapdos, Moltres, Gengar, Articuno and Raichu.
Pokemon Team Rocket 1st Edition Booster Box, 2000 – $1520 – There are many of these available on eBay, but they still sell at a decent price. Dark Charizard Holofoils in this set can fetch $600. Other card sales of note: Rainbow Energy $510, Dark Magneton $550, Dark Dragonite $500,
Pokemon Delta Species Booster Box, 1999 – $1500 – Two cards from this expansion recently sold for $3,000 each on Ebay: Gold Star Metagross, and Gold Star Delta Charizard. Other sales: Vaporeon $700, Kyogre $460, and Gyarados $250.
Pokemon ex Holon Phantoms Booster Box, 2006 – $1500 – A few cards in this set are in high demand: Gold Star Gyarados $2799, Gold Star Pikachu $1299, Gold Star Mewtwo – $800. That’s why this box goes for $1500.
Pokemon Gym Heroes 1st Edition Booster Box, 2000 – $1499 – There are quite a few of these for sale on eBay. 1st Editions can bring you over $1400. Chase cards: Erika’s Vileplume, Misty’s Seadra, Erika’s Dragonair, Sabrina’s Gengar, and Rocket’s Scyther are the best of the bunch, bringing in over $200 each in mint form.
Pokemon neo Discovery Booster Box, 1st Edition, 2001 – $1400 – There are a few chase cards in this set. Umbreon $760, Espeon $310, Houndoom $300, Smeargle $295, Politoed $270, Tyranitar $250 and Wobbuffet $200. You don’t see a plethora of these on eBay, making me think 1st Edition Booster Boxes of Discovery are somewhat rare.
Pokemon ex Crystal Guardians Booster Box, 2006 – $1200 – One of the newer sets on this list. If you consider something 11 years old “newer”. This value is pushed up by yet another “hot” Charizard card! EX Charizard Reverse Holofoils sell for up $700 in gem mint condition. There’s also a Gold Star Celebi that can sell for over $500 as well.
Pokemon EX Fire Red Leaf Green 2004 – $1100 – What makes this set valuable? Having the original Red & Green starting Pokemon in it … in ex holofoil form. Charizard ex, Venusaur ex and Blastoise ex can all fetch a pretty penny. Charizard is the key card though, like usual.
Pokemon EX Unseen Forces Booster Box, 2005 – $1050 – Some minor chase cards in this set include: Gold Star Entei $306, Umbreon $239, Suicune $220 and Gold Star Raikou $200.
Pokemon EX Emerald Booster Box, 2005 – $960 – There isn’t really a noticeable chase card in this set. But Booster Boxes still go for nearly $1000
So there you have it. These prices are crazy! Will these cards boxes hold their value? Or will Pokemon card prices go the way of Beanie Babies in the 1990’s? Should you sell yours now? Should you buy some as an investment? Who knows? These are tough questions to answer. If you need some money now, by all means .. Sell! Sell! Sell! If you are financially well off, maybe sit on these a few more years.
Comic Book Prices keep going up. Magic: The Gathering Prices keep going up. I think as folks get older, they like to collect items from their youth. There’s a chance that Pokemon values can still go up, as many of those Pokemon-playing kids still have another 70 years to live.