SPONSORED POST: Collecting Pokémon

09 May 2023
A guide by Ewbank's specialist Roy Raftery
SPONSORED POST: Collecting Pokémon Images

Since this time last year when Ewbanks launched sales in trading cards, the company has developed a leading reputation for expertise in this field. 


Wizards Of The Coast are the original distributors for Pokémon before the licence was handed back to Nintendo, and the condition of these sets are integral to the final sale price achieved. Driven by condition, recent sales at Ewbank’s have reached between £11,050 and £14,300. 


Preconstructed theme decks are popular, alongside full and partial sets of ‘common’, ‘uncommon’ and rare ‘holo foil’ cards. Recently Ewbank's sold a complete 1st edition set of the 2000 Team Rocket expansion and expansions such as this currently fetch up to £2,200 at auction.


With sales in April and May culminating in a 30th Anniversary sale of Magic The Gathering on June 1, here specialist Roy Raftery shares his knowledge for those interested in collecting the leading trading card brand of them all: Pokémon.


Anotated Pokemon Card



The Pokémon TCG  


Assessing trading cards and identifying what you have 


The Pokémon trading card game has been around since 1999 in the West, and even longer in the East, but no matter what era of the Pokémon trading card game you collect, there are distinct features that collectors should look out for to identify what they have.

Here we focus primarily on the early days of the game, mainly because these are the cards that cause most trouble for collectors. However, many of the points explained here also apply to modern day cards, as we will also show.

The graphic of a Pokémon card shown here will act as our guide.


Identifying a 1st Edition 
One of the most frequently asked questions regarding early vintage cards is: are mine 1st edition? On early Pokémon cards made by Wizards of the Coast a genuine 1st edition card will have a black ‘1’ in a circle with the word ‘edition’ stamped to the middle of the left-hand side of the card, as can be seen in our image.


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Basic indicators


Identifying the set the card was released in 
Opposite the edition number on the right-hand side of the card you should find a symbol, as our image indicates with the word Set . In this case it is a fossil claw, which means that the card came from the Fossil expansion set, released in 1999. The most common card collections are from the first five sets and the promotional cards that came out during the time: 
– No set symbol or logo: Base Set  
– Flower: Jungle
– Fossil claw: Fossil  
– ‘2’ behind a Pokéball: Base Set 2 (This was the first reprint set that featured cards from both Jungle and the Base Set.) 
– ‘R’: Team Rocket

You might also see a black star with the word promo over it – official Black Star Promos. There are 54 of these cards and they were released in several ways, such as at official tournaments, during screenings of the first movie in cinemas or from magazines.

When searching for information on a card online, start by typing the name of the Pokémon, found in the top left-hand side of the card, and the collection number, found on the lower right-hand side, into the search engine. Each Pokémon trading card expansion has its own number of cards, so searching in this way should reveal the set the card belongs to no matter what year it was printed; this will also work with recently printed cards.

Both set symbols and collector numbers to the bottom left changed for later/modern day sets.


Determining value?  

Once you have identified what card you have or what era of the game your collection belongs to, you can start to look at its possible value.

As with other collecting disciplines, key factors determining value include rarity changing trends, and condition, but with Pokémon the character of the card is also important.


Rarity: In the early days of Pokémon there were just three types of card, with each being identified by a corresponding symbol to the lower right-hand side of the card after the collector's number, as follows, and shown here in the three illustrations:

– Basic Common (Solid black circle)

– Uncommon (Solid black diamond)

– Rare (Solid black star) 



Looking to sell your Trading Cards? Contact Roy and the specialists at Ewbank’s today, email images to [email protected]


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