The journey of a sports card guy into the world of Pokémon

Pokémon has blown up over the last several months, and we’ve seen an influx of all kinds of collectors, from celebrities to sports card collectors and sellers.

 I believe this happened with the perfect storm of Covid and how expensive the sports card hobby has become. Some folks are just looking for something new and cheaper to rip/collect. Others believe that this is just the start of an immense opportunity in flipping Pokémon cards.

Now I’m not an expert, as I have only been in the Pokémon realm since April. However, I can offer some advice to those new to Pokémon, and maybe a different perspective for those veteran Pokémon collectors to ponder. 

Here Are  My Tips For Entering The World Of Pokémon: 

Why Pokémon: 

Global Market: I’m sure you heard this before about other sports like Basketball and Soccer. But Pokémon is genuinely a global hobby. About 20% of my sales are generated outside the United States. 

Pokémon Is Stable: You probably won’t see a ton of the dramatic spikes and falls as you would in the sports card realm. However, certain sets/cards will catch fire and will see some dramatic increases in values. Plus, values are not tied to the personal performance or personal conduct of an individual player. 

Pokémon Has a Low-Cost Barrier To Entry: If you think $600-$1000 hobby box prices in sports cards are normal, Pokémon will seem like a very cheap alternative with most booster boxes upon release, go for $100-120 each. Buying singles is fairly inexpensive right now for most Pokémon cards as well. 

Lots of Potential For Growth: I believe we are still in the beginning stages of Pokémon becoming more as a collectible card rather than a trading card game. Prices are still affordable to get in on some older sets and singles, and new product is not extremely difficult to find. Also, it is the 25th anniversary year of Pokémon, so expect some great sets in 2021. 


Educating yourself first is the most important thing to do. Especially in the Pokémon world, not all sets are created equal. If you think you will go to Walmart and buy all of the Rebel Clash sleeved boosters to rip/flip for a profit, you are sadly mistaken! Lots of good resources exist in the hobby, so I suggest the following sources to consume first: 

Frosted Caribou: Youtuber probably has the best mini-series on learning the basic concepts of Pokémon TCG and understanding how the game is played. I recommend watching this first because even if you don’t play the game, you will get the concept behind why certain cards are more valuable than others, etc.

PokeRev: Youtuber who provides great information and does some awesome rips of vintage and modern Pokémon. (Links will be at the bottom) 

TwicebakedJake: Youtuber who does a great job of analyzing new upcoming sets, singles to buy, and general Pokémon news. 

Leonhart: Probably the most famous Pokémon Youtuber. High energy dude that shares good info, news, updates on new releases, and some of the most amazing rips you’ll see. 

Rare Candy: YouTuber that reviews sets and the playability of decks. Useful info even if you don’t play Pokémon TCG. 

Shadowless Podcast: You can find this podcast on all platforms. They take a very deep dive into all things Pokémon, not just the trading card game. An excellent resource for all Pokémon news, updated daily. Another great news source that is updated daily. A good site to look at competition decks, tournament info, etc. A good way to see what cards might be valuable to people that play the game. Similar to Limitless, but I think easier to navigate and a great source for info on decks, constructing decks, etc. 

Modern Sets That You Should Look For:

(I based this list on products that still can be found at reasonable prices) 

Evolutions: This was the anniversary set from a few years ago and is widely popular. The main cards to look for, Charizard holo, reverse holo, and the Mega Charizard, have increased in value significantly over the last few months. Currently in a reprint of some product configurations that most hobby shops and big-box retailers should have. 

Cosmic Eclipse: Has the popular Tag Team cards in this set. You will find  Charizard, Pikachu, and lots of full art trainers that are valuable. Harder to find in retail, but hobby shops should still have some reasonable prices on this product. 

Burning Shadows: Almost all gone, another great set with A Charizard chase. Harder to find at decent prices. 

Hidden Fates: I think most people know this set even if you don’t collect Pokémon. Loaded with lots of secret rares, shiny vault cards, and of course, a Charizard Chase. Good luck finding any, but a few tins are still popping up at your local big box stores. Be on the lookout for Elite Trainer Boxes too. 

Vivid Voltage: Current set loaded with value. Amazing rares, solid trainer cards, decent gold cards, a base Charizard, and an awesome Pikachu chase. Even though this is the current set, values have spiked in the last week. If you can find any at retail, buy it. 

Where To Buy: 

Like sports cards, Pokémon is scarce at the big retail stores based on flippers selling on eBay. You might still be able to get some here and there. Hobby stores should have some in stock, hopefully at fair prices. Or, (COUGH) you can go to our website to buy Pokémon today! Singles can be had on, EBay, Facebook, and Discord groups similar to buying sports cards. 

Pokémon Buying Don’ts: 

  • Don’t buy loose booster packs on EBay, unless from a reputable seller. Packs can be weighed, and the correlation is pretty spot-on for hits in any booster configuration. 
  • If a booster box price seems too good to be true, it’s probably fake. Most booster boxes for any set, are $100+. If someone is selling boxes for less than $85, I’d be highly suspicious. 
  • Don’t just chase Charizards! Plenty of other Pokémon are on the rise in my opinion. Pikachu, Lugia, Mew, Mewtwo, Jirachi, Celebi, Blastoise, Gyarados, and certain trainers can have great upside potential. Just do your research, and you can find some diamonds in the rough still. 

  • Final Thoughts: 

    Prices blowing up in the sports card world was a blessing in disguise. It pushed me to look at other opportunities, and I found myself in Pokémon. Now I enjoy Pokémon as much as sports cards and even learned how to play the game. Give Pokémon a shot, and you might be pleasantly surprised. 


    Frosted Caribou:

    Rare Candy:




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