Over the last 12 months Pokémon cards have once again made a comeback. Many people who used to collect the Pocket Monsters as kids are now going back to build their dream collections. Plus, a new generation of Pokémon trainers are being brought into the Pokémon card hobby through their parents and online influencers like Logan Paul. This surge in attention has caused a surge in demand and price. Several Pokémon card sales records have been shattered since the beginning of 2021, including the most expensive Pokémon card in the history of the hobby. Below is a list of the 10 Most Expensive and Rare Pokemon Cards on StockX right now, as well as the three most expensive Pokémon in history.
Kicking off the list of the top ten most expensive and rarest Pokémon cards on StockX is the Charizard-GX 2017 Pokémon Sun & Moon Burning Shadows Full Art 150/147. This is one of the most aesthetically pleasing Charizard cards as it is finished with a reflective rainbow color scheme. This Charizard card has one of the lowest pull rates at one 1:720 packs making it an extremely rare Pokémon card, especially seeing as it was first released in 2017 making it part of a modern set and modern sets tend to have larger print runs due to re-prints. A Charizard-GX 2017 Sun & Moon Burning Shadows Full Art 150/147 PSA 10 sold for $3,200 on StockX.
While the name of the Pikachu Yellow Cheeks Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition 58/102 suggests that it is the first-ever Pikachu card to be included in an English Pokémon set, in reality, it is not. The first Pikachu card printed by Wizards of the Coast presented Pikachu with red cheeks that were given to the Pokémon by Mitsuhiro Arita. However, Wizards of the Coast changed Pikachu’s cheeks to yellow because they felt it better complimented the yellow lightning bolts jolting from Pikachu’s face on the card. Both Pikachu 1st Edition variations are rare Pokémon cards with PSA having graded less than 1,500 total copies of each of them, the Pikachu card that takes the title for most expensive Pokémon card to sell on StockX is the Pikachu Yellow Cheeks Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition 58/102 PSA 10 for $3,500.
The Charizard-Holo Pokémon XY Evolutions 11/108 is another example of a Charizard that looks eerily similar to the original Base Set Charizards. The card is part of the XY Evolutions set, which is a near reprint of the Base Set. XY Evolutions released in 2016, the same year Pokémon celebrated its 20th anniversary. The Charizard-Holo XY Evolutions 11/108 is one of nine Charizards included in the set, and while it is not the most expensive Pokémon card, or even the rarest Pokémon card in XY Evolutions, it is by far the most popular. The Charizard-Holo XY Evolutions 11/108 rose in value in October of 2020 thanks to the influence of Logan Paul and Logic, as it gave collectors a less expensive alternative to the nearly identical Base Set Charizard that was headlining global news. A Charizard-Holo Pokémon XY Evolutions 11/108 PSA 10 sold for as high as $4,000.
The Charmander Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition is the most expensive Pokémon card on this list that isn’t a Charizard, even if it is very closely related to Charizard. This Charmander is found in the same rare Pokémon card Base Set that the Charizard Base Set 1st Edition 4/102 is a part of. The artwork on the card is once again by Mitsuhiro Arita and shows Charmander looking back at a fire he just inadvertently set with his tail. One of the 749 PSA 10 Charmander 1st Edition Base Set cards sold for $4,500 on StockX.
The Dark Charizard-Holo 1st Edition 4/82 is part of the Team Rocket set that released in 2000. The Team Rocket set is based around the criminal organization of the same name from the Pokémon games and anime and is also the first set to include Dark Pokémon trained by Team Rocket. The Dark Charizard-Holo 1st Edition 4/82 is the most expensive Pokémon card in the set. The set was printed in 2000, so a brand new Dark Charizard-Holo 1st Edition 4/82 is a very rare Pokémon card to find. Purchasing one that has already been graded is definitely the easiest way to add the Dark Charizard-Holo 1st Edition 4/82 to your collection. A PSA 10 sold on StockX for $4,750.
The Charizard-Reverse Foil Legendary Collection 3/110 is yet another Charizard card printed by Wizards of the Coast featuring the original Charizard artwork by Mitsuhiro Arita. The Legendary Collection is the twelfth set in the English language version of the card game and is the first to ever feature Reverse Foil Pokémon cards where the area around the art panel is holographic and the art panel itself is left with a matte finish. Reverse Foils are incredibly rare Pokémon cards to find in Legendary Collection booster packs, and the Charizard-Reverse Foil is no exception. A Charizard-Reverse Foil Legendary Collection 3/110 PSA 9 sold on StockX for $5,750 and rounds out the top five most expensive Pokémon cards on this list.
By now it should be clear that Charizard dominates any list of the most expensive Pokémon cards. The Charizard Skyridge Crystal Type 146/144 is especially significant because it was the last Charizard card ever printed by Wizards of the Coast. After the Skyridge expansion, all Pokémon cards were printed by the Pokémon Company International. Aside from marking the end of an era, the Charizard Skyridge Crystal Type 146/144 is also the rarest Pokémon card on this list with only 579 total copies having been graded by PSA to date, with a PSA 9 edition of the card selling for $6,250 on StockX.
It is interesting to see the Charizard Base Set Shadowless 4/102 Pokémon card rank behind the Unlimited print edition as the Shadowless Charizard is a much rarer Pokémon card. There are over 24,100 Unlimited print Base Set Charizard cards compared to only 4,804 Shadowless Base Set Charizards. Much like the Unlimited print Charizard, the Charizard Base Set Shadowless 4/102 looks nearly identical to the 1st Edition Base Set Charizard, as both cards do not have the drop shadow added to the right side of their art panels. The only difference is the Shadowless version of the card is missing the 1st Edition stamp. While this is not the most expensive Pokémon card, or even the most expensive Charizard card on this list, a PSA 9 still sold on StockX for $8,000.
To the untrained eye, the Charizard Base Set Unlimited Print 4/102 may look identical to the most expensive and rarest Pokémon card on this list, but there are many key differences. This edition of the original English language Base Set Charizard card features the same artwork by Mitsuhiro Arita, but it lacks the 1st Edition stamp and also features a drop shadow to the right of the art panel. This card was part of the Unlimited print run of the 1999 Pokémon Base Set meaning its 1st Edition counterpart is a much more rare Pokémon card. The original publisher of the English Pokémon card game was Wizards of the Coast, and after their initial print runs of the Pokémon Base Set, they received some criticism that the card design was too boring. To combat these complaints they added a shadow effect to the right side of the art panel. While the shadow may have made the card look more aesthetically pleasing back in the day, today it does carry a more affordable price tag. A Charizard Base Set Unlimited Print 4/102 PSA 10 sold for as high as $8,100 on StockX making it the second most expensive Pokémon card to sell on StockX.
The most expensive Pokémon card on our list is no surprise. There is no more iconic card in the Pokémon TCG than the Charizard Base Set 1st Edition 4/102, and in the last 12 months, this card has made plenty of headlines from Logic purchasing a PSA 10 version of the card for $220,000 in October of 2020, to Logan Paul wearing the same card around his neck graded a BGS 10 to his exhibition against Floyd Mayweather in June 2021. This Charizard card is the most sought-after Pokémon card that exists. What makes it so special is that it was part of the first print run of the English edition of the beloved trading card game, making it an extremely rare Pokémon card. The card features a 1st Edition stamp below the card artwork, and it is shadowless, meaning that there is no drop shadow to the right of the art panel. A Charizard Base Set 1st Edition PSA 9 sold for $26,000 in late 2020 making it the most expensive Pokémon card to ever sell on StockX.
While all of these Pokémon cards carry substantial value, they still do not come close to the record for the most expensive Pokémon cards ever. Logan Paul claims his Charizard Base Set 1st Edition BGS 10 is a million-dollar card, but that price has yet to be seen. Below are the top three most expensive and rarest Pokémon cards to have ever sold publicly.
Most Expensive Pokémon Cards in History
Backless Blastoise 1998 Commissioned Presentation Galaxy Star Holo 009/165R CGC 8.5
The Backless Blastoise may appear to look a lot like the Blastoise from the original Base Set, and that is because it is a Wizards of the Coast prototype from when they were tasked with producing the first-ever English language Pokémon set. This card was printed in 1998, one year before the Base Set hit the United States, and was printed without any artwork or logo on the back of the card, hence the name, Backless Blastoise. The card was never meant for the public, but no one could predict in 1998 that Pokémon would take off in the way that it has. In January 2021 this rare Pokémon card sold for $360,000 making it the third most expensive Pokémon card ever.
Charizard 1999 Pokémon Base Set 1st Edition 4/102 SGC Gold Label Pristine 10
Again, there is no Pokémon card more iconic than the Charizard Base Set 1st Edition 4/102. What sets the 1999 SGC Gold Label Pristine 10 card apart, and makes it one of the most expensive Pokémon cards ever, is the grade it received. SGC is a trading card grading and authentication company originally established in Parsippany, New Jersey. In their own words, a card that receives a Gold Label Pristine 10 grade is, “a ‘virtually flawless card. 50/50 centering, crisp focus, four sharp corners, free of stains, no breaks in surface gloss, no print or refractor lines, and no visible wear under magnification.” So not only is this an extremely rare Pokémon card, but it is an extremely rare grade for any trading card to receive because of simple factory defects during production. This Charizard Base Set 1st Edition 4/102 sold for a record price of $369,000.
Illustrator Pikachu-Holo 1998 Japanese Promo Pokémon Card PSA 7
The Illustrator Pikachu is not a card that you can simply pull from a pack of Pokémon cards. In 1998, there were three officially sanctioned Pokémon art competitions that took place in Japan. During these competitions, contestants were asked to design their own Pokémon cards, and winners received a custom Pokémon card featuring their artwork as well as an Illustrator Pikachu trophy card. The Illustrator Pikachu features artwork from Atsuko Nishida, who is the character designer of Pikachu. It is believed that about 40 of these extremely rare Pokémon cards exist, and early in 2021 a PSA 7 Illustrator Pikachu sold for $375,000 making it the most expensive Pokémon card ever.