“People treat this as a purely financial investment”

Some might say that £ 173,000 is too much to spend for a little cardboard, and they are probably right.

But that’s what rapper Logic decided to spend on a rare Pokémon Charizard card in the first edition.

The card received the highest score of 10 for “gem mint” by Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), the largest collectible card rating company, which significantly increased its value.

Logic is just the latest in a series of prominent figures getting involved in Pokémon, raising the prices of in-demand cards.

YouTuber Logan Paul, who has told his 22 million subscribers that he is quitting Pokémon after getting his own PSA 10 Charizard for $ 150,000 (£ 112,727), appears to have changed the prices of Pokémon cards forever.

Roy Raftery, a trading card expert from East London, said: “We have people calling us who don’t know anything about gambling, they are very honest, they say ‘I just invest in gambling games. cards, do you have four or five of your best Charizard in stock, what are they, can I have them? ‘

“All because they saw an influencer on YouTube do it, that’s the main driver right now, all the Logan Paul stuff.”

Tim Willoughby, owner of the Hackney Rule Zero game bar, agrees that a lot of people are getting into it now just for the money.

“There are certainly people who treat this as a purely financial investment, the same way someone in the past might have bought a rare baseball card or a first edition of the Superman comic.

“Not everyone can afford a classic Ferrari to feel like they have something special that is going to be worth a lot of money, buying a bunch of Pokémon cards might be a better investment and it’s more affordable for the people.”

But they both admit it’s not just influencers; confinement and nostalgia also played a role.

Tim said, “If you look at the people who played Pokémon as a child, they’re now adults and potentially have a lot of money behind them, and nostalgia is a really big thing.

“And having things to do that aren’t Netflix and the same set of shows you’ve been watching while stuck at home for ages is awesome.”

Roy said: “On the first lockdown, people just had more free time to dig into their lofts to revive some of their old stuff and maybe start collecting again.

“And the collectors just had more disposable income, it didn’t matter if you were golfing, or knitting, or collecting Pokemon cards, you just have more money for your hobby and that’s why the prices initially went up. . “

But it’s not just Pokémon card sales that have seen an increase. Card enthusiast Daniel Quinn is spreading by opening card packs and has seen an increase in his views as well.

He said: “I hate to say that I have jumped on the bandwagon as I have been collecting for almost 20 years, but I have certainly benefited from the increase in the number of people wanting to watch pack openings. “

Unlike many new collectors, he does not seek out high level graduated cards.

He said: “I absolutely hate rated cards, I think the rating system is the worst thing for a collector!

“The rating increases the price, so we can’t find this Mew card we’re looking for under $ 3,000, and it came out of a $ 70 box.

“When I look at the cards, I don’t think, ‘I’m so glad that this centering is good and that there is no whitening on the back.’ I just think I’m so happy to have this work. art.

ALL IN ORDER: A small selection of binders Daniel Quinn uses to store his cards

For Daniel, it’s not about the price of the cards or treating it as an investment.

He said: “I’m not sitting on my card collection thinking I’ll sell it someday, I think I’d be happy to keep it forever.

“I’m in the boat of ‘Why are all these people here, they raise the price, go away so I can buy my Meowth cards in peace!'”

Roy thinks the prices could rise further.

“Next year is the 25th anniversary, so it will be on your milk, in your metro, on the news, it will be absolutely everywhere,” he said.

“With such great products, the nostalgia hype and the 25th anniversary, I just think Pokémon will be at an all time high for the next year and a half.”

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