DALLAS -- Demand for rare, high-end Pokémon collectibles continues to soar as evidenced by the sale of a Pokémon First Edition Base Set Sealed Booster Box (Wizards of the Coast, 1999) for a world record-setting $408,000 at Heritage Auctions.
The box sold during the second session of Heritage’s four-day Comics & Comic Art Auction, which ran through Sunday, January 16.
The afternoon session included 16 Pokémon lots that accounted for more than $1.3 million in sales. The record-setting booster box was one of three that produced six-figure results.
“Recent history has shown that the demand for First Edition Base Set Sealed Booster Boxes is soaring,” said Jesus Garcia, Trading Cards Expert in the Heritage Auctions Comics Department. "Based on the competitive bidding when Heritage Auctions sold a similar set in November, we expected the interest in this set to be even higher, and our collectors did not disappoint.”
Offered in its original shrink wrap, the First Edition Base Set Sealed Booster Box broke the previous world record for an auction sale, set when Heritage Auctions sold a similar booster box in November 2020 for $360,000. The set was created in 1999 by Wizards of the Coast and features 102 cards, most notably the Charizard. Today, an original shrink wrap version is considered the pinnacle of box collecting.
Due to their low print run, box sets are extremely scarce, especially those still in the original sealed state. The box contains 36 booster packs, each with 11 cards for a total of 396 cards, each of which potentially is in GEM MINT condition because the packs have not been handled.
In addition to the record-breaking First Edition Base Set Booster Box, two other Pokémon yielded spectacular six-figure results:
A Pokémon Blastoise #009/165R Commissioned Presentation Galaxy Star Hologram (Wizards of the Coast, 1998) CGC NM/Mint+ 8.5 set off a flurry of 52 bids before finishing at $360,000. The card is one of just two copies produced by Cartamundi to be used as "Presentation” pieces to seek Nintendo’s approval to begin producing Pokémon cards in English. The card was purchased by Thomas Fish at Blowout Cards, who said after the sale that “this is the card that started it all, perhaps the most prestigious and rare of all Pokémon collectibles. I am thrilled for our client and glad we could be part of this historic sale.”
A Pokémon Charizard #4 First Edition Base Set Rare Hologram Trading Card sold for $300,000, reflecting it's reputation as one of the hottest cards in the hobby. With artwork by Mitsuhiro Arita, the card is one of just 2,627 copies certified by PSA, only 120 of which earned a GEM MT grade.
Pokémon trading cards were first introduced in 1995 and rapidly gained worldwide acclaim. What began as a simple card trading game 25 years ago has quickly evolved into a serious collector’s game. Last fall, a PSA 10 1st edition Base Set Charizard sold for over $350,100.