Can Your Vintage Pokémon Card Collection Fund Med School?

2020 was quite the year for longtime Pokémon Trading Card Game collectors and players alike. A confluence of events including rising interest in Pokémon in general as a result of Pokémon GO and Sword & Shield, the wave of YouTube creators making Pokémon card content including longtime collectors like LeonHart and creators popular for other content such as Logan Paul, and the speculator interest in certain rare cards such as the various Charizards from Darkness Ablaze and Champion's Path. It's no one or two things that caused this new major boom two decades into the existence of these cards, but it has resulted in shelves of stores being cleared, scalpers jacking up the prices of unopened items and graded cards alike on eBay, and the price of certain cards soaring. One thing that many speculators, collectors, and investors are turning to, though, as new, sealed product gets harder and harder to find, is the tried and true value of vintage cards. In fact, the story of one longtime Pokémon card collector has reminded some just how valuable some of these cards can be.

Base set Charizard. Credit: Pokémon TCG
Base set Charizard. Credit: Pokémon TCG

Caleb King, according to a report from FOX5 Atlanta, used eBay to sell his collection of Pokémon cards. He purchased this specific set four years ago for what he claims was $4,000 USD and has now made a total of $80,000 USD, which the University of North Georgia student says he will use to pay his way through med school.

King isn't just an investor who is coming to exploit a beloved hobby. He has been a lifelong collector of Pokémon TCG expansions, despite his parents not always being fond of the habit. His mother, Tammy King, has come around on his Pokémon obsession, and who could blame her when he's out here making racks on racks on racks?

There is no end in sight to the current resurgence of Pokémon cards, especially with the upcoming release of the Shining Fates set, which spotlights Shiny Pokémon: some of the most popular kinds of cards in existence.

Now is certainly a good time to buy cards if you can, but remember this. People like Caleb King were able to do this because they know the hobby and they have turned passion into profit. There is a world of difference between someone like King, who makes money off of years of collecting, and someone who goes to Walmart and clears the shelves of sealed product, leaving none for children to buy so they can flip it on eBay for double the MSRP. When people behave that way, kids won't have a chance to foster their passions and grow up to be like Caleb here.

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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