Pokemon has been around since 1996, and they are here to stay. While Ash and his companion Picachu are unquestionably the best-known characters in the Poke-verse, Charizard is a close second. The giant orange dragon’s firey mistakes and extraordinary powers have led him to be a fan favorite. Not only is he a popular staple on the TV series, often ordered plush, and well-loved video game character, but his trading cards also see a lot of use. For collectors, a Gem Mint Charizard is the grail of all finds. Here are the five most valuable Charizard Pokemon cards money can buy.
5. 2002 Neo Destiny Shining Charizard Pokémon Card Holographic #107: $22,700
Looking at the 2002 Neo Destiny Shining Charizard, you will immediately notice the character on the card. Not only is this the obvious focal point, but it’s holographic while the background is not. Typically the reverse is true, with a matte character sitting on a holo-background. This unusual reverse setup was an innovation of Wizards of the Coast. PSA Collector points out that these highly sought-after cards represent the last year Wizards of the Coast used the First Edition logo. Furthermore, this is the last set out of the four Neo sets they released. The population report shows a mere hundred and eighty-four of these cards in perfect Gem Mint condition. However, only around four hundred and forty have even been sent for grading, and most of those were play-damaged.
4. 2003 Skyridge Holographic Crystal Charizard: $25,100
Lauded for its unusual pale background and almost three-dimensional style of artwork, the 2003 Skyridge Holographic Crystal Charizard is the most recently printed out of the five most valuable Charizardcards in the world today. These particular fire-types are so rare, especially in good or mint condition, because of how often they saw play in real life. The fire-types are the tanks of the Pokemon world. All fire-type characters can decimate opponents with damage so long as the player has enough energy to spend. However, in particular, Charizard was and remains one of the most powerful damage dealers in any Pokemon TCG deck. A truly formidable opponent, this firebreather often deals more damage than almost any other single card, making it a highly desirable card to have in a deck used for play. This dragon-like creature’s popularity boost is thanks to being featured on the TV show; there aren’t many left to collect. All the Pokemon that regularly feature on any of the cartoon series tend to be more popular simply because they are well known.
3. 1999 Holographic 1st Edition Base Set Charizard #4: $36,000
Like the current list-topper, this card was once the most expensive Charizard ever sold. Despite its losing that status, thirty-six thousand dollars is still a substantial sum of money for what is essentially a piece of thin cardboard with printing on it. Appearances can be deceptive, and materials aren’t everything. Price and value aren’t the same, though the former is a reflection of the latter. The value in an item is all in how much significance we bestow on it and what we are willing to exchange it for as a result. For example, getting a card authenticated and graded places value in it. Specifically, this service is worth at least eighteen to thirty-five dollars plus shipping for a Pokemon card, even if the card came in a multipack and was on sale for a dollar.
2. 1996 Japanese Base Set Charizard (No Rarity Symbol): $57,877
Just as coin collectors place particular value on coins that are misprinted, so do card collectors. A rare or old item is valuable, but one with minor cosmetic flaws from the factory, which few or no other copies possess, is truly unique. The 1996 Japanese Base Set Charizard with no rarity symbol is one of these unusual cases. Additionally, the copy of this card that sold at this price was in PSA 10 condition. As cards age, it is increasingly rare for them to achieve this distinction unless they’re kept in untouched protective cases. A single bend, wrinkle, or factory flaw that isn’t a misprint, like being slightly off-center, will prevent the card from gaining this label. Additionally, as PSA explains on its site he grading is also subjective for the graders who must make judgment calls on specific aspects of card condition and appeal.
1. Shadowless Charizard, With PSA 10 Gem Mint Rating: $311,800
Charizard has always held a special place in Pokemon history and fans’ hearts. However, for card collectors and those who play the trading card game, this particular Charizard is important in two different ways. Firstly, it was a very high-powered card for play. If you had one of these in your deck and hand, it didn’t guarantee a win, but it helped a lot. Considering the popularity of this high-powered card for playing with, that’s unusual. Most copies of this card are weathered. Secondly, this Mitsuhiro Arita-designed Shadowless 1st Edition Holo Variant has a perfect ten in Gem Mint Rating. Not only is the card made by an exceptional and well-loved artist, but this specific copy is pristine. Resultantly, only a single copy sold for over three hundred thousand dollars to a collector on eBay. Over two and a half thousand were submitted for rating, and less than a hundred and fifty achieved a ten. As NintendoLife News puts it, “…in other words, it’s the rarest version of the card ever released, and in the best condition it could possibly be in.”
Whether you love Charizard because you grew up watching him on TV, or you’re a TCG card collector who adores an ultra-rare find, any of these five cards would make your collection complete. Players of the Pokemon trading card game always have favorites, but these cards aren’t meant for playing casual games. If you have one of the cards on this list in good condition, pack it up now. The value isn’t going down any time soon.