Best of 2020 Pokémon

It’s no news that Pokémon saw an incredible resurgence in popularity in 2020’s trading card market. Everyone got in on the action, including celebrities and entertainers such as Steve Aoki, Logic, and Logan Paul. Across social media and streaming platforms, live content and “box-breaks” took off allowing collectors the opportunity to watch and buy into live Pokémon breaks.

So, what’s next in the world of Pokémon? I’m going to explore some key 2020 sales, highlight products to look out for, and suggest some unique opportunities for your collection. I’d love to hear from you (I’m @laurrrrmeow on Instagram) if you need advice on your collection, or come across any newly discovered Charizards!

2020’s Biggest Sales

PIKACHU ILLUSTRATOR CARD

At a record-breaking $233,244, the Pikachu Illustrator card broke the internet and went down in history as one of the most important single Pokémon sales ever. The Pikachu Illustrator card is incredibly rare, as it was given out as a prize only to winners of a 1998 illustration contest. It is estimated that only 20-39 of these exist in the world and even fewer that remain in PSA-high grade condition.

1ST EDITION SEALED BOOSTER BOXES

The OG for most collectors is Pokémon’s inaugural 1999 Base Set. Base Set soared as collectors and entertainers chased after increasingly-rare sealed products, with 1st Edition Sealed Booster Boxes leading the way, now commanding at least $300,000 in the open market. With the growing popularity of community box breaks, the 1st Edition Base Set product is becoming incredibly scarce in sealed format, fueling explosive price growth. If the trend of “unboxing” continues, the supply will continue to run thin on early-era Pokémon sealed products.

Pokémon Cards to Watch

CHARIZARD

There is no denying Charizard is one of the only Pokémon to hold value and interest no matter what era or set it comes from. The holy grail is the 1999 Base Set First Edition Shadowless Holo which sells for upwards of $25k based on its condition. More than 20 years later, the big guy has the hobby on fire (no pun intended) making a popular appearance in

Champion’s Path, which can barely stay in stock in retail locations. If you’re lucky, you can find a Champion’s Path Elite Trainer box at retail ($50) on the shelves at your local Target or Walmart giving you a chance to pull one of these fiery beasts. There are many key Charizard cards from over the years, so it’s important to research their differences in rarity and value. You can’t go wrong collecting Charizard as you will always find new opportunities to add to your collection.

1ST EDITION PIKACHUS

I purchased a 1st edition Jungle Pikachu in a PSA 10 on October 12th for just under $500. On October 18th, it sold at auction for $950. It almost doubled in price in under a week. Now with any dramatic price increase, you should think carefully about what the price reflects. From being Ash’s starting Pokémon in the anime to starring in the Detective Pikachu movie, Pikachu is iconic and a natural starting point for collectors entering the market. As the 1st Edition Base Set Pikachu starts to become too expensive for most collectors, they will look towards other desirable Pikachu cards. 1st Edition Jungle is one example, but there are a lot of incredibly fun Pikachu promo cards and holo releases.

PROMO CARDS

Promo cards are a major part of Pokémon, with the majority being Japanese-exclusive. Some promo cards (like the Illustrator) tend to be very exclusive due to the fact that they are produced in limited quantities for special events, sometimes unavailable to the general public.

Japanese Promo cards have been causing quite a stir in 2020. I recently purchased the Lillie & Clefairy Pokémon Dream League Promo back in September for $25 and we’re seeing bids at Auction already for $120 in PSA 10. Another Promo Card released this year was the Eevee Futsal, only available in the UK. This exclusive card was only given out if you were a registered Club team for The FA Pokémon Youth Futsal Programme. These cards are already seeing strong price growth, and word on the street is that the Pikachu Futsal promo card is next to be released!

Another hot promo this year was the Special Delivery Pikachu card, and it was FREE. If you follow me on Instagram (@laurrrrmeow), you know I gave early access and details on how to snag one via my story. If you didn’t catch it, stay tuned as I release promos and special deals on a daily basis. Charizard is next and it’s going to break the internet. Believe it or not, this promo was absolutely free with any purchase over $20 on pokemoncenter.com, but you had to know where to look. The card was under a “hidden category” and quickly went out of stock as soon as word got out. If you were lucky enough to get one, consider holding on to it. This free card is now selling on eBay for $130 raw and the scarcity of the card could drive the price up well into the new year. The free bundle also came with a Pikachu Christmas ornament. Check it out below.

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SEALED PRODUCT

If you can get your hands-on sealed products from early-era Pokémon in 2020, you have gold! Some sealed products to consider investing in are Japanese Base Set Starter Decks (did you know you get a random holo in each one?!) and older sets (depending on your price range). The newer products to look out for are Hidden Fates and Champion’s Path, and the exciting new Vivid Voltage.

My number one tip whether you’re just starting to invest in Pokémon, or you’re expanding on your personal collection, is to collect what you love, and not just buy what’s popular. No matter what is happening in the market, it is important to consider what matters most to you as a collector. If you are investing in this market, start with cards or sealed products that have some level of rarity. Whether it’s 1st Edition Base graded cards or exclusive promos – it’s hard to go wrong. If you are just starting out or have a small budget, I would suggest entering the market gradually. Educate yourself on promo releases and try to build a unique collection. Build on that gradually, accumulate some binder pieces that mean something to you and keep your cards in mint condition. Pokémon is redefining the definitions of modern art and investing and 2021 is going to be another revolutionary year!

Do you collect Pokémon cards? Check out COMC’s selection of over 20,000 different Pokémon cards at comc.com/cards/pokemon. If you’re looking to cash in on your collection, COMC actively accepts your Pokémon cards for consignment, including CGC graded cards! For more information about consigning trading cards with COMC, visit comc.com/sell.

About the Author
About the Author

Laura is a member of our customer service team at COMC, and is a long time sports and trading card investor with a passion for discovering and collecting some of the rarest Pokemon cards in the world. She is always on the hunt for sealed product, especially out of print Pokémon and non-sports cards. She enjoys participating in box breaks, auctions, and adding new cards to her personal collection daily. Follow her on Instagram (@laurrrrmeow) to see all of her latest finds!

Announcing COMC’s Next eBay Homepage Auction Event: Football Finale

COMC Auctions are Set to Headline the eBay Homepage for the Football Finale from January 25th – 31st!

We are excited to announce that COMC Auctions will be featured on eBay’s homepage from January 25th – 31st. This “Football Finale” auction event will place a special focus on modern football cards, and is the perfect opportunity to increase your auctions’ visibility as the excitement builds leading up to the Super Bowl!

While the homepage promotion will be focused on football cards, you are also welcome to submit your high-end trading cards across all other sports and genres to auction with COMC. Whether you have hot sports cards, rarities from Pokémon, or high-end trading cards from nearly any other category, COMC makes it easy to sell them! Please review our “COMC Supported Trading Cards” blog for more information about which cards can be consigned with us.

All items must be received by 1/15 to be eligible for this promotion.

Here’s everything you need to know about submitting your trading cards for maximum exposure in this event.

When and how to submit your cards:

COMC users have multiple options for submitting cards for this event. Whether you already have cards consigned with us that you would like to auction off or are considering sending new cards to COMC specifically for this event, details and key dates are listed below.

Mail-In Submission Deadlines

Cards received 1/2 – 1/8 will END during the promotion
Cards received 1/9 – 1/15 will BEGIN during the promotion

To create a new mail-in auctions submission, visit Start New Submission in your COMC Account and select the eBay Auction processing service as shown below.

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COMC eBay Featured Auctions Event January 25th -31st 2021

Transfer to Auction Deadlines

Cards submitted for transfer 1/1 – 1/7 will END during the promotion
Cards submitted for transfer 1/8 – 1/14 will BEGIN during the promotion

If you already have cards in your COMC Inventory Manager, you can send them to auction in just a few clicks. This includes cards you bought from other consignors on our site, a potential opportunity for flipping! Inside the Inventory Manager, click on “Actions” and then select “Send to Auction” to begin the auction transfer process.

Baseball Cards, Football Cards, Basketball Cards, Soccer Cards, Hockey Cards, Pokemon, Trading Cards, Sports Cards, Non-Sports Cards, The Hobby, eBay, eBay Auctions, 
COMC eBay Featured Auctions Event January 25th -31st 2021

Elite Item Transfer Deadlines

Cards transferred between 1/8 – 1/14 will END during the promotion
Cards transferred between 1/15 – 1/21 will BEGIN during the promotion

These Elite Item Transfer deadlines apply only to items which have already been processed through our Elite Consignment Service.

After transferring your cards to auction, they move from your Inventory Manager to Auction Submissions in your COMC account. Once scheduled for auction, you can monitor your auctions in Auction History.

Important Auctions Reminders

  • The minimum fee per auction is $3.50, regardless of the final sale price. We recommend you only submit cards to auction that will sell for at least $50 or more. COMC Auctions reserves the right to change the service level of new Auction submissions to our 3-Week fixed-price service ($0.50 per item) if submissions primarily consist of items valued less than $10. For a full breakdown of Auction fees, see the COMC Auction Schedule and Fees blog.
  • There are no cancellations once we receive your auction submission. If you want to consign your high-end trading cards through COMC as buy-it-now listings, we encourage you to submit them using our Elite Service.
  • Please review our Supported Trading Cards criteria if you have any questions about what items you can consign with COMC.

For more information about our auction service, please refer to our Auctions and Auctions FAQ pages. With any additional questions, please email COMC’s Auctions team at auctions@comc.com. We are excited for you to participate in this eBay Homepage Auction Event!


About the Author:

Andy is the COMC Marketing Manager, bringing a wealth of marketing experience combined with a passion for trading cards. As an active hobby investor, he enjoys collecting and selling trading cards, especially football cards. Andy’s energy and enthusiasm are shared with the local community through his volunteer efforts at the theater and shouting from the stands at the University of Tennessee football games.

Best of 2020: Prizm Parallel Guide

Panini America’s Prizm for many years has enthralled all types of collectors by delivering an irresistible combination of colors, patterns, and technology that continue to stand the test of time and attract a crowd.

However, it seems more and more parallels are added to the Prizm checklist each year. Each sport has its own completely different parallels and names, making it extremely difficult for collectors to keep track of what is what!

Many questions thus arise: What specific parallel did I just pull? What parallels do I still need to complete the rainbow of my favorite player? What product contains exclusive parallels? There are so many things to consider!

To help answer some of these questions, we’ve put together this Prizm Parallel Guide. We compiled a comprehensive list of each major sport for which Panini has released a Prizm set: Soccer, Baseball, Football, and of course the insanely popular Basketball. We included example photos for each parallel, as well as information on where that specific parallel product can be found. We hope this guide will prove helpful for all Prizm collectors!

2019-20 Prizm Basketball

Looks for Prizms of your favorite NBA players, from rookies to all-time greats! Prizm Basketball features a 300-card base set, making that rare Prizm pull a special event!

2019-20 Panini Prizm English Premier Soccer League

Carrying over the basic look and format from the many other Prizm sets, 2019-20 Panini Prizm Premier League Soccer includes the full selection of EPL teams for the ’19-20 season.

2019 Prizm Football

One of the top NFL sets each year, 2019 Panini Prizm Football cards continue the evolution of the cornerstone brand with new Prizm colors making their gridiron debut.

*At the time this article was written, 2020 Panini Prizm Football had not yet been released so we have included 2019 Prizm Football.

2020 Prizm Baseball

2020 Panini Prizm Baseball is an eruption of Prizms for some of the top MLBPA players.


About the Author:

Shaun is a Customer Care Agent with COMC. Prior to working at COMC, he spent 14 years in the body shop industry with a variety of roles and positions. Shaun enjoys watching all kinds of sports, loves animals, and has a passion for food!  
Ever since Shaun was introduced to sports cards at the age of 9, he’s been hooked. From the wide variety of sets, cool colors, technologies, and reading the player’s bio and stats. In 2014, he discovered COMC and has greatly appreciated their platform for buying and selling his favorite cards.

Virtual Expo Post-Game Recap and Dice Game Winners

I hope everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving as much as possible under the circumstances.  The COMC Challenges throughout the Expo weekend culminated with an epic Sunday Showdown Tournament of Champions Finals.

Our booth was non-stop action throughout the entire weekend. We were pleased to offer all this content to our customers as a small token of our appreciation. We hope you enjoyed the experience. 

I want to take a moment to thank (in no particular order)…

  1. The Canadian contingent who helped behind the scenes to bring concept to reality
  2. The Marketing Team for helping move the project forward and communicating our presence at the event
  3. Sportscard & Memorabilia Expo & MKEM for having the platform for this event
  4. Sports Card Live for having me as a guest to promote this event
  5. Every guest who visited the Expo and every guest that dropped by our booth

Thank you for making us a part of your hobby life!

So, without further ado, here are the winners from our Dice Game…

  • ROLL A 3, 4, OR 5 – 2017 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions Photo Variation Achievement Autograph #45 Tiger Woods – buck89
  • ROLL A 6 OR 7 – 2017 Bowman Draft Chrome Draft Pick Autographs – Refractor #CDA-NPE Nate Pearson #118/499 – mpheid
  • ROLL AN 8 – 2019-20 Upper Deck #249 Quinn Hughes RC – BrendonWFord
  • ROLL A 9 – 2019-20 Upper Deck Credentials Rookie Science Autograph #RS-20 Nick Suzuki – mint39
  • ROLL A 10 – 2020 Topps Chrome #60 Luis Robert RC – Canadiancollector21_7
  • ROLL A 11 – 2012-13 Panini Preferred Panini’s Choice Award #37 Kyle Lowry #31/74 – KD08
  • ROLL A 12 – 2019 Topps Living Set Online Exclusive #179 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. PSA 10 – MintDeals
  • ROLL A 13 – 2018-19 Panini Donruss Optic #176 Rated Rookies Alphonso Davies RC – gazelleknox
  • ROLL A 14 OR 15 – 2019-20 Panini Mosaic Silver Prizm #211 Coby White – Myanks26
  • ROLL A 16, 17, OR 18 – 2018-19 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection Ultimate Access Premium Materials Copper Autographs #UAA-AM Auston Matthews #05/25 – legionitalia

All winners listed above must claim their prize by emailing sportcardexpo@comc.com with your username before 23:59:59 PST December 22, 2020. Prizes will be deposited into the winner’s account within 2 weeks of notification. All unclaimed prizes shall be forfeited. We are also currently working on other post-Expo prizes to award over the next three weeks. Your patience is greatly appreciated.   

We look forward to seeing you at the next show whether it’s live or virtual!


Barry Mah

About the Author:

If you’ve previously attended card shows, you’re likely to recognize this familiar face. Barry has been a valued COMC team member since 2012 and manages our COMC office in Canada. Barry brings a wealth of operational excellence experience and a passion for trading cards, especially hockey cards. Thanks to him, everything runs smoothly up in Canada!