Will a Clear Out of my Pokemon Cards Help me to Feel Better?

As part of Pokemon’s 25th anniversary, should I cash out or keep my memories?

Photo by Jie on Unsplash


Some of those reading this will wonder why they are reading. Others will immediately understand the message, which is potentially something that arrives with age.

Some of those reading will have started a collection in their pre-teen years, only to see it left in the cupboard, before being taken out at work. This is how my story goes. Purchase-love-forget-renew-crisis.

Pokemon arrived at the right time to indoctrinate me into a lifetime quest to Catch em’all. I accept the conditioning, that is not the question, it is to ask, should I stay or should I go?

Two Decades of Investment

This money could have been spent on the wedding

A lifetime of investment is what sits in my cupboard, staring at me, like a lost child, looking to be loved. It is a source of pride and disappointment at the same time.

Pride in the sense that I have collected a fair few rare cards such as the illusive Base Set Charizard and original Blackstar Promo. Disappointment in the sense that the adult inside me keeps tapping me on the shoulder, asking, ‘This money could have been spent on the wedding’.

The polar opposite viewpoints have intensified this year, in what is Pokemon’s 25th anniversary. The central reason for this is that there are more eyeballs on the franchise. Prices for cards have intensified through the pandemic and now the 25th anniversary. To state it more succinctly, interest is high and how long will that last? The investment has peaked and do I cash in or hold on for the memories?

When do you Give up on a Collection?

My obsession will be your investment

Giving up on a collection is a very subjective question. As humans, we are hardwired to take inanimate items and keep hold of them, referring to this obsession as a collection.

My obsession will be your investment. Your investment will be another’s waste. It’s another phenomenon that defines our species. We invest in items that do not exist in the physical sense. A big example of this today is the auction for Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey’s, first tweet.

Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey now plans to convert the proceeds from the NFT auction of his first tweet to bitcoin and donate them to charity. The highest bid for the tweet is currently $2.5 million.
Jack Dorsey’s first tweet, TheVerge.com

The money from this auction goes to charity and that is great. The key point here is that we are investing in something which we cannot touch. In the grand scheme of things, I would rather have a gold bar than a virtual tweet. I would rather have something that can be touched and enjoyed, rather than something abstract.

Is the Money Worth the Loss?

You can replace the money, you cannot replace the memory of a missed party or wedding

To illustrate the challenge:

  • My age is 32
  • My partner and I are still renting (in London)
  • My partner and I are hopefully getting married this year
  • My partner and I would like to travel the world before we settle down and have children.

How much will all of this cost? How long is a piece of string would be a more apt question. We need the money and whilst we are both working, getting to each deadline takes time. A cash injection would therefore be very welcome, yet, the decision to sell something which has been with me for years is hard.

Money can be regrown and whilst it is important, other elements are more essential to life. Family, friends, memories, all of these are more important than money. You can replace the money, you cannot replace the memory of a missed party or wedding.

By this token, selling my collection is not something which I should complement, yet the money that could be earned continues to whisper in my ear.

What are Collections Worth These Days?

My collection has been invested in for years and there seems to be no better time than now to cash in, so why don’t I?

Collections can be worth upwards of a million dollars in 2021. This is to say that the pandemic has awakened a need for the hobby. Many have dusted their collections from shelves, through the additional time which has been discovered in 2020.

These discoveries have then been shared online through streams. The unboxing of rare booster packs for example has heightened interest.

In October, popular YouTuber Logan Paul put a major spotlight on the TCG when he spent a massive $216k on a 1999 Base Set Booster box. The star then opened the rare collectible live on stream in front of 400k viewers where he revealed the cards that were inside.

In November, the very same item went up for sale at the Heritage Auctions and sold for over $360k by the end of bidding on the 19th. The astronomical figure is approximately a 66% increase in value over what it had sold for previously — bringing in an extra $144k in just a month’s time.
Pokemon cards sell for record-breaking $360,000 at auction, Dexerto.com

Rare cards and those in mint condition will sell for the most money. This is not surprising but the explosion in interest is. My collection has been invested in for years and there seems to be no better time than now to cash in, so why don’t I?

A Primary Thought

Pokemon has been a major part of life. It still is a major part of my life and one of my hopes in this world is that I can transfer this love to my children. They may end up hating Pokemon and that will be their choice, yet it will not stop me from trying. It is the key point that prevents me from selling, as I would like to pass the cards over to them when I pass away.

People like me enjoy making a difference and focus on #education, #marketing, #reading and #videogames

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store