A report from Vice has opened my eyes to the size of the Pokémon trading card collection market – apparently to the point where card rankers have waiting lists ranging from six to ten months, with one company claiming to receive over 500,000 cards for character. each week. The card grades, which assess the terms of trading cards to determine how collectible (and therefore valuable) they are, are so flooded that people who want to get Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh or sports cards graded also have to wait in line (or pay their noses to skip it).
A short-ranking company apparently needed employees so badly that it offered $ 1
Of course, we’ve also seen the boom affecting the market in other ways – eBay is adding a feature to its app specifically for scanning cards and pre-filling lists with info (but not the condition of the card), making it a little faster to list them. The Vice the report also mentions that plastic card protectors have been sold out completely.
Most of these effects seem to be related to older Pokémon cards, as they are the ones that are scarce – as the author of Vice The article points out, people are looking to see if they have anyone who escaped the ravages of being a childhood toy after seeing collectors like Logan Paul buy original cards or packages at indecently high prices.
But it also seems that some of the OG Pokémon glitter has started to affect the market for new collectibles with untested value as well: Some target stores have threatened to call the police on people camping outside for new Pokémon card updates, and the Pokémon card company has rushed themselves to pump out as many new cards as possible.
Perhaps the pandemic has caused people’s internal damage, and has turned on an insatiable desire to collect without really assessing the value of what we buy (just look at NFTs, which feel like top collectors’ items). Of course, there are also the really rare Pokémon cards that are quite valuable – but it may not just be the rare cards that hit these card companies with, as one CEO put it, “a landslide of cardboard.”
Honestly, seeing this news, on top of everything else, has given me a burning question: where damn do people get so much money that they can spend $ 660,000 dollars on a Mario cassette or $ 300,000 on a Pokémon card?