I’ve recently started collecting vintage Pokémon. I was merely following through on an itch I wrote about in November of 2022 about building a collection during a recession. At first I was confused why some cards were more valuable especially with modern cards over vintage, but with time I think I am beginning to understand the new rarity paradigm. Like with anything when I dive into something I really dive into it and oh boy does this rabbit hole go down far.
This ghost dragon full art Lovecraftian Horror is currently $400 for a nice near mint ungraded card. Considering 1/720 packs had this card, it is no surprise this card has a PSA 10 population of only about 1200 and is selling for $650-775 as a gem mint PSA 10.
Trainer Cards in Lost Origins had a 1/70 pull rate. The most graded card was Nessa at a 200 PSA 10 population. Currently selling for $63.29. You’re probably thinking a tenth the rarity a tenth of the price right? Well that’s not how it works. This PSA 10 Cook with very endearing art is worth $15
The black female character baring her tummy is worth 4 times more than Gordon Ramsey in the Pokémon community because she is a “waifu” and thusly gets the “waifu tax”. The newest set introduced Miriam a white trainer who a PSA 10 is going to run you $200-300 minimum. Sorry redguard pool’s closed. I think the sponsored items customers also bought is very telling.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Pokémon itself has printed a variation of full art Skyla no less than 3 times a fact I became acquainted with in my extensive research. From 2016 to 2023 I need to stretch card has exploded to $200.
Don’t even get me started on the Japanese prices:
This is not an outlier you can find a full art trainer from almost every new Pokémon set that meets obvious criteria while being ambiguously family friendly and wholesome.
What I’ve tasked myself with is proving this is intentional and Nintendo has no intentions of changing this dynamic with players, collectors, and creepy speculators (me) and we stand to profit from this ecosystem. As Kotaku pointed out, the “ostensible improvement in the presentation of cards from the Wizard of the Coast days does not entirely account for the enormous, gendered gap we see with modern, “full art” cards. The quality and scale of art certainly plays a part in price increases, but doesn’t explain the widening gulf between secondhand market prices of male and female cards.”
In an interview with Masamitsu Hidaka in 2008 he mentioned “they like to switch up the girls because it gives boys some new eye candy every once in a while.” He mentioned “Ken Sugimori designs a new girl with each generation and that gives them another excuse to switch the girl”. There are pages and pages of these trainer/supporter “waifu” cards with substantially inflated values so yea mission accomplished there.
Ken Sugimori has been showing trainer tummy since the 90s
I think these days he is more front and center with what he likes drawing and the art direction he is supervising towards. This lolicon shit is not okay just by the way.
The coom-munity summed up their feelings about this topic duality of man style.
I literally don’t care either way this shit fucking prints and yes I am buying cheap and selling expensive. Can’t complete your collection? Fuck you, pay me. Can’t afford your favorite waifu? Fuck you, pay me. Don’t like that people are taking advantage of your perversions? Fuck you, pay me.
For my fellow creepy investors, thanks for visiting and joining me in my descent into insanity. Here is an example of some cards to consider in your alternative investment portfolio.