Column: Modern English Pokémon TCG products: Don't Fall For The (Charizard) Hype

Published on September 28, 2019 at 11:26 AM

Just 9 days after the launch of Hidden fates, a BGS 10 Black Label Shiny Charizard GX sold on eBay at an auction for $10.000. Now everyone is trying to go after Hidden Fates, opening packs hoping they can beat that 1 in 94 chance of getting Shiny Charizard GX. Hidden Fates is still selling out at some stores. 

More Black Label BGS 10 Shiny Charizard GX (SV49) cards have sold on 18-9-2019 for $4350 and on 12-09-2019 for $6900 on eBay. That is a drop of more than 50% in value within 1 month of it's release.  As of 24-9-2019 there are 20 BGS 10 Black Label Shiny Charizard GX cards, and 57 BGS 10 versions. With more are being added/graded daily. Why did it drop so rapidly in price? How is that even possible? It's hype.

This is not surprising at all. To see where this is coming from, we need to look back where this started. 

Modern product overprinting

It's no real surprise anymore TPCi wants control over the secondary market and make PTCG more for the players. 

After Roaring Skies was suddenly reprinted out of nowhere when it was "Out of Print", because the secondary market was reselling them for $300 a box because of the then staple card Shaymin EX that players heavily demanded, boosterboxes suddenly dropped to $80 again. Many collectors sold these Roaring Skies Boxes in a hurry, because they were sitting on cases of Roaring Skies, losing value every second immediately when the reprint was announced. 

Since then, no set could be trusted anymore. Soon other sets followed, all XY sets after Primal Clash were reprinted on demand. XY Evolutions is so overprinted, to this day, Pokémon is still putting them in future product releases. Evolutions packs even appeared in the Sword & Shield Galar Collection Box product images. Generation 6 Pokémon TCG products appearing in Generation 8 products. 

Even when Pokémon and Distributors says a set it's "Out of Print" now, which happened with Ultra Prism and Unbroken Bonds, it does not mean it's gone forever and you should stock up on cases worth of booster boxes. They just print these sets in waves. 

Overhyping

It's no surprise Charizard is somewhat an overhyped and popular Pokémon. It is a fan favorite Pokémon for many. Everyone knows about Base Set Charizard, just like people know Black Lotus from Magic: The Gathering and Blue-Eyes White Dragon from Yu-Gi-Oh. It's the chase card for many collectors, and collectors don't hesitate overpaying for these chase cards to get what they want. Hidden Fates is doing so well because it has almost everything for the collector. It has Shiny Pokémon cards. Shiny Pokémon are very popular. 

The only downside is that 90% of the shiny cards are in Expanded format now and were released far too late. In Japan with GX Ultra Shiny, where Hidden Fates is based on; it was released 9 months earlier, almost 1 year before we would get this set. 

Also there is a psychological factor. People have experienced Burning Shadows Charizard GX Hyper Rare go for around $180-200 in 2018. Then the Japanese version of Shiny Charizard GX came, it sold for over $300 at launch and dropped quickly too. Another Charizard GX came with Reshiram & Charizard GX, which the Hyper Rare sold over $300 too at release. There is certainly a pattern here. People also might think Hidden Fates will be out of print, or available in limited quantity. 

When there is enough stock of Hidden Fates, the prices will soon drop because there will be more supply in the future. The demand right now is very high and there will be so many cards around.

Evolutions

XY Evolutions is a prime example of overhyping and overstock coming together. The print quality of Evolutions for EX cards were very good. 2177 PSA 10 Full Art M Charizard EX are in the PSA population report. Mind that this is a set that was released in November 2016. Everyone wanted to grade Full Art M Charizard EX in a PSA 10. You can buy one now under $80 in PSA 10. 

Base Set Charizard, a card that is older than 20 years now, only has 407 PSA 10 cards, 1st Edition Charizard 120 PSA 10 cards, and Shadowless Charizard only 51. The PSA 9 cards you see, could be many tries to regrade this card into a PSA 10. They usually break them out of the case again to regrade it. This number is not reflecting the true number of how many cards there are available.

Better cards to buy

There isn't an investment or purchase without risk. But you can buy older cards that were printed far less than these modern sets and are slowly rising in price and demand. These won't come back. 

For the same price of an ungraded Burning Shadows Charizard Hyper Rare GX, you could buy a Neo Destiny Shining Charizard. 

With $10.000, you could buy PSA 10 graded Gold Star cards and so many more cards. Which are far more scarce then new modern cards, these hold their value much better and will rise slowly because of their limited availablity. 

Next time when a new modern English set comes out and it includes a Charizard or whatever chase card you want, think twice before you pull the trigger and until the hype goes down. Don't fall for the hype. Modern English sets are overprinted.


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