The Pokémon Trading Card Game, abbreviated to PTCG or Pokémon TCG, is a collectible card game, based on Nintendo's Pokémon franchise of video games and anime, first published in October 1996 by Media Factory in Japan. In the US, it was initially published by Wizards of the Coast; The Pokémon Company eventually took over publishing the card game in June 2003. In 2016, it was the year's top-selling toy in the strategic card game subclass. In 2017, it had an 82% share of Europe's strategic card game market. As of March 2020, the game has sold over 30.4 billion cards worldwide.
There are many different ways of trading and purchasing Pokémon cards. Pokémon cards can be found in stores in a variety of ways including pre-constructed decks, promo cards included with a few packs, booster boxes of 36 packs, or individual packs. Subsequently, cards can also be bought individually through websites and individual sellers online. However, buyers should be aware that fake Pokémon cards are also available through online sellers.
Pokémon cards have different rarities. From lowest to highest rarity, cards can be rated Common (depicted by a circle in the bottom corner), Uncommon (depicted by a diamond in the bottom corner), Rare (depicted by a star in the bottom corner). Japanese cards use letters instead of shapes to represent rarities. From lowest to highest rarity, cards can be rated C, U, R, RR, SR, and UR. In a single pack of cards in the United States you can expect to get 10 cards total. You are guaranteed 5 common Pokémon cards, 3 uncommon cards, 1 holographic card, and 1 rare card.
Some rare cards can be rarer than others. Typically, these cards have art that covers the whole card (known as a full art card) or half of the card. A secret rare card is a full art card (sometimes rainbow or single-color themed) that has a number in the corner that surpasses the number of normal print cards in the set (ex. 242/220). Major collectors tend to use protective casing for rare cards in order to keep their value. The most expensive Pokémon card ever sold was the "Pikachu Illustrator" card. It sold for $233,000 on ZenMarket on July 3, 2020.
Source and more info in this Wikipedia article.
According to the internet, the following cards are most sought after:
What's your Pokemon Cards Gold worth in 2021? Here are some recently sold items.
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