Sealed Pokémon Base Set Booster Box marks game's 25th anniversary at Heritage Auctions

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Sealed Pokémon Base Set Booster Box marks game's 25th anniversary at Heritage Auctions
Pokémon First Edition Base Set Sealed Booster Box (Wizards of the Coast, 1999).

DALLAS, TX.- A rare Pokémon First Edition Base Set Sealed Booster Box (Wizards of the Coast, 1999) could bring $400,000 or more in Heritage Auctions’ Trading Month-Long Online Auction.

Bidding is open now for on for the event, which closes March 25 and coincides with the 25th anniversary of Pokémon, which is Feb. 27. The auction includes 159 Pokémon lots.

“The popularity of Pokémon is global," said Jesus Garcia, Heritage Auctions Consignment Director for Trading Cards. "Levi’s is releasing a line of Pokémon-themed clothing, there is going to be a virtual concert with Post Malone, and Katy Perry has signed on to do a song on a project with the Pokémon Company.

“Heritage Auctions sold a similar copy in January 2021 for $408,000, which shows that the demand and popularity have never been higher."

The First Edition Base Set Sealed Booster Box immediately can become the centerpiece of any collection. Released Jan. 9, 1999 by Wizards of the Coast, which created the game, the popularity of which has transferred to a new generation of players and collectors. The set included 102 cards, including the hugely popular Charizard card. The offered box contains 396 cards, with 11 in each of 36 booster packs … and since the cards have not been handled, it is likely all of them are in GEM MINT condition.

A Pokémon Charizard #4 First Edition Base Set Rare Hologram Trading Card (Wizards of the Coast, 1999) BGS NM-MT+ 8.5 (estimate: $30,000+) is one of the most popular Pokémon of the series. Charizard is the final evolved form of Charmander, but upon evolving into Charmeleon became rebellious and did not listen to Ash’s commands. The card features artwork by Mitsuhiro Arita.

A Pokémon Tropical Mega Battle Lucky Stadium Trainer Promo Trading Card (2000) PSA MINT 9 (estimate: $25,000+) comes from the Tropical Mega Battle Tournament at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu from 1999-2001. The contestants rose to the top in North America and Europe to land one of the elusive invitations. The offered Lucky Stadium Trainer card is an extreme rarity – only 17 were certified by PSA, and of those, only six earned a MINT 9 grade and 6 were graded higher – that was handed out to contestants. The artwork on this card, from the Pokémon Central Collection, is by Kouichi Ooyama.

Also from the Pokémon Central Collection comes a Pokémon First Edition Jungle Set Sealed Booster Box (Wizards of the Coast, 1999) (estimate: $25,000+). Still sealed in its original Wizards of the Coast shrink-wrap, it was the second set for the game. The set included 64 cards and was the first to include copies of the holographic cards in a non-holographic format. Like the First Edition Base Set Sealed Booster Box, this box includes three dozen 11-card booster packs, and because the box is sealed, the cards never have been handled, meaning they all likely are in GEM MINT condition.

A Pokémon First Edition Team Rocket Set Sealed Booster Box (Wizards of the Coast, 2000) is the fifth expansion set for the card game. Still in its original shrink-wrap, the set includes Dark Raichu, numbered 83/82, which made this set the first to include a secret rare card, and the widely popular Dark Charizard. This 83-card set was made up of 83 total cards includes 36 packs, each with 11 cards for a total of 396 cards, all of which likely are in GEM MINT condition.

Magic: The Gathering

Another game that has enjoyed surging popularity is Magic: The Gathering, which has produced 188 lots in the auction. Created by Richard Garfield as the first Trading Card Game, it was released in 1993, also by Wizards of the Coast, has inspired more than 35 million players and was created a full six years before Pokémon."

Magic: The Gathering Collectors Edition Sealed Box Set (Wizards of the Coast, 1993) (estimate: $10,000+), still in its original shrink-wrap, was produced in the game’s first year, and contains all 302 original Deckmaster series cards, as well as duplicate land cards, for a total of 363 cards. With all of the game’s most powerful and popular cards in one set, of which only 9,000 were made in December 1993.

Tapping in to collectors’ sentimental sides is Magic: The Gathering Richard Garfield Promos Splendid Genesis/110 #RG97 (Wizards of the Coast, 1997) BGS NM-MT+ 8.5 (estimate: $10,000+). This ultra-rare card is one of just 110 produced to commemorate the day Garfield, the game’s creator, became a father for the first time. Given only to Garfield’s family, close friends and highly regarded Wizards of the Coast employees, the card’s image captures the most touching of moments, with a child’s hand gripping the finger on an adult hand. Within the context of the game, the card, with artwork by Monique Thirifay, is not particularly powerful, but it does lead to the addition of a new player, like fathering a new life in to the world. The offered copy, from the TCG Central Collection, is the only copy graded by BGS.

Magic: The Gathering Ancestral Recall Alpha Edition BCGS 9 (Wizards of the Coast, 1993) (estimate: 10,000+) is one of the coveted “Power Nine" cards, and allowed players to draw three cards or require an opponent to do so. Because of its power within the game and low cost to play, Ancestral Recall quickly became one of the game’s more valuable cards. Only 1,100 of each card was printed in this edition, making each copy noteworthy. Finding one with such a grade is an undeniable rarity: BCGS’s population report indicates there are just 54 Ancestral Recalls graded 9, and only 42 known to carry a higher grade.

Like the Ancestral Recall Alpha Edition, Magic: The Gathering Time Walk Alpha Edition BCGS 9 (Wizards of the Coast, 1993) (estimate: $9,000+) is one of just 1,100 produced. Also part of the “Power Nine," Time Walk allowed players to take an extra turn, a significant asset for the powerful card that could be played for a low cost. According to BCGS’s population report there are just 59 Time Walk cards graded in a 9, and only 35 that carry a higher grade.

“Alpha cards are incredibly rare in any grade because they were made to be played with," Heritage Auctions Magic: The Gathering Specialist Brian Wiedman said. “They were tossed out or forgotten. How many of the 1,100 copies of each rare card still exist is a mystery, but it is far fewer than people may think."

Other top Magic: The Gathering lots in the auction include, but are not limited to:

The Gathering Mox Jet Alpha Edition BGS 7 (Wizards of the Coast, 1993) – estimate: $7,000+

Timetwister Alpha Edition BGS 8 (Wizards of the Coast, 1993) – estimate: $6,000+

Mox Emerald Alpha Edition BGS 8 (Wizards of the Coast, 1993) – estimate: $5,000+

Mox Pearl Alpha Edition BGS 7 (Wizards of the Coast, 1993) – estimate: $5,000+

Mox Sapphire Alpha Edition BGS 6.5 (Wizards of the Coast, 1993) – estimate: $5,000+


Launched by Konami in 1999 in Japan and in 2002 in North America, Yu-Gi-Oh! was named the top-selling trading card game in the world by Guinness World Records in 2009, thanks to sales of more than 22 billion cards. By January 2021, that figure is estimated to have grown to more than 35 billion cards and more than $9.6 billion in total sales. This auction includes five Yu-Gi-Oh! lots, including:

Yu-Gi-Oh! First Edition Legend of Blue Eyes Sealed Booster Box (Konami, 2002) – estimate: $30,000+ The Legend of Blue Eyes Set was the first set released for the mega-popular trading card game Yu-Gi-Oh! The set was released March 8, 2002 by Upper Deck Company under Konami's direction and it was an instant hit. Offered here is a sealed first edition booster box from this historic set. Inside this booster box are monsters like Yugi Motou's Dark Magician, Joey Wheeler's Red-Eyes Black Dragon and Seto Kaiba's Blue-Eyes White Dragon. This box contains 24 booster packs, each with nine cards, for a total of 216 cards. Because the box is sealed, the cards have never been handled, making it likely they are all in GEM MINT 10 condition.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Starter Decks: Joey and Pegasus Sealed Box (Konami, 2003) – estimate: $4,000+

Yu-Gi-Oh! Unlimited Pharaoh's Servant Set Sealed Booster Box (Konami, 2002) – estimate: $3,000

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