In 1995, a man named Satoshi Tajiri created the Pokémon franchise, and since then, Pokémon has become a worldwide cultural phenomenon, spawning an elaborate trading card game, movies, books, anime, and video games.
Initially, Pokémon cards were a big part of the brand's popularity. Over the years, interest in the cards waned as people became more invested in the video games and television series.
However, many former trainers never got rid of their cards and just set them aside to collect dust with plans to revisit them one day. If you happen to have any of your old cards sitting around in your attic, we would advise taking a closer look. You might be surprised how much people are willing to pay for these '90s relics.
10 EX Team Rocket Returns Pack
To celebrate the first generation of Pokémon, the Pokémon Trading Card Game released a new expansion pack focusing primarily on the evil Team Rocket and their Pokémon roster. TCG issued the cards in October 2004 in Japan, and then a month after in North America.
If you have the Torchic, Treecko, or Mudkip cards from this deck, then you might be able to sell them for about $600 altogether. Individually, they're worth somewhere in the ballpark of $200. One person on eBay is selling the complete set for $800 right now. This expansion pack is notable beyond its price tag because it was the first pack to feature Pokemon "owners," as all were part of Team Rocket at one point.
9 First Edition Charizard
As one of the most popular Pokémon in the franchise, it's not too surprising that the original, first edition Charizard cards would be priced at such high value. First appearing in the Red and Blue video games, Charizard went on to appear in merchandise, manga, anime, and subsequent games in the series.
One of the first edition cards is currently selling on eBay for $1,700. Mind you, it is in mint condition and a holographic version. That same card, with a misprint, is selling for $10,000 on eBay. The older the card, and the better the quality, the more money you stand to make from selling it. Even if not a holo card, a first edition Charizard can still net you several hundred dollars.
8 Umbreon Pop Series 5
Umbreon is a Dark-type Pokémon introduced in the second generation. It is an Eeveelution and the counterpart to the Psychic-type Pokémon, Espeon. Your Eevee will only evolve into an Umbreon if a high enough level of friendship is attained, and it must be night-time. With Espeon, your Eevee will evolve when its happiness is high during the daylight hours.
If you've ever purchased a Pop Series 5 set of trading cards, then you could have the Umbreon card from the collection. The cards were released as part of a special promotional offer for the Pokémon Organized Play program. Right now, the Umbreon card from this set is selling on eBay for $1,700. The Espeon card from this same set is nothing to sneeze at either, with it currently being priced around $700.
7 First Edition Holographic Mewtwo
There's no way this list could be complete without one of the most legendary Pokémon of all time. Mewtwo is a Pokémon of mythic proportions. He has been both hero and villain, but he has always been undeniably impressive.
His supreme intellect and aura of mystique have made him a must-have in any Pokémon trainer's collection, whether in the video games or card form. If you're sitting on a holographic, first edition Mewtwo, particularly a shadowless one, then you may be able to sell it for a few thousand dollars. Currently, Toad and Troll is selling the card for $1,999, and it is in near mint condition.
6 Sample Set Cards
Remember when e-Readers were a major new item for the Gameboy Advance? Pokémon pioneered the use of these game accessories to allow players to scan unique Pokémon cards to access special in-game features. To promote the e-Reader features, a sample set of cards was released at special Pokémon functions to demonstrate e-Reader capabilities.
The Ghastly card from this collection is currently selling for almost $1,000 on eBay, but all the cards from this set can net you several hundred dollars. There is a good chance you could have one or more of these cards at home given how popular the e-Reader was for a time and how highly promoted the gadget was.
5 Pre-Release Raichu
Pikachu is probably the most iconic Pokémon in the franchise, his face is widely considered the mascot of the brand, and he's even the star of his own live-action movie now with the release of Detective Pikachu. However, what about his evolutionary form, Raichu?
There is a story in the trading card world about a misprint of the fabled Raichu card. The company who made the cards at the time, Wizards of Coast, allegedly released 15 cards that were never supposed to exist at all! The fabled pre-release Raichu can sell for as much as $10,000, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a listing for one.
4 Fossil Krabby Misprint
The Fossil set was a themed deck of cards released in the late 1990s. It was the third expansion pack released overall. One particular card in this deck has become quite valuable nowadays. The Krabby card was misprinted with an incomplete Fossil symbol. The card currently goes for $1,000 on Mercari and several hundred dollars on eBay.
Surprisingly, the Krabby card in this deck is not the only one to have an error. Certain Haunter, Hitmonlee, and Slowpoke cards also have misprints, too. There isn't much information about the worth of these other cards, and only the Krabby misprint can be sold for serious money for the time being. However, if you happen to have multiple misprinted cards from this deck, I'd hang on to them!
3 Ex Deoxys Rayquaza
Released in 2004, the seventh Pokémon film, Destiny Deoxys, introduced the mysterious Deoxys. In the movie, Deoxys caused panic by taking control of the city and all mechanical devices. Eventually, it upset the legendary Dragon-type Pokémon, Rayquaza.
A new expansion pack of cards called EX Deoxys was released to help promote the movie. If you were lucky, you could have received a holographic Rayquaza card. The card is based on the shiny version of the Pokémon. While it isn't the most expensive card on this list, $500 is still a nice chunk of change for a card you might have looked at once and tossed aside.
2 Illustrator Pokémon
In 1998, the Illustrator Pokémon card was given out to lucky winners of an art competition. The contest asked for fans to submit their own Pokémon card designs to the Japanese manga magazine, CoroCoro. The winners received 20 copies of their card with their illustration along with the Illustrator Pokémon card. There were only 39 of these cards in existence.
No one is certain how many remain in circulation. This card is easily one of the most sought after by avid collectors due to its rarity. I'd advise checking out all of your Pikachu cards because if you happen to have one of these babies lying around, you could make yourself a cool $100,000.
1 Pokémon Snap Cards
CoroCoro, the popular Japanese manga magazine, ran another contest in congruence with the Nintendo 64 game, Pokémon Snap. Fans were instructed to submit their best Pokemon photos from the game, and the winners had their submissions turned into cards.
There was a limited amount created for the winners, and therefore the Pokémon Snap cards are highly-sought after by card collectors today. Included in these cards were Pokémon such as Pikachu, Poliwag, Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur. It's challenging to find Pokémon Snap cards now because so few were manufactured. If you're lucky enough to have one of them, you can sell them for several thousand dollars.