This year marks the 20th anniversary of American audiences' introduction to the Pokemon trading card game, which spawned a pop culture phenomenon few thought possible at the time. What many dismissed as a passing fad has since gone on to become one of the most consistently successful international franchises, with dozens of cartoons, comics, video games and trading cards adding up to an estimated worth of around $15 billion.
Not that anyone needed further proof, but a complete collection of 103 first edition Pokemon cards from 1999 recently went to auction, and its seller is betting someone will purchase the set for upwards of $100,000.
Goldin Auctions reports that the cards are all rated at GEM MT 10 (translation: practically perfect), and that, "while the cards have rounded corners, they are still very difficult to attain in GEM MINT condition. In fact, many cards have population counts below fifty in the aforementioned condition."
Recent examples of the cards' insane values include a similarly-rated Charizard that went for $8,800 alone in 2016, which Goldin claims has since nearly tripled in worth. In 2017, a full collection similar to the one currently on offer went for around $100,000, so the sky's the limit this time around.
Not that you can necessarily put a price tag on childhood, but the lot description does offer a surprisingly pretty poetic explanation of one of the reasons the franchise has so much resonance for a generation of people.
"[I]t signals the end of the tangible toy age and the beginning of the virtual age as no other item became as popular or as connective as Pokemon in years following."