Shiny Pokémon are a highly-coveted phenomenon across the Pokémon franchise. Those who played Pokémon Gold and Silver would have had their first memorable encounter with one at the Lake of Rage in the form of Red Gyarados. At that point, these rare color variants were just called "Color Pokémon," until the more popular fan name passed into official lore for Pokémon Black and White, with "shiny" referring to the sparkly animation the variants give off at the start of an encounter.
Not all Shiny Pokémon were created equally though, with color variations ranging from the barely perceptible to the unmissable. Being one of the game's most popular mascots, Charizard's black-and-blue Shiny form makes the beloved fire-lizard even more desirable, whether it's in pixelated or paper form. But what exactly is it?
WHAT DOES A SHINY CHARIZARD DO?
Like all Shiny Pokémon, Shiny Charizard does nothing that a normal Pokémon wouldn't do. In the games, a particular combination of Individual Values (Poké-genetics) is needed to produce the color difference between a Shiny and a normal Pokémon, but its an aesthetic difference only.
Their rarity makes them badges of honor for trainers, and ones such as Charizard, who has a dramatically different Shiny form, are particularly sought-after. After all, the black dragon look is just plain cool.
WHERE CAN YOU CATCH A SHINY CHARIZARD?
Shiny Pokémon are obtainable across most of the franchise's media, including video and mobile games, anime, manga and trading cards. They even pop up in the Super Smash Bros. series. Any game where a Charmander is attainable gives you the chance to get a Shiny version.
The trading card game also, confusingly, contains both holographic cards nicknamed shiny cards and cards featuring Shiny Pokémon like Charizard. Both forms are harder to find and therefore much more valuable.
HOW DO YOU GET A SHINY CHARIZARD IN THE GAMES?
You can either hunt for a Shiny Pokémon in the wild or try and breed one by leaving two compatible Pokémon in the Day Care Center. When they first appeared in Generation II, Shiny Pokemon were ridiculously hard to come by. From Generation IV onwards, however, GameFreak tossed Shiny-hunters bones by introducing things like the Poké Radar and Shiny Charm to increase the odds.
There's also the Masuda Method -- named after its creator, GameFreak director Junichi Masuda. Masuda programmed into Pokémon Diamond and Pearl that the offspring of two Pokémon originating from games of different languages would have a higher chance of being born Shiny.
In Pokémon GO, the likelihood is increased during certain Community Day events. In the case of Charizard, which is usually given to the player as a starter Pokémon or gift as a Charmander, players usually resort to restarting the game over and over again until they get lucky.
HOW MUCH IS A SHINY CHARIZARD WORTH, IN CARD FORM?
Shiny Pokémon first became available in the TCG in 2000 in Japan, where fans had a 300:1 chance of finding one in a pack. Eager international collectors paid around $300 to get their hands on them ahead of their English-language release.
Holographic cards, however, are what most people think of when they think about Shiny Pokémon cards, and one card always comes top of the pile: the original Charizard. A combination of love for the character and the card's monstrous effectiveness in battle made it an instant must-have. In 2016, a first-edition one classed in mint condition sold at auction for $11,999.