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Never underestimate the popularity of Pocket Monsters. A box of unopened, first edition base set Pokémon trading cards recently sold for a whopping $360,000 at Heritage Auctions' Comics & Comic Art Auction. The item, which is over 20-years-old, was purchased by Thomas Fish, president of Blowoutcards.com. "I am thrilled to purchase this pedigree box," Fish said in a statement.
His winning bid shattered the previous world record, also held by Heritage Auctions, which sold a similar set last September for $198,000. Demand for the still-shrink wrapped box was reportedly so heated, that online offers broke the record before bidding even officially began.
"This set is the pinnacle for all Pokémon collectors, and the back-to-back record-breaking sales show that," added Heritage Auctions Assistant Comics & Comic Art Operations Supervisor Jesus Garcia. "This set comes from a very low print run, and to find one that is still sealed and in such great condition explains why the demand for it was so intense."
Over in Colorado, another out-of-print Pokémon pack was found at a Walgreens by Bruce Swartz (aka "Yellow Version"). The item in question was a Team Rocket-themed pack: an expansion line from the early 2000s that featured cards inspired by the unscrupulous Pokémon-stealing organization from the video games and TV show (prepare for trouble...and make it double!). In particular, these packs contained Pocket Monsters belonging to certain members of Team Rocket; creatures that were often as nefarious as their trainers.
"I still can't believe it!" Swartz tells SYFY WIRE. "I'm a '90s baby and long time Pokémon fan. Collected the cards, played all the handheld games, etc. I had seen Pokémon Puller's video a while back and made checking under shelves part of my weekend card hunting routine. Never had any luck until this past Saturday at Walgreens. I could only see the silver on the long crimp because the pack art is black, and it was loaded with dust. My girlfriend was with me rolling her eyes (as she usually does with these things) and as soon as I saw the pack, I grabbed it and was in shock at what it actually was."
I took it to the photo counter and kind of explained the situation to the manager. She told me if the pack did not scan that it could not be sold and needed to be returned because of company policy," continues Swartz. "It scanned! Rang out as an XY Evolutions blister pack and I was ecstatic. We went straight to the car and I knew I had to make a post about it for my insta page and the rest is history. I wasn't on Tik Tok at the time, so I gave Pokémon Puller permission to put it up and credit me. Two days later and boom! Two million views."
Swartz is still deciding on whether he'll open the pack or not. "I'd love to out of pure curiosity, he says. "I just have no clue when or where right now."
In late August, Gio Martin (aka "Pokémon Puller") discovered a first generation pack of cards under a shelf at a Target in New Jersey. Despite several monetary offers for his momentous find, Martin decided to open the artifact, but found no particularly valuable cards within.