Collecting Pokemon Cards - Modern vs Vintage

Collecting Pokemon Cards - Modern vs Vintage

Collecting Pokémon cards has been a popular hobby for decades, and there's a distinction between collecting modern and vintage cards that enthusiasts often consider. There are no wrong cards to collect in the hobby, but it is always a popular choice to collect the cards that one might consider “an investment”. Here's an overview of the differences between modern and vintage collecting in the world of Pokémon cards:

  1. Vintage Pokémon Cards:
  • Era: Vintage cards typically refer to those released during the initial Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) launch in the late 1990s. These cards are considered nostalgic and hold sentimental value for many collectors who grew up with the franchise.
  • Value: Vintage cards, especially those from the first few sets like Base Set, Jungle, and Fossil, are often highly sought after and can command very high prices in the collector's market. Rare first edition cards, holographic cards, and misprints can have significant value due to their rarity and historical significance.
  • Condition: Finding vintage cards in pristine condition can be challenging due to their age. Cards that are well-preserved and have minimal wear and tear command the highest prices.
  • Scarcity: Vintage cards are becoming increasingly scarce as time goes on, especially in good condition. As a result, their value tends to appreciate over time.
  • Investment Potential: Many collectors view vintage Pokémon cards as a potential investment due to their historical importance and limited availability. However, the market can be volatile, so it's important to do thorough research before investing.

Here are some examples of a few popular vintage Pokemon Cards. The artwork is known to be very simple but elegant and focuses on the Pokemon itself. The holographic foil textures are also very prominent and make these cards shine so beautifully. 

  1. Modern Pokémon Cards:
  • Era: Modern Pokémon cards encompass sets released from the early 2000s to the present day. The TCG continues to release new sets regularly, each with its own themes, mechanics, and artwork.
  • Value: Modern cards are generally more accessible and affordable than their vintage counterparts. While some modern cards can still become valuable, the prices are often lower than those of vintage cards.
  • Variety: Modern Pokémon sets offer a wide range of card types, including regular cards, holographic cards, reverse holo cards, ultra-rare cards (such as EX, GX, V, and VMAX cards), and more. Special sets with unique themes and artwork are also common.
  • Collectibility: Many collectors enjoy the excitement of opening modern booster packs and boxes to find rare and valuable cards. The thrill of "pulling" a rare card adds to the enjoyment of the hobby.
  • Trends: The modern Pokémon TCG scene can be influenced by competitive play, as powerful cards from certain sets might dominate the competitive metagame. This can affect the desirability and value of specific cards.
  • Artwork and Design: Modern cards often feature intricate artwork and design, making them visually appealing to collectors and fans of the franchise.

Here are a few examples of some popular modern Pokemon cards. These cards are very complex and often have lots of detail in the artwork. The holographic foils are still very shiny and often have different textures that you can feel on the cards.


In summary, vintage Pokémon cards hold historical significance and often carry higher value due to their scarcity and nostalgic appeal. Collecting vintage cards can be seen as a way to preserve a piece of Pokémon's early history. On the other hand, modern Pokémon cards offer ongoing excitement, a wider variety of card types, and the opportunity to collect new and visually appealing cards.

Both vintage and modern collecting have their own merits, and the choice ultimately depends on personal preferences, budget, and the collector's goals. Some collectors choose to focus on one category, while others enjoy collecting cards from both eras.

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