9 Rare Pokémon Finds That Could Earn You a Fortune

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The Pokémon franchise celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and it's never been in better health, thanks in no small part to the runaway global success of Pokémon Go (maybe you've heard of it?). 

Since the release of the Nintendo Game Boy games that first kicked off the phenomenon – 1996's Pokémon Red and Pokémon Green – an astonishing amount of spin-off Pokémon products have been released, from toys to DVDs, trading cards to T-shirts. Here are nine of the rarest and most valuable pieces of Poké-merchandise
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1. First-Generation Holographic Charizard Card

Carefully stored and kept in mint condition, certain Pokémon trading cards can increase their value with every passing year, with certain cards soaring well into the hundreds or even thousands of pounds. One card that's long been hotly traded is the holographic Charizard card release. You can expect to pay north of £500 for one of these first generation fire-breathing bad boys, if it's in top nick. 
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2. Nintendo 3DS XL Pikachu Edition

Nintendo have released a number of Pokémon-themed handheld consoles over the years, but this limited edition 3DS XL from 2012 was arguably the most buzzed-over of them all. It managed to sell out in its first three days of release, and if you managed to A) get hold of one and B) resist breaking the seal on the packaging, then you can expect to get hundreds of pounds for it on eBay. 
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3. Pokémon Centre Pikachu 28-Inch Plush

Plush toys are amongst the most popular and lucrative items of Pokémon merchandise, regularly going for hundreds of pounds on eBay. Released in April 2014 through Pokémon Centre – the Japan-only chain of Pokémon merchandise stores – this limited-edition Pikachu is sought after due to its impressive stature: At 28 inches tall, it's one of the largest Pikachu toys ever made. It's still pretty cute, though. 
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4. Pikachu Illustrator Card

With only six ever produced, these are the most sought-after trading cards amongst serious Pokémon collectors, and are often described as 'the Holy Grail of Pokémon'. Unsurprisingly, these ultra-scarce illustrator cards don't pop up on eBay very regularly, but when they do you can expect an asking price of $50,000 (£37,657) at the very least. In fact, a mint condition Pikachu Illustrator card actually managed to fetch an incredible $100,000 (£75,314) back in 2014. Big leagues stuff, this one.   
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5. TOMY Electrode Toy

Toy company TOMY began releasing two-inch Pokémon figures in 1998, and continues to produce Poké-toys to this day. Many of them are available to pick up for a couple of quid, with a few exceptions – a first-generation Electrode figure being the most notable. The toy was produced in such small quantities that even a damaged figure can fetch well over £100, and if you've somehow managed to keep one in pristine packaging since the mid-'90s then you can pretty much name your price. 
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6. Pokémon Crystal for Nintendo Game Boy Colour

None of the Pokémon titles produced for the Game Boy are rare, exactly, but their desirability has pushed their prices way, way up nonetheless. Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver for the Game Boy can both fetch well over £100 on eBay, but it's the next release in the series – 2001's Pokémon Crystal – that can fetch close to £1,000, if in near-mint condition and in its original packaging. 
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7. 2009 Pokémon Centre Shiny Gyarados 28-Inch Plush

Released in very limited numbers through Japan's Pokémon Centre stores in 2009, this plush toy of the popular, dragon-like Gyarados – in its Shiny Gyarados guise – is notable for its sheer size: At nine inches high and 28 inches long, it'll take up an entire shelf. So prized is the toy amongst Pokémon collectors, that it regularly goes for close to £300 on eBay but here is a cheaper (and equally cute) alternative
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8. 2010 Pokémon Centre Legendary Beasts Plush Set

More pricey plushies. These Legendary Beasts toys – Raikou, Entei and Suicine – were limited to 250 apiece, and weren't even available to buy: Pokémon collectors had to enter a lottery via the Pokémon Centre chain in Japan and then cross their fingers. As a result, just one of these can fetch several hundred pounds, while a full set in mint condition could get you £1,500. They're hard to come by, so try and grab yours quickly or click Follow This Search to be notified if they become available. 
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9. 1999 Misprinted Charmeleon Card

'Only one ever made,' says steveo232232, the seller of this unique piece of accidental Pokémon history from 1999. 'Rarer than Pickachu Illustrator cards! This is a misprint and one of a kind and will not be parted with lightly.' He doesn't elaborate on how that garbled typo managed to appear in the top-left corner of the card, but one thing is clear – with an asking price of C$100,000 (£57,661), this is one of the most valuable pieces of Pokémon merchandise in existence. Provided, of course, that anybody is actually willing to pay that much for it...
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Want More Pokémon?

You won't believe all the bizarre places people have captured Pokémon Go, and check out these Pokémon hacks to help you catch even more.
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