Pokémon Card Guide-Rares, Holos, Fakes and Collecting.
Pokémon- Its name is recognized all way across the globe and is the second most successful game series in the world. Soon after the original games were released, so were the cards. In October 2009, they had sold over 14 billion-and this number is still counting. There are 5 parts to this guide, so if you want to skip parts, using the find option on your computer (usually Ctrl+F), type in the code and it will take you too that part :)
-Rarities (promo's included): V1
-Fake cards: V2
-Other types of "holographic" designs: V3
-Collecting your cards: V4
-General Questions: V5
Many people often confuse how rare the card is with how much HP (Hit points) it has got. HP is the number at the top-right hand corner of the card. In the Pokémon TCG (Trading Card Game) where people battle their cards against each other, HP represents how much health the Pokémon has got. How rare the card is situated on the bottom right corner- it is (usually) represent by a symbol:
•:"Common"- When buying a Pokémon booster pack, this makes up most of the cards (usually 6 or 7 commons per pack). As the name suggests, these cards are easy to find, and come in many packs. They are cheap to buy as well.
♦:"Uncommon"-In a booster pack, you would maybe get 2 or 3 of these. Again, as the name suggests, these cards are a little rarer than its common friends. Some uncommon’s are worth a bit more than usual. However, they are still relatively cheap.
★:"Rare"- In a booster pack, you would normally find about 1-2 rare cards. These are what people look for- usually they have a lot of HP, are the final evolution of a Pokémon, or maybe are popular Pokémon. Some holographic rares are hard to find and go for a lot of money.
Some cards, even if they are classed as common, are still "rare". This may be due to a promotion (and not many people got them) or a miss-print. Older cards go for more, even commons, as less people bought them as they do today and less are in good/mint condition.
★★★:"Triple Star Rare"-These are from the older "Shining" Pokemon cards, such as Gyrados, Charizard and Magikarp. The triple star represented their value-1st editions of these that are in mint condition are worth a lot of money.
"Secret Rare": Secret Rares have been around for quite a bit longer than people imagine-a secret" rare is when a card has a number outside a set: i.e 124/123. Newer trainers that are secret rares have gold borders, whilst secret rare pokemon cards not only often have gold borders but the art style is different. There are about 3-5 secret rares in a set, so it may take a long time to get even one.
ex cards: ex cards (not to be confused with EX) are older ex cards which were rarer/powerful pokemon. They have a shiny silver border. Popular ones are Team Rockets Entei, Team Rockets Persian and Mew.
Lv.X cards: Lv.X are similar to ex and EX cards, but featured gym leaders from the corresponding game, Pearl and Diamond. And example is Lv.X Staraptor
Prime cards: Prime cards have a silver border and a jagged artwork around the box. The artwork is a close up of the pokemon with a dark style.
EX cards: EX are what the current format is using, and have a holo appearance to all the card. They vary in value but generally the ones that are played in tcg format sell well.
Full Arts: Full Arts (some classed as secret rares) is where the artwork takes up the whole card, and they have a ridged texture. Some EX's from sets get made into full art, such as Xerneas, and some popular trainers have been made into full art cards, such as Professor Juniper.
Fake cards (V2):
Imagine the scenario: You are walking through a market when suddenly; packs of Pokémon cards catch your eye. You approach and see the price-£1 a packet. You immediately buy half a dozen, and happily make your way home. However, when at home, on closer exceptions, something doesn't feel right. You open the cards, and they're fake. How do you avoid it then? Well, first of all, if the cards are at a price that is too good to be true, then it probably is. Nintendo retail the cards to make a profit and only use good materials- hence the price. Second of all, even though there is a chance that the cards bought from market/places like that are real, try to buy from retail stores-gaming or big supermarket stores have real Pokémon cards. Modern counterfeit cards are more real looking than the older ones, but are still east to spot. However, is you have a large collection of Pokémon cards at home and can't tell if a few are fake or not, then here are some signs to look for:
-Quality-This is a big one to spot. The quality of the suspected card will feel grainy and thin. Pick up a real Pokémon card and rub your thumb on it- it will feel smooth. Fake cards are usually made from bad-quality paper, so it will feel bumpy and rough.
- Writing-This includes spelling- usually fake cards are rushed, and contain spelling mistakes. This could be a genuine printing error on a real card (So check online beforehand). The text type is also a big give away- usually fake cards have a thinner text lettering- the description on the cards moves as well is usually limited and odd-looking.
-Border- Real Pokémon cards usually have an even yellow border (If not an EX, Promo, Lv or Prime). Sometimes, a genuine mistake is made, such as the cutting machine cutting to early, leaving a small gap, on an official card and the border is off. However in fake cards, the border is usually always off- it is sometimes different shades or yellow, and might cut into the picture.
-Typing and general mistakes- Each Pokémon has a "type"- e.g., Ditto is a normal type, and Houndoom is a fire/dark type. On the cards, next to the HP, is what type the Pokémon card is. Many fake cards have the wrong typing for the Pokémon- e.g. Pikachu may be listed as a fire type. However, in some card series (Delta species), Pokémon may have different types. If you unsure if your card is real, but has the wrong “type”, then type it into Google and the number next to the symbol- it will come up with a picture of the card. Also, spelling mistakes give away most of the fake cards-they are rushed, and people don’t go over them to see if they have made a mistake.
-Coloring- The fake Pokémon card may have looked like it has been left in the sun too long- the pictures and lighter and the back is often a lighter blue and yellow.
Other types of “holographic cards” (V3):
-Outer Shiny Cards/Reverse Holos- Outer shiny cards is where the “outside” (ie- everything but the box containing the picture of the Pokémon) is shiny/holographic. Black and White cards to the newest releases have patterned holographics to match the card type- for example, Dwebble is a grass type is the Noble Victory set and so has holographic leaves. In the newer releases, you would usually get 1 in each pack. Reverse holos can also be highlighted on the pokemon.
-Normal shiny cards- Normal shiny cards are what you really wanted as a child. It was always be that the king of the playground would be the kid with the shiny Charizard. The older cards had a clear “holo” design, with no patterns on. Slowly, newer holo cards were released, which had some holo parts on the card as well as the background of the Pokémon. The newest releases (Black and White and onwards) have a “ridged” holographic effect, where it has small line bumps on the surface of the card-which make it appear like there are shiny lines.
Collecting your cards (V4)
*Correctly* collecting your cards is important. Cards needs to be kept safe, secure and preferably in something waterproof. When the cards were out on the playground, keeping them wrapped in an elastic band was the easiest thing to do-I wouldn’t suggest that now! Keeping them in sleeves in a folder is just as suitable as buying a folder with sleeves already sewn in.
You can purchase a folder with sleeves already sewn/built in. You can get size A3 and size A4, and can have various designs (Some have Pokémon and some have other popular designs).
To store individual cards, many people use single card sleeves. These plastic card sleeves are just a bit bigger than the actual card, allowing room for the card to fit it. You can get good quality ones and different ones with patterns on them. These are called penny sleeve, as the width is enough to get a penny into them. Card sleeves come in soft-backs and hard backs, depending on the persons preference.
You can also store them in deck boxes. These boxes people use when playing in the TCG to easily store their cards as they can easily be brought out again. Again, like the cards sleeves, many come in different qualities, and different designs.
General Questions (A&Q) (V5)
- Where can I buy Pokémon cards?
2. Where can I sell Pokémon cards?
Many small gaming businesses buy Pokémon cards for their own stock. Of course, this would depend on the quality and rarity of the cards. You can sell on ebay or amazon and specialist card collecting sites.
3. Where can I get my cards valued?
Cards can be valued my independent gaming stores (if they offer). Also, keeping an eye on the card on ebay will give a good indication of the amount it sells for and how many sell. It’s all well and good have a rare card, but if people don’t want to buy it then it will always be cheap.
If you have a question you would like to ask just comment and it will be added.
I hope some people find this guide useful. The general “collecting your cards” apply for other cards as well.