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Pokémon TCG booster box sets new record after being auctioned off for $432,000

Beating $408,000 record.

1999 Pokémon English Base Set Shadowless 1st Edition Booster Box image
Image credit: PWCC Marketplace

A Pokémon 1st Edition booster box from 1999 has set a new record after being sold at the highest price ever for a sealed box of Pokémon cards at an auction.

The 1999 Pokémon English Base Set Shadowless 1st Edition Booster Box was sold for $432,000 (£323,000) this month, beating the previous record holder that was auctioned off for $408,000 (£305,000) by Heritage Auctions.

According to PWCC Marketplace, the auction company responsible for managing the record-breaking booster box, it fetched such a high price thanks to it being wrapped in unblemished cellophane, with almost no damage done to the box’s edges. The booster box contained 102 first edition cards inside, including potential fan favourites such as Pikachu and Charizard cards illustrated by Mitsuhiro Arita and Blastoise and Venusaur cards illustrated by primary character designer and art director Ken Sugimori.

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Besides the box’s excellent condition, the 1999 Pokémon English Base Set Shadowless 1st Edition Booster Box is considered to be an iconic release in the history of the trading card game, having kicked off English-language players’ interest in the Pokémon Trading Card Game. According to PWCC, “there are suspected to be only a few hundred” of the 1999 Pokémon English Base Set Shadowless 1st Edition Booster Box left in circulation, further contributing to the booster box’s high value.

Other first edition Pokémon booster boxes have been auctioned off at a wide range of different prices, including one that was sold by Heritage Auctions earlier this summer for a total of $384,000 (£287,000). Single rare Pokémon cards have also fetched large amounts of money in the past, including a first-edition shiny Charizard card - which was holographic and shadowless - that was sold at an auction for $264,000 (£197,000), alongside an ‘incredibly rare’ Pokémon card signed by the president of The Pokémon Company, Tsunekazu Ishihara, that went for almost $250,000 (£187,000).

The Pokémon Trading Card Game sees two players going head-to-head against each other with their respective decks of Pokémon cards. Once players have selected a Pokémon to be placed into their active slot, as well as any Pokémon on their bench, they take turns to play and activate cards on their board. Pokémon require energy cards to perform their attacks - with different attacks needing different amounts of energy - which can damage the opponent’s Pokémon. Players can also play trainer and item cards to support their Pokémon.

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Whenever a player successfully knocks out one of their opponent’s Pokémon, they can take one of their six available prize cards, with the other player needing to put another Pokémon card into their active slot. If a player knocks out six Pokémon or leaves their opponent with no active Pokémon or Pokémon cards on their bench, then they are the winner.

The next expansion for the Pokémon Trading Card Game is Sword & Shield - Brilliant Stars, which is set to be released in Q1 2022.

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Alex Meehan avatar
Alex Meehan: After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.
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