The first two English language expansions to the Pokémon Trading Card Game have appeared at auction. Listings for a full PSA 10 grade set of both the Jungle and Fossil sets are currently up for bid at PWCC Marketplace for a fairly hefty sum of money.
The Jungle and Fossil sets were the first official expansions to the trading card game, releasing in English on June 16th and October 8th, 1999, respectively. The Jungle set expanded the number of first generation Pokémon to include cards featuring pocket monsters normally found late in the video game series, such as the three Eevee evolutions - Jolteon, Flareon and Vaporeon - alongside Snorlax, Pinsir and Kangaskhan.
The Fossil set, in comparison, focused on prehistoric Pokémon revived from ancient remains, oddities such as Ditto and the suite of legendary creatures featured in the first generation. The trio of birds - Zapdos, Articuna and Moltres - along with the Dragonite evolution line made for exciting additions to an otherwise relatively small expansion. Both of these sets would soon be rolled into the existing first release and repackaged as Base Set 2, using a different holo foil treatment and correcting several errors on cards.
The two auctions, hosted by PWCC Marketplace, contain every card in their respective set graded at a PSA Gem Mint 10. This is the standard PSA awards to “virtually perfect” cards, according to its website, that are free of any blemishes, creases, folds or wear that weren’t due to the initial printing. Essentially, these cards have been nearly untouched since they were pulled from their plastic wrappers.
PWCC claims that both of its auctions are in rare company, as only approximately 10 complete PSA 10 Jungle sets exist in the world, while the Fossil set boasts less than 20 similarly graded full collections. The open bidding will remain open through May 19th, and opening bids for the Jungle and Fossil sets currently sit at US$25,000 and US$20,000 respectively. I hope you’ve been saving your allowance.
The Pokémon TCG is no stranger to high-price auction items. The potent combination of collectibility and nostalgia has created some truly exorbitant sales. Some rare and expensive Pokémon cards derive their value from scarcity, such as promotional runs, or unique printing errors on already sought-after cards. Sealed booster boxes have consistently sold for a ransom thanks to the COVID-era YouTube craze of cracking packs on livestreams. The craze was arguably largely driven by Logan Paul, who was eventually duped by a fake box - here's some tips for spotting fake cards so you don't get similarly scammed.
It’s perhaps appropriate that the most eye-watering sales of single Pokémon cards remain fixated on the franchise's little yellow mascot, as a trio of trophy-wielding Pikachu recently sold for $300,000 while an extremely rare Pikachu Illustrator card found a buyer at $900,000. There’s not enough chores in a lifetime to afford that prize.