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Will a mint Pokémon card survive the most extreme conditions? We put a PSA Charizard to the ultimate test!

It’s Super Effective!

Dropping incredible amounts of money on valuable Pokémon cards has become one of the celebrity trends of the last year, with everyone from rapper Logic and DJ Steve Aoki to YouTuber Logan Paul splashing out on rare trading card finds. But after you’ve dropped thousands of pounds on a graded card, how safe is your investment?

In our ongoing pursuit of scientific answers to the Big Questions, team Dicebreaker decided to find out, by subjecting a shiny Charizard professionally rated at Mint 9 condition - just one point below the maximum Gem Mint 10 - by leading grading company PSA to the ultimate survival test.

We encased the protective case supplied by PSA as part of the grading process inside a second acrylic case for extra protection, then came up with a series of tests to simulate the most extreme survival conditions. For Science!

From dropping the card out of a two-storey window and soaking it in water to hitting it with an axe, bow and arrow, shots from an air rifle and shotgun, and even roasting it on a barbeque, no element or excuse to stretch the definition of “likely to happen to a Pokémon card” was left untouched.

Will our PSA Charizard card remain in mint condition? Will it even remain intact? Watch on to find out!

Needless to say, several of the experiments were dangerous, and were conducted with strict health and safety guidelines and professional help and equipment in place. A big thanks to Gary and his team at Polowood Shooting Ground in Brighton for their assistance. Please don’t try any of these at home.

About the Author

Matt Jarvis avatar

Matt Jarvis

Editor-in-chief

After starting his career writing about music, films and video games for various places, Matt spent many years as a technology, PC and video game journalist before writing about tabletop games as the editor of Tabletop Gaming magazine. He joined Dicebreaker as editor-in-chief in 2019, and has been trying to convince the rest of the team to play Diplomacy since.

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