A Decade Of Pokemon - Insights and Data!

A Decade Of Pokemon - Insights and Data!

I recently compiled sales data for almost every Pokemon main set from the Black & White Era to Silver Tempest. 

It's been a wild decade that's seen ups and downs, fights over ETBs in Walmart, a massive boom and a more relaxed phase in 2022 as product once again becomes available. 

This full chart is available HERE 

I'll be sharing some of my takeaways by era below:


Black & White Era

  • Dark Explorers bring a hefty price tag but it's not a particularly appealing set in my opinion. However, it does boast some beautiful full art EX cards. (Darkrai, Kyogre, Raikou). The secret rare Gardevior (109) and Archeops (110) are very tough pulls but are not memorable cards outside their rarity. 
  • Plasma Storm takes my vote as the strongest set for the long-term. It has a ton going for it, with the key cards being a secret rare Charizard (136) And Blastoise (137). 

  • Dragons Exalted may be a step down in price from those two but has a lot working for it with the gorgeous Full Art Mew EX 120 and a secret rare Rayquaza. 


The XY Era

XY probably marks the beginning of what most would refer to as "modern" Pokemon collecting, mainly due to the outward influence Evolutions had during the 2020 Pokemon Boom. 

  • Prices are mostly reasonable here with Flashfire on top. Flashfire was the Charizard set before Champions Path was even a figment of our imagination. It saw a huge run up in price during the boom but is settling in at around $2000 a box. 
  • Phantom Forces is another strong performer and it's safe to call it the Gengar set. Driven by the gorgeous Gengar Full Art 114 this set is a memorable open but a bit top heavy. 



  • It's impossible to think of XY without Evolutions the mass-printed, hate or love it reprint set that was the poster boy of the early COVID boom with rapper Logic ripping boxes and chasing nostalgia. Despite the constant refrain of over printing, Evo has been consistent and has maintained a price point that doesn't seem to be going down any time soon. With its call backs to the original base set and the nostalgia around COVID-collecting it's finally found a home in the hobby. 
  • Ancient Origins is one not to sleep on, and with it sitting under a $1k, this is one to watch for in the future. Featuring Shiny Rayquaza, a Full Art Lugia EX, and a Giratina EX this set has depth and appeal. 


The Sun & Moon Era

  • TEAM UP. That's it, that's the post. An absolute slam-dunk set with depth, unique arts, big pulls and collectability across the board it's no shock this set has topped the $1k mark. It's hard to argue against it and the market agrees.

  • A close second is Cosmic Eclipse - at about half the price this is another deep deep set to open and an incredible fan favorite. 
  • Special set, Hidden Fates is also a top-tier home run for collectors and while exceptionally available, ETBs have held steady for the best year or so. 
  • While everyone knows those three sets, there are some sleepers in the sub-$400 booster box range that could prove interesting for the long-term. Burning Shadows is thin, but boasts the impossible to grade rainbow Charizard. Lost Thunder is being slept on with a rainbow Lugia, fire trainers and a deep roster of hits. 

Sun & Moon is a memorable and deep era for Pokemon collectors and many of the sealed product is still in the "reasonable range". 

The Sword & Shield Era

I should probably just replace this with the "Art Art Era" as Battle Styles truly kicked off a run of sets featuring "alternative arts" which are beautifully designed full arts of Pokemon with artistic and memorable appeal.

  • The king of the alt art chase is Evolving Skies and the Moonbreon. Love it or hate it, this 1+ year old set is already commanding a $200+ booster box price. 
  • You can still dumpster-dive for alt arts with Battle Styles, Fusion Strike, Lost Origin and Astral Radiance all for around $100 a box. Brilliant Stars has separated from that group at around $140 a box. 
  • Early SWSH has mostly fallen to the back burner but at one point Vivid Voltage (the Pikachu set) soared above $200 a box - but after waves of reprints was driven down. The last of the Rainbow secret rare sets - it's at an interesting $120ish price point. 



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